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Aldwyth. I can, my lord, for mine own sake, for thine,
Harold. Canst thou love one who cannot love again?
Harold. Then in the name of the great God, so be it !
That all may see. In the next scene comes the meeting between Harold and Tostig in which they part as enemies, and in the following scene the wedding banquet, after the battle of Stamford Bridge, in which Tostig was slain; and Aldwyth already finds she has not the confidence of her husband. The scene itself goes very heavily, till the entrance of the messenger
Caked and plastered with a hundred mires 'to tell how William had landed at Pevensey, which is brought in with considerable effect, and a strong touch of reality in Harold's exclamation, when the man observes that the wind had changed
'I felt it in the middle of that fierce fight
At Stamford-bridge.' Harold parts at once with Aldwyth, with a civil affectation of regret
* Harsh is the news, hard is our honeymoon 'and she sees him no more in life except on the eve of the battle, when Harold dismisses her, with the intimation that he knows she has been
false to England and to me: As .. in some sort . I have been false to thee'in allusion to his love for Edith. We are evidently to understand that the marriage never went beyond the ceremonial; at least, it is only on this supposition that we can comprehend the position of Aldwyth in the final scene. Concerning the interview between Harold and the Monk Margot, where there is much cursing—almost as bad as the swearing of our armies in Flanders—we say nothing, and must pass over with a word the battle-scene, which is described in the conversation of Stigand and Edith who look on; the scene cannot be called dramatic, but there are touches of an epic grandeur here and there, and for one moment Edith seems to rise to the height of the situation, in her invocation on behalf of HaroldVOL. CXLV. NO, CCXCVIII.
"O God of battles, make his battle-axe keen
Charged with the weight of Heaven wherefrom they fall!' A Latin hymn, sung by the monks from Waltham, alternates with Stigand's description and Edith's prayers, but with no effect; certainly none to compensate for the inherent improbability of the incident. In the closing scene, already referred 10, we have the singular, and in some sense almost ludicrous, incident of the two women, each claiming (though on very different grounds) to be par excellence the wife of Harold, and each searching for his body. As it is almost certain historically that Aldwyth was sent away immediately the battle was lost, the poet must take the responsibility of this incident. Which wife has the most real claim is practically shown when the supposed body is found, stripped of all the armour, and Aldwyth says:
* They have so maimed and murdered all his face,
There is no man can swear to him.' • But one woman,' exclaims Edith. The entry of William and Malet, the questioning of the former about Edith, and her answer, remind one somewhat of the last scene in Philip van • Artevelde.' Edith dies Alinging herself on the corpse of Harold :
• Thy wife am I for ever and evermore.' William utters a rough eulogy on the slain warriors and their chief, concluding with certain prophetic words as to the future powers of the Norman-English people, whom he will rule over, which are purely and entirely the personal expression of the poet's own patriotism, and the poem concludes with Aldwyth's single sentence:
My punishment is more than I can bear'a verse which, considering her position and the part she has played, and that she is represented as having had a real, though utterly selfish passion for Harold, has perhaps more concentrated meaning than any other single line in the poem.
In regard to the singular contrast, already noted, between the style of the two dramas, it may be that the comparative monotony and lack of distinctive character in the language of Harold' is partly the result of a deliberate effort to assume a broad and monochrone style, as more suitable for drama. There is no doubt that drama ought to be free from mannerisms of diction; but it appears to us that in • Harold'
we have lost the brilliancy and colour of Mr. Tennyson's characteristic style of diction, and got nothing adequate in its place; and while we miss much of his curiosa felicitas of expression, we are not without specimens, in both poems, of curiosa infelicitas. We may know what is intended to be conveyed when Morcar says the people are ready to · Molochize' their children as a sacrifice to the comet, or when Harold says of the Norse Raven that they have 'dumb'd his carrion croak • from the gray sea for ever,' but how to reconcile the expressions with any logical use of English we know not.
In Queen • Mary’ the tendency to strain epithets leads to a curious slip, where Gardiner observes that the exchequer is ‘at neap-ebh,' the expression 'neap' being of course intended as intensitive, the author apparently forgetting that though the neap-flood is not so high as the spring-flood, the neap-ebb, for the same reason, is not so low as the spring-ebb. We notice the use of adverbs descriptive of the way in which the characters are to be supposed to speak; one slyly, another dreamily; William in one place savagely, and Alva, when Philip tells him he must break the Netherlands or they will break him, replies proudly, • the first!' We should have hoped the “ Anti-Jacobin ’ had put an end to this for ever; at all events we must observe that when a dramatist thinks it necessary to add these sign-posts, he proves a want of confidence, either in his own power of delineation, or in his reader's power of comprehension. A singular mannerism disfigures *Harold' repeatedly, a sort of jingle on the same word in different senses, ex. gr.:
King of the world without it.' And worst of all:
• Tostig. The king hath made me Earl; make me not fool ! Nor make the king a fool, who made me Earl !
Harold. No Tostig-lest I make myself a fool
Who made the king who made thee, make thee Earl.' Such tricks of wording in a drama annoy us just in the same way as the tricks of voice and manner of a bad actor, who cannot lose his own personal manner in that of his assumed part. For one thing, however, we may be grateful to the poet. In his preface he professes to have based his drama
partly on Lord Lytton's romance entitled · Harold.' What the poem really does owe to that work we have not been able to make out; but when we consider what such a reference might have led to, when we reflect that we might have been shown how Harold's head rose erect as he spoke, and already
the brow seemed august, as if encircled by the diadem of the · Basileus,' and that we might have found him on the battlefield with the words · Edith-England!' inscribed indelibly on his breast, and when we find there is nothing at all like this in Mr. Tennyson's poem, we feel that we may at least say,
• For this relief, much thanks!'
Nor would it be right to forget, while we complain of the poet's personality as too predominant in the mannerisms referred to, that this personality also shows itself in thoughts and expressions which are such as we would not willingly lose-such as remind us once more of the high chivalrous feeling which pervades all that Mr. Tennyson has written, regarded in its moral aspect. We feel in good temper even with Bagenhall, when in answer to the remark about the one fault of the Lord Mayor—too thoroughly to believe in his own self '—he says:
'Yet thoroughly to believe in one's own self,
Great things, my lord.' How quietly that is brought in, and how true and thorough' it is. In the phrase in the same play
It is the low man thinks the woman low,' we read the epitome of the chivalrous feeling in regard to woman which, at greater length and with much beauty of expression, has been made familiar to us in some of the poet's earlier writing. When Harold says
Better to be a liar's and hold
Move one without the other'we feel that the writer's intent has travelled far beyond the mere desire to put something suitable into the mouth of his hero. So, too, with that couplet, certainly too obviously modern in feeling for the time or the character of William :-
• The voice of any people is the sword
That guards them, or the sword that beats them down'which received the honour of citation by the most brilliant of orators even before the publication of the poem in which it
occurs. Such passages as these and others, in which the author's own personal feeling comes to the front, seem to us as worthy of proverbial acceptance and currency in the language as many passages and expressions in Shakspere which have received the stamp of national recognition. It may be that the peculiarly English feeling which breathes through the poetry of Mr. Tennyson, and has given it so large a hold on the sympathies of his own generation, is too exclusively the expression of a special phase of national sentiment to have much chance of retaining that hold upon the hearts of future generations; and it is remarkable that for this same reason his works have not met with an acceptance at all proportioned to their merit on the continent of Europe, though they have in America. But to ourselves Mr. Tennyson is endeared by some of the noblest passages in the literature of our age. We have the most unfeigned admiration for the careful and skilful workmanship to be traced in almost every line he has written --for his consummate mastery of the language--for the pure, generous, and lofty sentiments he has expressed in words which will never die; and for the dignity and elevation he has given to the thoughts and aspirations of the century he adorns.
ART. V.- Charles Kingsley : his Letters and Memories of his
Life. Edited by his Wife. 2 vols. 8vo. London : 1877. TH he life of Charles Kingsley illustrates in a very striking
manner the truth of the old adage, that sympathy is the source of influence. It is not merely as the author of a few clever novels, or brilliant essays, or pretty little poems; it is not merely as an eloquent preacher or capable exponent of popular science that Charles Kingsley has a distinctive claim to be honourably remembered amongst the men of his time: it is rather as one who, as a teacher and writer, exercised a very remarkable influence over others, and especially over those of a younger generation-an influence due not so much to any great superiority of genius or intellect as to the kindly fellow-feeling which he had with his brother man; to the outspoken sympathy with all that was good, the hatred and scorn of all that was base; to the strength, the ardour, the enthusiasm, the courage, the boldness with which, either as a friend or foe, he maintained the right or denounced the wrong. To the life of such a man, it was almost a necessary sequence that the story of it should be made public. This, illustrated and