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there still mythical excitability, and there, by consequence, the latent power and tendency to express themselves in the same way and evolve a new body of myths upon the first adequate occasion of stirring popular excitement, religious or patriotic. Now, this was exactly the condition of the Hebrew people. They were, it is true, no longer a "progressive ” or “productive” people ; "they were verging toward decay :” but they cherished, with extreme fondness and pride, and unshaken faith, their old national myths,* and they were therefore capable, under sufficient stimulus, of producing more. Grote enumerates among the causes of the decline of the mythopoeic spirit in Greece, “increased attention to present facts,” “the formation of a historical sense,” “the commencement of physical science," the study of impersonal nature,” “the rise of philosophy.” But more uf these causes were operative among the Jews. They made no philosophy ; they studied no science ; they attained no historical sense ; and they dwelt evermore in the past, mournfully reading of a glory departed, or exulting in the ancient promise of the Messiah, now near at hand. Not so vitally as the Jews, but still quite strongly and generally, the whole historic world believed yet in the old myths ; and this protected the spirit among the Jews by keeping them more nearly in harmony with the general condition. We are persuaded that if some great chieftain had risen up among the Jews at that period of excited expectation, led them to signal victory and triumph, and established them in a measure of their ancient glory, we should have had, in the lapse of time, not merely some fragmentary legends, but a connected mythical history, resembling their old books, and recounting the wonders and signs attending the advent and triumph of the new dispensation.
In the next article we shall conclude this point by adducing some his. torical illustrations of the law above stated, viz., that mythical credulity and mythical productiveness cannot be separated, but will survive and disappear together.
*Concerning the miraculous stories of the Old Testament, it is to be noticed that it cannot be contended that the time of mythical productiveness must have passed when they were evolved. There seems to be no reason why these stories, since they bear the mythical stamp (miracle), and belong to a mythical age, should not be classed with all other narratives of a like stamp and age. Furthermore, the Jews cherished their oral law as having been imparted, in germ, orally to the predecessors of the scribes by Moses himself as a kind of supplementary law to be handed down and preserved among the elders of the people. But there is no historical proof of such a fact, and it is no doubt of a mythical character. Just at this time, too, the whole Jewish people was filled with an intense excitement, essentially mythical in nature, concerning the coming of their Deliverer, the Messiah, and were living in a state of suppressed agitation and feverish expectation.
ROBERT COLLYER'S OLD HOME.
HEN I left home for a few months' travel in Europe, I received from
my friend Robert Collyer the charge not to come home without visiting Bolton Priory. So one morning last summer, with a party of American excursionists, I took at Leeds a very early morning train for Ilkley, intending to get, besides our breakfast there, an hour or two for exploring the town itself, Mr. Collyer's old home, while the day was reserved for Bolton Priory, which I must agree with Mr. Collyer in considering unsurpassed in natural and ruinous beauty by any place I have seen in England. Besides, Bolton Priory has great interest in being the scene of Wordsworth “ White Doe of Rylston,” which, it is said, he regarded as the best of all his poems. Indeed, the whole vale of the Wharfe has been rendered classic by tales, ballads and poems. The history of Bolton Priory, too, is the theme of one of Rogers's poems, and the “Strid,” the place where his “ Boy Egremond met the death which drew from the bereaved mother the vow that “
many a poor man's son should be her heir,” and hence arose Bolton Abbey or Priory.
Ilkley, sixteen miles from Leeds, is a very old town, and charmingly situated on the right bank of the Wharfe. Tradition and exhumed inscriptions tell us that the present Ilkley was the Olicana of the Romans, a town old enough to need to be rebuilt when, in the second century, the Emperor Severus, who, it will be recollected, died at York, stationed here his Roman Legions. At present it is a town of quite modern appearance, as well as considerable note, on account of its two splendid hydropathic establishments, the “ Ilkley Wells House ” and “Ben Rhydding." But neither its old Roman camp nor its modern water-cure interested me so much as the fact that it had been for more than a quarter of a century the home of Mr. Collyer. These scenes had been his educators into that healthful, manly strength of character that so impresses all who know him, and into that tender love of nature one feels in all his writing and preaching. Here he had learned those lessons of life that he so finely translates from Sunday to Sunday to delighted audiences, that never tire of his sermons, nor wish them shorter. This made Ilkley particularly interesting. I have seen it and other similar Yorkshire villages before, in dream-pictures that I had sketched from Mr. Collyer's and Charlotte Bronte's descriptions, aided by a few of Turner's Yorkshire views. This morning of my visit, the hills surrounding the town lay in the hazy light of an early July morning. They were shrouded in a soft, blue mist that clung close to their surface, and translated the sun's rays, as they passed through it into a shiver of broken rainbows, filling the air, faintly wreathing old All Saints Church tower, and quite glorifying the little commonplace village that lay there in the valley of the Wharfe. But though the village was commonplace, it was singularly clean. Hydropathic principles are
evidently popular here, for the thresholds of every cottage door seemed to testify to their familiarity with the water-cure for all uncleanness.
Mr. Collyer's old home stood first in the pictures. So, leaving the most of our party to breakfast at the Crescent Hotel, two of us, trusting to get our breakfast somewhere by the way, started out upon explorations. We first made our way to the parish church, All Saints, to examine a group of three old Saxon crosses that are supposed to have consecrated this cemetery, it may be more than a thousand years ago, to some vague ideas of the Trinity. These crosses are much broken, and the inscriptions on them, although unmistakably Runic, have never been deciphered. But from these creations, which are quite common in many parts of England, often occurring in threes, they are supposed to have some reference to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. In this cemetery, too, repose the ashes of Mr. Collyer's first wife, and child and several members of his family. According to directions which he had given me, I soon found their graves. They had an inexpressibly tender attraction. I felt that here, above the open graves of his beloved, had been learned some of those sad lessons that I had heard in a distant land translated into words of tender, almost divine comfort to the sorrowing and bereaved-once, the next Sunday after the battle of Gettysburg, to a great congregation where one not wearing the habiliments of mourning seemed an exception in the congregation. All the spirit of the place, here in the valley of the Wharfe, these surrounding hills, these wide desert moors, this sun, this old church and churchyard, with its mystically syinbolic crosses, these graves — all these helped me better to understand the lessons of “ Nature and Life,” learned here, then wrought in the process of years into the living Scripture of prophecy and gospel we had so often heard in Unity Church, Chicago. The lessons in their learning had been interleaved with this beautiful nature, this dull-comprehending humanity, these wondrous ruins of a past age, with work, grief, death, despair ; but now they are translated into a cheerful song, whose burden is :
I say to thee, do thou repeat
Thus God transmutes woe into weal, from darkness generates light, and from the night of our despair calls forth the morning of our hope.
Coming from the churchyard we sought our breakfast in a little cottage near the church, such as from his own descriptions I could suppose might have been Mr. Collyer's early home. The door of the cottage was of stone, but worn into hollows and broken into many irregularities. But it was clean and cool from recent scouring. The furniture of the room into which I entered consisted of little more than a few chairs and a table. But the chairs, like the Aoor, had been scoured from every speck of dirt, and they were as guiltless of paint as the table was of varnish. The plates and cups where cheap to the last degree, but shiningly clean ; the bread was white and sweet, the tea fresh and fragrant, and the butter and cream such as I think Scotland and Yorkshire alone can produce. Besides, I had meat to eat that morning which the cottagers knew not of, in presences that come to us sometimes in places solitary to others, bringing us angels' food. Going back to the hotel, we paused a moment near the door of the institution to which many of us heard Mr. Collyer refer as the place of his education — the old blacksmith's shop. It is little changed, I imagine, since he graduated from it. Mr. Coliyer, at a convention, once told a body of young ministers chat he had often been exceedingly pained to read in the public journals allusions to his "genius.” If he had any "genius,” he said, it had come to him through hard study, begun in his very earliest years, and always continued. When a child, after the hard work of the day, he had always studied as long as his mother would let him have a candle, and when that was denied him, he had studied by firelight until he was sent to bed, placing always his book when he went to bed where he could get it at the first dawn of the morning, and thus secure to himself some study hours before the work hours began. While in his blacksmith's shop, he had arranged a shelf on which he could place his book and study or read while he blew the bellows. Thus was his “genius” learned and forged. The old shop, quite unchanged from what it was when he there worked and studied, and studied and worked from “ weary chime to chimc,” was, like the old parsonage at Haworth, of far greater interest to me than Chotsworth and many other places.
At Ilkley I found several persons whose faces lighted up at the mention of Mr. Collyer's name, and who rejoiced co hear of their former townsman as a minister of such influence and a man doing so much good in our great land. But generally they seemed a dull set of people to live among, much like what the old Hebrews must have been to Moses.
At Bolton Bridge, on our way to the Priory, I called at the house of one of Mr. Collyer's old blacksmith friends, to deliver a letter which I bore from him, and to see a curious inscription still perfectly legible on a beam in the kitchen of their house, though it was inscribed there in the days of the old Abbey building, six or seven hundred years ago, perhaps The house stood then by the ferry of the river, and the inscription, in old English letters, bids who ever would go safely over the ferry offer here (by way of toll, it wouid seem) a prayer to the Holy Virgin for some soul. But alas ! the piety of one age becomes the superstition of another. The coll of
is not very frequently paid now-a-days, I fear. Alas! too, a bridge has been built over the rushing Wharfe, and the ferry is no longer needed ; and just as it has ever been, I think, since the chief butler in his deliverance and prosperity forgot Joseph in prison, has independence of once-needed favors begotten forgetfulness of the bestower, and men on safe bridges have but ungratefully remembered the dangerous ferries of ruder times.
The woman to whom Mr. Collyer's letter was addressed was not at home, but had gone where we were going, to the “ Strid,” to assist at a pic nic held there. But an old lady (her mother-in-law), received the letter and showed me the inscription. Her face lighted up at the mention of Mr. Collyer's name, and she pronounced many blessings on me for being the bearer of a letter and good news from him. “ And are ye his friend, do ye say, and ye know him yerself? Bless ye!” she exclaimed. Rumors of his fame, and better, his great usefulness, had reached them; but they rejoiced in the confirmation of what they had before heard by one who had many times heard him preach. She urged me to stay to breakfast. She would make it in a minute, she said. I told her I had just breakfasted, but I could not decline a cake and a glass of milk, and she enjoined it upon me to seek at the “Strid" her daughter-in-law, to whom the letter was addressed. “ She would be more delighted to see one who was the friend of Mr. Collyer in America.” I did see her, and found his name as good a passport to her welcome as it had been to the mother's.
Returning to Leeds I spent the evening with Mr. Collyer's mother, who resides there, with her daughter and son-in-law. She is just the mother to have reared such a son as Mr. Collyer--kindly, benevolent, full of cheer and hope. In conversation, her beautiful blue eyes suddenly brim with that same brightness, and give prophecy by the same mirthful twinkle as his, of the thought that is working to expression and will soon come furth, clothed in a form of words nobody else would have thought of-beautiful,
Mrs. Collyer was delighted, but not surprised to hear her son's praises spoken, as a most efficient friend, advocate and helper of the poor of Chicago. “ That's Robert,” she said : “ from a child he wo'd divide his last penny with a poor woman. He never could resist a plea for help while he had a penny," and she related several anecdotes of him in relation to these traits of his character, in a way so like her son's manner of telling a story, as to amuse and most deeply interest us. Her daughter and son-in law received us with the most cordial hospitality. Mr. S. walked back with us, taking us through several of the best streets in Leeds, and pointing out many places of interest to us. I have nowhere found more correct knowledge of American affairs than in this family, nor more enthusiasm on the right side of our political questions. Mr. S. also gave us many particulars about the state
fresh and queer.