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whose might is placed on the side of mental condition, and preparing for right, and who do grim battle against the reception of suggestive phases. chaos and all misrule. You will of melody about which an accomgenerally find on the faces of such paniment flashed and intertwined, men an expression of conflict, some- like honeysuckle about a rose. Now times of weariness, sometimes of the most gorgeous service perfectly habitual sadness; but that look of performed, without the life of a spirisore conflict is rarely absent.
tual rendering, is utterly worthless ; On the other hand, how harsh and probably the simple but hearty and grating to the spiritual sensi- prayer of any poor widow is more bilities is it to find oneself at any acceptible in God's sight than the time, by necessity or charity, not by intonation of a hundred voices. Yet choice, among coarse, profane, or we must all acknowledge the influcruel people. We feel ourselves ence of externals as we listen to worse, for the time, by such contact; and join in faultless music rolling out of our element, unhinged, glad through lofty arches soaring like when escape arrives. The external a forest. Here I may remark that coarseness and vulgarity of some few things external to ourselves have persons tell at once of inward blunt such power over us as music, which ness or baseness of feeling, or the oftentimes is like a hand passed absence of all feeling; and we have over the rim of a musical glass, a sense of alienation as though con- starting it into tone. A strain of versing with a different being, with music oftentimes starts up feelings no tastes and few inclinations in long buried, and half memories of common, from whom we shrink as feelings, and of friends and circumfrom an unknown animal of probably stances sunk far into the past ; changdangerous proclivities. All which ing quickly our mental tone from comes through the channel of ex- joy to sorrow, or the reverse, from ternal appearances, indicating inter- despondency to hope, from careful nal conditions.
anxiety to ease of heart. Only a few days ago I was forcibly What shall we say of the influence struck with one form of the influ- of externals when a whole assembly ence of externals. A party of us of Alpine peaks stands for us in were privileged to see the interior of the rosy light of sunrise, glittering one of our smallest, but most beau- in the far sky? or when, among the ful cathedrals, with only the organist, upper summits, from an even snowy a friend of some of the party, to con- carpet of dazzling white, rise hunduct us through the noble vistas, dreds of nameless peaks on either and point out objects of especial hand, seeming to pierce a sky whose interest. Presently we seated our- azure hue is so intense as to find no selves down the nave, while our parallel in nature, save the gentian, friend gave us a suggestive voluntary which expands its lovely flowers on the organ. As the pure tones close to the glacier? Does not the rolled up and through the great power of such a scene expand the arches of the otherwise silent church, heart and lift it into regions of deone of us, at least, became swayed light, radiant as the sunrise, calm as beneath the influence of sweet music the tall pinnacles round the upper and lofty arch, sinking into still re- birthplace of the glacier ? As we ception, while the flood of harmony gaze, do we not seem ourselves lifted coursed at will over the subdued above the earth, and disposed. to spirit. Doubtless the elevating in- exult in the power of the Almighty, fluence of that far vault of stone, who hath so framed these amazing almost lost in the distance, had mountain forms, and lifted them an much to do with inducing such a hour into the sunset? The influence
of country so grand as theirs has to reflect on the possibilities that undoubtedly told largely in the might have befallen us, had our physical and moral power of Swiss birthplace been other than what it and Tyrolese, rendering them a is: or cast back a few hundred brave little people, and implanting years, when this bright England lay in their breasts an ardent love of in the twilight of knowledge; or country, a patriotism seldom equalled still more remote times, when great in the world. The dweller in low- horned elks roamed the wilds, and land plains of Holland has less to naked men feasted on fish and wild fix his love upon, in natural features fruits, contending with hoards of of his flat country : but every moun savage animals thronging the great tain form, each glacier, each river, woods. How different our lot might the wild storms of winter and spring's have been! Where would have brightest carpeting of flowers, all been our religious and scientific are well known and familiar, as well knowledge, as we watched the as dear to the heart of nearly every planet Venus gleaming in the west Swiss. The more rugged and barren after sundown? Where our warm the rocks of any country, the nearer clothing, our ready food, our home they entwine about the hearts of its and social comforts ? So will we people.
be thankful our birth lay in the ages Here I come to speak of the in- it did, our infancy passed in the fluence of externals as exemplified light and delights of the present in one's country, and the bearing century. upon character exercised by the How differently a person feels civilisation, or the want of it, among and acts at different times, even of which we live. What should we the same day, when surroundings have become, had it pleased God are varied and his mind is variously that we had been born in the wild occupied ! I am writing on an early region of the Upper Nile sources, summer's morning: it wants two among barbarous negroes, perhaps hours until breakfast time, and my cannibals, painting their black skins household is all asleep - wife and with many-coloured pigments, and children, visitors and servants—all given to mad and superstitious asleep probably at this moment, practices, without any knowledge without a thought of me writing here save the very rudest and most frag- alone. About me is the mute commentary, and with no means of panionship of leaves. I raise my learning one of the simplest truths eyes, which rest on volumes of the known to every English child ? The Bible ; of Shakespeare, Milton, Tenvery thought makes one shudder, nyson ; of Wilson, A.K.H.B., DickWe boast ourselves of our knowledge ens; of Smiles, Carlyle, Borrow; of and civilisation : but it is simply Forbes, Ramsay, Herschel ; of Hothe goodness of God that has caused race, Virgil, Homer, Pascal, Lamarus to be born amid the light of tine; so you see I have some little Western Europe. It might have selection indicated by these few vopleased Him for our eyes to have lumes, if disposed to read. As I opened upon the mud cabins of look through my little study window, naked savages, and ourselves to graceful laburnums are seen droophave become just as they are : we ing their many-golden flowers might have eaten of their impure Laburuums, dropping wells of fire, feasts, been joined to their cruel and superstitious customs, had their as Tennyson has it, prettily conblind ignorance, and lived and died trasted with lilacs, beneath which in all the barbarity they esteem as are two comfortable garden seats, mere matter of course. It is curious hinting of social evenings on the
grass. Amid all this I have leisure, things are as the play of light and and time to think : presently all this shade on the surface of a lake. My will be changed, and a lively group, mental conditions under these three holding some of those dearest to nie states will vary much from each on earth, be gathered round the other, being largely influenced by breakfast-table, in pleasant conversa- things external. Yet this is what tion and easy social equality. This we may term a common day, withwill bring its own frame of mind, out anything special to distinguish it probably a cheerful one; for our from other days : so mightily are we English breakfast is generally a cheer- swayed by things without us. ful meal, though we have not yet But I must draw this essay to a achieved (even were it altogether de- close, leaving much unsaid which sirable to achieve) the “free break- might have been advanced touching fast - table” some politicians talk other forms of the influence of exabout. Following upon this will ternals. And in doing so would come a different scene for myself, again remark that our thanks are a group of externals carrying their due for every good influence leading own peculiar influence, when I shall to the Right; every kindly office be engaged upon special duties in- and custom and institution of this volving considerable thought and our country, tending to keep us on care and discrimination, taking in the side of order. Most of us need the interests of others perhaps more to give thanks for good parents and than my own; and shall be sur- kindly friends, remembering God for rounded by severer things-books, these advantages; while we tremble truly, but far different from these, to think what we might have become on other topics; and by a host of had we been born and reared in the paraphernalia which, were I to tell reeking atmosphere, the moral and you, would at once denote my usual material filth of haunts of vice, only work in life. There will come with too prevalent in all great towns. such externals another change over Why were we made to differ from the mind, and greater strain, with the poor woman who daily washes closer application and altered forms her fingers away, yet cannot clothe of thought, when I shall have no her little ones even in rags because time to think of the laburnams or of the extravagance of her. brutal my favourite rose, or dwell upon the husband, who returns home towards conversation of my merry breakfast morning only to beat her, already friends ; but my work then will knot overwearied, body and spirit, by a itself together, and require careful long day's hardship! Here we are handling to unravel its details and brought up to one of the mysteries set them clear. So much I know; of life, and can only know-it was but what subtle processes of thought the will of God : for which will tomay go on, or what feelings come wards us let us be thankful, and and possess me, or what sense of strive to help those less advantaged. care environ me. I know not: these
UGO FOSCOLO AND HIS AGÉ.
Could Ugo Foscolo, instead of where they had scourged with rods, being carried to Florence in a coffin, they now scourged with scorpions. travel now thither in a first-class car- But a Cavour arose, and a Napoleon riage, enjoying the Alpine scenery, III., and a Bismarck. Napoleon and basking, like his fellow-passen could not check the torrent he had gers, in the glorious sunlight spread- turned loose ; and notwithstanding ing its vivid rays over Mount Cenis, the treaty of Villafranca, Italy behe would be startled at the wondrous came one “from the Alps to the transformation that had taken place Adriatic." Rotten throne after throne since his day in the condition of toppled over, until at last the temItaly. During the forty-four years poral power itself, the great incubus in which the patriot, soldier, and that has weighed for centuries over poet, has been lying in his narrow Italy, impeding its progress, bearing home at Chiswick, many and many down civilisation and enlightenment have been the vicissitudes under- like an Old Man of the Sea, fell at gone by his political, if not geogra- a touch, as a house of cards. phical native land. Innumerable Ugo Foscolo, who, in the latter hopeless conspiracies and ill-advised years of his life had began to deCarbonari movements, invariably spair of Italy and the Italians, would ending in the shedding of the best now rub his eyes, to discover if he Italian blood, and culminating in the were dreaming ; and when conexecution of the Brothers Bandiera, vinced that his formerly apparently in 1844, followed each other, until impossible aspirations had been the accession of Pio Nono to the realised, he would be content to Pontificate. When Pius IX. became occupy the cold habitation prepared the guardian of the keys of St. Peter, for him at Santa Croce, and to sleep great rejoicings took place in Rome, there for evermore. and the phenomenon of a liberal Zante was the birth-place of Ugo Pope inspired the too sanguine Foscolo, when the Ionian Islands population with hopes of future still formed a part of the Venetian freedom and regeneration. Then dominions. His father was a phythe revolution of 1848 broke forth sician and inspector of hospitals at in Paris, and the Milanese at once Spalatro, in Dalmatia ; and little rose, and after five days of hard Ugo saw the light in 1778, accordfighting, put to flight, with heavy ing to some, and in 1775 according loss, the 20,000 Austrians that gar- to others, during a residence of his risoned the city. Piedmont declared family at Zante. As a boy, he diswar against Austria ; the Italian arms tinguished himself for his assiduous at first prospered, and the expulsion attention to his studies at a school of the hated stranger was all but in Venice, whither he had been achieved. But the tide turned, and sent. As a young man, he was noted the French and the Spaniards eagerly in the University of Padua for his advanced to the rescue of tyranny, profound knowledge of the Latin oppression, and ignorant despotism. classics. He quitted the university So the Germans as well as the without adopting any profession; Italian princes came back, and but in 1797 he brought out, in the riveted the chains still more tightly theatre of Sant' Angelo, in Venice, on their unhappy subjects ; and his tragedy of “Tieste," written in
imitation of Alfieri's style. It con- vortex with the disdainful eye of a tained the same paucity of charac- Juvenal. IIe could not conceive ters, the same rugged abruptness, that out of that chaos of conflicting deep-toned feeling, and powerful and discordant elements a united bursts of invective and political de- nation should arise. Nevertheless, clamation, as were affected by the the first step forward was the expulgreat poet of Asti ; but Ugo Fos- sion of the stranger--i. e., the Teucolo did not possess the lostiness ton ; and, with the energy of his and grandeur of Alfieri's muse. The nature, he devoted warmly his pen subject itself is repulsive. The and his sword to the service of his morals of the ancient Hellenes dif- country. He accepted a commission fered from the morals of modern in the Cisalpine forces which were western nations, and the story of being created; he accompanied the Tyestes was not attractive even to French army during its campaign a Venetian audience. Moreover, against the Russians under Sowincongruities were not wanting. warow, in 1799 ; and after the deTyestes spoke the sentiments of feats of Novi, Cassano, and La Foscolo's times; and in the fourth Trebbia, he was shut in with Masact, Atreus and Perseus held a poli- sena in Genoa. The horrors of that tical controversy, the former defend- celebrated siege have been related ing the system of Machiave! Fancy in a former nuinber of this magazine.' Julius Cæsar and Cassius discussing During the investment Foscolo was the points of the Magna Charta ! not idle. He exhorted the Genoese Nevertheless, for a lad of about to a vigorous resistance, practising twenty, the tragedy was a most himself what he preached ; and inpraiseworthy composition, and it spired, as was usual with him, by a contrasted favourably with the turgid beautiful woman, he composed a and inflated dramas of his contem- sonnet entitled “ La Caduta da Caporaries, such as Giovanni Pinde- vallo,” dedicated to Luigia Palavimonte.
cini. When the place fell, he was France was then regarded as the conveyed, as prisoner of war, to Anteacher and regenerator of mankind, tibes by an English ship; in due and all those Italians who hoped for course he was released, and returned the salvation of their country from to Milan. the slough of ignorance and stagna- The battle of Marengo soon tion into which it had fallen had changed the position of affairs. their eyes turned towards France. Bonaparte was once more the masFoscolo, his mind imbibed with the ter of Italy, and numerous Italian past glories of the Greek and Italian eyes were turned hopefully towards Republics, proceeded to Milan, him. But Foscolo had no faith in which had become the head-quarters him; and his letter, dated 17th of all the most restless partisans of March, 1798, proves it. This letter, the new order of things. Individuals which is found in only two of the from all parts of Italy had flocked editions of his works, says :-“ Many thither; men speaking different put their trust in this young hero of dialects, wearing different garb, pos- Italian blood, born where our lansessing different manners, and fol- guage is spoken. But no useful or lowing different laws. They formed magnanimous resolve in our favour a motley, heterogeneous mass, in- can be expected from a cruel and spiring little confidence to Foscolo, base nature. It signifies little his who, in an irascible and misanthropic being endowed with the vigour and mood, contemplated the Republican the fury of the lion, if he possesses
I See Dublin Cniversity Magazine, December, 1870. Article, “French Defeats and French Victories."