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which the population is less than a hundred, including the last baby. Think of a parochial council in the parish of Bittering Parva, where I was once told there are between fourteen and fifteen inhabitants!'

I am quite aware that the questions which still remain to be dealt with in considering any comprehensive measure of what is known as Church Reform are many and difficult, and some of them are of the highest importance. They will come on for discussion, we may be sure, and abler men than I am, and men better qualified to handle such questions, will doubtless engage in them.

In the hands of such men I would gladly leave the serious and difficult problems which are calling so loudly for solution. The power of dismissal of a parson from his cure, for other than moral offences, at once brings us face to face with the question, 'How are we to provide for aged and broken-down clergy in their time of need?' It also suggests the question, 'In what relations will the governing body stand to the congregation on the one side and the bishop on the other?' The throwing open the benefices to what is sure to be stigmatised as open competition will be distasteful to some, but will result in changes which I am convinced will be, on the whole, of immense benefit to clergy and people, and especially they will tend towards the promotion of the best men to the most valuable cures. Yet here too, when we come to details, it will be necessary to open our eyes to some difficulties, from which, however, we need not shrink, nor will they, I believe, be found so insuperable as may be imagined.

The training, too, of the younger clergy during their term of apprenticeship, if I may use the expression, and the general supervision and periodical inspection of the benefices which has now become the emptiest of forms, will assuredly be called for by all who desire a coherent scheme for the readjustment of matters ecclesiastical. It is hardly to be expected that we should be allowed to go on much longer in the rambling way we do.

If it were only the supremacy of this or that form of doctrine or worship, however dear to us, however sacred, that was at stake, I for one would not willingly embark in the conflict that is before us, or step out from the limits of the humble sphere in which I find myself. I would hold my peace except among my people, and try my best to till the little plot in the heritage of God which His good providence has assigned to me for my daily work. But there is much more at stake than any merely sectarian view of the case would have us believe. It is no mere fight between religious factions and sects and creeds. The question now is whether or not that machinery whereby the schooling of our moral sentiments has been carried on for ages shall be cast from us as a thing of nought, while we surrender ourselves to the private-venture teachers to provide a new machinery by-and-by. Are we to have no functionaries whose remonstrances

any one need attend to? Is there to be no voice speaking with the semblance of authority, bidding the people do the right and avoid the evil? Is there to be no national worship, no national religion, and of course no national creed? How long can Christian ethics be supposed to last?

For ages the vessel of the State has gone on its way riding through a thousand storms, and buffeted by a million billows; its rudder has been at times unskilfully handled; at times the course has been set with evil consequences; at times the steersmen have been rash or blind. But shall we now, in an outbreak of passion or of panic, unship that rudder and cut ourselves adrift, with never a helm to trust to, in the open sea?



Ir is rarely that a continuation or second part of a great poem, whose first part has successfully taken hold of the popular fancy, succeeds in getting itself recognised as of like parentage and full brotherhood with its predecessor. For, whatever its merits may be, one thing is certain it will not have the attraction of novelty; it is not a new thing, only a new phasis of an old thing; and many whose curiosity has been satisfied with a taste of the original will remain indifferent to the charms of the variation. But there are other considerations, even more powerful, that may act in the same direction. If the work which has achieved a certain roundness in the youth or early manhood of the writer finds its continuation in his advanced age, there may be a diminution of power, or at all events a change in the point of view, and an alteration of the tone, which is sure to come into conflict with the natural anticipations of the reader. Then, again, if the author has managed matters with such dramatic cunning that the first part seems so complete in itself as to leave no demand for a necessary complement or a natural sequence, in this case the author has himself to blame if he shall appear to the public in the attitude of an architect who should heap a rich and pretentious topping on a building which has been already furnished with its proper architrave and pediment. Now all these forces work together to the disadvantage of the second part of Goethe's great German tragedy. The Faust, though not put forth in complete shape till the author was considerably past middle life, was, both in conception and execution, in the main, the creation of his full-blooded youth; while the second part was composed in comparative old age, and not finished till within a few weeks of his death in 1832. There are few men, and these certainly not the biggest, who could carry one idea through such a long stretch of literary activity without suffering some considerable change in the general tone of their art and in their style of handling; but with Goethe, whose Vielseitigheit was characteristic, this progression to a new phase of productiveness from Werther and Götz von Berlichingen down to the West Eastern Divan and the second part of Faust, this change in what the Germans would call his subjectivity, was particu

The Second Part of Faust: a Dramatic Poem by Goethe. English by Sir Theodore Martin. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood. 1886.

larly notable. As he grew older he became in his works less and less a man of action and more and more of ideal speculation, contemplative fancy, and luxuriant enjoyment. Whatever good might come out of this-and no doubt there came out a great deal of the purest truth and the ripest wisdom in various forms-there certainly was not to be looked for a consistent continuation of what had been for thirty years before the European public as a tragedy '-for a tragedy certainly it is, as the title-page bears, in the main; a very human tragedy, in which a dreamy, vague speculation, joined to a monstrous intellectual ambition, plunging for relief of its overstrain into a current of sentimental sensuality, lands all concerned, as it always must do, in ruin. Through all the stages that lead to this wreck of a great human life, the story is complete and the moral is plain; and, though the heart-rending scene of Margaret in the prison, with which the tragedy concludes, might have been followed in the style of the old English chapbook by a yawning dismissal into the tremendous abyss of Hell,' which would have pleased a certain class of spectators, whether in the gallery or in the boxes, mightily, every man of taste feels that the sharp abrupt 'HITHER TO ME!' of the fiend is a finale at once more artistic and more effective. In this last scene, and with these last words, the tragedy is both dramatically and morally wound up. No continuation is required.

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Nevertheless, the poet did write a second part of Faust; and some strong reason must have been at work in the doing of it, for it is not a flimsy affair in any wise or tainted with the feebleness that often attends advanced years; it is a production of well-considered and firmly compacted amplitude, and of most rich and luxuriant decoration. If it be a magnificent failure as a sequence to a tragedy, it does not follow that it is a failure altogether. If it could not be tolerated on the stage, or only perhaps at Berlin on a festal occasion, as part of a Goethe celebration, it may be highly interesting in the closet. We must bear in mind that, when we read Goethe, we have to do not only with the writer of a stage play, but with one of the most richly endowed minds and one of the profoundest thinkers that the history of literature presents, and a man who is likely to hold his own through long centuries in the first rank of productive intellect along with Homer, Plato, Dante, Shakspeare, Milton, and Scott. From this point of view we shall look wisely on the second part of Faust as containing the great poet-thinker's philosophy of human life, and his justification of the ways of God to man, set forth with a rich garniture of fancy, which only an intellect of the largest comprehension and of the most various culture could command; and no English admirer of the poet will fail to render a just meed of gratitude to Bayard Taylor and Sir Theodore Martin and Miss Swanwick, the only three English writers, so far as we know, who have presented the English public with a complete metrical version of a work at once more slippery in

execution and less likely to receive a worthy recognition than any that they could have chosen from the wide field of foreign literature.

The second part of Faust, which may be called a tragedy only in the same loose sense that Dante's divine Epic is called a comedy, consists, in the regular orthodox fashion, of five acts. The first act opens with the hero of the prison-scene lying on a flowery meadow in the midst of a beautiful landscape, weary, exhausted, and asleep, with Ariel and a troop of graceful elves fluttering round him, and soothing him with a promise of a speedy awakening into a new career of higher life. He awakes: and in the next scene we find him transported into the audience-chamber of the head of the Holy Roman Empire, who, in the fashion of mighty monarchs, is more concerned about masques and mummeries than encumbered with ready money; more besieged by grievances than gratified by pleasures; and who is accordingly all eagerness to receive any relaxation from the pressure of imperial burdens, through Mephistopheles, or any other spirit that may be cunning enough to advise him. Mephistopheles, with a fine perception of the comparative value of courtly agencies, impersonates the fool, and in this capacity relieves the Emperor from all his embarrassment by a copious issue of paper money, guaranteed by the prospective unearthing of imaginary treasures underground; while Faust himself, partly, no doubt, from his old hankering after fair women, and partly also from a special request made to him by the Emperor, sets out with a mystic key in his hand to the supernatural abodes of The Mothers' —that is, the primary and productive powers of Nature-on the mission to bring the twin ancient paragons of man and woman, Paris and Helen, from the classical Hades. He returns, and by the virtue of the key, as Aladdin by the rubbing of his lamp, brings the phantoms, or, as the Greeks would have called them, the idols' of the handsome shepherd and the fascinating Spartan queen, before the wondering vision of the Emperor. But the greater wonderer is the conjurer himself; who, in spite of the stout protests of his fiendish spirit-monger, falls in love with the phantom-paragon, and sees in her the ideal, and more than the ideal, of all that had ravished his eyes in the magic glass of his old friends, the witches on the Brocken. He advances; he clasps her in his arms; an explosion follows; the phantoms vanish; and darkness covers the scene. So much for the first act.

The second act transports us into Faust's old Gothic study, where he first raised the Spirit of the Earth, then read lectures on Rhetoric to his old pedantic familiar, Wagner, and then sold himself formally to the Evil Spirit in return for a career of unlimited enjoyment. Here now Wagner appears an adept in the mystic craft of Alchemy, in the exercise of which, after many years' scientific toil, he is discovered in the act of creating a man; and the man is created, and comes forth in the shape of a Homunculus in the inside of a small glass phial, where he glows, and twinkles, and trips and skips about in a most

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