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the extreme of homogeneity and specification in one, and have attained a perfect self-realization."
Even supposing this to be intelligible, it is scarcely consistent with what we are afterwards told. Here the injunction is, "Be specified in yourself, but not specified by anything foreign to yourself." Elsewhere, moral good is said to be "the realization of the good will which is superior to us." The mysterious process of realizing this goodwill is thus explained:
"The good will, then, is the bare form of the will, and this is the end. This is what I have to realize, and realize in myself. But I am not a
mere form: I have an empirical nature, a series of particular states of the 'this me,' a mass of desires, aversions, inclinations, passions, pleasures, and pains, what we may call a sensuous self. It is in this self that all content, all matter, all possible filling of the form must be sought; for all matter must come from experience,' must be given in and through the perception of the outer world or of the series of my own internal states, and is in either case sensuous, and the opposite of the insensible form.
"The empirical' self, the this me, is, no less than the self which is formal will, an element of the moral subject. These elements are antithetical the one to the other; and hence the realization of the form is possible only through an antagonism, an opposition which has to be overcome. It is this conflict and this victory in which the essence of morality lies. Morality is the activity of the formal self forcing the sensuous self, and here first can we attach a meaning to the words 'ought' and 'duty.'
What constitutes the goodness of "the good will which is superior to ourselves" is not stated. All we are told is, that "the good is the good will," and that a man "is good when he is moral, and he is moral when his actions are conformed to, and embody a good will, or when his will is good;" in other
words, a man is good when he is good. This may appear to a reader not initiated into the mysteries of German transcendental philosophy as rather a lame and impotent conclusion; but Mr. Bradley, who is, of course, a much better judge, regards it with no small complacency.
Though Mr. Bradley's work cannot be said to have settled any great question in moral philosophy, or even to be a very valuable contribution to philosophical discussion, it is full of suggestive thought and racy writing-hence, it is well worth the attention of those who are interested in such
inquiries. The author's definitions of pleasure as "self-realizedness," and pain as "the negatedness of self," are curiosities both of literature and philosophy.
Famous Women and Heroes. A poem. Third and cheap edition. The Poetry of Creation. Fourth and cheap edition. By N. Michell. W. Tegg and Co. 1876.-That Mr. Michell has achieved a certain amount of success as a writer of verse, is abundantly proved by the number of editions his "poetical works" have reached. But success in the sense of having produced poetry of a superior order is more than we can honestly concede to him. Such facility in versification as can be acquired by careful study and practice he may be allowed to possess. His verse is generally correct in metre, accent, and rhyme, flowing with a gentle smoothness, if not much sweetness. He is well acquainted with all the usual artifices employed for poetical ornament and effect. But the highest art of concealing art he does not possess. His verse is artificial rather than artistic, more rhetorical than poetical, and
deficient in depth of feeling, power
If Cæsar cross thy tide, what woe, of imagination, freshness of thought,
what ill, and force of expression. We have
May burst on men! what blood the
sword must spill! all the machinery of poetry without its moving power, the body without the soul. Walking on stilts is a “The glow-worm twinkles on the banks poor substitute for flying, and plain honest prose is better than prosy
The lily bends her virgin head in verse. Mediocrity and dulness in
sleep: professed poetry are unpardonable
A holy silence wraps the beauteous
scene, sins, of which, unless we are very Save where from stone to stone the much mistaken, Mr. Michell is by
wavelets creep: no means guiltless. It is not pos- They raise their tiny voice as if in sible to read many pages of his prayer, verse without a sense of weariness
To him who treads the shore in and sleepy languor.
musings deep; “Famous Women and Heroes”
They seem to say, 'Thy fellow mortals is simply a series of passages in
Happier the task to bid them smile history put into verse spun out to
then weep; a tedious length, and largely diluted Years, like my waves of crystal, swiftly with milk-and-water moralising. flow, These pictures of the past are
Then grudge not man his fleeting span neither vividly conceived nor effec
below.' tively pourtrayed. The attention is dissipated and wearied by trivial The apostrophe to the Rubicon details which are matters of course. in the first stanza is flat and tedi. Commonplace exaggeration and ous, the descriptive part being just strained metaphor serve only to as suitable for any other small reveal poverty of invention and river, and the reflective portion feebleness of expression. These feebly expressed. The next stanza remarks are especially applicable to
worse. This is the firsi the account of the battle of Water- time we ever heard of the glowloo, which is spread out thin over worm twinkling. We always had no less than six pages. In the the idea, both from the report of account of Cæsar, his crossing the others and our own observation, Rubicon naturally occupies a pro
that it glowed with a steady, unminent place. From this scene we changing light. Nothing can be in extract two stunzas.
worse taste than to talk about the wavelets raising their tiny voice in
prayer, unless it be the prayer it“No land may hold in peace two ruling
self they are supposed to utter
as if Cæsar needed them to teach men ; Ambition's rivals needs must foemen him that it is a happier task to
smile than weep, Pompey would sway the world; is
1 and that years flow swiftly like a Cæsar then
stream. If these talking wavelets Too frail to grasp such lofty destiny ?
could find nothing better than such Thou Rubicon! small, humble, gentle
twaddle as this to say, they might stream, Kissing the wild flowers trembling
as well have held their tongues. on thy shore, JOHAM196
In "The Poetry of Creation" Pure as the sky, a silver-gliding dream,
Mr. Michell ventures on a higher Where peace and love should rest theme, and shrinks not from treadfor evermore
ing on the same ground as Milton.
and provoking comparison with We love thee, and would scarce desire him. The subject is so completely To see thy languid, placid eye beyond the range of human knois. More brightly lit with golden fire; ledge, that common sense, to say
Some memory in thy breast doth lie,
Silently, slowly, feeding there ; nothing of higher considerations,
And thou must move sedate and fair, would seem to dictate silence as
And ofttimes pine and fade away, the only proper course. Certain it
With shrinking orb and lessening ray, is, that even Milton, with all his Through the long cycle of thy years, true, poetical insight, was betrayed A thing of beauty, love, and tears." into abundant absurdity and inpiety through going beyond what is written. And what right has
Mr. Michell's idea of the moon's Mr. Michell to suppose he can
being clad in white vestments to succeed where Milton failed ? The
show its stricken heart is decidedly
original, so far as we know. confident coolness with which he presumes to describe the delibera- that it has any poetic truth or tions and reveal the purposes of the
beauty in it, is more than we will Divine mind is revolting to a rightly undertake to say. . Why the moon disposed, thoughtful person. Of the
should be represented as a palevarious objects in creation which
faced young lady, wasting away Mr. Michell undertakes to describe with grief at heart, and a long tale we will select the moon, which he upon her mind which she refuses thus apostrophises :
to tell anybody, is more than we can understand. Mr. Michell goes
much too far in personifying and * Thou moon, sweet Ministress of apostrophising all sorts of objects
and abstract ideas on all sorts of ocgood!
casions. His similes and metaphors Soothing, while hallowing solitude, Now rising with new radiance crowned, are often egregiously unnatural To walk for ever yon profound,
and jumbled together, and his What unborn millions will on thee exaggeration is beyond all reason, Look from the waste, the pathless sea, The following few lines describing To guide them on their darkening the nightingale's singing in Eden way,
will suffice for illustration:-
"Now sinking low, the feeble trill
Breathes like the gushings of a rill,
A thin-drawn thread of silvery sound, Sorrow to thee will love to bow. Thy step so still along the blue,
That pulses soft, and faints around,
Unutterably sweet the lay, Thy beams, if smiles, seem tear-drops
Each leaf upon the aspen spray too,
Ceases its trembling, as to listen; Shed softly down but coldly bright, Making more
Gemm'd Night her finger lifteth up, mournful mourning And, as she
drinks the nectar'd cup Night;
Of low rich sounds, her pale eyes Yes, in white vestments thou art clad, To show thy stricken heart is sad,
glisten." Like grieving vestals, who below, When death lays some young sister If poetry consisted of nothing
more than metaphor, however over
strained and confused, and exagO Moon ! thy tale thou wilt not tell, But in thy heart there seems to dwell
geration, however irrational, this A sorrow that makes pale thy cheek, passage might fairly be considered And yet thou look'st so blandly meck, highly poetical; but if good sense
and good taste are essentials of have a high ideal in his own mind poetry, it must be denied the title of at which to aim. This requisite anything more than rhetorical if Mr. Locker seems to possess, if not nonsensical verse.
we may judge from what he says as to the kind of verse he has attempted in this volume:
“Light lyrical verse should be short, London Lyrics. By F. Locker.
elegant, refined, and fanciful, not selA new edition, enlarged and finally dom distinguished by chastened sentirevised. H. S. King and Co.-It ment, and often playful, and it should was by his "London Lyrics," if have one uniform and simple design. are not mistaken, that Mr.
The tone should not be pitched high, Buchanan, the plaintiff in the re
and the language should be idiomatic, cent literary libel case, won his
the rhythm crisp and sparkling, the first laurels as an author. Had he
rhyme frequent and never forced,
while the entire poem should be always written with the discretion marked by tasteful moderation, high and moderation, as well as poetic finish, and completeness ; for however insight, he there displayed, society trivial the subject matter may be, indeed might have been spared the sorry
rather in proportion to its triviality, exhibition which reflected so little
subordination to the rules of composihonour on all persons concerned
tion, and perfection of execution, should in it. Mr. Locker's “ London
be strictly enforced. Each piece canLyrics " are of a lighter cast, being
not be expected to exhibit all these
characteristics, but the qualities of for the most part in a jocular vein, brevity and buoyancy are essential. and written in a free and easy It should also have the air of being manner, partaking more of the spontaneous ; indeed, to write it well is character of occasional jeux d'esprit
a difficult accomplishment, and no one than the higher class of lyrics; they
has fully succeeded in it without posare, in fact, rather epigrams than
sessing a certain gift of irony, which is lyrics. Though many of them re
not only a farer quality than humour,
or even wit, but is altogether less comlate to London life, there are quite monly met with than is sometimes as many, if not more, which were
imagined. The poem may be tinctured neither written in London nor have with a well-bred philosophy, it may be any obvious connection with Lon. gay and gallant, it may be playfully don.
Most of them are merely malicious or tenderly ironical, it may playful effusions, with a sparkle of display lively banter, and it may be wit and a pleasant favour of satirically facetious, it may even, conhumour. There is no pretension sidering
it as a mere work of art, be to recondite or original thought;
pagan in its philosophy or trifling in
its tone, but it must never be ponderous but if the sentiment be familiar and
or commonplace. It is needless to say bordering on commonplace, it is at that good sense will be found to underleast always healthy and agreeable. lie all the best poetry of whatever Good sense and good feeling are
kind." everywhere present, while there is not the slightest trace of sickly Of course there is all the differs sentimentalism. The writer takes ence in the world between knowing a cheerful and kindly view of men how a thing should be done, and and things, and is altogether a being able to do it. Probably Mr. merry but no less wise companion. Locker bimself would hardly main
The first requisite of a good tain that he has in every cose come work of art is that the artist should up to his own standard. But it
may safely be said he has never fallen very far below it, and sometimes approached it pretty nearly. Mr. Locker can be pensive and sometimes grave as well as gay. Some readers may prefer his occasional touches of pathos and tender family affection to his brightest flashes of merry wit. The beauty of his sentiment is its truth. On the whole Mr. Locker is to be congratulated on having produced a volume which, though bristling with point, wounds no one, and when once taken up is reluctantly laid aside.
Transcendentalism in New England. A history. By O. B. Frothingham. London: Trübner & Co. 1876. From the above title it may be gathered that the present work is more suited for American than English readers. It is a question whether it will attract or interest even American readers to any great extent. Transcendentalism is a long, high-sounding word, not very easy to bring within the range of popular comprehension. To most minds it is either utterly unintelligible, or suggestive of cloudy mysticism and unpractical dreaming, than which nothing could be more at variance with the sort of character ascribed to the 'cute Yankee. hard to imagine that many of that pre-eminently practical, hard, matter-of-fact people will feel curiosity enough even to look into a book on such a subject, much less spend any length of time over its pages.
There is the less reason for them to do this, that the subject, besides being uninviting in itself, is now obsolete. The transcendentalism here described is a thing of the past, according to the author's own confession. Mr. Frothingham's use of the term is vague and vari
able. Sometimes he employs it to denote a particular school of philosophy, and speaks of Kant as the first transcendentalist. At other times he makes it synonymous with idealism, and ascribes it to Plato.
Then, again, he makes it equivalent to mysticism in religion, as exhibited by Swedenborg, George Fox-the founder of the Society of Friends-and others. But the special signification of the term as the subject of his present work is of a local and personal character. Transcendentalism here denotes rather a mood than a system of thought, an intellectual movement derived from Germany and France some forty years ago, and shared by a small clique of thoughtful persons, mostly Unitarians, at Boston and in the neighbourhood, among whom Emerson, Theodore Parker, and Margaret Fuller occupied prominent positions.
"New England furnished the only plot of ground on the planet, where the transcendental philosophy had a chance to show what it was and what it proposed. The forms of life there were, in a measure, plastic. There were no immovable prejudices, no fixed and unalterable traditions. Laws and usages were fluent, malleable at all events.
The sentiment of individual freedom was active; the truth was practically acknowledged, that it takes all sorts of people to make a world, and the many ninds of the many men were respected. No orders of men, no aristocracies of intellect, no privileged classes of world supplied such literature as there thought were established. The old was in science, law, philosophy, ethics, theology; but an astonishing intellectual activity seized upon it. dealt with it in genuine democratic fashion, classified it, accepted it, dismissed it, paying no undue regard to its foreign reputation. Experiments in thought and life, of even audacious description, were made, not in defiance of precedent-for precedent was hardly respected enough to be defied-but in innocent unconsciousness of precedent.