George Streynsham Master.

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It woald be too high praise to call Mr. Arnold
a Csedmon outright, fo'r that would be comparing
j>oet with poet. As poetry, "The Light of Asia"
cannot be accorded the first rank, notwithstanding
the presence of many beautiful passages, and the.
natural favor with which one turns to novel scenes
and novel thoughts expressed in verse. As a work-
man Mr. Arnold is often slovenly, using a three-
syllabled word now as two, now as three syllables,
and, unless this be due to the proof-reader, halting
every now and then in his rhythm.

The charge which Western Missionaries hav«
brought with the greatest appearance of reason
against Buddhism consists in the indifference shown
by its priests and votaries to human life. While
protecting the lives of a number of beasts, and in-
deed inculcating horror of shedding the blood of
any. Buddhism is charged with being callous to
human misery and death by starvation. However
true this assertion may be, the life of the Buddha
does not confirm it save in this respect, that the
Buddha noticed the wretchedness of animals before
he realized unhappiness among men. It might
possibly result from the scorn of comfort and detes-
tation of the vicbsitndes of bodily existence seen in
Buddhism. In early youth the Prince Siddartha, i, e,,
the Buddha, who, in keeping with the florid taste of
Indian Hterature, was no menial, but the highest of
princes who abjured his worldly advantages, —

"wouki oftttmei yieki
His half-won race because the laboring iteeds
Fetched painiiil breath ; or if his princely mates
Saddened to lose, or if some wistful dream
Swept o'er his thoughts. And ever with the yean
Waxed this compassionateness of our Lord.
Even as a ^reat tree grows from two soft leaves
To spread its shade afiur; but hardly yet
Knew the young chiki of SOTrow, pain, or teai^
Save as strange names for things not Idt by lungs,
Nor ever to be felt"

As he grows, his father perceives how his mind is
tending, and surrounds him with pleasures, coops
him in an enchanting palace, and forbids the people,
when he rides out, to allow any sign of death or
decay to come in sight. Then he causes him to
choose a wife, — ^Yasddhara, the loveliest of all maid-
ens, fated to be his spouse, and to make his " renun-
ciation of the succession " trebly hard. An interlude
tells how the Buddha explafaied, long afterward, to
his disciples how he came to choose YasMhara; she
had been his partner in other lives. The reader will
Wdly fail to see where Mr. W. W. Story found the
idea of the most admired of his shorter poems, viz.,
•* Antony and Qeopatra. " The Buddha says :

"*I now remember, myriad rains a^,
What time I roamed HimAla's hangms woods,
A tiger, with my striped and hungry kind ;
h who am Buddh, crouched in the Icusa grass
Gaaog with green, blinked eyes upon the herds
Which pastured near and nearer to their death
Round my day-lair; or underneath the stars
Innuned (or prey, savage, insatiaUe,
Soiffing the padis for track of man and deer.
Amid the beaate that were my fellows then,
^et in deep jungle or by reedy jhed.



A tigress, comeliest of the forest set.

The males at war; her hide was lit with gold,

Black-broidered like the veU Yaaddhara

Wore for me ; hot the strife waxed in that wood

With tooth and claw, while undemeaUi a neem

The fiur beast watched us bleed, thus fiercely wooed.

And I remember, at the end she came

Snarling past this and that torn forest-lord

Which I had conquered, and widi fewning jaws

licked my quick-beaving flank, and with me went

Into the wild with proud steps, amorously.

The wheel of birth and death turns low and high.' "

Mr. Arnold has brought from India pictures of
the bazaar, of rustic life, and of lar^e landscape.
Toward the end, the poem suffers from having too
great variety of complexion. For as the Buddha
became a teacher toward the end of his life, so the
poem follows him into didactics. The eighth book
contains a poetic digest of his doctrine of Nirvana,
expressed in four-line stanzas, necessarily more ab-
struse than the earlier parts of the work. But while
these suffer from relationship with simpler chapters,
they are in themselves full of grandeur and beauty,
albeit too much spun out and insufficiently organ-
ized. No part of this fine poem surpasses this :

" Before beginning, and without an end.

As space eternal, and as surety sure.
Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good.

Only its laws endure.

*' This is its touch upon die bkMsomed rose.
The fiuhion of its hand shaped lotus-leaves;

In dark soil and the silence of the seeds
The robe of Spring it weaves :

"That is its painting on the glorious clouds.
And these its emeralds on the peacock's train ;

It hath its suctions in the stars; its stoves
In lightning, wind, and tain.

" Out of the dark it wrought the heart of man.
Out of dull shells the pheasant's penciled neck ;

Ever at toil, it brings to loveliness
All ancient wrath and wreck.

"The gray eggs in the golden sun-bird's nest
Its treasures are, the bees' six-skied cell

Its honev-pot : the ant wots of its ways,
The wnite doves know them weU.

"It spreadeth forth for flight the eagle's wings
What time she beareth home her prey; it sends

The she-wdf to her cubs; for unloved tmngs
It findcdi food and friends.

" It is not marred nor stayed^ in any use.
All liketh it; the sweet white milk it brings

To mothers' breasts; it brings the white drops, too^
Wherewith the young snake stings."

In strict accordance with the faith which ** The
Light of Asia " sets forth, the poem leaves one de-
pressed. Few people can rejoice to see their hope
of heaven set so far away from them that it becomes
a question of abstract theory whether the soul is to
merge itself into the divinity, or to be actually
*< blown out like a candle," as Mr. Max MUller fan-
cies the idea is which lies at the root of the word
Nirvana. Western people are fuller of youth, life,
and hope than Orientals, and do not want to believe
in such remorseless theories of the universe. But
Blastem minds are imbued with tlie uselessness of
fighting against fate, and therefore turn with delight
to the Buddha, who tells them that happiness can only
be reached by destroying the capacity for emotion.
Suicide, even on so grand and elaborate a scale, is



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CULTURE AND PROGRESS.



not in mocordance with the temperament of the
majority of Western thinkers, nor, in fact, is it
accepted alwajrs in the East The Orient has always
had bitter partisans for and against different shades
of opinion regarding the main tenet of Buddhism.
The variety of religions beliefs in the East is so
great that no man has yet been able to classify them
even roughly. The science of religion, inaugurated
by Bumouf, has only begun its task.

The proof-reader has been in trouble with the
Sanskrit words, of which there is a plentiful sprink-
ling. The use of words not readily understood is
always regretable in poetry ; but under the circum-
stances it was hardly to be avoided by Mr. Arnold.
For the benefit of readers of «* The Light of Asia,"
we subjoin a rough vocabulary, in place of the care-
ful list which the poet's English publishers might
have supplied.

VOCABULARY.

Aham, I. Angana, "a woman." Asita, the ''black." Arad,
wiath. Aswa-raUM, "jewel of a bone." Avidya, ignorance.
Bhagava^ Lofty One. BbAt, an evil demon. Ekiddh, the wise.
Brahioian, priest CbttnLthe " varie^ted '* one. ChaJcia-ratna,
** jewel of a wheel" Cbakx».vanm, '*wheel>turner/' or em-
peror of the woiid. Devadatta, "god-given," Theodore. Devas.
maleangek. Devis. female angds. Devaraj, " king of angels.''
Dhanna, law. Dhyana, "meditation." Dukha, "sorrow."
Gunga, Ganns. Guru^ teacher. Haitti-ratna, "jewel of an
elephant." Karma, action. Kahatriya, warrior. Istri-ratna,
*'jewelofawoman." Loka, the world MahiUiinishkramana,
"great renunciation of successkm." MahApr^pati, "great
fiither of peoples." Mano, mind. Mudra,joy. Nagas, snakes.
Nirvana, complete extinctu>n, or return of tM soul to the god-
head. Nasyanii, I am kxt. Nasyati, it is lost Om, ezchmia-
rion of devotion, sacred word. Riyagriha, "ktne's house."
Raga, "passion." Ramma, "pleasant" Satya, trum. Sftkyas,
the "setf-potential," a line of kings. Sari, a veil. Suramma,
" very pleasant" Subha, "beautiful." Smriti, "remembered."
Sniti. ''beard." SujAta, "welUbom.*' Swerga, "heaven."
Sllabbat-paramUa, "moat amiable." Skandba, the five ele-
ments 01 bodily existence. Shro^ a money-changer. Sudra,
laborer. Trishna, thirst Tathagato, " Right Path." Vahuka,
a fiunous charioteer.

"The Letters of Charlea Dickena.***

If the late John Forster was, as many think, a
skillful biographer, his skill deserted him when he
sat down to write his Life of Dickens. It is a
disagreeable book, in that it destroys respect for its
subject, and a disappointing book, in that it excludes
all knowledge of him other than that possessed by
Forster himself. He sought to monopolize Dickens,
as much as Boswell sought to monopolize Johnson,
and succeeded in doing so as far as his own book
is concerned, for it contains nothing but Dickens
and Forster, and considerably more Forster than
Dickens. That Dickens had other friends and
other correspondents never entered into his biogra-
phical calculation ; neither did he admit the possi-
bility of his misunderstanding so complex and con-
tradictory a nature. His book satisfied him, we sup-
pose, from the vein of arrogant complacency which
mns through it, but it satisfied no one else, for the
least sympathetic reader could not but feel an irrec-
oncilable difference between the man as he por-
trayed him, and his work as the world knows it.
This cannot be Dickens, we said to ourselves —



* The I^etters of Charies Dickens. Edited by his sister-in-
law, and his eldest daughter. In Two Voii^MS. New York :
Charles Scxibner's Sons.



certainly not Dickens as he appeared to his friends.
We have heard what Forster has to say ; we will
wait now and hear what they have to say. They
have not spoken yet, after his voluminous fashion,
but they have given us reminiscences of Dickens
from time to time, and have led us to distrust the
judgment of Forster. We have revised it altogether,
since we have read these Letters, which reveal the
personality of their writer as we find it in his books,
and show him to have been a bright-minded, warm-
hearted gentleman; a cheery, affectionate friend,
and a tender, loving husband and fiuher. We ac-
cept their testimony because it is unconsciously
given, and because it is consbtent with itself. It is
a trying ordeal to the memory of any writer to have
his private correspondence printed as fiilly as it is
here ; but it is an ordeal through which the memory
of Dickens has passed triumphantly. We know
him now more intimately than ever before, and are
glad of the knowledge that we have obtained, for it
is honorable alike to his head and his heart.

No English writer of the century — ^with the ex-
ception, perhaps, of Scott— ever earned so much by
his pen as Dickens. Remembering this fact, the
first reference in his letters to the sum offered for
the then unwritten " Pickwick Papers " is of striking
significance. It occurs in a letter to Miss Catherine
Hogarth, the lady to whom the young writer was
soon to be married, and was written in 1835, from
his rooms in Fumival*s Inn.

" They (Chapman and HalP have made mean ofler of fourteen
pounds a month to write and edit a new publication they coo-
tempbte, entirely by myself, to be pubushed monthly, and
each number to contain four wood-cuts. I am to make my
ertimate and calculation, and to give them a decisive answer on
Friday morning. The work will be no jok^ bitt Uie emolument
is too tempting to resist"

The next letter to the same correspondent shows
us the writer at work :

" I have at this moment got Pickwick and his friends on the
Rodiester coach, and they are going on swimmingly, in com-
pany with a difiorent character from any I have jret described,
who, I flatter mysdf will make a decided hit I want to get
them from the ball to the inn before I go to bed, and I think it
win take me until one or two o'clock, at the earliest The |>ub-
lisbers will be here in the morning, so you will readily suppoas
I have no alternative but to stick at my desk."

The character who was to make a decided hit was
Jingle. •« Pickwick " finished and " Nickleby " begun,
Dickens made an expedition with Mr. Hablot K.
Browne (" Phiz ") to investigate the condition of
the Yorkshire schools. There came into the inn,
where they stopped on the way, an old lady, who
turned out to be the mistress of one of those
schools, returning from her holiday stay in London.

"She was a very queer old lady, and showed us a loss
letter she was carrymg to one of the bo^^ s irom hu fisiher, con-
taining a severe lecture (enforced and aided by many texts of
Scripture) on his refusing to eat boiled meat She was rety
communicative, drank a great deal of brandy and watery
and towards evening became insensible, in whicn state we left
her."

One of the most humorous letters that Dickens ever
wrote was an answer to a little boy who had written
to him as " Nicholas Nickleby " was approaching
completion, stating his views and wishes ms to the
rewards and punishments to be bestowed upon the



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various characters in the book. Dickens addresses
him as ** Respected Sir,'' and says that he has given
Sqneers one cut on the neck and two on the head,
at which he appeared much surprised and began to
cry» which being a cowardly thing, was just what he
should have expected from him.

'* Nicbofau httd his roast bunb, as you tud he was to, hot he
could not eat it all, and says if you 00 not mind his doing so he
should Kke to have the rest hashed to-morrow with some greens,
which he is rery fond of, and so am I. He says he did not like
to have his porter hot, for he thought it spoilt the flavor; so I
let hiu have it cold. You should have yeen him drink it. I
thought be never would have left off. I also gave him three
pounds of money, all u sixpences, to make it seem more, and
be said directly that he shoukl give more than half to hb mam-
ma and sister, and divide die rest with poor Smike. And I.tay
be is a good feOow for saying so ; and if aayhody says he isn t
I am ready to fight him whtmever they like - there I ^

He promises to attend to Fanny Squeers, who
is like the drawing which he has sent of her, except
that the hair is not curly enough She is a nasty,
disagreeable thing, and it will make her cross when
she sees it

" I meant to have written you a long letter, but I cannot
write very foat when I Kke the person I am writing to, because
it makes me think about them, and I like you, and so I teH
you. Besides, it is just eight o'clock at nighty and I always go
to bed at eight o'dodc, except when it is my birthday, and then
1 sit up to supper."

A fovorite correspondent of Dickens was Mac-
ready, whom he always regarded with great inteU
lectiud respect He appears at his best in his
letters to him, and never more humorously than in
one which he wrote him after his retirement from
the stage, and which somehow reminds us of the
whimsical epistles of Charles Lamb. The gravity
of the advice which he gives him as to what he
should do when be comes up to London, is laugha-
ble enough.

"You must be very careful, when you come to town to
attend to your pariiamentary dutiM, never to ask your way of
people in the streets. Thejr will misdirect /ou for what the vul-
gar call a ' laHc,' meaning, in this connection, a jest at your ex-
pense. Always go into some respectable shop, or ai^y to a
You win know him by bis being ^ -* — *-'—



_ , I in bhic,

with very dull sOver buttons, and by the top of his hat being
made of stkldng-pfauter. You may perhaps see in some odd
pUuse an intelligent-lodcing man with a curious Uttle wooden
table before htaa, and three thimbles on it He will want you
to bet, but don't do it. He really desires to cheat you. And
don*c buy at auctkms, where the best plated goods are being
knocked down for next to nothing. These, too. are delusions.
If you wish to go to the play to see real good actins (though a
little more subdued than perfect tngedy shoukl be)^ woukTrec-
ommend you to see— -at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Anybody will show it to you. It is near the Strand, and you
may know it by seeing no company whatever at any of the
doors. Cab fives are eight-pence a mile. A mile, London
measure, is half a Dorsetshire mile, recollect Porter is two-
pence per pint ; what is called stout is four-pence. The
ZoSfogical Gardens are in the Regent's Park, and the price of
admission is one shilling. Of the streets, I would rec w amend
70U to see Regent street and the Quadrant. Bond street, Picca-
dilly, Oxford street, and Cheapskie. I thmk these will please
you after a time, though the tumult and busde will at fint be-
Vikleryou."

Dickens was very fond of the theater, as one
might have inferred from the melodramatic situa-
tions in some of his stories, and was never more
delighted than when strutting his little hour before
the foot-lights. He might have earned his living
behind the scenes, if everything else had failed with
him, for he was fertile in stage resources. *<Ah,
sir," said a master carpenter of one of the theaters,
" it's a universal observation in the profession, sir.



that it was a great loss to the public when you took
to writing books."

There are passages in these delightful letters, —
picturesque bits of description, sparkling scintillations
of wit and humor, curious and felicitous terms of
expression, etc, — which are equal to anything that
Dickens ever wrote. They extend over a period of
thirty-five years, the last two being dated the day
before his death, and are addressed to many of the
most noted of his contemporaries — authors, artists,
actors, and the like, whom he admired with a single-
ness not common, we fear, among men of letters.

Admirable as compositions, as if from the first he
had foreseen that the day would come when they
would be collected, they give us an insight into his
daily life not elsewhere to be obtained, and clearly
portray the manner of man that he was, — a hard
worker ai his desk when his books were in progress ;
a charming companion when he was traveling, as he
loved to do ; an admiring and hearty friend, full of
sympathy and kindness ; and at all times a careful,
active man of business, doing whatever his hand
found to do with all his might, whether it was super-
intending amateur theatricals or editing his period-
icals. More private letters, in the strictest sense of
the word, were never before made public They
are frank, manly, and affectionate; and though
communicative, as such letters should be, are not
in the least egotbtical. They authenticate them-
selves, in short, as unconscious revealments of the
fine disposition, the hearty nature, and the beautiful
genius of Charles Dickens.

Taylor's ** Studies In Qcrman LIteratare.** *

These twelve lectures by the late Bayard Taylor,
delivered originally before the students of Cornell
University, are not a mere compilation of fragment-
ary information and judgments concerning the
principal authors and epochs of German litera-
ture. They are rather a series of independent
studies, remarkably complete within their narrow
compass, abounding in happy illustrations and
affording us many a pleasant glimpse of the author's
genial personality. Although Mr. Taylor's nat-
ural attitude was one of deep sympathy toward
Germany and the products of her intellectual life,
he assumes in these lectures a distinctly Anglo-
Saxon point of view. He nowhere echoes the ex-
travagant and uncritical praise of mediocre writers,
which is so deplorably prevalent among the literary
historians of the Fatherland, while on the other
hand he accords the heartiest recognition to all that
is genuine and enduring.

llie first lecture sketches in a clear and compre-
hensive manner the earliest beginnings of German
literature, summarizes briefly what we know con-
cerning the ancient Goths, and gives specimen
transladons from the Heliand and Ofried von Weis-
senburg's Harmony of the Gospels. In regard to
the Gothic bishop, Ulfilas, the translator of the

* Studies in German literature. By Bayard Taylor. With
aa Introductkm by George U. Boker. New York: G. P.
Putnam's Sons.* 1879.



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Bible, we think Mr. Taylor makes a misleading
statement when he says that tradition credits him
with having invented an alphabet of his own.
Such a tradition undoubtedly exists, but modem
scholarship has long ago proved it to be eiToneous,
and it is very easy, at the present day, to trace the
Gothic letters to their sources. What Ulfilas did
(and, it must be admitted, with admirable judgment
and skill) was to adapt, and perhaps, in some in-
stances, slightly modify, the ancient Gothic or
Scandinavian runes, and, where these did not suffice,
to supplement the missing sounds from the Greek
alphabet. The translations from the Song of Hil-
debrand preserve to a remarkable degree the rough
vigor and directness of the original, and are, more-
over, entirely free from those mannerisms and archa-
isms to which less skillful translators are apt to resort
when they wish to produce similar effects. The selec-
tions from the Heliand, however, as well as all the
other translations which are scattered through the
book, except those from " Faust," aim rather at liter-
alness than at the exact preservation of the poetic
tone and color. One must bear in mind that they
were very hastily made, to be read before an audi-
ence of college students, and Bayard Taylor would
probably have re-written many passages and pol-
ished and refined others, had he lived to prepare his
work for publication. For all that there is a great
charm in the simplicity and spontaneous flow of
these verses, and they are perhaps the more valuable
to the student for the very tact that they avoid
elaborate paraphrases and circumlocutions.

The second lecture, entitled "The Minnesing-
ers," deals chiefly with the lives and writings of the
three representative poets, Walther von der Vogel-
weide, Conrad von WUrzburg, and Ulrich von
Lichtenstein. Although recognizing fully the ex-
cellencies of this chapter — particularly the power of
condensed narration which is everywhere displayed,
and the admirable characterization of the Minne-
singer period in its totality— we are disposed to
question some of the conclusions at which the au-
thor has arrived regarding the three principal sing-
ers. Mr. Taylor is undoubtedly right in regarding
Walther von der Vogelweide as the most vital per-
sonality and the most genuine poet of the three, but
while he utterly condemns the picturesque folly of
Ulrich von Lichtenstein and the Quixotic spirit
which everywhere breaks forth in his life and in
his song, he forgets to mention that Walther von
der Vogelweide, too, displayed erratic tendencies
in his youth, and wrote songs which, from a moral
point of view, were no less reprehensible than those
of the author of *• Frauendienst." Moreover, some
of the minor poems of Ulrich, and especially his
Minnelays, seem to us to show a very sensitive ear
for melody and a considerable amount of talent.
We notice that Mr. Taylor in this chapter translates
the German word MitUlhochdeutsch with *' Mediaeval
High German" instead of "Middle High German,"
which, among philologists, is the accepted term.

Our space does not allow us to ansdyze in detail
each one of the succeeding lectures. They all pre-

Tit in a very attractive form the easily accessible



facts concerning the subjects with which they profess
to deal. The author does not concern himself
much with criticism, but with plain and direct nar-
ration. His purpose is to teach, and he accomplishes
this, not in the old pedantic style, by a dry presen-
tation of barren details, but by evolving each literary-
phenomenon from the age and the soil from which
it sprang, and further familiarizing it to his audience
by continual illustrations and comparisons, drawn
from the wide realm of knowledge which was at
his command. Thus in speaking of the Medioevai
German epics, Parzival, Erek and Titurel, he draws
the most significant parallels between these and
the Tennysonian version of the Arthurian legends.
The meter of the Nibelungenlied becomes very



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