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(A Picture of Mrs. Browning.)
the golden stylus of the woman proved Such lovers old are I and she ;
less mighty than the statesman's firSo it always was, so shall ever be." mer pen? Each played well its part in
making possible final victory through UCH was the love which Robert the sword of Garibaldi. Browning and his poet-wife bore
In the poem entitled, “From Casa to the oppressed land beneath whose Guida Windows," there were embodied smiling skies they had made their the impressions and einotions of Elizahome. Theirs was the fervent devo- beth Browning, as she witnessed the tion of patriots, not the heated parti- struggle which took place in Tuscany zanship which manifests itself in the during her residence in Florence. championing of Venezuelan claims, And that song went forth as a messnor even that sincere, but erratic, sym- age to the nations. Could dying Arpathy which actuated Cuban filibus- menia be blessed with such a priestess, tering. To them the freedom of Italy how much more of hope in its future! meant much more than did the libera- She niade no pretensions to presenttion of Greece to Byron. In the latter, ing a treatise upon the principles of we cannot but see the Corsair-spirit's liberty, nor to formulating any defindetestation of oppression predomina- ite plan for immediate action. This ting over his love for the oppressed. was to be the part of others. For It was rather against “the unspeak- her, it was enough that she felt the able Turk” than for the Hellene that wrong and hated it—bated with all he strove-he loved the slave because the intensity of a god-like passion; he first hated the cruel task-master. that her whole being became vocal With the Brownings, however, affec- with love and pity for the bruised and tion for Italy was a controling feeling trodden form of lovely Italia. Not even Mazzini, nor Garibaldi, could By the Congress of Vienna, Italy suffer more deeply in his nation's had been placed under petty princes, degradation than did these English who owned allegiance to Austria and singers. While from the pen of Maz- the Pope. Continued oppression awakzini came those burning calls for ac- ened irreconcilable hostility between tion upon the part of slumbering these rulers and their subjects. An Italy, no less earnest was the appeal almost universal revolt of the Italian sent to the outer world by the gentle States, in 1848, bade fair to overthrow poetess sitting behind her window at foreign domination. A republic was Casa Guida. And who will say that declared under the presidency of the
intrepid Mazzini, and upon the same Feeling that nothing definite will reday the tyrannical Duke of Tuscany sult from the inpulses of sudden enfled from Florence. Italy's first shout thusiasm, with another " clarion of exultation at her new-found lib- breath” she exclaims : erty had scarcely died away when the allied forces were disastrously de
“Will therefore to be strong, 0 Italy !
Will to be noble !feated at the battle of Novara. The treacherous French expedition of 1850
Tyranny must be resisted by force was the concluding event of this great of arms, since the day has not yet revolution. The reaction was merci- come when mankind will less. Austrian troops exercised a crushing tyranny, and from time to Law by freedom ; exalt chivalry by peace.” time Europe shuddered at the recital But Italy's greatest need she feels to of dark cruelties, scarcely less atro- be a teacher who will convince its cious than the outrages of the Kurds sons that they must, in their souls, be in Armenia. Such events were the
free, melancholy inspiration of a poetic outburst that compelled the attention of
“For if we lift a people like mere clay
It falls the same Christendom In spite of all—for no Cassandra was this prophetess—her Again, she counsels firmness of purfaith foretold a time of final triumph. pose, and beseeches her adopted coun
The poem consists of two parts, writ- trymen to ten at an interval of about three
“Bring swords; but first bring souls.” years, before and after the revolution of 1848. The first is marked by its with a strong appeal to the nations glowing hope for the liberty of Italy's of Europe, and a sanguine prophecy re-awakened future; the second by of the final triumph of Right, the first its disappointment at the fickleness of part of the poem closes. the people and its detestation of their The opening stanza of the second rulers' perfidy, still relieved, however, and shorter portion reverts in thought by the light of faith. The opening to the childish song heard three years lines contain pathetic reference to the or so before, and sadly refers to the song of an Italian child passing be- prophetic feelings which had been neath the window of the poetesso, disproved by bitter reality. It seems Bella Liberata! Oh! Beauteous Lib- to her as though only a few “thinkers” erty!" is the sweetgrefrain which calls have any real care for Italy, so weak forth that lyrical plaint, so exquisite- in purpose have the Tuscans lately ly tender, declaring the sad 'inade- proved themselves, and so false their quateness of mere music to awaken rulers. Fearing that her reproving the deadened heart of Italy. Too may be mistaken for lack of sympathy, much there has been, says this singer, there well up from her heart strains of mere poetic sympathy; too much of tenderest love and pity, like tears, of weak glorying in past greatness by relieving by their expression the an unfortunate nation,
strain of an unbearable grief:
“My soul is bitter for your sakes, “Of her own past, impassioned nympholept.” 0, freedom ! O, my Florence !" Adopting a more vigorous strain, this
Such lines, indeed, are tears in words. Priestess of Liberty and Right sounds More strongly than ever does the forth with sudden passion :
poetess realize the
need of some
mighty educative force which will “We do not serve the dead—the past is past, truly prepare the multitude for a God lives,
state of freedom. Lack of soul-conDraw new furrows with the healthy morn And plant the great hereafter in this now.” viction had been the cause of previous
failure. Again, she laments the lack Divine does not have its limit in an of aid from other countries.
æsthetic communion with the soul of “ Alas! great nations have great shames,
Nature; nor do we find, in her, so No pity, O world
much a seeing through Nature to For poor Italia, battered by mischance !” Nature's God,' as a knowledge through Sadly and earnestly, she beseeches mankind of the Universal Father. England for,
The essence of the spiritual feeling -Alms--God's justice to be done."
which pervades her work is love
love for Humanity and Humanity's To the lonely champion, it seems as God. Imbued she was with a sense though only the martyred patriots of of the sacredness of poetry, and its other days have been true to native relation to the inner life of man. land. Still her faith asserts that who can listen to the rhythmic throbtheir unfinished work will yet be bings of her love-burdened heart withtaken up by strong hands. She sings: out experiencing emotions far tran“Poets are soothsayers yet like those of old,” scending those aroused by the grandand has faith in her own prophecies. est measures of sound-borne music ? And now, the sight of her bright- Compare it if you will to some masthaired child awakens a new ardour in erpiece of organ harmony—though her soul. To her he seems God's wit- such simile inadequately represents ness that
the spell-binding power of its comthe elemental
posite beauties—its sadly melodious New springs of life are gushing everywhere, prelude and finale sweet with golden To cleanse the watercourses.
hope ; its crescendos of passion and She takes a lesson from the inno- outbursts of glorious imagery ; its cent trustfulness of childhood. With plaintive minor strains of reproving her husband she realizes that:
tenderness or sweet bewailing; the
'hidden harmonies' of righteous anger “God's in His Heaven-all's right with the world."
or scathing sarcasm ; its allegro With immediate clearness of vision themes of hope and its andantes of she now sees that
consequent disappointments. Beneath
the spell of its completed harmony “* The blank interstices
the listener is filled with strangely Men take for ruins, He will build into With pillared marbles rare, or knit across conflicting emotions-love for liberWith generous arches, till the fane's complete.” ty, justice, and all that is noble and
With words illumined by the beauty true; sympathy with suffering and of a holy hope and the faith of a child, sorrow; hatred for despotism, religious the poem closes :
or temporal; loathing for all that is “Such cheer I gather from thy smiling Sweet !
cowardly or false. The self-same cherub faces which emboss
Slowly, very slowly, came the The Vail, lean inward to the Mercy-seat." world's response to this musician's
Mrs. Browning by this poem shows message. Almost ten years passed herself the poet of humanity. Inani- ere her faith's prophecy had its fulmate nature for her, though she feels filment. And then the land of song its beauties, does not contain the all was free, but its sweetest singer lay satisfying. She conceives of it only dying in the City of Flowers. in its relation to mankind and its Creator. Her conception of the
Stambury R. Tarr,
MRS. WARD'S NEW NOVEL.*
was a novel with a purpose, and ing figure, and the fin-de-siécle socialhence had an importance more on istic phenomena are again considered. that account than because of its in- Sir George Tressady enters the Britterest as a story. “The History of ish Parliament with
“ the common David Grieve” ħad less purpose and philosophy of the educated and fastidmore of the pure story character. The ious observer; and it rested on ideas same may be said of “ Marcella." Her of the greatness of England and the new work, “Sir George Tressady,” is infinity of England's mission, on the still more of
rights of ability story, the “pur
to govern as conpose” being pre
trasted with the sent, but less pro
ties of democracy It will be re
the natural membered that
kingship of the Marcella was
higher races, and young lady who
on a profound perwent to London
sonal adıniration to study art and
for the virtues of life, and imbibed
the administrator certain ideas con
and the soldier.” cerning the injus
He believes in tice of private pro
to perty, the destruc
competent, tiveness of unre
and not to the strained competi
many.” While in tion, and the
Parliament, he is sacredness of the
brought into oprights of labour.
position to Lord Returning to her
and Lady Maxrural home she
well, who are enwas led to take a
deavouring to strong interest in
have passed a Bill the agricultural poor, and was carried doing away with sweating” within away with schemes for the elevation of the precincts of London. These two their material and intellectual condi- persons are still following up the tion. She came to recognize that plans of Hallin, who, it will be rethe labouring man must be educated membered, “was a lecturer and an and refined before he can be placed economist, a man who lived in the on that elevated plane where all men perception of the great paradox, that are free and equal, and that reforms in our modern world political power must come gradually,not precipitately. has gone to the workman, while yet
In “Sir George Tressady,” Marcella, socially and intellectually he remains
*“Sir George Tressady,” by Mrs. Humphrey Ward, author of York: The Macmillan Co. 2 vols. ; cloth, $2.00.
little less weak, or starved, or subject, she was, in short, “the adored, detestthan before."
ed, famous woman, typical in so many At first, Sir George fought them ways of changing custom and of an bitterly and assiduously. By de- expanding world.” grees, however, he was brought under The story turns on the courtship of the influence of Lady Maxwell, who, Sir George Tressady and a pretty,
now, as ever, remained on the moral scheming young woman who becomes side, a creature of strain and effort, his wife, and quarrels with him as tormented by ideals not to be realized, soon as he is safely bound in the and eager to drive herself in a breath- bonds of matrimony. Her heartlessless pursuit of them.” The waste of ness makes the first volume of the life and health involved in the great book somewhat like a description of clothing industries in East London a nightmare. Her pettiness, her shalhad been investigated, and Marcella lowness, her worldliness are painted (Lady Maxwell) was deterinined that, in such strong colours that the reader by means of her husband's Bill, a re- is anxious to turn away; but the form should be effected. Neither she inexorable author holds him to his nor her husband had the smallest be- gaze until she is satisfied. Through lief that any of the great civilised a strike among the coal-miners upon communities would ever see the State Sir George's estates, and through jeathe sole landlord and the sole capita- lousy of the friendship which sprang list. To both, possession-private and up between Sir George and Marcella, personal—was one of the first and the young wife is partially brought chiefest elements of human training, to her senses, but not until Mrs. Ward but they believed “in protecting the has told, or rather shown us a great weak from his weakness, the poor deal about the modern marriage which from his poverty, in defending the is often caricatured but very seldom woman and child from the fierce claims scientifically examined. of capital, in forcing upon trade after The book may be accepted as an trade the axiom that no man may admirable pen-picture of the social lawfully build his wealth upon the life of the England of to-day. The exhaustion and degradation of his hardships of the poor, the bickerings fellow.... Bring the force of the social of the poverty-stricken nobility, the conscience to bear as keenly and as struggles of the various social classes ardently as you may upon the sepa- are drawn with masterly strokes, and rate activities of factory and house. the picture is toned here and therehold, farm, and office, and from the not enough, perhaps-with the beautiresults
you will only get a richer in- ful lives of men and women possessed dividual freedom, one more illustration of the nobility of lineage, of education of the divinest law man serves—that and of association. The leading figures he must 'die to live,' must surrender stand out boldly upon the canvas, and to obtain."
a necessary detail is omitted. But in spite of Marcella's “passion. There is not a square inch of the work ate sympathy with the multitude who which the artist has not carefully live in disagreeable homes on about a considered and artistically treated. pound a week, she herself was very It is realistic in the extreme, never sensitive to the neighbourhood of beau- vuglar, and always according to the tiful things, to the charm of old homes, highest forms of literary art. As one cool woods, green lawns, and the rise critic says, “We are struck by the and fall of Brookshire hills;” she actuality of the characters; they live revelled in politics, in social gather- and breathe, for their creator has ings, in country-house parties, in all lived with them, and has, so to speak, that was artistic in English social life; been able to draw from life.”