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The Princess is a wonderful example of his power in representing female character, and wonderful, too, for the subtle analysis of womaly feeling. Few poets could have maintained the Princess in a true, womanly character, throughout her experience. But through “ all the crust of iron moods,” we erer catch a glimpse of the woman. The exhibition of the Princess' various moods, the gradual development of her affection for the Prince, deepening from pity into love, and the final liberation of her woman's nature from the false position in which she sought to place it-all these illustrate his thorough study of female character, the results of which he has beautifully summed up in the Prince's eloquent exposition of woman's true part and place in the world.
But it would be impossible to enumerate all the lessons Alfred Tennyson has sought to impress upon this age. It is not alone in combating the peculiar wrongs of the time that poetry is valuable, but in presenting noble ideals, whose contemplation elevates and refines; in exhibiting those universal, general principles of love, truth and charity, which are as undying as man; and which, received and acted upon, purify man of vice—it is in virtue of these that poetry is immortal, and that the poet influences all ages for good. And it is for these qualities, for the general elevating tendency of his poetry, that Tennyson deserves especial praise. His pages are blotted by no impure morality. He seeks to make virtue everywhere beautiful; vice always abhorrent. But above all, this poet, whose imagination is so fervent, whose words are so deep in feeling, so laden with thought and truth, is a Christian poet. The world does not ask that every poem should be devotional, but it does demand that respect should be paid to the eternal truths of religion; and how soon it spurns those who strive to undermine Christianity, the dead fame of Shelley and Byron's dying popularity bear witness. Tennyson has the spirit of a devout Christian. His Christianity has purified his thought and feeling, making them free from dross, and beautiful. He shows bis belief in the pathetic conclusion to the May Queen; and in the “ In Memoriam," most beautifully does he look, through his sorrow, up to God, in humble resignation to His will, with full faith in His justice and goodness, and praying, “in Thy wisdom make me wise.” Yes, this is the shining, crowning glory of Tennyson's name; that while so many of the poets of his age and school have left at best a doubtful record of their faith, his testimony is clear and emphatic. Worthy of the laurel, he is fit to succeed him who, a few years since, laid down the poet's wreath, to receive a Christian's crown.
Nathaniel Hawthorne. “Rare and radiant” is the gift of genius. It creates new worlds, new peoples, new wants, new enjoyments. It is the melting and flowing of thought, detaching us from the old moorings, and urging us into the beautiful sea of Infinite Life. It floods every cranny and crevice of life, and shows virtue, utility, divinity, where the common mind could not discover them. A man's mind may be talented, that is weighted with rich and varied learning, but all his works are born of labor. He knows what each stroke cost, how much brains, how much physical effort; but the thoughts and works of genius are the outflow of the soul, as natural and easy as the flowing of rivers. To the genius every thing is vivid, impressible, and clearly defined. He can talk while others stammer, write while others blot, paint while others daub. In a word, he has the divinest of all gifts-expression. This noble endowment we think Hawthorne possesses in no mean degree, and therefore the American Novelist, or rather Romancer, merits a position beside the American Poet and Historian,- beside Longfellow and Motley, and whatever other original minds our country can boast.
There is a peculiar originality about Hawthorne's works which mark him at once as a master among his fellows. His thoughts run parallel with human nature. It seems as if every breast was clear as crystal to his eyes, and that he merely read its life and set it down in his pages. It is thus that old thoughts,-honest, natural thoughts,--are constantly breaking the pretty hypocrisies of to-day, and are called original. To be natural is to be original. The best, the sincerest that is in you, will always be new and vivid. The simple, homely pathos of Burns was original, because sincere, and it has made the rude Scottish dialect classic and beautiful forever. Shakspeare and Goethe were original, because they were what the Germans call “manysided men." They were the sincere children of the ages through whose minds flowed the secrets, aspirations, despairs and joys of the race. Hawthorne has, in a degree, this same intimate knowledge of human life, so that he can bring from it, as from a treasury, “things new and old.” The style in which they come forth is the expression of his well-formed mind. It is clear as crystal, and singularly free from word vanity. He gives the thought in simple marble and does not load and daub it with the distasteful paint of an author's egotism. His transparent expressions compare, with the tangled, rainbow sentences of many modern writers, as the simple marble statues of an.
tiquity compare with Gibson's painted Venuses. There is grace and polish, but no vulgar straining to say fine things. Whatever may have been the rough scaffolding to his thought, he bas the good taste to remove, not only the rubbish, but the artist, before the frescoes meet the public eye. He knows well that the secret of art is to be artless. Who that has read the Scarlet Letter, will ever forget the livid portrayal of guilt; secret, yet unconcealable guilt? Were the workings of sin ever more perfectly idealized into character? A heavy oppression of guilt lies like a leaden mountain on the soul. The secret of blood forever baunts the conscience. An unconfessed war is waged with society. The same deep-colored, mysterious thread runs through the Marble Faun, the same heavy-spirited being wearing away life under some unexpressed care and deep-hidden remorse. The Scarlet Letter again, though physically unseen, flames on the heart of the walking mystery. This is delineated with masterly touches. The Beatrice Cenchi is painted on every page with her heart-breaking sadness and retreating eyes.
We have many coarse and appalling pictures of remorse to which the dark brush of Girodet could scarcely add a deeper tinge. All that is tragic and infernal is used as horrid accessories to heighten the effect. Hawthorne, leaving the atmosphere of the theatre, paints remorse to the very life, not in death's heads and physical contortions, but in its terrible workings in the conscience and character.
The pure and innocent are strangely dragged into the guilty circle, and suffer vicariously. The Passion of Christ, the Atonement which innocence makes for sin, is felt throughout humanity. We cannot enjoy or suffer alone. Invisible nerves connect us together. When one is touched, the thrill runs in stronger or fainter influences through the race.
Underlying Hawthorne's romancing there is always a great moral. The lesson is continually taught that moral truth is sure to triumph, because it has a friend in man's own heart. There is a purifying element in every character, though it be sin itself, working out bis salvation under Supreme direction. The acknowledgment of guilt is the voice of virtue. In the most hardened nature guiltiness is not esteemed above innocence. Crime upon crime, blood upon blood, through a long degraded life, cannot wipe out the perception of virtue. Remorse, silent or expressed, preserves humanity. As long as man suffers, he is man.
From the outside Hawthorne's works are miracles of art, of singular grace and gothic beauty, but to appreciate them fully one must live in the author's thoughts, must be at home in the inner circle of
his feelings. From this center his writings deepen and glow in their strange life. We see something of the process by whch be idealizes a passion. His characters are not such as we see on the street. They are rather incarnations of sentiment, passion, humanity, in the abstract. They are ideal and spiritual, perhaps to some grotesque, but nevertheless artistically real and morally symbolic.
Hawthorne is not only an artist in writing, he is an art-critic in painting and sculpture. His acquaintance with the pictorial literature of marble and colors has doubtless greatly aided him in putting his thoughts in words. Art is so intimately connected with the history of the thoughtful soul, that every writer should be, in feeling at least, an artist. Art aspires. It calls into being the poetry, enthusiasm, religion, and all the finer sentiments of our nature. It begets a glorious unrest of the soul, a going out, farther and farther, into the region of eternal truth. We have in us the elements of a true life, but they need to be trained and purified. There is as vast a difference between marble as the ribs and pillars of the hills and the Corinthian column and springing arch. This is the difference between rude being and cultured life What art does for the marble it spiritually does
Art enters the eye and arms it with power of observation. It sees nature in a new and sacred meaning. The Andes are greater because Church has painted their Heart. The miracles of English scenery possess new interest and beauty because Turner has put them
Art enters the heart and teaches it reverence for sacred things. Only less than the influence of the Bible itself has been the influence of those enshrined pictures, those painted Bibles—the Nativity, the Last Supper, the Descent from the Cross, the Holy Family, and others which are among the world's holiest treasures. From art, then, and kindred studies, thought and expression must flow. An author must be an artist, not necessarily in execution but in conception. Ruskin, Hawthorne, are examples. Both have acknowledged their indebtedness. Excepting the volumes of Ruskin, in no book has the spirit and poetry of the fine arts been so nobly embodied as in the Romance of Monte Beni. Rome has a new and livelier meaning since the Marble Faun was printed. There is a picture called the “ Land of the Lotus Eaters.” It is a magical bit of canvass, Tennyson's thoughts in colors. When you gaze long upon it, the canvass and picture-frame fade away. You have eaten the magic fruit and stand off the verge of the rich poetic Lotus-land. It is a half-waking, halfdreaming reality. In this same poetic light we see the treasures of Italian art. Thus has Hawthorne painted the Ideal Rome of the ar
tist. There is genius in the book and every book of genius will live, for it has its roots down deep in the divine.
“The conscious water saw its God and blushed."
There, in a single line, you have the miracle of Cana of Gallilee. In the Marble Faun you have a symbol of the world.
Hawthorne has now grown to a rich, intellectual manhood. He has the finest culture, a warm perception of the Beautiful, and deep acquaintance with human nature. The world is eagerly waiting for the next production of his slow but gifted pen.
Yale Missionary Society. At a meeting of this Society, held on Monday evening, June 8th, the following board of officers was elected for the ensuing year: E. M. WILLIAMS,
Beethoven Society. At a meeting of this Society, held Monday noon, June 22d, the following gentlemen were elected for the next year: F. E. GOODRICH,
'64, '64, '65, '66, '66, '64,
2d Lieut. H. D. CLEVELAND,
3d Lieut. A. H. BUCK,
Purser. VOL. XXVIII.