Page images

essentially as well as in outward seeming | reserved for this birth-hour, on the stroke from Anthony Trollope the man. The of which it eagerly seizes on the relations one developed into the other, but it was which crowd in upon it from the novel by a sudden start and not by a gradual elements around." That passage conveys, process, just as the tadpole, which is not in better words, precisely the idea we a frog, but something quite different, be- endeavored to make plain, with the exlonging, indeed, to a different branch of ception that we think the change a little the animal kingdom, becomes suddenly a greater than breaking-forth, the actual frog. People are so possessed with the nature being occasionally modified, as we, phrase, "The boy is father of the man," though rarely, sometimes see it modified that many thought this a little absurd, half in maturer life, under religious or other a dozen assured us that no such change influence, and that we should put the poscould occur in a human being, and one sible time of its occurrence much later. excellent man gravely warned us that if a The man's difference from the boy is solution of continuity could occur in life, sometimes not established till he is fiveso it might in death, and then what would and-twenty, unless circumstances have become of continuous identity in another been very favorable to independence, world? We need not say we intended either of judgment or of action. Trollope nothing so absurd as this gentleman im- was a man before his true nature appeared, agined, but we did intend to say that the even in respect of efficiency for the work difference, the radical difference, between of life; and we have noted the alteration the boy and the man, which constantly in men older than he, and that, too, in startles as well as puzzles preceptors, is the peculiarities we think least liable to seldom sufficiently reckoned on, especially change, such as temper and frankness. by parents, whose experience of their It seems impossible to most parents that children is often so great and so minute the violent lad should become gentle-temas to be delusive. It is frequently a posi- pered, and the reserved lad frank; but tive change, as it was in Trollope's case, both changes do in rare instances manias if the nature had been compressed in a festly occur. There is no reason, indeed, case, subsequently to be burst; and while why they should not. The relaxation of compressed, lacked qualities which could pressure upon the inner nature, which is only come to it after its release. We are often the consequence of independence or pleased, as well as amused, to find that other change of circumstances, not only this idea, which was a product of con allows the wings of the mind, as Dr. siderable experience, is confirme by Dr. Martineau says, to be unfolded, but perJames Martineau, who has probably much mits them to grow where they were not greater experience, having, like all reli- before. Tying up a child's limb may only gious teachers of mark, been compelled distort it; but it may also take out of the to make a special study of the young. In general frame its inherent vigor, its natthe course of the remarkable sketch of his ural health, its characteristic and special family history, and of his differences with power, and that larger result of compreshis sister Harriet, which he published in sion is true also of the mind. It is not the Daily News of Tuesday, Dr. Marti- only genius which requires room, but neau says: "If I do not misconstrue a sometimes ordinary nature also. Ten per class of facts frequently noticed, there are cent. of the most ordinary natures would natures and among them some of the have been crushed out of shape by a boymost energetic and gifted in the end hood like that of John Stuart Mill as com which remain through childhood in a kind pletely as that of a Shelley or a Coleridge of chrysalis state; and first begin to quiver would have been. The crust over the with their intdneed life, and at length mind, though it often compresses only its break forth upon the wing in the second powers, — a phenomenon known in every half of their second decade. As that is third household, where Tom's success in also the time when young people often life never ceases to cause a mild surprise, leave the early nest for some new expe- - sometimes also squeezes and deadens, rience, bringing them into contact with or suspends vitality in the essential charfresh types of character and manners, the acter. The difference between Prince change of scene is apt to get all the credit Frederick and Frederick the Great was of the marvellous hues and vivid flight|not only one of mental strength, and now taken by the creature once so color-though in part he may have hidden himless and dull. But the metamorphosis self deliberately, in part also, when the would not be wrought upon a brother or flagstone was lifted by his father's death, sister differently tempered. It is essen- his character changed. tially the unfolding of an inward nature

We wonder whether the converse differ

ence often occurs, and a character injured | moval of the compression which once fell by want of compression, of the discipline upon children with the irresistible and allwhich reveals that there are "musts" in pervading weight of an atmosphere. One the world, ever recovers strength under can easily imagine that if life, with its the pressure of actual life, so that the hard facts such as the necessity of eatlight nature becomes serious and strong. ing, of obedience to "musts," and of We have not seen that, and do not re-standing alone restores this old influmember in biography a clear instance of ence, the lightsome youth of our day will it; but Shakespeare knew human nature, display as men, changes at least as startand he thought it perfectly possible. If ling, though in an opposite direction, as it is, and if the occurrence is frequent, the those which have struck Dr. Martineau relief to the fathers of this generation will and ourselves. Some of our Prince Hals be considerable. There is an impression will become Henry the Fifths. The altercurrent, derived principally, we think, from ation will be attributed to experience, and satiric literature, that the defect of the work, and contact with the unsympa new generation is premature manliness, thetic; but it will not be wholly due to that all children, boys more especially, those causes, but to the fact that pressure because they are more examined, display has brought out qualities only existing "old heads on young shoulders," and that before in the germ. The man will not be youthful priggishness is on the increase. in all instances the lad developed, but the That is not, however, the opinion of most lad transformed. He is not really transschoolmasters and tutors, or of the few formed, of course; but neither is he, as men we have encountered who have been we contend, only grown, but rather he has compelled to study unusual numbers of enlarged, and new characteristics have lads. They say that the enormous change come out as if they had been created. which has occurred in household disci- The potentiality of hardness must be in pline a change which extends to all the clay; but still, pottery is not clay only. classes, and has immensely modified soci- We have most of us witnessed this change ety while it has made the young dis--if not in others, then in ourselves — as tinctly happier, and to a most curious degree conscious of their happiness, and conscious, too, that being dependent on their irresponsibility, it will soon end, has left them with characters altogether lighter, weaker, and less capable of steady endurance. They have not learned in the same degree to govern the will, they are more reluctant to face difficulty, and they shrink from the great drawback to work ing life its inevitable monotony, with a painful deficiency in fortitude. They are not shallow, for they assimilate knowledge, and sometimes like it; they think with a clearness quite unknown in the past, and they observe as if they were old; but there is something lacking in the character which the older and harsher processes of bringing-up did produce. They were vexing processes, many of them, and they seem to parents of to-day quite out of the question, and to the young tyrannical; but they yielded their fruit. If the clay were conscious, it would probably not like the wheel, and would certainly detest the fire; but fire and the wheel make the pipkin, and the pipkin is water-tight, and until broken the most durable thing known. An Etruscan vase of pottery would last like a diamond, if only it were let alone, and it is only clay. There is a want of hardness, or rather hardsettedness, in the new race which perplexes the elder one, and which is undoubtedly due to the re-ders?

regards one quality, patience; and why should not there be others? Many among us do not grow patient, so much as acquire the faculty of patience; and this often in conscious, yet very sudden leaps. The pressure, whatever it be, has annealed that side of the character, until it is as different from the previous character as pottery from clay. Sharp suffering is the quickest pressure, and the one most recognized; but the hydraulic pressure of life acts too, and nearly or quite as effectually. The loss is mainly one of time; and though it is impossible for parents to think so, that is not always loss. The longer childhood is after all something to the good, and there is pliability in gristly bones. Most boys of to-day are ready for anything from learning Arabic to driving cattle, and for the work of life that is a set-off against the three or four years which seem to be lost from a certain want of "breeze," in the builders' sense, visible in so many characters. It is odd to find the moth in the cocoon, and the silk-spinner out of it; but that happens with the human worm, and only strikes us because we are accustomed to another sequence. The one change, when we have once seen it occur or recognized that it can occur, is as little miraculous as the other. The stupid lad becomes the brilliant novelist. Why not the blithesome lad the steadiest of plod

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

For EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage. Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single Numbers of THE LIVING AGE, 18 cents.

"MINE OWN FAMILIAR FRIEND." OLD friend, kind friend, is the night far spent? As half in a dream I lie,

There comes the thrill of a sweet content
That tells me a friend is nigh:

The forest rests in a waste of snow,
In its wintry slumber deep;

But when spring awakes and violets blow,
Then I shall be fast asleep.

Old friend, there were many false, fair things
In that life of mine gone past:
The rosy blossom that breaks, and stings,
And pierces the heart at last;

Bright smiles, that cover a love grown cold,
The honey that turns to gall;
The tinsel purchased with honest gold-
Ah, friend, I have known them all!


IN hope I climbed the grassy stair, Green hill in sunlight glancing; A thousand grasses blossomed fair, The breezes set them dancing; Each seemed a happy soul to be, Rejoicing with the summer:

I smiled to think they danced for me, And every glad new-comer.

But, ah! a rapture greater still,
Behold, my heart awaited,

It was the self-same grassy hill,
But wondrously translated!

It seemed that gems had dropped in showers,
The hill with glory lining:

'Twas but a crowd of sorrel flowers

Through which the sun was shining.

But one thing, one, through shadow and shine, Each little flower with ruby wings

Is true to the very end;

Of all good gifts that ever were mine

The best is a faithful friend:

You saw the snares that I could not see, And watched me early and late;

My soul was dumb, but your hand, for me, Knocked hard at the golden gate.

[blocks in formation]

Moved to a rhythmic measure;
Spell-bound I watched the lovely things
As one who finds great treasure ;

I danced, I sang, I could not choose
But of their brightness borrow;

I felt as if I ne'er could lose
That joy in any sorrow.

[blocks in formation]

The Omnipotent hath reft me of my throne, And plunged me in the abyss of hell, and he Shall give my home to man! That pains me most,

That Adam wrought of earth in heaven shall be

A throned power, find grace with God, while I Endure hell's torment! Would these hands were free

For one brief winter hour, then with my host-
But ah, iron bonds are round me once a king;
My limbs are galled, held fast by the hard

Of hell, on all sides round a sea of flame,
Region of sorrow, fire unquenchable.

From The Scottish Review.

heaven of a Grecian sky; sometimes bright, with its "white cloud," sometimes torn with "lightenings and thunderings," and darkened by "great hail," or cheered with "a rainbow like unto an emerald." Over the high tops of Icaria, Samos, and Naxos, rise the mountains of Asia Minor; amongst which would lie, to the north, the circle of the Seven Churches to Around which his addresses were to be sent.

[of Patmos], with the general character of its scenery, still more deeply enters into the figTHE island of Patmos occupies an im-ures of the vision itself... The view from portant position in the sacred geography the topmost peak, or, indeed, from any lofty of Christendom, but, unlike the other holy elevation in the island, unfolds an unusual places, it is very seldom visited by stran- sweep, such as well became the "Apocalypse," gers. There is no regular communication the "unveiling" of the future to the eyes of the solitary seer. by steamboat. It was "a great and high The inhabitants, even mountain," whence he could see things to amid their poverty, do not turn the sacome. Above, there was always the broad credness of the spot into a source of profit by organizing pilgrimages, and inviting the outside world to enrich them by paying for temporary hospitality, and for memorials of the journey.* The descriptions which have been published have been very few. Yet the place is naturally of profound interest. The landscape, in any case, is that which was before the eyes of John. There remains, moreover, the farther question whether, during the revelation of the Apocalypse, he was conscious of surrounding objects in such a sense that this landscape was as it were the proscenium on which the figures of the vision appeared. The late Dean Stanley, in a beautiful passage in the appendix to his "Sermons in the East," seems to incline to such an idea:

The "Revelation" is of the same nature as the prophetic visions and lyrical psalms of the Old Testament, where the mountains, valleys, trees, storms, earthquakes, of Palestine occupy the foreground of the picture, of which the horizon extends to the unseen world and the remote future... The view from the summit

No such thing as a photograph can be obtained, nor are there even religious pictures for sale.

†The principal authority seems to be the "Description de l'Ile de Patmos et de l'Ile de Samos," par V. Guérin (Paris, Auguste Durand, 1856). The description given in the present paper was written almost entirely at Patmos, and before the author had had the

advantage of reading M. Guérin's exceedingly valuable work. It is fuller in some respects, especially as concerning the churches, than that work, but poorer in others, especially on antiquarian and historical points. It is published as it was written, but some footnotes have been added, citing with acknowledgment several valuable statements from the French author. In some

few particulars, though none of importance, the present writer differs from M. Guérin, owing, no doubt, in some cases, to changes which have occurred since 1855, and, in others, to one or other having misunderstood or been misinformed.

Sermons in the East, pp. 229-231. The passage cited was evidently written away from the spot, and somewhat carelessly; for instance, the dean had evidently entirely forgotten the respective positions of Asia Minor and Naxos with regard to Patmos.

him stood the mountains and islands of the shall be moved out of their places;" "every Archipelago-"every mountain and island island fled away, and the mountains were not found." At his feet lay Patmos itself, like a huge serpent, its rocks contorted into the most fantastic and grotesque forms, which may well have suggested the “beasts” with many heads and monstrous figures, the "huge dragon" struggling for victory, -a connection as obvi ous as that which has often been recognized between the strange shapes on the Assyrian monuments and the prophetic symbols in the visions of Ezekiel and Daniel. When he stood "on the sand of the sea," the sandy beach at the foot of the hill, he would see these strange shapes "arise out of the sea" which rolled before him. When he looked around, above, or below, "the sea" would always occupy the foremost place. He saw "the things that are in the heavens and in the earth and in the sea." The angel was "not to hurt the earth or the sea," nor "to blow on the earth or on the sea." "A great mountain," like that of the volcanic Thera, "as it were burning with fire," was "to be cast into the sea." The angel was to stand with "his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth; ""the vial was to be poured out upon the sea;" the voices of heaven were like the sound of the waves beating upon the shore, as "the sound of many waters; ""the mill-stone was cast into the sea;""the sea was to give up the dead which were in it;" and the time would come when this wall of his imprison. ment which girdled round the desolate island, should have ceased; "there shall be no more sea. . . . We understand the Apocalypse better for having seen Patmos.

[ocr errors]

On the other hand, we get such a view

« PreviousContinue »