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nature and man indeed with his eyes, but she preferred the noblest and most graceful types of both as the vehicles of her ideas.
The association of the names of Wordsworth and Hemans cannot fail to bring to our recollection the lamented Miss Jewsbury, by whom our poetess was first introduced to a love, if not to a knowledge of Wordsworth's works. This young lady, in one of her Three Histories, has left a portrait of Mrs. Hemans, under the name of Egeria, so exquisitely drawn that it would be a want of taste not to extract it here :
“ Egeria was totally different from any other woman I had ever seen, either in Italy or England. She did not dazzle, she subdued me. Other women might be more commandiny, more versatile, more acute, but I never saw one so exquisitely feminine. She was lovely without being beautiful ; her more. ments were features ; and if a blind man had been privileged to pass his hand over the silken length of hair that, when unbraided, flowed round her like a veil, he would have been justified in expecting softness and a love of softness, beauty and a perception of beauty, to be distinctive traits of her mind. Nor would he have been deceived. Her birth, her education, but, above all, the genius with which she was gisted, combined to inspire a passion for the etherial, the tender, the imaginative, the heroic- in one word, the beautiful. It was in her a faculty divine, and yet of daily life; it touched all things, but, like a sunbeam, touched them with a golden finger.' Anything abstract or scientific was unintelligible and distasteful to her ; her knowledge was extensive and various, but, true to the first principle of her nature, it was poetry that she sought in history, scenery, character, and religious belief-poeiry that guided all her studies, governed all her thoughts, coloured all her conversation. Her nature was at once simple and profound : there was no room in her mind for philosophy, or in her heart for ambition ; one was filled by imagination, the other engrossed by tenderness. Her strength and her weakness alike lay in her affections: these would sometimes make her weep at a word ; at others, imbue her with courage; so that she was alternately a . falcon-hearied dove,' and 'a reed shaken with the wind !' Her voice was a sad, sweet melody; her spirits reminded me of an old poet's description of the orange tree, with its
• Golden lamps hid in a night of green ;' or of those Spanish gardens where the pomegranate grows beside the cypress. Her gladness was like a burst of sunlight; and if, in her depression, she resembled night, it was night wearing her stars. I might describe and describe for ever, but I should never exceed in portraying Egeria : she was a muse, a grace, a variable child, a dependent woman—the Italy of human beings."
Nothing much can be added to these delightful sentences, and the little that may be ventured must be in the way of corroboration, not of controversy. The character of Mrs. Hemans was exclusively poetical ; and in recompence for her undivided devotion, the muse enabled her to become more than the Sappho of England. That she is our greatest lyric poetess can no more be doubted than that Joanna Baillie is our greatest dramatic one. The result is owing to the same cause in both cases-exclusive pursuit of the one art and branch of art. exclusion goes further than the mere abstraction from other studies; it demands a retirement from the world. “Retire! The world shut out. thy thoughts call home" is its grand precept. There is a popular but a false notion too prevalent, that to persons of genius a knowledge of the world, as it is called, is, in these times particularly, essential. Publishers have been taught to look with distrust on any aspirant who is not osten
Nay, this sibly mingling in society. The candidates for authorship accordingly haste to London, seek with avidity its dissipations, and engage in feverish competition for introduction to conductors of periodicals and bibliopoles of all degrees. And this, as Miss Jewsbury, who herself fell a victim to the mode, observes, is done at an age in which experience is deficient. " It is the ruin,” she exclaims, “ of all young talent of the day, that reading and writing are simultaneous. We do not educate ourselves for literary enterprise. Some never awake to the consciousness of the better things neglected; and if one, like myself, is at last seized upon by a blinded passion for knowledge and for truth, he has probably committed himself hy a series of jejune efforts—the standard of inferiority is erected, and the curse of mere cleverness clings to his name. I would gladly burn almost everything I ever wrote, if so be that I might start now with a mind that has seen, read, thought, and suffered something at least approaching to a preparation. Alas! alas ! we all sacrifice the palm tree to obtain the temporary draught of wine! We slay the camel that would bear us through the desert, because we will not endure a momentary thirst."
This point of view is of such great importance that we must dwell upon it a little longer. Genius is essentially of an unworldly character, and can, indeed, only manifest itself by coming into contrast with convention. It must either disobey the laws proper for the multitude, or announce higher rules of conduct, else how can it distinguish itself from the crowd ? These elements of character, which produce the intense individuality that marks every person of genius with some trait of egotism, are only to be nurtured in seclusion. Collision with the world rubs away peculiarities, and brings the candidate for honour into conformity with the common custom. He becomes one of a class ; his soul is no longer like a star, and dwells apart, but is lost in the equal radiance which he shares with others. This was not the case with Mrs. Hemans. The seclusion in which she always lived enabled her to indulge those little eccentricities which made her seem so strange to the Liverpool coteries, and for which the Dublin critics seem to have no allowance. She retained thus the freedom of her mind, and the privilege of acting as she would. And though condemned for the greater part of her life to write for magazines, still, happily, she was saved from the bitterness of contention, and the evil of prescribed tasks. Her subjects were chosen by herself, and her mode of treatment was at her own option. As a matter of prudence, she conformed to the laws of exhibition, and endeavoured to outbid her competitors in the academy; but if, for her, another mode of publication could have been found, and this expediency avoided, it would have been better for her fame, and increased the value of her works.
LORD BROUGHAM AND EDUCATION. The enunciation of some divine principle of truth (says Coleridge) is the necessary propositum of all disquisitions of a philosophical order. That divine principle, then, becomes the text of a commentary, whose arguments and illustrations perpetually receive and impart vigour and impressiveness from their relation to the eternal verity from which they sprung. The fountain-heads and wellsprings of truth are thus aggrandized and enriched by the majestic streams that issue from them, and
the streams acquire no less of dig. nity from their celestial sources. The parental and the filial elements of nature are thus connected in imperishable harmony, each rejoicing in the other's developement, and glorying in the other's effulgence.
It may not, therefore, be unreasonable, if we somewhat elaborate a divine principle even at the commencement of a secular essay like the present. It is not unimportant to consider something of the true nature of greatness in character and conduct, ere we enter on the subject of education, whose purpose is to make all beings as great as they can become. Such is the natural ambition of the human soul-such is the unquenchable desire after the augmentation and expansion of all we are and have, that it intensely concerns us to know wherein true greatness consists, for after greatness, of some form or other, the longings of all hearts are culminating, and any mistake on the point is fraught with immeasurable mischiefs.
Where, then, shall we find the test of that species of greatnessthe only real and proper greatness, indeed—of which sound education is no more than the nurse and handmaiden. That best, sincerest greatness is, doubtless, in divinitude, and nothing less. It subsists in what is divine, and nothing less than divine. "It is that which approximates man to God, and makes him a god himself and therefore has Scripture entitled them gods to whom the Word of God came in the omnipotence of its energy. It makes them god. like, by developing all that is divinest in their natures, and dissipating all that is inconsistent with absolute perfection. A vast and ennobling doctrine is this; the doctrine which all the theologic initiations of the church, all the theosophic initiations of the lodge, have been for ages striving to teach mankind. They would, indeed, unfold to his conscience the first axiom of transcendental science“that God was, is, and shall be the all in all.” They would shew him that man was created for union with God; that Deity is the only fixed centre and home towards which intelligible natures can converge, and that if this should fail, “the pillared firmament is rottenness, and earth's base built on stubble."
This divine theory, which the æsthetic school of philosophers has been of late years so sedulously cultivating, gives rise to an axiom the most practically valuable, namely, that the only true goodness is the only true greatness, and vice verså, the terms being correlative and the ideas inseparable. If there is any truth more conspicnous than another in the volume of inspiration, it is this. It is the truth which the character of the Divine Saviour of mankind perpetually enforces. The unparalleled greatness of Christ's character consists in his unparalleled goodness. There is an infinite virtue in the character of him who went about doing good, which, to our idea, gives him an infinite greatness, before which angels themselves may down in adoration.
And it must needs be that the highest goodness is the highest greatness, just because goodness implies that conscience and our noblest faculties are strenuous and dominative, that they support their just superintendence over all inferior passions and establish a triumphant harmony through the entire system of our being. When a man has passed through such experiences he is divinely and catholically great; he has known and conquered himself, and he is stronger who conquers himself than he who takes a city. Such a man is great, even like Socrates, though in the humblest walks of life, amidst poverty, contempt, and persecution. The man who has not passed through such experiences, is inevitably little, miserably puny, despicably insignificant, though he be an Alexander or a Bonaparte. He is insignificant, because his loftier moral faculties have been sacrificed to his lower appetites ; he is a slave to the meanest part of himself; he despises himself most cordially, amidst the splendours of external prosperity; he is not the less conscious that he is the paltry puppet of accident, while he sits on the throne of the world.
The more society rises in the moral and intellectual estimation of greatness, the more will it unlearn the false notions still prevalent on the subject: more earnestly will men strive to direct their ambition to the eternal and immutable morality which distinguishes all sterling greatness from all counterfeit greatness. For the sake of the former, which is essential, immortal, and invisible, will they reject the latter, which is little better than the gorgeous disguising of a midnight masquerade.
It is precisely thus with that kind of greatness called power. The highest power is the highest goodness, and the highest goodness is the highest power. Exactly in proportion as power becomes evil it becomes weak, and ceases to be power, properly so called. This will appear more forcibly if we test it by the character of the Divine Being. God is the strongest just because he is the best. Goodness is essentially stronger than evil, and truth than falsehood. Here lies the delusion of the fallen archangel and those souls that follow his centrifugal attractions. In their ambition for power they forget that power and goodness are intrinsically homogeneous. By seeking to disconnect them, every imaginary accession of power IS a real accession of weakness.
An old divine has well expressed the most important rule and solved the apparent paradox. We allude to Jeremy White, the chaplain of Cromwell. In his admirable work on the restoration of all things, he says, “ The power and goodness of God are inseparable, and one in all. Those mighty acts of his power are, indeed, but so many expressions of his love and goodness; whereas all wickedness is weakness. The root of all power is goodness, the terms of all power are the same goodness; whereas all wickedness is weakness. It is no expression of health and strength, bat the height of distemper and weakness, for a man to overpower all that are about him and to offer violence to himself and them. 'Tis a rule posse malum est non posse, power to evil is imbecility, it is not properly power but impotency. 'We may think sin an act of power and freedom, but it is indeed weakness, servitude, bondage, and slavery; for God who is omnipotent—the mightiest and truest N. S-VOL. 11.
agent-cannot sin. It is like the paralytic's motion, it pretends to nimbleness and agility, but it is a weak, crazy, and sickly thing;
The same refulgent verity has been re-echoed by Channing across the Atlantic. In his unrivalled essay on the Moral Character of Napoleon, he enunciates precisely the same sentiment. “ The time is coming (says he), its signs are visible, when this long-mistaken attribute of greatness will be seen to belong eminently, if not exclusively, to those, who, by their characters, deeds, sufferings, and writings, have left imperishable and ennobling traces of themselves on the human mind. Among these will be ranked, perhaps, on the highest throne, the moral and religious reformer, who truly merits that name, who rises above the spirit of his times, who is moved by holy impulse to assail vicious establishments, sustained by fierce passions and inveterate prejudices ; who rescues great truths from the corruption of ages; who, joining calm and deep thought to profound feelings, secures to religion at once enlightened and earnest conviction ; who unfolds to men higher forms of virtue than they have yet attained or conceived ; who gives brighter and more thrilling views of the perfection for which they were framed, and inspires a virtuous faith in the perpetual progress of our nature. Among these legitimate sovereigns of the world will be ranked, the philosopher, who penetrates the secrets of the universe, and opens new fields to the intellect, who spreads enlarged and liberal habits of thought, and who helps men to understand that an ever growing knowledge is the patrimony destined for them by the Father of Spirits. Among them will be ranked the statesman, who, escaping a vulgar policy, rises to the discovery of the true interests of a state ; who understands that a nation's mind is niore valuable than its soil; who inspirits a people's enterprise, without making them the slaves of wealth ; who looks for his glory to posterity, and is mainly anxious to originate and give stability to institutions, by which society may be carried forward."
We have stated this rule of greatness the more definitely and pointedly, because it affords an invaluable test of the characters and conduct of men. It is, indeed, eternal and abstract; but it is not the less temporal and practical. It serves us as an infallible criterion, whereby to measure men and measures. Though no man during his earthly life can ever quite come up to so august a standard ; yet many men of noble spirits have risen to a considerable height in the scale, and just in proportion as they have risen they have become great.
By such a test, adjudicating, aye, even by such a test, loftily as it soars above all vulgar estimates, shall we venture to declare Lord Brougham a great man? We speak not of mere political or literary notoriety ; but is he a great man in the better sense of the word ?
Without hesitation we answer he is ; and take him for all in all, perhaps the greatest man left of his age. We assert this rather with reference to the entire course of his past life, than any particular portion or section of it. Men must be judged rather by the total scope and bearing of their character and conduct, tban from the particular phases and modifications they may happen to present