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HARRIET MARTINEAU:

BY THE REV. A. H. VINE.

The first two volumes of this work, desire, however, was not allowed to constituting the Autobiography, were sully the perfect candour of her printed by Miss Martineau twenty story so far as concerns herself. years ago, at a time when she ex- Since the deplorable Confessions of pected her life would soon terminate, Rousseau were published, so frank a and are now issued as they were then presentment of self has not been printed. In giving them to the volunteered to the world. Miss world, Mrs. Chapman has thought Martineau dissects herself with a fit to add a volume of Memorials, cool and steady hand. The result containing much eulogy that would, of this hard honesty is not always one should think, have been dis- indeed satisfactory, even when she tasteful to her friend, and some is dealing with herself, and her mode information which she probably of dealing with others is often repulwished to be withheld. So far sive. She pours a sort of lime-light as the reader is concerned these criticism upon her cotemporaries, in thick octavo volumes will not make which, if their virtues are apparent, an unfair demand upon his time, certainly every fault, great and small, considering the importance of their is distinctly seen ; except in cases subject, for Miss Martineau was, in

where she was influenced by personal some respects, the most notable friendship. Perhaps, as a reviewer woman of the present century. She has suggested, the French blood in tells us that from her youth upwards her veins may have had to do with she had felt that it was one of the this unreserve, and fondness for etchduties of her life to write such a ing character with a sharp pen. book; and that when her life became For HARRIET MARTINEAU came of evidently a somewhat remarkable an old Huguenot stock, settled in one, the sense of this duty became a Norwich since the Revocation of the burden until the work was done. Edict of Nantes in 1685. Possibly, moreover, the fact that in cestor, who came to Norwich for later life she surrendered the last shelter, was a surgeon, and his deshred of expectation of a future state, scendants furnished a succession of may have strengthened her desire to able men in that profession to the old retain a place and a name in the pre

city, down to the end of the first sent. An earthly memorial is a poor quarter of the present century. The substitute for a true immortality, it family, for some generations, had must be admitted; and she herself forsaken French Calvinism for Uniaverred that she was absolutely con- tarianism; and it was amid the cold tent to be an unrecognized factor in lights of this creed that Harriet's the progress of the world; yet the earliest religious opinions were anxiety manifested to furnish pos- formed. She was born in 1802; and terity with an account of herself her reminiscences apparently date seems to indicate that a desire to be from the second year of her life, and remembered and have a definite, if by their minuteness justify the claim unconscious, part in the future, sur- she makes to a strong consciousness vived the tyranny of her logic. This and a clear memory.

She records

Her an

* Harriet Martineau's Autobiography. With Memorials by Maria Weston Chapman, Three volumes. Smith, Elder and Co. 1877.

of age.

some curiously vivid impressions re- the Globe newspaper. An amusing ceived from sight and touch when remark of hers, when she was nine she was yet an infant : the sense of years old, shows the philosophical smell she never had, and that of taste turn of her mind. Just after the was very imperfect. She was the birth of her sister Ellen she told a subject of strange panics, occasioned friend in confidence that she should by circumstances which in them- ‘now see the growth of a human selves were likely to give her ex- mind from the beginning ;' and she treme pleasure : the dancing of pris- endeavoured to carry out the necesmatic colours cast by lustres on the sary observation with the interest wall; the sight of tangled grass be- and patience of a Kitchener Parker. neath tall trees, or of a starlight sky. She had naturally a fine ear for These horrors were, doubtless, con- music, and considerable

power

of nected with the beggarly nervous expression in playing ; but the deafsystem' with which she says she was ness, which by the time she was sixcursed till nearer thirty than twenty teen had become a painful affliction, years

necessarily deprived her to a great The story of her early life is pathetic extent of this source of benefit and in its unrelieved misery. Ailing child as consolation. Notwithstanding this she was, she met with no sympathy at new disadvantage life began to wear home. At five

years

of

age she medi- a more friendly aspect to her as she tated suicide ; at fourteen, she had not emerged from childhood into womanpassed a day without shedding tears; hood. She had found some who unat fifteen, she had not seen a human derstood and loved her, and her temface that she was not afraid of. per consequently was much imPoor bairn! Shy, awkward, isolated, proved; she had learnt to some exahe thinks she must have been an tent her intellectual strength; she intensely disagreeable child. Mrs. had acquired considerable stores of Chapman likens her to the Ugly information; and, thanks to her Duckling of Hans Andersen's pretty training at home and at school, had story, that grew presently into a great formed the habit of steady and conswan. Her mother, whom Harriet scientious work. afterwards treated, it seems, with Her first appearance in print was admirable consideration, was a sensi- about the year 1821, in the Monthly ble and vigorous woman, and meant Repository, a little Unitarian periodito be just and kind to her children ; cal; and the praise her eldest brother but there must have been some great gave to her anonymous paper. on mistake in her treatment of this Female Writers on Practical Divinity little girl, sighing for affection and made her an authoress. Other events sympathy, when she was able to se- helped to determine her towards a cure from her nothing but fear and literary career : first, the financial falsehood. In one respect, however, embarrassments and then death, in the parents did not fail in their duty: 1826, of her father, who was a they were careful to provide, at manufacturer of bombazine and camgreat sacrifice of their own luxuries, let; the subsequent loss of nearly all a liberal education for all their cbil- the property that remained to them; dren. Harriet was early taught and Harriet's first and last love Latin and French, and subsequently affair. Her betrothed became sudGerman and Italian, whilst she was denly insane, and after months of diligently instructed in various illness died. Looking back on that usehold duties. Spare minutes time of distress, over a tract of thirty

ve to Milton, Shakespeare and years, she says: 'I feel there is a power of attachment in me that has about to establish' her own. The never been touched ; 'butómy strong theological atmosphere she breathed will, combined with anxiety of con- perverted her instincts, which were science, makes me fit only to live simple and direct enough, as is evialone; and my taste and liking are dent from a little incident she relates. for living alone.' She says her busi- Accidentally she cut slightly one of ness in life has been to think and the servants with her knife at learn, and to speak out with absolute dinner, and she says that her heart freedom what she has thought and was bursting to tell her how sorry learned ; and that therefore she is

she was.

If a child so willing to thankful for immunity from the make amends had known the evantrammels and cares of married life. gelical doctrine of the forgiveness of She probably judged wisely of her- sins, would she have found it a stumself in this respect.

bling-block? She was justly severe, In 1830 Miss Martineau wrote in after years, on the inconsistency of three Prize Essays in answer to an

Unitarians in taking liberties with advertisement of the Central Uni- the Revelation they professed to retarian Association, in which Uni- ceive, and was amazed that they tarianism was to be commended to could suppose they were giving their Catholics, Jews and Mohammedans. children a Christian education, in She was successfulin each case; and, of teaching them to interpolate or omit course, became famous in the Unita- just what they pleased. And so it rian world. In the same year she wrote

came to pass that as she grew up she Traditions of Palestine, one of her

found herself without any authority most popular works; Five Years of for the religious opinions that she Youth; seven tracts on social sub- held. The preparation for the aforejects ; Essay on Baptism; and fifty- said Prize Essays seems to have two articles for the Monthly Re- carried her towards simple Deism. pository.

Soon she considered prayer an abIt is desirable now to mark more surdity, and devout aspiration folly. precisely her religious opinions, as we Then, still following her logic, she are come about midway in the course passed through necessarianism to she took from the time when, as a

blank Atheism. little child, heaven seemed to her a

The character of her earlier replace gay with yellow and lilac ligious belief, as well as the style of crocuses to the time when she found her writing, at the time we are now herself on the low level of thought speaking of, (about 1830,) may be where God and immortality exist no illustrated by a pretty parable which longer.' According to her account she wrote for the Monthly Repository, of herself she was full of religious

and a few years after had, strange to emotions almost from her cradle. say, absolutely forgotten. She prayed much ; and when she could read, studied the Bible dili

THE WANDERING CHILD, gently ; she was also, she tells

us,

the • In a solitary place among the groves a subject of 'haunting, wretched, use

child wandered whithersoever he would. less remorse' for her numerous

He believed himself alone, and wist not

that one watched him from the thicket, faults. But the forgiveness clause in and that the eye of his parent was on him the Lord's Prayer was a stumbling- continually; neither did he mark whose block to her, as she did not care to

hand had opened a way for him thus far. be let off the penalty. She longed

All things that he saw were new to him;

therefore he feared nothing. He cast for self-esteem; and, in short, “igno- himself down in the long grass, and as he rant of God's righteousness,' she went lay he sang till his voice of joy rang

6

through the woods. When he nestled thereupon conceived the idea of 'examong the flowers, a serpent rose from the

hibiting the great natural laws of midst of them; and when the child saw how its burnished coat glistened in the

society by a series of pictures of sun like a rainbow, he stretched forth his selected social action.'

Each prinhand to take it to his bosom. Then the ciple was to be illustrated by a story, voice of his parent cried from the thicket, “ Beware!” and the child sprang up and

and the work was to consist of thirty

four small volumes, issued monthly, gazed above and around to know whence the voice came; but when he saw it not,

to be entitled Illustrations of Political he presently remembered it no more. He Economy. Truly a formidable underwatched how a butterfly burst from its taking for a lady of nine-and-twenty; shell, and fitted faster than he could pur

but she had something to say and sue, and soon rose far above his reach. When he gazed and could trace its flight

must say it. As she herself says, no more, his father put forth his hand, her stimulus in all she wrote, from and pointed where the butterfly ascended,

first to last, was simply need of uttereven into the clouds. But the child saw not the sign.

ance. This necessity to speak to the 'A fountain gushed forth amidst the

world is less frequently felt, or at shadows of the trees, and its waters flowed any rate proclaimed, by prose-writers, into a deep and quiet pool. The child than by preachers and poets: 'I do kneeled on the brink, and looking in, he

but sing because I must And pipe but saw his own bright face, and it smiled upon him. As he stooped yet nearer to

as the linnets sing ;' but there is no meet it, the voice once more said, “Be

doubt that Harriet Martineau was ware!"

impelled to write these tracts by a • The child started back; but he saw that a gust had ruffled the waters, and he

burning sense of justice and truth, said within himself, “ It was but the voice

and by wide sympathy with her of the breeze.' And when the broken fellow-creatures. sunbeams glanced on the morning waves, The narrative of the publication he laughed, and dipped his foot that the

of this work is a picture of heroic waters might again be ruffled: and the

determination and industry. She coolness was pleasant to him. The voice was now louder, but he regarded it not,

settled it in her mind, first, that such as the winds bore it away. At length he a work was needed by poor and rich; saw somewhat glittering in the depths of

to teach them how to adjust their rethe pool ; and he plunged in to reach it. As he sank he cried aloud for help. Ere

lations one to another; and next, that the waters had closed over him, his father's

she had knowledge, sympathy, courhand was stretched out to save him. And age, for the task. She then deterwhile he yet shivered with chilliness and

mined that the thing should be done, fear, his parent said unto him : " Mine eye was upon thee, and thou didst not heed ;

and no power on earth should draw neither hast thou beheld my sign, nor

her away from it; that she would hearkened to my voice. If thou hadst sustain her health under the suspense thought on me, I had not been hidden.” • Then the child cast himself on his

by unfaltering hope ; that she would father's bosom and said : " Be nigh unto

never lose her temper under slights me still : and mine eyes shall wait on thee, or rejection ; and lastly, that she and mine ears shall be open unto thy voice would accept no loan out of the for evermore.

limited resources of her mother and

aunt. She was only acquainted with Reference has been made to some one or two small provincial publishers, tracts she wrote on social subjects: and had no interest; but she resolved they dealt chiefly with the questions to proceed by herself to London, and of wages and machinery. Presently fight her own battle with the apathy a book on political economy fell into or fearfulness of the trade. This her hands, and she found that in she did with characteristic self-asserher tracts she had been touching the tion, arguing very forcibly, but vainly, fringe of this great subject. She with the heads of various publishing

firms. She describes herself on one she made a Summary of Principles occasion, weary with walking, and

of which she intended to treat. so giddy from exhaustion as to need Then she considered what part of support, leaning over some dirty

some dirty the world would furnish the best palings in Shoreditch, pretending to scene for the exhibition of those look at a cabbage bed, but saying to principles. Next she embodied her herself as she stood with closed eyes, principles in characters, and devised: “My book will do yet.' She suc- the accessories of the story. Then ceeded at last in finding a publisher, she marked out the chapters, and though on terms most unfair to herself. made a table of contents for each.

Her faith in her literary power Then she paged her paper and wrote was fully justified by the event. straight off, without erasion or reSeveral thousand copies of the first vision. She never re-wrote, and number were sold in two or three seldom altered a sentence or a phrase weeks, and Harriet Martineau became in a whole work. She acted on all at once a woman famous in the Cobbett's advice, recommending it to political world, whom Members of others : 'Know first what you want Parliament and Cabinet Ministers to say, and then say it in the first were fain to consult. The labour of words that occur to you.' producing a volume a month, dealing This practice was the secret of the with various political, sanitary and rapidity of her work, and enabled social principles, was, of course, enor- her to publish nearly a hundred mous: it may be interesting to take volumes in her lifetime. It was also notice of her method of work. She in consonance with the temper of her first noted down her own leading mind: it gave transparency, and ideas on the topic selected, and then directness to her style: but it has read what might be found in books, perhaps deprived her writings of permaking notes as she went along. So manent value. It is not in the least accurate was the information pre- likely that many of her books will sented to the public that one of the be read a century hence; and this series, entitled The Maid of All because whilst the matter of her Work, gave rise to the belief that writings will have ceased to be of she herself, at one time, had occupied any practical interest for men, the the unenviable position of that do- form is not precious enough to be mestic. Having got her material, retained for its own sake.

(To be concluded.)

'FULL REDEMPTION' ILLUSTRATED BY WESLEY'S HYMNS:

BY RICHARD T. SMITH, M.D. *

ONE of the most pleasing features in the present history of the Churches is the increased thought and attention given to the renewing and sancti

fying influence of the Holy Spirit, and the search after higher attainments in the Christian life. Very various are the names given to this

* The writer of this Paper is much indebted to J. B. Walker, Dr. Asa Mahan and

Dr. Pope.

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