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ideas), are those here specially referred to. Of such performances as the hymns in celebration of individual saints, which occur in some recent collections -uncouth Latin versified in more uncouth English - however earnest and well-intentioned from the translator's point of view, it is not necessary to speak.


Bishop Heber, during the first quarter of the century, left us a set of hymns, written in a finished style of much elegance, and valuable from the manly and intelligible character, which is not a universal attribute of the modern hymn. They are also re

After Cowper we may conveniently date the beginning of the hymns of our own age. I do not mean that many of those written since his time are not very similar in sentiment and in style to those of the eighteenth century; yet even in these one may gradually and, as it were, silently trace the operation of those general changes in our ways of thinking and speaking from which no one can escape; whilst these general changes have also brought about the more important effect that hymns have ceased to be the work of one large school of religious thought, markable for the skill with which the natural and represent now those many movements landscape is introduced, a feature to which amongst which our parents and we ourselves they probably owe part of their popularity. have lived, and which it is neither necessary The Missionary Hymn is a well-known exnor desirable that I should here attempt to ample. I select one which is not so familcriticize. Looking, however, at the new or iar: revived modes of theological impulse as they have influenced hymns, I think it will be allowed that a great and a very useful range of sentiment and of style has been hence added to this portion of our literature. I do not call upon any one for approval of the opinions which he may not share, or may even regard with alarm and hostility. Yet, on the whole, I venture to claim that we shall find the best side, that which is most true or most tender, in each religious phase, reflected in its hymns, Partly from the very idea of the hymn as an act of praise or prayer, partly from the large and generous spirit of poetry herself, those tones which jar upon us when they are heard in other spheres of literature are, more or less, sweetened and harmonized in song. The sects clasp hands here; hymns High and Low, Evangelical and Ritualistic, the words of the Established Church and of the Chapel, those even of the early and mediæval periods of Christianity, meet together in our hymnbooks, and are heard from the same lips: they express that deep underlying unity of conviction in which we all share far more than we are ourselves conscious of. I shall, therefore, simply select a few which appear to me typical specimens of the best hymns of this century; premising that I will choose original hymns only; the vast majority of those which have been recently translated especially those from ancient sources — appearing to me heavy and awkward as poetry, often trivial in thought, and rarely in true or natural unison with modern faith or feeling. The body of hymns translated from German sources, and those from the much overrated hymns of the Latin Church (including such as Mr. Neale's popular "Jerusalem," which, however, I venture to pronounce both clumsy in diction and essentially materialistic in its

I praised the earth, in beauty seen
With garlands gay of various green;
I praised the sea, whose ample field
Shone glorious as a silver shield;
And earth and ocean seem'd to say,
"Our beauties are but for a day."

I praised the sun, whose chariot roll'd
On wheels of amber and of gold;
I praised the moon, whose softer eye
Gleam'd sweetly through the summer sky;
And moon and sun in answer said,
"Our days of light are numbered."

O God! O Good beyond compare!
If thus Thy meaner works are fair,
If thus Thy bounties gild the span
Of ruin'd earth and sinful man,
How glorious must the mansion be,
Where Thy redeem'd shall dwell with Thee!

With Heber's manner, too often slightly artificial, and not free from the jingling cadences and tinsel commonplace which are the weak side of the school of Byron, compare some stanzas of charming artlessness by the great imaginative painter, William Blake:

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,

And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd?

Can a mother sit and hear,
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast?
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

Oh! He gives to us His joy,
That our griefs He may destroy;
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

ble with Wordsworth, — of all our modern
poets the one whose individuality (when
fully manifested) is the most individual.
Bearing this in view, it would be no disre-
spect to Mr. Keble if we named him a
Wordsworth in twilight. This definition is
borne out, not only by the general tone of
sentiment and of reasoning, but by the de-
tails of the "Christian Year," - the grace-
ful landscape sketches, the selection and
structure of the verse, the cadences of the
rhythm. It is difficult to choose one hymn
suitable throughout for recitation, and, at
the same time, capable of doing justice to
the writer's peculiar excellences. Perhaps
a few stanzas from the well-known "Even-
ing Hymn may best show how high a
point of success Keble could reach when he
employed the simple style which a hymn de-


Sun of my soul! Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night if Thou be near:

O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes.

When round Thy wondrous works below
My searching rapturous glance I throw,
Tracing out wisdom, power, and love,
In earth or sky, in stream or grove :

Milman, Grant, Montgomery, Kelly, may be named amongst those who have done themselves honour during the first half of this century. The character of the hymns of that period is refinement and moderation; they avoid the overwrought expressions and decided dogmatism which repel or attract us in the Olney and the Wesleyan collections; they are free from the over-subtle thought and fantasticality of the later Elizabethan writers. On the other hand, these hymns, generally speaking, strike one as wanting in spontaneity and fervour; they have too little of the character of the song; they are literary and meditative. These aims are carried to their highest development in Mr. Keble's "Christian Year," probably the most successful collection of English hymns by any single writer, Watts only excepted. This famous series is, however, too reflective in character, and often too obscure or too subtle in sentiment, to There is a peculiar subdued fervour, a fulfil the common vocation of the hymn. repressed passion about the Christian Like the fervent and singularly varied col-Year" which leads the way to the more lection which we owe, in late years, to Dr. emphatic expression which marks the hymns Bonar, the Christian Year" is more for of our own immediate time. This quality has been occasionally carried into want of As the influence of Byron and of Scott are taste and moderation; yet, on the whole, perceptible in the hymns of Bishop Heber, we must recognize in the collections of the so Keble has some of Wordsworth's felicity day a more genuine perception of the real in phrase, much of his delicacy, much of his purpose and character of the hymn. It meditative tendency; but in force and in would be easy to find examples of extravasimplicity he must be ranked, on the whole, gance in manner from recent hymnals; far beneath his great master. It is very high but my object is to set before you the best distinction for a writer to be fairly namea-things of every age; those in which the

the reader than the church.

Or by the light Thy words disclose
Watch Time's full river as it flows,
Scanning Thy gracious Providence,
Where not too deep for mortal sense:

When with dear friends sweet talk I hold,
And all the flowers of life unfold;
Let not my heart within me burn,
Except in all I Thee discern.

When the soft dews of kindly sleep,
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Saviour's breast.

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without Thee I cannot live:
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.


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I AM one of those who think that lectures | There is not one person in a thousand who unare a great means of advancing knowledge derstands the principles of drainage, and how for the human race. As regards the improve- the capillary system acts in drainage. The 14ent of agriculture, it may be observed that agricultural lecturer would at first have to there are no people so dense as agriculturists, lecture to a small and most sceptical audience. and so adverse to adopting any new thing. But the good seed would have been sown; Now, there are men, a few only, who have and some amongst his audience would have studied agriculture very profoundly. I do not received ideas which they could not easily think that they could make a better use of their get rid of, and which they would gradually knowledge and their time, than by going about test by practical experience. the country, and giving agricultural lectures.

Author of Friends in Council.

From The Spectator.



MR. HOTTEN has done the present generations of children and of elders alike, a very great service in reproducing an exquisite facsimile of the greatest of Cruikshank's works in connection with the charming book which was the best beloved of all the books of our childhood. We have been comparing with the most careful scrutiny the etchings in this edition with Cruikshank's own in the original work from which they were reproduced, and we can well understand Mr. Ruskin's statement that not only was his keen eye deceived by them so that he took them for late copies from the original plates, but that Mr. Cruikshank himself mistook the reproductions for his own work. We will undertake to say that no ordinary eye, however practised, would have recognized the difference if they had been seen apart. On the closest comparison, indeed, we can ourselves see a slight advantage in the original plates over the reproductions, even when we give the latter the advantage of the India proof paper, on which their really marvellous fidelity to the originals will be best seen. For instance, the dener's son who is taking that spirited ride on the fox's tail over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind" has, in the original plate, eyes that are looking more fixedly into the distant horizon, as if they were watching for the wonder at the end, than even in the exquisite copy, where there is a shade more of preoccupation with the remarkable steed by which he is drawn. The picture is one of Mr. Cruikshank's most wonderful achievements. To make a fox's brush seem a thoroughly natural and comfortable seat at all is no small success. But when you see how the artist has managed it, your wonder deepens to reverence. With his right hand the gardener's son holds up the brush on which he sits, while the feet at the end of his long legs rest quite comfortably, as on a footstool, on the fox's back, close to the root of the tail; the left hand holds his cap with its streaming feather to his head lest the wind should carry it away. and his eyes are calmly but eagerly rivetted on the far distance, the land of wonder to which he is being conveyed, while his just parted lips speak the same spirit of instant expectation. Yet no expectant and deeply interested face can be more placid. Nothing is further from the reader's mind than any

German Popular Stories. With Illustrations from the Original Designs of George Cruikshank.

Edited by Edgar Taylor, with Introduction by John
Ruskin, M.A. London: John Camden Hotten.

uneasiness as to the stability of the rider's seat, though he has to hold it up for himself. The perfectly natural character of the locomotion is written in every line of his expression and attitude. There is far more effort in the fingers which clutch at the windbeaten cap and feather, than in the hand which supports the brush on which he is cushioned. And then the sinewy old fox,what ease in his movements! There is no sense whatever of any unusual burden, in the easy sweep of those hind legs; indeed, only one of them is on the ground, the other is raised in the air with as light an action as that of a thoroughbred hunter; and an audacious little cloud of dust in the rear speaks of the pace he is going. Reynard's shrewd, erect, small ears bespeak those many counsels which that placid youth,— kind-hearted, but not over-wise, whom he has taken under his protection so obviously needs. And what wind the artist has put into the picture! His translation of “Und so ging es über Stock und Stein dass die Haare pfiffen" is a translation no child will ever forget, though Mr. Edgar Taylor's "And away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind" is as perfect as words could make it.

And look, again, at that inconceivably humorous procession led by Dummling with the golden goose,- the goose which has the property of making a prisoner of every one (save its owner) who touches it, or touches any person attached to it, so that Dummling, the self-satisfied youth, with that inimitable air of aplomb about him which Cruikshank gives to all the heroes of these tales, is accompanied by the innkeeper's three daughters, the parish priest, the parish clerk, and two labourers with mattocks, all linked in an indissoluble goose-chain, beneath the window of that gloomy young princess who found mirth so impossible in this weary world, that the king, her father, had decreed that any man who made her laugh should have her for his wife and be heir to his kingdom. Look at the details of this unrivalled piece of artistic humour. Cruikshank has taken a cynical view, we regret to say, of the gloomy princess. He makes her a fat and very vacant-minded person, who had not wit enough to see the laughable element in life till it had gained very magnificent proportions indeed; and he evidently regards the father as anxious not so much to dissipate her gloom, as to awaken her intellect through the sense of humour. As it is, she is holding both her fat sides at the window and positively roaring, as she awakens to her first full perception of the incongru

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Before concluding, let us say a single word as to the translation. Nothing could be better than Mr. Edgar Taylor's for its time. But since he translated Grimm, the tales which he dealt with have been repeatedly re-edited by the brothers, and now the translation of 1826 by no means adequately represents the full humour and freshness of

ities of life. And well she may, though -pulls himself in two in the operation. Dummling with a keen sense of how much What a picture of impotent wrath he is! more laughable the spectacle is, if presented not entirely unlike Mr. Roebuck in expresgravely like a formal procession, is perfect sion, as he looked when he scowled at an master of his own countenance, and heads opponent on the floor of the House, after the grotesque string of involuntary perform-putting down his foot" somewhat too preers with the golden goose under his arm sumptuously on a private conviction. The and an air of pert seriousness on his face, arch, relieved look of the Queen at his disas of a master of the ceremonies. The comfiture, as she half rises from her throne eldest innkeeper's daughter, who was the to break up the Court, the grinning content first to touch the treacherous goose, a mid- of the fat nurse, who sees her darling the dle-aged, hard-featured woman of the Gum- baby rescued from Rumpelstiltzchen's quesmidge description, lone and lorn,' trapeses tionable protection, and the hearty delight at his heels, her dismal features lengthened of the beefeaters-in-waiting, present a most into helpless complaint; the second sister, humorous contrast to the grim little imp plumper, and with a trace of curl-papers, himself, in the dark Spanish cloak and steehas the sense of impropriety ludicrously ple hat and feather, as he wrenches, stamped on features which she still flatters vainly hitherto, at his deeply implanted herself are buxom; the youngest, who is a leg. In a word, there is no end to the hubeauty, in her own estimation at least,- mour of these etchings. rather minces after her, as if she aimed at an air of grace even in that embarrassment; the stout, red priest, in his surplice and robes, whose strong reprobation of the girls had induced him to try detaching himself, is in a fury, and bounces after, lifting his free hand in the attitude of pulpit declamation; his half-starved clerk, in rusty black, lifts the same hand by way of translating the German popular stories in their most his responses into gesture, but is as humili- recent, which is really their most popular ated by the disaster as his superior is infu- and ancient, dress. For example, the riated, and is obviously mentally replying story of the gardener's son who rides on "adhæsit pavimento" to his chief's ini- the fox's tail, admirably told as it is in the quos odio habui; " the first labourer, a stu- English, has a still richer and more vernacpid, puzzle-headed man, carries a mattock ular flavour in the later German editions. in his only free hand, and evidently wants The humorous reflections of the gardener's to scratch his head with the one which is son on the queer crotchets the fox had got magically attached to the parish clerk, but into his old head are all omitted in Mr. has not yet realized that he might, in case Taylor's translation, yet they are some of of need, use the mattock for that purpose; the most popular and dramatic touches of the second labourer, a weak-kneed young the story, and just of a kind to tell on the man, is frightened out of his wits at the childish fancy. Rumpelstilzchen's grocompulsory procession which he closes, and tesquely tragic fate in endeavouring to exwith which he can only keep up by urging tricate himself from the floor, which we his loose limbs into a trot. A small, fat know, by our personal experience, always urchin, detached spectator of the procession, appeals to the humour of children, is not in throws up his hands and legs in delight, the English version, and these are not by and evidently exclaims to himself, Oh any means peculiar instances of stories in golly!" while a yelping cur beside him which there is room for greater fidelity to barks excitedly - in a defensive attitude - the most humorous, freshest, and best verat the fuss, without seeing the fun. No sion of the original. We do not see why, more humorous composition was, perhaps, if this charming book should reach, as it ever conceived by an artist, certainly ever probably will, many future editions, some delineated. But we might go through nearly one of the representatives of Mr. Edgar every etching with almost equal praise. Taylor should not give the finishing touches There is the dwarf Rumpelstilzchen, dash- to the book. Why, too, should not there ing his foot so deep into the floor when the be further selections made from the same queen guesses his certainly very unusual rich source? A volume of the mediæval name, that he has to use both hands to pull quasi-religious fables, in which the curiously it out again, and if we may trust Grimm's familiar mother-wit of the middle ages is later editions instead of Mr. Edgar Taylor, brought to bear on religious questions, often


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