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kings in Christendom, to forbear to use any cluded the Swiss Protestant cantons, means to hinder the dishonour of my nation the Hanse towns, and some of the in my person.”
Protestant states of North Germany,
a grand league in defence of freedom It was thus made evident that
of opinion was established. Had the Whitelocke would not scruple to prove confederacy then formed been held (as he told the Archbishop of Upsala, together and guided, in subsequent when questioned as to his exercise of generations, by a fitting successor to ecclesiastical patronage, as Keeper of Cromwell, the difficulty of the present the Great Seal) that he carried his time would in all probability have orders by his side, and the point was been nipped in the bud. That it was forthwith yielded. He went to Court even then germinating, is shown by to the masque, where he did not find several incidents told in Whitelocke's the Dane, but learned that the Queen journal, and by his mention of conver: highly commended him for his resolu- sations with Oxenstiern touching Mustion, and said that he was a stout and covia, Poland, and the North generally, faithful servant to the Protector, and the substance of which, it is to be reto his nation, and that she should love gretted, he does not record. A comhim the better for it. Upon another parison between the wisdom of the occasion, when the High Admiral minister and friend of the great Gusstepped betwixt the Queen and White- tavus with that of the plenipotentiaries locke, at an audience, he was by of the Vienna conference, in reference Whitelocke put aside, and Whitelocke to the same points, would have been truly stood next to the Queen on her right interesting. During Whitelocke's stay hand, her Majesty remarking that at Upsala, a curious foreshadowing of * he did well to make them know them. the wolf-and-lamb quarrel of our own selves and him the better."
day was exhibited in the arrival of an To his fellow-ministers and to the embassy from the great Duke of Musgreat men of the court Whitelocke’s covia, to acquaint her Majesty that the hospitality was profuse, and it seems Great Duke had begun a war with the to have met but a poor return, as he King of Poland, because in a letter of was but once invited to a private Swed- his to the Great Duke he had omitted ish dinner during his residence. It one of his titles, and “ because a ceris true this entertainment was a re- tain Governor of a province in Poland, markable one, the host being Count in a writing, had placed the name of Eric Oxenstiern, and the list of the father of the Great Duke before guests comprising the renowned Chan. the name of the present Great Duke ; cellor himself, and some of the most which was so great an indignity, that distinguished officials of the kingdom. for the same the now Great Duke deAll honour was done upon this occa- manded of the King of Poland to have sion to the Ambassador: they had ex- the head of that Governor sent to him, cellent Rhenish wine and indifferent and that not being done was another good sack and claret; but he was not ground of the begun war.” The Mens. asked to pledge a single toast, and as a chikoff of 1653 was “a tall, big man, special respect to him pipes and to- with a large, rude black beard, pale bacco were set upon the table with the countenance, and ill demeanour. His dessert, when he and two or three habit was a long robe of purple cloth, more of the company partook of the laced with a small gold lace, the livery fragrant Indian weed.
of his master. On his right hand was The object of Whitelocke's mission a companion in the same livery, and was successfully accomplished. By much like the envoy in feature and bethe alliance with Sweden, and the haviour ; he carried on high the Great peace simultaneously ratified with Hol- Duke's letters, set in a frame of wood, land, to the successful conclusion of with a covering of crimson sarsenet which the impression made upon the over them. On the left hand of the Swedish court no doubt materially envoy was his interpreter. After his contributed, the foreign policy of uncouth reverences made, he spoke to Cromwell was placed upon a tirm basis. the Queen in his own language. The In the same year (1654) he concluded
greatest part of his harangue in the a treaty with Denmark, whereby the beginning might be understood to be question of the navigation of the setting out his master's titles. In the Sound was settled by definite regula- midst of his speech he was quite out, tions ; and as the Dutch treaty ina but after a little pause recovered him
self again with the assistance of a and the wisdom and fidelity of Oxenpaper. When he had done, one of the
stiern, are now but precious memories Queen's servants interpreted in Swed. of the past ; and the strong will and ish what was said ; then one of the dauntless national policy of Cromwell Queen's secretaries answered in Swed- are with us little more; but an equal ish to wbat the envoy had spoken, love of freedom, and an equal veneraand that was interpreted to him in his tion for their ancient constitutional own language by his own interpreter. modes of enjoying it, do, we trust, After this the envoy cast himself dat still form strong bonds between the upon his face on the floor, and seemed two nations, and it is plainly the inteto kiss it; then rising up again, he rest of both to draw them closer. The went and kissed the Queen's band, case demands in its treatment no diholding his own hands behind him.
plomatic refinements. It could be In the same order his fellow demeaned dealt with satisfactorily by any two himself, and presented to the Queen plain men who could read and comhis master's letters. The Queen gave prehend the short dialogues between the letter to Whitelocke to look on Oxenstiern and Whitelocke, recorded it: it was sealed with an eagle.” by the latter. Nor need Lord Claren
It is pretty evident that this formal don tax his ingenuity to indite instruc. communication of the dealings of the tions for the English plenipotentiary: Czar with the “sick man ” of that day here they are, ready to his hand, as was designed to serve the purpose of they were delivered to Bulstrode intimidating Sweden. It nowise essen- Whitelocke at Whitehall two hundred tially differed in character from the
years ago : more explicit intimation given by the Czar Alexander to Sir Hamilton Sey- “ If you shall find, upon a general delimour, that he would not permit a pis- beration with the Queen concerning the tol to be fired in the cause of Turkey; ground and the importance thereof to both while the insolent rudeness of Prince States, that she is sensible of the oppressions Menschikoff to the Turkish ministers
and restraints wbich is put upon trade here, was scarcely exceeded by the message
and that she is inclinable to join with the
Parliament for removing the same, you are of his prototype to the Court of Upsala,
to let her know that the Parliament is willing that the first appointment for his au.
to send into those seas, in fit and convenient dience must be changed, as notice of
time, a fleet so cousiderable that may be it not having been given to him till
able, through God's blessing, to defend itself about ten o'clock in the morning, he against the contrary party. And therefore was already drunk, and could not at- are desirous to know what assistance Sweden tend. It is equally manifest, from the will contribute for the countenance and carmanner in which Christina received rying on of the undertaking, so just in itself, the Russian ambassador - so different and so advantageous to both nations." from that in which she welcomed Cromwell's envoy
that she enter- The contrary party was then Holtained a supreme contempt for her land and Denmark; it is now Russia, barbarous neighbour and his represen- and maybap Prussia.
The cause o tative. She did not condescend to re- war was then nominally commercial ply to the latter with her own lips, and restraint; it is now political aggres. she absolutely refused to express an sion. Corrections in the phraseology opinion as to the cause of quarrel with of the instruction may be made acPoland. Whitelocke seems to have cordingly; the frank offer of an al. despised Muscovia quite as profoundly liance offensive and defensive needs no as the Queen. The political storm alteration. It may stand as it passed then apprehended did not appear to from under the hand of Walter Strickthreaten from the North. In that par. land, on the 28th of October, 1653 ; ticular the lapse of two centuries has and, thus put, it will indeed be strange made a change, and it is such as ought if it be not accepted by Sweden as to strengthen, in a high degree, the readily as it then was. Without the political affinity between Sweden and conclusion of such a league, the sacriEngland. It is true, the magnanimity fices of the war will have been made in and valour of Gustavus Adolphus, vain.
TENNYSON'S MAUD. * Some five years or so have passed since and the very spirit of war that has fever. Alfred Tennyson gave to the world ed the blood of so many young hearts, a poem of any considerable length. has somehow stirred the spirit of our The laurel crown was then upon the laureate himself, and so he gives the brows of a dying poet. Then, too, world a poem which, though not of the world was at rest; and we heard war, is yet full of such thoughts as warthroughout the broad British lands like times not unnaturally wake up in but the thunder of the factory ham- a poetic temperament. mers, and the shuttle whirring in its *“ Maud,” the principal poem in the flight to and fro, and the dull beat volume before us, is one which, though of the steam-loom. Peace was urging it might make the reputation of a new on her holy mission-accomplishing her poet, will not, we are disposed to think, great work of making men as gods in add anything to the fame of the lau. wisdom and in power; and Industry reate — of the author of “ Locksley and Commerce were rearing up their Hall and the Talking Oak," and above temples and palaces. These five years all, of “The Princess." As a whole, bave passed away, and wrought their it is incomplete and unsatisfying: taken changes upon man, and man's world, in detached pieces, it has passages of and man's work. Wordsworth lies in
power and of beauty.
fire, vigour, his honoured grave at Grasmere, re- tenderness, and passion that are not posing “ beneath the green turf, surpassed in anything that has come under the sycamores and yews of a from his pen. And like all of Tenny. country churchyard, and by the side son's, save his very lightest ballads, of a beautiful stream, amid the moun. there is a deep reflective undercurrent tains which he loved ;” and Tennyson of philosophy that demands more than wears worthily the poetic crown, the one thoughtful perusal, and a fine meetest successor to the old tuneful poetic richness that is given out the sage of Rydall; and the mightiest war, more one deals with the verse, as odour in its present effects as well as in its is expressed from flowers the more one future results, that the world has ever handles them. witnessed, is raging from the Baltic to The reader collects readily enough, the Black Sea, costing us and our allies from the somewhat abrupt and discon. every day that the sun rises a quarter tinuous sections into which the poem of a million pounds sterling, and a is broken, what is the plot of the story. thousand human lives, bringing, as the A youth, the hero of a tale of which ghastly satellites of its march, to use he is himself the narrator, is an orthe words of Tennyson, in his glorious phan ; his father has failed in his spepoem of “ The Princess
culations, and met a terrible death, “ The desecrated shrine, the trampled year,
accidental, or more probably, as is The smouldering homestead, and the household lower, Torn from the lintel-all the common wrong;"
darkly hinted, suicidal-
His who had given me life-O father! O God! was it well ?--
There yet lies the rock that fell with him when he fell.
“ Did he fling himself down? who knows ? for a great speculation had fail'd,
And ever he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever wann'd with despair,
And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove thro' the air." Then, too, his “ mother, who was tage passes away, and is purchased by so gentle and good, dies,” and his heri- an old bard money-getting man, who
* “ Maude, and Other Poems." By Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., Poet Laureate. London: Moxon. 1855.
becomes " lord of the broad estate and the Hall;" while the young orphan retires to an humbler home, where, in solitude and bitterness, he nourisbes the discontent of his heart, and grows misanthropic and somewhat savage in spirit :
“Living alone in an empty house,
Here half hid in the gleaming wood,
The musings of the lad are just what may be expected from a nature at once passionate, sensitive, and morbidhe is dissatisfied with everything about him, and arraigns the social condition of the age with great fierceness and splenetic vehemence. These thoughts are expressed by the poet in a measure which it strikes us is designedly hurried and tumultuous, and not unfrequently inharmonious and broken ; indeed, at times, even the language is coarse, and something worse than coarse, but still not the less true to nature, or the less vigorous or effective. Here is one of those caustic soliloquies in which, with a bitter and mocking skill, the heart of society is laid bare, and the evil workings of man's nature exhibited with a scornful power:
"Why do they prate of the blessings of Peace ? we have made them a curse,
Pick pockets, each band lusting for all that is not its own;
Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on his own hearthstone ?
“But these are the days of advance, the works of the men of mind,
When who but a fool would have faith in a tradesman's ware or his word?
The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the sword.
“Sooner or later I too may passively take the print
Of the golden age — why not? I have neither hope nor trust;
Cheat and be cheated, and die : who knows? we are ashes and dust.
“ Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the days gone by,
When the poor are hovell’d and hustled together, each sex, like swine,
Peace in her vineyard - yes ! - but a company forges the wine.
Till the filthy by-lane rings to the yell of the trampled wife,
And the spirit of murder works in the very means of life.
“And Sleep must lie down arm'd, for the villainous centre-bits
Grind on the wakeful ear in the hush of the moonless nights,
To pestle a poison'd poison behind his crimson lights.
And Timour-Mammon grius on a pile of children's bones,
War with a thousand battles, and shaking a hundred thrones.
"For I trust if an enemy's fleet came yonder round by the hill,
And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the three-decker out of the foam,
And strike, if he could, were it but with his cheating yardwand, home."
Whether this view is overcharged or there be exaggeration, it is such as not, we shall not here stop to inquire. conduces to poetic effect, and is, at all We believe ourselves it is so; but if events, in accordance with the mood of
the hero of the poem, whose eye is childhood to be so fair, is now reported too jaundiced to see things in a true to be singularly beautiful. The sub. or a kindly light. And there is an- ject is too painful to one of his fallen other thought to increase the diseased fortunes, and the boy is both jealous state of the young man's mind, cross- and angry, and shows his spirit and ing his vision and marring his peace. temper somewhat unamiably, and seeks Maud, the daughter of the old mil- to set his heart at rest by railing at the lionaire, who buys the Hall-she who sex in the old, time-sanctioned and apwas the beloved of his mother, the proved fashion, and in phraseology, it playmate of his childhood, the delight must be confessed, neither very reveof the village-who promised in her rent nor very ornate :
“ What is she now? My dreams are bad. She may bring me a curse.
No, there is fatter game on the moor, she will let me alone.
I will bury myself in my books, and the devil may pipe to his own."
With all respect for the laureate, we amination of “Maud," as there are are somewhat disposed to think that more passages than one in the poem there is not much poetry in such a pas- which are disfigured, in our judgment, sage as this which we have just quoted. by this same fault, and calculated to The sentiments may be very natural detract from the value of the whole and vigorously expressed – perhaps, composition, as well as injure the fame
– indeed, somewhat too vigorously ; of the author. Let this pass, howbut that will not make the expres. ever; it may be that Tennyson has sion of them poetical. The inuse advisedly used a phraseology and style of poetry must not range with too free thus harsh and unpoetical--for such a foot through all the common bigh- we hold it to be-to heighten, by conways of life. She is not like the sun, trast, the effects of other portions of that shines on the mean and the base the poem, as musicians introduce disthings of the world, as well as on the cords in the midst of their finest har. beautiful and the noble. There are monies. Certainly we find these poethoughts and things that are common- tic discords always followed by melo. place, and vulgar, and offensive in their dies such as the hand of Tennyson alone essence, and they will not cease to be can ring out from the lyre. Thus, afcommonplace, and vulgar, and offen- ter this rude, and fierce, and vulgar sive, though they be exhibited in me- outbreak of passion, the young mara tre or in rhyme. Nay, they become sees Maud, and he feels that she the more so, because the sense of the is thoroughly beautiful, and the pobeautiful and the ornate, which is ever tency of that beauty comes upon present with the muse, is outraged ; his heart with a dulcifying influence, and thus one will not tolerate in poetry and breaks down, little by little, that coarseness which, in prose, is some- the bard icy crust in which he has in times an element of vigour. There is vain encased it; and these gradual no man living who is better able to dis- changes are indicated with great skill, pense with this affectation--for we look and with delicate, uvostentatious upon it as nothing more than an affec- touches, by the poet. At first, the tation-than Alfred Tennyson. There youth only admits that she is perfectly is no man who should more thoroughly beautiful"dead perfection, no more;' despise the singularity of a rude style but the spell of that beauty is upon or hobbling line, than he who has him, and dispels his spleen, and his given the world such treasures of fine pride, and his bitterness; and again thoughts in the most exquisite mode and again every feature haunts him. of expression, and the most perfect All this transition of feeling is thus forms of melody. We make this pro- beautifully suggested in the soliloquy test at the outset, on the very first oc- of the lover :casion that has offered itself in our ex.
"Cold and clear-cut face, why come you so cruelly meek,
Breaking a slumber in which all spleenful folly was drown'd,
Passionless, pale, cold face, star-sweet on a gloom profound ;