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• We scrambled over the hurdles, and gave the miserable little creatures the benefit of ten minutes'labour. They seemed too small for such exertion; their little hands were purple with chilblains, and they were so sorefooted they could scarcely limp. I was surprised to find them at least three years older than their size and looks denoted, and still more surprised, too, to find that their şalary for all this bitter exposure to the elements—such as I believe I could not have endured two days running-was the vast sum of one shilling a week each, Sundays included. • They didn't never go to school, nor to church neither, except just now and then, sometimes -they had to mind the sheep.'

“I went on, sickened with the contrast between the highly-bred, over-fed, fat, thick-woolled animals, with their troughs of turnips and malt-dust, and their racks of rich clover-hay, and their little pent-house of rock-salt, having nothing to do but to eat and sleep, and eat again, and the little half-starved shivering animals who were their slaves."

We are certainly not the reviewers so modestly invoked by Mr. Kingsley in his preface to “Hypatia,” who, by exposing his mistakes, are to teach him and the public somewhat more about the last struggle between the Young Church and the Old World. We do not affect to have waded through the ecclesiastical history of Socrates, to have threaded the intricacies of Petavius, or mastered the logic of the Homoousian and Homoiousian controversy. Nor can we pretend to any but a second-hand acquaintance with the cloudy metaphysics of Neo-Platonism. We disclaim, therefore, any intention of criticising Mr. Kingsley's “ Hypatia," with reference to the

" exactness of its descriptions of Græco-Egyptian manners in the reign of Pulcheria, or of the intestine disorders of the Alexandrian Church of the fifth century, or the precise value of his estimate of its turbulent head.

The story well deserves an article to itself, in which, for this kind of appreciation, such knowledge as we do not pretend to might be brought to bear upon it. But, for our present purpose, we wish to deal with it rather by virtue of that significance for our own times, the presence of which, in this story of the fifth century, is indicated by its second title, “ New foes with an old face."

True to his mission--in which the novel-writer's desk is used as a second pulpit, to attract a larger and more awakened audience for the author than is usually vouchsafed to the preacher-Mr. Kingsley takes his stand beside the throes and fever-fits of the slow-expiring Byzantine Empire, to point the moral of that hideous death-bed. And he chooses his particular point of time, because he conceives that the elements of decay and demoralization in the Church, and


the forms of unbelief, doubt, difficulty, and despair which held riot beyond her pale at Alexandria in the days of Cyril, are present, and working more or less visibly among ourselves at this time. “I wish,” he tells his readers, “to show you your own likenesses in toga and tunic, instead of coat and bonnet.

The same devil who tempted the Egyptians tempts you. The same God who would have saved these old Egyptians, if they had willed, will save you if you will. Their sins are yours, their errors yours, their doom yours, their deliverance yours. There is nothing new under the sun. The thing which has been, it is that which shall be. Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone, whether at Hypatia or Pelagia, Miriam or Raphael, Cyril or Philammon."

Hypatia has the advantage and disadvantage-for it is both one and the other--of a scene laid at a period unfamiliar to common readers. Perhaps the disadvantage of having to create interest, without a TOV Otw" of association, overbalances the advantage of freshness, obtained by an hackneyed theme, a new theatre, and an untried troop of actors.

But if the period be one little resorted to by our poets or novel-writers, and shunned by our historical inquirers, -as if Gibbon had acquired an exclusive right, by first occupation, to a territory much too large to be completely surveyed by one man, much less broken up in tillage, and made to bear its due harvest,-it is the epoch in which lie the tap-roots of our modern society ; the era in which that grand old harlot, Rome-retaining, even in her ruin, the vestiges of her former symmetry and some springs of ancient strength-was roughly wooed and wed, soldier-fashion, by the conquering Goth. Of that union sprang the civilization of the West, which is the civilization of the world. But in Alexandria, where the scene of “Hypatia" is laid, the Goths appear only as subordinates. The struggle in which Mr. Kingsley finds the springs of dramatic action and emotion is not that between Goth and Roman, but between expiring Paganism and growing Christianity. As the purity, beauty, and learning of “Hypatia " are shown unable to uphold the faith in the dumb, dead gods of Greece,-even when galvanized by such life as Neo-Platonism could put into them,-so the turbulent ambition of Cyril, the low and worldly fanaticism of Peter the Reader, and the brutal coarseness and ferocity of the Nitrian monks, are exhibited as powerless to check the growth of a faith, the fundamental truths of which they could pervert, but never annihilate or neutralize. By his careful elaboration of this conflict, it is clear, --even if Mr. Kingsley had not said as much in the passage

we have quoted,—that he considers an analogous strife to be going on now and among ourselves. But for this it would certainly not have appeared, to one so practical, worth while to re-open, under the guise of fiction, one of the saddest chapters of the past, Let us see if a rapid analysis of the story inay not aid in bringing to light its lesson for us.

Philammon, a young monk of the Laura, or cænobite village of Scetis, in the Nile Valley,—where he has been reared under the gentle influences of the Abbot Pambo, and the pure and noble doctrinal teaching of Arsenius, who, under the name of Aufugus, has sought, in this quiet retreat, refuge from the intrigue and profligacy of the Imperial Court, - urged by the promptings of nature, which he interprets into divine urgings, leaves his cell for Alexandria, and service under Cyril the Patriarch. On his voyage down the Nile, he encounters the galley of a band of Goths, under the leadership of Amalric, the Amal, who, rich with the spoils of the South and West, and the smiles of a bevy of Alexandrian frail and fair ones, are sailing in a vain quest of Asgard, up the father of rivers. Philammon's reed skiff is capsized in a collision with a hippo

a potamus, which the big-limbed barbarians are amusing themselves by harpooning; he is lugged on board, approves his thews and sinews in a tussle with “Smid,” the Weland of the band, and is landed in their barge at an Alexandrian wharf, after much rough-and-tumble practical joking on the part of the Goths, and no little perturbation from the black eyes of Pelagia, the Aphrodite Pandemos, the beautiful Hetæra, the Delilah of the huge Gothic Samson.

He enters Alexandria at an eventful moment. Orestes, the prefect, wavering between ambition and love of ease, dreams of the establishment of a new empire of the East, by the aid of barbarian arms, Jewish gold, and corn and games for the mob. Nominally a Christian, he is at heart an unbelieving sensualist, and has his fiercest opponent in the patriarch Cyril, who, if there is to be any empire set up in Alexandria, will have it an empire of the Church, with himself for dictator.

Orestes, anxious to array all available powers against the Church, and attracted by the charms of Hypatia, the beautiful apostle of Paganism in her Museum lecture-room, conceives the idea of using her influence with the cultivated youth of Alexandria, and employing under her auspices the attraction of pagan pageantry, for the mob, in order to upset Cyril and the church party.

He thus arouses the hostility of the fanatic monks, and a scuffle, in which he is wounded, ends in the arrest and execution of the monk Ammonius, and finally in the letting loose of


the Christian mob, the tearing of Hypatia to pieces, and the triumph, for the time, of the ambitious Patriarch.

In all this Mr. Kingsley avails himself of recorded historic fact. But with the historic Hypatia he links the fictitious fortunes of the young monk, Philammon, and is thus enabled to exhibit the struggle of a faith nursed in cænobitic seclusion against the allurements of pagan neo-Platonism embodied in the

person and teaching of a lovely young woman. Philammon falls for a moment, but only to rise again with a vision cleared and purified, a deep conviction of his own sins, and a rooted horror of the brutal violence of the fanatics, whom Cyril uses as his tools. In Pelagia he finds a sister, made a slave, like himself, years before at Athens, and trained by Miriam, an old Jewess, to the arts of the dancer and the harlot. She, too, is converted, and ends her days, a desert recluse, as Philammon ends his, abbot of the same Laura of Scetis, which he left to pass through the trials and temptations of the Alexandrian world.

But no picture of Alexandria and her opinions in the fifth century would be complete without its Jewish element. And this Mr. Kingsley furnishes in the character of Raphael-AbenEsra, a type of the highly-cultivated, subtle, sarcastic, and fearless Jew, in whom the faith of his forefathers is extinct, and who has found nothing to replace it in the jargon of the Cabalists or the vague theosophism of Philo. Through him we obtain a view of the working of Christian belief and practice from a new point. As the faith of Philammon is recreated, and purified by experience of the hollowness of NeoPlatonic pantheism in Hypatia, so the profound scepticism of Raphael is drawn out by contact with the active practical Christianity of Majoricus the prefect-an adherent of Heraclian Count of Africa-and his daughter Victoria, whom Raphael rescues from destruction in the rout of Heraclian's army, near Ostia.

From this rough outline of the materials used by Mr. Kingsley, and of the structure he has raised by help of them, his aim will now be apparent to our readers. It is to exhibit the church in conflict with idealistic philosophy on the one hand, and on the other with sceptical worldliness, while in the bosom of the church itself we see the struggle of ambitious priesteraft, monastic asceticism, and practical godliness. When the novel is thus reduced to its principles, it is evident enough that for all these warring principles of the fifth century, parallels may be found in the nineteenth-in the Neologism which from German and American roots has struck and is growing amongst us,-in the Mammon-worship and self-seeking which, according to Mr. Kingsley, sets every man's hand against his neighbour—and no less in the church itself, in the various forms of Erastianism, Tractarianism, Evangelicism, and that school which has no allotted name as yet, but of which the doctrines have been variously set forth by Arnold, Maurice, and Kingsley.

In the side he takes in this warfare Mr. Kingsley is consistent. His fiction gives the victory to and claims all the gain for the Christianity of deeds—the faith which recognises in this world at once its battle-field and its tillage-ground. The Jew--who can pierce through the lofty pretensions of a Cyril to their spring of selfish ambition, who despises and loathes the coarseness of the Nitrian monks and the vulgarity of the Cyrillian Parabolaniis penetrated and overcome by the active good deeds and unpretending self-sacrifice of Victoria and her father; and when he finds that the root of all this is in their faith, he at once embraces that faith.

The story has all Mr. Kingsley's literary merits, with more than its fair share of one of his defects, judging him as a story. teller. It is full of incident, nervously and rapidly narrated, interspersed with passages of word-painting, marvellously vivid.

The analysis of character, feelings, and motives, is elaborate to the highest degree. But here comes in the fault we have ventured to hint at. This elaboration is effected mainly by soliloquies, running often over many pages, and carried on in the way of mental question and answer. These soliloquies are, to our mind, undramatic, even by dint of their dramatic form. The mental monologue seems to us more tedious than the old mode of effecting the same object, by describing in the person of the author the reflections of the fictitious personage. Opinions, however, may differ on this point; and we are not disposed, because we are reviewing, to lay down canons which no writer is bound to acknowledge or abide by.

Our space restrains us from extracts, otherwise we should have gladly quoted the glowing and luxurious scene of the games in which Pelagia enacts the rising Aphrodite.

With the big-boned, simple-minded, quick and open-handed Goths, Mr. Kingsley has an especial sympathy, and describes with evident relish these giants of the North moving with easy contempt among the slaves, profligates, donkey-drivers and shavelings of the Græco-Egyptian capital.

In the quality of imaginative conception, “Hypatia” excels all Mr. Kingsley's novels; and neither Scott in his “ Count Robert of Paris,' nor Lockhart in his · Valerius," Bulwer in his "Last Days of Pompeii,” has, to our mind, reproduced with so much force and spontaneity the life of the ancient Empire.

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