Mihrab Shah. (Ferishtah’s Fancies, 6.) The Mystery of Evil and Pain. An inquirer, while culling herbs, has had his thumb nipped by a scorpion. He wishes to know “Why needs a scorpion be? Why, in fact, needs any evil or pain happen to man if God be wholly good and omnipotent?” Ferishtah replies that when he awoke in the morning he was thankful that his head did not tumble off his neck. “But,” says the inquirer, “heads do not fall unchopped.” Says the dervish, “They might do so by natural law; why might not a staff loosed from the hand spring skyward as naturally as it falls to the ground?” What would be the bond ’twixt man and man if pain were abolished? Take away from man thanks to God and love to man, what is he worth? The lyric explains the compensations of existence. The ardent soul is enshrined in feeble flesh, the sluggish soul in a robust frame. What one person lacks is found in another, and this creates a bond of sympathy between our spirits. No one has everything. What we lack we admire when present in another, and so our own defects are pardoned for what in us is excellent.
Mildred Tresham. (A Blot in the ’Scutcheon.) The lady who is loved by Lord Henry Mertoun, and visited by him in secret at night. She dies when she learns that her brother has killed her lover.
Misconceptions. (Men and Women, 1855.) A beautiful fancy of a branch on which a bird has rested a moment bursting into bloom for pride and joy that it has been so honoured. The poet treats it as symbolical of a heart which has thrilled for a moment under the smiles of a queen ere she went on to her true-love throne.
Mr. Sludge, “The Medium.” (Dramatis Personæ: 1864.) Mr. Sludge is a “medium” who has been detected by his dupe in the act of cheating windows xp download kostenlos vollversion deutsch chip. He has worked upon his patron’s love for his dead mother, has pretended that he has had communications with the spirit world, and has found it a profitable business. However, he is found out, the game is up, he is half throttled by the man whom he has swindled, and is about to be kicked out of his house. He admits the cheating, but tries to make out that it was prompted by a low species of spirit (elementals as they are called). He offers, if liberally paid, to explain how the fraud has been carried out. He pretends one moment that he is repentant, the next he proposes to increase his guilt by falsely accusing his too confiding benefactor. He is prepared to swear that he picked a quarrel with him to get back the presents he had given. The bargain is made; and the medium, seated again at the “dear old table” which has so often been the partner of his performances, proceeds to explain that it is much more the fault of the public that they are cheated, than that of the artful folk who are always ready to meet demand by supply. In many things, but especially in affairs relating to the unseen world, people are willing to be deceived; and, as Demosthenes said, “Nothing is more easy than to deceive ourselves, as our affections are subtle persuaders.”
“It’s all your fault, you curious gentlefolk!”
said Sludge. “Everybody is interested in ghosts, and everybody will listen to the ghost-seer. A poor lad, the son of a servant in your house, talks to you about money, and you immediately suspect him of having stolen some; if he talk to you about seeing spirits, you encourage him to tell his story, and you listen with open ears. You make allowances for the unexplained ‘phenomena,’ and you are not disconcerted by his blunders. So the boy is encouraged to try again, to see more, hear more and things. You have patience with the primary manifestations, always weak at first; you discourage doubts as always fatal to them, and thus educate the boy in his cheating. He is compelled to invent; you prompt him, your readiness to be deceived confirms him in his readiness to deceive. It is not that the boy starts as a liar; he will soon enough develop into that; at first however,
“‘It’s fancying, fable-making, nonsense-work—
What never meant to be so very bad.’
He brightens up his dull facts till they shine, and you no longer recognise them as dull, but brilliant herunterladen. He hears what other mediums have done, he estimates your demands of him; you push him to the brink, he is compelled to dive. Let him confess his deception, and he has to go back to the gutter from which you have taken him. Let him keep on, and he lives in clover. And so he manufactures for you all you demand. He has heard raps and seen a light. ‘Shaped somewhat like a star?’ you eagerly inquire. ‘Well, like some sort of stars, ma’am.’ ‘So we thought!’ you say. ‘And any voice?’ ‘Not yet.’ ‘Try hard next time!’ Next time you have the voice. The medium is launched in the rapids. The falls are hard by: nothing can hinder but he must go over. He becomes the medium which has been required of him. The spirits forthwith speak up and become familiar and confidential. If any complain that the spirits do not fulfil our expectation of what the ghosts of Bacon, Cromwell, or Beethoven should be and do, the answer is ready and assumes two forms. If Bacon is deficient in spelling, does not know where he was born or in what year he died, this is no argument against spiritualism. The spirits are of all orders; and many, perhaps most, are tricksy, undeveloped, and delight to deceive. Or, again, the explanation is put in this way:—What is a medium? He is the means, and the only means, by which the spirits can hold converse with mortals. They have no organs; they must use ours. The medium holding converse with the spirit of Beethoven, not being much of a musician, is, of course, only able very imperfectly to express the composer’s musical soul. He pours in—to Sludge’s soul—a sonata. If it comes out the Shakers’ Hymn in G, that is the defect of the means or medium by which the master has been driven to express himself.” Sludge tells his dupe that it was thus he helped him out of every scrape; and the fools who attended every seance did not criticise video von internet downloaden. Why should they? They did not criticise his wine or his furniture—why should they criticise his medium? Of course they sometimes doubted. “Ah!” says the host, “it was just this spirit of doubt pervading the circle which confused the medium and accounted for his errors!” Sludge often got out of his difficulties that way. Sometimes, however the awful aspect of truth would present itself so sternly before him as to spoil all the cockering and cosseting he received, and he would gnash his teeth at the thought of the ruin of his soul by the humbug forced upon him. The cheating was nursed out of the lying. He would have stopped, but his dupes were for progress; they always demanded fresh and more striking “phenomena”—from talking to writing, from writing to flowers from the spirit world. If he actually were detected in jogging the table, or making squeaks with his toes, he would be accused of joking; if he pretended he was not, then he was at once in the dupe’s power. Then the cheating is so easy! A master of an ordinary trade can perform miracles to the untaught. The glass-blower, pipe maker, even the baker, by long practice, can puzzle the uninitiated; practise table-tilting, joint-cracking, playing tricks in the dark, and the phenomena of the medium’s business become easy as an old shoe. But, apart from this actual trickery, can the hardest head detect where the cheating begins, even if he is on his guard? There is a real love of a lie, and liars have no difficulty in attracting those who are only waiting to be deceived, and the most sceptical are just the most likely to be caught. Then the Solomon of saloons, the philosophic diner-out,—these were his patrons. They “wanted a doctrine for a chopping-block.” They had to be singular, and hack and hew common sense to show their skill in dialectics. These had Sludge injured. Then he reminds his patrons that the Bible teaches spiritualism. We all start with a stock of it; and stars even, we are taught, are not only worlds and suns, but stand for signs when we should set about our proper business. Sludge declares he has taught himself to live by signs: he is broken to the way of nods and winks. He has not waited for the tingle of the bell, but has obeyed the tap of knuckles on the wall din kostenlos herunterladen. Suppose he blunders nine times out of ten as to the meaning of the knuckle summons, is he not a gainer if the tenth time he guesses right? Everybody blunders even as he. The thing is to imitate the ant-eater, and keep his tongue out to catch all nature’s motes for food. It is wisdom to respect the infinitely little, for God comes close behind the animalcule, life simplified to a mere cell. All was not cheating either: he has told his lie and seen truth follow. He knows not why he did what he never tried to do, described what he never saw, spoke more than he ever intended; and though he believes everybody can and does cheat, he is not less sure that every cheat’s every inspired lie contains a germ of truth. Pervade this world by an influx from the next, and all the dead, dry, dull facts of existence spring into life and freshness, as at the touch of harlequin’s wand; and harlequin’s wand is Sludge’s lie, for which the inanimate world was waiting. You see the real world through the false, and so you have the golden age all by the help of a little lying. At most, Sludge is only a poet who acts the books which poets write. The more to his honour! But all his specious reasoning fails to reassure his awakened dupe, who gives him the notes he promised and dismisses him. No sooner is the medium out of the presence of the man whom he has deceived than he pours out a volley of abuse, and wishes he dare burn down the house; he will declare that he throttled his “sainted mother”—the old hag—in such a fit of passion as his throat had just felt the effects of; he reproaches himself for not having prophesied he would die within a year; but he consoles himself with counting his money, and reflecting that his awakened dupe is not the only fool in the world. “Sludge” is D. D. Home, the American medium. Mrs. Browning was an ardent spiritualist, and Mr. Browning, in consequence, had considerable experience of the ways of mediums and the talk and arguments of their followers. Although no medium ever reasoned with such skill and subtlety as Sludge, the main arguments used by this impostor are precisely those put forward by spiritualists. The mediums are a wretchedly weak, invertebrate order of beings, quite incapable of any such virile processes of thought as those expressed in the poem logo online erstellen und kostenlosen. There could be no greater mistake than to suppose that Mr. Browning intended to make any defence for any phase of spiritualism whatever: he has simply gathered into a poem the best which could be put forward for spiritualism, and directed it upon the personality of Sludge. Intimate friends of the Brownings assure me that Mr. Browning with great difficulty restrained his disgust at the practices of spiritualists, and his annoyance at the fact that his wife devoted so much time and attention to this aspect of human folly. Perhaps the feature which angered him most was the habit of trading upon and outraging the most sacred feelings of the human heart, in the endeavour to gain clients for a money-making occupation.
Notes.—Catawba wine: a white wine of American make, from grapes first discovered about 1801 near the banks of the Catawba river. Its praises have been sung by Longfellow. Greeley: Horace Greeley, the eminent American editor. His history was identified with the fortunes of his paper the Tribune. “Nothing lasts, as Bacon came and said”: Bacon’s Essay LVIII. is Of the Vicissitude of Things. Phenomena: the spiritualists’ term for the antics of tables, pats, twitchings, ghostly lights, tinkling of bells, etc., at their séances. The Horseshoe: the great waterfall of that name at Niagara. Pasiphae: the daughter of the Sun and of Perseis, who married Minos, King of Crete. She was enamoured of a bull, or more probably of an officer named Taurus (a bull). Odic Lights: Od, the name given by Reichenbach to an influence he believed he had discovered; it was held to explain the phenomena of mesmerism, and to account for the luminous appearances at spirit-rapping circles. “Canthus of my eye” == the corner of the eye. Stomach cyst, an animalcule which is nothing more than a bag, without limbs or organs; one of the infusoria, the simplest of creatures endowed with animal life youtubers life kostenlosen. “The Bridgewater book”: The Earl of Bridgewater (1758-1829) devised by his will £8,000 at the disposal of the President of the Royal Society, to be paid to the authors of treatises “On the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God as manifested in the Creation.” Several of the treatises are now famous books, as Bell on The Hand, Kirby on Habits and Instincts of Animals, and Whewell’s Astronomy. Eutopia == Utopia.
Molinos. See Molinists.
Molinists, The (Ring and the Book), were followers of Michael Molinos, a Spanish priest and spiritual director of great repute in Rome, who was a cadet of a noble Spanish family of Sarragossa. He was born on December 21st, 1627. In 1675 he published, during his residence in Rome, his famous work entitled The Spiritual Guide, a book which taught the doctrine known as that of Quietism. This species of mysticism had previously been taught by John Tauler and Henry Suso, as also by St. Theresa and St. Catherine of Siena, but in a different and more orthodox form than that in which it was presented by Molinos. Butler, in his Life of St. John of the Cross, says that the system of perfect contemplation called Quietism chiefly turned upon the following general principles:—1. In perfect contemplation the man does not reason, but passively receives heavenly light, the mind being in a state of perfect inattention and inaction. 2. A soul in that state desires nothing, not even its own salvation; and fears nothing, not even hell itself. 3. That when the soul has arrived at this state, the use of the sacraments and of good works becomes indifferent. Pope Innocent XI., in 1687, condemned sixty-eight propositions extracted from this author as heretical, scandalous and blasphemous. Molinos was condemned by the Inquisition at Rome, recanted his errors, and ended his life in imprisonment in 1696 windows 10 disk image.
Monaldeschi. (Cristina and Monaldeschi.) The Marquis Monaldeschi, the grand equerry of Queen Cristina of Sweden. He was put to death at Fontainebleau by order of Cristina, because he had betrayed her.
Monsignore the Bishop. (Pippa Passes.) He comes to Asolo to confer with his “Intendant” in the palace by the Duomo; he is contriving how to remove Pippa from his path, when her song as she passes stings his conscience, and he punishes his evil counsellor who suggested mischief concerning her.
Morgue, The, at Paris. (Apparent Failure.) The place by the Seine where the dead are exposed for identification.
Muckle-Mouth Meg (“Big-Mouth Meg”). (Asolando, 1889.) Sir Walter Scott was a descendant of the house of Harden, and of the famous chieftain Auld Watt of that line. Auld Watt was once reduced in the matter of live stock to a single cow, and recovered his dignity by stealing the cows of his English neighbours. Professor Veitch says “the Scots’ Border ancestry were sheep farmers, who varied their occupation by ‘lifting’ sheep and cattle, and whatever else was ‘neither too heavy nor too hot.’” The lairds of the Border were, in fact, a race of robbers. Sir Walter Scott was proud of this descent, and his fame as a writer was due to his Border history and poetry. The poem describes the capture red-handed of the handsome young William Scott, Lord of Harden, who was defeated in one of these forays, and taken prisoner by Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, who ordered him to the gallows. But the Laird’s dame interposed, asking grace for the callant if he married “our Muckle-mouth Meg.” The young fellow said he preferred the gallows to the wide-mouthed monster. He was sent to the dungeon for a week; after seven days of cold and darkness he was asked to reconsider his decision. He found life sweet, and embraced the ill-favoured maiden.
Muléykeh, (Dramatic Idyls, Second Series, 1880.) A tale of an Arab’s love for his horse. The story is a common one, and seems adapted from a Bedouin’s anecdote told in Rollo Springfield’s The Horse and his Rider herunterladen. Hóseyn was despised by strangers for his apparent poverty. He had neither flocks nor herds, but he possessed Muléykeh, his peerless mare, his Pearl: he could afford to laugh at men’s land and gold. In the race Muléykeh was always first, and Hóseyn was a proud man. Now, Duhl, the son of Sheybán, withered for envy of Hóseyn’s luck, and nothing but the possession of the Pearl would satisfy him: so he rode to Hóseyn’s tent, told him he knew that he was poor, and offered him a thousand camels for the mare. Hóseyn would not consider the proposal for a moment. “I love Muléykeh’s face,” he said, and dismissed her would-be purchaser. In a year’s time Duhl is back again at Hóseyn’s tent. This time he would not offer to buy the Pearl. He tells him his soul pines to death for her beauty, and his wife has urged him to go and beg for the mare. Hóseyn said, “It is life against life. What good avails to the life bereft?” Another year passes, and the crafty Duhl is back again—this time to steal what he can neither buy nor beg. It is night. Hóseyn lies asleep beside the Pearl, with her headstall thrice wound about his wrist By Muléykeh’s side stands her sister Buhéyseh, a famous mare for fleetness too: she stands ready saddled and bridled, in case some thief should enter and fly with the Pearl. Now Duhl enters as stealthily as a serpent, cuts the headstall, mounts her, and is “launched on the desert like bolt from bow.” Hóseyn starts up, and in a minute more is in pursuit on Buhéyseh. They gain on the fugitive, for Muléykeh misses the tap of the heel, the touch of the bit—the secret signs by which her master was wont to urge her to her utmost speed. Now they are neck by croup, what does Hóseyn but shout—
“Dog Duhl. Damned son of the Dust,
Touch the right ear, and press with your foot my Pearl’s left flank!”
Duhl did so: Muléykeh redoubled her pace and vanished for ever herunterladen. When the neighbours saw Hóseyn at sunrise weeping upon the ground, he told them the whole story, and when they laughed at him for a fool, and told him if he had held his tongue, as a boy or a girl could have done, Muléykeh would be with him then:—
“‘And the beaten in speed!’ wept Hóseyn: ‘You never have loved my Pearl.’”
Music Poems. The great poems dealing with music are “Abt Vogler,” “Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha,” “A Toccata of Galuppi’s,” and “Charles Avison.” Other poems which are musical in a lesser degree are “Saul,” “A Grammarian’s Funeral,” “The Serenade,” “Up at a Villa,” “The Heretic’s Tragedy.” “Balaustion’s Adventure” and “Fifine” also have incidental music references.
My Last Duchess—Ferrara. (Published first in Bells and Pomegranates, III., under Dramatic Lyrics, with the title “Italy,” in 1842; Dramatic Romances, 1868.) A stern, severe, Italian nobleman, with a nine-hundred-years’ name, is showing his picture gallery, to the envy of a Count whose daughter he is about to marry. He is standing before the portrait of his last duchess, for he is a widower, and is telling his companion that “the depth and passion of her earnest glance” was not reserved for her husband alone, but the slightest courtesy or attention was sufficient to call up “that spot of joy” into her face. “Her heart,” said the duke, “was too soon made glad, too easily impressed.” She smiled on her husband (she was his property, and that was right); she smiled on others (on every one, in fact), and that was an infringement of the rights of property which this dealer in human souls could not brook, so he “gave commands,”—“then all smiles stopped together.” The concentrated tragedy of this line is a good example of the poet’s power of compressing a whole life story in two or three words. The heartless duke instantly dismisses the memory of his duchess and her fount of human love sealed up “by command.” “We’ll go together down, sir,”—and as they descend he draws his guest’s attention to a fine bronze group, and discusses the question of the dowry he is to receive with the woman who is to succeed his last duchess.
Note.—Fra Pandolf and Claus of Innsbruck are imaginary artists. Without very careful attention several delicate points in this poem will be lost. When the duke said “Fra Pandolf” by design, he desired to impress on the envoy, and his master the Count, the sort of behaviour he expected from the woman he was about to marry. He intimated that he would tolerate no rivals for his next wife’s smiles. When he begs his guest to “Notice Neptune——taming a sea horse,” he further intimated how he had tamed and killed his last duchess itunes mp3. All this was to convey to the envoy, and through him to the lady, that he demanded in his new wife the concentration of her whole being on himself, and the utmost devotion to his will.
My Star. (Men and Women, 1855; Lyrics, 1863; Dramatic Lyrics, 1868.) To one observer a beautiful star may appear in iridiscent colors unobserved by others; just as, by looking at a prism from a certain angle, we catch a play of rainbow tints which they might miss by adopting a different point of view. Where strangers see a world, the singer obtains access to a soul which opens to him all its glory, as the prism reveals the constituent colors which combine to make the cold white ray of light. The poem has been considered to be a tribute to Mrs. Browning.
My Wife Gertrude. See Boot and Saddle.