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For then a stilly voice repeating
What oft hath woke its deepest moan,
I am alone !-I am alone!
A zeal to soar at higher things
And fall with scathed heart and wings.
'Tween me and all that was mine own.
And walk alone!-and walk alone!
And die for him whose worth I know;
My full heart forth as talkers do.
Believed me chang’d in heart and tone,
To live alone !-to live alone!
6 And such shall be my day
Of life, unfriended, cold, and dead,
As all my young affections fled.
When life's last flickering light is gone;
And die alone !-and die alone!
We have omitted to notice the date of Gerald Griffin's birth. We will repair the omission by stating that he was born in 1803. We will add to that the record that, in the autumn of 1823, when in his twentieth year, he arrived in the great metropolis, “ with a few pounds in one pocket and a brace of tragedies in the other, supposing that the one would set him up before the other was exhausted.” Between this period and 1838, he wrote his “ Holland Tide,” his 6 Tales of the Munster Festivals,” and his “ Collegians.” On the latter especially his fame as a prose writer of fiction will rest. His other works, produced within the period above-mentioned, are the “Duke of Monmouth," “ The Invasion,” “ Tales of my Neighbourhood,” and “ Tales of a Jury Room.” In none of these did he write up to the reputation which he had achieved by his “Collegians," and that work remains his chef d'ouvre. During the years we have just named his toil after daily bread and enduring fame taught him the exact worth of the world and worldly things; and in the year 1838, having raised himself from an abject position at the feet of taskmasters to find these humble petitioners to him on their knees, he withdrew from the world and entered the order of Christian Brothers in September of the year last named. In the month of June of the year following, he entered the South Monastery at Cork; and “ before twelve months had elapsed, his remains were laid in the quiet cemetery of this humble brotherhood.”
This is not the place to discuss the merits of the faith which “ Brother Gerald” professed. He was a sincere member of the Church of his baptism : he remained so to the end; and such a man deserves, at least, the respect of every Christian brother, by whatever name distinguished. We should have entertained far less respect for him, bad we found him taking refuge in a comfortable monastery from the personal miseries endured by him at the hands of the world. But it was otherwise: he had acquired not only fame, but the means of enjoying that which he had acquired ; and it was when the world most invited him that he turned from its smile to contemplate God. He assumed labour just as he had attained the power of living without it, and the man of high intellect and lofty hopes chained himself down to teach in one undeviating round, as he himself writes, “ that o x spells ox ; that the top of the map is the north and the bottom the south, with various other branches ; as also that they ought to be good boys and do as they are bid," &c. 66 In the duties of this humble sphere (says a friendly commentator), he found the peace and happiness which he had sought in vain from the triumph of genius and the praise of learning: the guileless words and grateful looks of his little pupils were dearer to his soul than alĩ the admiration his pen had ever won, and it seemed curious even to himself (he writes to a quondam literary friend), that he felt a great deal happier in the practice of this daily routine than he ever did while he was roving about the great city, absorbed in the modest project of rivalling Shakespeare, and throwing Scott into the shade p”
The old volumes published by Florentine Delaulne more than a century and a quarter ago, professing to give “ Relations de la Vie et de Mort de quelques Religieux
de l'Abbaye de la Trappe," present no such picture as the above. They merely show to our wondering gaze the spectacle of assassins and libertines running from the pursuit of outraged laws and gaining an asylum among other outcasts of society. These volumes, by the way, commence their arguments upon the excellence of living solitary by a curious assertion and as a curious a misprint. The first line in the preface says, “ Nous sommes nez pour la societé;". we might very aptly answer the assertion and imitate the error, by saying
66 We nose it !" Butler, Otway, Chatterton, and Griffin !-these are bright names on the roll of Britain's literary history; but by what sufferings and sacrifices did they purchase fame! Butler, who poured out in careless profusion his bullion of wit, regardless of the stamp, * was the only one of the four who reached the confines of old age. The sturdy son of the Worcestershire farmer, after he had astounded his contemporaries with “Hudibras,” lived known but to a few, and upon their charity. By the same charity he was buried in St. Paul's, Covent Garden, A.D. 1680, when he had accomplished his 68th year. Otway is declared by common fame to have been choked by a morsel of roll which he was too eagerly eating, after having long suffered from extreme hunger. His piteous condition is not doubted; but there is another story extant as to the immediate cause of his death. The author of “ Venice Preserved” is said by some to have fallen a victim to the warmth of bis friendship. His friend Blakiston was murdered in the street: the murderer fled to France, and Otway pursued him on foot as far as Dover. He returned to London worn out with fever and fatigue, and died five
years after Butler, of the consequence of drinking a draught of cold water, when overheated. Whichever of these stories may be true, one thing is certain, that at the early age of thirtyfour be died in extreme penury at a low public house on Towerhill, known by the sign of the “ Bull.” Some years later, Chatterton expired under his own hand, impelled by destitution, in an obscure house in a dirty Holborn-lane. Still nearer to our own time, Goldsmith died distressed like Butler, and was buried, like him, at the charge of his friends; and, finally, Griffin, who had starved like his predecessors, “ ut solent poetæ,” more fortunate than they, found before his death that peace of mind which best befits humanity to meet its great adversary. A mournful volume might be written of the trials of literary men; but we must be satisfied with pointing to the four we have above-named. Their story contains ample proof that the rewards of literature are not worth the sacrifices made to attain them, and that the world of readers have no reason to envy the brightest intellect among the world of authors.
* “The spangles of wit which Prior could afford, he knew how to polish ; but he wanted the bullion of Butler. Butler pours out a negligent profusion, certain of the weight, but careless of the stamp."-Johnson.
ART. V.- Apollyon and the Reaction of the Slavonians ;
with a Review of the Political State of Europe under the Action of the Contending Principles. By Colonel F. T. BULLER, A.P., Author of " Thoughts on the Spirit of the Movement.” London: Partridge and Oakey. 1847.
THE moral world, like the earth, has its seasons, its seed time, and its harvestings—its periods of repose and of teeming produce. It is given to one to sow and another to reap; and this is true of generations as of individuals. Men who stand distinguished from their fellows, by their painful toils of mental labour or their hardy speculations, scatter principles of good or evil broad cast upon the surface of society and leave the fruits to be gathered by others. Where they are for good, many reap them with little thought of the patience and suffering in which the seed has been sown: where they are for evil, those who are most affected by the result too often slumber whilst they are germinating, and then, too late, wake up affrighted in some period of social strife to behold a prurient fruition of calamity and to assist unwillingly in its harvesting, 6 Too late!" What a significance is there in these little words! They contain the history of fallen dynasties, the wreck of great resolves, the abortion of noble plans, the death of freedom, the agony of frustrated ambition disappointed of its prize at the very moment when it was nearly reached. Read the history of banished kings : what is it but a repetition of the same thing ? The privilege of prerogative forced one step too far-just demands conceded one moment too late. Great conspiracies have failed from the miscalculation of an hour's time; nations have been thwarted in their struggle for freedom by a short procrastination in striking the decisive blow; and many a lofty scheme of social regeneration or benevolence has missed its aim by the passing over the exact period when the one would have availed and the other have been appreciated.
Another signal lesson has been added to the many which the world's history contains. The King of the French, who stepped to the throne upon the ruined fortunes of a house to which he owed attachment by blood and allegiance as a subject, has in the hour of trial followed the example of his predecessor and experienced a similar fate. Elevated to authority upon principles of pure democracy, accepting it with the promise of giving to those principles their fullest development, he soon betrayed the trust reposed in him and broke the pledges which he had given. In doing this, he Struggle of the People with their Rulers.
neither understood the moral force of the power which had carried him to the throne nor the inevitable working and ultimate tendency of the spirit with which he was allied. Superior in talent to Charles X., he relied on his own resources for the establishment of a despotism, which could only be accomplished by the destruction of the theories to which he had yielded a solemn adhesion. He was not ignorant of the struggle which awaited him in the attempt: with a Bourbon's infatuation, he trusted to the prestige of royalty to bear him through it scatheless, though he had himself weakened and dishonoured the prestige on which he relied ; and, with a Bourbon's obstinacy, he refused to consider the demonstrations which were daily accumulating to the fact that, however he might be able to prolong the struggle, he must finally succumb. The only thing that could have saved him was timely concession: it was the most important part of the lesson which the three days of July should have taught him. His recollection and his sagacity failed him at the very moment when he most needed them; and there is a curious and melancholy coincidence both in the confidence with which these hapless monarchs braved the conflict and the manner in which they yielded when it was too late. There were circumstances in the policy of Charles X. to excuse it, and great want of foresight and preparation to account for its failure. Yet he stood consistently throughout by a principle and fell in its maintenance. He had never been other than a monarch inheriting power by legitimate right; and his firm conviction in the righteousness of his claim blinded him to the nature and amount of the moral force arrayed against him. Hence, being ignorant of, or refusing to believe in, the strength of the democratic element in his kingdom, his preparations were by no means adequate to the occasion. With Louis Philippe the case, however, was different. He was well acquainted with the difficulties of his position; and, as far as physical force could go, fully prepared to meet them. It seems, therefore, something like a retributive judgment that, with all the advantages of his predecessor's example before his eyes, a knowledge of the causes that led to his failure, and a consequent provision against a like calamity, he should yet, at the last, have pursued a similar course and met with a similar fate. Charles X. could not see that the struggle was, in his case, against legitimate monarchy, and therefore he considered that he sufficiently met the exigency of the crisis by abdicating in favour of Henri of Bordeaux. Louis Philippe fancied that his dynasty was founded on a