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measure of Right and Wrong" are two questions entirely distinct, but often confused-for Logic fled the earth with Astræa.
TALBOYS. She did.
NORTI. Talboys, you understand well enough the sense and culture of the Beautiful?
TALBOYS. Something of it perhaps I do.
NORTH. To feel—to love-to be swallowed up in the spirit and works of the Beautiful - in verse and in the visible Universe! That is a life-an enthusiasm-a worship. You find those who would if they could, and who pretend they can, attain the same end at less cost. They have taken lessons, and they will have their formalities go valid against the intuitions of the dedicated soul.
TALBOYS. But the lessons perish-the dedicated soul is a Power in all emergencies and extremities.
NORTH. Nor without good reason. The Gospel is the Standard of Christian Morality. That is unquestionable. It is an authority without appeal, and under which undoubtedly all matters, uncertain before, will fall. But pray mark this—it is not a positive standard, in the ordinary meaning of that word
- it is not one of which our common human understanding has only to require and to obtain the indications—which it has only to apply and observe.
SEWARD. I see your meaning, sir. The Gospel refers all moral intelligence to the Light of Love within our hearts. Therefore, the very reading of the canons, of every prescriptive line in it, must be by this light.
NORTH. That is my meaning—but not my whole meaning, dear Seward. For take it, as it unequivocally declares itself to be, a Revelation-not simply of instruction, committed now and for ever to men in written human words, and so left—but accompanied with a perpetual agency to enable Will and Understanding to receive it; and then it will follow, I believe, that it is at every moment intelligible and applicable in its full sense, only by a direct and present inspiration-is it too much to say-anew revealing itself? “ They shall be taught of God."
SEWARD. So far, then, from the Christian Morality being one of which the Standard is applicable by every Understanding, with like result in given cases, it is one tliat is different to every Christian in proportion to his obedience ?
NORTH. Even so. I suppose that none have ever reached the full understanding of it. It is an evergrowing illumination-a light more and more unto the perfect day-which day I suppose cannot be of the same life, in which we see as through a glass darkly.
TALBOYS. May I offer an illustration? The land shall descend to the eldest son-you shall love your neighbour as yourself. In the two codes these are foundation-stones. But see how they differ! There is the land-here is the eldest son-the right is clear and fast-and the case done with. But-do to thy neighbour! Do what? and to whom?
NORTH. All human actions, all human affections, all human thoughts are then contained in the one Lawas the subject of which it defines the disposal. All mankind, but distributed into communities, and individuals all differently related to me are contained in it, as the parties in respect of whom it defines the disposal !
SEWARD. And is there no limitation ?
NORTH. By the whole apposition, thy love to thyself and thy neighbour are both to be put together in subordination to, and limitation and regulation by-thy Love to God. Love Him utterly-infinitely--with all thy mind, all thy heart, all thy strength. This is the entire book or canon—THE STANDARD. How wholly indefinite and formless to the Understanding! How full of light and form to the believing and loving Heart!
SEWARD. The Moon is up-how calm the right after all that tempest-and how steady the Stars! Images of enduring peace in the heart of nature—and of man. They, too, are a Revelation.
NORTH. They, too, are the legible Book of God. Try to conceive how different the World must be to its rational inhabitant-with or without a Maker! Think of it as a soulless-will-less World. In one sense, it abounds as much with good to enjoy. But there is no good-giver. The banquet spread, but the Lord of the Mansion away. The feast-and neither grace nor welcome. The heaped enjoyment, without the gratitude.
NORTH. Alas! there have been—and alas! there are. And what low souls must be theirs! The tone and temper of our feelings are determined by the objects with which we habitually converse. If we see beautiful scenes, they impart serenity--if sublime scenes, they elevate us. Will no serenity, no elevation come from contemplating Him, of whose Thought the Beautiful and the Sublime are but shadows!
SEWARD. No sincere or elevating influence be lost out of a World out of which He is lost?
NORTH. Now we look upon Planets and Suns, and see Intelligence ruling them-on Seasons that succeed each other, and we apprehend Design-on plant and animal fitted to its place in the world, and furnished with its due means of existence, and repeated for ever in its kind and we admire Wisdom. Oh! Atheist or Sceptic-what a difference to Us if the marvellous Laws are here without a Lawgiver-If Design be here without a Designer-all the Order that wisdom could mean and effect, and not the Wisdom-if Chance, or Necessity, or Fate reigns here, and not Mind--if this Universe is matter of Astonishment merely, and not of adoration !
SEWARD. We are made better, nobler, sir, by the society of the good and the noble. Perhaps of ourselves unable to think high thoughts, and without the bold warmth that dares generously, we catch by degrees something of the mounting spirit, and of the ardour proper to the stronger souls with whom we live familiarly, and become sharers and imitators of virtues to which we could not have given birth. The devoted courage of a leader turns his followers into heroes—the patient death of one martyr inflames in a thousand slumbering bosoms a zeal answerable to his own. And shall Perfect Goodness contemplated move no goodness in us? Shall His Holiness and Purity raise in us no desire to be holy and pure ?-His infinite Love towards His creatures kindle no spark of love in us towards our fellow-creatures!
NORTH. God bless you, my dear Seward--but you speak well. Our fellow-creatures ! The name, the binding title, dissolves in air, if He be not our common Creator. Take away that bond of relationship among men, and according to circumstances they confront one another as friends or foes—but Brothers no longerif not children of one celestial Father.
TALBOYS. And if they no longer have immortal souls !
NORTH. Oh! my friends if this winged and swift life be all our life, what a mournful taste have we had of possible happiness? We have, as it were, from some dark and cold edge of a bright world, just looked in and been plucked away again! Have we come to experience pleasure by fits and glimpses; but intertwined with pain, burdensome labour, with weariness, and with indifference ? Have we come to try the solace and joy of a warm, fearless, and confiding affection, to be then chilled or blighted by bitterness, by separation, by change of heart, or by the dread sunderer of loves-Death? Have we found the gladness and the strength of knowledge, when some rays of truth have flashed in upon our souls, in the midst of error and uncertainty, or amidst continuous, necessitated, uninstructive avocations of the Understanding—and is that all? Have we felt in fortunate hour the charm of the Beautiful, that invests, as with a mantle, this visible Creation, or have we found ourselves lifted above the earth by sudden apprehension of sublimity? Have we had the consciousness of such feelings, which have seemed to us as if they might themselves make up a life-almost an angel's life—and were they "instant come and instant gone?" Have we known the consolation of Doing Right, in the midst of much that we have done wrong? and was that also a corruscation of a transient sunshine ? Have we lifted up our thoughts to see Him who is Love, and Light, and Truth, and Bliss, to be in the next instant plunged into the darkness of annihilation? Have all these things been but flowers that we have pulled by the side of a hard and tedious way, and that, after gladdening us for a brief season with hue and odour, wither in our hands, and are like ourselves-nothing ?
NORTH. We step the earth- we look abroad over it, and it seems immense—so does the sea. What ages had men lived-and knew but a small portion. They circumnavigate it now with a speed under which its vast bulk shrinks. But let the astronomer lift up his glass and he learns to believe in a total mass of matter, compared with which this great globe itself becomes an imponderable grain of dust. And so to each of us walking along the road of life, a year, a day, or an hour shall seem long. As we grow older, the time shortens ; but when we lift up our eyes to look beyond this earth, our seventy years, and the few thousands of years which have rolled over the human race, vanish into a point; for then we are measuring Time against Eternity.
TALBOYS. And if we can find ground for believing that this quickly-measured span of Life is but the beginning—the dim daybreak of a Life immeasurable, never attaining to its night-what weight shall we any longer allow to the cares, fears, toils, troubles, afflictions—which here have sometimes bowed down our strength to the ground-a burden more than we could bear?
NORTH. They then all acquire a new character. That they are then felt as transitory must do something towards lightening their load. But more is disclosed in them; for they then appear as having an unsuspected worth and use. If this life be but the beginning of another, then it may be believed that the accidents and passages thereof have some bearing upon the conditions of that other, and we learn to look on this as a state of Probation. Let us out, and look at the sky.
THE ISLAND OF SARDINIA.
TAE opinion of Nelson with regard rance, but dies under a surfeit of to the importance of Sardinia,—that knowledge. Now, to apply this to it is worth a hundred Maltas," our subject-Sardinia. The island is is well known; and that he strongly full of monuments, as mysterious to . recommended its purchase to our gov. us as the Pyramids. There is suffiernment, thinking it might be obtain- cient obscurity to make a “sublime." ed for £500,000. We can scarcely It is happy for the reader, who has believe that Nelson failed to make an not lost his natural propensity to wonimpression on the government, and con- der, that there is so little known rejecture rather that it was with the King specting them, and yet such grounds of Sardinia the precious inheritance for conjecture ; for he may be sure of a Naboth's vineyard. We do not that, if any documents existed anyremember to have met with a Sardi- where, Mr Tyndale would have disnian tourist. Travellers as we are covered them, for he is the most with our ready “ Hand-Books” for indefatigable of authors in exploring the remote corners of the earth, we in all the mines of literature. But he seem, by a general consent, to have has to treat of things that were becut Sardinia from the map of obsery- fore literature was. The traveller able countries. “Nos numerus sumus” who should first discover a Stone
-we plead guilty to this ignorance henge-one who, walking on a hitherand neglect, and should have remain- to untrodden plain, should come suded unconcerned about Sardinia still, denly upon two such great sedate had we not, in the work of MrTyndale, sitting images in stone as look over dipped into a few extracts from Lord Egyptian sands—is he not greatly to be Nelson's letters. Extending our read- envied? We, who peer about our cities ing, we find in these three volumes and villages, raking out decayed stone so much research, learning, historical and mortar for broken pieces of antique speculation, and interesting matter, art or memorial, as we facetiously interspersed with amusing narrative, term the remnants of a few hundred that we think a notice in Maga of this years, and of whose "whereabouts," valuable and agreeable work may be from the beginning, we can receive not unacceptable.
some tolerable assurance, have but a The very circumstance that Sar- slight glimpse of the delight experidinia is little known, renders it an enced by the first finder of a monument agreeable speculation. The ignotum of the Pelasgi, or even Cyclopean makes the charm. Our pleasure is in walls. But to make conjecture upon the fabulous, the dubious, the unex- monuments beyond centuries - to plained. In the ecstacy of ignorance count by thousands of years, and the reader stands by the side of Mr make out of them a dream that shall, Layard, watching the exhumation of like an Arabian magician, take the the unknown gods or demons of Nine- dreamer back to the Flood — is a veh. " Ignorance is bliss,"—for the happiness enjoyed by few. We subject-matter of ignorance is fact- never envied traveller more than fact isolated or the broken links in we once did that lady who came time's long chain. The mind longs suddenly upon the Etrurian monuto fabricate, and connect. Were it pos- ment, in which there was just aperture sible that other sibylline books should enough to see for a moment only a be offered for sale, it would be pre- sitting figure, with its look and drapery ferable that Mr Murray should act the of more than thousands of years; who part of Tarquin than publish them as just saw it for a few seconds, pre* Hand-Books." In truth, curiosity, served only in the stillness of antiquity, that happy ingredient in the clay of and falling to dust at her very breaththe human mind, if so material an ex. ing. Not so ancient the monupression be allowed, is fed by igno- ment, but of like character the dis
The Island of Sardinia. By John WARRE TYNDALE. 3 vols., post 8vo. VOL. LXVI.-NO. CCCCV.
covery of him who, digging within that the Sarde nation are of Phoenician the walls of his own house at Portici, origin, and that its antiquities are came upon marble steps that led him Phoenician, or of a still earlier epoch. down and down, till he found before In descending to more historic times, him, in the obscure, a white marble we find the Carthaginians exercisequestrian statue the size of life. If ing influence there as early as 700 one could be made a poet, these two B.C., and that the island suffered incidents were enough. The interior severely from the alternate sway of the of Sardinia has been hitherto a kind of rival powers of Rome and Carthage. - terra incognita." Mr Tyndale must And here we are disposed to rest, therefore have ascended and descended utterly disinclined to follow the labyits craggy or wooded mountains, and rinth of cruelties which the history of threaded its ravines, and crossed its every people, nation, and language fertile or desolate plains, with no com- under the sun presents. mon feeling of expectation; and though If, at least for the present moment, the frequent “ Noraghe” and “Sepol- a disgust of history is a disqualifiture de is Gigantes," and their accom- cation for the notice of such a work panying strange conical stones, were as this before us, the reader must be not of a character to fill him with that referred to the book itself at once ; amazement produced by the above- but there are in it so many subjects of mentioned incidents, they were suffi- interest, both as to customs, manners, ciently mysterious, and the attempt and some characters that shine out to reach them in some instances suffi- from the dark pages of history here ciently adventurous—to keep alive the - and there, that we venture on, not mind, and stir the imagination to the careful of the thread, but with a purworking out visions, and conjuring up pose of taking it up, wherever there the seeming-probable existences of the may be a promise of amusement. past, or wilder dreams, in such variety There is little pleasure in recording as reason deduced or fancy willed. how many hundreds of thousands were On one occasion he descended an aper- put to the sword by Carthaginians, ture, in a domed chamber of a Noraghe, Romans, and, subsequently, Vandals groped his way through a subterranean and Goths ; nor the various tyrannies passage, and came upon some finely- arising out of contests for the possespulverised matter, " about fifteen sion of the island, which have been inches deep, which at first appeared continually inflicted upon the people to be earth, but on scraping into it by the European powers of Christian were several human bones, some broken times. Mankind never did, and it and others mouldering away on being may be supposed never will, let each touched.” But here the reader unac- other alone. We are willing to bequainted with Sardinia, as it may be lieve that peace and security, for presumed very many are, may ask any continuance, is not for man on something about these Noraghe, with earth, and that his nature requires their domed chambers, and the Sepol- this universal stirring activity of agture. There may be a preliminary gression and defence, for the developinquiry into the origin of the inhabi- ment of his powers—and that out of tants. Various are the statements of this evil comes good. Where would different authors: without following be virtue without suffering? Yet we chronological order, we may readily are not always in the humour to sit concur in their conclusions, that the out the tragedy of human life. There island was peopled by Phoenician, Li are moments when the present and byan, Tyrrhenian, Greek, Trojan, and real troubles of our own times press other colonies-unless the disquisi- too heavily on the spirits, and we tions of some historians of our day shrink from the scrutiny of past rewould compel us to reject the Trojans, sults, through a dread of a similar in the doubt as to the existence of future, and gladly seek relief from Troy itself. But many of these may bitter truths in lighter speculations. have been only partial, temporary In such a humour we confess a dislike immigrations, which found a people in to biography, in which kind of reading prior possession. The argument is the future does cast its dark shadow strongly in favour of the supposition before, and we are constantly haunted