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fame must rest. In Memoriam, in all prime respects, is the poet's grandest achievement; indeed, of its kind, it is immeasurably the finest poem in English literature. We should like, some time, to submit to our readers an analysis of it in illustration of its wonderful unity, thought, truth, suggestiveness, spirituality, power. We commend it to young clergymen in especial as an admirable study. We say study, for no reading of it, once, twice, or even thrice, will be sufficient to enable one to appreciate the harmonies of its “Æonian music.” At the present, and to indicate the reverential religious sentiment which, like a golden thread, runs through its fabric, we content ourselves with extracting some passages.
The poem, as all know, is an utterance of the sorrow which the death of a friend brought to the loving, living heart of the poet. This sorrow is held to be, and in Mr. Tennyson's case becomes, the noblest discipline of soul.* What the soul learns is told at length. We can name but few lessons only. Take, first, the heart's emphatic renunciation of intellectual scepticism :
I found God not in world or sun,
Or eagle's wing, or insect's eye;
I heard a voice, “Believe no more,”
* In Memoriam is a grand commentary on the text: “Sorrow is better than laughter: the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." It reminds one continually of the solemn wisdom which Æschylus puts into the mouth of his chorus when woes were darkening upon the house of Agamemnon. How impressive these lines :
τον φρονείν βρoτους δδώ-
θέντα κυρίως έχειν.
χοντας ήλθε σωφρονείν.
A warmth within the breast would melt
The freezing reason's colder part,
And, like a man in wrath, the heart
Take, next, the subordination of Knowledge to Wisdom:
Half-grown as yet, a child, and vain,
She cannot fight the fear of death.
What is she, cut from love and faith,
All barriers in her onward race
For power. Let her know her place;
A higher hand must make her mild,
If all be not in vain ; and guide
Her footsteps, moving side by side
Take, next, that priceless good in Love which justifies the discipline of sorrow:
This truth came borne with bier and pall,
I felt it, when I sorrowed most,
'Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.
Take, next, the firm persuasion that Truth and Right will yet triumph on the earth :
And all is well, though faith and form
Be sundered in the night of fear;
Proclaiming social Truth shall spread,
And Justice, e'en though thrice again
The red fool-fury of the Seine
Take, finally, the sublime confidence that Goodness becoming supreme, will yet make our desert world “ like the garden of the Lord.” The lesson comes chiming into the soul with the ringing of Christmas bells :
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow :
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more ;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring out a slowly-dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife ;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times ;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Coleridge, that prince of critics, remarking, in the Biogra
phia Literaria, the points of difference between the poets of his age and those of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and expressing a wish for the blending of the characteristic merits of both, writes : “A lasting and enviable reputation awaits that man of genius who should attempt and realize a union; who should recall the high finish, the appropriateness, the facility, the delicate proportion, and, above all, the perfusive and omnipresent grace which have preserved, as in a shrine of amber, the sparrow of Catullus, the swallow, the grasshopper, and all the other little loves of Anacreon, and which, with bright though diminished glories, revisited the youth and early manhood of Christian Europe, in the vales of Arno and the groves of Isis and of Cam ;—and who, with these, should combine the keener interest, deeper pathos, manlier reflection, and the fresher and more various imagery, which give a value and a name that will not pass away, to the poets who have done honor to our own times and to those of our immediate predecessors.” Now, this man of genius, whom thus the prophetcritic foreannounces, is ALFRED TENNYSON. In him the manly reflection of Wordsworth, the fresh, varied imagery of Coleridge, the gorgeous word-wealth of Spenser, the solemn-thoughted wisdom of Milton, the keen intensity of Dante, and the subtle versatility of Shakspeare, are in admirable union with the high finish, the appropriateness, the facility, the delicate proportion, and the perfusive, omnipresent grace of the lyrists of Greece. We do not say that Mr. Tennyson unites these characteristics in such degree that, by common consent, he should take precedence of the really great souls, Grecian, Italian, English, “ whose thoughts enrich the blood of the world,” but we do maintain that he 80 unites them as to have among the living poets of the nineteenth century no equal, and among the dead ones of the same century few superiors. Serus in Cælum redeat. May he, through many years of health and labor, receive those numerous tributes of applause and love which the thoughtful, wise, and good, in two hemispheres, gratefully yield.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S ANSWER TO THE PROTEST
We have taken no part in the matter which has been mooted in our pages, as to an expression in the Answer to the Protest on Slavery. We have merely published letters on the subject, leaving it to our readers to decide. Since our last issue, we have received a second letter from Dr. Patterson, and a note from Judge Allison, inclosing a letter from Mr. Hastings. These, the gentlemen in question think it proper to publish, to put the whole matter in a clear light.
The reader now has before him, in our present and last Numbers, letters from all the four gentlemen who were present when the Answer to the Protest was adopted. Mr. Kendall, the fifth member of the Committee, says, that “the paper was shown to him, but he does not remember the wording as to the point in question." It will be seen that Drs. Patterson and Allen have one distinct impression, and Mr. Hastings and Judge Allison an entirely different one.
The language quoted by Dr. Patterson, from the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, makes a wrong impression as to our course. He quotes from us as follows: “In some way, the original paper was placed in the hands of the Stated Clerk, who has printed the paper as originally drawn, but not as passed by the Committee.”
Now, 1. We did not say that, but the following: “ This paper as drawn at first contained the words, 'It has only conceded, that certain exceptional cases may exist,' &c. On motion of Judge Allison and Orlando Hastings, Esq., this expression was modified as we print it. But it appears, that in some way, the original paper was placed in the hands of the Stated Clerk, who has printed the paper as originally drawn, but not as passed by the Committee. We make this statement on the authority of Judge Allison, and not with the intention