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"Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head." The difficulty is to get it generally believed that a blessing can come out of adversity. And yet even our own experience, if suffered to offer its testimony, will prove that blessings have come from vexations, sorrows, and losses. Sickness, which has caught a man in the mid-career of vice, has, in thousands of instances, been the turning-point in the commencement of a new life. The admonitions of a parent, fruitless during his life, have sprung into fruition when he has been laid in the cold grave. Commercial losses have frequently generated habits of care and thoughtfulness, which have resulted in blessings and material accumulations. Physical deprivations even, when used and not uselessly bewailed, have resulted in innumerable advantages and untold blessings. The greater abstraction which the loss of John Milton's eyesight enabled him to obtain resulted in the production of the most wonderful of his word-pictures and life-thoughts, which the world, in the multitude of its mental possessions, will not let die. And Dr. Kitto, who might well have considered the loss of his hearing as the greatest earthly deprivation, was enabled, nerertheless, to add the most enduring additions to the monuments of Biblical literature. On one occasion, during his residence in Bagdad, which was at the time in a state of siege, he wrote,"In such circum. stances my deafness is no small benefit to me. I am not disturbed by the noise of artillery and musketry, and of other commotions around." And, no doubt, his wonderful labours would not have been accomplished without the inducements to study which his deprivation engendered. Conversation with his friends could only be carried on with difficulty and inconvenience ; he would find, therefore, the greater pleasure in the communion of his own thoughts, and in his intercourse with the records of the past, and the writings of the mighty dead. How true in his case, then, the words of Horace ! -“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."
Surrounded then, as we may be, by adverse circumstances, there is no reason why we should despair. There is every reason, on the contrary, to be stout of heart, to be determined in purpose, and fearless in resolution. We are not of those who dream about some good time coming,” and so postpone exertion until the golden period dawns. For all true men the good time has come,-the time for increase in wisdom and knowledge, and, therefore, the attainment of priceless blessings. It is true we may not now increase in “much goods,” but we may by diligent exercise so discipline our mental powers that we may find ourselves capacitated to better our state and condition in life. Surely he that so resolves has entered upon the means to secure for himself “ a happy New Year;" and he will, if he be wise, soon discover that the secret is not in whining, but working-doing, not dreaming.
A Revised_Translation of the New Testament. By the Rev. H.
HIGHTON, M.Ă. London: Bagster and Son. In the early part of 1857, the question, "Is a revision of the Authorized Version of the Scriptures necessary " was discussed in our pages. Those who were interested in that discussion will find in this work a test-book for their opinions. The author, who was formerly Principal of Cheltenham College, and a fellow of Queen's, Oxford, is a gentleman of some mark as a classical scholar. He thinks that "a revision is both feasible, and may be made with advantage," and he intends this work as "a contribution towards bringing about that object.” The book is eminently conservative and safe. The Authorized Version is reverentially dealt with. No alterations are made for the mere sake of altering. Nowhere is the itchi of an innovator perceptible. The pith and sinew of the longassociated words of our old version is always retained, and there are few changes made which do not at once secure the consent of the scholar. At the same time, the text in its clear Saxonicity is maintained, and there is no mistaken effort made to Grecize the tongue "which Shakspere spoke," and the pilgrim fathers carried into a far country" as a choice treasure. Indeed, many might read the greater part of the book without noticing the quiet adaptations to suit the modern genius of the language which have been made. Perhaps the most violent change which would attract attention would be a passage frequently quoted, and therefore closely inwrought with the memory, e.g.,
* Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the proof of facts which are not seen,” Heb. xi. 1. We have not, however, noticed this book to decide
its mere merits. We have a higher aim. We desire to direct careful students of the divine Word to a revision wherein they may search out all the passages whose interpretation distresses or embarrasses them, and wherein they will in general find either the Authorized text adhered to, or a new version given. The preface is sedate and sensible ; the notes are numerous, and strictly confined to the rendering of the Word aright as far as the translator can effect that. The chief use, however, of the book is as a test-work upon the muchdisputed question alluded to above. Thoughtful readers of Scripture will be glad to know that in the main tue usual version is fairly representative of the Greek text. Poems. By ARTHUR H. CLOUGH. With a Memoir. Macmillan
and Co., Cambridge. The reputation of Arthur H. Clough among all intellectual men Was so great, that it must have been difficult to justify public hope
by almost any collection of his works. When a man's fame ontruos his performances, it is very difficult to bring the latter up to the former's level. The very vagueness of the admiration excited gives scope for so many possibilities of excellence, that disappointment is always possible, and almost certain. Mr. Palgrave's Memoir is far too reticent and far too over-glozing. It hints, but does not speak out; and so, leaving the tale balf told, injures the interest and worth of a valuable life. Why should we not know fully the marring influence on life, fortune, usefulness, and influence, or not know at all? If Clough was a sceptic, why not say so, and let us reverence his honest endurance of the pain and woe of soul it brought, and of the outward penalties the world inflicted ? If he was not, then let us know between what opinions he “halted,” that we may judge of his contests of conscience. No appeal to public sympathy should be made in the dark. Tell all or none of the secrets of the aching human soul; but whatever is to be made known, let it be outspoken and true, not half hinted at and mumbled about. If he did ask, in his soul's perplexity, "Is it enough to walk as best we may ?" it can be candidly told now, if the public is to be taken into confidence at all. The half-says " of biography are unendurable. Mr. Palgrave has gravely erred in writing à Memoir of a life of great interest and worth, full of instructiveness and moral beauty, in such a way as to tarnish it all by an abominable “suspicion” that something has been shirked; and Clough, if we have been informed aright, had no shirkiness about him, and sought neither to plate, veneer, nor surface-polish the pure material of his thoughts. The flaw is not in the marble, but in the sculptor's work. Clough, if we understand him aright, was a man of singularly clear, well-poised intellect, and of kindly, loving, believing heart; but there was a want of co-operative agency in them,—the sentiments were not prevailing on both, -and hence intellect and feeling, like the heroes of the “Iliad,' “stood apart.”. The will, having no authorized masterhood exerted over it, hung idle. And we think, moreover, that his education, more than his nature, was at fault. Had Arnoldism prevailed in Oxford, a living faith would have quickened every pulse of Clough's frame, and penetrated every faculty of his soul. But Oxford's Puseyism and pusillanimity blighted the noblest sentiments of his youth, and its narrow logic erased the Arnoldic force, fervour, and faith from his spirit. Oxford was soulless, carping, Jesuitical; and a fatal rather than a right Newmanism exerted a twofoldly baleful influence. Clough had never been prepared to stand the controversial batteries of Oxford dialectic. Doubt, in its true sense of double thought, both active but each undetermined, seized upon him; his heart felt after God, but his logic failed to enable him to find out and know His Fatherhood, and he was as a ship in the sea, much tossed. Yet he was a brave, good, honest soul,
,-a little soured by disappointment, somewhat petulant and saucy; yet manly, enduring, aiming well. Properly written, his life might have been a "light to lighten" many; as it is written here, it does little else than make the “darkness visible " which it was intended to hide.
We may here note the chief dates and events of his short day of life.
Arthur H. Clough was born at Liverpool, 1st January, 1819; was educated at Rugby under Arnold, and was regarded by his master as one of his better pupils. He was a student at Baliol, and had a high name for acquirements while there. In 1842 he was chosen to a fellowship in Oriel, which he relinquished in 1848, in which year he issued his “ Long Vacation Pastoral,” a very good set of hexameter verses, in which a considerable deal of Homeric dash is interspersed, with a large quantity of balderdash, and which is somewhat too Oxonian and freshinanish in its form. In the same year he was in Paris while the Revolution was going on; in 1849 he spent the spring in Italy, and witnessed the siege and defence of Rome. He was Warden of University Hall, London, and Professor of English Literature in London University. In 1852 he went to America, and, after trying to settle there, was recalled to take a clerkship in the Educational Department of the Privy Council. He had begun a revision of Dryden's translation of Plutarch in America (Boston), and in 1856 completed it. He enthusiastically assisted his wife's cousin—the heart-loved Dorcas of our age, Florence Nightingale-in her efforts for the alleviation of the evils of the Crimean war, and lost his health by his assiduous diligence. He visited France, Austria, Greece, Turkey, &c., and, stricken with malaria fever, expired in Florence, 13th November, 1861, and was buried in the cemetery there, under the shadow of its cypresses.
Clough's life was not one of performance, but of promise. Many a man unknown to fame, unblest by fortune, unstayed by friendship, and harnessed to the daily task-work of laborious life, has done far more in reality and in aim under discouragements to which Clough's were nought; and for that, therefore, he deserves no special praise. What he does deserve the gratitude of men for is, for being honest to his want of convictions, and for holding to duty when the highest sustainments of duty withdrew from his soul, In this he was great and noble. There was an exquisite manliness in this portion of his nature, that when heaven and God paled to his intellect, he yet laboured and waited, and was human and humane. He was a good, true, holy man, whose life was lightless, yet not delightless.
The poems included in this volume are full of thought, but wanting in beauiy of phrase. We do not think Clough was an artist in expression. His use of Saxon, plain, and common terms, his adherence to the diction of Queen Anne's time, and his Chaucerian, Drydenic, and Addisonian lexicon, are remarkable and noteworthy; but they certainly limited his power of reaching the minds of those who have perused Scott, worshipped Byron, and have learned to appreciate Tennyson. Poets must use the language of their time -must cast their emotions in the material which is most plastic for their purpose--the words in common use among their contemporaries.
To employ any other speech is to make the result old-fashioned, and while requiring more artistic skill, makes less impression on the mind and feelings than if the words used were those ordinarily spoken. Of course, everybody knows these words, but everybody does not feel them, and the force that slumbers in them. The weak. ness of Clough's sentiments, and the divorce between his will and intellect, disqualify him in an eminent degree for being an accept
We thoroughly sympathize with the unworldliness of Clough, but we do not sympathize with his editor, who, we think, ought rather to have made his memoir consist only of a bare chronology, than to have made it, as it is in a great measure, a tissue of excuses and apologies. An honest man is disgraced by being apologized for. The apologists of Burns have been the greatest enemies to his fame and usefulness. Clough's Life required no excuse-least of all a faint-hearted and faltering one. His life was much nobler and better than his poetry, which, indeed, we do not much relish. The “ Bothie of Tober-Na-Vuolich," as a jeu d'esprit, is clever and laughable, if the hexameter measure and the Homeric verse are known, felt, and familiar. Without that, its parody and shadowthrowing quaintness is lost upon the reader. “ Amours de Voyage" contain many exquisite bits, but as a whole disappoint. - Mari Magno” excites the idea of improvement, and the minor pieces alternately attract and repel. The " Strange Seas of Thought," on which bis bark floats, are dark and colourless, and therefore cannot give occasion to many-coloured verse. These are the best stanzas in art, speech, thought, and feeling we have been able to find in the volume, though we have searched it diligently, and with tears -of disenchantment :
" Put forth thy leaf. thou lofty plane,
East wind and frost are safely gone ;
The summer comes serenely on.
To promise all that's kind and fair ;
Be still, contain i hyself, and bear.
The winds of March were wild and drear;
Spring never would, we thought, be here.
Had, not the less, their certain date;
Be still, refrain thyself, and wait.” Clough was a fine-minded, keen-thoughted man ; a scholar of far more than usual ripeness, more suffused with the old spirit of study than is common. His literary faculty was not well cultured, and his logic overbore his f..ith ; but his life was honest, and his work will not, we believe, lac' its Divine reward.