Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

flected from her bright sphere, re- thinker. He was witty, but witá: ceived, and all that was great a scathing, withering, blasting wit and noble and brilliant, or, better that burned where it féll: he disliked still, beautiful, came to talk' or to England, but with a sense of reverlisten, be flattered or be worship. ence for her great qualities. As to ped, or, what I am half given to France, he hated and despised hér. believe is nearly as good, to flatter In her influence over his own counand worship-not doing the thing try, Italy, he foresaw nothing but grudgingly, or in any fashion of misfortune, and declared that to conconstraint, as in our prudish Eng- summate Italian degeneracy no more lánd we should do it, but "going was wanting than to infuse into the in” with a will, and giving to national character the scoffing inthose liquid vowels of the soft' credu'ity and the degenerate levity south all the ring and resonance of the Gaul. This man was Alfieri! of a deep-felt sentiment. It was a It was no mean era when Gergood type, that same society, of the many, and Italy were so repre. mingled passion and weakness, the sented. And now-shall I go on apathy, the earnestness, the vigorous to mark the contrast? No, I prefer energy, and the voluptuous indol- bolding the defendants over till ence of Italian life. One talker was a next month, when the weather tall, dark-complexioned, stern-look- may possibly be somewhat cooler, ing man, with closely - set black and my sentence be more merciful eyes, pré - eminent above all for than if propounced with the merthat sort of brilliant discursive talk cury near 100°, and my brains at which has its charm at times for the temperature that makes parthe veriest trifler and the deepest affine explosive.

REV. CHARLES KINGSLEY AND R. NEWMAN,

A DUEL in dialectics between through. And they much lament Dr. Newman and Mr. Charles Kings- that, owing to his lack of judgment, ley is not in any sense of the term higher interests than the personal an agreeable spectacle. Both are, reputation of a rash man should indeed, men of some note, each in be endangered. For Mr. Kingsley his own way. Both have endea- is entirely and wantonly the aggres voored, not without a certain mea- sor in this dispute, Without any sure of success, to give a bias provocation given, he went out of through their writings to public his way to fling against Dr. Newopinion; and each bas his own mån a charge to which no gentlecircle of admirers, who will, doubt- man can patiently submit; and then, less, be ready to accept and to instead of retracting or apologising applaud wbatever their favourite for what never ought to have been champion may affirm. But impartial written, he aggravated the offence judges see the matter in a different by trying to acconnt for it. The point of view. . Theỹ regret, for circumstances of the case are briefly very many reasons, that such a col- these :lision should have occurred. They In the number of Macmillan's perceive that truth, which is or Magazine' for January of this year, ought to be the end of all contro. Mr. Kingsley reviewed the seventh versy, can never be elicited from and eizhth volumes of Froude's such a war of words as ths. They History of England,' assuming, as therefore, blame Mr. Kingsley for is his wont, a high moral tone involving himself in a dispute throughout the essay, and exalting wbich, from the constitution of in his own and his country's Prohis mind, he was ill able to carry testantism. We are far from finding

as

fault with him on that account and then look about for excuses It is a portion of his idiosyncrasy wherewith to account for them? to talk big on every possible oc "Surely there were great excuses casion of English independence of for her shrinking from throwing thought and English chivalry; and good money after bad, whether into Protestantism in particular, espe- Scotland or into the Netherlands." cially English Protestantism, bas, “She had,” it seerns, "a vast and in his mind, a very extended' signi- anexampled part to play in an age fication. Mr. Froude, for example, in which all that was old was rookthe author whom he is reviewing ing to its ruin, and all that was new -the author likewise of the was unformed and untried." "As "Nemesis of Faith'-is "intense- for her falsehoods, they brought ly Protestant." His Protestantism their own punishment, so swiftly takes, however, a far more generous and so often, that they cared themaspect than that of his reviewer. selves." Let our readers mark this He whitewashes Henry VIII.; he in reference to what is to follow. purges Mary from the stains which It is admitted that Elizabeth was have heretofore rested on her char- guilty of falsehood; bat forasacter, and "justifies Protestant- much her punishment was ism (to his readers) not by one prompt and frequent, falsehood on sided and unjust fanaticism, but her part changed in some degree by fairly seeing and setting forth, its character. It became venial, if from a human point of view, the not praiseworthy. “Moreover, we faith, the struggles of conscience, must remember the morality of the martyrdoms of the heroes of the time was low.. If it bad not been the old faith, of More, of Fisher, low, the Reformation would not have of the poor monks of the Charter- been needed.” For “the Roman house." This is at all events gen- religion bad for some time back been erous. We say nothing of its making men not better but worse.” justice, so far as Henry and his

" And the worst of it was that, when daughter sre concerned; but of its the moral canon of the Pope's will was generosity in dealing with the pro- gone, there was for a while no canon of fessors of the faith not Protestant morality left. The average morality there can be no doubt. How of Elizabeth's reign was not so much. comes it that Mr. Kingsley, who low as capricious, self willed, fortuitous can applaud such conduct in an--magnificent one day in virtue, terrible other, is yet unable himself to the next day in vice. It was not till pursue it? Is he afraid to avow a more than one generation had grown up Protestantism so extended as that and died with the Bible in their hands, of which his author may be taken that Englishmen and Germans began to to be the representativeOr does understand what Frenchmen and Italithe circumstance arise out of that ans did not understand, that they were strange confusion of ideas from to be judged by the everlasting laws of which, let him discuss what topic

a God who is no respecter of persons." he may, Mr. Kingsley seems incap We must confess that, so far as able of extricating himself? The Mr. Kingsley is concerned, we find latter we suspect to be the true cause ourselves pretty much in the conof the phenomenon, otherwise he dition of the Frenchmen and the would have scarcely spoken as he Italians. We certainly do not ondoes of the manner in which Mr. derstand what our author is aimFroude deals with his own great fa- ing at. The morality of Elizabeth's vourite, Queen Elizabeth, What! time was either low, or it was not has it come to this? Most we accept, low; we can't exactly see how it after all, as proven, the many charges could be “magnificent in virtue which Mr. Froude brings against the one day, and terrible in vice the virgio queen, -of falsehood, ava- next.” Bat let that pass. From rice, cruelty, and other dark crimes, Elizabeth to the accession of the

first George we count not fewer than six generations. They were generations which had grown up and died with the Bible in their hands, if by that expression be meant—which had lived and died under the sway of a Protestant Government. W. should be glad to know which canon of morals Mr. Kingsley prefers—that which sent More to the scaffold, when, by a little allowable lying, he might have saved his own life, and served the interests of his Church; or that which converted the Protestant Palace of St. James's into a stew and taught all classes of English society to laugh at chastity, sobriety, and truth, even among the clergy. But Mr. Kingsley is not content to stop here. “So again," he observes, “with the virtue of truth; truth for its own sake had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not; that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the saints where with to withstand the brute main force of the wicked world, which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so.” For some years previously to the appearance of this not very delicate rebuke, Father Newman had withdrawn himself, as it would appear tenderly, from the strife of tongues. Rumour was of course busy about him, and tales were told of bitter dissatisfaction with the past, and something like an eclipse of hope in reference to the future. Mr. Kingsley has not lived for the last four or five years out of the world, so that probably the stories which circulated elsewhere may have reached him. They were groundless stories, it is true. Dr. Newman, in the remarkable volume which we shall presently endeavour to analyse, has shown clearly enough that, whatever may have been the amount of his sufferings while travelling up to a great result, with the result itself he is en

tirely satisfied. But this fact, as it could not be known to Mr. Kingsley at the time, so it forms no excuse for the course which he judged it expedient to follow. Mr. Kingsley's attack upon Dr. Newman was not only cruel, it was injudicious. He could scarcely expect that it would fail to provoke retort; and self-conceit must be in him even stronger than we take it to be, if he ever for a moment anticipated other, issue than defeat from a controversy entered into so rashly and on such grounds. Be this, however, as it may, controversy came, and with it not merely the exposure of considerable ignorance and much presumption on the part of the challenger, but on the other side one of the most deeply interesting dissections which has ever been submitted to public goze, of a mind enthusiastic, sensitive, not always happy in discriminating between reason and imagination, but earnest in its search after light, and sadly missing it at the last. No one, after reading “Apologia pro. Vita sua,’ will pretend to say that Dr. Newman was at any time influenced by unworthy motives. That he has attained to what he sought—the truth—we, as honest and sincere Protestants, cannot for a moment admit; but if man ever made himself a martyr in the cause of what he believed to be the truth, Dr. Newman is that man. Let us return, however, to the case before us. Mr. Kingsley had struck a rude blow at one who gave him no provocation. He was courteously, requested either to retract and apologise, or to justify by proof the assertion which had been hazarded. He preferred the latter course, and made reference in general terins to a sermon “On Wisdom and Innocence,” which Dr. Newman had preached so long ago as 1844 from the pulpit of St. Mary's Church in Oxford. The correspondence which followed has all been printed, and may be consulted by such as are curious in details; but, for our pre

sept purpose, it will suffice to give Kingsley smarted under it, and the substance of the disco-sion. In forth with set himself to pay back lijs letter replying to Mr. Kingsley's with interest the mortification which reference, Dr. Newman states that he had himself endured. "A Reply he had gone tbrough the sermon to a Pamphlet lately published by Dr. in question with great eare; that Newman,' came out in due time under he could discover nothing therein the searching title, What, then, does which, either directly or indirectly, Dr. Newman mean?' It is a very teaches as Mr. Kingsley bad affirm- remarkable production in its way. ed; that Mr. Kinusley would do well The writer, affecting to be bound to adopt a sinojlar course; and that over by the admission which, he more he (Dr. Newman) is open to correc- than insinuates, had been filched out of tion shuuld the result, , after this bim, proceeds not only to reiterate second investigation, be in any re- but to justify, by reference to the spect different from that at which ethical teaching of Roman Catholics he had himself arrived. Dr. New, in general, all, and more than all, man then goes on to explain, that that he had previously asserted : whatever may be the moral obliquity of the teacbing in that “My object," he says, alluding to serinon, if moral obliquity there his previous correspondence,“ had been be, the fault must not be laid to throughout to avoid war, because I the door of the Rowish Church, thought Dr. Newman wished for peace. because the preachyr was not a

I therefore dropped the question of Romanist bat an Anglican at the

many passages of his writings, and

confined myself to the sermon entitled time when the sermon was deliver

· Wisdom and Innocence,' simply to ed; and that the sermon itself is

give him an opportunity of settling the therefore a Protestant, dot a R mish

dispute on that ground. But whether sermon. Unable to withstand this Dr. Newman lost his temper, or whether reasoning, Mr. Kingsley accepted he thought that he had gained an adas true his correspondent's affirma- vantage over me, or whether he wanted tion. He acknowledged that the a more complete apology than I chose sermon was not beside him when to give,-whatever, I say, may have he wrote the offensive passage in been his reasons, he suddenly changed his essay, and professed his readiness his tone of courtesy and dignity for one to believe Dr. Newman's account of of wbich I shall only say, that it shows the mode and object of its teaching. Badly how the atmosphere of the Romish

priesthood has degraded his notions of As the offence had been given publicly, Dr. Newman considered

wbat is due to himself; and when he

published (as I am much obliged to him himself justified in making public

one for doing) the whole correspondence, likewise the issues to which it he appended to it certain reflections, in led. He therefore printed and put which he attempted to couvict me of forth the whole correspondence in not having believed the accusation the shape of a pamphlet, to which which I had made, he added, as was not unvatural, a “There remains for me, then, nothing few "reflections" and a title-page, but to justify my mistake as far as I can. It would have been well had Mr. “I am, of course, precluded from Kingsley submitted quietly to this using the sermon entitled Wisdom mortification. He bad done a fool- and Innocence' to prove my words. I ish thing, and the punishment, as it

i have accepted Dr. Newmau's denial that

it means what I thought it did ; and

heaven forbid that I should withdraw in the good opinion of his friends (for it is the offence and not the pun

my word once given, at whatever dis

advantage to myself! But more; I am ishment wbich brings shame on the informed by those from whose judgment culprit), so it might bave been borte, on such points there is no appeal, that patiently. But patience is not one en hauli courage and strict honour, I of Mr. Kingsley's virtues. The am also excluded, by the terms of my Newmanian lash cat deep; Mr. explanation, from using any other of Dr.

[ocr errors]

Newman's past writings to prove my excluded by the terms of my exassertion. I have declared Dr Newman planation, from using any other to have been an honest man up to the of Dr. Newman's past writings to 1st of February 1864; it was, as I shall show, only Dr. Newman's fault fals, thus hampered, would have

prove my assertion." Ordinary morthat I ever thought him to be anything done nothing. They might have else. It depends entirely on Dr. New fretted a little over the nnpleasant man whether he shall sustain his reputation so recently acquired. If I give nature of the scrape in which they him thereby a fresh advantage in this found themselves, but the sermon argument, he is most welcome to it, and the past writings of their torHe needs, it seems to me, as many ad- mentor being sealed books to them, vantages as possible. But I have a right, they would have bent to the blast, in self-justification, to put before the and thereby saved their own credit public so much of that sermon, and of as men of honour. Not so Mr. the rest of Dr. Newman's writings, as Kingsley. “I have a right," he will show why I formed so harsh an

says, "in self-jastification, to put opinion of them and of him, and why I before the public so much of that still consider that sermon (whatever may be its meaning) as most dangerous man's writings, as will show why I

sermon, and of the rest of Dr. Newright to do the same by those many formed so barsh an opinion of them passages of Dr. Newman's writings and of him.” It is very well to talk which I left alone at first, simply be of "hault courage" and "strict honcause I thought that Dr. Newman our" in the abstract. They would, of wished for peace."

course, deter me, if I paid attention We beg that our readers will give to them, from following a certain to this curious passage a second line, and I assure the public that no perusal, and observe what it states, man holds them, abstractly speakwhat it promises, and what it shows ing, in more profound respect than that the writer is prepared to do. I; but there is a matter which I hold First of all, we have the acknow- in more profound respect still, and ledgment—implied, indeed, rather that is, that I should stand' well than expressed that Mr. Kingsley's with the world. Therefore, the opinion regarding the untruthfulness exclusion of which I speak, and the of lis adversary never, from first to fine flourish of chivalrous sentilast, underwent the slightest changé. ment which follows, are to be takHe had, indeed, declared Dr. New- en for no more than they are worth. man to be an honest man up to the Dr. Newman's sermon, and, indeed, 1st of February 1864;" but between all his writings, are fair game to me, making a statement of this sort, and as such I mean to hunt thern and believing what is stated, there down. Accordingly, the pamphlet is all the difference in the world. is neither more nor less than a In spite of this declaration, Mr. series of quotations from Dr. New. Kingsley feels that his original man's works, interspersed with comcharge is capable of justification; mentaries from the pen of the and being goaded to the attempt by pamphleteer-of the pamphleteer Dr. Newman's ongenerous mode of who sets out with the uncalledaccepting the amende which had for and ostentatious announcement been tendered, hè resolves to go that he cannot, except at the cost through with it

. But difficulties at of self-respect, make any use of them once arise. “I am of course pre- at all!!! cluded from using the sermon en We are afraid that this disposition titled “Wisdom and Innocence to to play fast and loose with hault couprove my words;" and, barder rage and strict "honour" is a princase still," " I am informed by those ciple scarcely of yesterday's growth from whose judgment on such points with Mr. Kingsley. Not that we there is no appeal

, that en hault charge him, as he charges Dr. Newcourage and strict honour, I am also man, with writing and teachiwg tbat

« AnteriorContinuar »