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SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON.
Sir Edward George Earle Lytton is the son of the late General William Earle Bulwer, but on succeeding to the estates of his mother he was allowed by the crown to exchange the name of Bulwer for that of his mother, which he now bears. He was educated at Cambridge, and gained the chancellor's prize for a poem in 1825. A year after he published some of his early effusions in verse. His novels, however, attracted more favorable attention, and are still widely read, especially by the young and impressible. The first one of note was Pelham, whose hero is a professed dandy, but not without good points. Among other popular works of his earlier days are The Disowned, Devereux, Paul Clifford, Pilgrims of the Rhine, Last Days of Pompeii, Rienzi, Alice or the Mysteries, Ernest Maltravers, Leila or the Siege of Grenada, Night and Morning, Zanoni, and the Last of the Barons. None of these can be commended to the reader without qualification. They are not only unduly romantic, but are pervaded by an unhealthy moral tone. The stories are all constructed with skill, and hold the attention strongly until the climax is reached; but the book once finished has lost its charm. The characters may interest us during the perusal, but not one of them is ever remembered. The author's next successes were in his admirable plays, of which Richelieu, The Lady of Lyons, and Money hold their place on the stage with undiminished popularity. The New Timon, of which short extracts are here given, is a satirical poem, containing the plot of a highly-wrought story, and is not without merit. The reference to the Poet Laureate is a fine specimen of honest antipathy, with perhaps a dash of that old-fashioned envy which we had hoped modern authors are free from. The attack, in fact, is a sad anachronism, belonging to the era of The Dunciad. The retort may be read among the specimens of Tennyson's verse; it is of the Tu quoque sort (as classified by Charles Reade), which may be freely rendered You're another! It differs from the blackguardism of Punch's typical cab driver only in being written by a scholar and in verse.
In 1850 Sir Edward wrote a novel called The Caxtons, evidently suggested by Sterne's Tristram Shandy, but of far greater power than his former stories, and mainly free from the moral objections which attach to them. This was followed by My Novel and What Will He Do With It? both in a similar vein, and both deservedly popular. He has been in Parliament for many years, and has gained some credit as a speech-maker; but his political influence has not been greatly effective or conspicuous.
[From the New Timon.]
WELL, let the world change on - still must endure
While Earth is Earth one changeless race- - the Poor!
As if, when round the cradle of the child
A SHOT AT THE LAUREATE.
Me Life hath skilled! - to me, from woe and wrong,
This merit, rare to verse that wins, I claim;
If to old laws my Spartan tastes adhere,
If the old vigorous music charms my ear,
Where sense with sound, and ease with weight, combine,
In the pure silver of Pope's ringing line;
Or where the pulse of man beats loud and strong
Rather be thou, my poor Pierian Maid,
What charms the ear of childhood?—not the page
Not wit's wrought crystal which, so coldly clear,
Rev. James Martineau, a younger brother of Harriet Martineau, was born in Norwich in 1805. He was educated at the Unitarian College in York, and at once devoted himself to the ministry. He has achieved great distinction as a preacher and theological writer; and, what is much more to our purpose, has enforced and illustrated the highest moral truths in a style of exceeding beauty. Few religious writers have so thoroughly entered into the thinking of the age- not to be swerved by it, but to understand its tendencies, and to guide the thoughtful into the realm of spiritual and eternal things. The observations of naturalists, the speculations of philosophers, the teachings of history, -all the best fruits of intellect are employed with an unobtrusive art to enrich his sentences, and to rivet attention upon the sublime doctrines that are linked with our immortality. The selections in this volume are from a work entitled Endeavors after the Christian Life.
THE Corporeal frame is but the mechanism for making thoughts and affections apparent, the signal-house with which God has covered us, the electric telegraph by which quickest intimation flies abroad of the spiritual force within us. The instrument may be broken, the dial-plate effaced; and, though the hidden artist can make no more signs, he may be rich as ever in the things to be signified. Fever
may fire the pulses of the body; but wisdom and sanctity cannot sicken, be inflamed, and die. Neither consumption can waste, nor fracture mutilate, nor gunpowder scatter away, thought, and fidelity, and love, but only that organization which the spirit sequestered therein renders so fair and noble. To suppose such a thing would be to invert the order of rank, which God has visibly established among the forces of our world, and to give a downright ascendency to the brute energies of matter above the vitality of the mind, which, up to that point, discovers, subdues, and rules them; to proclaim the triumph of the sword, the casualty, the pestilence, over virtue, truth, and faith; to set the cross above the crucified; to surrender the holy things of this world to corruption, and shroud its heaven with darkness, and turn its moon into blood. Think only of this earth as it floats beneath the eye of God, - a speck in the blue infinite,—a precious life-balloon freighted with the family of spirits he has willed to come up and travel in this portion of his universe. Remember that at this very moment, and at each tick of the clock, some fifty souls have departed hence, gone with their tempestuous passions, their strife, their truth, their hopes, into space and silence; not either with the appearance of forces spent and finished; for there are children fallen away, with expectant look on life, nothing doubting the secure embrace that seems to fold them round; there is youth, raised up to self-subsistence, not without difficulty and sorrow, with the clear deep light of thought and wonder shining from within, quenched in sudden night; there is many an heroic life, built on no delusion of sense and selfishness, but firm on the adamant of faith, and defying the seductions of falsehood and the threats of fear, sunk from us absolutely away, and giving no answer to our recalling entreaties and our tears. And will you tell me that all this treasure, which is nothing less than infinite, is cancelled and puffed away, like a worthless bubble, into emptiness? Does God stand ahead of this mighty car of being as it traverses the skies, only to throw out the boundless wealth of lives it bears, and plunge them headlong into the abyss midway on their voyage through eternity? Put the question in conjunction with any overwhelming calamity, which perceptibly plunges into sudden silence a multitude of souls; like the dreadful destruction, just announced from the western world, of a ship freighted with priceless lives, with the wealth of homes, the hopes of the oppressed, the lights of nations.1 Let any one think over the contents of that fated ship, when it quitted the port
1 The steamboat Lexington, burned on Long Island Sound, January 13, 1840.
at even, amid the cheerful parting of friends, and consider well where they were when the morning broke. There were travellers from foreign lands, ready with pleased heart to tell at home the thousand marvels they had gathered on their way. There was a family of mourners, taking to their household graves their unburied dead. And there was one at least of rare truth and wisdom, of designs than which philanthropy knows nothing greater; of faith that all must venerate, and love that all must trust; of persuasive lips, from which a thoughtful genius and the simplest heart poured forth the true music of humanity. And does any one believe that this freight of transcendent worth, all this sorrow, and thought, and hope, and moral greatness, and pure affection, - were burnt, and went out with flame and cotton-smoke? Sooner would I believe that the fire consumed the less everlasting stars! Such a galaxy of spiritual light and order and beauty is spread above the elements and their power, and neither heat can scorch it, nor cold water drown. The bleak wind, that swept in the morning over the black and heaving wreck, would moan in the ear of sympathy with the wail of a thousand survivors; but to the ear of wisdom and of faith, would sound as the returning whisper and requiem of hope.
MUTUAL RELATION AND DEPENDENCE.
In the grouping of nature, dissimilar things are invariably brought together, and by serving each other's wants and furnishing the complement to each other's beauty, present a whole more perfect than the sum of all the parts. The world we live in is not a cabinet of curiosities, in which every kind of thing has an assortment of its own, labelled with its exclusive characters, and scrupulously separated from objects of kindred tribe. The free creative hand distributes its riches by other order than the formal arrangements of a museum; and, for the happy life and action of the universe, blends a thousand things, which, for ends of knowledge only, would be kept apart. A single natural object may be the focus of all human studies, and present problems to puzzle a whole congress of the wise. A tropical mountain, for instance, is a seat for all the sciences; and from the snows of its summit to the ocean at its base, ranges through every realm of the physical world, and presents samples of the objects and forces peculiar to each. Its granite masses stand up as the monumental trophy of nature's engineering; while each successive stratum piled around their pedestal is as a notch on the score and chronicle of her