e general truths which any Christian may accept and find comfort in. But the poem comes nearer to us than this.
It is the real history of a brother man, of a tempted, purified, and at last triumphant human soul; it teaches the benign ministry of sorrow, and that the ladder of that faith by which man climbs to the actual fruition of things not seen ex quovis ligno non fit, but only of the cross manfully borne.
The poem is also, in a very intimate sense, an apotheosis of woman.
Indeed, as Marvell's drop of dew mirrored the whole firmament, so we find in the Commedia the image of the Middle Ages, and the sentimental gyniolatry of chivalry, which was at best but skin-deep, is lifted in Beatrice to an ideal and universal plane.
It is the same with Catholicism, with imperialism, with the scholastic philosophy; and nothing is more wonderful than the power of absorption and assimilation in this man, who could take up into himself the world that then was, and reproduce it with such cosmop
harles I., at Edinburgh, in the autumn and winter of 1641, fills the vacant English sees, we are told, It was more than an insult; it was a sarcasm!
It was as if the King, while giving Alexander Henderson his hand to kiss, had winked his royal eye over that reverend Presbyter's back!
Now one can conceive Charles II.
winking when he took the Solemn League and Covenant, but never his father under any circumstances.
He may have been, and I believe he was, a bad king, but surely we may take Marvell's word for it, that
He nothing common did or mean, upon any of the memorable scenes of his life.
The image is, therefore, out of all imaginative keeping, and vulgarizes the chief personage in a grand historical tragedy, who, if not a great, was at least a decorous actor.
But Mr. Masson can do worse than this.
Speaking of a Mrs. Katherine Chidley, who wrote in defence of the Independents against Thomas Edwards, he says, People wondered who this she-Brownist, Katherine Chidley, was, an