« PoprzedniaDalej »
serious of the conditions imposed Six years after the events just upon me by the Marquis.
recorded, in one of the old-fashFour weeks later, on a bright ioned villages of the Dauphiné, sunny day of July, Bob, who had on an afternoon of March, 1873, a arrived the night before, and who man, with a little faded blue ribwas not in the best of humours, bon or favour in his button-hole, accompanied me to the little village was kneeling before a tomb coverchurch of Combes-la-Breteuille, ed with flowers, and from which which he pronounced to be very arose a marble cross, on which dirty and very stuffy, and there was written the following:gave me away to the girl whom he afterwards pronounced to be,
A VÉCU CE QUE VIout and out, the loveliest creature
L'ESPACE D'UN MATIN.” he had ever seen in or out of his dreams.
Two little children, dressed in So struck was he that he amused blue, were on either side of him, us during the wedding-breakfast toying with the flowers on the by informing the Comtesse de tomb, while the man sobbed as if Breteuille that, had he known the his heart was breaking. girl I loved was only half so An older man-older-looking in beautiful, he would never have manner than perhaps his features allowed me to give up promotion warranted—came up from behind, for the express purpose of keeping and gently touched him on the my friends away from a picture shoulder. they all had a right to admire as The children looked up alarmed a chef-dæuvre. This was neatly at the stranger: the children's put, and on the whole Bob ac- father wept on in silence. quitted himself well; but he could " All is forgiven beyond the not swallow French mannerism, grave," whispered the elderly man. as he called it, and therefore left “ But not forgotten,” replied by the train following that which the other. carried Diane and myself away
". The history of a life, my poor to the mountains, at an altitude friend." which would bring us nearer to “ Death in life you mean?” heaven, to bless the hour that " That was what I felt on that had given her courage to speak to morning when you robbed me of a me in the pastrycook's shop, to wife.” consecrate the colour which had ". That is what I feel as I kneel proved so true to love, and to before her dear remains."
more to each other, " Let us be friends." before beginning a life of endless The younger man shook hands happiness together, that chapter in silence; and over the grave of of little nothings which make life Diane de Breteuille the only enafter all so pleasant and so truly mity she had ever brought about delightful.
was forgotten and forgiven for her sweet sake.
THE OLD SALOON.
The muscular Christian, so im- the subdued Berserker in the bioportant, or at least so very appa- grapher which makes us think of rent, in the front of society some those innocent giants of the past. thirty years ago, has come to a To be himself so mild a man, no good and satisfactory end. It was one could be more distinctively what was to be expected of him. muscular than the author of Tom If he was a little too confident in Brown'; and there is something his own excellence and superiority in the fondness with which he to ordinary men, and especially to lingers upon certain characteristics ordinary clergymen, he had, it must of his present hero, which recalls be allowed, a considerable justifica- to us the more congenial souls tion for his complacency. He was upon whom he could have expaa very good fellow, full of manly tiated with so much more hearty qualities, though a little too well enthusiasm. If not muscular, howaware of the broad shoulders and ever, Bishop Fraser was distinctly muscular vigour of his constitu- manly—not more so in the frank tion, mental and bodily. There and robust character of his mind was no harm in him in any way. than in the delight he took in He believed strongly in the “in- walking, driving, riding, and, above fluence for good” which he felt all, in horses—a taste which comhimself able to exercise ; and some- mends him greatly to his historian, times, by sheer power of confidence, as it did to his pupils in earlier and an enthusiasm which it would years, and as we don't doubt it be unkind to call self-inspired, but will do to the majority of English which, in some subtle human way, readers. We are doubtful, for our combined a strong strain of self- own part, how far the love of belief with more generous senti- horses really is an elevating and ments—he did exercise over primi- wholesome passion; it has results tive minds, and also over the too upon certain minds which are not sophisticated, a great deal of influ- perhaps entirely satisfactory. But ence; and his strength and swing, there is no taste which meets with and even noise, in all of which so much response, in England at he himself exulted, were often re- least, or is accepted as so entirely freshing to meet with in the dusty a part of a lovable and generous ways of the world. But he is character. We cannot help feelgone, and we meet him no more. ing that it is above all others These reflections are suggested to the thing which
attracts Mr us by the book ? which Mr Hughes, Hughes to the late Bishop of once a distinguished member of the Manchester. There are many party, has just produced. Bishop other points of interest in the Fraser was not a muscular Chris- Bishop's character, and he is one tian: in some respects his mind was of those examples of spotless and very different indeed from the char- upright manhood which Mr Hughes acter of that brotherhood ; and per- has done so much to make the haps it is only the mild favour of ideal of English youth; but it is
1 James Fraser, Second Bishop of Manchester. By Thomas Hughes, Q.C. London: Macmillan & Co. 1887.
this passion—this weakness, shall which does not succeed, and that we call it? – this predilection, by dint of perfect character and which endears the subject of the steady well-doing everything he memoir to the writer of it; and wishes is opened to him, and all thus throws a humorous half-path- he undertakes comes to a satisfacetic reflection upon the time when tory result. It is delightful to every zealous priest of his tribe think that a course of spotless was likewise a fine cricketer, a honour and goodness does almost handy oar, a strong swimmer, a invariably bring about this result gallant horseman — keeping his -and it is horrible, mean, detestmuscles well abreast of his reli- able to add with a sneer, as some gion, and counting handiness and bad people do, that nothing does fay hardiness as next to godliness. like goodness, and that honesty is There were giants in those days. the best policy, just as Franklin Perhaps onr young clergy have and other highly worldly and unnot actually fallen off in muscular spiritual philosophers have always development, or resigned the pride said. At the same time we are of thews and sinews for other ac- compelled to add that our interest companiments of spiritual life; wanes when our sense of justice is but the day of Kingsley and his so fully satisfied. James Fraser stalwart race is over. The fashion was one of those men with whom of one generation is not that of everything succeeded. He did another. Lawn-tennis, with its well at school and at college, and possibilities of feminine interven- he gained all the applause, the tion, does not perhaps string the esteem, and the rewards which nerves as did the more strenuous
a youth thus thoroughly struggles of an elder day.
successful, and to whom nothing is Bishop Fraser, however, has lacking. He was the best of sons many claims on the attention of and of brothers — a painstaking the reader. He is, as we have tutor, an admirable clergymansaid, an example of spotless and and he finished his career with an upright manhood, let us add of originality which had scarcely apthat kind of unexceptionable in- peared in his former life, as the tegrity and respectability which most tolerant and impartial and gain golden opinions everywhere, at the same time most outspoken and are, to the credit of the age, the of bishops. Mr Hughes has best foundation of success, and done every justice to the life of one which rarely fails. Goodness this good man. He has let him pays,
as Mr Cotter Morison as- speak for himself in all the cirsured us in his last book-and it cumstances of his life, but judiis true. It is perhaps, so strangelyciously—taking all needful pains constituted is humanity, the one that the reader should not be thing about goodness which par- wearied by too prolonged a monotially takes away its interest, and logue. We do not gather from quenches all enthusiasm in the the book that he had himself any spectator. Why? We cannot tell, intimate knowledge of Bishop nor perhaps could Mr Morison or Fraser, but he is always a symany other advanced philosopher. pathetic historian, full of respect It is a fine sight to see the and appreciation of the fine charrighteous flourishing like acter which he has undertaken to the cedar in Lebanon, and to know set forth. that there is nothing he can do We have not a word to say
against this fine character; but per- was, Mr Hughes tells us,
6 dehaps because of the absence of all cidedly unfavourable." “ The capthe usual events in human life, per- tains of the boats, and the eleven, haps because of the unbroken pros- and the best boxers in the College, perity of it, undisturbed by a cloud looking at the firm setting on of or a struggle, the memoir of Bishop his head, the breadth of his shoulFraser will not, we fear, attract ders, and the splendid muscular any warmly sympathetic feeling development of loin and limb, from the reader, which, considering shook their heads reproachfully. that he seems himself to have been Some moral delinquency, it was possessed by all the brotherly in- felt, must be involved in the nestincts, is curious. To some, how- glect of such natnral gifts.” It is ever, it is given to be interesting with a touch of characteristic humto their fellow - creatures, just as our that Mr Hughes explains how some are predestined to be fine the popular feelings gradually came scholars or great philosophers. round. “ There was a slight reaction Fraser shut his heart to no one, in his favour when the hunting men was always ready in kindness and reported that he owned one of the helpful to his friends, but yet he best hacks that stood at Simmond's, does not touch our heart. The and whenever the old Berkshire most attractive incidents in his met within reach of Oxford, was youthful career are connected with in the habit of taking his ride in that foible (or strong point) to that direction.” Then, another which we have already referred- point of much effect : “Was he not his love for horses. When he be a regular dandy?” “The junior came at a very early age, not more Fellow was beyond all question the than twenty-two or twenty-three, best-dressed man in the College. a lecturer at Oriel, that College Fraser was always as neat as if he had dropped, in the revulsion of had just stepped out of a bandbox. feeling after the loss of Newman He habitually wore a blue frock-coat and the distinguished band with of perfect cut with velvet collar; which he was connected, into one and waistcoat and trousers of light of those pauscs which are usual colours, not excluding even buff to academical communities after a and lavender, equally well made." period of conspicuous mental excite- A blue frock-coat with velvet colment. Its pastors and masters were lar! Think of that, Oshabby of exceptionally high calibre, but Dons, scuffling out and in in the pupils had slipped out of their shooting.coats and wide-awakes! hands. “With the exception of But the year was 1840, and men Christ Church, there was at this had not learnt the delights of unjuncture probably no College in dress. “A much more important Oxford less addicted to reading step was gained when he was seen for the Schools, or indeed to intel on the bank on several critical lectual work of any kind ; ” and nights of the boat-races, running Oriel, outside of the common-room, by the side of the boat and cheerhad given itself up to athletics. tng lustily.” (One wonders if he The new Fellow had done nothing was in the blue frock-coat of perin this way to add to the gloryfect cut at this exciting moment !) of the College, though evidently “Next term came a rumour that in so well able to have done so if the long vacation he had clubbed he had pleased : and the verdict of horses with a friend and driven the majority of the undergraduates tandem round North Wales.” Is
it a fond prejudice of the old been peaceably on his way to the muscular school still remaining library for a book-got the credit nog which makes Mr Hughes believe only of having held his own with the in these means of gaining re
best wrestler in the college, but of spect ? Athleticism is still in full self, knowing that the collision was
having kept the affair quietly to himstrength in Oxford, more fully
an accident. organised and recognised than in those early days : yet we should This is a pleasant story, and doubt whether a young Fellow characteristic of the mingled magmight not still gain his due place nanimity and good sense with without the assistance of such ad- which on many after-occasions ventitious recommendations. The Fraser treated more serious adverfollowing incident is both more saries. But notwithstanding even amusing and more likely to have such an incident in his favour, he moved the undergraduate mind. It does not seem to have made any appears that the young men of Oriel impression upon that difficult young were in the habit, after their social populace, or even upon his more meetings, of ending the evening dignified fellows, though his manon a grass-plot in the back quad- ners were good and his heart kind, rangle, which lay under the win- The course of his life, indeed, seems dows of the Provost's library. to have been quiet and subdued, “ Long experience had established considering his real powers and the that when the red curtains were respect with which his contemposuddenly drawn back, and a white raries surrounded him. Conscienhead appeared at the window, it tious and full of brotherly kindness was time to scatter as fast as pos- as he was, there seems to have been sible.” On one such occasion a no impulse in him to throw himself certain gigantic Scot, a scholar of into that hot and hard work which the College, noted for his strength, ardent young men-either warmly and nicknamed the Bear, on ac- religious, or, according to the new count of some famous hug in formulas, humanitarian-are apt to wrestling, while in full flight from plunge into in the first fervour of this portent, ran up against some manhood and freedom. He had evione in the dark whom he took for dently no inclination towards Christhe porter.
tian socialism-no notion of any “Which of the two grappled the crusade against poverty or ignoother was never accurately known, rance, or those harder conditions but the collision resulted in a spirited of life which sometimes move the wrestling-bout between them; and generous and inexperienced soul the · Bear' admitted that it was all to a kind of frenzy of sympathy he could do to get rid of his opponent, and remorseful help. Fraser acwho, after all, was only left on hand cepted life as it was, with a strong and knee, no •fair fall' having been secured on either side. But the tussle practical sense of the many pleashad lasted long enough for Mackie to
ant things in it, and the excellence have recognised his adversary, and no of a tranquilly established position, doubt the recognitionhad been mutual; sanctified but not burdened by the and grave were the fears of those in care of a few humble souls and the the secret for some days, whether an duties of a small parish. He left untimely end might not be put to the Oriel for the little parish of Cholcareer of the scholar, and so a vacancy
derton, Marlborough, at hard to fill be created at number four in the College boat. But nothing twenty-nine, without the slighest happened, and so Fraser—who had appearance of any consciousness