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in point of taste, and is always well- 'Tis not the thunderings from those meaning in sentiment. The misfor- depths profound, tune is, that a vein of rhetorical Convulsing air, and shaking rocks
aroundcommonplace runs through all he
Not these whelm sense, or thrill the writes. It matters not how lofty or
soul with fear, how touching may be his theme, he
'Tis the dread power that mocks our does not rise above the dead level
frailty here; of prosaic artificiality, or give utter- Resistless power displayed by that wild ance to strains that even arouse the mass attention, much less move the heart. Of living waters, maddening as they In short, the essentials of true pass ; poetry are not to be found in his
Power like a rushing would's, un
Not urged for days, for years, but dateThe following lines on the Falls less time. of Niagara are as favourable a speci- No moment, since the flood, whose men of his descriptive writing as waves have slept, we have met with
But on unresting plunged, and sound
ing leapt; “We stand below the falls; this And now they dash through air, as smooth, broad rock
these poor eyes Is wet with spray, yet safe amidst the Their grandeur view, and awe finds shock,
in sighs : Goat Isle half hung in air, its cliffs And when our turf-wrapped breast moss-brown,
shall throb no more, And tall black pines, all shivering, Race following race entombed gazing down,
yonder shore, As though they shrank, but still, by Still shall their mighty voice to heaven some strong spell,
&scend, Would peer below, and watch the tor- While earth's new children o'er their rents swell
glories bend, Watch the mad billows plunging, The final echoes of that voice at last seething white,
Mingling, and lost, in Judgment's The water-flakes thrown out, like bars
trumpet-blast.” of light; Down, down in gulfs where maelstroms 'round are flashing;
The writer evidently wants to be Down, heavily down, as waves turned
impressive. His painful straining rocks while dashing.
after effect is only too apparent. Behold! but speak not; wor's may
He seems to think success is to be rarely be
reached by worn-out rhetorical artiInterpreters of mind's intensi'y : fices, instead of by vividly realizing When most we feel, then mutest grows the scene in all its grandeur, and .
the tongue, The goddess Silence from pale Wonder
being deeply stirred with the various
enotions it is calculated to excite. sprung. 'Tis not the whirl, the bound of raging -especially of such an object as
No one can write good description waves, Hurled from above, to dive in earth's Niagara—who has not an eye to deep caves;
see, or an imagination to conceive, 'Tis not the mountain clouds where and a heart to feel; and whoever
foam-bows shine, Like rubies dropping from some sky
possesses these requisites will dis
dain the use of any other art than deep mine, While eagles o'er the abyss in terror
the simple transcript of his mind scream,
and the spontaneous utterance of To see those waters toss, and boil, and his feeling. Stage trickery will be gleam;
an abomination to him.
In“ The Immortals" Mr. Michell for Mr. Lie an honourable position gets quite beyond his depth, mixing among Scandicavian writers. It up astronomy, philosophical specu- was desirable that he should be inlation, and religion in strange con- troduced to English readers, who, fusion. Enchanted with the idea from what they already know of that the Pleiades contain the central Norse literature, through Andersun, round which not only the solar sen's admirable writings, may natusystem but the whole universe rally be expected to welcome an turns, he thinks it not improbable opportunity of renewing and exthat “near these glorious worlds, of tending their acquaintance with it. among them, lies' the paradise or This has been satisfactorily accomangels and of souls." He indulges plished by Mrs. Bull, whose transin all sorts of fanciful theories, ex- sation, though bearing unmistak. plains the nature and form of angels, able traces of its American origin, without hesitation or reserve, and has the great merit of reading like describes the circumstances of their an original work. creation, with a daring familiarity Mr. Lie having spent many years and minuteness of detail amounting in the nothern regions as deputy of to positive profanity. Of angels a judge, has had ample opportunity and spirits he tells us — without, of becoming familiar with the mode however, stating where he got his of life there, some glimpses of information from that
which are to be found in his present
work. Something of the stern gloom " They haunt each silvery moon, they of the harsh climate seems to per haunt the sun,
vade his pages, which, though every Pass and repass on beams, like bridges where instinct with vigour, somethrown
times striking, and at others touchAcross the blue, from luminous star to
ing, are nowhere lighted up with star."
sparkling wit or playful humour.
We look in vain for “ quips and Mr. Michell would be wise to
cranks and wanton wiles.” Life confine himself to terrestrial topics in those cold dark regions seems and actual life, even if he cannot terribly real and earnest, or dreadavoid triteness and superficiality in fully dull. Such a thing as a joke his treatment of them. As long as
appears scarcely ever to be heard he keeps to the terra firma of reality
or thought of. Fun is forbidden he is safe from giddiness; and sober fruit, if we may judge from Mr. truth, however dull, is at any rate Lie's tale. The absence of graceful better than the wild vagaries of a gaiety is a fatal flaw wbich must disordered fancy. If Mr. Michell interfere with its success, especially must write verse-though we can. as it contains little exciting advennot see why he should let him at
ture or startling incident, and bas least avoid subjects beyond his nothing of the sensational novel grasp.
about it. Neither languishing young ladies nor fast young men are likely to find here the sort of
reading they want. A Norse Love Story. The Pilot Most love stories, after describing and his Wife.
By Jonas Lie. in detail the various persons and Translated by Mrs. Ole Bull. events that prevent the smooth London, Trübner and Co. 1876.- flow of the course of true loveTwo previous publications have won the intrigues, the difficulties, and
the dangers which seem to render ticularly when under the influence the desired cousummation unattain. of drink, he treats his wife and able, at last relieve the reader of children with cruel harshness, yet all
suspense by bringing matters to we are told “be really idolized a happy conclusion in the shape of both her and the children.” a marriage, and end with the com- The root of this strange inconforting assurance that the bride and sistency is the jealous suspicion bridegroom long lived in peace and which secretly preys upon his mind prosperity, and were blessed with from the commencement of his a numerous and thriving family. courtship till fifteen years after the Here, on the contrary, the story is marriage. He shows a morbid continued far beyond the marriage, want of confidence in his wife's and a great part, if not the chief, attachment to him from first to last, of the interest and intended teach- though not in her fidelity to him ing of the work centres in this after marriage. Again and again later portion.
he finds his suspicions groundless Another peculiarity of this story yet still they recur. . is, that it commences with scenes It is not till tbe close of the which, in point of time, belong to volume that they are at last effecthe end. The first three chapters tually removed by the following Bet before us the pilot, his wife, and conversation, which forms the detwo children—the eldest a boy of noúment of the plot and the moral ten-and represent their ordinary of the tale. way of life at this time. The fourth chapter takes us abruptly back some
“There was a somewhat Sunday calm fifteen years or more, to the time
over Elizabeth as she stood there by when the pilot, at the age of eigh
the hearth and awaited her husband's teen, first saw his wife, then four
coming. She heard him out in the old.
porch. When he came in, a quick flush From this point the story pro- overspread her firm, expressive counceeds regularly on to its close with- tenance; but it banished at once, and out interruption or lingering on
she gazed at him with half-parted lips, the way. It is only fair to observe
forgetting to greet him. It did not
escape him that there was a certain that the interest is well sustained
self-conscious security about her. As throughout. If there are few
such was she just the Elizabeth he thrilling scenes, there are also few loved. long-winded conversations, spun- • • Elizabeth,' he said, with deep out descriptions of persons or solemnity, and looked her in the face, places, and no tedious or trite I have a great reproach to make to reflections. The parrative flows you.
You have not been true--you
have been secretive toward me for smoothly along, with sufficient life and variety to keep up the atten
many years--I am afraid during all
the time we have lived together.' tion to the end without flagging. “He looked at her mildly forbearing,
Of course the pilot and bis wife as if he expected her straightforward are the principal, we might even acknowledgment to him, that he might say the only characters, the rest be permitted to forgive her. But she being mere lay figures distinguished stood pale, gazing down before ber, by no individuality. The pilot is
while her heart beat violently.
“* And how have I loved you !' he represented as brave and skilful in
burst out, with a touch of reproach, bis craft, but by no means amiable
* always-above my own life!' in his domestic relations. Silent, “She stood for a time silent, and was moody and violent in temper, par. now obliged to summon all her courage
to speak out. At last she said, a little and I pursued it for your sake, notconstrained, without raising her eyes, withstanding all it cost me, and that
"I hear you say it, Salve; but I was much-much, Salve! See what I have thought over various things, have daily borne through all these now.'
years because I loved you! But you « •What have you thought over, who only imposed a heavier and still Elizabeth ?' His glance at once be- heavier burden upon me,—do you love came the dark, rough one she well me? I begin almost to doubt it, knew. It meant that she had given Salve !' offence by her reply; that he had now “He stood overwhelmed by this sudden gone to meet her as far as he would, attack, This interpretation of the and that now they stood there by the situation was to him unexpected, and wall he would yield no further.
it struck him that she might have "• Am I right or not right?' he asked reason on her side in thinking so; but sharply.
he replied notwithstanding, in a bitter ". That I have blindly believed that tone,you loved me?' she answered, so pale, You are only too right in this, and looked him straight in the face. Elizabeth. I know, also, that a miser* Yes, it is true, and it is my honour. able, poor pilot was but little fitted for But have you let me see it, or was it you-have always known it, even from only I who should give you everything? the time we were engaged. You reWas my happiness in lite, then, nothing; member when you stood before Van and have I no right? No, Salve!' Spyck's picture, down in Amsterdam ? said she with angry, trembling voice, —then I understood that it was such a and a glance that burned from all that man you should have; or, that time on she had suffered. Speak the truth ! board the Apollo, when you broke out You have loved yourself, and when you 60 grandly about the North Star ? married me you only took one to help then I felt the same, and sailed the you on with it; so there were two brig that night to its destruction !' about it, and still that was not enough. 6. Balve!' she exclaimed, passionately, No, no !' she concluded, and threw her 'you know well that you would not be hands out before her in her bitter feels grander in my eyes if you were au ing; had you loved me as I have admiral than now you are a pilot, and loved you, we would not have come to than you have always been to me. Did this, where we stand to-day.'
I not stand and think of you when I “• Elizabeth,' said he, in a low tone, looked on Van Spyck,—that you were for it was difficult for him to control he who could have done the same? himself - his voice sounded ironical, Or, when I saw the North Star, did I while his gaze fastened itself upon her, not think were but you the chief, Salve,
- I thank you, because you have at then they should see how it would be last told me your meaning, although it with the right man on board ? Did I comes rather late. You see, I was care about the North Star except to get right when I said that you had never it for you? Did I not think that you, been true toward me.'
& poor skipper, outweighed the whole *** I bave deceived you, you say; yes, show?' it is true!' she added with emphasis, Salve stood so unspeakably happy while her eye quietly met his; but it during this outburst, in which he saw was not because I was wanting in love everythiog before him cleared away: to you, but from the fact that you could that he himself had been the hero of not believe me. I have contented all her dreams. He believed overy myself with going about in my own word, as he had always done when she house mistrusted-and by you, Salve ; said anything, and thought he had been and I have borne it, and kept silence one of the most stupid creatures the through it all, because I believed that Lord had ever permitted to live on this you would not bear hearing the truth, earth. He involuntarily stretched out and because I always hoped that you his arms to her, like Alcibiades, to end in that way would become persuaded. the quarrel by taking her about the I thought that that wus the right way, waist and bear her from this court of
justice home to his house ; but he stopped at the deep, warding off earnestness with which she continued,
“No, Salve, it is not this which stands between us, however cleverly you may have discovered it; it is not this—it is something else. At heart you do not trust me, that is the truth, -and thus all this has come up in your mind afterwards. And do you see,' she continued, with a face expressive of pain, it never will turn out well with us so long as you cherish one particle of doubt in your thoughts? Don't you understand, yet, that it is the peace of our hearthstone that is at stake; that it is this I have fought for all these years, when I have borne it all as—as you well know I have not the nature to endure, Salve?' said she, giving him an impressive look. If you do not understand it yet, then God help you and us!' she concluded, despairingly, and turned half about again to the fire, in which she lost herself gazing
“He stood before her averted form as if he had been paralyzed, and scarcely ventured to look at her; in that degree all that she had said now lay clear and striking before him as the truth. She had held a mirror of their united lives up before his eyes, and he saw himself therein so egotistical and small by the side of all this love. He stood with a deep pain, humbled in heart, and he was both too noble and too true not to be willing to acknowledge it. ALstracted, he went over to the window and stood there awhile.
" Elizabeth,' he said despondingly, you know certainly at heart that you have been everything to me in this world ; I know, also, wherein my deepest wrong against you consists, and I shall now truly and freely ac. knowledge that to you, though it will make me stand an insignificant man before you. Yes, Elizabeth, I have never been able to feel myself really secure, that I alone wholly and fully possessed your mind since that time' it cost him an effort, apparently, to speak out, for he contented with this humiliation in the acknowledgment• since that affair of yours with the naval officer. It has been my sore spot, you perceive,' said he softly con
fidential, 'which I could not control in spite of everything I still knew to the contrary. And perhaps I cannot bear
This is my stumbling-block, I acknowledge honestly and plainly ; but still I cannot lose you, Elizabeth. I have always seen that you were fitted for something grand; that you really should have a man who was somebody in the world—sucli a ore as he, and not a common man like me. You see I have never been able to endure thinking of this, and so I have become rancorous toward all the world, and suspicious and oppressive toward you. Notwithstanding you are my wife, Elizabeth, I have never been able to believe that I possessed you, and therefore never really had you, although what you have said to me to-day, God be praised, has given me another
I have not been strong enough-not as you-though I dare say I have striven with it, Elizabeth!' he burst out, looking so pale, while he laid both hands on her shoulders and looked her in the face.
"She felt that his arms trembled, and her eyes filled with tears. It wounded her to the heart to see him thus. She suddenly released herself and went into the side chamber, whence she presently came out with an old note and handed it to him.
“It is the letter which I wrote to the naval officer that night I fled from the Becks.' (He looked at her a little amazed.) 'I got it from Mrs. Beck,' she said. “Read it, Salve !!
Pardon me that I cannot become your wife, for my heart is another's.
“He spelled out the large, crooked letters, but seated himself thereupon down on the bench and read it over again. She stood bending over him, and looked now at the note, then at his face.
What stands there, Salve ?' she asked at last. Why could I not become young Beck's wife?'
*** For my heart-- is another's !"'he