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satisfied on these points, or sufficiently so for his purpose, Malatesta, with glib and courteous thanks, turned as though to depart; but saddenly, as if recollecting himself, he said carelessly :—
"If I err not, worthy sir, there is some acquaintance betwixt thee and yonder fair youth, albeit he did strangely slight thy greeting."
The bluff burgess shook his head rather sorrowfully; for his shortlived anger was passed.
"I have good reason to know him "he answered. "Was I not nurtured within a mile of the castle of his father-erst time my very good Lord? Marry, I was right loath to lose sight of Bever keep, when mine uncle would have me to Sandwich to help him in his trade. Though, I thank the saints, I have thriven since not ill. I mind him, from the time when he scarce could sit astride on a warsaddle, till he grew up into a proper stripling, well nigh as tall, though not so stalwart as he now is. Then, though he was seldom merry of mood, and brooked no license, he had ever gentle word and kindly look both for vassal and villein; and, if we wended the same road, he thought not scorn of my poor company. I marvel what hath changed him. Right sure I am that he knew me when our eyes met, though 'tis years since we foregathered."
The Italian's black bushy brows were bent as if in thought or displeasure.
"How callest thou the lord his father? And canst expound unto me, wherefore the heir of a noble house taketh service and wage of a simple man-at-arms ?"
"Sir Simon Dynevor begat him "-the other made answer—“ but I said not Messire Ralph was the heir. The knight was duly wedded in his early youth to a daughter of Warenne, whose blood to the full matched his own. But Holy Church disallowed the marriage, for that those two were over close of kin; and the poor lady died, as I have heard, in her first travail; so the child was cheated of his heritage. What name he chooses now to bear, I know not; but in old times they yeleped him ever Fitzwarenne."
Malatesta's lip curled slightly, though his brow lowered still.
"A bastard, I fear me"--he said, smoothly-" in the eyes of the law, though 'tis a hard case and a piteous.. Yet I blame Ralph Brakespeare- such is his title now-in that he demeaned himself so haughtily towards thee but now. True it is that he hath lately been advanced to be osquire to Sir John Hawkwood, under whom I, too, serve as
vintenar. "Tis a way of the world, as doubtless has not escaped thine experience; new honours make men forget old friends."
"Nay, not so"--the other returned sturdily. "Messire Ralph is none of such time-serving coistrels. Neither is advancement to esquire's estate such credit to his father's son, that he should wax misproud thereafter. He changed not his title, I dare be sworn, for shame or fear and for his demeanour anon he had reason good. he speak not next time we foregather, I will not chafe thereat, neither will I accost him; but only, under my breath, wish him God-speed."
The Italian's smile waxed insolent and bitter.
"A most Christian currier-he said-" such an one as hath scarce been seen since St. Paul wrought at thy trade. Heaven keep thee in such holy frame! With which benison I dismiss thee to thy sport or business."
So, leaving his companion more puzzled than he had found him, Malatesta strode away, mullering through his beard as he went
"No beggar's brat, after all, but nobly born: so nobly that--but for a priest's juggle-he might he carried his head as high as he listed. By the blood of Bacchus! I hate him threefold more than I did yester-even; and that is no light word."
BY ROBERT BUCHANAN.
THE grossest abuse on the part of the majority, and the wildest panegyric on the part of a minority, have for many years been heaped on the shoulders of the man who rests his claim for judgment on the book of miscellanies noted below. Luckily, the man is strong enough, sane enough, to take both abuse and panegyric with calmness. He believes hugely in himself, and in the part he is destined to take in American affairs. He is neither to be put down by prudes, nor tempted aside by the serenade of pipes and timbrels. A large, dispassionate, daring, and splendidly-proportioned animal, he remains unmoved, explanatory up to a certain point, but sphinx-like when he is questioned too closely on morality or religion. Yet when the enthusiastic and credulous, the half-formed, the inquiring, youth of a nation begin to be carried away by a man's teachings, it is time to inquire what these teachings are; for assuredly they are going to exercise extraordinary influence on life and opinion. Now, it is clear, on the best authority, that the writer in question is already exercising on the youth of America an influence similar to that exercised by Socrates over the youth of Greece, or by Raleigh over the young chivalry of England. In a word, he has become a sacer vates—his ministry is admitted by palpable live disciples. What the man is, and what the ministry implics, it will not take long to explain. Let it be admitted at the outset, however, that we are in concert with those who believe his to be a genuine ministry, large in its spiritual manifestations, and abundant in capability for good.
Sprung from the masses, as he himself tells us, Walt Whitman has for many years lived a vagabond life, labouring, as the humour seized him, and invariably winning his bread by actual and persistent industry. He has been alternately a farmer, a carpenter, a printer. He has been a constant contributor of prose to the Republican journals. He appears, moreover, at intervals, to have wandered over the North American continent, to have worked his way from city to city, and to have consorted liberally with the draff of men on bold and equal conditions. Before the outbreak of the war, he was to be found dwelling in New York, on "fish-shape Paumanok," basking there in the rays of
* Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass," "Drum-Taps," etc. New York, 1867.
the almost tropical sun, or sallying forth into the streets to mingle with strange companions-from the lodging-house luminary and the omnibus driver, down to the scowling rowdy of the wharf bars. Having written his first book, "Leaves of Grass," he set it up with his own hands, in a printing-office in Brooklyn. Some of our readers may dimly remember how the work was briefly noticed by contemporary English reviews, in a way to leave the impression that the writer was a wild maniac, with morbid developments in the region of the os pelvis. On the outbreak of the great rebellion, he followed in the rear of the great armies, distinguishing himself by unremitting attention to the wounded in the Ambulance Department, until, on receiving a clerkship in the Department of the Interior, he removed to Washington. Here, to the great scandal of American virtue, he continued to vagabondize as before, but without neglecting his official duties. At the street corner, at the drinking-bar, in the slums, in the hospital wards, the tall figure of Walt Whitman was encountered daily by the citizens of the capital. He knew everybody, from the President down to the crossing-sweeper.
“Well," said Abraham Lincoln, watching him as he stalked by, "he looks like a man.”
Latterly, his loafing propensities appear to have grown too strong for American tolerance, and he was ejected from his clerkship, on the pretext that he had written "indecent verses," and was a "free lover." His admirers, indignant to a man at this treatment, have accumulated protest upon protest, enumerating numberless instances of his personal goodness and self-denial, and laying powerful emphasis on certain deeds which, if truly chronicled, evince a width of sympathy and a private influence unparalleled, perhaps, in contemporary history. With all this personal business we have no concern. His admirers move for a new trial on the evidence of his written works, and to that evidence we must proceed.
In about ten thousand lines of unrhymed verse, very Biblical in form, and showing indeed on every page the traces of Biblical influence, Walt Whitman professes to sow the first seeds of an indigenous literature, by putting in music the spiritual and fleshly yearnings of the cosmical man, and, more particularly, indicating the great elements which distinguish American freedom from the fabrics erected by European politicians. Starting from Paumanok, where he was born, be takes mankind in review, and sees everywhere but one wondrous life-the movement of the great masses, seeking incessantly under the
sun for guarantees of personal liberty. He respects no particular crced, admits no specific morality prescribed by the civil law, but affirms in round terms the universal equality of men, subject to the action of particular revolutions, and guided en masse by the identity of particular leaders. The whole introduction is a reverie on the destiny of nations, with an undertone of forethought on the American future, which is to contain the surest and final triumph of the democratical man. A new race is to arise, dominating previous ones, and grander far, with new contests, new politics, new literatures and religions, new.. inventions and arts. But how dominating? By the perfect recognition 10 of individual equality, by the recognition of the personal responsibility and spiritual significance of each being, by the abrogation of distinetions such as set barriers in the way of perfect private action-action responsible only to the being of whom it is a consequence, and inevi-, tably controlled, if diabolic, by the combined action of masses..
Briefly, Walt Whitman sees in the American future the grandest realization of centuries of idealism--equable distribution of property, luminous enlargement of the spiritual horizon, perfect exercise of all the functions; no apathy, no prudery, no shame, none of that worst absenteeism wherein the soul deserts its proper and ample physical sphere, and sallies out into the regions of the impossible and the unknown. Very finely, indeed, does the writer set forth the divine functions of the body-the dignity and the righteousness of a habitation existing only on the condition of personal exertion; and faintly, but truly, does he suggest how from that personal exertion issues spiritu ality, fashioning literatures, dreaming religions, and perfecting arts. "I will make," he exclaims, "the poems of materials, for I think they are to be the most spiritual poems; and I will make the poems of my body and of mortality: for I think I shall then supply myself with the poems of my soul and of immortality."
This, we hear the reader exclaim, is rank Materialism; and, using the word in its big sense, Materialism it doubtless is. We shall observe, further on, in what consists the peculiar value of the present manifestation. In the meantime, we must continue our survey of the work.
Having broadly premised, describing the great movements of masses, Walt Whitman proceeds, in a separate "poem" or "book," to select a meriber of the great democracy, representing typically the privileges, the immunities, the conditions, and the functions of all the rest. He cannot, he believes, choose a better example than himself so he calls this poem "Walt Whitman." He is for the time being.