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ated the impression that she is the enemy of the Christian, and the firm friend of the Turk; and she confirmed this impression, by refusing to join with the other European powers in giving some gift of gratitude to Abd-el-Khader for the protection he afforded the Christians during the recent terrible massacre. Such briefly is the European aspect of Syrian politics. A few months will develop momentous events in regard to the land we all love so much. While writing, Daoud Effendi, an Armenian Christian, appointed by the late Sultan, is en route for Syria, to exercise the office of governor, which is a significant appointment, as the office has been held by Moslems only, for twelve centuries. Little, however, can be hoped, even from the appointment of such an official ; the great mass of the people are sunken too low in vice, the enmity of rival sects is too strong, and the purposes of European powers to win the glittering prize are too firmly taken, to allow the Turk to perpetuate his misrule over the heritage of God's people.
Whavever may be the political relations of Syria in time to come, the great and only hope of her renovation and elevation is in her Christian Missions. These are established in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablous, Nazareth, Sidon, Bierûte, Joppa, and Damascus. Their most hopeful work is among the children, both in their Sunday and day-schools, where thousands of precious youth are being taught the ways of the LORD. In Jerusalem, the mission is well and thoroughly organized, and is attended by the happiest results. The numerous schools are in a prosperous condition, and the places of worship filled with sincere and attentive listeners. But the Bierûte Mission is really doing the greatest work in evangelizing the Syrians. The New Testament has been published in Arabic, and the translations of the Old Testament will soon be completed, giving the whole Bible to the millions who speak that ancient language. At Abuh, in the Lebanon mountains, there is a seminary, for the training of native missionaries, who are sent forth, from time to time, as lights to their own people. Though suffering a temporary check from the recent massacres, yet the missionaries are intent on preaching the truth, and in adopting those means of grace that will ultimately restore a pure faith to the land of our RE
God has great blessings in store for the land of His chosen people. It has a glorious past, and an equally glorious future is about to dawn upon it. Prophecy seems big with an exalted destiny, the unfoldings of which will turn all eyes to the land of sacred song, the cradle of our religion, and the scene of our Lord's death and resurrection. Thrice happy will be that day, when Jerusalem is rebuilt and made holy, and when the scattered tribes go up to worship in a temple more magnificent than that of Solomon's, and when from the plains of Bethlehem to the snow-capped summits of Hermon, and from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon to the mountains of Gilead, light arises out of darkness, and the voice of Christian praise is mingled with the songs of angels.
OR CHAPTERS ON THE CHEERFUL AND JOYOUS IN LITERATURE AND
'In a literary point of view, ours is a melancholy age. Wertherism has invaded every department and given birth to one perpetual voice of wailing and lamentation. In vain do we seek the royal cheerfulness of SHAKSPEARE and Spenser, the self-assured manliness of Ben Jonson, the jovial humor of Cuaucer. In fact, the witty writers of this century, such as JERROLD, Hood and HEINE, employ their genius in ridiculing the follies of the times — laugh at us rather than with us — and not unfrequently their best points are the saddest of commentaries on the saddest of ages. Weeping and wailing is the prevailing fashion of our day, and Odes to Melancholy, and a long and ever-increasing catalogue of sighs for the 'Unattained'— which is, more properly, the sheer impossible — make up the staple of modern literature. .. One might conclude that the whole world had adopted the philosophy of the Serious Family, so great is the number of AMINIDAB Sleeks in the pulpit, and of Lady SOWERBY CREAMLys in private life. Sorrow, they tell us, is better than mirth ; man was made to mourn; and when poetry or prose of any sort can succeed in getting a sentimental tear shed over imaginary woes, then is literature fulfilling her high mission." Away with your profane songs which say, ' 'T is better to laugh than be sighing;' away with your Jubilate ; give us De Profundis, or a Miserere, and that continually. Do not tell us that 'religion never was designed to make our pleasures less;' let us gloat over the ideas of the gnashing of teeth, of the smoke of torment which ascendeth forever and ever.
'Let us suffer and be strong: by agony are we perfected ; life is very earnest; endless toil and sorrow are our doom; lost Edens, buried LENORES — not only does light descend from Heaven, but the thunderbolt falls to devour the holocaust ; the brow of the penitent once marked with ashes, must retain forever the sacred stigmas. Tell us, they insist, tell us not of rest and forgiveness, and the consolations of the Gospel; do not speak, or dare to sing of the joys of the fire-side, the raptures of wedded love; that sort of thing is prosaic. Give us the raven plumes, the funeral march; tell us of owls and bats in ruined towers ; plant us the cypress and yew-tree; robe us in black, and hang around our walls the hideous imagines mortis. Write us a philosophical book, like old Burton's, and chase our sweet muse of melancholy through all her devious way, in all her Protean shapes. Life is sweet!' No, indeed, like the Abbe Rance, we have the ‘haine passionée de la vie.' "Sun-shine sweet!' No, give us starless mid-night, and a promenade through a graveyard, while some lonely night-bird sings in the distance.' - HOWARD H. CALDWELL.
'Rursus in moribus et institutis scholarum, academicarum, collegiorum, et similium conventuum, quæ doctorum hominum sedibus et eruditionis culturæ destinata sunt, ommia progressui scientiarum adversa inveniuntur. Lectiones enim et exercitia ita sunt disposita, ut aliud a consuetis haud facile cuiquam in mentem veniat cogitare aut contemplari.'—Bacon. Novum Organum. Aphorismus XC.
The reader who has been in the habit of examining critically and impartially any great number of literary journals published in the United States, has possibly observed that a great proportion of the poetry, and in fact, of all the purely literary effort in the publications in question, is characterized by a decided and frequently morbid melancholy. If it be remembered that the popular American mind, when not under serious' influences, is eminently humorous
or dryly ironical, sending out daily in an unpretending, popular way, in type, more exquisitely absurd and daringly grotesque stories or squibs than the whole press of Europe produces in a week, this interminable wailing in the higher circles seems singular enough. More natural would it be for a young, bravehearted race, so near in many relations to that nature which it is so vigorously subduing, to exult, to be elevated over its great works into something like serenity and cheerfulness. We can understand the fearful melancholy of the Russian serf, so sadly yet powerfully depicted by Iskander Herzen; we know what was the dreadful spirit of torture and degradation which bore for long, sad centuries upon myriad millions of Slavonian hearts; and when we hear the wailing song of the Troika ; of the sorrowing postillion driving his sleigh along the snowy waste, singing to accompaniment of one mournful tinkling bell, of the blue eyes which he shall never see again; casting a last glance at the grave of the loved one; why, then, all appears real and truthful enough ; it is as intelligible as the amiable stupidity, the slightly smiling sorrow of a tipsy serf. * For suffering is the badge of all his tribe,' and certain it is that there is no affectation, no art-dilettantism in the pathos of such songs - least of all, in their music. Music never lies. She is in every country a truer national language of feeling than the mother tongue.
But that free and brave Anglo-Saxondom, and especially free and young America, should be so intensely mournful, seems absurd, until we analyze the causes. Then, indeed, we are led back to a Puritanism forced by the antagonism of political oppressions which are now almost extinct into keeping holidays sadly, and singing psalms when one would be merry; all well and heroic, or certainly unavoidable in its day, but now without its salt, and insipid. Then, too, we find a vast amount of half-developed, half-read genius; the genius of mere youth, which is prone through vanity to indulge in Byronic admiration of its own fancied sorrows, not learning, till the rough and hearty world has knocked it lustily through a few real troubles, how much better it is to make the best of every thing. In fact, the great popularity of sad poets and poetry is. partly grounded on the inexperienced sentiment of such readers. When these readers themselves write, they reëcho the old wail, and as most of them write only during youth, leaving poetry in due time for labor, the consequence is a constant inundation of tears - a luxuriance of mental powers spent in weakening and mutually disheartening the world, which might far better be devoted to strengthening and encouraging it.
Though we are untiring as a nation in our practical labor ; though our industrial progress is wonderful, and its results apparently gratifying, it is still made every day more evident that a great proportion of our hard work is constantly lost through miscalculation. There are always more leaks in the boiler than the engineer knows of. But our physical waste is as nothing to our mental loss of power; to our utter extravagance of intellect sacrificed to false sentiment and sorrow. In our literature and art, like the barbarians of all ages, we destroy in memory of the dead the riches which would make the living happy, but console ourselves, amid rags and misery, with the sorely proud thought that it was such a beautiful funeral! We give to pain and
pathos the energy which would be better bestowed on genial exertion, and console ourselves with the artificial beauty of its expression, or with the vain enjoyment of the romantic morality which it is assumed to involve.
If it is melancholy; indeed, to reflect that so much talent is annually sacrificed to melancholy, or squandered, as was said, on funeral rites, we can at least derive some grim satisfaction from the reflection that a certain proportion of it would have been inevitably wasted on some other form of that folly which is generally assumed to be a constant quantity in the world's economy. But, with many persons, there is a deeply-seated conviction that there is no waste of power in gratifying morbid sorrow. They believe it to be a direct cultivation of morality and all virtue to cherish misery. In thus wasting on funereal griefs their sham fine-feelings, they resemble the Chinese, who burn or throw away vast quantities of counterfeit bank-bills and forged letters of credit when burying their friends, and with much the same object, to fool the devil with.' And certainly if there be a form in which mere folly approaches the diabolical, it is in this weakening, demoralizing, constant playing with sorrow, and tampering with the painfully moving emotions of the soul. It is profanity and a desecration of the heart's most secret feelings.
In the humbler walks of literature, which indicate most nearly and accurately the tendencies of our people when their thoughts aspire to artistic expression, this affectation, or reality, of dumps and desolation, is copiously, and sometimes rather comically manifested. Let the reader, when an opportunity oceurs, look over a morning's mail of editor's exchange-papers from different parts of the country. There will be found, among the original poetry in the collection, more merit than is generally supposed to inspire such lyrics, and with the merit there will be an overwhelming proportion of misery. I have found in such searches that sometimes four-fifths of the whole were devoted to wailing over long lost but evidently imaginary loves; to sorrows awakened by blue skies and fresh breezes out of vanity-fed antagonism to the bustling
world,' which is vulgar enough to like such things - and be it observed, reader, that the flattest snobbishness of Art and Poetry consists in the affectation of feelings apart from those of the world, instead of boldly claiming community with them and striving to elevate them -- but it is needless to say of what such monodies consists. Dead Loras, Ruined Hopes, 'lost Edens, buried Lenores,' Little Graves. No joy, save in heaven; all ending in one mournful monotone: ‘Let us all be unhappy together!' One thing deserves remark in examining such a collection. Few of the bards of this Broken-Hearted and Hope-Bereaved Companie could glance over the assembled and contrasted lyrics without laughing. For doleful poems, which are not by themselves remarkable in poet's corners, become genially absurd and insanely bizarre when placed one by the other ; for instance, when a creditable imitation of some popu
; lar poet 'lies side by side with some illiterate bungler's effort to show the world that he, too, 'feels fine,' and is too gifted to require hearty common-sense, and has his own miseries and his own little private weeping-closet as well as his betters. It is, indeed, exquisitely absurd that great as is the proportion of mock-misery and spiritual vanity among good poets and writers, it greatly in
creases as we descend to the bunglers and tyros. When the literary effort of one of these latter is not a love-poem “To -' or a 'religious' gush, we may generally assume that it will be a soaring sorrow from one of those illboding, squealing Mother Carey's chickens, which attempt to fly before they can walk, or write poetry before they are familiar with the plain of prose. But the simile is a bad one, after all, for it is natural for a Mother Carey's chicken to fly, while these wretched howlers have seldom any thing natural about them.
It is remarkable, though perfectly intelligible, that the slight reaction against this Willikins and Dina-ism of Art has sprung up simultaneously in the two opposite poles of the English-speaking world ; among practical
driving' editors, lecturers and divines in America, and among highly educated contributors to several leading quarterly and monthly magazines in England. Corresponding to the latter, we have indeed had in America Saints and their Bodies, and more than one brave-hearted book, or article, on Physical Culture, on Recreation, on Rational Education, and other indirect contributions toward that health of body and mind which, if perfected, would be of itself, if not happiness and hearty, joyous energy, at least its great stock. And it is pleasant to see that what a few scholars up with the age have uttered from time to time in England, has almost invariably been caught up and retailed in our newspapers by honest, go-ahead caterers for the small publics of the land ; men who in their practical way realize that this beautiful pathos' is in most cases nonsensical, 'fine'as it may be. An illustration of this may be found in the readiness with which circulation has been readily given to extracts from those writers few and far between -who have in something like a consistent manner urged a cheerful, vigorous philosophy of life. Such an extract, taken at random, is the following:
* An eminent professor in Edinburgh recently used the following strong remarks in relation to‘lugubrious poetry,' which we publish as a hint to correspondents : ‘It is not at all an indifferent matter whether a great poet be a healthy and therefore a happy man. The business of poetry - the special prerogative
. of genius - is not merely to stimulate and excite, but to harmonize and reconcile; and no one who does not know the blessing of a reconciling and harmonizing temper in his own mind, can communicate that greatest of all blessings to the souls of his fellow-men. My notion, unquestionably is, that if a man can give nothing to the public but musical wails, and lamentations, and denunciations, he had better hold his tongue. We have enough misery in the world without applauding persons as great poets for whisking up into sparkling foam the bitter waters of their own diseased imaginations.'
The sudden awakening growls which criticism, and that of the highest order, has occasionally manifested at some unfortunate truckler to the public appetite for the pathetic, and the more frequent inquiry whether certain poets who were implicitly worshipped a few years since are really healthy; all indicate that questioning of the old, which precedes a new era.
And indeed any one might have predicted years ago, that when the Gothic Renaissance, inducted by Percy, Ritson, Warton, Scott, the Schlegels, Tieck, Fouqué, Overbeck,