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their left hand and their right hand, and also much cattle?” But he gets no answer. And so the story ends - Jonah left sulky and cross like a petulant child in the hot sun outside the walls of Nineveh, angry because God is merciful. The meaning of the story seems to me to be writ in large and luminous characters: “There is a wideness in God's mercy like the wideness of the sea.” When, from that splendid truth, brought out more clearly in the story of Jonah than in any other book of the Old Testament, we turn aside to discuss the question whether a whale has a throat big enough for a man to pass through, we are abandoning the great lesson which God meant to teach through our imagination to debate a physiological fact of absolutely no consequence.
1 Jonah iv. 9–11.
A DRAMA OF LOVE 1
LITERATURE is an interpretation of life. The interpreter may expound in a philosophical manner
1 There are three conceptions of the Song of Songs; the first regards it as an allegory of the spiritual union between the soul and God or between Christ and his Church. This mystical view finds, perhaps, its best interpreter in Mme. Guyon. One or two quotations from her will serve to illustrate the spirit of this method of interpretation : "Chapter i. verse 1, 'Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.' This kiss, which the soul desires of its God, is essential union, or a real, permanent, and lasting possession of its divine object. It is the spiritual marriage." “ Verse 4, 'I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.' What is this thy blackness, O thou incomparable maiden ? (we say to her) tell us, we pray thee. I am black, she says, because I perceive by the light of my divine Sun, hosts of defects, of which I was never aware until now; I am black, because I am not yet cleansed from self. . . . Verse 7, 'I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love till she please.' The soul is in a mystic slumber in this embrace of betrothal, in which she enjoys a sacred rest she had never before experienced. ... The daughters of Jerusalem are loving and meddlesome souls, who are anxious to wake her, though under the most specious pretexts; but she is so soundly asleep that she cannot be aroused. Verse 9, 'King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.' The Son of God, the King of Glory, made himself a chariot of his Humanity, to which he became united in the Incarnation, intending to be seated upon it to all eternity, and to make of it a triumphal car, upon which he will
the laws of life, illustrating them more or less by pictures produced by his imagination or by inci
ride with pomp and splendor in the sight of all his creatures.” The Song of Songs of Solomon, with Explanations and Reflections having Reference to the Interior Life, by Madame Guyon, pp. 23, 33, 51, 66. — The second view regards the book as a collection of love songs exchanged between two lovers, Solomon and the Shulamite maiden ; or even a collection of entirely independent songs, the only unity being their common theme, Love. It has even been suggested that the poem was written to celebrate the nuptials between Solomon and the daughter of Pharaoh. This, which is the traditional view, is adopted by Hengstenberg, Delitzsch, Keil, Kingsbury, and Professor Moulton. The English reader will most readily find it and the arguments in support of it in The Bible Commentary, and in the Modern Reader's Bible. In the latter this view is thus stated by Professor Moulton: “King Solomon with a courtly retinue, visiting the royal vineyards upon Mount Lebanon, comes by surprise upon the fair Shulamite. She flies from them. Solomon visits her in the disguise of a shepherd, and so wins her love. He then comes in all his royal state, and calls upon her to leave Lebanon and become his queen. They are in the act of being wedded in the royal palace when the poem opens. This, which is the story as a whole, is brought out for us in seven idyls, each independent, all founded on the one story, but making their reference to different parts of it as these occur to the minds of the speakers, without the limitation to order of succession that would be implied in dramatic presentation.” Modern Reader's Bible, Biblical Idyls, Intro. p. xi. — The third view, the one adopted in this chapter, regards the book as a drama in which there are three principal characters: Solomon, the Shulamite maiden, and her shepherd lover. This view is thus summarized by Dr. Driver: “A beautiful Shulamite maiden, surprised by the king and his train on a royal progress in the north (vi. 11, 12), has been brought to the palace at Jerusalem (i. 4, etc.), where the king hopes to win her affections, and to induce her to exchange her rustic home for th honor and enjoyments which a court life could afford. She has, however, already pledged her heart to a young shepherd, and the admiration and blandishments which
dents from history or from other authors; he may portray life in action and accompany the portrayal with some description and interpretation; he may simply create the characters and place them in the situations which he has invented for them, and leave them to interpret themselves by their speech and their actions. The first form of literature is Essay, the second is Novel, the third is Drama. Emerson elucidates the nature of heroism thus: “ Self-trust is the essence of heroism. It is the
the king lavishes upon her are powerless to make her forget him. In the end she is permitted to return to her mountain home, where, at the close of the poem, the lovers appear hand in hand (viii. 5), and express, in warm and glowing words, the superiority of genuine, spontaneous affection over that which may be purchased by wealth or rank (viii. 6, 7).” An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 6th edition, by S. R. Driver, D. D., pp. 437, 438. I agree with Dr. Driver that an attentive study of the poem can leave little doubt that the modern view (i. e., the dramatic) is decidedly more probable than the traditional view (i. e., the lyrical). For the reasons which lead to this conclusion, except as they are apparent in the dramatic version of the Song here given, the reader is referred to Dr. Driver's Introduction ; and for a fuller explanation of this dramatic rendering of the book he is recommended to consult The Lily Among Thorns, by William Elliot Griffis, D. D., to whom I gladly acknowledge my indebtedness in the preparation of this chapter. A special translation and dramatic arrangement can be found in the interesting monograph on the Song of Songs, by the Rev. William C. Daland (Leonardsville, N. Y.). They both follow the previous work along the same line by Ewald, whose analysis of the poem is given by Driver in his Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament. It may be added that the date and authorship of the Song of Songs are both uncertain; it is quite clear that Solomon is not the author; “The Song of Solomon” must be taken to mean a Song about Solomon, not a song by him.
state of the soul at war, and its ultimate objects are the last defiance of falsehood and wrong, and the power to bear all that can be inflicted by evil agents.”! Thackeray, in “The Newcomes,” gives
” us no definition of heroism, but in Colonel Newcome he paints the picture of a hero. We see, however, not only the portrait, but the artist at his work painting it. We know what he thinks of his sitter, for he tells us very frankly: - With that fidelity which was an instinct of his nature, this brave man thought ever of his absent child and longed after him. He never forsook the native servants and nurses who had charge of the child, but endowed them with money sufficient (and little was wanted by the people of that frugal race) to make all their future lives comfortable. No friends went to Europe, no ship departed, but Newcome sent presents and remembrances to the boy and thanks to all who were kind to his son. Here the hero is seen, but seen through the eyes of the artist who is painting his hero's portrait. In “ Clive” Browning portrays a hero, but says no word of eulogy or criticism. He simply bids you look and see Clive's deed; summons you, as a bystander might, to the door of the club-room to see the
“Twice the muzzle touched my forehead. Heavy barrel, flurried
1 Essays, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Heroism.