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p in the streets of a great city. There is nothing in her morning but the white stones, still warm with the heat of day. bove those antecedents; yet everything in her is above They stopped before the theatre of Pulcinella, and followed with nem. She is pure, and true, and honorable by some noble
passionate attention the fantastic drama of fair Corisande, astinct - as fine natures are in all classes, with the most
queen of the puppets, without recollecting the want of their
breakfast, and the great improbability of supper. They threw fonderful triumph over all preconceived ideas. She has
themselves into the wild amusements of the Carnival, their be toleration of her class, and is not horrified by the evil
whole disguise and adornment being, for his part, his coat ound her as maidens more carefully guarded would be. turned inside out, and for hers, a great bunch of old ribbons fut while, as natural to her condition, she accepts the over her ear. They made sumptuous repasts, upon the side of ice, which she cannot but be aware of, as a fact which it a bridge or on the steps of a palace, with shell-fish and sprigs of $not hers to judge, she holds herself instinctively, almost fennel. . . . Though they had the most absolute and dangerous inconsciously, clear of all pollution. When we see her liberty, without family, without mothers, tender and vigilant to irst, she is no full-developed heroine, but a long-limbed, make them virtuous, without servant to call them home in the awkward child, in the unlovely stage of girlhood, with a
evening or lead them back to rest, without even a dog to warn
them of danger, no disaster ever befell them." seautiful voice, and much serious devotion to the education he is receiving in the musical school conducted by the old Thus the children of the people lived and grew; the boy tomposer Porpora. No pretentions are hers to grace or no wbit better than his peers, but the girl spotless. In her beauty. “ As she grew fast, and her mother was very poor, way, Consuelo is the Una of Venice, passing unharmed er dresses were always a year too short, which gave to the and untouched through perilous situations, of which it is long limbs of fourteen, thus used to show themselves in by no means consistent with the art of her creator to spare public, a kind of wild grace and freedom which it was at us a single detail. We have quite enough, indeed too once pleasant and sad to see.” The child is first intro- much, of those situations, which, however, make no more duced to us busy at her work in the music-school, at the impression upon the sweet personality of the central figure moment when old Porpora, a somewhat grim teacher, has than do the wilder woodland adventures of Una berself just distinguished her as the most studious, the most mod- upon that type of purity. Consuelo lives in her garret unest, the most docile of his pupils — an announcement re- guided, except by her own instincts, without support or eived with disdain by all the school, but unbeard by Con- guardian in the world; and the reader feels nothing unnatsuelo herself, who, bending over ber book, her hands upon ural, nothing over-strained, in the simple goodness of the ber ears to shut out the noise, is at the moment singing high yet lowly creature; nor even in her intercourse with over her lesson under her breath. This characteristic | her betrothed lover Anzoleto, who is not pure, as she is, opening is followed up in the whole after-tale. Consuelo is but who, nevertheless, has so much of the cordial familiarity acupied with her art, with the work before her, wherever which a lad has for his friend, and of the babitual affection she may happen to be ; scarcely ever with herself. She is of a brother, mingled with the sentiment which they both conscious of herself so far as to know what she can do call love, that even his youthful depravity is kept in check most useful and essential and uninjurious piece of self-esti. by the conjunction. mation; but either she has no time or no inclination to in- The other scene through wbich the girl passes, as she quire further into that being which is not the chief interest proceeds through the streets and canals, is the darker one in the world to her — herself. Romola, as we have said, of the theatre, in which Madame Sand is always at home,
is superior to all whom she encounters ; but Consuelo is no and in which the noble passion of her heroine's pure genius Cone's superior. In her quiet but much.occupied mind there enthralls the public, as the best always does, even though ti is always so much that is better going on, that she lacks the worst may also receive the fickle plaudits of the crowd.
leisure to measure her own height, and consider how she But the little room in which Consuelo works, with her old stands among others. The author does not fail to show the portfolios of music, her lessons in composition, her deep and intense difference between this pearl of genius and all the loving study of the principles of her art though it is a ordinary scholars 'about her, but with delightful art she poor little garret in a broken-down old house, the little manages to make it fully apparent how little Consuelo her- paved court under its windows opening upon a dark and self knows or thinks of the difference. The girl wanders narrow canal — is more interesting than the theatre where fearless and free, in the confidence of her childhood, about she makes a brief appearance. And so is the musical the Venetian streets.
She earns her bread by all the in- school, with its harsh and bitter but great old master; and dustries common to her kind, working with her needle when its pretty pupils, vulgar, undisciplined, and noisy, qui ne her mother is ill and needs her care ; crossing the lagoon rêvent que le théâtre, and study their art for its rewards and to the Lido to gather the shells on its sandy shore; sitting successes, never for itself. The link of connection which on the steps at the landing place where the gondolas come exists between the watery back-slums of Venice and the and go, threading these shells into the necklaces which brilliant boards of the opera, with all its fairy triumphs, is everybody knows, with Anzoleto at ber side helping her - revealed to us with curious vividness. George Sand, like
young Adonis, brown and beautiful, with naked feet George Eliot, makes everybody inferior to her heroine ; banging down into the soft water that laps and laves the the heroine is fortunately left unconscious of it, but the shore — who is the villain of the piece. Consuelo goes on reader is fully informed on the subject; and la Clorinda calmly working, while the old master of music and the and la Corrila are poor enough vulgar specimens of the young dilettante Count talk over her head — stringing her singing girl, eager for glory, fine dresses, applause, and shells together – with dark locks uncovered under the pleasure. The insolence of the one and the stupidity of blazing sun, with soft ripple of the winds and water about the other, and their dull contempt for the more heavenly her - subdued color, sound, and movement, her shells in creature in the midst of them, is no doubt true to the lowher lap, ber eyes on her work, a pretty, simple picture. est types of conventional human nature; but the reader Jast so the dark-haired, brown children, with great eyes will have as little pleasure in dwelling upon these common Aashing from their olive faces, sit under the sunshine which Venetians and their evil ways, as be has in contemplation would kill an English child, upon those perpetual steps of the too carefully studied Florentines
in Romola – though which descend to the water, and
where it is so easy to dab probably their career is a better reproduction of the ordible when one pleases, in the bright rippling wavelets so nary life of their kind than is that of the Una who moves green and full of sunshine. Here is George Sand's de- whitely among them, making a sunshine in a shady place. eription of the life of the Venetian boy and girl, poorest of But Consuelo berself, innocent and dreamy, threading her the poor, and happiest of the happy:
shells on the broad steps, while the gondolas push along"They crossed the lagoon at all hours and in all weathers, in
side soft and rapid, receiving or disembarking their pasenes boats without oars or pilot; they wandered over the sengers
, with the opening of some narrow way, a cut belittle chapels made under the vines at the corners of the streets, without any thought of the rising tide. They sange before the ground for her figure, or some great church raising its dome without minding the late hour, or without need of any bed till
into the skies, or the lion on his column standing fast and firm above; with her handsome boy companion lounging
by, bis brown legs dangling into the warm canal, and his withstanding the miserable jealousy, meanness, and sensahead like a Greek statue, on the alert for notice, calls of ality which lead him astray from her. But the author of passing patrons, or glance of admiration – while the girl, his being does not hate him as George Eliot hates Tito with her head bent over her work, takes note of nothing; She does not intend from the beginning to ruin and crush this is a picture which the reader will not easily forget. him into infamy, as the still greater genius of the English
And Consuelo, like Romola, has her moment of love. writer, vindictive and terrible, sets itself to do. The deception, her discovery of her lover's unworthiness, her French woman takes infinitely less pains about it, and is despair and Aight. To say that the one story is altogether content with a much more ordinary type. But notwithwanting in the grandeur and elaborate grave art of the standing this, and all our prejudices in favor of the one ** other is unnecessary, for that is implied in the very nature against the other, we cannot but claim for George Sand's 2 of either tale, in the different positions and characters of heroine a higher place in nature than that which ought to the two women who are each the central figure in her own be assigned to the royal Romola. The grandeur of the 5 drama. Consuelo's love is not of the heroic type of Romo- Florentine is a conventional grandeur : she speaks and la's; for indeed the Venetian girl has a wealth of knowl. moves and acts like an enlarged and sublimated impersonedge of human nature and toleration of its imperfections ation of a girl's ideal of woman an awe-inspiring god which is impossible to the high-toned Florentine. Con- dess; whereas the poor child of the people, making ber suelo loves no ideal in the handsome Anzoleto. She necklaces on the great marble steps, unguarded and un knows his faults, his nature shallower than her own, his cared for, is of the truest and highest type of feminine se want of industry, his petulance, a hundred weaknesses character - real, simple, natural, and true, with nothing which take him altogether out of the rank of demi-god. of the sham or fictitiously great about her. Her sweet and Few women of her class, we are afraid, can look upon friendly presence charms the reader every where. She their future husbands as demi-gods, though the heroines of smiles at us though she knows us not : never too great for : poetry do, and even - Mr. Trollope, at least, encourages us, notwithstanding her genius and her fame. Even her us to believe — the young ladies of the present day. To trifling lover, though he reverences her better nature, and I Romola in her ignorance the beautiful Tito is as a sun-god, knows that in art she is higher than himself, is never a young Apollo, lighting up her grave existence. But crushed by her superiority as Tito is by that of his magnifConsuelo, with a humbler truth to nature, has no such icent wife, who towers over him with a grandeur which grand idea, and no such expectations. She knows the im- makes us almost pardon his lighter sins at least. We are perfection of her lover, knows him weak, not always wise, tempted to dwell' upon the contrast, because it is funda za indolent, a little self-regarding - yet with the perversity mental in art — not only a contrast of two different types, of nature loves him, never expecting from him any trans. but of two different systems and codes of what is best
. formation of existence, but only the comfort of mutual | The superior is beginning to have a new reign on the support and union in which she shall have her full portion earth, thanks partly to such ideal personages as Romolaboth of labor and help. To our thinking this is a much and the spontaneous and unconscious are falling into disnobler type of love than the poetical passion which has credit; but here, as elsewhere, true art is on the side of pretensions so much higher. It is true love, the other that which is simplest and least pretending - the lowly being but supreme fancy. Perhaps it is as little to be de- person rather than the great. sired that this most serious and deepest form of human Books and literary reputations, like everything else, fade sentiment should be specially supreme in a young soul, as into obscurity as time goes on, and “ Consuelo" has not the ideal passion, hot and sudden, which takes rank so the fame which it once had, nor even perhaps has George much above it, and is so much more universally believed in; Sand retained her fame and extended reputation. We do yet without this to fall back upon the other is naught, and not know even whether it is desirable that “ Consuelo" love drops from its immortality into a vulgar thing, how- should be sold to the excursionists as “ Romola” (oddly) ever high-flown. Romola's is the conventional love, Con- is, by way of lending to the general mass an interest in suelo's the real. The one arises and dies alike suddenly, Venice ; for French Romance, even at its climax, and leaping into life at a stroke, with a subtle self-regard in it, when its object is good and its central figure noble, as in which is veiled by all the graces of art and poetry, yet lurks this case, is not so safe for general reading as English. beneath those flowers an expectation of supreme glory and But no one who has read the book will forget to remember joy to be gained; which, being not gained, turns the sweet- it when his gondola shoots along the bright canal, or glides ness into bitterness, and kills the heathen classic passion, up to the steps on which the children are sitting, stringing which is a failure, and has not produced what was looked for. their shells, or eating their outdoor meals under the sunConsuelo's, poor soul, is a great deal harder to kill. Could shine. When the breeze blows from the soft Adriatic she shut her eyes to the sin against her, we almost fear across the Lido, and the winding channels which ooze she would do so, though her heart sickens and turns from down to the sea; when the sun blazes on the steps at the it with a wondering disgust and anguish, which is deeper Piazzetta, and the palace of the old Doges shows all its far than that supreme rebellion of the other kind of love carven work, dwarfed by very richness, and the grateful against the being who has deceived it. The sufferer in shadow creeps farther and farther back in the colonnades; this case is hurried away by her counsellor out of reach of when the water gurgles and murmurs at the boat's head, her own relentings, to save her from the softenings of ten and the gondolier chants his long-drawn cry,
« Ahil mi!" derness, the love which faints but cannot be killed. In at the corner, before he plunges into the grateful dimness this as in other things her story is the exact opposite of of the narrow canal — look! is not that the girl, seated that of her greater and more heroic antitype. Romola, where the dancing green ripples, all penetrated with sun. rigid and stern, with her love dead, can come back as duty shine, make a waving magical play of light at her feet; bids, and live like a woman of stone under the same roof her dark locks under the sun throwing forth a kindred with the husband to whom her heart never relents, towards gleam of reflection, her young, lithe figure, too young whom she feels nothing but a still horror and scorn; but for any thought of grace or attitude, lightly, simply Consuelo, with her true love, which sought so little in re- posed upon the warm marble of those steps where the turn, has to fly to save herself from relenting, to make for- passers-by come and go, and gondolas push noiselessly up, giveness impossible, to prevent herself from enduring all and noiselessly set forth again, nobody noticing the quiet things, from suffering long, and melting into kindness like child at her work ! Venice, with all her loveliness, is so the Divine Charity itself.
much the more friendly for this soft face in it
, this spotless Anzoleto, however, is no such wonderful creation as dweller in its narrow Corti, and wanderer about its waterTito, nor does he demand the same consideration in the story. He is a common type enough of the unworthy Friend unknown ! you will meet mariy friends in both lover, though with so much good in him as his higher ap- these cities of the past. Her in Florence with the Carpreciation of Consuelo's noble character makes inevitable. dellino — serene, sweet mother, in holiest bloom of wom He knows what is good, and in his heart prefers it, not- anhood; Her of the Granduca, so reverent of the child
she holds ; that Judith, pale with the passion and the profession, the Universities publicly contended with each crime of her cruel night's work — most terrible of heroines, Other for distinction in billiards. Within the houses of the with such exhaustion and excitement in her face as no one rich extravagance rose to a mania, yet was accompanied but Allori, of all ber painters, bas ventured to put there ; by a previously unknown thirst for gain. Every noble that Bella of Titian's painting, who has no name except became a tradesman. Rents were raised to the highest the Beautiful ; that pathetic Mary of the Magnificat in figure, and their preservation at that figure became such a Botticelli's famous picture, with her pitiful angels; and desire, that the slightest event which menaced them many another which we have no space to note. But we strike, for example, among the laborers of a few villages doubt whether one of all those pictured powers will pluck was treated as a public calamity; and while fortunes were at your memory so effectually as Romola ; who dwells in lavished on furniture, the money to rebouse the people Florence, a kind of tutelary patroness and goddess of the whose civilization bad outgrown their dwellings was actgrave city. Such power of semi-deity is not in the hum- ually asked from the state. All this while, Art scarcely bler and sweeter soul of the Venetian singer; but when advanced, ennui did not decrease, the multitude of spend. you have come from the Titians, and those acres of splen- thrifts were none the less sad. A strange form of wearidid courtly canvas on which Paolo has proved himself the ness — a weariness which was not satiety, yet prompted most magnificent of all decorators, you will see Consuelo men, like satiety, to nothing but imbecile repetition of the on the marble steps as you go back to your gondola — a same hunts for excitement, sometimes assuming almost gentle presence as abiding, if not so queenly or so great. lunatic forms — bad taken possession of the prosperous.
The millionnaire thought he enjoyed flowers because he filled a ball-room with them at an expense perceptible
even to him, and earth was ransacked for new things of LONDON SOCIETY IN 1874.
beauty, — but by traders, not the rich. The latter only
indolently bought. Alone among the intellectual faculties The pessimist view, whether as to politics or society, is curiosity became intensified, and the rich, tired of luxury probably in an immense majority of cases the erroneous as of politics, sought in efforts to search beyond the grave, view. Englishmen are very fond of it, especially as re- in half-contemptuous examinations of new doctrines, in a gards their own affairs, those of France, and those of gloomily languid study of science, the distraction which America, that is, the affairs of the three countries they daily life could not afford. know best, or are most keenly interested in, — but their A worse feature yet is noted in this strange period. fondness is the result rather of a certain sombreness of Wealthy society bas always been ennuyéd, and usually imagination than of intellectual conviction. They enjoy feeble in its efforts to get rid of ennui, but the mass of the prospect of public ruin as they enjoy day-dreams about mankind, bound to labor for its bread, has usually, since their individual prosperity. The public ruin does not Rome fell, looked on such efforts with a dislike sometimes, arrive, any more than the realization of the Alnaschar as in France, bitter to slaying; sometimes, as in Italy, dream, but the pessimist view nevertheless loses but little tolerantly forgiving; sometimes, as in Germany and Engof its perennial attraction. It would be possible just now, land, stolidly apathetic. But in 1874, it seems almost cerfor instance, to draw a very sad-colored picture of the con- tain that the masses liked and enjoyed the exhibitions of dition of society in London, - of all society, that is, not this rage for consuming time. If anything is certain, it is merely of “ Society” technically so called. The latter, certain that an unpopular ephemeral literature could not always more or less frivolous, bad in 1874, as the historian circulate, and that a literature devoted in great part to the of the future may write, given itself with an almost insane verbal photographing of frivolities did circulate immensely : avidity to the pursuit of an unattainable excitement. Not, that the most popular journals found it pay to record the perhaps, so vicious as the society of the Regency, and cer- feats accomplished at polo, at cricket, at billiards, as they tainly not so cynical, it was, nevertheless, much feebler recorded events; to devote columps upon columns to the and less sanguine, more impressed with that weariness of merits of borses; to write elaborate descriptions of artifitime, that indifference to healthy interests, which have al- cial skating-grounds and the movements performed upon ways been the curses of safe plutocracies. Enormously them; to publish essays raising mere games into occupaexpanded in volume, inordinately rich, serrated by deep tions; to exclude Parliamentary debates for lists of percaste fissures, it had split into coteries, each endeavoring sons present at garden parties — lists meaning nothing to in its own more or less frivolous way to allay in excitement their readers, not even instruction in social ways, but only the universal feeling of unrest. Society had no dignity, conveying to the outside world some faint aroma of the no calm, and very little content. The better and braver grandiose ceremonial of society. A habit of observing of the jeunesse dorée wearied of country sport, and sought the idle grew even on the workers, who were, for other in
every part of the globe for fiercer and deeper excite- reasons, as sad as the idle, and who vainly sought, in keen ment, which yet was always of the same unintellectual scrutiny of pastimes, the distractions with which those to kind. They ranged the world in search of “grand shots," whom life was pastime were helping themselves to endure traversed both hemispheres to see if barbarism were at- the insupportable burden of wealth, leisure, and opportutractive, or searched through mankind to discern if any. nity. The overladen bees flagged under their load of where a profitable speculation might be found. One great honey, which they could scarcely taste, yet were compelled, noble built a palace in an African desert, to enjoy its air as by a destiny, to accumulate ; and the bees not yet and freedom; another sailed through the summer seas, laden found a consolation in watching the efforts of the only to tell society how impudent the Sirens of their islands successful to enjoy without the first condition of enjoywere ; while a third gave fortune for formless bits of china ment, — joyousness. an accident might destroy. A new game began to interest Another strange symptom marked that period, which in the rich more than a new law, and one in particular, im- its infinite variety — variety with no connecting link save ported from the East, and described in “The Arabian a universal weariness so baffles analysis, namely, the Nights,” roused as much enthusiasm as if those who pur- rise of an intense interest in ecclesiastical contentions. sued it believed, like the doctors of Bagdad, that the mal- No new faith rose within this period. No new dogma can lets with which the game was pursued could bave medi- be said to have been promulgated, influencing Protestant cated handles. Falconry, the cruellest and most danger- thought to our own time. No "mighty divine arose to affect ous of sports, regained the favor it held before the idea half the population. Under the surface, dimly perceptible that an animal could suffer had entered the British mind. to one or two men, who hated it as they watched, might be The safe slaughter of pigeons became a national sport, and noticed one or two signs of that.vast revival of the religskill in it excited the applause of women.
Nothing but ious spirit among the mass which in a few more years prothe determination of the magistrates prevented a similar duced consequences so permanent; but as yet society, and revival of cock-fighting. Racing became from an amuse- those who watched society, cared only for ecclesiasticisms, ment a pursuit, cricket from a healthy game became a for the external symbols of internal half-beliefs. But they
did care about these. No ceremonial, or absence of words have been translated into bundreds of languages, and ceremonial, was too trumpery to excite fierce contest, no hundreds and thousands in all parts of the world and a Bill affecting the churches too colorless to rend Ministries, classes of mankind have asked, “ Where was that place, and no proposal too cautious to escape instant drowning in where was that den ?" and the answer has been given the vitriolic acid. The literature of Ritual filled shops, the the name of the “place” was Bedford, and that the "den literature of church organization libraries. The periodi- was Bedford jail. This it is which has given to the cals, written mainly by Sadducees, were bot with discus- town of Bedford its chief - may I say, without offense, is sions on phylacteries. The absolute Minister for India only title to universal and everlasting fame. It is now tw declared publicly that he could gain from the heads of hundred years ago since Bunyan must have resolved on the society a hearing for his plans for benefiting a fifth of the great venture - 80 it seemed to him — of publishing the human race, only by inserting bis Bills between other work which bas given to Bedford this immortal renowe measures for regulating the details in the organization of and Bedford is this day endeavoring to pay back some churches. The House of Commons confessed that it only part of the debt which it owes to him. kept aloof from the subject, lest its discussion should break It has seemed to me that I should best discharge the up the calm of Parliamentary deliberation, or strain the trust with which I have been honored — and a very high power of Government to enforce its laws. This disposi- honor I consider it to be — by saying a few worde, first on tion, at first sight so opposed to frivolity, has from the age the local, then on the ecclesiastical and political circun of Justinian frequently marked a people given up for the stances, and then on the universal character of your illos moment to frivolity, and probably proceeds from the same trious townsman.
a deep dissatisfaction with life which has not yet 1. I shall not, in speaking of the local claims of Buoyan, been ripened, either by new leaders or new circumstances, surrender without a struggle the share wbich England into a determination that there shall be a change.
large has in those claims. Something of a national, some What the writer of the future will be obliged to assign thing even of a cosmopolitan color, was given to his career as the cause of the change we do not know, though it may by the wandering gypsy life which drew the tinker with his possibly be a serious war; but we do know that this pict. humble wares from his brazier's shop, as well as by the mora ure, though, of course, one-sided to a degree, intentional y serious circuits which he made as an itinerant pastor on what one-sided, is true. We do not think it will remain true were regarded as his episcopal visitations. When I leave for any length of time, for the unrest is too conscious, and Bedford this evening in order to go to Leicester, I shall men who feel it are too ready to renounce frivolity for still be on the track of the young soldier, who, whether in work, which, wise or unwise, shall at least be real ; but it the Royal or the Parliamentary army - for it is still matexists now, and we confess we are among those who re- ter of dispute — so narrowly escaped the shot which laid gard it as a rather contemptible phase in English life. his comrade low; and from the siege of its ancient walls We do not quite go the length of the Bishop of Manches- gathered the imagery for the “ Holy War" and the “ Siege ter in some recent denunciations, because, as we think, of Mansoul.” When it was my lot years ago to explore the many of the phenomena he mentions are temporary, and Pilgrims' Way to Canterbury, I was tempted to lend a willmany more which are permanent have been brought by ing ear to the ingenious officer on the Ordnance Survey
, accident into a ridiculous prominence on the surface of the who conjectured that in that devious pathway and on those national life ; but still we cannot deny that society, and Surrey downs the Pilgrim of the seventeenth century may indeed the country, is in rather a contemptible mood. have caught the idea of the Hill Difficulty and the DelectaThe people seems to feel itself in a sort of theatre, where
ble Mountains. On the familiar banks of the Kennett at it has nothing to do but sit and watch with languid amuse- Reading I recognize the scenes to which tradition has ment the efforts of amateur actors to amuse, not so much assigned his secret visits, disguised in the slouched hat, their audience as themselves; and is inclined to ask, as white smock-frock, and carter's whip of a wagoner, as Orientals do, why the richer classes do not pay people to
well as the last charitable enterprise which cost him his go through all that for them. We do not believe the in- life. In the great Babylon of London I find myself in the terest in reading about matches and sports and parties and
midst of what must have given him bis notion of Vanity sales of bric-à-brac is genuine, except when connected Fair; where also, as the Mayor has reminded you, he atwith betting, and know perfectly well that one breath of tracted thousands round his pulpit at Zoar Chapel in cold air will clear off all that tepid and malarious vapor,
Southwark, and where he rests at last in the grave of his but still it would be all the better if the breeze would host, the grocer Strudwick, in the cemetery of Bunhill come. Luxury and waste and frivolity may be all unim
Fields. portant, as the economists say, and certainly their impor- But none of these places can compete for closeness of tance may be easily exaggerated, but incessant description association with his birthplace at Elstow. The cottage, or of them all, as if they were evidences of civilization, in- what might have been the cottage of his early home – the stead of mere efflorescences of wealth in the hands of peo- venerable church where first he joined in the ple with nothing to do, and no idea of doing it in dignified our public worship — the antique pew where be sat – the calm, is as tiring to the observer as a constant watching of
massive tower whose bells he so lustily rang till struck by gold-fish. Those little carp are shiny, too, and move the pangs of a morbid conscience — the village green where quickly, and keep very carefully within their pretty crys- he played his rustic games and was haunted by his terrific tal globes, and are altogether of the gilded kind; but
visions the puddles in the road, on which he thought to watching them through a wet day is not a beneficial occu
try his first miracles - all these are still with us. And pation, not half so recuperative as sleep, not one tenth so even Elstow can hardly rival the den, — whether the legendistracting as work. It is to this, however, that the dary prison on the bridge or the historical prison not far Metropolis has for this summer given itself up, with a half- from where his monument stands, — for which the whole amused, half wearied languor, which, in spite of all symp- world inquiringly turns to Bedford. Most fitting, theretoms, cannot last. The English have many capacities, but
fore, has it been that the first statue erected to the memory lotus-eating for any length of time is beyond them, and of the most illustrious citizen of Bedford should have been whenever they try the occupation, they are sure to awake the offering of the noble head of the illustrious house to
which Bedford has given its chief title. Most fitting it is
that St. Peter's Green at Bedford should in this way — if JOHN BUNYAN.1
I may use an expression I have myself elsewhere employed
: “As it has been questioved whether the den,' at the beginning of the
* Pilgrim's Progress,' means the jail at Bedford, the following note may not “ As I walked through the wilderness of this world I
pote on the passage
. The third edition, London, 1679, has as a note the lighted upon a certain place where was a den.” These
jail.!. This was published in Bunyan's life-time,'and is, therefore, an au
thority. In the same edition there is a portrait in which Bunyan is represent 1 This address was delivered at Bedford on Wednesday, June 10, 1874, on
sented as reclining and asleep over a den, in which there is a lion, with a the occasion of unveiling the statue of Bunyan.
i portoullis." — Noles and Queries, June 20, 1874.
BY THE DEAN OF WESTMINSTER.
- have been annexed to the Poet's Corner of Westminster which the Pilgrim saw, in which two giants dwelt of old Abbey, and should contain the one effigy which England time, “who,” he says, “were either dead many a day, or possesses of the first of human allegorists. Claim him, citi- else, by reason of age, have grown so crazy and stiff in zens of Bedford and inhabitants of Bedfordshire ; claim him their joints that they now do little more than sit at their as your own. It is the strength of a county and of a town cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by.” It is at to have its famous men held in everlasting remembrance. such a cave's mouth that we are to-day. We see, at the They are the links by which you are bound to the history long distance of two hundred years, a giant, who, in Bunof your country, and by which the whole consciousness of yan's time, was very stout and hearty. What shall we a great nation is bound together. In your Bedfordshire call him ? His name was Old Intolerance, that giant who lanes be doubtless found the original of his “ Slough of first, under the Commonwealth, in the shape of the PresDespond." In the halls and gardens of Wrest, of Haynes, byterian clergy, could not bear with the preaching of an and Woburn, he may have snatched the first glimpses of illiterate tinker and an unordained minister,” and then, in his “ House Beautiful.” In the turbid waters of your Ouse the shape of the Episcopal clergy, shut him up for twelve at flood time he saw the likeness of the “river very deep,” years in Bedford jail. All this is gone forever. But let which had to be crossed before reaching the Celestial City. us not rejoice prematurely : the old giant is still alive. You bave become immortal through him ; see that his glory He may be seen in many shapes, on all sides, and with never fades away amongst you.
many voices. “The spirit of burning and the spirit of 2. And here this local connection passes into an ecclesi- judgment " have not, as some lament, altogether departed astical association on which I would dwell for a few mo- either from Churchmen or from Nonconformists. But his ments. If Elstow was the natural birthplace of Bunyan, joints are very stiff and crazy; and when on this day the he bimself would certainly have named as his spiritual clergy and the magistrates of Bedford are seen rejoicing in birthplace the meeting-house at Bedford and the stream of common with their Dissenting brethren, at the inauguration the Ouse, near the corner of Duck Mill Lane, where he was of a memorial of him who once «uffered at the hands of all in middle life re-baptized. There, and in those dells of their spiritual forefathers, it is a proof that the world has Wainwood and Samsell, where in the hard times he secretly at least, in this respect, become a little more Christian, ministered to his scattered flock, he became the most because a little more charitable and a little more enlightfamous preacher of the religious communion which claims ened - - a little more capable of seeing the inward good him as its own. The Baptist or Anabaptist Church, behind outward differences. which once struck terror by its very name throughout the An excellent and laborious Nonconformist, who devoted states of Europe, now, and even in Bunyan's time, subsid- his life to the elucidation of the times and works of Buning into a quiet, loyal, peaceful community, has numbered yan, describes, with just indignation, the persecuting law on its roll many illustrious names - a Havelock amongst of Charles II., under which John Bunyan was imprisoned, its soldiers, a Carey and a Marshman among its mission- and he then adds, " This is now the law of the land we aries, a Robert Hall among its preachers, and I speak now live in.” No, my good Nonconformist brother, no, thank only of the dead. But neither amongst the dead nor the God! it is not now, nor bas for many a long year, been in living who bave adorned the Baptist name is there any be- | force amongst us. In the very year in which John Bunyan fore whom other churches bow their beads so reverently as died, that revolution took place to which, when compared he who in this place derived his chief spiritual inspirations with all the numerous revolutions which have since swept from them; and amongst their titles to a high place in over other countries, may be well accorded the good old English Christendom, the conversion of Job Bunyan is name “glorious," and of which one of the most glorious their chief and sufficient guarantee. We ministers and fruits was the Toleration Act, by which such cruelties and members of the National Church have much whereof to follies as the Conventicle and Five Mile Acts became glory. We boast, and we justly boast, that one of our thenceforth and forever impossible.
That Act was, no claims on the grateful affection of our country is that our doubt, only the first imperiect beginning; we have still, institutions, our learning, our liturgy, our version of the even now, all of us much to learn in this respect. But we Bible, bave sustained and enlarged the general culture even have gained something; and this day is another pledge of those who dissent from much that we teach and from of the victory of the Christian faith, another nail knocked much that we hold dear. But we know that even this into the coffin of our ancient enemy. It required a union boast is not ours exclusively. You remember Lord Macau- of
forces to effect the change. If it was Barlow, ay's saying that the seventeenth century produced in Eng. Bishop of Lincoln, that befriended John Bunyan in prison, land two men only of original genius. These were both it was Whitehead, the Quaker, whom, in his earlier days, Nonconformists — one was John Milton, and the other was Bunyan regarded as a heathen and an outcast, that opened John Bunyan. I will venture to add this yet further re- for him the doors of Bedford jail ; and those doors were mark, that the whole of English literature has produced kept open by the wise King William III., by the Whig only two prose works of universal popularity, and both of statesmen and Whig prelates of the day, and not least, by these also were by Nonconformists -- one is the work of the great house of Russell
, who, having protected the opa Presbyterian journalist, and it is called “ Robinson pressed Nonconformists in the days of their trial, have in Crusoe ;' and the other is the work of a Baptist preacher, each succeeding generation opened the gates of the prisonand its name is the “ Pilgrim's Progress.” Every time that house of prejudice and intolerance wider and wider still. we open those well-known pages, or look at that memorable Let it be our endeavor to see that they are not closed again face they remind us Churchmen that Nonconformists have either in Bedford or anywhere else. their own splendid literature ; they remind you Noncon- 4. Thus much I have felt constrained to say by the cirformists that literature and culture are channels of grace cumstances, local, ecclesiastical, and political, of this celeno less spiritual than sacraments or doctrines, than preach-bration. But I now enter on those points for which chiefly, ing or revivals. There were many Bishops eminent for no doubt, I have been asked to address you, and from their piety and learning in the seventeenth century; but which alone this monument has acquired its national imfew were more deserving of the name tban he who by the portance. The hero of Elstow was great, the preacher in popular voice of Bedfordshire was called Bishop Bunyan. the Baptist meeting-house of Bedford was greater, but,
3. And now, having rendered honor to whom honor is beyond all comparison, greater was the dear teacher of the due, — honor to the town of Bedford, and honor to my childhood of each of us, the creator of those characters Nonconformist brethren, - let me take that somewhat wider whose names and faces are familiar to the whole world, the survey to which, as I have said, this occasion invites me; author of the “ Pilgrim's Progress.” And when I speak to only let me, before entering on that survey, touch for an you of Bunyan in this his world-wide aspect, I speak to instant on the contrast which is presented by the recollec- you no longer as a stranger to the men of Bedford, but as tions of which we have just been speaking, and the occa- an Englishman to Englishmen; no longer as a Churchman sion which brings us here together. There are certain to Dissenters, but as a Christian to Christians, and as a places which we pass by in the valley of life, like to that man to men throughout the world. In the “ Pilgrim's