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of selection and arrangement. His By scrupulous self-criticism and unworks contain innumerable gems, remitting toil. Macaulay would somebut piled pages on pages without times write a sentence over half a method, huddled up in so obscure dozen times before it would read a heap that the ordinary reader smoothly to his ear; and Balzac yawns past them with half-closed eyes. wrote the Peau de Cagrin sixteen There is good raw material; but times. Thus drudged the great then it is so very raw,-half de masters of two great languages. No veloped ideas crawling about on all genius, however splendid, can afford fours, unpeeled witticisms, and to dispense with style. Style is heterogeneous mass of scientific structure, without which a book is facts, which ought to be neatly not a building, but a quarry,--style labelled and put away in an appen- is voice, without sweetness of which dix, or cunningly introduced into there can be no true eloquence,the body of the text. In short, style is art, which adorns the nakedCaptain Burton's mind is repre- ness of human thought, and comsented in his books, as the zoologi- poses symmetry of sentiments and of cal collections of the British Museum ideas. are represented in the glass cases of I have said much upon this subject that establishment-nothing is seen because I am convinced that, if Capto its best advantage, and half of tain Burton chose, he might become the specimens are not seen at all. an agreeable writer. But I am
It is evident that his style has aware that it is not true criticism to been corrupted by his Oriental demand neat literary manipulation studies; but since he possesses in the works of men who spend the these immense stores of informa- greater portion of their lives away tion, with considerable powers of from their own language, and who original thought, humour, and ob- are usually forced to write hurriedly, servation, why does he not study that the book may appear before the the science of book-making, in discovery has died from the public which there is so much that is me mind. Sir Samuel Baker is a litechanical, but which cannot be mas rary artist, as well as a gallant extered without brain-sweat and pa- plorer ; but we have no right to extient thought? No writers accumu- pect this double talent in travellers, lated facts with greater interest than and to blame them if we do not find Balzac and Macaulay; but they ex- it. They are great authors, though ercised yet greater labour upon their in another way,--they perform style, till they had so perfected it that poems instead of writing them; and the common eye, dazzled by the some day, perhaps, from the deeds beauty of the fabric, often fails to ob- of these heroes of Central Africa a serve the materials of which it is Camoens will rise to put them into composed. How was this done? words.
THE CUSTOM OF BURIAL WITH THE HEAD TOWARDS
THE EAST. IN Shakespeare's Cymbeline there plained, but entirely mis-translated. occurs a passage suggesting a curious It is made to say, question, to which it has not been easy to find an answer. It is that “Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his face to where Guiderius and Arviragus are
“Nach Osten, Cadwal, muss sein Antlitz preparing to bury Imogen, who, in liegen;" the dress of a youth, lies apparently dead. Guiderius says,
which is certainly wide of the original
by just half the circumference of the Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the earth; for if the face is to look east
east; My father hath a reason for 't.
ward, the head must, of course, be
reclined westward. The two broWhat was that reason? In the flood thers were about to bury the brutish of annotation which has been poured Cloten, whom Guiderius had just over the plays of the greatest of slain, at the same time with the poets, there has been no reply to beautiful boy whom they had so this rather interesting inquiry. We tenderly lamented. And doubtless have quite enough of a guidance he would have them both laid out that perplexes or misleads, of illus- in the same direction; for, as he trations that do but darken, and said emendations of what was quite straight till private hands intermed
“ Thersites' body is as good as Ajax,
When neither is alive ;" dled to crook it. There is plenty of vapid and false criticism, from and the reason that his father had one of the most learned of English given, whatever it was, would still bishops; from one of the most pon- apply here. But again, what was derous of English moralists; from that reason? If the command had one of the most shining names in been to lay the head to the opposite classic English verse. But no critic quarter of the sky, we can readily or commentator that we know of, suppose that the motive was for such from "piddling Tibbald” to Cole- a requisition. The face would then ridge the transcendental, with his be turned towards the east, the suncloudy pomp of professional words rise, and the doctrine of the resurand fanciful abstractions, has had a rection might thus seem to be symsyllable to bestow upon this point. bolised. But, on the contrary, the Knight's Pictorial has no represen- countenance of the dead is made tation of it. The ingenious Mr. to front that portion of the heavens Hudson offers no lesson or where the sun does nothing but sink jecture about it. Mr. Richard Grant towards its setting, and set. White-and he alone, so far as we And yet that cheerful and encourknow, has had his attention called aging idea is not the one that is to this subject-says: “What was most frequently presented in the reBelarius's reason for this disposition ligious usages of the ancient world. of the body in the ground, I have Quite the reverse. The description been unable to discover."
that we here have in Shakspeare turn to the German version of the corresponds with the funeral customs play by Schlegel and Tieck, we find that generally obtained before the that the passage is only not ex Christian era. We have it from
Ælian and Plutarch, that such was been a prevailing mode of interment, the method in ancient Greece, and and is evidently meant to be merely especially among the people of an image of the great crucifixion. Athens. We hear the voice of the And all this corresponds perfectly Delphic Apollo
with the aspect of the vast church “Go, first propitiate the countıy's chiefs,
structures which were going up in Who, when interred, faced the declining various parts of Europe in the Mid
dle Ages, taking centuries to build, with thousands of men some
many There is some discrepancy, indeed, times working at once upon a single among the Greek writers on this sub- building. A hundred thousand worke ject. But there can be little doubt
men, Michelet assures us, were em. that the fact is as we have stated. ployed at the same time upon the Sir Thomas Browne, in his Hydrio Sculptured pile at Strasburg; and taphia, asserts—and seems to have there is the marvel at Cologne not good authority, for the assertion- finished yet. The cathedrals were that the Phoenicians, children of the in the shape of a cross, with their East as they were, turned the dead
head, the most sacred part, where face towards the west.
was the chapel of the Madonna, al. Under the influence of Christianity ways lying towards the east. This this order was reversed), and doubt. latter fact is remarkable, and may less for the reason that has been throw some light on the subject we already assigned. The ancient Chris- have now in view. We naturally contian writers are agreed in their tes- clude that this position was adopted timony, so far as they give any, that, on account of the superior sanctity in burial, the countenance was turn of that quarter of heaven from which ed towards the sky, in sign of a Christ came, and the light of his heavenly origin; and towards the Gospel first dawned. The lines just east, in sign of an immortal hope. quoted clearly transfer this position Robert Herrick, the Catullus of Eng- and idea from the church building lish poetry, expresses this in the to the human body as it is laid in Hesperides :
the grave. There is a passage in “Ah, Bianca ! now I
Michelet's History of France that It is noon and past with me.
sets forth the same thought, and In a while it will strike one ; Then, Bianca, I am gone.
expands it with so much fancy Some effusions let me have
and rhetorical fervour that it is Offered on my holy grave;
worth reciting, if it were only as a Then, Bianca, let me rest
sample of his peculiar style, poetic With my face towards the east.” and idealistic, of writing history, But, as if here also there must be “The cathedral,” he says, “is a some confusion, we read in one of the petrified mystery-a suffering in old dramatists the following lines :
stone; or, rather, it is the Sufferer
himself. The whole edifice, in the I turn thy head unto the east, austerity of its architectual geometry, And thy feet unto the west ;
is a human body. The nave, stretchThy left arm to the south put forth, And the right unto the north.
ing out its two arms, is man on the
cross; the crypt, the church under Just the contrary of what was quoted ground, is man in the tomb; the before. And it is worth observing tower, the spire, -it is still he, but that the figure thus described is up, and mounting to heaven. In cruciform. The hands extended at that choir, bent from the line of the right angles with the body, instead nave," --it should be remarked that of lying at the side, or being folded only in a very few instances is it upon the bosom, could never have found so bent, -"you see his head
bowed in agony; you recognise his mysteries of their chancel and high blood in the burning purple of the altar and uppermost recess. windows. Let us touch these stones
It is now time to gather up into with care ; let us tread softly upon some distinct statements the result these pavements. Everything there of what has been suggested, and see bleeds and suffers yet. A great if we can get at what
was in the mind mystery is passing before.” This of Shakespeare when he made Guimay sound very fanciful. But even
derius say, “My Father hath a reason the cautious Dean Milman avers, in for 't." And first, it has been the his. History of Latin Christianity, habit of all religions to regard some that the Gothic cathedral was “ typi- one particular point of the horizon cal in every part, from the spire to the crypt."
as holy above all the rest, to which
all observances had reference. The Under impressions like these, it stationary Hindoos sought with their would not have been singular iť a eyes the fabulous mountain of the correspondent usage had sprung up gods, towards the cool north, through (though there is perhaps no positive the fair mists that would never evidence of it) of laying the heads allow them the vision of it. The of the deceased towards the rising roving Goths, in their worship of sun, as is indicated by the old drama. Odin, stormed towards the South tist quoted.
Indeed, we should after that city of Asgard where they wonder if it had been otherwise ;
were to find fulness of joy. The and there is fair ground of conjec. Mussulmans, wherever they spread ture that such may have actually their carpets for devotion, turn tobeen the case in some instances; in wards
Mecca, the city of the prophet. some instances, we say, for it does The Hebrews worshipped towards not seem likely that the original tra. the holy temple, and, when that dition of all Christendom should was thrown down, towards the hill ever have been extensively departed where it had stood. So early as from, and its primitive usage been when that temple was dedicated, thus inverted.
King Solomon spoke of those who, But now, again, -as if the subject in the after ages, should pray towards could never be wholly free from that place ; and the Prophet Daniel, contrary facts and discordant testi- in his exile, when he opened his mony, -the direction in which the windows in the direction of Jeruápse of the church pointed was by salem as he prayed, was imitated by no means universally the same. In whole generations of his people, in France and in Germany it pointed, their longer exile and wider disperindeed, pretty uniformly to the sion over every part of the earth. east, - in the great Gothic struc- Now this same Jerusalem was the tures, perhaps, invariably so. In the point toward which turned Christian temple of St. Sophia, at Constan- worship in the early centuries of the tinople, erected centuries before the Church. Jerusalem invited Chris. Northern builders arose, it was so. tian arms for its deliverance a part In London, the modern cathedral of of the time, and attracted Christian St. Paul's, as well as the ancient Ab- hearts to it by their sacred symbey, are both calculated on the same pathies always. It was not like principles of orientation. But in Mount Merû in the north, where the Italy the case is strikingly otherwise. gods sat in council; nor like the city The greatest churches of Rome, Asgard in the south, where the gods with St. Peter's at their head, open sat at feast; but, far away in the their vast portals to the populace on East, it was the place of the Mastheir eastern side, instead of present ter's grief and sepulchre. ing to that sacred quarter the close We are tempted here to repeat at