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launching over the quick ripples of the stream. Ye had laid me on a bed of harebells, and I looked up with half. shut eyes. I saw your sparkling hosts pass to and fro up the cliff, through the straggling beams of sunshine, when something blacker than the pineboughs on the summit appeared in the deepest of their shade. Long tangled locks, and two fierce round eyes, and a mouth with huge protruding lip, came on and peered over, till the monster spied me, and gave a yell. I "saw a crag, with two young pine-trees growing on it, toppling before the thrust of his hand, and at the moment of falling to crush me. Then suddenly came your cry and song. A sheet
of water, thinner than a rose-leaf, and transparent as the starry sky, rose from the stream, and seemed to form an arch above me. There was in it a perpetual trembling and eddying of the brightest colours, and I saw the forms of thousands of my sisters floating, circling, wavering up and down in the liquid light. All seemed joining in the song
'The giant is strong, but the fairy is wise:
And the clouds cannot wither the stars in the skies.'
The crag fell, but shattered not my crystal vault, down the side of which it rolled into the stream; and the giant, with a roar of rage, fell after it, and stung by the warm air, and pierced through and through by the music, and writhing in the bright stream, half melted, half was broken like a lump of ice, and darkened the water, while he flowed in it away."
"It was, however, the frequency of such attempts," said the fairy, "which drove us to take refuge in the regions of our friends the dwarfs. We found, too, that we had no longer the mere risk of being surprised by our enemies in the sudden descent of storm and mists, and through the opportunities of thick and gloomy lurking-places near our sunlit haunts. They had discovered a secret by which they could at will darken and deface our whole kingdom, and blight all its sweet flowers and fruitage. There is somewhere, in the centre of their mountains, in the midst of desolate rocks, a black ravine. The upper end of this is enclosed by an enormous crag, which turns as on a pivot, and is the door of an immeasurable cave. The NO. CCXCII. VOL. XLVII,
giants, hating our Sea-Child, and determined to drive her from the land, heaved with their pine-stem clubs at this great block of stone, until they had forced it open. Thence, so long as they had strength to hold it thus, a thick and chilling mist boiled out, poured down the glens and mountains, and stifled all our island. When they were so wearied with the huge weight that they could endure no longer, the rock swung to again, and closed the opening: but not until the work was done for that time, and the land made wellnigh uninhabitable to thee and us. Then in the fearful gloom the giants rushed abroad, howling and trampling over high and low; and many were the devices which we were compelled to use in order to preserve thee from their fury. We scattered the golden sea-sand, which had been transmuted by the sunbeams, over the softest greensward, and watered it with the dew shaken from musk roses, and it grew up into a golden trelliswork, with large twining leaves of embossed gold and fruits, like bunches of stars. When thou hadst been sprinkled with the same dew, and so hushed into charmed sleep, we laid thee beneath the bowery roof, and kept watch around thee. The giants could not approach this spot, for it threw off the darkness, and burnt in the midst of storm and fog with an incessant light. But still we were obliged to be perpetually on our guard, and we shivered and pined in the desolation of our beautiful empire. last we resolved to try our fortunes in a new region. When we had lulled thee into deep slumber, we all glided down the waterfall that pours out of the lake of lilies, and sank with it deep into the ground. We were here in the kingdom of the dwarfs.
"The little people showed us as much friendship as the giants had ever displayed of enmity. Their great hall had a thousand columns, each of a different metal, and with a capital of a different precious stone. The roof was opal, and the floor lapis-lazuli. In the centre stood a pillar, which seemed cut off at half its height. it sat a dwarf, rather smaller than the others, but broad and strong. His dark and twisted face looked like a little copy of one of the giants, but his clear blue eyes were as beautiful as ours or as thine, my Sea-Child.
sat with his arms folded, and his legs hung down, and swinging. His head was turned to one side and rather upwards, and on the tip of his nose spun perpetually a little golden circle, with a golden pin run through it, on which it seemed to dance unweariedly, turning round and round for ever, smooth and swift as an eddy in a stream. In its whirl the little circle gave out large flakes of white fire, which formed a wheel of widening rings above the head of the dwarf, flashing off on all sides between the capitals of the pillars, and lighting the whole hall. The queer cunning look with which the dwarf's blue eyes glanced up at the small spinner, as if it were alive, and, answering his glances with its own, amused us extremely.
"The dwarfs, when we entered, were all placed round on ranges of seats rising above each other. Every seat, like a small pile of round plates of gold, each of them, as we afterwards found, having a head on it with some strange figures. These plates, the dwarfs told us, were all talismans, which would one day make the owners lords of the world. At the head of the hall, under a canopy of state, sat the king of the dwarfs, who looked wonderfully old and wise, with two eyes of ruby, and a long crystal tooth growing out of one side of his mouth, and a band of gold-wire falling below his feet, and twirled on the floor, going three times round the throne.
"What seek ye?' said the King; and his words did not come out of his lips, but from a little hole in the top of his crystal tooth.
Help! necromancer.' "It belongeth rightly to the helpful, and shall not be denied you. What bring ye?'
"A young Sea- Child.' "It is in the youngest that the oldest may see hope. She is welcome. What fear ye?'
"The rage of the tall giants.' "We are deeper than they are high. I can protect you against them.'
"He rose up and walked before us, and his golden beard streamed behind over both his shoulders, and seemed to be a stately cloth, woven with figures, for us to walk on. There was darkness round us, and we advanced upon this shining path, following the dwarf, till suddenly he disappeared, and we found ourselves in the garden
which thou hast dwelt in with us. Thou rememberest the still and glistening loveliness of the place; and of the moon that lighted it, and the sweet moonflowers that filled its glades, I need not speak. But thou knowest not what wise instruction the old dwarf King was wont to give us while thou wert sleeping under the myrtle shade. "Mourn not,' he would say, 'fair sisters, that ye are driven from your upper land of life into this lower garden of peace.
"All things are but as they must be, and, were they otherwise, they would not be the things they are.
"Each worketh for itself, and doeth and knoweth all it can, save in so far as other things oppose it, which are also accomplishing their due tasks.
"Each is but a portion of the whole, and vainly seeketh to be aught but that which the whole willeth it to be.
"All-that is, dwarfs, and giants, and fairies, and the world that holds them-subsist in successions of strife; and while they seem struggling to destroy each other, exert, as alone it is impossible for them to do, the energies of their own being.
"All rise out of death to life, and many are the semblances of death which still accompany their life at its highest. They grow into harmony only by discord with themselves and others; and, while they labourto escape the common lot, rebound painfully from the walls which they strive against idly.
"The giant disturbeth, the fairy brighteneth, the dwarf enricheth the world. Each docth well in his own work. But therein often must he thwart and cross the work of another. "I am oldest, I am wisest of workers in the world. I was at the birth of things, and what hath been I know well; but what is future I know.not yet, nor can read whether there shall be a new birth of all that may bring death to me.'
"Thus did the old King teach us a sad yet melodious contentment, that seemed suited to that visionary garden. This quiet state, however, was not to last, nor the wisdom of the dwarfs to secure them happiness. We longed for our upper world of daylight and freedom, and thou seemedst rather dreaming than awake. Yet thou beamedst ever fairer and fairer, and didst grow in stature and in loveliness. Thus was it that thou
wert the occasion of our first difference with the dwarfs. Their King, so old, so wise, looked on thee ever with more joy and sadness, and at last he told us that he would fain have thee for his queen, to abide with him always in that secret lunar empire. Us, too, the other dwarfs appeared to love more than we wished. And we found that we must either leave their dominions or consent to inhabit them for ever. We spake to the old King and said, that for thee it would be a woeful doom to see no more our native Faëryland; and that we intreated him of his goodness and wisdom to enable us to dwell there without further peril. Ruby tears fell from his ruby eyes upon his golden beard as he turned away, and the faces of all Dwarfland were darkened.
"No long space seemed to have passed before we were summoned again to the great hall, while thou wert left sleeping in the moon-garden. The King was on his throne, the dwarfs were seated round. But instead of the pillars we had seen before, the metals now had all become transparent, and in the midst of each stood one of our enemies the giants, with one heavy hand hung down, and clenched as if in pain, and the other raised above his head, and sustaining the capital of the column. The small gold plate, with its gold pin, still spun incessantly on the nose; the blue eyes still watched it cunningly; the flakes of fire streamed off and flew between the pillars, and scorched the faces and brownred shoulders of the giants. Our enemies grinned and writhed when they saw us, but seemed unable to utter any sound. The dwarfs also did not speak, but the King rose and moved before us. His beard fell over his shoulders, and formed a path on which we walked. We proceeded on and on, till the Dwarfland seemed changing, and daylight faintly fell upon us. The King grew more and more like the stones and trees around; and at last, we knew not how, but instead of his figure before us, there was only a cleft in the rock, nearly of the same shape. The golden beard was now a track of golden sands such as we had often seen before, with the bright sunshine falling on it. We were again in our own world of Faëry. But oh, dear Sea-Child! I cannot say the grief that smote us when we missed thee.
wailed and drooped, and even the delights of our land could do nothing to console us, till we found thee sleeping in a grotto of diamond and emerald, which recalled to us the treasures of the dwarfs. Even now we were not happy; for we remembered a prophecy of the old man, that though he might restore us to our home, and rescue us from the giants, short would be our enjoyment of thee whom we had refused him."
The companions embraced anew, and the fairy hung round her friend like a rainbow on a smooth green hill. The fairies now poured in on all sides, singing and exulting in their own land, though not without a thought of grief from the dwarf's prophecy. The sun was hanging over the sea, and gilding the shore, and they looked at the bright waters, and marked the spot where they had first discerned the Sea-Child's swimming cradle. Lo! there was again a speck. A floating shape appeared, and came nearer and nearer. It looked a living thing. Soon it touched the shore, and they saw a figure like that of the Sea-Child, but taller, and stronger, and bolder, and in a stately dress. The fairies said in their hearts-it is a man! Then he seemed not to see but only her. She was frightened, but with a mixture of gladness at his appearance; and was trembling and nigh to sink, when he took her in his arms, and spake to her of hope and joy.
"I am come from distant lands upon this strange adventure, warned in dreams, and by aërial voices, and by ancient lays, that here I should find my bride, and the queen of my new dominions."
He, too, was beautiful, and of a sweet voice, and she heard him with more fear than pain. When she looked around, she no longer saw the fairies near. There were gleams floating over the landscape, and quivering in the woods, and a song of sweet sorrow-so sweet, that, as it died away, it left the sense of an eternal peace.
Thus did the land of England receive its first inhabitants. Ever since has it been favoured of the fairies; the dwarfs have enriched it secretly, and the giants have upborne its foundations upon their hands, and done it huge though sullen service.
Celebrare domestica facta."-Hon.
In a former notice of Casuistry, we touched on such cases only as were of public bearings, or such as (if private) were of rare occurrence and of a tragical standard. But ordinary life, in its most domestic paths, teems with cases of difficult decision; or, if not always difficult in the decision of the abstract question at issue, difficult in the accommodation of that decision to immediate practice. A few of these more homely cases, intermixed with more public ones, we shall here select and review; for, according to a remark in our first paper, as social economy grows more elaborate, the demand grows more intense for such circumstantial morality. As man advances, casuistry advances. Principles are the same: but the abstraction of principles from accidents and circumstances, becomes a work of more effort. Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, has not one case; Cicero, three hundred years after, has a few; Paley, eighteen hundred years after Cicero, has many.
There is also something in place as well as in time-in the people as well as the century-which determines the amount of interest in casuistry. We once heard an eminent person delivering it as an opinion, derived from a good deal of personal experience that, of all European nations, the British was that which suffered most from remorse; and that, if internal struggles during temptation, or sufferings of mind after yielding to temptation, were of a nature to be measured upon a scale, or could express themselves sensibly to human knowledge, the annual report from Great Britain, its annual balance-sheet, by comparison with those from continental Europe, would show a large excess. At the time of hearing this remarkable opinion, we, the hearers, were young; and we had little other ground for assent or dissent, than such general impressions of national differences as we might happen to have gathered from the several literatures of Christian nations. These were of a nature to confirm the stranger's verdict; and it will not be denied that much of national character comes forward in liter
ature: but these were not sufficient. Since then, we have had occasion to think closely on that question. We have had occasion to review the public records of Christendom; and beyond all doubt the public conscience, the international conscience, of a people, is the reverberation of its private conscience. History is but the converging into a focus of what is moving in the domestic life below; a set of great circles expressing and summing up, on the dial-plate, the motions of many little circles in the machinery within. Now History, what may be called the Comparative History of modern Europe, countersigns the traveller's opinion.
"So, then," says a foreigner, or an Englishman with foreign sympathies, "the upshot and amount of this doctrine is, that England is more moral than other nations." "Well," we answer, "and what of that?" Observe, however, that the doctrine went no farther than as to conscientiousness; the principle out of which comes sorrow for all violation of duty; out of which comes a high standard of duty. Mean time both the " sorrow and the "high standard" are very compatible with a lax performance. But suppose we had gone as far as the objector supposes, and had ascribed a moral superiority every way to England, what is there in that to shock probability? Whether the general probability from analogy, or the special probability from the cir cumstances of this particular case? We all know that there is no general improbability in supposing one nation, or one race, to outrun another. The modern Italians have excelled all nations in musical sensibility, and in genius for painting. They have produced far better music than all the rest of the world put together. And four of their great painters have not been approached hitherto by the painters of any nation. That facial structure, again, which is called the Caucasian, and which, through the ancient Greeks, has travelled westward to the nations of Christendom, and from them (chiefly ourselves) has become the Transatlantic face, is, past all disputing, the finest
type of the human countenance divine on this planet. And most other nations, Asiatic or African, have hitherto put up with this insult; except, indeed, the Kalmuck Tartars, who are highly indignant at our European vanity in this matter; and some of them, says Bergmann, the German traveller, absolutely howl with rage, whilst others only laugh hysterically, at any man's having the insanity to prefer the Grecian features to the Kalmuck. Again, amongst the old Pagan nations, the Romans seem to have had "the call for going a-head; and they fulfilled their destiny in spite of all that the rest of the world could do to prevent them. So that, far from it being an improbable or unreasonable assumption, superiority (of one kind or other) has been the indefeasible inheritance of this and that nation, at all periods of history.
Still less is the notion tenable of any special improbability applying to this particular pretension. For centuries has England enjoyed—1st, civil liberty; 2d, the Protestant faith. Now in those two advantages are laid the grounds, the very necessities, à priori, of a superior morality. But watch the inconsistency of men: ask one of these men who dispute this English pretension mordicus;-ask him, or bid an Austrian serf ask him, what are the benefits of Protestantism, and what the benefits of liberty, that he should risk any thing to obtain either. Hear how eloquently he insists upon their beneficial results, severally and jointly; and notice that he places foremost among those results, a pure morality.
Is he wrong ? No: the man speaks
bare truth. But what brute oblivion he manifests of his own doctrine, in taxing with arrogance any people for claiming one of those results in esse, which he himself could see so clearly in posse! Talk no more of freedom, or of a pure religion, as fountains of a moral pre-eminence, if those who have possessed them in combination for the longest space of time, may not, without arrogance, claim the vanward place amongst the nations of Europe.
So far as to the presumptions, general or special; so far as to the probabilities, analogous or direct, in countenance of this British claim. Finally, when we come to the proofs, from fact and historical experience, we might appeal to a singular case in the records
of our Exchequer; viz. that for much more than a century back, our Gazette and other public Advertisers, have acknowledged a series of anonymous remittances from those who, at some time
or other, had appropriated public money. We understand that no corresponding fact can be cited from foreign records. Now, this is a direct instance of that compunction which our travelled friend insisted on. But we choose rather to throw ourselves upon the general history of Great Britain, upon the spirit of her policy, domestic or foreign, and upon the universal principles of her public morality. Take the case of public debts, and the fulfilment of contracts to those who could not have compelled the fulfilment; we first set this precedent. All nations have now learned that honesty in such cases is eventually the best policy; but this they learned from our experience, and not till nearly all of them had tried the other policy. We it was, who, under the most trying circumstances of war, maintained the sanctity from taxation of all foreign investments in our funds. Our conduct with regard to slaves, whether in the case of slavery or of the slavetrade-how prudent it may always have been, we need not enquire;-as to its moral principles, they went so far a-head of European standards, that we were neither comprehended nor believed. The perfection of romance was ascribed to us by all who did not reproach us with the perfection of Jesuitical knavery; by many our motto was supposed to be no longer the old one of divide et impera, but annihila et appropria. et appropria. Finally, looking back to our dreadful conflicts with the three conquering despots of modern history, Philip II. of Spain, Louis XIV., and Napoleon, we may incontestably boast of having been single in maintaining the general equities of Europe by war upon a colossal scale, and by our councils in the general congresses of Christendom.
Such a review would amply justify the traveller's remarkable dictum upon the principle of remorse, and therefore of conscientiousness, as existing in greater strength amongst the people of Great Britain. In the same proportion, we may assume in such a people a keener sensibility to moral distinctions; more attention to shades of difference in the modes of action;