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we would attain so far, or observe so much, or earn the rest of age so well as he, it will behove us to gird up our loins, and, neither running here nor pausing there, to znake constant and deliberate progress, and hourly to extend the horizon of our knowledge.
Totally different in subject and in style are the Memoirs of Chateaubriand, the French peer, author and diplomate, as written by himself and bequeathed for posthumous publication. This work is said to have disappointed the expectations of his admirers; and it is certain that the tumultuous state of continental politics has not suffered it largely to engage, much less entirely to engross, that public homage which its author anticipates with so much affected indifference. For ourselves, we have found it, to the full, as eloquent and picturesque as the brilliant writings of Chateaubriand had led us to expect; and if it presented to our eyes no faultless hero, without moral blemish or mental imperfection, we were neither surprised nor disappointed by the chequered lights and shadows. We remembered, moreover, that it was the picture of a Frenchman drawn by himself. In his foibles, as in his greatness, Chateaubriand was the very type of the national character of France; he was essentially, constitutionally, habitually, French. This is not said to disparage his country, but to characterise himself. Neither is the circumstance a disparagement to the autobiography before us, but its constant charm; always relieving it from dulness, though often at the expense of the hero's dignity. To the English reader of these Memoirs, accustomed to the modest reserve of English writers when speaking of themselves, there is something repulsive at the first in the inordinate vanity of their author. The “glory” which he supposes himself to have acquired is ever present with him ; haunts him, as he would say, with a melancholy splendour ; mingles in every group which he describes; is with him like a shadow in the solitude where he invites the world to look in upon him. This same “glory” serves him like a gilt pasteboard crown; and ever as he comes before you he seems to set it down upon the table, sighing like a paviour, as though it were massive with gold, and lined with thorns ; and then, with piteous looks, he implores your compassion for the victim of too much greatness. You find it difficult—when this scene has been repeated over and over again—to restrain your disgust at so much genius and so little sense. You begin to doubt the reality of his renown, when you hear it most lustily shouted by himself, with a deprecating whine to serve as echo. You are ready to ask him if he happens to have his title and credentials in his pocket. If so, what are they? Who made him famous ? What proves his greatness? Did he build the Pyramids, design St. Paul's, or write Paradise Lost? Is he the Wandering Jew, or Napoleon grown loan and run to seed ? To this he answers with an unearthly groan, and still sits wringing his hands, and invoking his remorseless " gloire."
Those who have read these Memoirs will acknowledge that the author's vanity and egotism are not overdrawn by us: those who have not, will wonder how such moral weakness can consist with talent in the writer, patience in the reader, or interest in the work. Yet the writer has talents of a very high order : the reader is more often prompted to admiration than exercised in patience; and the work unites most of the characteristic beauties of autobiography. The period of the Memoirs is remarkably comprehensive, and chequered with scenes of the most striking variety and contrast. The individual fortunes of the author are coloured, more or less, by every public change ; yet he constantly stands by with graphic pencil, and sketches for our pleasure. Born under the decline and dotage of the old régime, he witnessed successively the Revolution, the Consulate, the Empire, the Restoration, the Revolution of July, 1830 ; and, before he lapsed into his final sleep, his dying pillow was rocked by the Revolution of February, 1848. Starting from a dilapidated family-mansion in an obscure part of Brittany, he mingled with courtiers at Paris, with Indian savages in the American woods and prairies, with poor emigrants at one time, and ambassadors and princes at another, in the crowded city and superb court of London ; incurring now the perilous displeasure of the tyrant Buonaparte, and attracting always the admiration of generous hearts by his chivalric and independent bearing, by his scorn of chartered insolence, and by his eloquent sympathy with humanity at large. The style in which the personal and public memoranda of his life are written, is worthy of high praise. It is at once sententious and picturesque ; it touches upon salient points with unfailing skill; and often crystallizes, in one gem-like sentence, the philosophy of a character or career. Chateaubriand, like other French authors, will often give an exaggerated importance to trifles; and he is more affected by matters of external show, novelty, or coincidence, than an Englishman of well-trained mind would suffer himself to be. But his manner is attractive when his matter is trivial : he is seldom jejune, and never common-place. His reflections are original, and often profound,-the result of poetic instinct, rather than of laborious analysis. His portraitures are felicitous and striking ; his summary of important events, lucid and fair; his sketches of scenes, incidents, and interviews, dramatic in the extreme. His narrative is often coloured above nature, detailed beyond literal fact. This is done, we are persuaded, unconsciously. His veracity is above suspicion. But then his imagination is beyond control. In recalling a conversation that he has taken part in, or a scene that he has witnessed, he cannot bear that the one should be reported in broken or general terms, and the other indistinctly given : this must be a picture, and that a little drama. They are works of art founded upon fact. The truth is there, but not in its literal photographic dress. It is elaborated for posterity, to hang in the gallery of his Memoirs for ever.
As an illustration of the style and sentiment of Chateaubriand, in the graver passages of this autobiography, we extract a part of his parallel betwixt two mighty but dissimilar heroes :—“ Washington does not, like Napoleon, belong to that class of men who assume superhuman proportions. Nothing astonishing is attached to his person : he is not placed on a vast theatre; he is not engaged in a struggle with the most skilful captains and the most powerful monarchs of the age. He does not rush from Memphis to Vienna, from Cadiz to Moscow. He defends himself with a handful of citizens in a comparatively unknown land, and in the narrow circle of the domestic hearth : he does not wage battles which renew the triumphs of Arbela and Pharsalia. He does not overturn thrones, to build up others with their ruins : he does not say to the kings waiting at his gates,
"Qu'ils se font trop attendre, et qu'Attila s'ennuie.' Something of silence seems to envelop the actions of Washington. He acts leisurely. One would say, he felt himself burdened with the liberty of the future, and that he feared to compromise it. It is not his own destinies which this hero of a new stamp bears, but those of his country : he does not permit himself to sport with what does not belong to him. But from
this profound humility what liglit is about to burst forth! Seek amid the forests where the sword of Washington flashed, and what will you find ? Tombs? No; a world! Washington has left the United States as the trophy of his field of battle......... Buonaparte presents none of the features of this grave American. He wages a noisy struggle in an ancient land ; he wishes to create nothing but his own renown; he burdens himself only with his own fate. He seems to be aware that his inission will be a short one,-that the torrent which descends from such a height will flow fast. He hastens to enjoy and to abuse his glory as if it were a fleeting youth. Like the gods of Homer, he wishes to reach the end of the world in four steps. He appears in every character; he hastily inscribes his name in the records of all nations; he throws crowns to his family and his soldiers; he is hasty in his monuments, his laws, and his victories. Brooding over the world, with one hand he overturns kings, with the other he beats down the giant of revolution. But, in crushing anarchy, he stifles liberty, and ends by losing his own on his last field of battle......... Each is recompensed according to his works. Washington raises a nation to happiness; then, laying down his magisterial authority, he sinks to rest, beneath his own roof, amidst the regrets of his countrymen and the veneration of nations.........Buona parte robs a nation of its independence. A deposed Emperor, he is hurried into exile, where the terror of the globe he has ravaged does not think him securely enough imprisoned under the guardianship of the ocean. He expires. This news, published at the gate of the palace in front of which the conqueror caused so many funerals to be proclaimed, neither arrests the step nor astonishes the mind of the by-passer. ......... The republic of Washington remains; the empire of Buonaparte is destroyed. Washington and Buonaparte both sprang from the bosom of democracy. Both born from Liberty, the first was faithful to her, the second betrayed her."
The remainder of this famous parallel is in similar style ; and the reader's impression throughout is, that the author speaks more admiringly of his brilliant and audacious countryman, even when his language justly discriminates the truer greatness of the American patriot. While he praises the personal humility of Washington, his praise sounds much like pity. He seems to regret that so vivid a glory as his should be dissipated over a Fast continent, and stream mildly through all time. He would have regarded him with more wonder and delight, if-instead of sharing his heroism and success with fellow-soldiers and future generations—he had gathered up both one and the other into his own person, exhausted on himself the fruits of a thousand triumphs, and concentrated in his own the renown of a thousand warriors.
JEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE. Early in the morning I took a Jewish guide, (I always find a Hebrew cicerone the best, inasmuch as he possesses a thorough knowledge not only of the Jews, but also of the Turks, infidels, and heretics,) and began with a voyage of discovery into the Jewish quarter. I took, therefore, a little Constantinople boat, and proceeded to Hass Kieu, as it is the metropolis of Stamboul Jews, and by far the most populous with the sons of Israel. On our arrival there, we could not land our little bark for upwards of an hour, in consequence of the very great throng of Jews pressing toward that
VOL. VII.--FOURTII SERIES.
place : for the space of about three miles the Golden Horn was literally covered with boats, filled with Jews eager to be, with the least possible delay, at Hass Kieu. The reason was, that a celebrated Rabbi, Eleazar, died last night, and his funeral took place this morning. The Jews consider the act of escorting the dead to the grave to be one of the most meritorious works of piety, especially when that respect is shown to a celebrated Rabbi. At last, my little boat reached close to land, and I lost no time in planting my foot on terra firma. I have never in all my life seen so large a concourse of Jews : the whole of the pier swarmed with them, and every alley was crowded with them. An air of devoted piety, though emanating from ignorant zeal, seemed to pervade their faces. The coffin had not yet arrived. It was expected every moment to make its appearance from an opposite Jewish town; so that every Israelite pressed toward the sea-shore, in order to catch the first glance of it. Many of those who could not possibly attain a footing there, climbed up walls and trees, mounted chairs and tables, and with outstretched necks, and wide-open eyes, waited for the remains of the Rabbi.
I was fortunate enough to procure a place on a little elevation, so that I could see every one before me, as well as be seen by every one. The long-looked for object arrived at last. Sad and melancholy hymns began to be chanted. The coffin was carried sometimes by ten, sometimes by twelve; and the bearers changed places continually, as it is counted a pious deed to carry the coffin of a good man. Every Jew, therefore, who thought-and I dare say every one there thought so—that he might purchase a part of heaven by carrying awhile Rabbi Eleazar's coffin, struggled very hard to lay hold, or even to touch the bier: so that, whilst one portion of the community rent the air with their weepings and lamentations, another portion of the same did so with their squabblings and scufflings. Now and then a shout was heard, reproaching the women for looking out of the windows, and commanding them to hide their faces. The Rabbies do not allow women ever to witness a funeral-procession, as they entertain the monstrously strange notion that, when women are present, nothing can keep the devil from joining the procession. Somehow or other, I unconsciously uttered the words,—“Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ?” But it seems that I did it in so loud a voice that several Jews who passed by me, beating on their breasts, and shedding copious tears, overheard me. They stopped, and inquired of me who I was. I told them that I was a Christian, and felt exceedingly solicitous for the salvation of the house of Jacob. “But who are you to tell us, 'Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die ?”” was their interrogation. I replied, that I did not remember having said so. My guide confirmed their charge. I then perceived that I must have exclaimed this exhortation unwittingly. I said, therefore, to my brethren: “This convinces me that I came here by the will of God, and that the Almighty put these words into my mouth, in order to warn you of escaping the great condemnation which hangs over the Jewish nation.” “ What do you mean by the condemnation?” was my auditors' next angry and frowning inquiry. “I mean the condemnation,” was my reply, “ of being called “Lo Ammi,” and “Lo Ruhamah ;' the condemnation of your prayers remaining unanswered for the last eighteen centuries, and of your dying without any prospect of salvation."
* The“Golden Horn” is the magnificent port formed by an inlet of the Bosphorus on the European shore.--Edit.
My hearers vehemently replied, “Do you mean to say that this great laminary of the world, the pillar of the universe, the powerful hammer, who was able to root up mountains, and grind them together by his great reasonings,—do you mean to say that such a man died without any prospect of salvation?” “I knew not the man," was my rejoinder; “but this I do know, that whosoever believeth in our Lord Jesus——even the Messiah-shall be saved ; and he that believeth not, be he ever so wise and clever, the Bible tells us, cannot be saved. The Lord is no respecter of persons. He does not say, 'My son, give me thy head, and let thy talents grind mountains into powder ;' but rather, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways.'”
The little circle that surrounded me became outrageous, and made use of several blaspheming terms against the King of kings and Lord of lords. Argument or discussion was quite out of the question; and I therefore cut them short by the following brief exhortation:-“Blaspheme not. Behold yon coffin” (it had already proceeded some distance, and the mass of the people was already out of the place): “it contains the body which was but yesterday inhabited by a soul. That soul is now called before the bar of a just God : that soul may already mourn for having pierced Jesus, either in thought, word, or deed: it may already wish that its relatives on earth should repent of their unbelief. I repeat again, He that believeth on the Son of God shall be saved, and he that believeth not cannot be saved.” Whether my stern tone of voice, in which I warmly indulged at the time, or my hearers' anxiety to join their foregoing brethren, induced them not to prolong their remarks, one simply asked, “But whence do you draw such teachings?” “From your own books,” I replied : “In your Old Testament these doctrines are taught by types and parables ; and in your New Testament the types and parables are beautifully explained.” I took out a copy of the New Testament from my pocket, and said, “This is the latter book I mentioned to you.” The last inquirer snatched the book out of my hand, and said, “We have no time to read it now : we must defer doing so till another occasion.” And thus one and all ran away to join the crowd, and left me, with my cicerone, by ourselves. At first, I thought of following them to the burying-place; but, after a few minutes' consideration, I came to the conclusion that it would not be prudent to do so, as the Jews were then too much excited.-A Pilgrimage to the Land of my Fathers.
THE PAGEANTRY OF A ROMISH BISHOP,
A FAITHFUL man doing a good work ; an overseer of the flock of Christ which was purchased with His blood, feeding the flock with unwearied assiduity, watching over it like a good shepherd, not lording it over the heritage on the one hand, nor shrinking from the severer administration of discipline on the other; an angel of the church, set over it by the Lord Jesus Christ, labouring, not fainting, holding fast His name, not bearing them that are evil, not conniving at the abominations of the idol-temple or the idol-feast, nor counting his own life dear to him, so that he may finish his course and render his account with joy ;-such an one would be a perfect Bishop. The Holy Spirit has not said how large his diocese should be, or whether under-shepherds may or may not lawfully assist him in keeping the greater flock. Nothing really useful or helpful is forbidden. Neither St. Paul nor St. Peter has declared the marimum or the minimum