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The child grows up, very earnest, impressionable, passionate, thorny ground. “Gibraltar is too much a town of business ;'' and a great inquirer. Now he longs to visit Jerusalem, and the Jews have no time to read the Old Testament, much less appear there as a preacher ; now he wants to go to Rome and the New. However, they treat his attempts at proselytism be a pope. He talks to one Spiess, a barber, of the great with apathy rather than enmity. He passes on to Malta, glory of the Jews at the coming of their Messiah. “Read and so to Alexandria and Cairo, on his way to Jerusalem. the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah," says the barber sternly. He encounters a Polish Jew, “ Ychiel, the son of Feibish, The boy complies with the command. “Of whom does the from the land of Russia, from the government of Mohileo, propbet speak ?” he asks of his father. Ho obtains no answer. from the city of Skloo," who warns him to expect nothing The father turns to the weeping mother. “God have mercy from his journey. “We have been scattered now for moro upon us, our son will not remain a Jew. He is continually than 1,700 years, among all nations, persecuted and despised, walking about and thinking, which is not natural.”
our holy city destroyed, and the 1,700 years have been passed So were the seeds of his conversion sown. At eleven years in constant and continual endeavour by the Gentiles to of age he quits his father's house. A little later he is declar- persuade us that Jesus was the Messiah, but at the end of ing, “I will become a Christian and a Jesuit. I will preach 1,700 years we disbelieve it still. Centuries and centuries, the gospel in foreign lands, like Francis Xavier.” Certain of have passed since Christians have tried to convert us bv his relations close their doors against him. He travels pouring out our blood, persecuting us; and centuries and towards Würtzburg, with scarcely a farthing in his pocket. centuries bave passed, and yet we stand a people separated At Frankfort he finds Jews and Christians alike tainted with from the nations, and exclaim every day, 'Hear, O Israel! the infidelity, but he remains there some months, earning a pre- Lord our God is one God.'” He meets an Englishman, carious living by teaching Hebrew. He visits Halle, Prague, a pervert to Mobammedanism, and after an uninterrnpted Vienna, Presburg, Munich : sometimes feted as a convert, discussion of fourteen hours' duration, brings him back to the sometimes scorned as an apostate. In 311, he is at Saxe church. An attempt to convert an Albanian was less suc. Weimar, scandalized at the prevailing faith of that day, a cessful, for the Albanian threatened to throw his Christian faith rather pantheistic than Christian, a compound of interrogator into the Nile if he said a word disrespectful to poetry, classicality, and philosophy, with almost as much of the faith of Islam. At Cairo, one Santini,“not a nice man," the teachings of Buddha as of the doctrines of Christianity, as the book has it, but the chancellor to the British Consulate, Falk, the satirical poet, recommends to Wolff, as the best dupes Wolff by persuading him to purchase, for £10, a speculation, that he should remain a Jew, “there are so hundred bottles of castor oil, as the most acceptable present many Christians in the world,” and introduces him to Goëthe. that could possibly be made to a Bedouin chief. “How could “Follow the bent of your own mind, young man,” says you be such an ass,” says blunt Mr. Drummond upon this, Goëthe. Wolff acted upon this advice, and was ultimately " as to be taken in with castor oil ? You ought to have told received into the Roman Catholic Church at Prague, in 1812. Santini you would give him £10 to drink it all." He was baptized by the names of “Stanislaus Wenceslaus," With two English travellers, nephews of the famous which, however, he never used.
Methodist, Dr. Adam Clarke, he sets out for Mounts Sinai Curiously enough, although still a professed Catholic, and Horeb, taking with him Testaments in Arabic, Greek, Wolff in 1815 became a student at the Protestant University and Hebrew. “Perhaps some day a Jew may come bere, of Tübingen. Here he probably acquired his first doubts then he will find the word of God in his own language.' as to the dogmas of the church he had entered. He soon Fifteen years later he learns that a Jew from Bulgaria nad announced his disbelief in the infallibility of the Pope, and been there, bad read one of his Testaments in the monastery gave vent to certain other free opinions. Proceeding to Romo of St. Catherinc, on Mount Sinai, and been baptized by the shortly afterwards, he was cautioned by a friend. Keep a superior of the Greek monks. He quits Egypt, denouncing good look out at Rome. With God there is pardon ; a priest Mohammed Ali as the “cruel lord” predicted by the prophet never pardons!" But he was cordially greeted by Pius VII., Isaiah, and, “with twenty camels, loaded with Bibles," starts for whom he conceived great respect and affection. He entered for Jerusalem. On his road he makes such acquaintance as the college of the Propaganda. Soon, his heretical notions he can with the religion of the Druses, and concludes them to came out. “The church has no right to burn heretics. It is be a remnant of the Druids of old. At Lebanon he argues written, Thou shalt not kill," —
--so he addressed his rector. with a French Roman Catholic missionary, who has no “May a shepherd kill a wolf when he enters the flock ?” he objection to the conversion of the Jews, but insists that was asked. "A man is not a beast,” was Wolff's reply. "they shall be converted to the Catholic Church, not to “ Seventeen Popes have done it.” “Then seventeen Popes the Protestant.” He hears too of Lady Hester Stanhope, have done wrong."
who was then settled at Mar-Elias, in the neighbourhood Of course, the end came, before long. “Come out of of Mount Lebanon, with her guest and protégé M. LusBabylon,” wrote the late Henry Drummond to him; “ go taneau, called by herself and her servants “Le Prophete.” with me to England.” He was taken to the Inquisition. On Lustancau had been a general under Tippoo Saib in his his road he met bis friend the Chevalier Bunsen, who at once conflict with the English, and had afterwards retired to set off to inform Niebuhr of what had occurred. He was not Mount Carme! to lead a hermit life. There he met with treated with severity, but was conveyed from Rome to Bologna her eccentric ladyship in 1815, announced to her that at in a carriage surrounded with soldiers. From thence, the same moment at which he was speaking Bonaparto through Germany and France, he came to London. His was escaping from Elba. Lady Hester, finding the prefriend Henry Drummond received him kindly. He soon ac- diction absolutely verified, received the prophet into her quired the English language. He was taken to Baptist, house, but subsequently expelled him on his attempting to Methodist, and Quaker places of Worship, but he preferred convert her to Christianity, for she had become a Druse. the services of the Church of England, and ever afterwards Wolff had letters of introduction to a Miss Williams, who was accounted himself a liberal member of that church. He was resiling with Lady Hester, but he received a reply in her sent to Cambridge, at the expense of the Society for Pro ladyship’s own hand, expressing her astonishment that in moting Christianity among the Jews, to be trained as a apostate should dare to thrust himself into observation in levo missionary. There he studied Arabic, Persian, Chaldean, family. “Had you been a learned Jew you never would have and Syriac. He worked zealously, rising at two o'clock in abandoned a religion rich in itself though defective," etc. the morning, and allowing himself little time for cating. He "Light travels faster than sound, therefore the Supremo was two years at Cambridge. At their expiration, in April, Being could not have allowed his creatures to live in dark1821, he embarked for Gibraltar, on his mission of conversion ness for nearly two thousand years, until paid speculating and preaching the gospel.
wanderers deem it proper to raise their venal voices to After a stormy voyage,-he owns to being a great coward enlighten them.” Wolff replies quietly and sensibly, sending at sea,--he reaches Gibraltar, and is kindly received there. his letter hy a servant. Lady Hester, on receiving it, peruses He preaches in a Wesleyan chapel, and the whole congre- it, and desires the man to wait that she may give him a gation groan aloud,“ as if much touched.” He finds between present. She came out with a whip, kicked the poor fellow three and four thousand Jews at Gibraltar, but he tills a very behind, and bcut him away. He came back to Wolff, and
told him that the daughter of the King of England had with regard to witchcraft, he has seen it with his own eyes, and beaten him,
here he tells the story. Arrived at Damascus, Wolff applies for a guide to the him. The guests who were invited were as follows: Bokhti
"He was sitting one day at the table of Mr. Salt, dining with monastery of the Capuchin friars. The agent of the English Swedish Consul-General, a nasty atheist and infidel; Major Ross, consul sends a donkoy driver with him. “The fellow coolly of Rosstrevor, in Ireland, a gentleman in every respect, and highly sat on the donkey himself, and let Wolff run after him all the principled; Spurrier, a nice English gentleman; Wolff himself; way.” Strange to say, at Damascus, “at that time (1823), and Caviglia, who was the only believer in magic there. Salt as it is now, the most fanatical town of the east," he is began to say (his face leaning on his hand), ‘I wish to know who received with much respect. A great moollah of Moham- has stolen a dozen of my silver spoons, a dozen forks, and a dozen medans invites him to come to him in the night time to knives.? Caviglia said, “ If you want to know, you must send for discuss Christianity. “The next night a Maronite Christian, denly said, Well, we must gratify Caviglia. He then called out
the magician.' Salt laughed, and so did they all, when Salt sudwho had become a Mohammedan, made his escape and became for Osman, a renegado Scotchman, who was employed in the a Christian again.” After much journeying in the east, British Consulate as janissary and cicerone for travellers. Osman Wolff embarks at Smyrna, in a ship bound for Dublin, and came into the room, and Salt ordered him to go and fetch the arrives there in May, 1826. He spends some days with Lord magician. The magician came, with fiery sparkling eyes and Roden and the Archbishop of Tuam. He is virulently long hair, and Salt stated to him the case, on which he said, “I attacked by the Roman Catholics for his public addresses: either have procured a woman with child, or a boy seven years of
shall come again to-morrow at noon, before which time you must Sheil designates him “Baron Von Munchausen,” “Katerfelto," ago; either of whom will tell who has been the thief. Bokhti, “Mendez,” “Wolff, the old clothesman of Monmouth-street," the scoffing infidel, whom Salt never introduced to Wolff, for fear etc. Wolff retorts upon the orator, and calls him a liar. He he should make a quarrel betwixt them, said, 'I am determined to writes to Bishop Doyle, proposing to stop some days with him unmask imposture, and, therefore, I shall bring to-morrow a boy and argue upon the errors of his church.
who is not quite seven years of age, and who came a week ago answers that he shall be glad to see him as a guest," when, know anybody, nor is he known to anybody, and he does not speak
from Leghorn. He has not stirred out of my house, nor does he weary of his present pursuits, he wishes to return to the so- Arabic; him I will bring with me for the magician.' briety of true religion.” A few weeks, and he is in London, the
“The boy came at the time appointed, and all the party were guest of Edward Irving, of whom he expresses considerable again present, when the magician entered with a large pan in his admiration. Although he does not accept Irving's doctrine hand, into which he poured some black colour, and mumbled some of the unknown tongues," he has never liked to speak against unintelligible words; and then he said to the boy, ‘Stretch out it. Of one thing, however, he is perfectly certain, namely, your hands.' He said this in Arabic, which the boy did not underthat Irving had what may be called the organ of being then the boy stretched out his hand flat, when the magician put
stand. But Wolff interpreted what the magician had said, and humbugged; no deceiver himself, he was yet liable to be some of the black colour upon his palm, and said to him, 'Do you deceived by others." In 1827, Wolff married Lady Georgiana sco something ?' which was interpreted to the lad. The boy Walpole, the daughter of the Earl of Oxford, having volun. coolly, in his Italian manner, shrugged his shoulders and replied, tarily given to the earl an undertaking in writing by which Vedo niente” (Isce nothing). Again the magician poured the he renounced all claim to a life interest in her property in coloured liquid into his hand, and mumbled some words, and case of her death. He was afterwards naturalized as an the second tine, "I see nothing.' Then the magician poured the
asked the boy again, 'Do you see something?' and the boy said Englishman“ before both Houses of Lords and Commons."
colour into his hand the third time, and inquired, “Do you see A curious story is told of his residence with Irving, whom something on which the boy suddenly exclaimed, and it made he describes as a tall majestic man, with long, dark, flowing every one of us turn pale and tremble in both knees, as if we were hair, with a slight cast in his eye, an expression of deep paralyzed, 'Io vedo un uomo !' (I see a man.) The fourth time the thought, "and his whole bearing as of one who could soar stuff was poured into his hand, when the boy loudly screamed aloft into higher regions."
out, 'Io vedo un uomo con un capello,' (I see a man with a hat,) and,
in short, after a dozen times of inquiry, he described the man 80 “Before going to bed, Wolff said to Irving, 'I cannot shave minutely, that all present exclaimed, Santini is the thief!' And myself; can you get me a barber for to-morrow morning?' The when Santini's room was searched, the silver spoons, etc., were barber was promised, and at the appointed hour in walked the found. mighty Irving himself, with a suitable apron, and shaving appa. “ Wolff must remark that no one, except the boy, could see any. ratus, and shaved Wolf with his own hand, and continued so to do thing; all the other witnesses only saw the colour which thia during Wolff"s residence with him. The fact got abroad. Ten magician poured.” days after there was a caricature in Oxford-street, representing Irving shaving a wolf. Irving did not even smile, but turning to
Reluctantly we close this deeply interesting volume, looking his friend said, “Never mind, Wolff, I shall shave you again. Come forward with many anticipations of pleasure to the second along.
portion of Dr. Wolff's story. We can recommend to all reades In July, 1827, Wolff sets out on his second mission to the this narrative of the Bayard of missionaries. east, accompanied by his wife. Wrecked off Cephalonia, he meets with Sir Charles James Napier, of whom characteristic
A WORD FOR MRS. BROWNING.* stories are told. The general brings to him a crowd of Jews and Greeks to convert. “Tell them,” says Napier, “ that It is rather late in the day to notice Mrs. Browning's Poems there is no difference between Jew and Greek, for they are before Congress ; but we are impelled to speak of them by the both rogues alike. Here I am coming to stand by you.
If feeling of indignation with which we have been compelled to you cannot convert them, they shall get a d-d good lick-witness an attack, from a most unexpected quarter, upon the ing.” Wolff reproves him for swearing. “I deserve the womanly character of her muse, and even upon her own reproof,” says Napier, "for I swear like a trooper."
steadfastness of faith and love. Sorry are we that the Further of Wolff's second mission cannot here be told. assault is from a hand we respect; but we also tenderly With a single specimen of the style of the autobiography we respect Mrs. Browning, and the truth itself more than must conclude. It will be observed that in this extract, as her. We could have wished that some obscure Grub-street throughout the volume, Wolff speaks of himself in the third reviewer (for Grub-street is by no means quite deserted by person :
the literati of the present day) had been the assailant, rather “Now for something about magic; for, although the event than Mr. WILLIAM Howitt; but since the fates have not about to be recorded happened after Wol's second journey into ruled it so, we submit to the momentary sacrifice of our own Egypt, he will give it in this place. Wolff was asked whether he feeling of warmest friendship for the man, and proceed to believed in magic; to which he replied that he believed everything deal with him as the unjust accuser of a woman whose name that is found in the Bible; and even, though all the philosophers has long been dear to us, and whose fame will be but justly should ridicule him, he boldly repeats that he believes everything crowned when she is honoured by future generations as the in the Bible ; and the existence of witches and wizards is to be best beloved in English literature. found there, of whom, doubtless, the Devil is the originator; and Wolff believes that there are spirits in the air, for the Apostle tells
In the Spiritual Magazine for July Mr. Howitt thus speaks us 80; and Wolff believes also that the Devil has access, even now, into Heavey, to calumniate man, for so we read in the Book • Poems before Congress. By ELIZABETU BABRETT BROWNING, 8vo. Lonof Job, and in the 12142 chapter of the Apocalypse. However, I don. Chapu24 and Hall.
of “ the woman who has won the highest prosent popularity and, as Lord Palmerston recently expressed it, the very go. in verse,” ," *_Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
vernment of its most powerful state degenerate into a system "Who does not recollect the love and admiration with which of police and espionage. Mrs. Browning has not languidly they read her earlier poems; how they glowed over the noble heard or read of such things in her London drawing-room, but *Lady Geraldine's Courtship,' and the healthy intellectual musical she has watched these horrors, on the spot, through the accustrains that accompanied it? But from the moment that the mulated anguish and suspense of years, and has been doomed critic began to trumpet and exalt her as a marvel of strength and to feel and see that they were perpetuated by the respect of philosophical thought, the poetess seemed seized by a passion for a very Sampsonian vigour. Her manner lost the quiet and
real statesmen for the parchment bonds of Vienna ;-that her vigour which it had from nature; it became forced, stilted, own land, with a quenchless love for freedom and progress, strained, and theatric. The action was no longer free and flowing, was nevertheless tied down by red tape, and was as helpless but galvanic; there came a fierce and pretentious style, with as Italy herself, when the time came to cease talking, and to strange spasmodic starts, and affected phrases. There arose a act. Before these poems can be fairly judged, the feeling of fire that was of fever, rather than from the life blood of a genuiue sorrow and anguish by which the woman's heart was torn, inspiration. This character, to my feeling, runs through all her succeeding compositions. Though containing bold theorisnis of seeing these things, must be realized; and Italy must be reform, especially as regards woman, they yet belong entirely to viewed as she was, little more than a year ago. In a word, the earth plane, if they have not lately, according to Harris's the slow fever that was consuming the youth of Italy, and theory, been strongly biologized from below. In the 'Casa Guidi burning in the veins of the poet-priestess who dwelt in their Windows,' she suddenly veered round to a great admiration for midst, must be felt in its intensity. We give our readers war. Since then she has become fascinated with the second credit for at least some share of this feeling, and we ask modern Moloch, Louis Napoleon; her admiration of this man: them, what exultation must have swelled in the hearts of whose life is a lie, amounts to little, if anything, short of poso Italy's daughters, when the legions of France suddenly arose session (viz. demoniacal possession). From this Bonaparte element, the great element of modern unrest, which keeps all in their wrath and came to aid them to strike the long mediEurope one great barracks, and will never let it be quiet till it has tated blow for freedom! Down to that moment, Mrs. Brown. trodden it out,--she hopes the regeneration of nations ! Sud-ing had contained her soul in patience, and her “wild enchantdenly, after he has lied to France, juggling it out of its republican ment” bad woven no spell with the name of Napoleon. She freedom by the falsified dice of universal suffrage; and lied to Italy, promising to free it from the Alps to the Adriatic; and lied preludes, in the poem under consideration, her want of respect
for him as the mere sovereign of France. She says:to all Europe, promising to submit the question of the annexa. tion of Savoy to it, before moving in it, her wild enchantment
“I was not used at least, culminates in hymns of worship to him, and dire curses on her
Nor can be, now nor then, country!"
To stroke the errine beast Oh, shame, Mr. Howitt, that yours should be the lips to
On any kind of throne bear unblushing false witness against one whose heart has
(Though builded by a nation for its own), been wrung with agony in the cause of human freedom and
And swell the surging choir for kings of men.”human sorrow, and who, in her “poet passion," has hailed No, but when the cause she loved seenie be adopted by with rapture the strong arm that came to rive the chains of this“ king of men,” and be rode forth like Roland or CharleItaly! We need not pause to denounce the juggling of a magne at the head of the chivalry of France, then, forgetful Bonaparte; we feel as strongly as Mr. Howitt all that is of the sovereign, and utterly oblivious of the indirect ways by false or doubtful in the element which a greater than Bona- which he obtained his crown, she saw only the deliverer of parte has permitted to mingle for a season (and we doubt not Italy :for good as well as for evil) with the strife of contending
"But now, Napoleon, now elements in Europe. We point to the simple fact recorded on
That, leaving far behind the purple throng the title-page of Mrs. Browning's volume, that the poems
Of vulgar monarchs, thou
Tread'st higher in thy deed in question were written“ before Congress,"_before Louis
Than stair of throne can lead, Napoleon had lied to Italy, if he really has lied; before he
To help in the hour of wrong had lied to Europe. Mr. Howitt, in the heat of his mistaken The broken hearts of nations to be strong, zeal, affirms the contrary, and speaks of the poet's “ wild
Now, lifted as thou art enchantment” culminating in hymns of worship to this man
To the level of pure song, when he stood condemned in the face of Europe as a liar and
We stand to meet thee on these Alpine shows!
And while the palpitating peaks break out a wrong-doer, thrice proved. We point to the mute, yet
Ecstatic from somnambular repose eloquent testimony of Mrs. Browning's title-page,—" Poems
With answers to the presence and the shout, before Congress." We point again to her preface, dated from
We, poets of the people, who take part Rome, February, 1860. Our readers may now do, what Mr. With elemental justice, natural right, Howitt should have done, look to the dates of recent events
Join in our echoes also, nor refrain. for their own perfect satisfaction.
We meet theo, O Napoleon, at this height But Mr. Howitt is equally unjust when he affirms that
At last, and find theo great enough to praise.
Receive the poet's chrism, which smells beyond anything like worship of Bonaparte is exhibited in Mrs.
The priest's, and pass thy ways;Browning's poems. In her preface we read, “ If patriotism
An English poet warns thce to maintain means the flattery of one's nation in every case, then the God's word, not England's :-let His truth be true patriot, take it as you please, is merely a courtier; which I And all men liars ! with His truth respond am not, though I have written “ Napoleon III. in Italy;"
To all men's lie. Exalt the sword and smito and the poem itself fully bears out this statement. This poem,
On that long anvil of the Apennine
Where Austria forged the Italian chain in view “Napoleon III. in Italy,” can only be regarded as the in
Of seven consenting nations, sparks of fine candescent, living emanation of Mrs. Browning's love for that
Admonitory light, down-trodden land. To understand this, in its full extent, Till men's eyes wink before convictions new. one must have watched the changing fortunes of Italy, lived Flash in God's justice to the world's amaze. its own life, and been the eye-witness of such horrors as we Sublime Deliverer !-after many days find recorded in the Athenæum of this day (July 26th). Mrs.
Found worthy of the deed thou art come to do.” Browning has for years past made Italy her home, and has We must remind our readers, that the disappointment of felt the national life throb in her veins. She has seen the victory and liberty at Villafranca (for a short season only women of Italy lashed,
-and worse used than that,-by a bru- perhaps) had not occurred when the noble stanza that we tal soldiery ; the youth of Italy shot like dogs in a ditch; the have here cited was penned. These are poems" before Conmanhood of Italy tortured and starved in loathsome dungeons ; gress," not after Napoleon had proved false, as Mr. Howitt * By the way, we object to the phrase " present popularity." as applied to heart of the poet justified when it feels most deeply, and
Is there any justification in this fact ? Nay, is the ciated by the few, unknown or neglected by the many, and only honoured with a utters most truly what it feels ? Reader, the very dust of cort olundding or speakius acquaintance by the sell-appointed censors of Italy in that hour of supreme fate was aglow with fire, –a fire general literature. so mucs the more geutly should sir. Howilt lidto dealt which still burns fiercels, and with a pure fame, thank God! with her.
Hear Mrs. Browning's testimony, and stay the beating of Qr like a restrained word of God, your own heart, if it be possible :
Fulfilling itself by what seems to hinder." “Now, shall we say
We cannot cite more of this poem, or dwell longer on its Our Italy lives indeed?
extraordinary character, Enough is said to prove that it has And if it were not for the heat and bray
been misrepresented, not only in the spirit of its conception, Of drum and trump of martial men,
but in the outward facts. Should we feel the underground heave and strain, Where heroes left their dust as a seed
We now come to a second grievous injustice, the obloquy Sure to emerge one day?
of which Mr. Howitt must share with the common herd of And if it were not for the rhythmic march
review writers, who have one and all not scrupled to treat the Of France and Piedmont's double hosts,
poem which bears for its title “A Curse for a Nation,” as Should we hear the ghosts
curse breathed against England. Mr. Howitt, indeed, reThrill through ruined aisle and arch,
marks in a foot note,-“Since writing this article, I have Throb along the frescoed wall,
heard, but not seen, that Mrs. Browning has disclaimed the Whisper an oath by that divine They left in picture, book, and stone,
application of the 'Curse for a Nation' to England, and That Italy is not dead at all?
transferred it to America. On referring to her volume again, Ay, if it were not for the tears in our eyes,
I observe phrases wbich might bear out that application, but These tears of a sudden passionate joy,
unfortunately, these are so vague, that none but a specially Should we see her arise
prompted reader could so apply them.” Indeed, indeed, Mr. I'rom tho place where the wicked are overthrown,
Howitt? Let us begin at the beginning, and read the “Pro.
logue” to the “ Curse.” Mrs. Browning solemnly says:Pale and calm in her strength ?
"I heard an angel speak last night, Pale as the silver cross of Savoy
And he said, 'Write! When the hand that bears the tlag is brave,
Write a Nation's curse for me,
And send it over the Western Soa.'
"I faltered, taking up the word :
‘Not ro, my lord !Ere Garibaldi forces the pass!
If curses must be, choose another "Ay, it is so, eren so.
To send thy curse against my brother, Each broken stone that long ago
""For I am bound by gratitude,
By love and blood,
To brothers of mine across the sea,
Who stretch out kindly hands to me.'
“Therefore,' the voice said, 'shalt thou write
My curse to-night.
From the summits of love a course is driven,
As lightning is from the tops of heaven.'
“'Not so,' I answered. 'Evermore
My heart is sore
For my own land's sins: for little feet
Of children bleeding along the street,'” etc.
Are these raque expressions ? Mrs. Browning, pleading to
be excused, urges that her“ own land's sins” are so grievous, Count how many they stand,
and cry so loud to heaven, that she cannot take upon herself All of them sons of the land,
to reprove those of another; and the angel goes on to reply Every live man thero
that, for that very reason, she is the chosen instrument.
Because thou hast strength to see, and hate
A foul thing done within thy gate."
Then it is twice repeated in the “ prologue,” that the curse
is to be sent “ Over the Western Sea ;" and in the third To the beat of Piedmont's drum, With faces keener and grayer
stanza of the curse (after an allusion to urithing bonda Than swords of the Austrian slayer,
slures trodden under foot, in the second stanza), America ia All set against the foe."
plainly pointed to as the New World :The reader who is unmoved by these thrilling lines will
Because ye prosper in God's name, hardly be affected by those which follow. We cite them
With a claim without hope of such. If any can believe they were penned
To honour in the OU IVorld": night, without intense agony, we can only say that we cannot un
Yet do the fiend's work perfectly,
In strangling martyrs,--for this lie, derstand their mode of perception. We seem to hear the
This is the curse. Write." exulting question, "Whence come these warriors with the swiftness of destroying angels' to the beat of Piedmont's vagueness.” But he asks, as if doubtful of Mrs. Brown
We have hardly patience to answer Mr. Howitt's charge of And this is the stirriug answer :"Out of the dust, where they ground them,
ing's positive statement, “Why, indeed, should Americans, Out of the holes, where they dogged them,
lying so far out of the scene, be dragged in and cursed for Out of the hulks, where they wound them
not coming and fighting for the Italians ?” Something might In iron, tortured and flogged them;
be said on this point, especially as the chief article of accusaOut of the streets, where they chased them,
tion urged against them by Mrs. Browning is that of keeping Taxed them and theu bayoneted them,-
their feet on “writhing hond slaves," and the “ curse” is Out of the homes, where they spied on them,
only a mode of accounting for their apathy, by referring to (Using their daughters and wives), Out of the church, where they fretted them,
that gigantic sin as a thing that must ever prevent them Rotted their sonls and debnsed them,
from acting nobly, as their hearts would dictate. All this Trained them to answer with knives,
Mr. Howitt should have perceived, at least when he referred Then cursed them all at their prayers
to the poem a second time in the light of Mrs. Browning's Out of cold lands, not theirs,
explanations, and, secing it, he should have generously Where they exiled them, starved them, lied on them; acknowledged his crror, or put his MS. in the fire. Back they come like a wind, in vain Cramped np in the hills, that roars its road
Mr. Howitt says, “ It is very singular that this poem is The stronger into the open plain;
given as a spirit communication, thus contirming the idea of Or like a fire that hurns the hotter
biologizing ab infra.” We are rather inclined to agree with And longer for the crust of cinder,
Mrs. Browning in one of the stanzas we huve cited, -that thia Serving better the ends of the potter ;
curse, at least,
from the summits of love is driven,
"Lead us and teach us, until earth and heaven As lightning is from the tops of heaven.”
Grow larger around us and higher above.
Our sacrament-bread has a bitter leaven; The same word in Hebrew means both blesssing and
We bait eur traps with the name of love, cursing, and in Cannan there was a mountain appointed for
Till hate itself has a kinder meaning. each of these priestly acts. However, the poem speaks for
“Oh, this world: this cheating and screening itself. Every expression it contains is an indication of deeply.
Of cheats ! this conscience for candlewicks, felt grief, and of a woman's tender love for down-trodden
Not beacon-fires ! this over-weening humanity.
Of under-hand diplomatical tricks, “Unfortunately," says Mr. Howitt, were this particular Dared for the country while scorned for the counter! poem plucked out of the book, all the rest of it is so steeped
"Oh, this envy of those who mount here, in the same violent spirit against England, that it would
And oh, this malice to make them trip! possess little less of that cursing which, the poetess says, in Rather quenching the fire there, drying the fount here
To frozen body and thirsty lip, the mouth of a woman is so‘very salt, and bitter, and good.'”
Than leave to a neighbour their ministration,” Now, we are not going to deny that there is in this book the evidence of a bitter feeling against England for not coming
Here follows a verse which has been purposely misto the help of Italy, but for indulging, on the contrary, in sus. quoted :
“I cry aloud in my poet passion, picions of the French, which she (before Congress, be it
Viewing my England o'er Alp and sea, remembered) was of opinion were perfectly groundless. In
I loved her more in her ancient fashion, this bitter spirit, — yet not bitter enough to disguise the
She carries her rifles too thick for me, immense depth of love in that woman's heart,-she penned Who spares them so in the cause of a brother." “Italy and the World," one of the finest poems,-if not the
What does the reader think of the line here printed in very finest, - in this collection. The conception of the day of italics being omitted in order to make out a case against judginent for Italy, with which it opens, is magnificent. Mrs. Browning? Yet even this has been done, - by GrubCockcrow is the cry of preparation from France, then sud- street! Not by Mr. Howitt, we are sincerely happy to say. denly the trumpet sounds, and the graves are opened.
We trust we have said enough to correct an injustice, but “Life and life and life! agrope in
for which we should scarcely have had occasion to notice The dusk of death, warm hands, stretched out
Poems before Congress. Mrs. Browning, perhaps, may now
feel that her trust in Napoleon has been misplaced; but Nation of Italy, slain and buried !
there is nothing in these pages that she will ever need to “Hill to hill and turret to turret
look back upon with shame, or that we would deal with Flashing the tricolour,-newly created
in any other spirit than that of tenderness and reverence, Beautiful Italy, calm, unhurried,
There is, indeed, a wild, lawless vigour in these poems, and Rise heroic and renovated,
there is a depth of enthusiasm in them which scorns the Rise to the final restitution."
ordinary bonds of verse, as it withers with tenfold scorn the But we must give more of this-
conventionalities of society. But they must be judged from "Rise; prefigure the grand solution
the circumstances which inspired them; and, so judged, they Of earth's municipal, insular schisms,
will not be found unworthy of the hand that wrote both Lady Statesmen draping self-love's conclusions
Geraldine's Courtship and Aurora Leigh.
VICISSITUDES OF FAMILIES.*
The slave stood in the car of the conqueror of old, to whisper And into Christ's broad garment piece us
now and then a reminder in his ear, that after all, and in spite Rays of virtue as poor as crime,
of all, “ he was but mortal.” So “ Ulster," from the geneNational selfishness, civic vaunting.
alogies of Great Britain, dris tales and points morals. No No more Jew nor Greek then,--taunting
romancer,-though he may compete with any circulating Nor taunted ;--no more England nor France !
library in the strange interest and startling incidents of his But one confederate brotherhood, planting
revelations,--he simply turns back historic pages, and shows One flag only, to mark the advar ce, Onward and upward, of all humanity.
what has been, suggesting what may be again. * For civilization perfected
The aristocratic baby, with its little soft, pink, fat form Is fully developed Christianity.
swaddled in ermine and velvet, curling up its tiny round limbs, • Measure the frontier,' shall it be said,
with all the picturesqueness of infantino abandon, in its crestCount the ships' in national vanity ?
carved and gilded cradle, is just as liable to change and misCount the nation's heart-beats sooner.
fortune as to the hooping cough or the measles. There is no “For, though behind by a cannon or schooner,
guaranteed smooth pathway through life for any human That nation is still predominant,
being. All is as a game of handy-dandy. Now a duke,-- now Whose pulse beats quickest in zoal to oppugn or
a beggar,--now a millionaire, --now a pauper. You may start Succour another, in wrong or want,
from the palace and end in the hospital, or you may begin in Passing the frontier in love and abhorrence.
the kennel and finish on the woolsack. A shuffling of the “Modena, Parma, Bologna, Florence,
cards, and, as we hold good or bad hands, so we play out the Open us out the wider way! Dwarf in that chapel of old St. Lawrence
great game of life, and stop at last, winners or losers, as Your Michel-Angelo's giant Day,
Fortune may have favoured or frowned. The “ · With the grandeur of this day breaking o'or us!
downs of life” have been too much associated with the fates “Ye who, restrained as an ancient chorus,
of the middle and poorer classes of society. Sir Bernard is Mute while the coryphæus spake.
here to tell us that the upper circles have also their aps and Hush your separate voices before us,
downs,--that no one is too high or too low to escape vicissiSink your separate lives for the sake
tude and adventure,--that insolvency and beggary, and degraOf one sole Italy's living for ever!
dation, and death on the dung-heap, are not only for the “Givers of coat and cloak too,-never
humble and lowly-born,--that misfortune can strike down a Grudging that purple of yours at the best,
great house as quickly as a storm can rend a giant oak,-that By your heroic will and endeavour
misery makes no distinction, just as the rain coming down Each sublimely dispossessed, That all may inherit what each surrenders!
suddenly wets the lord and the turnspit both to the skin. Earth shall bless you, O noble emenders
Full of noteworthy information and interesting reading is Sir
Bernard's volume, with some tinge of melanchely in its
grouped records of the decadence of noble families, for he Into the furrow of things, for seed,-Ever the richer for what ye have given,
* The Vicissitudes of Parailies. (Second Series.) By Sir BennasD BURKK, Ulster King of Arms. London: Longmans.