« 前へ次へ »
When lovely souls and pure before their time
Into the dusk went down.
These Earth, the bounteous nurse, Hath long ago lapped in deep peace divine.
Lips that made musical their old-world woe
Themselves have gone to silence long ago, And left a weaker voice and wearier verse,
O royal soul, for thine.
Beyond our life how far Soars his new life through radiant orb and zone,
While we in impotency of the night Walk dumbly, and the path is hard, and light Fails, and for sun and moon the single star
Honor is left alone.
The star that knows no set, But circles ever with a fixed desire,
Watching Orion's armor all of gold;
Watching and wearying not, till pale and cold Dawn breaks, and the first shafts of morning fret
The east with lines of fire.
But on the broad low plain When night is clear and windy, with hard frost,
Such as had once the morning in their eyes, Watching and wearying, gaze upon the skies, And cannot see that star for their great pain
Because the sun is lost.
Alas! how all our love
And fading memory cries at dusk of day
The ghost within the tomb?
For even o'er lives like his
The lapping water rises wearily,
Numbing the nerve and will to sleep; and we Before the goal and crown of mysteries
Fall back, and dare not know.
Only at times we know, In gyves convolved and luminous orbits whirled The soul beyond her knowing seems to sweep
Out of the deep, fire-winged, into the deep; As two, who loved each other here below
Better than all the world,
Across the void might call
And flash through galaxies, and clasp and kiss
In some slant chasm and infinite abyss
J. W. Mackail.
THE GRAND MANNER.
The grand manner has gone from the incompetent. Let the Tank-and-file world, and the world seems little put make a fuss about their work, but for out at its departure. Time was when the master spirits the grand manner is it was the token at once of breeding the counsel of perfection, and with it and education. Scholarship unadorned came the chance for a real art of sowith it was held up to scorn as naked ciety. If men are to wear honors and pedantry; manners, with no touch of successes lightly, the background of the grand air, could not pass muster ease will come into prominence, and in polite circles; literature saw in it they will study to amuse. And so came the sum and substance of its being. It that social finesse which our greatdid duty for a whole lexicon of quali- grandmothers adored, those bowings ties, but its outward aspect was un- and smirkings which their grandchildmistakable, depending upon very ren scoffed at, and the whole pleasing simple theory of society and human science of the beau monde. The doclife. There are two classes of men, it trine was both a theory of human conheld-those who attain and those who duct and a social law, preaching at fail. It is for the latter to struggle, once the arts of success and amuseand complain, and show marks of the ment; and the "grand manner” became conflict; but, for the former, it is the the fine flower of accomplished genfirst duty to preserve an untroubled tility. mien, an elegant composure, an aristo- . The tear of sensibility may be cratic nonchalance. A man is more dropped over its tomb, but there can be than his work, especially if that man no question of its revival. The most be a gentleman. Therefore, let him de- its admirers can do is to write the hisscribe himself by no narrow profession, tory of its floruit. It belonged to an but shine in twenty spheres with a age when wealth, leisure, culture and fine neglect of each. It is for the great all the good things of life were conlawyer to be a wit, the wit to be a fined to a class, and it drooped and statesman, the scholar a man of fash- withered at the advent of democracy. ion. To specialize is to confess oneself Our modern seriousness and our mod
ern business-like air killed it, and they but the result is too often a poor shrivchose the cruellest of weapons. It elled creature, crammed with details, might have survived frank opposition, but thin in blood and weak in energy. it could not endure being made to look It is all, perhaps, a gain for us, but ridiculous. Like Aristotle's magnifi- are the men themselves the equal of cent man, who smiled little and walked their forefathers? Once specialization, with slow and dignified step, our gen
if carried to an extreme, was accounted tleman with the grand air could, at a sin against good taste; now it is the times, be almost comic. Your Sir Wil- only sure way of salvation. Of course, loughby Patterne still stalked trium- the old school was wrong; we live in a phant through the world, but a more stirring, practical age, and we should modest person, at a suggestion of farce, know better. But they had, at least, shrivelled up like a gourd. Then peo- some philosophy to justify their foolple asked awkward questions. Were ishness, and the loss is apparent, if not these often elderly, and generally not on the market highways, at least erudite, butterflies an anachronism, in the by-paths of life. wanting in earnestness, in purpose, in The history of English society, which a philosophy of life? Even its practi- some day the Germans may undertake, cal side was denied it. Specialists will be a study of the decline and fall came to look askance at the scholar of the grand manner. Originally an who professed to be a man of the Elizabethan product, and nobly typified world; constituencies suspected a poli- in Sidney and Raleigh, it came to matician with a taste for letters; and at- turity in the seventeenth century. A torneys jibed at the lawyer who had man like Sir Thomas Urquhart in Scotthe dangerous trick of style. The popu- land, with his craze for distinction lace lost its admiration for the fine and his mania for versatility, is the gentleman; and the capitalist, in seek- manner carried to an extreme; and the ing to copy his ways, corrupted the Suckling and the Lovelace school, who model.
Lace and brocade were were at once cavaliers and poets, and (metaphorically) exchanged for broad- a Lord Herbert of Cherbury, who was cloth and mackintoshes, and the world philosopher, poet, physicist, soldier and looked complacently on the change, bravo in one, are shining instances of and complimented itself on its good its best. But the eighteenth century sense.
was its hey-day. In that modish world But with the rubbish went much that of Ranelagh and St. James's, Brookes's was admirable. At its best this grand and the Cocoa Tree, we have a thousand manner meant an exuberant vitality, instances of its perfection. Let it be a genuine zest for life. Its exponents clearly understood what we mean. It might fail, but they failed gallantly. was versatility followed as a fashion and It all worked out to a kind of intense joined with an affectation of ease and self-respect, which might be ludicrous, indifference, a manner, and not necesbut was rarely ignoble. The scholar sarily a character. Most great men who spends his life on a text-book may have been many-sided, but with the be a finer scholar, but we question if gentlemen of the grand air it was a he is so fine a man as his predecessor, social duty, and all traces of the prowho had a dozen other accomplish- cess must be hidden from sight. A ments. It is better, of course, that a whole hierarchy of statesmen--Carteret, politician should study the housing of Bolingbroke, Charles Townshend-were the poor, or the drink question, than an- also wits and scholars. A large school, notate Horace or write a treatise on taste; from Wilkes to Fox, were also rakes. When the city apprentice went down clared that his life was in no way St. James's Street of a morning, and remarkable, for he had always been saw, in the clear sunshine through the a man of rank and fashion with every open window, Fox at cards in his shirt.
opportunity. "Take Lord Hardwicke," sleeves, and reflected that this man, the he said; "he was the son of peasant, afternoon before, had made an epoch. and he made himself Chancellor.” The making speech in the Commons, and peasant happened to be a leading Lonhad, during the night, in all likelihood, don attorney, and Mansfield's father lost a fortune, he recognized the grand was a poverty-stricken Scotch Peer susmanner, and, we trust, shook his head pected of Jacobitism. As far as sucat its folly. A better instance is Lord cess at the Bar went, the former had Mansfield. One of the greatest of all the advantages; but the grand manEnglish Judges, he was, perhaps, also, ner could not stoop to consider them. since Bacon, the most accomplished. It is the word "mere" in Boswell's The keen eyes, massive brows, and question which is the ground of the tart, humorous mouth of the Reynolds whole difference. To Raleigh or Lord portrait reveal a man as versed in Herbert, Wordsworth would have been letters and the arts of the polite world a "mere” poet, Mr. Spencer a "mere" as in the common law. He was a great philosopher. Gibbon, when he declared lawyer, and, what is rarer, a scholar that he was not a historian but a genin law, a man of the widest learning, tleman, and Disraeli, when, before his a wit, a lover of poetry, a man of fash- great Oxford speech in '64, he saunion, and one of the first Parliamentary tered into the theatre in a shooting. debaters of his day. Some, too, would coat and a wideawake, each in his own call him a statesman, but the matter is absurd way protested against profesdoubtful. He was the only man whom sional limitations. Nowadays, Boswell thought worthy of admission would have a parson be a parson, and into the company of general officers a statesman be a statesman; when the who had seen service. Dr. Johnson, grand manner flourished, a gentleman who did not favor the Lord Chief Jus- was insulted by being labelled with a tice's countrymen, shared the prevalent single name. To be sure, the results admiration, as witness this fragment were often disastrous, and fools, who of dialogue. Boswell: “Lord Mansfield might have done decently had their is not a mere lawyer.” Johnson: "No, aspirations been small, made bids for Sir, I never was in Lord Mansfield's
greatness and had lamentable falls. company.
But Lord Mansfield was But the art never professed to be for distinguished at the University. Lord the rank-and-file, but for the masterMansfield, when he first came to town, spirits; and much of the criticism prodrank champagne with the wits. He ceeded from the incompetents. “It is was the friend of Pope." And Pope with genius as with a fine fashion,” has given us his own testimony:- wrote Pope; "all those are displeased
at it who are not able to follow it." How sweet an Ovid, Murray, was our
But whatever the cause be, the grand boast!
manner is discredited. Disraeli was How many Martials were in Pulteney almost the last of its disciples, and the lost!
abuse of him which was current for so
long shows how people had come to But the most typical story is that of regard the affectation. For an affecthe would-be biographer who asked for tation it was, though a charming and materials for his life. Mansfield de- sometimes a noble one. Versatility can