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a comparison between Lucretius and Virgil. Sometimes to a miscellaneous epistle is appended a postscript on the Odes of Horace, and their relative beauties-or a political missive is interspersed with comments on Juvenal and his translators. Criticism was a game at which he liked to give and take, whether in table-talk or familiar correspondence ; a brisk opponent at the game won his heart at once by taxing his head. “ Rogers, the poet, has been here," he writes to Fitzpatrick, in 1803; “I like him very well, but he is too complaisant (a fault of the right side) to have so much critical conversation with him as I like. I do not know how it is, but criticism is always my rage at this (winter) time of the year.” Upon literature in any of its sections, classical or current, from Herodotus to Cowper, from Homer's Iliad to Currie's Burns, he was always ready to express and glad to elicit an opinion. Freely he outpours his own preferences and indifferences. “Dryden wants a certain degree of easy playfulness that belongs to Ariosto, Parnell is too grave, and Prior does not seem to me to have the knack (perhaps only because he did not try it) of mixing familiar and serious, though he does very well in each respectively.” “I will read “Griselda ;' I do not remember it in Boccace, but it will be nearly a single instance if any of his stories are mended by the imitator. «Minutolo,' which is one of La Fontaine's best tales, is very inferior to Boccace, and Dryden, with all his grand and beautiful versification in Sigismunda,', hardly comes up to the original.” Pope's "early works are his best by far in my judgment, as well as yours. A detractor (as I have been very falsely accused of being) might say that having little genius he soon got au bout de son Latin, but there are other reasons. The chief of which appears to me to be that latterly (except in the case of Homer, and that is an exception also to our remark), he chose subjects not only less adapted to poetry in general, but to his particular genius also, for with all bis ostentation upon these matters, such as from words to things,' &c., I think he is as miserable a moralist and as faulty a reasoner as ever existed, and that all the inerit of his satires consists in his poetry and his wit, of both which he had a good share. Add to this, that most of his early works, and among them his best, are translations and imitations. The · Rape of the Lock' beautiful as it is, consists very much of parodies which are certainly not of the highest order of the productions of genius, and all these seem to have been the species of poetry most adapted to his talents.'
But here we must stay our hand. Agree we or not with the letterwriter's critical appreciations of Pope and Cowper, of Spenser and Milton, of the Orlando, or the Jerusalem, or the Divine Comedy, or of
aught else great bards besides
Where more is meant than meets the ear,— at any rate the picture is a pleasant one of such a statesman becoming a genial embodiment, totum atque rotundum, of
retired Leisure That in trim gardens takes his pleasure, listening to the nightingales, how they sing, and considering the lilies,
how they grow, that toil not, neither do they spin; or pondering the sentences of Demosthenes and Cicero, the irony of Lucian, the speculations of Lucretius, and, above all, the never-palling lines of Homer, whether concerned with the Siege of Troy or the Wanderings of Ulysses. In this aspect of the man, he is allowed to be winsome and engaging, even by political adversaries the most pronounced and protesting. "I'm afraid
did not like Mr. Fox," says Tremaine to Evelyn, when the two are disputing together as to the advantages and pleasures of retirement. “I liked Mr. Pitt's politics better," the rector replies; “but to say I did not like a man whose uncommon force of mind, added to the most amiable temper and cultivated taste, made him the admiration and delight of his friends, would imply a want of candour to which I cannot plead guilty. But why do you mention him ?” “He retired,” says Tremaine. “I doubt it," objects Evelyn. The Man of Refinement rejoins, " And yet he was perfectly happy." 6. From the account of him, I believe so," the Doctor of Divinity continues : “ but it was because I also think he did not retire, that I believe it.” “ You surely forget St. Anne's Hill ?” “ Not at all; but St. Anne's Hill was but twenty miles from town, and a debate called him whenever [query, as to that] his party pleased." “ You forget," says Tremaine, “Mr. Fox's novels and geraniums." “ And you,” answers Evelyn, “his great pursuit in Greek. Now a great pursuit is business; he therefore earned his novels and geraniums."* Both of which he delighted in with an appetite unknown for the most part to systematic novel-readers and geranium-growers, who are that, and nothing greater, or nothing else.
We have a great regard for Mr. Waterton. We have not the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, but his character is clearly revealed in his writings, with which we have been familiar from early years, and we esteem him accordingly. Neither do we quarrel with him for his prejudices, violent though they be. Johnson liked an honest hater, and Waterton has some excuse for his antipathies. As a staunch Romanist, we do not expect him to laud Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth; and as an avowed Jacobite, he is not likely to admire Dutch William as much as Lord Macaulay admires him. His hatred of Hanoverian rats is not only pardonable, but praiseworthy. We sincerely wish he could rid the country of the pest. As a writer of natural history, Waterton takes rank amongst the highest and best. He is second only to Gilbert White, the delightful historian of Selborne.
Waterton is now in his seventy-sixth year. Eheu fugaces! May it
• “Tremaine," vol. i. ch. xx.
† Essays on Natural History. Third Series. By Charles Waterton, Esq. Longman and Co. 1857.
be long ere the final valediction-R. I. P.-shall be pronounced over him! The hale and temperate naturalist, who is endowed with a constitution of iron, ought to live to ninety-or even a hundred-publishing a volume of contributions to natural history, coupled with autobiographical sketches, every two years. It would be welcome as the present. The portrait of the distinguished naturalist with which we are here presented, was painted in 1824, about the time when in our “ hot youth” we first read the “ Wanderings.” In the last page but one of his Autobiography continued in the second volume of his “ Essays on Natural History,” Mr. Waterton bade farewell to the reader and to that delightful pursuit at the same time; but it was not destined to be so. The fire of his spirit was unquenched by age, and his love of travel and adventure untamed even by mishaps. He has lived to put on record a few more reminiscences of nature, a few more observations on men and things generally, always entertaining for their originality and shrewdness; and some more mishaps, amongst which a tumble into the basin of Dover at midnight, from whence he was extricated by the miraculous medal of the Blessed Virgin ; and a still more grievous fall, the result of which was the breaking up by main force of a callous that had formed betwixt the hand and arn), and several pages in defence of the contemped class of bone-setters. It is extraordinary to contemplate in a character like that of our naturalist great powers of observation cultivated to the highest perfection, and great natural ability ripened by education and reflection, united to a child-like simplicity and a docile faith. It is a combination very rarely to be met with, and it is much to be admired, even when the conclusions arrived at cannot be readily admitted.
At the onset of his last rovings, Mr. Waterton visited, in company with his sisters-in-law, the Tyrolean Ecstatica at the monastery of Caldaro. He was as much edified as those who have preceded him on the same holy pilgrimage. He makes no remark upon the circumstance of nearly a whole day's delay having occurred before they were permitted to see the favoured maiden, but he concludes :
Now, what, I ask, will my good Protestant readers say to this most extraordinary narrative-true and correct, as I have a soul to save? It is, and it will be, utterly inexplicable to them, so long as they continue to stand aloof from the ancient faith ; which, they have been informed, by acts of parliament, from the days of the sad change, is both damnable and idolatrous.
A still greater demand is made upon our credulity upon the occasion of a visit to the Santa Casa in the church of Our Lady at Loretto :
That Supreme Being who can raise us all at the last day, could surely order the Santa Casa which was inhabited by the blessed Virgin, when she lived in Nazareth, to be transported from Judea to the place where it now stands, if such were His will and pleasure. There are authentic proofs of its miraculous transition; but the belief of it is optional with every Catholic, as the Church has pronounced nothing on the subject. Millions upon millions of pilgrims have already visited it, and millions in times to come will, no doubt, follow their example. I believe in the miracle.
It is exceedingly entertaining to mark how curiously the yearnings of the veteran naturalist surge to the surface amid the religious lucubrations of the aged philosopher. In the same room as the Ecstatica, he tells us, there was
"a Barbadoes dove"_"an emblem of the Ecstatica's innocence and purity.” In Austrian Italy he only saw one solitary crow and a small flock of finches throughout a whole day's journey : “ Birds, indeed,” he remarks,“ seem to be forbidden all protection in this portion of our earthly paradise.” On the way to Bologna, “cats were sunning themselves at the windows of the houses, but dogs, upon the whole, seemed scarce.” In the city itself was the incorrupt body of St. Catherine of Bologna: “we saw it, and we had the finest opportunity of examining it
: with great attention.” “ At Rimini, now celebrated for its miraculous picture of the blessed Virgin, we could see the smaller species of bats on wing as the night set in." We only wonder they did not fly by dayit must be a perpetual night at Rimini.
Some of the observations in natural history made by the way-side are amusing enough of themselves. Cats and dogs being scarce in Venice, is, we are told, one cause of the plenitude of pigeons. The many homes afforded by the richly decorative arehitecture of the place, and the use of fire-arms being forbidden within the city, are perhaps more prominent causes.
The Autobiography of the fine old man with the silvery head, one of the last few representatives of the Jacobites of old, and of those who are faithful to Church traditions, is followed by a new History of the Monkey Family; one of the main objects of which is to show that monkeys are especially, if not solely, adapted for living in trees. The only exception noticed by Mr. Waterton is the little colony of Gibraltar apes ; but we might mention a more remarkable instance in the case of the Saadan, or
Satyrs of the Desert,” which dwell in the tamarisk jungle of the Euphrates, where there are no trees, nor are these great apes solicitous of such, for, armed with powerful canines, they hold their enemies tightly grasped, and fight, not singly, but in troops. This ape—the Macacus Arabicus of systematists—is the Sayrim or“ hairy one” of Levit. xvii. 7; and it is also well described in Isa. xi. 21, and again, xxxiv. 14, where the image is perfect, when we picture to ourselves the “hairy ones” lurking about the river in the tamarisk jungle.
Mr. Waterton himself, so easy of belief in matters of religion, is unsparing in his scepticism in regard to the innumerable narratives current in books of travel, and transferred thence into works on natural history in reference to the habits and manners of the monkey tribe. “ These amusing anecdotes in support of the marvellous," he says, “ may all be very well to frighten children or to make them laugh, but, like Martin Luther's reformation, they are not orthodox." The idea of monkeys settling anywhere, of their throwing sand or sticks, driving away other animals, carrying off human beings, and other current notions, are rejected with utter contempt. His method of showing that the same animals never can be put on a par with human beings in point of intelligence, is peculiarly characteristie. He is speaking at the time of a visit paid to the great red orang-outang, or more properly, uran-utan, which was a short time back exhibited in the Zoological Gardens :
Having observed his mild demeanour and his placid countenance, I felt satisfied that if ever the animal had been subject to paroxysms of anger when free in its native woods, those paroxysms had been effectually subdued since it had become a captive under the dominion of civilised man.
Acting under this impression, I asked permission to enter the apartment in
which it was confined; and permission was immediately granted by a keeper in attendance.
As I approached the orang-outang, he met me about half way, and we soon entered into an examination of each other's persons. Nothing struck me more forcibly than the uncommon softness of the inside of his hands. Those of a delicate lady could not have shown a finer texture. He took hold of my wrist and fingered the blue veins therein contained, whilst I myself was lost in admi. ration at the protuberance of his enormous mouth. He most obligingly let me open it, and thus I had the best opportunity of examining his two fine rows of teeth.
We then placed our hands around each other's necks, and we kept them there awhile, as though we had really been excited by an impulse of fraternal affection. It were loss of time in me were I to pen down an account of the many gambols which took place betwixt us, and I might draw too much upon the reader's patience. Suffice it then to say, that the surrounding spectators seemed wonderfully amused at the solemn farce before them.
Whilst it was going on I could not help remarking that the sunken eye of the orang-outang, every now and then, was fixed on something outside of the apartment. I remarked this to the keeper, who was standing in the crowd at a short distance. He pointed to a young stripling of a coxcomb. “That dandy,” said he, “has been teasing the orang-outang a little while ago; and I would not answer for the consequence could the animal have an opportunity of springing at him.”
This great ape from Borneo exhibited a kind and gentle demeanour, and he appeared pleased with my familiarity.
Having fully satisfied myself how completely the natural propensities of a wild animal from the forest may be mollified, and ultimately subdued by art and by gentleness on the part of rational man, I took my leave of this interesting prisoner, scraping and bowing with affected gravity as I retired from his apartment.
Up to this time our ape had shown a suavity of manners and a continued decorum truly astonishing in any individual of his family: I say of his family, because in days now long gone by, when our intercourse with Africa was much more frequent than it is at present, I have known apes, baboons, and monkeys brought over from Guinea to Guiana, notorious for their forbidding and outrageous habits. This orang-outang, however, by his affability and correctness, appeared to make amends for the sins of his brethren. “Nature seemed to have done with her resentments in him ;” and I bade him farewell, impressed with the notion that he was a model of perfection, which might be imitated with advantage even by some of our own species.
But, alas ! I was most egregiously deceived in the good opinion which I had entertained of him, for scarcely had I retired half a dozen paces from the late scene of action, when an affair occurred which beggars all description. In truth, I cannot describe it-I don't know how to describe it-my pen refuses to describe it. I can only give an outline, and leave the rest to be imagined.
This interesting son of Borneo advanced with slow and solemn gravity to the bars of his prison, and took a position exactly in front of the assembled spectators. The ground upon which he stood was dry, but immediately it became a pool of water, by no means from a pure source. Ladies blushed and hid their faces, whilst gentlemen laughed outright.
I was scandalised beyond measure at this manifest want of good breeding on the part of this shaggy gentleman from the forests of Borneo. He confirmed for ever my early opinion that, although apes naturally possess uncommon powers of mimicry, and that these powers can be improved to a surprising degree under the tutelary hand of man, nevertheless, neither time, nor teaching, por treatment, can ever raise apes even to the shadow of an equality with the intellect of rational man. All monkeys are infinitely below us -ay, infinitely indeed. Rude, shameless, uncalculating beasts they are, and beasts they will