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finds himself detained at the house of ill fame in company with women of the town whose conversation is given at length, and is given as repeated by Clarissa to a gentleman who is the chief correspondent of Lovelace! Will Mr. Dallas tell us that Clarissa Harlowe's life at Mrs. Sinclaire's will ever be popular among English novel readers? It is very moral and not obscene; but it is nasty, altogether unnatural, and wanting in all the elements of dramatic effect.
From this den she escapes to Hampstead, and is brought back again by contrivances which are surely the most clumsy which ever a novelist used. She was a lady of excellent education, of high intellect, used to society, and able to talk down an archbishop on any matter of discourse. In conversation it is impossible to have her at a loss. Her manners and wit are as perfect as her beauty. And yet she is cajoled away from her refuge at Hampstead by two women of the town who represent themselves, at Lovelace's instance, to be ladies of title, and his near relations! By them she is taken back to her former prison, - and there she is drugged and violated. And upon this the violator writes the only short letter in the book. "And now, Belford, I can go no further. The affair is over, Clarissa lives. And I am,-your humble servant." We will admit here that the pathos is so great and overwhelming as to banish from the reader's mind for the moment the remembrance that no man that ever lived could in such circumstances have written such a letter.
And now the author is so vilely crippled by the fashion of his narrative that he can make but little of the picture of his heroine. Clarissa, half-crazy, as she well might be, writes a letter to Anna Howe, and a letter to Lovelace, - which Lovelace copies and sends to his friend! But the injured woman herself cannot be brought on the scene, the two letters seem to have tried too highly the novelist's powers. "Oh, Lovelace," she says, "you are Satan himself, or he helps you out himself in everything, and that's as bad. But have you really and truly sold yourself to him? and for how long? What duration is your reign to have?" After this she escapes again; gets into good hands; is then arrested by the bad women, not at the instance of Lovelace, but on his behalf; again escapes, is grandly persistent in her refusal to marry him, and dies unvisited by any of her near relations or by her darling friend.
The latter part of the story is chiefly told in the letters of Belford to his friend Love
lace. Belford is admitted to the intimacy of Clarissa, and is named her executor. In this position he becomes acquainted with all the details of her life, which he communicates to his friend in letters eight, ten, and twelve pages in length, writing sometimes two a day. In the last months of poor Clarissa's life, Mr. Belford had almost more than man could do in looking after her, and telling the history of her life to her seducer; but during all this time he never quarrels with his friend or is stirred to avenge Clarissa. This is done some months after the lady's death by a military cousin who has had much dealing with Lovelace, dealing that was frank and almost friendly, and that after he had learned the story of the poor girl's fate; but who at last, after full consideration, conceives it to be his duty to follow Lovelace, and to challenge him with all courtesy, and — to shoot him. Of hot anger, of passionate indignation, of that feeling which would have driven almost any man- - nay, almost any woman to clutch at Lovelace, and to tear him to pieces, there is not a word.
The first question to be asked as to every novel is whether it will please. There are various other questions to be asked, which are also very important. Will it be injurious to its readers? If so, though it be ever so full of delight, let it be banished from our rooms. Is it well written? be not, even though it please, it is open to just censure. Is it untrue to nature? If it be false to nature, let the critics say so, even though the charm of the work be complete. Let all and every fault be pointed out,- for the benefit of readers and of writers too. These novels are so far good that the readers seek them and delight in them. So much is true of them, though we acknowledge that they might have been better. But a novel that will not please is naught. The world will not have it if there be more of trouble than of pleasure in the reading of it. Now, to our thinking, the world of the present day cannot be made to take delight in " Clarissa." Every reader that does read it will acknowledge its wonderful power of harrowing up the feelings, its surpassing pathos, its terrible picture of Virtue suffering all things but debasement under the hands of Vice. But no reader will rise and feel that in the reading of the book he has passed happy hours. It is quite true that readers who have commenced may be unable not to finish the volumes,that readers may find themselves compelled to get through the work by some mixed process of reading and skipping; but the desire will always be to reach the end in
order that the labour may be over. Through- men have changed. The novels of the out the story there is no one to love or sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are even to like, save only Clarissa. The personages with whom the reader will become acquainted are for the most part either gloomy and tyrannical, or vicious and abominable. And with Clarissa herself the reader forms no pleasant acquaintance. She never smiles, and we must admit, indeed, that she has little reason for smiling. She is always among wretches, and from first to last we never see what Clarissa would have been with pleasant friends around her, or with a lover whom she loved. Maintained misery may please through a short story; but the world of readers is averse to being steeped in wretchedness through a long series of volumes.
now absolutely unreadable by us, and we do not think that any abridgment would make them pleasant to us. Those of the eighteenth stand their ground with a certain amount of life. We have acknowledged that men desire to have Richardson on their shelves, and almost persuade themselves that they have read Sir CharlesGrandison." But no force from the outside will draw people back upon them. We do not think much of the admiration of Diderot, of Scott, or of Macaulay, as expressed for Richardson. The enthusiasm of an individual, let him be who he may, or the enthusiasm of a certain hour in that individual's life, is but slender proof of the It has not been so much our intention to excellence of anything. If we found that criticise Richardson's story, which as we the volumes of Richardson were frequently have said, is indeed an old tale, as to call taken down from our shelves, that the bookin question the conclusion of Mr. Dallas sellers dealt in them widely, and that the with the view of inquiring whether that novels were sold at the railway stores for a which he has done will resuscitate a lost shilling apiece, we should think more of popularity. When Richardson wrote nov- such evidence than of that of the Governorels were scarce, and of those which were General, and Secretary, and Commanderwritten few were deemed to be fit reading in-chief in India, with their wives and famifor young and modest women. That "Clar- lies, as given by Macaulay to Thackeray in issa" should have been so esteemed some- the drawing-room of the Athenæum. But what astonishes us, as in no novel that we we will not close these remarks, widely opknow is a fouler brood of low characters | posed as they are to the views of Mr. Dalintroduced than in Clarissa; "- - but the las, without again expressing our admiramoral teaching was supposed to be good, tion for the literary zeal of an Editor who and the book was undoubtedly accepted. has been willing to give so much labour As we look back to the literature of past and time to an old tale, simply because it ages we see that the tastes of men and wo-has moved him deeply.
lake, and I proposed to take the little girl, for [TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] whose loneliness I could not help feeling a good SIR, I am reminded by your article on the deal of pity, on the water. She would like very children whom one meets with on the Continent much to go, but she could not leave Minnie. As of an American family whom I met with in a I could not bear to deprive my little friend of pension on the Lake of Geneva, where I spent what was evidently a great pleasure, I asked two days. The party consisted of a girl of about whether Minnie would be good, and having retwelve and two younger children; they had no ceived the elder sister's promise that she would, nurse or servant. The eldest girl was left in I suggested taking her too, though an unknown charge, while the father and mother were, I be- child of five in a boat is rather anxious work. lieve, making a tour in Switzerland for a fort-Minnie was perfectly good, and we returned in night. I did not hear that any express cause had taken them away. The little girl's manage- I have often thought since of the eldest girl. ment of the younger ones was such as many a I wonder whether hers is an exceptional case, or mother might have envied. The boy and an- whether there are many American children like other little boy had been out playing till after her. The strange and, to English ideas, prepos dinner was ready, and rushed in while we were terous notion of leaving a girl of twelve without at table. One of the young culprits was adjured any elder friend, and without any special recomby his mother several times in persuasive, drawl-mendation to the mistress of the pension, did not ing tones, "Do brush your hair, Tommy, you're surprise me more than the manner of the little not fit to be seen, do go and brush it." When girl herself, gentle, childlike, unassuming to the other appeared his sister said very gently, "You have forgotten to brush your hair, Charlie, you cannot sit down to table so," and Charlie was off to make himself tidy.
In the evening we were going for a row on the
strangers; very gentle yet very decided to the
From The Saturday Review.
|ject it. We say most obstinately, because they reject Christianity while having better opportunities than idolaters, or even than WE supported, in an article a little time Mahometans, of knowing what Christianity back, the doctrine set forth by Lord Ma-really is. The vast mass of Christians have caulay, Dean Milman, and others, that the no sort of ethnical kindred with the first Reformation of the sixteenth century was converts of Galilee and Jerusalem. They essentially a Teutonic movement. We are the descendants of men who worshipped showed how the reformed doctrines had Zeus, Jupiter, Woden, and the less famous been accepted by the great bulk of the Teu- Gods of those lesser nations which seem a tonic nations of Europe, and by very few sort of appendage to Greeks, Romans, and besides the Teutonic nations. We argued Teutons. In this case, and in many others, also that the acceptance of the Reformation nations have adopted a religion, they have by the Teutonic nations, by England above become identified with it, they have made all, was owing to a certain conformity in it as it were part of their national being, its doctrines, and still more in the political though it has been first preached to them incidents of those doctrines, with the na- by men of some other race, and though its tional character of those nations, and with tenets have been such as, before the event, the circumstances of their former history. they might have been expected to cast aside To us islanders above all, a system which with disdain. called for no submission to a foreign Power, Some religions again, and some particular which allowed us to develop our insular forms of the same religion, seem more easifeelings to their fullest growth, was natu-ly to allow the free development of narally acceptable above all others. But we tional life than others. The identification purposely kept ourselves from pointing out, of nationality and religion reached its exlest we should be drawn away too far from treme point among the ancient Hebrews. our proper subject, that this phenomenon, Judaism was, simply and solely, the religion according to which Teuton and Protestant of the Hebrew nation. The Jew was ready are, in modern Europe, names which are all to make proselytes, but such proselytes but interchangeable, is only one example were called on to become Jews. The worof a large class of phenomena of the same shipper of the God of Abraham was to bekind to be remarked in all times and coun- come, as far as adoption could make him, tries of the world. We leave it to divines a son of Abraham. Mahometanism again and philosophers to explain the fact, but is essentially a proselytizing religion: it is the fact itself is beyond doubt, that certain of its very life and being to be so. Now forms of religion do commend themselves Mahometanism does not indeed require men in a special way to men of certain races, to become Arabs, as Judaism requires men that they seem, as it were, better suited to to become Jews; but it seems, when left to their national character and circumstances, itself, to bring all its converts, as far as that they embrace them more readily and may be, to a certain level of national becarry them out with greater zeal. We de- ing. It seems to raise them to a certain sign nothing beyond a plain statement of point, and to keep them from rising above historical facts; and we do not flatter our- a certain point. It seems to stereotype a selves that we are going to put forward certain social and political state as its unanything that is at all new. But a collec- conscious ideal. And, if it has not made tion of facts, however well known, plainly all men Arabs, it has carried the Arabic stated and put into their right relation to language everywhere with it; the speech of one another, is often of great use. It is of the Koran has in some Mahometan countries special use on this sort of subject, on which displaced the native speech of the people, men's ideas are often greatly confused, led and in others it has been largely mingled away in many cases by mere misunderstand- with it. Comparing again Eastern and ings of nomenclature and historical geogra- Western Europe, it is plain that in the East phy. nationality and religion become identified in a way in which they do not in the West. A French Protestant is still a Frenchman; an English Roman Catholic is still an Englishman; nay, we have found out that even the Jew may, if he chooses, be admitted to civil, political, and social equality with the Christian of either Church. It clearly is not so in the East. Greek, Turk, Jew, Armenian, are words which express reli
One thing must specially be marked at starting, that the religion which history shows best to suit a particular nation is by no means always the immemorial faith of that nation, or even a faith which has had its origin among that nation. One example, the greatest of all, is enough. Christianity is of Jewish origin, but the Jews are just the people who most obstinately re
gious as well as national differences. In fact, the religious difference comes first. If a man changes his religion, he changes his nationality. The Orthodox Church and the Greek nation are very far from being coextensive expressions; but what makes them not co-extensive is that the Orthodox Church contains the Greek nation and several other nations beside it. But if a man of any of those nations forsakes his religion, if he ceases to belong to the Orthodox Church, he is looked on as forsaking his nationality as well. Multitudes of Turks are of Greek or Slavonic origin; Constantinople was stormed, and the Ottoman Empire was administered, by the children of Christian parents. But the proselyte to Islam, whether voluntary or involuntary, whether the mature renegade or the Janissary kidnapped in his childhood, ceased to be Greek, Slave, or whatever he was before; the mere fact of proselytism enrolled him among the ruling caste, and made him, for all practical purposes, a Turk. Even the Oriental Christian who forsakes the national form of Christianity for another greatly weakens, if he does not wholly cast off, the national tie. The United Greek and the United Armenian are Greek and Armenian only in a very secondary sense. So, in the further East, names like Hindoo and Parsee strictly mere names of nations, like English and French-have acquired a secondary religious meaning which has quite displaced the national meaning. If a Hindoo or a Parsee embraces Christianity or Mahometanism, no one any longer speaks of him as a Hindoo or a Parsee. In the East then we may say that nationality and religion are absolutely identical. Given a man's nation - his practical nation, not necessarily his ethnological pedigree and you know his religion. Given his religion, and you very often know his nation; you at least know that he must belong to one out of two or three nations. In the West nationality has had a good deal to do with determining religion, and religion has had something to do with determining nationality. But, in either case, nationality or religion has been simply one element among other elements. The two things have never become identical, as they have in the East.
If we cast our eye over Christendom and its divisions, we shall easily see how exactly they are marked out by certain great national and historical landmarks. Christianity is the religion of the Roman Empire and of those nations which have come, more or less fully, under Roman influences. It was not without a meaning that the Empire in later days took the title of Holy, and looked
on its chief as something more than a mere civil ruler, as the temporal chief of Christendom. Except so far as its faith has been displaced by Mahometanism, Christianity still includes all those nations which formed part of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent; all the then heathen nations which in the process of serving, conquering, or dismembering it, came within the range of its influence; all the heathen nations which afterwards came within the range of direct Roman influence, Imperial or Papal. That is to say, it is the religion of Europe, including of course 'European colonies; it is the religion of the small remnant in Roman Asia in Roman Africa there is hardly so much as a remnant - which Mahometan invasions have failed to eat up. Beyond these limits its extent has always been small and its existence precarious. Abyssinia stands alone as an example of an ancient Christian Kingdom surviving in a country which never formed part of the Empire, and which has never been settled by European colonists. We leave divines and philosophers to explain the reasons. We only state the manifest fact. If the Articles would let us, we should say that there was something or other in the national character or circumstances of all these nations which did deserve Christian enlightenment "of congruity."
Looking again within the limits of Christendom itself, it is easy to see four very intelligible divisions. First, let us go back four hundred years or thereabouts. We should then see but three. There was first the Western, the Latin Church, with the Roman Pontiff still its real spiritual chief, with the Roman Cæsar at least its nominal temporal chief. Its pale embraced all those nations which had at any time bowed either to the temporal sway of the Western Cæsar or to the spiritual teaching of the Western Pontiff. Secondly, there was the Eastern, the Orthodox, Church, the Church of the hardly defunct Roman Empire of the East, and of those European nations which had submitted either to the temporal dominion or to the spiritual teaching of the New Rome. Thirdly, there were the remnants of the ancient national Churches of the East the heretics, as Roman and Byzantine orthodoxy deemed them, of Armenia, Syria, and Eygpt. That is to say, they were the Churches of those nations which had been politically incorporated within the Empire of the Cæsars, but which had never cheerfully accepted either its Greek or its Roman influences. Armenia, the oldest Christian Kingdom, Syria and Egypt, representatives of a civilization and
Nationality and religion then are in some parts of the world identical; in other parts, though not identical, they greatly influence one another. The ritual, the discipline even the dogmas, which suit one nation do not suit another. Such is plainly the fact, but beyond the statement of the fact we do not presume to go.
From The Saturday Review, 24 Oct.
a literature older than that of Greece and if it ever happens, be very different from Italy, had never become pupils of their the Reformation in the West. It will not masters. While the rest of the Empire, be a revolt. The utmost in the way of resave here and there a wild mountain tribe, volt that is likely to happen is for Bulgaria adopted either the Greek or the Latin lan- to claim to form an independent national guage, they clave to their own ancient Church as well as Russia and the Greek tongues, they moulded Christianity into Kingdom. There is no need to cast off a forms of their own, and they offered no hear- yoke where no yoke exists. If a reform, ty resistance to the Saracen invader. Abys- doctrinal or other, ever happens in the sinia, the spiritual colony of Egypt, the East, it is as likely to begin at Constantinoone Christian State wholly beyond the lim- ple as at Athens or at Saint Petersburg. its of the Empire, of course takes its place A reform in the West could not begin at along with those nations which never wil- Rome, because the leading object of all lingly belonged to it. All these three di- reform was to cast off the authority of visions still remain, and, within the range Rome. of the last two, nationality and religion are still as identical as ever. But the events of the last three centuries and a half have added a fourth division. That is to say, the Teutonic nations have risen against the spiritual domination of the elder Rome. A curious question now arises. We see that Roman, Byzantine, Oriental, and Teutonic Christianity all exist. Will there ever be such a thing as Slavonic Christianity? The great mass of the Slavonic nations, all at least of the Eastern branch of the race, have stood for ages towards the Eastern Church and Empire in nearly the same THE Spanish Revolution has perhaps relation in which the Teutons have stood done something for the general peace of to the Western Church and Empire. They Europe during the next few months. What have been half conquerors, half disciples. plans, if any, the Emperor Napoleon had Will they ever revolt against the New formed, only those in his confidence can Rome as we have done against the Old? tell. The settled discontent with which the If they ever do, it must be a revolt of a Tuileries regards the state of Germany had different kind. It must be a purely dog- perhaps found vent this last summer in the matic revolt. It is only accidentally that concoction of more than one scheme or the Byzantine Church has anywhere estab- conspiracy against the quiet of the Contilished a dominion against which national nent. Various ideal repartitions of Europe feeling is tempted to kick, as national feel- have been designed in the Imperial Cabinet ing is tempted to kick against the dominion in the course of sixteen years of political of the Roman Church. Some of the na- dreaming, and 1868 has had, like the rest, tions belonging to the Orthodox Church its map, its programme, and possibly its have had, and still have, grievances to plan of a campaign. Great enterprises complain of at the hands of the Byzantine might have been undertaken again in the Patriarchate. But they are simply local and coming winter if it had not been for the temporary grievances, such grievances as irony of Fortune, which so constantly inthe appointment of Greek Bishops to Bul- terferes with the execution of the vague garian sees and the like. The Eastern purposes of irresolute men. Prussia, at Church never attempted to establish the any rate, is thought to be safe till next year, same sort of universal dominion as the when, unless anything else happens, the Western. The national Churches within French Emperor will again be hard at work its communion have always enjoyed a na- conquering General Moltke upon paper. tional hierarchy and the use of the national All that can be hoped is that something language in divine service. At this mo- may happen again next year, and, as the ment the national Churches of Greece and world is full of surprises, perhaps someRussia are in full spiritual communion with thing will. The Pope may be ill, or M. the mother Church of Constantinople, while Rochefort may be dead, or there will be a they are as independent of her in their in- Great Exhibition somewhere, or a new genternal constitution as the Church of Eng-eral election to the Corps Législatif, or the land is independent of Rome. There may Jesuits may have got into trouble by buybe a Reformation in the East, but it must, ing up all the land in Belgium, or M. Olli