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miraculous fashion. This creature, somehow or other, makes himself necessary to Mephistopheles, as a guide to the Pharsalian fields, where a feast and revel of old Greek phantoms is being held under the name of the classical Walpurgis Night; and thither, after short debate, the juggling spirit and the sensual supersensual Doctor, and the lively human birth of alchymic Fire, wrapped in the familiar mantle, flit through the charmed air. This classical Walpurgis Night may be best conceived by the non-German reader as an academical masque, got up at Whitehall or Oxford in the time of Queen Elizabeth, for causing the principal personages of the minor Hellenic mythology-not the Dii majores-to pass pictorially, with appropriate scenery on the banks of the Peneus and the shores of the Ægean, before the spectator's eye. Here all sorts of ancillary figures of Greek Polytheistic fancy-Nymphs and Nereids, Sirens and Centaurs, Griffins and Gorgons, Tritons and Telchins pass in procession, mainly to show themselves to the delight of the scholarly beholder, partly to be interrogated by the love-intoxicated Doctor, in his search after Spartan Helen; but Spartan Helen does not show herself loosely in the midst of such a revel. Faust is destined, after long quest, to find her by favour of the Theban prophetess Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, to whose guidance he commits himself, the while Homunculus, after consulting the shades of Thales and Anaxagoras, floats off on the back of Proteus in the shape of a dolphin, in furnace-heat for some brilliant development. So ends act the second.

Act the third, with a whiff of the sudden change in which this remarkable production delights, transports us to the palace of Menelaus, in Sparta, where Helen, with her chorus of captive women, has just landed from Troy; but has scarcely time to congratulate herself on her return to her native country, and her restoration to queenly dignity and connubial propriety, when she is informed that on the altar for a thank-offering which her husband has erected she herself is to be the victim, sacrificed to the jealousy of the man 'who never forgets what on a time was his and now is his no more.' Scared at this intimation, she is recommended by Mephistopheles, who had assumed the guise of one of the daughters of Phorcys, to betake herself for protection to a doughty northern chieftain, who, during the long absence of her lord, had posted himself firmly in an old baronial castle on the banks of the Eurotas. Hither accordingly she hies; and the lord of the Gothic castle, with its strange arches, spandrils, scutcheons, and grotesque ornature of all kinds, as was to have been expected, turns out to be our supernatural Doctor, who, from the attitude of welcome deliverer readily passes into the character of accepted lover and happy husband. Of this supersensual-sensual union the progeny forthwith appearsEuphorion by name-a bright boy of wonderful agility and unlimited aspiration, even more impatiently vital than Homunculus, from

whose shoulders, more allied to air than earth, wings shoot forth and bear him aloft from the baffled hold of his bewildered parents. But only for a moment: the supernatural ecstacy which had seized him proves too strong for his frame, and, like Icarus, he falls dead at their feet. This awful catastrophe of the miraculous son could not consort with the continued happiness of the miraculous mother. She also must return to Persephone. She embraces Faust; her corporeal part vanishes; her dress and veil remain in the arms of her Teutonic husband. At a hint from the attendant fiend, the miraculous garments dissolve into clouds, envelop Faust, lift him into air, and move away with him. So ends the third act; and with it ends the reign of Dreamland and of Phantom.

The fourth act finds us on earth again, in a truly highland scene, amid lofty bens, scarred ridges, and jagged peaks, from which the supersensual hero, cured, as it would seem for the moment, of chasing phantoms, looks down, like Lord Byron from the Jungfrau, imagining all sorts of sublime fields of action. Among these imaginations, what pleases him most is the conception, realised more than once by modern land improvers, to go to war with the waves, and win territory from the sea; but, by way of diversion, and as a prelude to this great enterprise of reclamation, he, like the same restless Lord, indulges in a fit of soldiering, and, with the ready help of Mephistopheles, does doughty battle for the Emperor in beating back the host and pillaging the camp of an audacious counter-Kaiser. For this good service he is rewarded by the royal grant of a long stretch of the sea-shore, over which the tide rolls largely, but which it shall be his beneficent business henceforward to turn into acres of rich arable land; while the Emperor himself, always in some strait or other, convicted of gross sin by the archbishop, in having overcome his antagonist by help from the Spirit of Evil, is obliged to hand over all the land gained, or to be gained, in mortmain to the Church, while the imperial exchequer remains in the old hopeless void.

All is now prepared for the fifth act, and the final winding up of this divine comedy.' The waters are dammed out, and a grand reclaimed estate for my lord Faustus now spreads itself out in ample promise before his eyes, where he might hope to play the improving landlord with blessed effect for many years, if he was not already on the very brink of his mortal career, in extreme old age. But, even at this advanced age, the original sin of his unchastened nature remains strong. Cured of unlimited speculation and of unlimited wandering through a world of phantoms, he is not cured of unlimited greed; and, like Ahab in the view of Naboth's vineyard, he cannot be happy so long as a certain clump of pines, and a brown shieling, and a crumbling old chapel stand on independent legs in the face of his fair possessions. Mephistopheles hereupon undertakes to evict the Baucis and Philemon of the offending croft; and, in the high

handed style not unknown to Highland factors, he burns the old pair flamingly out of their ancestral nests, rejoicing in the barbarity. It was not fit, however, that the hero of the piece, whom the poet had determined to take to heaven, should confess to the full infamy of this heartless proceeding; like the absentee Highland landlord, who has been known indignantly to disclaim the harsh doings of his factor, he clears himself by saying that it was not absolute eviction that he had intended, but only the exchange of one croft for another. However, the deed is done; but, like all the evil deeds of this supersensual sinner, seems clean forgotten. Now comes the final hour. Four grey women-WANT, BLAME, CARE, and NECESSITY— beset him in his newly acquired palatial residence. They strike him with blindness; but, like Fawcett, he continues with stout persistence in his work of economic improvement, and shovel, pick, and spade are wielded with sleepless service to his appeal. But the time for earthly work is done. A band of Demons, the spectral ministers of Death, headed by Mephistopheles, proceed to dig his grave as he falls down breathless on the ground; but Heaven is more powerful than hell; and, while a greedy phalanx of stout paunchy devils with short straight horns, and lean lanky devils with long crooked horns, strive persistently with pull and snap to seize and carry off the immortal part of the Doctor, a chorus of beautiful young angels from Heaven, with sweet melodies and sportive charms, juggle the master fiend out of his wits, and cheat his impish satellites of their prey. The spirit of Faust is then borne aloft to the celestial regions, where holy anchorites, saintly doctors, ecstatic and seraphic, with the Mater gloriosa and the redeemed Gretchen at their head, heave him on the wafture of holy hymns into the bosom of eternal bliss.

On the face of this scheme, even slightly as we have touched its main features, the instinct of the English reader will at once lead him to put his finger on one prominent fault-what we may call, shortly, the want of flesh and blood. That the hero of the piece is meant to be a real human being, and the Emperor a real German emperor, and Mephistopheles a real scoffing devil, is plain enough to start with; but, as we proceed, we suddenly lose all firm footing, and find ourselves in an enchanted region, borne along in a drift of mythological and historical figures, plainly the creation of fantastic juggle, but so usurping the stage and so interwoven with the solid reality of the action, that, like persons in a middle state between sleeping and waking, we find ourselves at every shifting of the scene rubbing our eyes and asking, where are we? This is bad art. Bad art also it is, even supposing the lines of demarcation between the real and the fantastic were sufficiently well marked, to give such a breadth and amplitude to what on the face of the structure is only the accessory of a human story, that the story is virtually overwhelmed, as the body of ladies' gowns has sometimes been seen buried VOL. XIX.-No. 110.

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under range after range of supererogatory flounces. The whole thing looks as if the classical Walpurgis Night had been independently worked out, as a gallery of Greek mythology, and the Helen, as a drama of the Trojan cycle-what the Greeks knew under the name of the vóσTo, of which the Odyssey was one great section; and afterwards were found convenient as an atmosphere of many colours, and clouds of many shapes, through which the poet might cause his supersensual hero to flit. There is thus the double fault of the want of homogeneousness in the matter and of proportion in the component parts of the poem. But there is a moral fault also in the work not to be passed over lightly. In the first part the hero is represented as guilty of a conduct which, in the language of the law courts, might be called the seduction, or, at all events, the abusing the affection of a simple-minded innocent girl; and, though his attitude in this affair is represented as by no means so heartless as that of the villain called a gentleman to whom local tradition points as the occasion of Burns's pathetic song, Ye banks and braes o' Bonnie Doon-at the same time, on the face of the business, it is plain that, in the language of the song, he plucked the rose and left the thorn with his victim. Now, there was no necessity, of course, that the man who had plunged an innocent girl into such misery as the prison-scene in the first part depicts should be left in the hands of the fiend as a legitimate prey, past all ransom; on the contrary, his salvation on Christian principles would be as much a triumph of redeeming grace as it certainly is a true expression of the poet's large toleration for human weakness and his confessed inability to hate sinners; 2 but the moral instinct in man imperiously calls for some penitential acknowledgment of wrong; and, if great German doctors are capable of great sins, they should be not less forward than the great poet-king of Jerusalem, or the great poet-ploughman of Scotland, to bewail and to confess their sins, in some worthy utterance, however short, of self-reproach. But Faust never repents. He submits himself to be led through a world of vain shows and juggleries by the evil spirit to whom he had sold himself in his early exit from his dreamy workshop; and not only does he employ his whole energy through the principal part of the piece in hunting after and finally winning to his embrace a phantasmal love, but at the very close of his career, as we have shown, he is represented as possessed by the lust of exclusive possession which leads a Highland deer-stalker or a big sheep-farmer to oust the peaceful crofter from his ancestral home. To whip up such a character into the region of the Blessed without further ceremony is a great moral mistake; and, if a moral mistake, a dramatic blunder; for the drama, like history, is merely morality teaching by example,

2 Greatest saints were ever most kindly hearted to sinners;
Here I'm a saint with the best; sinners I never could hate.
Wisdom of Goethe, p. 38.

and can never outrage the best feelings of our moral nature without at once exenterating itself of its own better soul, and defrauding the public of the great lessons which it is intended to teach.

There is another fault in this wonderful production that demands a passing word. It is said to be full of mysteries that, like the Book of the Revelations, call upon legions of commentators to expend their strength in expounding them, with only conjectural success. This, again, is bad art. It is always a mistake in literature to torment a reader, or a spectator, with puzzles, instead of stimulating him with suggestions. Good writing is the mean between patent shallowness and mysterious vagueness. The mysteries that our poet has thought fit to smuggle into his work are principally two-the Homunculus and Euphorion; and, though they may not be such very great mysteries after all, still they are faults; for readers of poetry are not generally in a humour to trouble themselves with guesses, and a dramatic poet has no right to be purposely obscure. The significance of Euphorion discloses itself to a very slight exertion of the thinking faculty; the bright offspring of the fairest woman the Greek world ever saw and the profound German philosopher can only be POETRY in its most perfect Avatar, comprising in well-blended harmony the chaste beauty of Greek art with the wild grandeur of Gothic. . . Homunculus is more doubtful; but when we bear in mind that he is the modern product of medieval alchemy, we can scarcely be far wrong in conjecturing that he ought to mean chemistry, and the more curious departments of physical science generally—a conjecture recommended by its consonance with one of the strongest differentiating features of modern culture on the one hand, and with the well-known personal predilections of the poetscientist on the other.

The reader, of course, will not forget that these disparaging remarks which we have ventured on the work of the great master refer mainly to the structure of the work as a dramatic poem, impossible to be separated as a whole from the familiar tragedy of which it is a continuation. But, as already said, in spite of all the faults that obtrude themselves on the judgment of an unwilling criticism, the separate parts of the poem, taken to pieces, and presented independently to the reader or spectator, are redundant with moral interest and with imaginative luxuriance. In the artistic handling and rich decoration of every part there is no trace of senility. Like old Blücher on the field of Leipzig, Goethe, in all the essentials of his artistic faculty, is as young at eighty as he was at eighteen; and, 30 far as consummate skill in the craft of the Muses is concerned, the English translator of this second part has even a more difficult problem set before him than he encountered in the lyrical and dramatic variety of the first part; and this difficult task Sir Theodore has performed, not only with the accuracy and the living sympathy

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