They tell how the heroes came to Aphetai, across the bay, and waited for the south-west wind, and chose themselves a captain from their crew : and how all called for Heracles, because he was the strongest and most huge ; but Heracles refused, and called for Jason, because he was the wisest of them all. So Jason was chosen captain ; and Orpheus heaped a pile of wood and slew a bull, and offered it to Hera, and called all the heroes to stand round, each mans hed crowned with olive, and to strike their swords into the bull.
Kingsley, writing of the Orphics in his Heroes, which appeared in 1856, seemed to be still thinking of his English Argonauts. Westward Ho! was published in April 1855. It was a memorable year in more fields than one. In the Crimea the sufferings of the English troops in the preceding winter had roused all England with indignation, and W. H. Russells Letters were being read on every hand. In the literary world a quartette of English writersSamuel Rogers and Miss Mitford, Julius Hare and Charlotte Brontëhad passed away. The newspaper duty was abolished, and The Saturday Review was born. Across the seas Longfellow was publishing Hiawatha, ant at home almost every writer of note then alive was giving something to the world, as the following abbreviated list will show
In this catalogue, the work that comes nearest to Kingsley and Westward Ho! is, perhaps, Maud, with its denunciation of the mechanical routine of worldly, sordid, business life
Pickpokets, each hand lusting for all that is not its own;
And lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better or worse
Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on his own hearth-stone?
When the poor are hovelld and hustled together, each sex, like swine,
When only the ledger lives, and when only not all men lie ;
Peace in her veneyardyes !but a company fogres the wine.
And Timour-Mammon grins on a pile of childrens bones,
Is it peace or war? better, was ! loud was by land by sea,
Wat with a thousand battles, and shaking a hundred thrones.
And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the three-decker out of the foam,
That the smooth-faced snub-nosed rogue would leap from his counter and till,
And strike, if he could, were it but with his cheating yardstick, home.
In 1855 men were looking for encouragement and for guidance, for warning and direction, to the heroic ages of the past. Tennyson was bewailing the loss of the great Iron Duke as the last of the great Englishmen who stood four-square to all the winds that blew. England had need of her Cromwells in those stagnant days, and mens eyes turned wistfully to the records and traditions of the past
And every chance brought out a noble knight,
when heoric actions sprang spontaneously form the heart of the people, and success was co-extensive with ambition and effort. We talk, says an essayist of the period, of righteousness and faith in God, and believe in mechanical forces calculable by measurement and arithmetic ; we talk of genius and strong will, and believe in routine and a system of mutual check ; we believe in these, or rather we ahve not belief in anything, and this is the expression of our unbelief, our incapacity, our helplessness, our despair. Welcome war, welcome pestillence, welcome anything that will rouse the once noble English nation from this paralysis of true human, true national life ; that will force us once more to seek out clear
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