Obrazy na stronie



Time and revolution have in no liament emulate the language of way affected the mercurial excit- the noble public decree by which able nature of the Italians—they the authorities ordered the buildare the same impulsive people ing of the cathedral -“We comwhich they were in the middle mand Arnolfo to make a design ages. Witness the state of wild that may harmonise with the excitement the whole population opinion of many wise men in this was in when Verdi's new opera city and state, who think that we was to be produced at La Scala. should not engage in any enterHad the great maestro been the prise unless we intend to make the hero of a hundred battles, return- result correspond with the noblest ing from a successful campaign, design which is approved by the his reception at Milan could not united will of many citizens." have been more enthusiastic, or So the glorious work, undertaken the interest in him more intense. in this noble spirit, and carried on And here in Florence the one topic by successive generations with the of conversation is the grand cere- same reverential love, was at last monial which was observed when completed, and in May the beauthe new façade of the Duomo was tiful façade was exposed to view. uncovered in May: the glory of While the richest and most deliSanta Maria del Fiore has for cate tinted marbles have been many months occupied the Italian used, great care has been taken to nation the jubilee does our keep the new work in harmony own. Nor, indeed, is the subject with the other walls of the catheunworthy of this deep interest. dral; and to ensure this, it was It is a great event, after the lapse necessary to remove many of the of five centuries, to have finished old slabs of the intarsiaia where the noble design of Brunelleschi, the marble had been worn away which Michael Angelo would not by decay, or damaged by the inpretend to surpass in St Peter's fluence of the weather. It can be

judged by this partial renovation “ Io faro la sorella Più grande già ma non più bella."

how admirable was the effect of

the whole when the coverings The completion of the facciata were removed. There was exof the Duomo has been the work posed to the admiring masses the of years, and it may also be said « lavoro di poesia," a vast marble the work of the nation. From the tracery of fruits, flowers, garlands, day of its foundation, at the close and wreaths, mingled with lovely of the thirteenth century, this faces, the work of innumerable cathedral has been regarded with sculptors and artists, who all unaffection by all the Italian nation- dertook it as a work of love, alities, and contributions towards many of them, like Settigagno, acits completion have poured in from cepting only his daily expenses. the most distant parts, and from Nor was this disinterestedness all classes of the nation. Would limited to the noble army of workthat a similar interest in the glory ers. The beautiful, rich, variegated of our public monuments existed marbles of Serravezza, Siena, and in England! When will our Par- Prato were presented as a gift,


and even in many cases their The admirers of Prout may mourn transport paid. Florence over the sacrifice of picturesque made every preparation for the decay, but, on the whole, the

, great occasion: the Italian king- change is for the better. It is one doin was represented there by all of the many lamentable results of its various, and at one time hos- the new Republic in France, that it tile, nationalities, and interesting seems to have taken all good taste was it to see the crowds collect and all interest in the past out of ed in the City of the Lily in all the people. No improvements are that variety of costumes which now carried on, whole edifices ashas not yet disappeared in the re- sociated with the glories of France mote provinces. From the wooded are permitted to fall into decay. glens of the Apennines, even from Monsieur Grévy presiding over the the distant Alban hills and rugged destinies of a nation whose history Calabria, came pilgrims to glad- is full of the glorious traditions of den their hearts by the sight of a long line of kings, is not a more the crowning glory of Florence. striking proof of the change in the Happy is it for a nation when spirit of the nation, than the ruins its peoples possess a heart which of the Tuileries, which remain as beats quicker at the sight of the a memorial of the wild excesses of trophies and triumphs, not of war the populace, where"dust to dust" but of peace.

applies to the proudest edifices as Great men have always felt the well as to their creators. importance of carrying out great The country in which at present national works. The whole of there is the greatest demand for Europe bears testimony to the im- architects and builders is Italy. perialism of Rome.

If new brooms do not always sweep Napoleon well understood this clean, at any rate they sweep away. when he carried out his gigantic The two cities in which the work plans without and within the walls of destruction and construction are of every city he conquered. Even being carried on with untiring Napoleon III., wherever he dwelt, energy are Rome and Florence. left behind him some monument In Rome a new city has been of noble design. He felt that - created on the Quirinal; huge “From works like these a nation's glory squares, with rectangular streets, springs;

are intended by their names to These are imperial acts, and worthy render homage to the great deeds kings."

of the founders of Young Italy. It is true that Paris, by its charges, On the Quirinal, fortunately, with lost greatly in its historic in- the exception of the Baths of terest and associations, when its Diocletian, there has been little to old streets of shabby dilapidated destroy; and as at least 200,000 houses were cleared away by the have been added to the population master-hand of Haussmann; but since Rome was made the capital, it must be conceded that light this congeries of brick and rubble was let into dark and noisoine must be endured. Now there exist places. And buildings, if not of two distinct cities, as there are much architectural beauty, at least two distinct sovereigns, in Rome, on a grand scale, replaced dilapi- and three Romes,-the Rome of dated tenements, whose only beauty the Vatican, the Rome of the was derived from the ravages of Quirinal, the Rome of the Forum time and the overgrowth of ages. and Palatine. If Gibbon had ar

The great

for a

thought what was intended only tion in the literary world, and the

more lucid and attractive amiable recluse fouud himself famstatement of the work done by ous to his great surprise and conothers; and thus perhaps wore siderable embarrassment. Howout more quickly than otherwise ever, he took his fame with much might have been, the strength and seriousness, and without any mislife of the writer, whose forces givings as to the result. Buckle were unequal, and whose time was was one of the first of the band of too short for such a task.

philosophical thinkers rejecting the We have spoken (with the one creed of Christianity and even of exception of Carlyle) only of works Theism, which have made so great of English history. But the his- an appearance in our day; and his torical writers of the half-century name naturally leads us to those have not been confined to this sub- of others in many respects more ject. The great work of Grote remarkable than his own, who upon ancient Greece has for a long have given to our philosophical time put every competitor out of literature a new development, and the field, and become in its weighty who have established Natural conscientiousness and power the Science, with all the philosophies chief authority upon that ever-in- dependent on it, as one of the teresting theme. We have al- greatest subjects and most intiready referred to the most prodi- mate occupations of the time. gious piece of work of all, a His- We have again to recur to the tory which has been perhaps more name of Carlyle when we enter, popular than any big book of its or rather before we enter, this field. dimensions ever was, and which His historical works, though so rewas for a long time almost as pro- markable, perhaps scarcely took so ductive as an estate, a most valu- strong a hold upon the mind of his able piece of literary property, Sir generation as those which for want Archibald Alison's History of of a better title we must call philoEurope.' The ‘History of Civili- sophical. He had no system of sation of the late Mr Buckle was philosophy, however, to set forth, still greater in its conception, and but rather the mind and thoughts could it ever have been carried out, upon all things in heaven and earth would no doubt have reached to of one of the most remarkable of some prodigious number of volumes, human beings, a man half prophet, worthy of the huge collection of half iconoclast, in whom a devout books in which its author had heart, instinct with all the lore of built himself up with a curious a cottage-taught religion, and the symbolical fitness. For though his austere morality and rustic intolertheme was mankind, his knowledge ance of a Scotch peasant, were was of books alone, and his work linked with a spirit which had is full of those strange ignorances caught fire at that of Goethe, and clever mistakes to which a and had thrown off all allegiance mind trained in the atmosphere of of faith-a spirit full of sardonic a literary hothouse, out of reach of humour and powers of mockery all practical contact with the na- and vituperation unrivalled, fierceture he attempted to define and ly unsympathetic with all that chronicle, is naturally subject. was uncongenial to his The appearance of his first volume, while tender to every touch of however, the introduction to his feeling within its own intense vast subject, created a great sensa- but limited range.

The pro


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blem of this curiously mingled with crags and precipices and nature, so open to malign inter- heaven-pointing needles, sometimes pretations, yet so attractive to resplendent in the glory of setting all the enthusiasms, puzzled yet de- suns, sometimes clad in the greys lighted the world as it revealed and purples of distance, to which itself in the often grand and some- neither verdure nor snows will cling. times chaotic literary utterance, a A very different apparition is style which was in reality the sub- that of the philosopher whose conlimated but most genuine style of tact with Carlyle has afforded a a Scotch peasant of genius, full of curious anecdote to literary hisreflections from the Hebrew elo- tory, and a still more curious conquence of the Old Testament, and trast between two men as unlike from that prodigious gigantic as any two that could be got togeancient German, which were per.ther at random in any thoroughhaps the two things nearest to his fare, though both so influential in own heroic old Saxon-Scotch. Per- their different ways and so remarkhaps it needs an acquaintance with able. Everybody knows the tragic that ponderous and solemn speech incident of the destruction of Carof the old shepherds and plough- lyle's precious manuscript, the first men, slow and grandiose in unin- volume of the French Revolution,' tended solemnity, “such as grave upon which all his hopes of fame livers do in Scotland use," to com- and even of daily bread hung, by prehend the naturalness and sim- horrible misadventure or carelessplicity of Carlyle's often contorted ness, in the hands of John Stuart and sometimes convulsive utter- Mill; and that memorable scene ance. And it certainly requires a when the pair of penniless people knowledge no longer at all general in London, hearing suddenly of of the primitive moorland peasant this tremendous misfortune, could of the beginning of the century to not by more than a look commuunderstand the fashion of a man, nicate to each other their despair, all astray among fine English liter- so necessary was it to console ary folks in Queen Victoria's reign. the misery of the destroyer, who, These curious contradictions and in- “deadly pale," came to tell them comprehensibilities will make him of what had happened. What a always a most interesting figure in curious picture! The culprit, rich literary history, even under the and at his ease, to whom a hundred shade which has been thrown or a thousand pounds was over his name, and nothing can nothing, could that make up for impair the splendour of his contri- this thing which was irremediable, butions to literature. Such works pale and trembling, before that as • Sartor Resartus 'stand detached proud, passionate, eloquent, fiery like great poems from all surround- pair, either of whom could have ings, and are indeed more rare annihilated with desperate, vehethan the greatest of poems. It ment words any offender. What would be difficult to apportion to lava - torrents of indignation and Carlyle his place in any literature. despair ought to have covered him He stands apart like a great lonely as he stood, turning him to a peak in a world of mountains, not cinder ! As a matter of fact, they loftier perhaps than the great forms were the consolers of his despair, about him veiled in summer ver- not he of theirs. And everybody dure or eternal snow—but more knows also the strange training of conspicuous in solitary grandeur, Mill as disclosed in his Autobio



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graphy, and the amiable, benevo- The philosophers who have follent, gentle nature of the man thus lowed Mill in this field-his contwisted and tortured out of hu- temporaries, yet successors—are manity, and how he took refuge too many and too important to be in woman-worship and learned a dealt with here. Mr Herbert wistful hope in immortality out of Spencer, who is a host in himself, the intolerable pang of bereave- is fortunately still with us; and ment. His great work on · Logic' so are, a band almost uncountis another of the books which make able, the school of English writers, a distinct epoch and new beginning; many of them most accomplished and we perhaps can scarcely esti- and eloquent, to whom the philomate how much the general public sophy of Comte is more attractive has derived its present conceptions that that of the Gospel. of individual right and social res- have never perhaps been so many ponsibility from the famous · Essay attractive and charming unbelievers on Liberty,' which has stimulated in the field; yet we do not enterso many minds, and grown into tain the apprehensions expressed the common code so completely by many for the permanence of that thousands recognise its tenets the older faith. as born with their birth, without It is difficult to dissociate the two any consciousness from whence men above considered, Carlyle and they came. His other works on Mill, in their very different developPolitical Economy, the Utilitarian ments, from their productions ; but system, and other cognate subjects, when we turn to Charles Darwin, are all important and interesting. who perhaps is the most influential These were hereditary tenets and of all the scientific writers of our occupations, for he was brought epoch, we associate no personality up under the shadow of Jeremy with his work, and feel no temptaBentham, and

a great tion to inquire what manner of degree the expositor and prophet man he was. This is one drawback of his father James Mill, another which attaches to wealth, comfort, stern Scotch dogmatist and theorist, and a quiet life, that there is little into whose immovable mould the attraction for human sympathy in gentler, more sensitive, and im- them. But the importance of Darpressionable nature of the son was win in the literary and scientific compressed with

very curious history of his time is not to be effects. The strange little book mistaken. His works have been on the Subjection of Woman' read according to a very usual belongs to a very different phase formula not so applicable now as of his character, to the much-re- in former days—like novels. It pressed emotional side, which only would perhaps be a truer form of got vent under the feminine influ- applause to say of a successful novel ence which to him seemed all but that it has been read like Darwin. divine in the latter part of his life. His works have been discussed His books, excepting the highly in every drawing-room as well as popular • Essay on Liberty,' are studied in every scientific retirechiefly for the student; and have ment; but this, we are disposed to had an immense influence upon the believe, as has been the case with teaching of Mental Science; but many other of the scientific works the image of the man as revealed of the period, rather because of in his own story is of the greatest the lucidity and interest of the interest to all.

style and the manner of putting




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