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ities of this mischievous Professor. But one day, in a Watts's Hymns and the New Testament, am yet so hazy luckless hour, I opened a magazine at haphazard, and be- on moral points and distinctions, which can hardly be degan in a listless fashion to read an article about I knew scribed as nice, such as paying my bills, using profane lannot what, and written by I knew not whom, and speedily guage, going to church, and the like, my son, brought up grew interested in it. The style was so lucid and urbane, on Walter Scott and George Eliot, and the writers of his the diction so vigorous and expressive, the tone so free own day, will surely never pay his bills at all, bis oaths from exaggeration and extravagance, and the substance so will be atrocious, and he will die incapable of telling the far from uninteresting, that my fated sympathies began to nave from the transept — and how I am to teach bim betswell up, and when, half-way down the next column, I saw ter I really do not see. The old régime was particularly awaiting me one of my favored quotations from Goethe, I strong on this point; and if one could only bring one's mentally embraced the author and hastily turned to the conscience to it, the difficulty is at an end, and the educaend to see what favored man was writing so well, and tion of children, so long at any rate as they are in the there, lo and behold! was appended the name of the only nursery or the school-room, goes forward quite easily and man I had ever hated. Of course the illusion could not naturally. be put together again, and the chair once filled by the If anybody has had the patience to wade so far in my learned Professor stands empty. The other day I made an company, he will probably here exclaim, “My dear sir, effort to raise Archbishop Manning to it. He has not the you must have been abominably educated yourself;" and playful humor, the exquisite urbanity of the great modern though I don't altogether deny the statement, I can't allow Pervert, but I have heard him preach, he has the accents of it to pass unchallenged. I remember at school a boy, sincerity and conviction, and represents what I believe to whom it happened to be the fashion of the day to torment, be in a great degree indestructible on this earth. Failing bearing with a wonderful patience the jeers and witticisms the Archbishop, the name of Fitzjames Stephen occurred of half'a score of his companions, until one of them made to me, but as he himself bas told us, he has so many claims some remark, boldly reflecting upon the character of the to distinction that it would be a shame to hate bim; and, boy's father, whereupon he at once, clenching his puny after all, I am nearer his position by many a mile than I fist, bravely advanced upon the last speaker, exclaiming, am to the Archbishop's, and so in despair I have given up “ You may insult me as much as you like, but you shan't the attempt of finding a successor to Professor Huxley, insult my parents.” So, in my case, you may call me as and repeat that, poor limpiog Christian as I am, I hate many hard names as you like, but you must n't blame anynobody. Why not read your Carlyle ? it will be indig- body else, but the Time-spirit -- if the Time-spirit is a aantly asked. Is not « Sartor Resartus"
upon your body — and really, body or no body, it is the fashion now shelves? Why, bless me! hear the man talk ! Carlyle is to speak of it as if it were the most potent of beings, ny favorite prose author. I have all his books, in the nice dwelling far above argument or analogy. I had what is old editions, round about me, and not only have read them called every advantage. Religion was presented to me in all, but am constantly reading them. You won't outdo me its most pleasing aspect, living illustrations of its power in my admiration for the old man. I think his address to and virtuous effects moved around me, my taste was carehe Scotch students, if bound up within the covers of the fully guarded from vitiating influences. Our house was New Testament would not be the least effective piece of crowded with books, all of which were left open to us, bewriting there. Carlyle has long taught me this
cause there were none that could harm us; money, which 10 flattering unction to my soul, and to go about my busi- was far from plentiful, was lavished on education and less. He has tried to do more than this, and at times I books, and on these alone. How on earth did the Timehave almost thought he has done more, but it is not for spirit enter into that happy Christian home? Had it not pan to beget a faith. Carlyle has planted, he has digged, done so, I might now have been living in the Eden of Behe has watered, but there has been no one to give the in- lief, and spending my days " bottling moonshine,” like the
He has taught us, like the Greek Tragic Poets, rest of my brethren. But enter it did, and from almost * moral prudence,” and to behave ourselves decently and the very first it subtly mixed itself with all spiritual obifter a dignified fashion between two eternities, and for a servances, which, though it did not then venture to attack, time I thought I had learnt the lesson, but I am at present it yet awaited to neutralize. No! my education was a 3 good deal agitated by a dangerous symptom and a pain- very costly one ; even in point of money a family might ful problem.
be decently maintained on the interest of the sum that has The dangerous symptom is that nothing pains me. I been thus expended, and in point of time too it was redon't mean physically or æsthetically, for I am very sensi- markable. tive in both those quarters, but morally. There was a And yet I have advantage over some men I know, upon time when I did draw a line with my jokes and stories, whom the Time-spirit has worked even more disastrously, derer a very steady line, but still a line. I now disport my- for they don't know what they like or want. Now I do. self at large, and a joke — if good quâ joke
The things I am fondest of, bar two or three human things, to shake my sides, even though it outrages religion, which are money and poetry — the first, not of course for its own I believe to be indestructible on this earth, and morality, sake — who ever heard of any one admitting that he liked which I believe to be essential to our well-being upon it. money for its own sake? And as I always spend more
The painful problem arises in connection with quite an- money than I have got (my catholic taste in books is so other subject. · Although not in love, I have some idea of expensive), it can't be said that I am likely to grow a prosecuting a little suit of mine in a certain direction, and miser. Neither is money a necessary condition to my haphave to own that at odd hours and spare seasons, when my piness -- not at all; but it is for all that the motive power thoughts are left to follow their own bent I find them that causes me to exert myself in my daily work. I work dwelling upon, lingering over, returning to, a face, which, for money. That is my prose. I find in my second love though no artist on bebolding would be led to exclaim, - my poetry of life, and I think it is this love that keeps my
life sweet, and makes me a favorite with children and with “A face to lose youth for, occupy age
dogs. Who can exaggerate the blessings showered upon With the dream of, meet death with,”
Englishmen by their poets:
They create is yet in my opinion a very pleasant and companionable
And multiply in us a brighter ray face, one well suited to spend life with, which is after all
And more beloved existence." what you want a wife for. This is not the painful problem - that comes on a step later. Supposing I was married,
“Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,' and blessed, as after all most men are, with children, how
Burns, Shelley were with us.” on earth shall 1 educate them to keep them out of Newgate? “Bolts and shackles !" as Sir Toby Belch ex- Wbat names! what exhaustless wealth! A Golden Treasclaimed - the thought is bewildering. If I, educated on ury indeed -- where what heart I have got lies stored.
BY ARTHUR CLIVE.
If he is candid - he wants dignity, and is eager to show BOSWELL AND HIS ENEMIES.
himself off. Nothing is easier than misrepresentation Lord Macaulay misrepresents Boswell absolutely. The biographer's shortcomings are exaggerated into frightful dis
proportion, and made the foundation of charges sufficient if James Boswell has been treated with the greatest in- true, to compel us to treat the accused as a pariah, and never s6 justice and ingratitude by nearly all the literary men who to mention his name without pity or scorn. The write have recorded their opinions concerning him and his work. springs upon his prey like a hound upon a vermin. Ang Sir Walter Scott alone, with characteristic good sense, one who reads the passage to which I more especially restands aloof from the rest in his respectful treatment of the fer, unless he has reached maturity of mind and indepen. distinguished biographer. He does not, indeed, seem to be dence of judgment, and bappens to have himself read careaware that Boswell requires defence, or that there is any. fully and discriminately the Life of Johnson,” closes ká thing particular in a kindly and respectful demeanor to- Macaulay with the feeling that probably there never exwards the author of Johnson's Life: He knows that Bos- isted a meaner or more contemptible creature than James well, in spite of his faults, was a high-spirited and honor- | Boswell. able gentleman, warm-hearted, and of a most candid and Look for a moment at this particular specimen of Me open nature, a sunny temper, and the most unusual and caulay's stage thunder. It is to be found in page 175 of the genuine literary abilities. Accordingly, when Sir Walter first volume of his “ Essays and Reviews," as edited by happens to allude to the Laird of Auchinleck it is always himself. It begins with a declaration that Boswell
, acin a friendly and frequently admiring tone – a tone very cording to the united testimony of all who knew him, wu different from the brutal vituperation of Macaulay or the a man of the meanest and feeblest intellect. That he was superior compassion and humane condescension of the great such is not the united testimony of all who knew him, and Herr Teufelsdrock. James Boswell did not deserve the will not be the conclusion of any one who with a grain of hatred of the one or the pity of the other. In standing literary appreciation peruses his enchanting work. There contrast with the resolute vituperation of the rhetorician are in that book, wherein he voluntarily lowers himself and the determined compassion of the prophet, the honest into a mere eulogist and describer of another, and consestudent of English literature will be always glad to en- quently to a great extent withdraws himself, passages counter the kindly, grateful, and admiring language which the most exquisite and refined delicacy of expression -flows so gracefully and naturally from the pen of Sir graphic and incisive toucbes which fill the mind's eye with Walter in dealing with the character and the literary per- vivid and startling pictures. The very ease with which formances of Boswell.
Boswell writes, the very perfection of his style, conceals The fact is that Boswell showed himself free from his extraordinary literary merit. You may fancy there is a tall events he determined boldly to eradicate from him nothing in it. “ He just jotted down what he saw, and self - the characteristic vice of the genus irritabile. He that was all.” Perhaps it was all, but who else ever did resolved to suppress in himself that stupid pride and tragic the same so well? I'doubt whether there is in the whole egotism of literary life from which only those literary men book an awkward or incondite sentence. I doubt whether have been free who resolved to live in and move along with there are in the whole book ten lines of original writing the world, and not to retire into savage isolation or into the in which does not occur a bit of subtle and exact criticism, unwholesome atmosphere of kindred cliques. The frank- an illustration of the utmost vividness, a spark of keen and ness and candor of Boswell – a candor which spares neither delicate humor, or a description most powerful and telling
. himself nor his friends, nor even his idol Johnson — seems Everything in it is so fit and exact, 80 Datural and easy, to be an unpardonable offence in the eyes of men who hide that we forget the great merit of the author until we begin themselves, like the monarch of the Celestial Empire, be- to ask whether any other man has done the like of it hind thick curtains of swelling language, and who wish it to Everything tells, and without effort. He never strains, be understood that within the sacred and awful recesses of nor gathers himself together to deliver his blow. their genius they are executing stupendous tasks, that they His perfect style corresponds to a perfect manner. are the brother of the Sun and the Moon, the corner-stone There is nothing bizarré, nothing outré. It is easy and natof the earth, and well-springs of the purest and most abun- ural, straightforward and simple. Neither awkward nor dant wisdom. Sir Walter Scott, a man of sagacity and abrupt nor ostentatious. It is not affected. No traps are good sense, having achieved his first literary success, came laid to catch admiration. He has no ugly reticences. He deliberately to the conclusion that he would never separate gives us the best he has. He draws near and speaks to us himself from the rough but sane and wholesome world of
as friends. common men and things, and considered the awful secrecy We are apt to think of Boswell as of a spiritual photogand concealment of the Great Mogul a very poor and a rapher, and we give him no credit because his likenesses very dishonest thing. Consequently, he sympathizes with are perfect. Johnson “ blowing in high derision ;” Jobsand has respect for the manly courage and honest frankness son seated in the stern of the boat · like a magnificent of one who was not ashamed to let the world see him as he triton ;" Johnson with a strong voice and determined was, and who has painted for all time life-like pictures of manner,” or holding up a slice of bread on his knife, or himself and those who surrounded him.
starting at Lord Charlemont's impertinence, or entering a For Boswell is beyond comparison the most candid of room while Silence and Awe precede him, or ejaculating writers. Others, when they seem to be most candid, have passages of the Lord's Prayer while his faithful friend and some ulterior object in view, and as often as not are only lover sat still and reverent beside him laying a trap for your admiration. They suppress the believe that they could have done the same had they only wens and wrinkles in their moral or intellectual aspects, tried. How comes it that no one else has succeeded ? they introduce a freshness of color here, a vigor of outline How comes it that every one besides who has tried biog. there, which were wanting in the original. Not so Bos- raphy, Macaulay and Carlyle included, appears to bave well, and thus it is that year after year passes by and adds
written about everything else save the person whom be to instead of detracting from the success and popularity of undertook to describe ? All Johnson's biographers, except his great work. It is one of the first literary performances Bozzy, failed. It was not that there was something in of all time, and deserves to the full its extraordinary suc
Johnson which would secure success to a
Who would read “ Mea Thralia's " book now, or Haw Macaulay has condensed into a page of what seems to kins's, but as foot notes and elucidations of Boswell's text? me to be mere brutal and malignant vituperation, all the
“ On Friday, April 14, being Good Friday, I repaired to worst that could be said against the author of the “ Life of him in the morning, according to my usual custom on that Johnson.” Every man can be read the wrong way, and day, and breakfasted with him. I observed that he fasted even his virtues be made to sustain charges of the most so very strictly that he did not even taste bread, and took damning character. If he is gentle – he is soft and inert. no milk in his tea." Had Macaulay breakfasted with the
Doctor on that morning he would have been too eager to and the awkward flattery with which Johnson made peace
? deliver himself of his own ideas to observe how the piety Boswell bad delicacy and sensibility in abundance, but he of Johnson expressed itself; and if he did observe it, he was resolved that his biography should not be one of swellwould never have written it in a biography. “Any one ing platitudes and grandiose ephemeral ineptitudes. could write this," he would think ; " there is no fame to All this shallow and fallacious criticism which the read. be got from such.” If Boswell did not dabble in philoso- ing public has been perusing now for many years, and phy, or discourse in the style of Macaulay upon trade and which has formed the opinions of two generations, bas morals in the abstract, he showed his sense by his absti- | probably never met with an indignant public contradicnence. Philosophy is a branch of intellectual endeavor tion. Its violence and arrogance take the reader by storm. requiring very peculiar gifts. Dr. Johnson kicking a huge Its boisterous uproar and empty tempest of noise bend stone before him by way of confuting Berkeley, or clamor- down the mind and overcome the very desire to resist. ously declaring that David Hume was only milking the Boswell's talents are denied, his virtues degraded into bull, or that he would sign the death-warrant of Rousseau vice, his vices exaggerated into crimes ; his noble and with far greater readiness than that of any criminal who passionate affection for the place of his birth and the seat had been hanged during his remembrance, shows himself of his ancestors, bis feudal pride in a long and distinto be wofully defective in the capacity for philosophical guished lineage, his sincere and manly admiration for talspeculation. Our gifts are various. Goldsmith, who could ent and all forms of spiritual preëminence, his flowing and hardly open his mouth without making people laugh at universal courtesy, his generosity, bonhommie, and convivwhat seemed bis ignorance and intellectual presumption, iality, his frank and winning ways, his, at times, spirited was able to write « The Deserted Village i and “ She and gallant behavior, bis manly outspokenness and his no Stoops to Conquer.” Boswell was neither a philosopher less manly reticence, the grand passion of his life, his nor a great conversationist; but he could write the “Life high and heroic devotion to his type and ideal of moral of Johnson."
and intellectual grandeur, Samuel Johnson, are all denied, “ Johnson described him as a fellow who had missed his or ignored, or ridiculed. If Boswell, delighted that his only chance of immortality by not having been alive when little Veronica does not shrink from the Doctor's seamed the Dunciad' was written.” Now Macaulay knew as well and ugly face, declares gayly that he will add five hundred when he penned that sentence as does the author of this pounds to her fortune, iť Boswell sitting with Col and his article the circumstance which afforded bim a pretext for rough Highland friends drinks too much whiskey-punch, this dishonest blow, and he knew it was not such as the and if, being a man of piety and principle, he makes reader would surmise from the mode in which it is here set atonement for his offence as religious men will, if he writes down. Boswell was not so described by the Doctor. John- to Johnson that he is suffering from depression of spirits, son in the post-prandial mood, sitting over wine with his he is assailed and condemned at every point by the boisfriends, makes a good-humored hit at Boswell: “ Ab, terous invective of the critic. hadst thou been alive then!” This light sally thown out This famous and yet infamous passage gives the snub at a dinner-table is represented in the pages of the vera- direct to everything frank, open, and confiding, and a pat cious Macaulay as a description.
on the back and a go on and prosper" to secrecy, affecIn the next sentence we are told that Beauclerk used his tation, and intellectual pomposity. Everything in Bosname as a proverbial expression for a bore. Now in the well's character and literary style is bitterly denounced first place Beauclerk was one of those satirical men who and scoffed at by Macaulay. Šo resolved is he to reduce sneer at everybody, and whose sneer means little or noth- Boswell's merit to zero that he even affects to scorn him ing; in the next, the sneer in question was only thrown because he describes Johnson as he was, and does not hesout once Macaulay hints that it was frequent; and in itate to relate his vices and shortcomings. Surely the the third, Boswell and Beauclerk were intimate friends, noble writer's brazen eulogies, lavished so freely upon his and Beauclerk was most zealous in getting him into the own heroes, cannot be set up as models. Had Boswell club. Thus, whenever it is possible to collate Macaulay's concealed Johnson's defects, and his vicious and uncouth assertions with the original they turn out to be groundless peculiarities, who could endure his book? The work would and unjust fabrications.
be false and the writer a sham. Boswell's book lives and I have travelled through three sentences sentences has power because it is true. In proportion as mea are coming in their order at the commencement of Macaulay's themselves genuine they will admire and like the man. It famous Bill of Indictment, and in each one discovered the was beyond the limit of possibility that either Macaulay or noble essayist playing fast and loose with truth. The re- Carlyle should have any close and sympathetic relations mainder of the libel is of the same description. Wherever with one who above all others calls a spade a spade, and Macaulay mentions any fact as substantiating his sweeping never swells and foams in the vein of 'Ercles. and ruthless accusations, that fact is always distorted and As a proof of his assertion that Boswell was a man of warped to suit his purpose. The critic feeds with seeming the meanest and feeblest intell Macaulay informs us jor upon every admission that Boswell, trusting to the that there are no disquisitions upon politics, religion, good nature and generous forbearance of his reader, has literature, etc., of any worth in Boswell's book. But seen fit to make to his own disadvantage. If Boswell tells a Homer, and Dante, and Fielding contain no disquisitions joke at his own expense, he is a common butt in the taverns on politics and philosophy. Everybody is not able to of London. If in his genial way and in connection with make a journey to Corinth, to pour forth sounding laudaJohnson he tells some little touching domestic incident, the tions over the British Constitution as exalted and elabamiable peer covers him with ridicule. « He was a man orated by the Whigs, and to discourse with fervor with without delicacy and without shame, without sense enough Adam Smith. Speculations upon money and merchanto know when he was wounding the feelings of others or dise, and the shuttlecock of trade kept up between them, when he was exposing himself to derision.” Who that do not require the highest order of intellect. There are knows anything of Boswell's book does not recall unnum- such qualities as imagination and fancy, pathos and symbered instances in which he refuses to relate some satirical pathy, delicate and subtle modes of feeling, enthusiasm for sally of the Doctor's at the expense of another, or softens what is noble and beautiful, a love of the facts of our daily it down as well as he can if he is obliged to narrate it? existence and a truthfulness of feeling concerning them. Who does not long to know the particulars of that alterca- Homer knew presumedly little of philosophy, but he has tion between the Tory Johnson and the old Laird of Auch- drawn that picture of Andromache at the Scæan gate inleck when Greek met Greek in battle-royal, but which, weeping with her baby on her arm, young and beautiful, like the doings of the brave men who preceded Agamem- like a star, the plumed hero of Troy bending over him ; non, are without the sacred bard? Who does not remem- Dante has told of that frozen sea in which the souls of unber the shame and anger of Boswell at the brutality with just men are immured to all eternity - and these scenes which he was treated by Johnson before some strangers, will live forever in the souls of men, though Homer was a how he wandered dejected and indignant about London, dunce in political economy and the lean Dante never fat
of ihe sage,
tened under the safe shadow of a constitutional Parliament. which he has refused to set down, his babit in travelling
That scene is perfect as anything in Homer or Fielding. style of pompous self-complacency.
- ਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ quisite pictures of human life worthy of the great father proud and stiff-necked. They saw that Johnson's gauchtof poetry himself, who, for all we know, had not “ thunder- ries and unfashionable ways gave them a chance of comous brows" at all, but a face unremarkable or bad, like peting with him in the eyes of the world; while they rab Boswell's, or Dante's, or Goldsmith's. That book is full of knew that, judged by a standard of genuine merit, they : 2, sketches and scenes observed by the eye and with the keen were immeasurably his inferiors. They were aware, too, that $ 2. penetration of genius, and drawn for us by a master Land. anything on their part that could be construed into heroThe meeting of Johnson and Wilkes, and the “ too, too ” worship and discipleship would render them ridiculous, and anayi
one of his habitual mutterings” on discov- expose them to that derision which Boswell saw and dared. ering that he had fallen into a hornet's nest of patriots and In Johnson's presence they were crushed and silenced her to t Americans, - and the gradual thawing of the stern moralist fore the might of his genius, but in secret they rebelled asist in the genial companionship of the gay and kindly Jack against his authority. They would not give him their ad Wilkes ; the behavior of the Doctor in St. Clement Danes, hearts, and they suffered for it. Genius and sense which 23, 20; and his mode of repeating the awful passages in the Litany they would not welcome and love, and before which they cele - all this is grand as the Iliad and the Odyssey. If not would not yield, impinged upon them each day, and their ep 1 writ in the high epic style it treats of high epic matter, and self-love was hurt. They kept sore places sore by diligente treats thereof in the mode best suited to the times. To nursing. Their nightly pillows were acquainted with the sympathize tenderly and deeply with character and with bitter and devouring thoughts of mortified vanity. Even mental suffering, to humble one's self before greatness, to Goldsmith, a man of genius, who owed much to Johnson, attach one's self to it with passionate devotion, and so to and saw clearly his great merit, would not lower his proud write in loose prose what is great as the greatest poem, has head and accept him frankly and loyally as his superior. fallen to few, and it has fallen to James Boswell.
He, more than the rest, fed in his heart a brood of venomIt is absurd to think of Boswell as a dwarf elevated upon ous thoughts that stung and devoured him in the dark, 23' the shoulders of a giant. That he rendered the conversa- poisoning the springs of his spiritual life, torturing his tion of Johnson is not his peculiar merit, though it is con- mind with the keen fangs of envy. Boswell alone of that sodden siderable, and its credit we should be always ready to ac- brilliant circle loyally accepted Johnson as his superior. ad not to knowledge. How many others beside Boswell heard and He was young and untainted by the world. He was a were astonished at that masterly power of improvisation, patrician, and could afford to associate with an “auld yet were never sufficiently loyal to genius to endeavor to dominie.” He recognized Johnson's greatness at once. reduce it to writing ! But it is precisely in those parts of He clove to him throughout his life, and he had his rethe book where his mind, stimulated by the humor, ridicule ward. His association with Johnson was to him a life-long or grandeur of a particular circumstance, sets by for blessing. It was a pure and noble passion, as splendid an awhile its usual task of recording Johnsoniana and delivers instance of self-sacrificing devotion as history affords. It itself freely from its own wealth of humor and observation, was not to earn fame or consideration, or in any way to ! that Boswell becomes really great. There is then in our advance himself, that he loved and reverenced Dr. Johnlanguage no such master of description. It is not merely son. No selfish motive mingled with that pure and ardent the form and coloring of the circumstance that he brings passion. The thought of Johnson was misery to Gold. before us. He penetrates into the spirit of the scene, and smith: it was, in the soul of Boswell, a well-spring of so his sketches are full of feeling. The event grows and goodness and joy. From his intercourse with Johnson his changes upon the brain with the vividness and regularity resolutions were strengthened, his virtues were confirmed, of nature. Tom Davies advancing to announce the ap- his piety was made deeper, his affections were purified and proach of the sage with the air of Horatio in “ Hamlet,” | enlarged, his temper was enlivened, his happiness im. á Look, my lord, it comes;” Johnson taking up a book to mensely increased. This was his reward. The praise or compose his mind on learning the name of the gentleman blame of men could not diminish that. in lace; Goldsmith lingering with his hat in his hand, That brutal assault first published in the Edinburgh waiting for an opportunity to cut in and shine before leav- Review, and since reprinted with the rest of Macaulay's ing the party; the unconscious sage shouldering down the essays, will not hurt him. Carlyle's compassion and lofty porter in the street; that celebrated horse-laugh that re- sufferance cannot deprive him of the reward which nature sounded from Temple Bar to Houndsditch in the silence gave him, or strike à pang into his generous and kindly of the night; Johnson, puffing hard with passion struggling heart. He sleeps at Auchinleck, hard by those ancestral for a vent, or, with large gloves on his bands, dusting and trees beneath whose shadow he wandered with his great arranging his books — all are perfect. The perfection of friend, to whom he confided the love that he felt for its these scenes is the perfection that genius is able to give to fields and rocks even from boyish days. But though Bos. its work. The things described are the right things, the well is dead, his reputation is abroad and living. It can words used are the right words — truthful and simple and be hurt by lies and calumnies, it can be tarnished by cen. unconscious as the great father of poetry himself.
sure, it shrinks from foul words, for it lives in men's minds. Yet it is not Boswell's literary so much as his moral Boswell belonged to that class of men which produces worth that I feel pleasure in substantiating. The glimpses poets. His work is full of poetic feeling and pathos
, of his amiable and benevolent character seen in every The moral grandeur of Johnson is seen through that book page are such as should cure the spleen of the most hard- as might his material form through a sheet of the purest hearted critic. The severe things said of himself which crystal. This book is a window through which we look he has introduced out of respect for the system and reason upổn that strange heroic figure, and it is such because Bosof his book, and the many severe things said of others well was a great man, and not because he was small.
cere, and simple-hearted singer whom one of the greatest TWO CITIES - TWO BOOKS.
of French romancists has planted in her streets; not
nearly so much as there is between the noble, serious, It is a curious fate to have befallen towns which were somewhat solemn town of Florence, and the equally noble, once the most eminent and influential in the world, to have lofty, and still more solemn presence of the young Florenbecome “playgrounds of Europe," objects of holiday ex- tine who is our English novelist's ideal. But yet these cursions, the scene of sight-seeing, the haunt of strangers. two figures are each of them inalienably connected with If London should ever fall into decadence and decay, it is their separate city. To ourselves we avow, having but a a consolation to think that there is nothing in it which will moderate appreciation even of the divinest marble, the bring wandering hordes across the Atlantic, or tempt the daughter of the Bardi is more interesting than thc Venus Continental to dare the dangers of the Channel. The of the Medici, that stone woman who has inhabited FlorFlorentines and Venetians have long been used to the fate ence for ages, and awakened many artistic raptures ; and which the splendor of their former existence has exposed even Titian's daughter, or his Flora, or his Bella Donna, them to in their downfall; and yet it is difficult to believe lovely though these ladies are, are scarcely so attractive that it has not given an additional pang to the patriotic to us as Consuelo, threading her shells on the steps of the citizen of either city, to know how much its present life is Piazzetta, living spotless in her garret, daughter of the dependent upon hotels and lodging-houses ; shops in which people, opera-singer, zingarella – but yet as sweet, as nothe relics of old houses are cheapened in every language ble, and as pure as any ideal woman ever created. The under heaven; and dealers who are gradually transferring two figures are altogether unlike each other. They come these pictures and treasures to every corner of the earth. from two different types of genius, different even in naNothing but Locandas, guest houses, along the Lung-Arno: tionality, only alike in power- and they are curiously nothing but caravanseras of Forestieri in the palaces of significant of a hundred differences of the most subtle the Grand Canal. It is very good for trade, no doubt; character, in nature as well as in art. Consuelo is the brings money to the country, helps a great many people elder of the two. Had she been intended to embody and to live, and so forth; but it is humbling to the great towns, represent the soul of Venice as Romola does that of Floronce so regal, and still full of the traces of regnant power, ence, she would no doubt have been, like Romola, a pawealth, genius, and strength. Genius, most independent, trician, endowed with that natural magnificence which yet most dependent of all great things, must infallibly, breathes through Venice, which impresses us in every alas! one time or another, come to the auction-room : but palace front, and —quenching one effect of art in another power, and wealth, and physical force, once so abounding leave us untouched by any individual Titian or Vero and arrogant in these splendid abodes of a. great race, nese, lost in a wonder of admiration over the splendor, should, one might have thought, have preserved them from the fate of the slave whose beauty is for the pleasure of her
vastness, and pomp of the halls in which these great paint
ers are but as magnificent decorators, subservient to, not master. But the power and the strength have gone, the masters of, the princely place in which they worked. But wealth has disappeared — and we all rusb to stare and here the real democratic soul of the French woman & peep, and gape and chatter, where a stern Signoria, or a different thing altogether from the reflective and philogreat Doge, would soon have made short work with in- sophical democracy with which we islanders play - has truders. To think of the time when an incautious stranger come in characteristically, selecting her heroine from the was clapped suddenly in prison for having
ventured to say steps of the Piazzetta, as we have said ; from the tumblethat he had not thought there was in Florence wealth down tenements of the Corte-Minelli, not from the palaces, enough to erect such a great work as Giotto's Campanile ! - making her, so far as she is a type at all, the type not of -a mere extravagant utterance of admiration ; and then Venice magnificent, but of Venice poor, light-hearted, reckto remember how every vulgar sight-seer pokes about, legs, and joyous. This involves a great and fundamental Murray in hand. Nay, not even with Murray. Cheap difference of plan in the two works; but not less great in the guide-books for the million now flutter about the insulted difference of character. Consuelo belongs to yesterday – to streets, all full of cheap jewelry and mosaics for the an order of conception which, we fear, no longer holds the million also; and we stand aghast, gazing at the tourists first place in the opinion of the world; while Romola, dewho " do " Florence, wondering what strange wind blew spite the extraordinary pains that have been taken to drape that goose-flock thither, and what their cackling has to do her according to the very fashion of the fifteenth century, with the great, serious, noble old town. Something of the embodies the last thought of art, the reigning ideal of the same feeling of ludicrous inappropriateness came over the moment. No doubt this difference is no temporary but a mind of the writer, whom — holding out to him a cheap perennial one, reappearing continually in all kinds of po
copy of a great romance - a respectable bookseller in etic creation, and indeed in all periods of artistic history. - Florence exhorted to publish something about the City of It is the same difference which exists between Shakespeare Flowers.
“ We sell as many as five hundred copies of and Milton, between Raphael and Michael-Angelo. The this in a season,” he said, by way of encouragement. The one all sweetness, spontaneous movement, soft repose, unbook was “ Romola ; " and if there could be anything much conscious grace; the other, conscious to the very fingermore quaint and strange than the invasion of the jealous tips, full of effort, thought, self-contemplation - noble and proud old town by Mr. Cook's excursionists, it would effort indeed, a majestic strain of mind and muscles - but be the vision thus suggested to us of an excursionist sally- still a strain. Perhaps, however, this peculiarity makes ing forthi with “Romola” instead of Baedeker in his hand to Romola a better representative of the combatant, proud, "do” Florence. The very soul of Mrs. Malaprop is in this self-conscious city to which she belongs, and which, if not droll combination.
more really great than Venice, has at least a more solemn But the gentle reader is not one of those who go with self-assertion in its looks, a determination more marked the multitude to stare and gape. He (or she) is capable, and bitter, less easy, large, and natural, to be the first and always capable, of understanding the just affinities as well greatest of cities. Venice, separated from all other towns as the absurdities of such a conjunction; and accordingly by her very design and nature, alone in the world as it We may be permitted to discuss Florence and Romola to
no rival possible to her beauty, whosoever might gether to his sympathetic ear, and even to suggest another threaten her power - reaps the adantage of her unique combination of a similar character, which, as it was made position in a certain ease of mind and leisure of procedure. a number of years ago, has ceased perhaps to strike the But Florence, with so many rivals round her, had to hold imagination of the world. It would be perhaps a mistake her own at every moment, with that strain which begets to say that Consuelo was to Venice what Romola is to Florence. There is not much symbolic resemblance be
arrogance in success, and self-regard at all times.
Florence, notwithstanding the brightness of the picture tween the great and beautiful city of the waters
- so gay,
which strikes the traveller when he first enters the town, 80 fair, so splendid, glorious in sunshine, still more glorious, is not a gay city; everything that is characteristic to the costly, and magnificent in art — and the honest, pure, sin- Tuscan mind is of a grave and serious nature. The houses