« НазадПродовжити »
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand,
Satan exalted sat.” In the prose version the whole passage is reversed, and the subject placed at the beginning of the sentence :
“Satan was seated on a throne of royal state, which by far outshone the wealth of Ormus or of India,” etc. It is not impossible that with such transpositions a French version, in which the text had already been reduced to the prose order, might have been used with advantage. At any rate, I can think of no more probable explanation.
In spite of his enormous fame, Milton has never been a popular poet as Shakespeare is popular, never perbaps even as Scott is popular, or as Byron was in his day and generation. Many look upon Milton's longer poems much as Mr. Walter Bagehot did upon Gibbon’s “ Decline and Fall," and they are willing to pay them any tribute except that of reading them to the end. Yet more of the popular theology can probably be traced to “Paradise Lost ” than to any other single book beside the Bible. It is fair to assume that this significant fact is largely due to the various popular versions which we have been considering, and more especially to those in prose. Written, as we have conjectured, for those unknown thousands whose faith was both unquestioning and absorbing, the peculiar theology of the great Puritan epic was thus made a living part of the popular belief. Read with the Bible as a semi-devotional work, but little separation was preserved between the teachings of the two.1
If there were space, much might be said about the intrinsic interest of these prose versions, apart from the curious speculations which they suggest. The poem in its changed estate seems as grievously altered as Milton's archangel ruined. By the turn of a phrase, the change of a word, it loses its “transcendant brightness ; " reduced to unadorned prose its theological disquisitions read like the discourse of a Puritan divine.
Matthew Arnold has selected Milton out of all English poets as the conspicuous example of the “grand manner.” In the sonorous roll of his majestic verse, nothing can possibly sound mean or trivial; the thing said is glorified in the saying. But in the prose versions we have sense divorced from sound, the matter without the manner, and we are in a position to study Milton from a novel point of view. No poetry could come out of such a
1 I am indebted for this suggestion to Dr. Horace Howard Furness.
double distillment unimpaired, its subtle essence must be lost in the process, but of all the great English poets Milton is perhaps the least able to survive it. The Miltonic “ linked thunderbolts ” have but to become in the translation “thunderbolts linked together,” and somehow the volatile power has oozed out of them. The account of the angel Gabriel's meal with Adam is only rendered tolerable by Milton's art. In prose it reads : “ What God gives to man, who is in part spiritual, may not be found ungrateful food for purest spirits ; and these pure intelligential substances require soine sort of food, as well as doth your rational ; and both contain within them every lower organ of sense by which they hear, seè, smell, touch, and taste ; and tasting concoct, digest, assimilate, and turn corporeal to incorporeal ... so they sat down and began to eat; the angel not as a spirit, as some divines would make us believe, but with keen dispatch of hunger, and concocted heat, to digest food.” The slightest change often produces the most lamentable results. Thus instead of
“And the torrid clime
Smote on him sore beside vaulted with fire,” we read,
“ The heat of hell embarrassed him greatly, for it was surrounded and covered with fire," while the noble line,
“Oh friends! why come not on these victors proud,” becomes
“Friends! what's the matter these proud conquerors don't come on?”
I must refrain from giving further examples, but I highly recommend a study of the translation itself. It suggests many speculations. We ask ourselves how far Milton's greatness consists of his “grand manner;” how even a commentator could reconcile the desecration of “ Paradise Lost” with his hopes of happiness; and in spite of explanations we still wonder why a Paradise thus doubly ruined should have gone through at least eight prose editions, and have been six times done into rhyme or amended verse.
Henry S. Pancoast. GERMANTOWN, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.
THE PRELUDES OF HARPER'S FERRY.
11. — JOHN BROWN, GUERRILLA. “ Circassia has about 550,000. “ Switzerland, 2,037,030.
“Guerilla warfare See Life of Lord Wellington Page 71 to Page 75 (Mina) See also Page 102 some valuable hints in same Book. See also Page 196 some most important instructions to officers. See also same Book Page 235 these words Deep and narrow defiles where 300 men would suffise to check an army. See also Page 236 on top of Page.”
This entry, in ink, I copy from another memorandum-book of John Brown's, somewhat stouter than the one just analyzed, and slightly out of repair. Two leaves are missing from the front; and the front cover, of leather, apparently went with them. The pasteboard substitute bears the following inscription : “ This book of mems. was given me by Mrs. Brown at North Elba, Decr., 1859. J. M. McKim.” It is in the main a diary for the years 1857–59, but on page  are three entries pertaining to cattle, of which one is dated January 1, 1855, when Brown was probably at Akron, O., and another May 7, 1855, when he was certainly at Rockford, Ill. The debit of the former date, “ Horace Hawkins, To balance of accounts 1.38,” is noticeable chiefly as a reminder of the pseudonym, “Nelson Hawkins," which was Brown's favorite of his varied assortment in use from the time when he was “ wanted” for “ treason" in Kansas, to the catastrophe at Harper's Ferry.
It is probable that the missing leaves contained entries for 1856, in September of which year Brown evaded the warrant for his arrest issued by Governor Geary, and bade good-by for a while to the distracted territory of Kansas. On the first of the remaining pages is a list of “good stopping places between Iowa City & Tabor (Fremont County, Iowa),” the latter town lying on his northern route in the above exodus, and being about to serve him as headquarters and rendezvous. Below, penciled in a bold band, we read, “Owen Brown (senior) died May 8th 1856," and “ Fredk Brown was killed Aug 30th 1856 [in the BorderRuffian raid on Osawatomie).” Midway on the page stands this item : “ Expence on Company horse sold in Iowa for $100, was $9.55.”
The Company referred to was that irregular body commanded by Brown in 1856, called the “Free-State Regular Volunteers of Kansas,” whose covenant, articles of enlistment, and by-laws were copied out for Mr. Sanborn by Brown from the memorandumbook before me, and will be found on pages 287–290 of the Life of Brown. A few insignificant changes and omissions were accidentally made in the transcribing and need not be recorded here. The autographic roll of privates, on the other hand, suffered considerably in the double copying. For example, “ Hauser” was utterly disguised in print as “Hereson ;” and even the surname of W. H. Leeman, the only one afterwards found on the list of the Harper's Ferry band, was inexactly spelt with a single e.
Before passing to the entries for 1857 and the two succeeding years, let us revert to the extract with which we opened this chapter. The “Life of Lord Wellington ” cited by Brown for its bearing on guerrilla warfare turns out to have been Joachim Hayward Stocqueler's “Life of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington,” published in London in 1852. Brown's references are to the first of two volumes. Pages 71 to 75 relate to Wellington's defensive attitude after Ciudad Rodrigo yielded to the French on July 16, 1810. He was assisted, says his biographer, “ by the growth, activity, intelligence and determination of the Spanish Guerillas," whose operations Stocqueler proceeds to describe at some length. “Mina, a chief possessing great authority and ability,” dispersed his troops in small parties, and quickly reassembled them, on one occasion defeating 2,000 French. Of this personage John Brown made a note in parentheses; but he passed over as of little weight - perhaps owing to different conditions the testimony, on page 74, of a British officer who served in the campaigns of 1809–14.
“ Do not suppose,” says this officer, “ that we give the like credit to the Guerrillas as you have done in England ; for, however they may have annoyed and even distressed the enemy, and rendered necessary the employment of large bodies of troops to keep up communication, they never could nor would have liberated their country. This petty mountain warfare could not lead to great results, while their miserable armies only entered the plains to be dispersed, and, but for our forces, all the best and accessible countries of every province were permanently subdued.”
The “ valuable hints” on page 102 were contained in Wellington's warning to the people of Portugal to be prepared for a renewal of the French invasion, to conceal their valuables and provisions, and to bury objects of plunder.
The“ most important instructions to officers ” were hints as to discipline and cooking, with praise of the French mess.
On page 235 Stocqueler is summarizing the topography of Spain. “Here, then,” says he, “ we have a chaos of mountains, where we meet at every step huge fallen masses of rock and earth, yawning fissures, deep and narrow defiles, where 300 men would suffice to check an army,” etc. The picture is continued at the top of page 236 : “ Isolated towns, either perched upon eminences or enclosed within walls; villages remote from each other, and balf savage; a people proud, sober, brave and ferocious – such are the elements which render this a country eminently adapted for defensive warfare, and almost impossible to be conquered.”
Indicative of a comprehensive scheme — whether of defense or of running off of slaves, who can say ? — is the following entry by John Brown directly opposite the minutes relating to the native strongholds of Schamyl, Tell, and Mina :“Fayettville North Carolina head of navigation on Cape Fear River
Alleghany Pa Pittsburg
& St Augustine Florida.” We may never know the exact date at which the above memoranda were made. Richard Realf reports in a large way that in Canada, in 1858, John Brown“ stated that he had read all the books upon insurrectionary warfare that he could lay his hands on : the Roman warfare ..., Schamyl ... , Toussaint ...," etc. To Realf, as to Sanborn, Brown, who “had followed the military career of Napoleon with great interest,” unquestionably declared that he had visited the Continental battlefields in the fall of 1849, with a view to learning what he could for the warfare he even then contemplated. Not much could be done in the two or three weeks he appears to have had for business and sight-seeing together. Waterloo, Leipsic, and Jena were accessible, but had few lessons for the guerrilla ; Switzerland there is no record of his having reached.