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But, the “idleness” the author so thoroughly appreciates inust not be that which is the “mother of mischief." It must rather be the repose which gives time for holy and happy thoughts, and which so freshens up the spirits, as to allow free play for every gentle sensibility. It is certainly true that " natural (or in other words youthfulness of,) character," a "loving, unworldly disposition,"
sense of beauty and a love of nature” are requisite for the enjoyment of " serene hours," whether on the river, or by the fire-side. It is equally true that these, to be enduring must be based upon the first principles of humility, resignation, and faith. But, upon this higher ground we will not follow the author ; those who have read his former works will not require to be reminded of the depth and tenderness of his sentiments upon these points; although here they are more lightly touched upon, in accordance with the general subject. We prefer to give the reader a specimen of the author's descriptions of the scenes he loves so well, and which have given their title to the book.
“One might run on thus for ever, and tell, for further instances, of what one ought to feel when seeing Avignon at sunset from the opposite side of the blue Rhone, across its wooded islands—the vast enclosing walls and the noble palace of the Popes, lighted up with golden splendour, and in the distance the mountains of Vaucluse varying from rose to purple, or, moment serener still, how one was impressed with a sense of graceful beauty when sitting near the Chateau d'Eau at Montpellier on a sumnier's morning before sunrise, when all the city slept.
“ • Le jour naît ; dans les prés et sous les taillis verts
Allons, allons cueillir et des fleurs et des vers,
A l'aube humide qui l'arrose.' “But confining ourselves to what is at hand, we require that there should be a capacity for feeling the charm of our Thames as it washes those gardens, so intimately associated with the memory of Pope and Garrick, and iudeed throughout its course, at least up. wards, where it retains its pure inland character. How many spots might we particularize! Let me not pass in silence Walton-bridge for instance, with its long, graceful sweep, and its quaint decorative architecture, so preposterous as some will think, but having for all that a certain charm as bespeaking another age, or the sud
den bend of the river at Halliford, with its little island possessing in the season one haycock, and always its one willow-tree, a real tight little island, or the view up the river there at sunset, from the stone steps beneath the lovely little strips of garden from which very polite juvenile anglers ply their craft, or our favourite swimming places, as from the green banks between Shepperton Lock and Penton Hook, where you may have the odour of the new-mown hay, and hear the crake of the landrail, and enjoy a triumphant return from the opposite bank carrying in your mouth a bulrush ten feet long, while tasting, as it were, the solitude, and yet the sunny cheerfulness of the scene. For in this spot we may address to our Thames the lines of Bryant to the green river
6 • Yet fair as thou art, thou shunnest to glide,
Beautiful stream ! by the village side
To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee.' Neither let us refrain from descanting upon the charm of the luminous air, of the water reflecting every object as clearly as it is seen in itself, the pleasure of having to cut through the long prairies of broad leaved water-lilies, observing further on the sparkling eddies of the curling stream, and the varied tints of the pale osier and the willow, mingled with the rich exotic trees that adorn the villas, having each their gardens sloping down to the river, their arbours and bowers, their temples, begging pardon of the Goths, and terraces recalling Oriental nights and mornings. The sense that can be fed with such objects and such impressions is uo doubt needful for the accomplishment of our general object on all these excursions. Every one does not feel the beauty of such scenes, or of others more picturesque and grand. Of course not! You have only to read such travels as those of the President de Brosses in Italy, in which he speaks of the hideous rocks that lined his road to Genoa, to witness proof that the picturesque as well as the beautiful in more regular form is a world in itself to which some men are total strangers. Ruskin thinks that even Horace in his journey to Bruudusium takes as much interest in the scenery he is passing through as Sancho Panza would have done. At all events, there are plenty of people without this kind of taste ; and accordingly, however sorry we may be to say so, it is not every one who can enjoy, in our sense of the word, a serene hour.”_ Vol. i. Happy
We will give one more extract.
" Happy those,' exclaims Fenelon, who have no taste for out of the way, artificial, violent, expensive pleasures, and who can be contented with the natural sweets of an innocent life! those who can be amused with what instructs them! Ennui, which in the midst of delights devours others, never comes near them.' The saintly archbishop then speaks in a very unphilosophic way of hearing the songs of the birds, and the sweet breath of zephyrs playing amidst the branches, and the murmur of the clear brook falling from the rock, and the song which the Muses inspire in the shepherds of Apollo. These last, to be sure, we cannot expect to bear in our suburban localities ; but, let me tell you, a certain naturalness of taste may be developed very effectually on our Thames, especially if one pushes one's navigation as far up the river as Runnymead. What do you think, for instance, of a header at sunset from a meadow below Shepperton Lock, where the eddying water of the river lies in the deep troughs under the willows bending over them, or a swim at noon between that halting-place and Penton Hook, where even the solitude under such brightness is cheerful? What think you of the moment, when from the former field you see the dark blue horizon beneath the golden lines of clouds through which the sun is sinking, caught at intervals. between the groves, and feel the fresh breeze springing up from the wild sky, and observe rather timidly certain forerunners of the darkness coming on, and are conscious that the noisy swimmers are the only persons near, as if belonging to a passing invasion of nude savages just landed on the grassy herbage, who have their canoe as it were ready alongside it, into which they soon all are to jump, to hurry down the stream never to be seen in that quiet neighibour'ıood again, or at least not for a twelvemonth? Or what think you of weary rowers by night, watching to catch the first echoes of the falling waters of the wear, which will announce the approach to a lock, that always affords five minutes' rest to them much wanting it?"--Vol. i. pp. 114-15.
We are aware that objections are made to the discursive style of this author; he is not logical," they say,this, however, we deny. “ He does not keep to the point; not very closely, we admit. Well, there are enough of writers who do so-after a fashion. For a change we prefer the conversational tone with such a companion; the
easy affluence” of ideas from a mind so richly stocked as that of the author, whose works we have often praised, because we have enjoyed them, and would be glad that others should share our pleasure.
Art IX.-Tyborne : and "who went thither in the Days of Queen
Elizabeth, A Sketch by the authoress of “ Eastern Hospitals and English Nurses.” London : Catholic Bookselling and Pub. lishing Company.
HO has not heard of Fox's Book of Martyrs ? What
enlightened Englishman is not thoroughly acquainted with all the horrid cruelties, the barbarous atrocities of bloody Mary's reign? Of course we speak of a Protestant Englishman. Catholics are not English ; they are Papists, consequently servants of the Pope, incapable of being loyal subjects of a British sovereign. We suppose if we were casually to let fall in general English society, such words as
the bloody deeds of good Queen Bess, should be deemed fit patients for a lunatic asylum. Ol! 110. Smithfield fires burned high and bright; the glow of them radiates the pages of every Protestant historian down to the present day. Bloody Mary was bloody par excellence ; and joyously did the beef eaters of Harry the Eighth boast the day on which her more tolerant sister ascended the throne. Smithfield was immortalized. Not a history-monger, novel maker, penny-a-line poet, glad to make enough to get his shoes blacked-albeit that ragged urchins do now blacken them for a half-penny in the less fashionable of London quarters, and consequently more convenient to penny-a-liners,—not one of the scribbling crew down to the dirty pages of Harrison Ainsworth, who has not found food for his goose-quill amidst those precious ashes. But Tyborne, with its infamous gibbet and inhuman knives is carefully hidden from view. Before the bodies of those martyr priests, suspended there for confessing the faith of Christ and His Apostles, a veil is hung. Queen Bess ruled the realm, penal laws did their murderous work, Catholics were tied up like dogs, and butchered like sheep, only less humanely, and no pen, save one, handed down the records of those who were not afraid to confess the fact that they owned another Vicar on earth than Elizabeth Tudor. Two small volumes," written in a quaint, dry style,” we are told, are all the record left of those who "went to Tyborne;" yet in those little books, so simply written, so unembellished by any imaginary romance, lies the history
of deeds no imaginative power ever equalled in conceiving. It must have been with these feelings that the authoress of “Eastern Hospitals and English Nurses,” perused the work of Bishop Challoner. From thence she drew her facts, incontestably proved, and wove them into a tale of deep and thrilling interest. The chief beauty of the Sketch before us is the truth of all that is depicted; no exaggeration, no useless harrowing of feelings over fictitious
The trials of Catholics under the penal laws, the stealthy mass in the upper chamber, the hunted priest, the miraculous preservation of the Holy of Holies, the trial without justice, the torture room, the rack, the gibbet, and, -sickening word and work—the disembowelling of the living body, are all painted in artistic colours, but true in every shade. We may say of Tyborne, what can be said of very few stories, that it is not
For a subject so replete with intense interest, we should say it is brief to a fault. Yet perhaps in its very condenseness lies its power. Again, in so small a compass there is a too great crowding of characters. Each would bear twice the working out. Even the hero is at times shadowy and undeveloped, whilst the heroine disappears too conveniently, certainly too suddenly forgets "ber heart's first love. ' To view Tyborne as a novel, would be, perhaps, unfair ; yet it lays claim to such pretensions, for the softer passion, that essential element in all romances, is freely introduced. The character of Walter de Lisle, is, of course, the most attractive and principal one in the book. He and his sister are left the orphan wards of a Protestant nobleman, and become inmates of his family, and, as is very natural, Walter falls in love with Lord Beauville's daughter. The Lady Constance returns his love, but, instigated by her father, she refuses to marry him unless he take his rank at Elizabeth's court as peer of the realm, This can only be done by abjuring, or, at least feigning to abjure the Catholic faith. She leaves him, supposing she has gained the day; meanwhile he goes to pass the night in all the agony of a wrestling spirit. In the early morning he sallies forth, and through an accidental circuinstance, wends his way to the abode of an old friend of his mother. There he neets with Father Campian, the flower of Oxford and the gem of Christendom.” Campian discovers all is not right with Walter, and seeks his confidence.