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ited by miraculous signs and gifts of power, and enlightened by a special revelation of heavenly wisdom. Such is Hiawatha: the bravest, kindest, strongest, and cleverest of men; the best of friends, the best of lovers and husbands, the darling of Nature; the comrade of all living creatures, talking with every beast and bird; the valiant champion, the mighty hunter, the inventive craftsman; the author of laws and learning, of arts and manners; yet still a mortal, heir to all human sorrows, and doomed to vanish mysteriously from amongst his people when he had welcomed the advent of the first Christian civilising mission. This is a truly beautiful and grand conception. Longfellow has exercised in its presentment the full force of his sagacity and knowledge as a moral philosopher, no less than of his profound sympathy and exquisite fancy as a poet. We are inclined to think his genius will be kept famous by the originality of 'Hiawatha' longer than by his more popular stories and songs.
'Evangeline: a Tale of Acadie' is one of these, and has generally been found most pleasing. But a majority of English ears are not yet reconciled to the hexameter lines, which the German poets, in such examples as Voss's 'Luise' and Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, narrative poems of a similar kind, have long since adopted with perfect success. The story of 'Evangeline,' belonging to the history of the French colonists in Nova Scotia, has a gentle pathetic interest, which tends, with the refined purity of sentiment, the grace of innocent maidenhood, and harmless, guileless rural life, the tender affections of the heroine, and the descriptions of American scenery, to make its perusal very agreeable. But it seems ever
haunted, like that of 'Hiawatha,' by an air of mortal sadness, which breathes the spirit of humility and resignation, not the spirit of despair. Listen to the
"While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced neigh
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.'
The remembrance of this plaintive note besets us all the way, as we follow the wandering pair of lovers, in their ever-failing pursuit of each other. from north to south, and from east to west, and back again, from the far west to the city of Penn the apostle; till they find rest in the little Catholic churchyard behind the crowded street. As in a grand diorama of the greatlydiversified scenery of North America, the descriptive passages of this beautiful poem unfold in succession before our eyes the Atlantic shores of a cool and temperate region, between forest and sea, inhabited by farmers, woodsmen, and codfishers; or the broad-spreading Mississippi, in its lower course, beneath a semi-tropical sky, with cotton-trees, or groves of orange and citron, growing on the banks; with cypresses or cedars on the higher ground, and with flocks of pelicans wading in the tepid lagoons; or the pathless, endless expanse of the vast western prairies, with their billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine,' bedecked with an infinite variety of brilliant flowers; the haunt of buffalo herds, of the elk, the wolf, the wild horse, and the vulture; or the deep ravines and gorges of the Rocky Mountains, which lift their jagged tops above perpetual snows. Mr. Longfellow has certainly done
his best to sing the picturesque features of his mighty native land.
Another good example of his poetical patriotism is 'The Courtship of Miles Standish,' which is a narrative in the same style and metre as 'Evangeline," a stouter, manlier, and livelier tale, if not so delicately sweet. This story, too, is founded on fact, belonging to the early years of the Puritan settlement at Plymouth, in Massachusetts Bay. There is a small painting by Mr. Boughton, in our Royal Academy Exhibition now open, which gives us a capital representation of the stalwart captain, with his eight armed followers, and with Hobomok, their Indian guide, tramping sturdily out of the village to fight their savage foes, as our countrymen in New Zealand are now obliged to do. The character of this brave, honest, headstrong, angry, and sometimes ridiculous Englishman, a soldier of freedom with the experiences of a soldier of fortune, is worthy to have been drawn by Sir Walter Scott. That of the true English maiden Priscilla, with her delightful frankness and archness, her womanly indignation at the clumsy manner of his wooing, and her undisguised liking for John Alden, is worthy of companionship with Mistress Anne Page. Any artist who wants a pretty subject for a charming little picture of figures in a woodland scene may be advised to try his hand at one of John Alden leading the white bull, with his bride seated on a crimson cushion and saddle-cloth, homeward on their wedding-day beneath the foliage of an American autumn, coloured with the golden hues of that clime and season.
We might find pleasant occupation for another column of writing, if it were allowable, in bearing
grateful testimony to the merits of Longfellow's other works, which have not yet been mentioned. His collections of lyrical pieces, called 'Birds of Passage,' 'By the Seaside,' and 'By the Fireside,' contain some of the best things he has written. His 'Tales of a Wayside Inn,' with the exception of 'King Olaf's Saga,' which has a crude Norwegian flavour, too rough for our palate, are such as we love to read at any hour. "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere' is a stirring incident of the Revolution. The 'Prelude, designed on the model of that which introduces the several story-tellers in Chaucer's immortal series, is quite as good as any of these tales. We should dearly like to spend a jovial evening of talk and song, with such good company, in the old-fashioned tavern parlour at Sudbury, in the good State of Massachusetts, in the country of Longfellow, of Hawthorne, of Bryant, of Emerson, of Theodore Parker, and of James Russell Lowell; in that country which is not less English than the shires of old England herself. There are places and people in New England-to judge from such views of their social life as we get in Mr. Longfellow's prose tale of 'Kavanagh'-whose acquaintance must be extremely agreeable. Republican sincerity. and sobriety, combined with rare intellectual refinement, plain living and high thinking,' domestic content, simple manners, the pursuit of truth, and the love of beauty: such are the fruits of their freedom.
THE European movement which ended in the French Revolution, like that which ended in the Reformation, like all great movements of humanity, was complex in its nature. It was at once religious and political and it extended to all the other parts of human life. In religion it was almost entirely critical and destructive: to our generation was left the heavy task of renovating faith. The religion of Rousseau, indeed, proved itself the strongest among the elements which struggled for mastery in the Revolution. We can understand how at the time it breathed in its freshness like the breath of morning into the feverish atmosphere of French life. But it was merely a bastard Christianity, emotional, sentimental, based on no conviction. The great service done to religion during the eighteenth century was the advancement of toleration, to which Frederic the Great, tyrant as he was in politics, was a real friend; though it was the toleration of indifference, not the toleration of those, who with deep convictions, and because they have deep convictions, reverence conscience as the source,
* [Reprinted with the kind consent of the Author.]