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its fate forebodings confirmed apparently by the column of smoke rising from the burning hospital. If Rorke's Drift had fallen, so probably had Helpmakaar, leaving Natal, and indeed South Africa, at the mercy of the Zulus. His army was exhausted by four and twenty hours' forced march; it was destitute of provisions, and almost entirely of ammunition. Lord Chelmsford was therefore distracted with anxiety, knowing that he stood in the greatest jeopardy.
And now through their field-glasses the officers saw some one on the roof of the store waving the English flag. Was it only a ruse of the enemy? Colonel (now Sir Baker) Russell, and a troop of mounted infantry dashed forward in advance, and crossed the Buffalo River warily, straining their eyes and ears for some sign which might allay their apprehensions. Then, as they came within hail, a ring. ing British cheer resolved all doubts. Soon the rest of the troops came up, and as the General rode around the smoking ruins and battered defences. saw the heaps of dead Zulus, and heard the thrilling story of the siege, he heartily thanked the brave handful of defenders, and enthusiastically acknowledged that it was the most gallant action he had ever heard of.
Later on the same morning Private Hook was again busily engaged, this time in making coffee for his thirsty comrades. He was in his shirt and trousers, his braces hanging down beMacmillan's Magazine.
hind; and, as he had had no opportunity to wash, his face and hands were still black with smoke and powder. Suddenly he received a peremptory order to appear before the General, and as there was no time to make himself respectable, he obeyed with a quaking heart, and was ushered into the presence of the Commander-inChief and the assembled officers.
Lord Chelmsford began to question him with regard to the defence of the hospital, but he was so overcome with confusion that it was with difficulty he could stammer forth a few words in reply. However, the whole story had been already told by the grateful broken-legged man and the other patients.
The Commander-in-Chief shook hands with him, and highly complimented him upon his bravery; and this so added to his confusion that he hardly knew whether he stood on his head or heels. Nor did the matter end here; he was recommended for the Victoria Cross, together with his comrade Private John Williams. 1 And so it came to pass that six months later, on August 3rd, 1879, before the assembled officers and in the presence of his fellow-soldiers, Hook was thanked for his share in the gallant defence of the hospital; and on the very scene of the exploit-a rare occurrence-Sir Garnet Wolseley (as he then was) with his own hands pinned to his breast the bit of ribbon from which hung the most coveted of medals bearing the simple inscription, "Private Henry Hook, January 22nd and 23rd, 1879."
A. E. Bonser.
THE LAST PEASANT IN GREEK POETRY.
"We had not lost our balance then, nor grown Thought's slaves, and dead to every natural joy." -"Empedocles on Etna." Failing further discoveries, we must attribute to the sweet singer of Syra
cuse an entirely new literary treatment of the peasant. Though the embryo of the idyll is to be found in the old pastoral stories of divine love affairs, as Theocritus himself implic
itly states, yet he was the first to treat the countryman as a poetical personage who possesses inherent charm and interest. He touched his moral qualities rather with humor than with pathos, but he neglected none of the traits which make the young Southern peasant a beautiful feature in the landscape. He first understood his relations with nature-a nature, not the sad nurse to all that die, but the bounteous mother of all that live. At the same time, he drew what he saw, and not what he imagined. He did not dress up lettered poets as shepherds, or the ladies of Versailles as shepherdesses. His rustics do not discuss politics or theology, the favorite themes of generations of succeeding swains. He idealized in the sense that he took what was attractive and left the rest; but what he took was true, not false; real, not artificial. It is the distinguishing trait of his charming poems that with their wild-flower fragrance they have а flavor of true rusticity. Many pastoral poets since have been elegant, and some have been rustic, but the combination of the two characteristics never again has attained to quite the same perfection as that reached by the inventor of the idyll.
Theocritus appears to have owed some obligations to the poet Stesichorus, whose countrymen at Catina have thought to compensate for the loss of all his works by naming after him their finest street, which they are sure is also the finest street in the world. It is pretty certain that he owed more to folk-songs. The very form of his amœbæic poems was taken from the toss-and-throw ditties sung at village fêtes, and it is still in use at country song-tournaments in Sicily. Livy believed it to be of Etruscan origin, but does not give his reason for doing 80. The song of Lityerses in the Tenth Idyll is a real folk-song,, and
probably bits of actual folk-poetry are introduced elsewhere.
We know the scenery of the Idylls; it is that scenery of the pure South which comes upon the traveller one day as a sudden surprise, after he thought that he knew all about Southern nature. Any one who has driven from Sorrento on the Bay of Naples to Positana on the Bay of Salerno will understand what is meant. At a particular point, where the road, edged with gray-green aloes, reaches the crest of the mountain, and where a new horizon opens before us, we forget the familiar loveliness of the Sorrento orange-groves in our wonder, our bewilderment, at this new vision; air and sea are incomparably clearer; rocks grow painted; if the vegetation is scarcer, it is also more vivid in hue; the sun seems to have taken off a veil. Wherever there is this nature the peasant of to-day will remind you of his prototype of two thousand years ago. He has piped and sung and wooed and wed through the rellgious changes, the political convulsions that have gone on around him, as he did all these things when Theocritus took his likeness. They were no piping times of peace when the Idylls were written; Carthage and Rome made Sicily the battlefield between east and west. It was, however, one of the rare periods during which the Syracusan people were perfectly contented at home under the rule of a wise prince, and their domestic tranquillity may have contributed to produce the psychological moment for the birth of pastoral poetry.
An idyll generally attributed to Theocritus, though the authorship has been, perhaps with reason, contested -"Hercules the Lion-slayer, or the Wealth of Augeas"-gives a minute description of a latifundia of which the counterpart could doubtless have been found in Sicily during the reign
of Hieron. Part of the land is laid out in vast cornfields, some thrice, some four times, ploughed; here the vineyards turn to the sun, there the orchards, while the rich pastures sloping towards the river suffice for countless sheep and heads of cattle. Yonder, sacred and undisturbed, is Apollo's grove of wild olives. The husbandmen are lodged in spacious dwellings. Hither often comes
their master, the king, accompanied by his son, for even princes deem that their house is safer if they look to it themselves. There is the usual incident of the dogs. The old husbandman drives them away, not by throwing stones, but by merely lifting them from the ground, and by reproving with his voice. "Strange," he muses, "what an intelligent creature is this which the gods have made to be with men; if only it knew how to distinguish whom to bark at from whom not, there would not be a beast to match it." To say the truth, Hercules in his lion-skin might look rather disreputable to even a wise dog, though his guide would be too polite to admit it. It was the lionskin which afterwards caused a bull to run at him, whose powerful head he easily bent to earth, catching the horns, as the usage is with the Provençal peasants in their sports, which date back to the time when Provence was Greek.
We find a last key to the feeling of Greek antiquity about country things in the precious collection called the "Anthology." Here there is no rusticity; there is the utmost detachment from rusticity. These gems, so small and so perfect, could have only been made by people who were not only highly cultivated, but also highly literary; people who weighed poetry entirely by quality; with whom four lines might create a reputation. They are the handiwork of men who, seated
at the banquet of all that a great race had performed, arrived at the appreciation of the simple by the knowledge of the complex. They indicate a "return to Nature," inspired less by the old joyous instinct than by the finely trained sense of artists. They are full of the love of a beautiful home. Leonidas of Tarentum, when he thought of his Italian birthland in glorious Athens, felt still that exile from it was worse than death. The Greeks of Magna Græcia, of Byzantium, of Alexandria, did not leave a national epic or a great tragedy; they Rad not the wild exuberance of growth that is needed for the first, nor did they breathe an air charged with dramatic electricity, such as that breathed by Sophocles or Shakespeare. We remember their civilization by the roses of the “Anthology,” as the Romans remembered the great city of Poseidonia by the roses of Pæstum.
The position of that city between the blue plain of the sea and the green plain of the land betokens a race which did not hunger after heights, as did the Greeks of Greece. These Greeks, in spite of their one great star-gazer, were not constantly looking up, but they were constantly looking down-looking at the things at their feet. They lacked the mental virginity of Homer, who could speak sincerely of "godlike swineherds" and they were without the affectation which uses such terms insincerely. Nor did they see the peasant chiefly in the transfiguring season of his youthful love. He interested them most when he was old. The charming story of the two old fishermen who discuss their dreams in the Twenty-first Idyll of Theocritus bears some resemblance to the poems of humble life in the "Anthology"; but while it is pervaded by a quiet laughter they are steeped in the pur dictame of tears. The "An
thology" is a true book of Pity and Death.
Here is the tomb of the shipwrecked sailor; there, that of the farm laborer; "a common Hades under sea and land." Eumelus, the fowler, who never kissed the hand of a stranger for food, made his living with birdlime and sticks. Now, at ninety, he is dead and has left to his children birdlime, birds and sticks. One without a name will not complain because he is untended when dead; but it grieves him that the plough turns up his bones. The cows come, wretched, of their own accord, to their shed from a mountain covered with snow; alas! their master lies dead at the foot of an oak, struck by lightning. How forlorn that vision of the unled cows trooping alone down to the home that was desolate! The following by Antipater of Byzantium, seems to me the most pathetic thing in all poetry: "A single heifer, and a sheep with wool like hair, was the wealth of Aristides; by these he kept off hunger from his door. But he failed in both. A wolf killed the sheep and labor pains the heifer, and the herd of poverty perished, and he, having twisted a noose to his neck with the string that tied round his wallet, died piteously by his cabin where there was no lowing." Agriculture is not a calling that leads, as has been supposed, to the possession of a quiet mind. Calligines, the countryman, consults а soothsayer about the coming summer and the harvest; he gets the answer: If there be rain enough and not too much; if the plants be richer in fruitage than in leafage; if frost visits not the furrows nor hail the wheat; if fauns eat not up the crop-then, unless after all, locusts descend on the land a good harvest may be hoped for.
1 A recent traveller has noticed in the new cemetery at Keropi, behind Hymettus, this epitaph, which is exactly in the spirit of the "An
There are as many "ifs" now, with a good many more thrown in; fauns, dear creatures, are dead, along with the gods; but to-day that part of the prophecy would run: "If trespassing goats do not get at the crop;" and maybe the depredations were then also committed by goats, and not by the guileless fauns, after all, for the goat is an ancient animal and wise, and quite capable of arranging in a manner that blame due to him should fall on the head of the innocent.
The pious ploughman sets apart certain "holy unsown enclosures" for Pan, and the old shepherd dedicates to him his crook, now that he can work no more, though he is still able to play on his reed pipe. Another old shepherd, Cleitagoras, "laid to rest on the mountain-side," prays that the sheep may bleat over him, while a shepherd, seated on a rough rock, gently pipes to them as they feed. In this, which is by Leonidas of Tarentum, there is the radiance, not the gloom, of pathos; and that same radiance illuminates the epitaph from an unknown source, in which the dear Earth is asked to receive into her bosom old Amynticbus, who had labored so long for her, planting olives and vines and corn, watered by well-cut channels, and herbs and fruit-trees. "Lie gently on his head and cover him with flowers in the spring." A thought is present here which must have struck whoever has watched a rustic funeral; the cultivator alone does not go into a strange bed. He has been ever at one with nature; a complement to the earth he tilled, not a strange wandering being on it. He is going to be part of it now, and it seems sweet and hospitable, not cold and foreign.
But these exquisite poets did not only see man in the country; sad
thology"; "Here lies Georgios-after living seventy-five years-buried under his own wondrous oak."
enough would it have seemed to them if man were only in it.
They had the tender love for all creatures which some people think is a modern invention. What would be the "Anthology" without the cicada, "that never knows old age"? The gentle poets who could pause on their way to liberate a cricket from a spider's web sympathized even with beasts of prey. Who can find a prettier "lion-story" than that told by Leonidas of Alexandria, how, in a fearful night of storm and hail, a solitary lion went to the hut of some goatherds up in the mountains, his limbs already stiffened with cold; the goatherds crouched together, calling upon the gods, regardless of the goats; but the lion stayed through the storm and then went away, having done no harm to man or beast. Like peasants to-day in some shrine of the Madonna, so they hung upon an oak a picture of the event as an exroto thank-offering to "Zeus, who is in the hill-tops." But the honor is still with the lion.
What dog has had a more touching epitaph than the words inscribed by a Greek poet on the monument to his favorite: "Laugh not, you who pass, though this is the grave of a dog: I have been wept for"?
The Contemporary Review.
The hen which cradled her nurslings under her wings till she was frozen to death as still she tried to protect them from the wintry snow; the young cow which, while ploughing, looks anxiously back at the calf that follows her along the furrows-are they not pitiful and gracious images? It is clear that some of the writers had begun to feel a scruple about animal sacrifices. Sometimes that scruple takes a pious form, as when Zeus "the Ethereal" is beseeched to spare the bull, "the ploughing animal," that bellows, a suppliant, at his altar; elsewhere it reveals a nascent scepticism. Hercules needs a sheep every day to keep away the wolves; does it much matter to the sheep if it be eaten by wolves or by Hercules? Hermes is praised for being satisfied with offerings of milk and honey.
Addæus of Macedon (and with him I must end these cullings from the most delightful garden in the world) made immortal the husbandman Alcon, who, when his ox was worn out by the furrow, forebore to lead it to the slaughtering-knife, through respect for its labors, but turned it into a meadow of deep grass, where it showed its content by lowing for its freedom from the plough.
Evelyn Martinengo Cesaresco.
VICTOR AND CAZIRE.*
In the name of suffering humanity, why is such a book as this inflicted on a generation groaning under rubbish of its own manufacture? Its own learned editor raises this question, and I may be excused from echoing it a trifle more forcibly. "In proportion," says he, "to the habitual excellence of
*Original Poetry." By Victor and Cazire [ Percy Bysshe Shelley and Elizabeth Shelley]. Edited by
Shelley's and Coleridge's work after the full development of their powers, is its inferiority in 'the ages of ignorance.' Shelley's beginnings are far the more unpromising, and every admirer of his genius must have frequently wished that the whole of his poetical production prior to 'Queen
Richard Garnett, C.B., LL.D. Published by John Lane.