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'the goer,' father of all them that go ahead. You have gone ahead, and over many lands; and I reverence you for it, though I envy you not. You have commanded a regiment–indeed an army, and 'drank delight of battle with your peers;' you have ruled provinces, and done justice and judgment, like a noble Englishman as you are, old friend, among thousands who never knew before what justice and judgment were.”—p. 398.
He then goes on to explain how it is that he finds enough in the neighboring “moorland” which he calls his “Winter-Garden," to give him as much amusement as he cares for or has time for—and which is “ full of glory and of instruction to him " as the Himmalayah or the Penjab to his friend.
"I call this garden mine, not because I own it in any legal sense, (for only in a few acres have I a life interest,) but in that higher sense in which ten thousand people can own the same thing, and yet no man's right interfere with another's. To whom does the Apollo Belvedere belong, but to all who have eyes to see its beauty ? So does my winter-garden; and therefore to me among the rest.
“And therefore (which is a gain to a poor man) my pleasure in it is a very cheap one. So are all those of a minute philosopher, except his microscope. But my winter-garden, which is far larger, at all events, than that famous one at Chatsworth, costs me not one penny in keeping up. Poor, did I call myself? Is it not true wealth to have all I want without paying for it? Is it not true wealth, royal wealth, to have some twenty gentlemen and noblemen, nay, even royal personages, planting and improving for me? Is it not more than royal wealth to have sun and frost, gulf streams and south-westers, laws of geology, philology, physiology, and other ologies—in a word, the whole universe and the powers thereof, day and night, paving, planting, roofing, lighting, coloring my winter.garden for me, without my even having the trouble to rub a magic ring and tell the genie to go to work ?
“Yes. I am very rich, as every man may be who will. In the doings of our little country neighborhood I find tragedy and comedy, too fantastic, sometimes too sad, to be written down. In the words of those whose talk is of bullocks, I find the materials of all possible metaphysic, and long weekly that I had time to work them out. In fifteen miles of moorland I find the materials of all possible physical science, and long, too, that I had time to work out one smallest segment of that great sphere. How can I be richer, if I have lying at my feet all day a thousand times more wealth than I can use ?
“Some people—most people—in these run-about railway days, would complain of such a life, in such a 'narrow sphere,' so they call it, as monotonous. Very likely it is so. But is it to be complained of on that account? Is monotony in itself an evil ?
“Besides, monotony is pleasant in itself; morally pleasant, and morally useful. Marriage is monotonous; but there is much, I trust, to be said in favor of holy wedlock. Living in the same house is monotonous; but three removes, say the wise, are as bad as a fire. Locomotion is regarded as an evil by our Litany. The Litany, as usual, is right. Those who travel by land or sea' are to be objects of
our pity and our prayers; and I do pity them. I delight in that same monotony.
... It is pleasant and good to see the same trees year after year; the same birds coming back in the spring to the same shrubs ; the same banks covered with the same flowers, and broken (if they be stiff ones) by the same gaps. Pleasant and good it is to ride the same horse, to sit in the same chair, to wear the same old coat. That man who offered twenty pounds reward for a lost carpet full of old boots was a sage, and I wish I knew him. Why should one change one's place, any more than one's wife or one's children.
“It is an easy philosophy; especially in the case of the horse, where a man cannot afford more than one, as I cannot. To own a stud of horses, after all, is not to own horses at all, but riding machines. Your rich man who rides Crimea in the morning, Sir Guy in the afternoon, and Sultan to-morrow, and something else the next day, may be a very gallant rider : but it is a question whether he enjoys the pleasure which one horse gives to the poor man who rides him day after day; one horse who is not a slave, but a friend; who has learnt all his tricks of voice, hand, heel, and knows what his master wants, even without being told; who will bear with his master's infirmities, and feels secure that his master will bear with his in turn.
“Possibly, after all, the grapes are sour ; and were one rich, one would do even as the rich are wont; but still, I am a minute philosopher. And therefore, this afternoon, after I have done the same work, visited the same people, and said the same words to them, which I have done for years past, and shall, I trust, for many a year to come, I shall go wandering out into the same winter-garden on the same old mare; and think the same thoughts, and see the same fir-trees, and meet perhaps the same good fellows hunting of their fox, as I have done with full content this many a year; and rejoice, as I said before, in my own boundless wealth, who have the whole universe to look at, without being charged one penny for the show."—pp. 401–404.
One other extract we must make; and as it will be somewhat long, we shall be sparing of our comments. It is a right noble defense of the Puritans against the sneers of those who say they were too “precise,” that they were “ narrow-minded” and “sour," that they bad
no appreciation of art,” that they were “ devoid of all taste," and that there was “no poetry in them." He states the charge fairly tnus:
“Very many of her Majesty's subjects are now of opinion that the first half of the seventeenth century, (if the Puritans had not interfered and spoilt all,) was the most beautiful period of the English nation's life; that in it the chivalry and ardent piety of the middle age were happily combined with modern art and civilization ; that the Puritan hatred of the Court, of stage-plays, of the fashions of the time, was only a scrupulous and fantastical niceness, barbaric and tasteless, if sincere ; if insincere, the basest hypocrisy; that the stage plays, though coarse, were no worse than Shakespeare, whom everybody reads; and that if the Stuarts patronized the stage they also raised it, and exercised a purifying censorship. And very many more who do not go all these lengths with the reactionists, and cannot make up their mind to look to the Stuart reigns either for model churchmen
or model landlords, are still inclined to sneer with Walter Scott at the Puritan preciseness;' and to say lazily, that though, of course, something may have been wrong, yet there was no need to make such a fuss about the matter; and that at all events the Puritans were men of very bad taste.”—pp. 77, 78.
We do not intend to follow him through his defense. It is enough to say that he gives such an exhibition of the foul corruption of the Stuart Age in England, that it would seem there could be no one who would not say with him that it deserved purgation of the most terrible kind; and that to get rid of it, the severest and most abnormal means were not only justifiable but necessary.
“ The fact was, that they hated what art they saw in England, and that this was low art, bad art, growing ever lower and worse. If it be said that Shakespeare's is the very highest art, the answer is, that what they hated in him was not his high art, but his low art, the foul and horrible elements which he had in common with his brother play-writers. True, there is far less of these elements in Shakespeare than in any of his compeers : but they are there. And what the Puritans hated in him, was exactly what we have to expunge. If it be said that they ought to have discerned and appreciated the higher elements in him, so ought the rest of their generation. The Puritans were surely not bound to see in Shakespeare what his patrons and his brother poets did not see. And it is surely a matter of fact, that the deep spiritual knowledge which makes, and will make Shakespeare's plays (and them alone of all the seventeenth century plays) a heritage for all men and all ages, quite escaped the insight of his contemporaries.”—p. 97.
“After all, the great fact stands, that the only lasting poet of that generation was a Puritan ; one, who, if he did not write dramas in sport, at least acted dramas in earnest. For drama means, etymologically, action and doing; and of the drama there are, and always will be, two kinds : one the representative, the other the actual; and for a world wherein there is no superabundance of good deeds, the latter will be always the better kind. .. .. If we are to judge by the examples of Italy, the country which has been most of all devoted to the practice of Art,' and by that of Germany, the country which has raised the study of Art into a science, then a nation is not necessarily free, strong, moral, or happy, because it can represent' facts, or can understand how other people have represented them. We do not hesitate to go further, and to say, that the present imbecility of Germany is to be traced in a great degree to that pernicious habit of mind which makes her educated men fancy it enough to represent noble thoughts and feelings, or to analyze the representations of them : while they do not bestir themselves, or dream that there is the least moral need for bestirring themselves, toward putting these thoughts and feelings into practice. Goethe herein is indeed the typical German: God grant that no generation may ever see such a typical Englishman; and that our race, remembering ever that the golden age of the English drama was one of private immorality, public hypocrisy, ecclesiastical pedantry, and regal tyranny, and ended in the temporary downfall of Church and Crown, may be more ready to do fine things, than to write fine
books; and act in their lives, as those old Puritans did, a drama which their descendants may be glad to put on paper for them, long after they are dead."pp. 112, 113,
“On the matter of the stage, the world has certainly come over to their way of thinking. Few educated men now think it worth while to go to see any play, and that exactly for the same reasons as the Puritans put forward ; and still fewer educated men think it worth while to write plays: finding that since the grosser excitements of the imagination have become forbidden themes, there is really very little to write about.
“But in the matter of dress and of manners, the Puritan triumph has been complete. Even their worst enemies have come over to their side, and the whirligig of Time has brought in his revenges.'
“ Their canons of taste have become those of all England, and High Churchmen, who still call them round-heads and cropped ears, go about rounder-headed and closer cropt than they ever went. They held it more rational to cut the hair to a comfortable length than to wear effeminate curls down the back. And we cut ours much shorter than they ever did. They held, (with the Spaniards, then the finest gentlemen in the world,) that sad, i. e, dark colors, above all black, were the fittest for stately and earnest gentlemen. We all, from the Tractarian to the Anythingarian, are exactly of the same opinion. They held that lace, per. fumes, and jewelry on a man were marks of unmanly foppishness and vanity; and so hold the finest gentlemen in England now. They thought it equally absurd and sinful for a man to carry his income on his back, and bedizzen himself out in reds, blues, and greens, ribbons, knots, slashes, and 'treble quadruple dædalian ruffs, built up on iron and timber, (a fact,) which have more arches in them for pride than London Bridge for use.' We, if we met such a ruffed and ruffled worthy as used to swagger by hundreds up and down Paul's Walk, not knowing how to get a dinner, much less to pay his tailor, should look on him as firstly a fool, and secondly a swindler; while, if we met an old Puritan, we should consider him a man gracefully and picturesquely drest, but withal in the most perfect sobriety of good taste ; and when we discovered, (as we probably should,) over and above, that the harlequin cavalier had a box of salve and a pair of dice in one pocket, a pack of cards and a few pawnbrokers' duplicates in the other; that his thoughts were altogether of citizens' wives, and their too easy virtue ; and that he could not open his mouth without a dozen oaths, we should consider the Puritan, (even though he did quote Scripture somewhat through his nose,) as the gentleman; and the courtier as a most offensive specimen of the snob triumphant,' glorying in his shame. The picture is not ours, nor even the Puritan's. It is Bishop Hall's, Bishop Earle's, —it is Beaumont's, Fletcher's, Jonson's, Shakespeare's—the picture which every dramatist, as well as satirist, has drawn of the 'gallant' of the seventeenth century. No one can read those writers honestly without seeing that the Puritan, and not the Cavalier conception of what a British gentleman should be, is the one accepted by the whole nation at this day.
“But as for these Puritans having been merely the sour, narrow, inhuman persons they are vulgarly supposed to have been, credat Judæus.
There were sour and narrow men enough among them; so there were in the opposite party.
No Puritan could have had less poetry in him, less taste, less feeling, than Laud himself. But is there no poetry save words? no drama save that which is presented on the stage? Is this glorious earth, and the souls of living men, mere prose, as long as carent vate sacro, who will, forsooth, do them the honor to make poetry, out of a little of them, (and of how little!) by translating them into words, which he himself, just in proportion as he is a good poet, will confess to be clumsy, tawdry, ineffectual? Was there no poetry in these Puritans, because they wrote no poetry? We do not mean now the unwritten tragedy of the battle-psalm and the charge ; but simple idyllic poetry and quiet homedrama, love poetry of the heart and the hearth, and the beauties of everyday human life? Take the most commonplace of them: was Zeal-for-Truth Thoresby, of Thoresby Rise in Deeping Fen, because bis father had thought fit to give him an ugly and silly name, the less of a noble lad? Did his name prevent his being six feet high? Were his shoulders the less broad for it, his cheek the less ruddy for it? He wore his flaxen hair of the same length that every one now wears theirg, instead of letting it hang half way to his waist in essenced curls ; but was he therefore the less of a true Viking's son, bold hearted as his sea-roving ancestors, who won the Danelagh by Canute's side, and settled there on Thoresby Rise, to grow wheat and breed horses, generation succeeding generation, in the old moated grange? He carried a Bible in his jack-boots; but did that prevent him as Oliver rode past him with an approving smile on Naseby field, thinking himself a very handsome fellow, with his mustache and imperial, and bright-red coat, and cuirass well polished, in spite of many a dint, as he sate his father's great black horse as gracefully and firmly as any long-locked and essenced cavalier in front of him? Or did it prevent him thinking too, for a moment, with a throb of the heart, that sweet Cousin Patience, far away at home, could she but see him, might have the same opinion of him as he had of himself? Was he the worse for the thought? He was certainly not the worse for checking it the next instant, with manly shame for letting such "carnal vanities' rise in his heart, while he was doing the Lord's work' in the teeth of death and hell : but was there no poetry in him then? No poetry in him, five minutes after, as the long rapier swung round his head, redder and redder at every sweep? We are befooled by names. Call him Crusader instead of Roundhead, and he seems at once (granting him only sincerity, which he had, and that of a right awful kind) as complete a knight-errant as ever watched and prayed, ere putting on his spurs, in fantastic Gothic chapel, beneath 'storied windows richly dight.' Was there no poetry in him, either, half an hour afterwards, as he lay bleeding across the corpse of the gallant horse, waiting for his turn with the surgeon, and fumbled for the Bible in his boot, and tried to hum a psalm, and thought of Cousin Patience, and his father and his mother, and how they would hear, at least, that he had played the man in Israel that day, and resisted unto blood, striving against sin and the Man of Sin ?
“And was there no poetry in him, too, as he came wearied along Thoresby dyke, in the quiet autumn eve, home to the house of his forefathers, and saw afar
the knot of tall poplars rising over the broad misty flat, and the one great abele tossing its sheets of silver in the dying gusts, and knew that they stood before his father's door? Who can tell all the pretty child memories which fitted