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asleep. At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began to toll, and Thomas Newcome's hands outside the bed feebly beat time. And just as the last bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said, “ Adsum !” and fell back. It was the word we used at school when dames were called; and lo! he, whose heart was as that of a little child, had answered to his name and stood in the presence of The Master.'
The principal defect alleged against Thackeray is that he is a mannerist. But when it is considered that the same charge could be laid against every writer in the roll of literature with the exception of the few imperial intellects of the universe, it must be conceded that the charge is of little moment. All men, save the Homers, Shakspeares, and Goethes of the world, are mannerists. There is not a writer of eminence living at the present day who is not a mannerist. Tennyson, Browning, and Carlyle are all mannerists.
It is impossible to quarrel with that which sets the stamp of individuality and originality on the literary productions of the intellect.
To assign Thackeray's ultimate position in literature is a difficult task, for nothing is less certain than the permanence of literary attractiveness and fame; but we think that his works will be read and as keenly enjoyed after the lapse of a century as they are now. Fielding has survived longer than that period, and weightier reasons for immortality than could be advanced in his case might be advanced in favour of Thackeray. If his works ceased to be read as pictures of society and delineations of character, they would still retain no inglorious place in English literature from the singular purity and beauty of their style. It is style even more than matter which embalms a literary reputation. To the faithfulness with which he spake the English tongue we believe future generations will testify. Whatsoever was good, honest, and true found in him a defender ; whatsoever was base, unmanly, or false shrank abashed in his presence. A man with less pretence, less assumption, less sham never existed: he revolted from appearing that which he was not. His works were the reflex of the man, and like a shaft of light, which, while it pierces into the deepest recesses of dissimulation and vice, smiles benignantly upon those aspirations and feelings which are the noblest glory of humanity.
tury. By James ANTHONY FROU DE, M.A.
In two volumes. Vol. I. London: 1872. THE The time is evidently approaching for an honest and impartial
consideration of the relations that have existed between England and Ireland for the long period of seven centuries. Party rancour and religious animosity have hitherto contrived to throw insurmountable difficulties in the way of such a task by falsifying the records of history; but the free access to our national archives now so wisely provided by the liberality of Government, together with the more tolerant 'spirit of the times, makes the work of successful misrepresentation almost impossible. There is nothing so painfully discouraging to the ingenuous student of Irish history as the one-sided vehemence with which the war of opinion, succeeding the war of conquest, has been carried into its chequered annals, rendering impartiality almost hopeless in the attempt of each party to enhance the guilt of its adversary, and to withhold the evidence of its own. How frequently atrocities, that might appear too monstrous in themselves to be either disguised or exaggerated, have been most dishonestly suppressed or wilfully misrepresented! In fact, the history of the past seems to have been always written on the principle of furnishing an incitement to fresh excesses instead of a warning against them. Happily, however, we have now reached a period of greater justice and humanity. England has not been afraid to make the most ample atonement in her power for past transgressions, and to repair the injuries inflicted by a long course of misgovernment. She has shown every indication of a desire to conciliate Ireland; she has been destroying, necessarily piecemeal, her ancient policy of coercion, and not a fragment of that penal code that once crushed millions now exists to keep alive the memory of past calamities. In her desire to bury in forgetfulness the exasperations of the past, she has even abstained from pleading the provocations by which her ancient severities might have been palliated, for it would have been easy to show that if Ireland has been the victim of English oppression, she has been far from a guiltless victim. This disposition on our part has been followed with almost undeviating consistency for more than a generation, in the hope that if we could not reap an unbounded harvest of gratitude and confidence, we might at least obtain from the generosity of temper so often ascribed to Irishmen a frank and honest recognition of our desire to do justice by the policy which now aims at equality of races and toleration of creeds.
The recent history of Ireland would seem, however, to show that it is almost too late for any repentance or reform on our part to win back her people ; for, however purely wanton may be the wickedness of nursing an enmity for which there is no longer a plausible excuse, we are confronted at the present moment with the singular spectacle of almost a whole nation inventing new pretexts for keeping up the old hostility, trying to convince themselves that those who wronged them ages ago wrong them still, and demanding as the price of their allegiance or tranquillity concessions which are simply impossible, and which would only exasperate the evils under which they have suffered. We can make every allowance for the traces that centuries of misgovernment are apt to leave in the character of its victims as well as its authors, but we could hardly have expected that the animosities which once desolated an unhappy country should have struck such deep root in the soil long after their seed had ceased to be scattered over its surface, and after years of the most patient and painful effort for their eradication. The misfortune is that the animosities in question are purely unreasoning and undefined, and impossible to be reached, because they have no seat towards which our attacks can be directed, for England is simply regarded, without respect to any specific grievance, as an enemy with whom Ireland neither desires nor expects reconciliation.
It is not singular, therefore, that symptoms of a reaction should begin to appear in English society, that many Englishmen should turn away from Irish questions with angry weariness or contemptuous loathing, and that powerful and eloquent writers among us should begin to discuss the relations between England and Ireland in an entirely new spirit bitterly mortifying to Celtic pride. It is quite clear that the Irish people may hereafter. expect to be criticised with far less consideration for their feelings than formerly, and their besetting sins handled with a freedom and severity to which they have never been accustomed; but they will only have themselves to blame if English writers of eminence should bring into prominence crimes and follies which many among us would have been inclined to bury in oblivion. It cannot be flattering to be reminded of their incurable divisions, their desolating feuds, their aimless turbulence, and their essential incapacity all through their history to make themselves an independent nation. Of course, it is quite another question how far the efforts of such writers may be at all beneficial, though we should rejoice in their ability to break down the ascendency which mischievous delusions have established over the minds of a susceptible people. It is quite impossible to calculate the extent or duration of the various misleading influences constantly at work in Celtic society.
The work of Mr. Froude upon the relations of England with Ireland is beyond all question the most eloquent book that has ever appeared on any portion of Irish history. It is not easy to put life into the dry bones of Celtic chronicle, or to impart interest to the prosaic weariness of the long story of our connexion with Ireland. But Mr. Froude has succeeded in producing a book which, bearing in every page the stamp of careful research, and attesting the literary skill and intellectual brilliancy of its author, must command universal attention. There is something extremely fascinating in the art with which he has presented the connected story of our relations with the sister-island, while he paints with such vigour of touch and truth of colouring the chivalry, gaiety, and fierceness which mark the Celtic character, lighting up in picturesque and vivid gleams the very image of ancient times. The touches that give such a reality never for a moment obscure the clearness of the record. The style of the work, which is fully equal to the best portions of his • History of England,' is as much an element of his success as his thought. Readers are apt to be borne along unthinkingly by the powerful flow of a narrative, in which the language rises and falls, seemingly without effort, as if in necessary harmony with the changing theme. We cannot speak so decidedly for the judicial impartiality of the book. Indeed, we hardly expect to find in Mr. Froude the impartiality of Mr. Hallam, who abuses all parties with equal severity, or the impartiality of Sir James Mackintosh, who abuses nobody, for our latest English historian too often leaves the position of an umpire to become a disputant, and allows himself to be carried away by the passions of the ages he so vividly depicts. Yet we are free to confess that though at times his work displays some stronger trace of the advocate than the historian, it owes its existence to a sound and lofty patriotism, and to an honest and genuine regard for the Irish themselves.
The dominant principle that Mr. Froude carries into the consideration of our relations with Ireland for the last seven centuries, is what is known as the Imperial idea—that is, that a strong, bold, courageous race has a sort of natural right to invade the territory of weak, semi-civilised, distracted races, and undertake the task of governing them in the best way possible, without any consideration for their rights or feelings. The conception is akin to the passion of the hour for men of blood and iron. We are taught that vigour and fortitude are to compensate always and in all circumstances for rapacity and faithlessness; that force of character must cover a multitude of sins; that the feeble are as bad as the false ; and our admiration is claimed for the deeds of an Attila or a Tamerlane rather than for those of a Wilberforce or a Howard. This is the familiar philosophy of Mr. Carlyle, who glorifies force and justifies all its crimes. Mr. Froude is evidently one of his most ardent disciples, though we should be sorry to trace in his writings the deterioration of tone and sentiment so painfully obvious in the later writings of his master ; the savage intolerance that has displaced the grim and not unkindly humour, and the cheerless uniformity of harshness and contempt that has established itself in the place of the old sympathies that relieved his sternest moods of indignation. We are hardly misrepresenting the relationship that exists between Mr. Carlyle and Mr. Froude, for it is not many years since the former likened Ireland to a rat and England to an elephant whose business it was to squelch the • rat on occasion.' In his life of Frederic Wilhelm he tells us that just as when a man has filled the measure of his crimes, we hang him and finish him to general satisfaction, so a nation like Poland, fallen into the depths of decay, must be disposed of by some similar process. The misfortune is, however, that though you can finish a man on the gallows, it is impossible to finish a nation in the same way. We shall presently trace the fruits of this teaching in the work of Mr. Froude. If we are to accept the historic guidance of either, we must submit to have evil turned into good at the bidding of genius, and the verdicts of history wantonly reversed, while the faculty of discerning the
true from the false will be everywhere sensibly weakened. The doctrine of force is profoundly immoral, and opposed to every principle of English freedom, and to every generous impulse of sympathy with the oppressed. We shall
now proceed to examine the great leading principle which Mr. Froude attempts to establish in the opening chapter of his work. He strikes the keynote almost in his first sentence, contending that, in the case of nations as of individuals, there is no abstract or indefeasible right to freedom or independence :
A natural right to liberty, irrespective of the ability to defend it, exists in nations as much and no more than it exists in individuals. Had Nature meant us to live uncontrolled by any will but our own,