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Title: The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, October 1879
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, October 1879" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's Notes:

The first part of this volume (September 1879) was produced as Project
been extracted from that document, and a brief title page added.

_Italic words_ have been enclosed in underscores.

A few minor typographical errors have been silently corrected. Some
inconsistent hyphenation and accents have been retained.]




  OCTOBER, 1879.
  India and Afghanistan. By Lieut.-Colonel R. D. Osborn              193

  Critical Idealism in France. By Paul Janet                         212

  On the Moral Limits of Beneficial Commerce. By Francis W. Newman   232

  The Myths of the Sea and the River of Death. By C. F. Keary        243

  Mr. Macvey Napier and the Edinburgh Reviewers. By Matthew Browne   263

  The Supreme God in the Indo-European Mythology. By James
    Darmesteter                                                      274

  Lazarus Appeals to Dives. By Henry J. Miller                       290

  The Forms and Colours of Living Creatures. By Professor St.
    George Mivart                                                    313

  Contemporary Life and Thought in Turkey. By an Eastern Statesman   334

  Contemporary Books:--

        I. History and Literature of the East, under the Direction
           of Professor E. H. Palmer                                 350

       II. Classical Literature, under the Direction of Rev.
           Prebendary J. Davies                                      359

      III. Essays, Novels, Poetry, &c.under the Direction of
           Matthew Browne                                            366


When the news arrived that Major Cavagnari and his companions had fallen
victims to the fury of the Kabul populace, the _Daily Telegraph_ "called
aloud, before Heaven, for a punishment which should ring from end to end
of the Continent of Asia." It is a pity that so much fine and eloquent
indignation should be expended on the Afghans instead of those who are
truly responsible for the catastrophe which has evoked it. If ever there
was a future event which might be predicted with absolute certainty, it
was that Major Cavagnari and his companions would perish precisely as
they have done. Twice, within forty years, have we invaded Afghanistan,
although on both occasions we have frankly avowed that with the
inhabitants of the country we had no cause of quarrel whatever.
Nevertheless, we carried fire and sword wherever we went, cutting down
their fruit trees, burning their villages, and leaving their women and
children shelterless under a winter sky. What could we expect as the
fruit of such acts, except that our victims--knowing, as we did, that
they were revengeful, passionate, and too ignorant to forecast the
consequences of their actions--should retaliate in kind the moment that
they had the opportunity? The first invasion of Afghanistan is now known
by general consent as "the iniquitous war;" but it is open to question
if even that war was so elaborately contrived, or so long laboured for
as this--the first act of which has terminated in the slaughter of Major
Cavagnari and his escort.

The circumstances which preceded it are briefly these. For eighteen
months Lord Lytton had attempted, by alternate threats and cajolery, to
prevail upon the Ameer Shere Ali to make a surrender of his
independence, and become a vassal of the Indian Empire. These attempts
having failed, war was declared against him on the pretence that he had
insulted us before all Asia by declining to receive a "friendly" mission
sent by the Indian Government. This mission was _not_ friendly. It was
notorious throughout India that it would go to Kabul charged with an
_ultimatum_ which offered the Ameer the choice of war, or the sacrifice
of his independence. But even this mission the Ameer never refused to
receive--nay, it is certain that he would have received it if the
opportunity had been given to him, so great was the value he attached to
English friendship. But what the Government of India desired was not the
reception of the mission, but a pretext for making war upon the Ameer.
It knew that the policy which it meditated in Afghanistan would so
completely destroy the sovereignty of the Ameer, that it was impossible
he should agree to it. At the same time, it was impossible to declare
war against an independent prince, simply because he declined to divest
himself of his independence. The war must, somehow or another, be made
to appear as if it were due to some act of the Ameer. Consequently,
almost from the hour in which the announcement was made that the mission
was to start, the Ameer was plied with insults and menaces which, if
they were not intended to drive him to some act of overt hostility, had
no purpose at all. And when these proved unavailing, Lord Lytton
directed Sir Neville Chamberlain to attempt to force his way through the
Khyber Pass, without waiting for the permission of the Ameer. In the
most courteous manner the Afghan officer, in command at the Khyber,
intimated to the mission that, without the sanction of his master, it
was impossible to allow it to proceed; and this refusal was instantly
telegraphed to England as a deliberate insult which must be wiped out in
blood. From first to last, so far as his conduct towards us is
concerned, the Ameer was absolutely blameless. During his entire reign
his consistent endeavour had been to draw closer the ties of amity
between himself and us. The Russian mission had forced its way to Kabul,
despite of all his endeavours to hinder its advance; and there can be no
question that but for the previous action of Lord Lytton that mission
would never have come to Afghanistan. But eighteen months before that
occurrence Lord Lytton had withdrawn our Native Agent from the Court of
the Ameer. This had been done as a mark of displeasure, and a proof that
no alliance of any kind existed between the two States. This proceeding
Lord Lytton followed up by the occupation of Quetta, although he was
well aware that such an occupation would be interpreted--and rightly--by
the Ameer, as a menace to his independence, and the harbinger of war. So
it came about that when the Russian mission knocked for admission at the
doors of his capital, the Ameer found himself on the one side threatened
by Russia, and on the other abandoned and threatened by Lord Lytton.
Lord Lytton, in point of fact, is as directly responsible for the entry
of the Russian mission to Kabul as he is for the dispatch of his own.

But if Lord Lytton's treatment of the Ameer was cruel and ungenerous,
criminal, at least to an equal extent, was his treatment of the people
over whom he ruled. At that time there was an appalling amount of
suffering all over India. The country had been ravaged by a series of
famines. In the Punjab prices were abnormally high. The North-West
Provinces were still unrecovered from a dearth, during which the
Government of India had exhibited a rapacity and indifference to human
suffering which would, with difficulty, be credited in England. Terrible
as is the mortality resulting from a famine in India, the death-roll
represents but a tenth part of the suffering which such visitations
inflict. For every human being that dies, ten are left, without money
and without physical strength, to struggle feebly for existence on the
margin of the grave. They cannot give a fair day's work for a fair day's
wage. They may reckon themselves fortunate if their enfeebled powers can
earn just sufficient to keep body and soul together. For all these
wretched beings--and last year in Upper India they numbered many
millions--the smallest rise of price in the necessities of life means
death from hunger. A war, therefore, with the enormous rise of prices
which it would immediately produce, was nothing less than a sentence of
torture and death passed upon tens of thousands of our own subjects.
Undeterred, however, by the warnings of experience, deaf to
considerations of humanity and justice, the Government of India started
on its wild-goose chase after a "Scientific Frontier." The victims whom
it trampled to death in this mad chase have never been numbered--they
never can be numbered. The Afghans who died in defence of their village
homes form but a hundredth part of them. The residue was composed of our
own mute and uncomplaining subjects.

A war thus wantonly commenced resulted in a failure as ignominious as it
deserved. Long before the Treaty of Gundamuck the ambitious policy of
the Government had become an object of contempt and ridicule all over
India. It was known that Lord Lytton and his advisers were at their
wit's end to discover something which might be made to do duty as a
"Scientific Frontier," and so bring a misjudged enterprise to a
conclusion. But it is the peculiarity of our Ministers to believe that
they can arrest the inexorable sequence of cause and effect by a
dexterous manipulation of the faculty of speech. Lord Beaconsfield
appears to have imparted to his colleagues his own belief in the
omnipotence of phrases to remove mountains, and make rough places
smooth. So the Treaty of Gundamuck was no sooner signed than Ministers
and Ministerial journals raised a great hymn of triumph over the
wondrous things which they had wrought in Afghanistan. The one solid
national advantage to be derived from the sacrifice of Cavagnari and his
comrades, is that this method of treating facts will have to be laid
aside. Lord Lytton is not likely to appeal again to his "carefully
verified facts" as a proof that he is a much wiser man than Lord
Lawrence. Lord Cranbrook will not again express his conviction that the
"objections (to an English Resident) expressed by Shere Ali will be
shown to have been without substantial foundation." Yakoub Khan and his
five attendants are all that remain of that "strong, friendly, and
independent Afghanistan" which Mr. Stanhope informed the House of
Commons had been created by the war. The anguished cry of the _Daily
Telegraph_ "for a punishment which shall ring from end to end of the
Continent of Asia" is the latest expression of the "results incalculably
beneficial to the two countries" which, according to Lord Lytton, were
to flow from the Peace of Gundamuck.

A failure in policy more signal and more complete than this it is
impossible to imagine. But it is to be noted that the Ministerial
journals are doing their utmost to save the "Scientific Frontier" from
the destruction which has overtaken the projects of the Ministry. And so
long as a belief in this Frontier is cherished anywhere, the return to a
safe and rational policy is obstructed. In the following pages,
therefore, I shall, firstly, endeavour to show that the (so-called)
"Scientific Frontier" is as purely fictitious as the "strong, friendly,
and independent Afghanistan" which we were told had been created out of
chaos by means of the war. And, secondly, I shall discuss the various
lines of conduct which lie open to us, when we have occupied Kabul, in
order to determine which is best fitted to ensure the stability of our
Indian Empire and the contentment of its inhabitants.

The Scientific Frontier.

In all the discussions on this Frontier question, a very obvious, but
all-important, fact has been persistently forgotten. It is that British
rule in India is a rule based upon military supremacy; and that,
therefore, our Indian army--English as well as native--is primarily a
garrison, having its duties upon the places where it is quartered. We
could not withdraw our troops from any part of India without incurring
the risk of an outbreak in the districts thus denuded. The "Punjab
Frontier Force" has always been a force distinct from the "Army of
India," and recognized as having special duties of its own. So far as I
know, in the discussions on a "Scientific Frontier" no reference has
been made to the above circumstance. The Indian army has been spoken of
as if it were so much fighting power, which we were free to concentrate
at any point we pleased. And to this oversight is due the hallucination
that an improved frontier would enable us to diminish the strength of
the Indian garrison (properly so called). The fact is, that before this
last war we had almost the very frontier which our situation in India
required. If the authority of the Ameer had extended up to the
boundaries of our Empire, troubles between the two States must have
occurred, resulting inevitably in the extinction of the weaker. The evil
of such an extension of territory no one denies; we should not only have
had to hold Afghanistan with a strong garrison--certainly not less than
twenty thousand men--but we should have been compelled to maintain a
frontier force, to guard against aggression from without, either from
Russia or Persia. Forty thousand men would have been needed for this
double duty, in addition to the pre-existing garrison of India. But by a
piece of supreme good fortune the authority of the Ameer did not begin
where ours left off. Between us and him were interposed the tribes which
dwell in the hills along our North-Western frontier. These tribes
acknowledged allegiance neither to him nor to us. Broken up and divided
amongst themselves, the worst they could inflict upon us was an
occasional raid into our territories; and these we could repress without
having to call the Ameer to an account for the lawlessness of his
subjects. A few regiments of horse and foot were all that we needed for
the defence of our frontier; while as against foreign invasion we
possessed a frontier that needed no defence at all. That frontier
consisted of the foodless deserts and inaccessible hills of Afghanistan.
These were impenetrable to an invader, so long as we retained the
friendship and the confidence of the people who dwell among them.
Consequently, to quote the language of Sir Henry Rawlinson, "our main
object has ever been, since the date of Lord Auckland's famous Simla
Manifesto of 1838, to obtain the establishment of a strong, friendly,
and independent Power on the North-Western frontier of India, without,
however, accepting any crushing liabilities in return." We all know the
manner in which Lord Auckland set about obtaining the "strong, friendly,
and independent Power," and the "crushing liabilities" we had to accept
in consequence. Tutored by experience, we adopted a wiser and more
righteous policy, which was producing admirable results.

The difficulty of establishing a stable friendship with Afghanistan
arises from the character of the people. It is the habitation, not of a
nation, but of a collection of tribes, and the nominal ruler of
Afghanistan is never more than the ruler of a party which, for the time,
chances to be strongest. Consequently there never existed an authority,
recognized as legitimate throughout the country, with which we could
enter into diplomatic relations. At the same time, their divided
condition crippled the Afghans for all offensive purposes. We had,
therefore, nothing to fear in the way of unprovoked aggression, and our
obvious policy was to win the confidence of these wild tribes and their
chiefs, by carefully abstaining from encroachments on their
independence. Such, in fact, has been the policy which every
Governor-General has pursued in the interval which divides the
"plundering and blundering" of Lord Auckland from the like achievements
of Lord Lytton. And it had been attended with the greater success,
because under the firm guidance of two remarkable men, Afghanistan had
progressed considerably towards the status of an organized kingdom.
Shere Ali had diligently trod in the footsteps of his father, the Dost,
and it is in these terms that the Government of India describes the rule
and policy of the Ameer in the year 1876:

    "Those officers of our Government who are best acquainted with the
    affairs of Afghanistan, and the character of the Ameer and his
    people, consider that the hypothesis that the Ameer may be
    intimidated or corrupted by Russia (even supposing there was any
    probability of such an attempt being made) is opposed to his
    personal character and to the feelings and traditions of his race,
    and that any attempt to intrigue with factions in Afghanistan,
    opposed to the Ameer, would defeat itself, and afford the Ameer the
    strongest motive for at once disclosing to us such proceedings.
    Whatever may be the discontent created in Afghanistan by taxation,
    conscription, and other unpopular measures, _there can be no
    question that the power of the Ameer Shere Ali Khan has been
    consolidated throughout Afghanistan in a manner unknown since the
    days of Dost Mahomed, and that the officers entrusted with the
    administration have shown extraordinary loyalty and devotion to the
    Ameer's cause_. It was probably the knowledge of the Ameer's
    strength that kept the people aloof from Yakoub Khan, in spite of
    his popularity. At all events, Herat fell to the Ameer without a
    blow. The rebellion in Salpoora in the extreme West was soon
    extinguished. The disturbances in Budukshan in the North were
    speedily suppressed. _Nowhere has intrigue or rebellion been able to
    make head in the Ameer's dominions._ Even the Char Eimak and the
    Hazara tribes are learning to appreciate the advantages of a firm
    rule.... But what we wish specially to repeat is that, from the date
    of the Umballa Durbar to the present time, _the Ameer has
    unreservedly accepted and acted upon our advice to maintain a
    peaceful attitude towards his neighbours_. We have no reason to
    believe that his views are changed."

This "strong, friendly, and independent Power"--this edifice of order
and increasing stability--the British Government deliberately destroyed
in the insane expectation of finding a "Scientific Frontier" hidden
somewhere in the ruins. It is difficult to conceive of an action more
impolitic or more cruel. In a month the labours of forty years were
obliterated, old hatreds rekindled, and the wounds of 1838, which the
wise and gentle treatment of former Viceroys had almost healed, were
opened afresh.

We come next to the inquiry as to what this "Scientific Frontier" is, in
order to obtain which this act of vandalism was perpetrated. This is a
question involved in some obscurity. The _Times_ is the great champion
of the "Scientific Frontier," but in its columns, as also in Ministerial
speeches, it changes colour like a chameleon. Sometimes it is called the
"possession of the three highways leading to India," thereby rendering
the Empire "invulnerable." At other times it is recommended to us
because it protects the trade through the Bolan Pass, and enables us to
threaten Kabul. The fact is that the (so-called) "Scientific
Frontier"--meaning thereby the frontier we acquired by the Treaty of
Gundamuck--is a make-believe, an imposture. It is not the "Scientific
Frontier" in pursuit of which we "hunted the Ameer to death" and reduced
his territories to a condition of anarchy.

Those who have followed the history of the war with attention will
remember that in September of last year the Calcutta correspondent of
the _Times_ was smitten with a really marvellous admiration for Lord
Lytton. "India," he wrote, "is fortunate in the possession at the
present time of a Viceroy specially gifted with broad statesmanlike
views, the result partly of most vigilant and profound study, partly of
the application of great natural intellectual capacity to the close
cultivation of political science and the highest order of statecraft."
Here we have the portrait of the lion painted by himself; and it is not
surprising that this superb creature should have regarded with
considerable scorn the policy of his predecessors who never claimed to
be "specially gifted" for the exercise of "the highest order of
statecraft." "The present measure," the correspondent went on to say,
"for the despatch of a mission to Kabul forms but a single move in an
extensive concerted scheme for the protection of India, which is the
outcome of a long-devised and elaborately worked-out system of defensive
policy." Here we have a fine example of the "puff preliminary." In the
issue of the _Times_ for the 10th September this "extensive concerted
scheme for the protection of India" is detailed at length, and is there
plainly set forth as intended for a barrier against Russia:--

    "The Indian Government are most anxious to avoid adopting any policy
    which would bear even the semblance of hostility towards Russia, but
    the extreme probability of a collision sooner or later cannot be
    overlooked. It is necessary, therefore, to provide for a strong
    defensive position to guard against eventualities. From this point
    of view it is indispensable that we should possess a commanding
    influence over the triangle of territory formed on the map by Kabul,
    Ghuznee, and Jellalabad, together with power over the Hindoo
    Khosh.... This triangle we may hope to command with Afghan
    concurrence if the Ameer is friendly. The strongest frontier line
    which could be adopted would be along the Hindoo Khosh, from Pamir
    to Bamian, thence to the south by the Helmund, Girishk, and
    Kandahar, to the Arabian Sea. It is possible, therefore, that by
    friendly negotiations some such defensive boundary may be adopted."

Such were the moderate designs entertained by the Indian Government when
they dispatched what they called a "friendly mission" to the Court of
the Ameer. If Lord Lytton imagined that "friendly negotiations" would
obtain these tremendous concessions from the Ameer, it would show that a
training in "the highest order of statecraft" does not preserve even a
"specially gifted" Viceroy from the credulousness of an infant. But his
acts show that he entertained no such belief. He felt, as every one must
feel who reads the extract I have made, that demands such as these must
be preceded by a war. Hence the menacing letters addressed to the Ameer;
hence the rude and insulting manner in which Sir Neville Chamberlain was
ordered to attempt an entrance into Afghanistan without awaiting the
permission of the Ameer; and hence, finally, the monstrous fiction of a
deliberate "insult" inflicted upon us, when, in point of fact, we had
been the "insulters" all along. The obvious intention throughout was to
obtain a pretext for declaring war, because without a war the
"Scientific Frontier" was manifestly unattainable. Lastly, when war had
been determined upon, the same "official" correspondent came forward in
the _Times_ to make known the objects of the impending campaign. "We
have," he wrote, "been driven into what will probably be a costly war
entirely against our will, and all our endeavours to avoid it. The
occasion, therefore, will now be seized to secure for ourselves the
various passes piercing the mountain ranges along the whole frontier
from the Khyber to the Bolan; and further _strategic measures will be
adopted to dominate entirely the Suleiman range and the Hindoo Khosh_."

It is impossible not to admire the hardihood of this remarkable
correspondent when he alleges that the war was "entirely against our
will, and all our endeavours to avoid it." But this is not the matter
with which I am at present concerned. The official character of these
communications will be denied by no one, and they make it clear that the
"Scientific Frontier" was intended as a barrier against Russia, and
would have made the Hindoo Khosh the external boundary of the Indian
Empire. Such a frontier is manifestly the dream of a military
specialist, to whose mental vision the Indian Empire, with all its
diverse interests, has no existence except as a frontier to be defended
against the Russians. And it illustrates the ignorance and precipitate
folly which has plunged us in our present difficulties that a project so
wild should have been seriously entertained. To have carried it out the
subjugation of Afghanistan would have been an indispensable preliminary,
and then the civilizing of it, by means of a system of roads and strong
garrisons throughout the country; the entire cost of these vast
operations being defrayed by a country already taxed to the last point
of endurance, heavily burdened with an increasing debt, and ravaged by
periodical famines. Such, however, was the "Scientific Frontier" for
which a "specially gifted Viceroy," trained in "the highest order of
political statecraft," declared war against the Ameer. But the frontier
which we obtained at the close of the war, and which Ministers and
Ministerial journals would have us believe is the genuine article which
they wanted from the beginning, is not only not this frontier, but it
has not the smallest resemblance to it.

The new frontier does not differ from the old except in three
particulars. We hold the Khyber Pass as far as Lundi Kotal, and we have
acquired the right to quarter troops in the Kurram Valley and the Valley
of Peshin. Of these the Kurram Valley is a mere _cul-de-sac_, leading
nowhere. But I will not ask of my readers to accept of my judgment on
this matter. Among the best known advocates for a forward and aggressive
policy in Afghanistan is Dr. Bellew. An accomplished linguist and an
experienced traveller, he accompanied Colonel Lumsden's mission to
Kandahar in 1857; he was also a member of the mission entrusted with the
settlement of the Seistan boundary question, and no man living is better
acquainted with the geography and people of Afghanistan. I believe it
will not be denied that Lord Lytton, during the recent war, trusted
largely in his knowledge and suggestions. He has thus expressed himself
on the policy of occupying the Kurram Valley:--

    "The Kurram Valley would involve the addition of about one hundred
    and fifty miles of hill frontage to our border, and would bring us
    into contact with the independent Orakzais, Zaimukhts, Toris,
    Cabul-Khel, Waziris, and others, against whose hostility and inroads
    here, as in other parts of the border, we should have to protect our
    territory. By its possession, as we are now situated, we should be
    committed to the defence of a long narrow strip of land, a perfect
    _cul-de-sac_ in the hills, hemmed in by a number of turbulent
    robber-tribes, who are under no control, and acknowledge no
    authority. In ordinary times its acquisition would add to the
    serious difficulties of our position. In times of trouble or
    disturbance on the border, its possession would prove a positive
    source of weakness, a dead weight upon our free action. In it we
    should run the risk of being hemmed in by our foes in the
    overhanging hills around, of being cut off from our communications
    with the garrison of Kohat, by the Orakzais on the one side, by the
    Waziris on the other. These are the disadvantages of the step. In
    return what advantages should we derive? Not one. With Kurram in our
    possession we certainly could not flank either the Khyber or the
    Goleri Pass, because between it and the one, intervenes the
    impassable snowy range of Sufed Koh; and between it and the other,
    intervenes the vast routeless hilly tract of the Waziris. From
    Kurram we could neither command Kabul nor Ghazni, because the route
    to either is by a several days' march, over stupendous hills and
    tortuous defiles, in comparison with which the historical Khyber and
    Bolan Passes, or even the less widely-known Goleri Pass, are as
    king's highways."

This, I think, is sufficient to dispose of the Kurram Valley. If the old
frontier has been rendered "invulnerable," it is not the acquisition of
the Kurram Valley which has made it so. There remains the Peshin Valley.
This valley is an open tract of country lying almost midway on the line
of march between Quetta and Kandahar, but nearer to the former than the
latter. Three easy marches from Quetta suffice to place a traveller in
the centre of it. It cannot accurately be described as an extension of
our frontier, because it is dissevered from it by more than two hundred
miles of difficult country. Between the valley and British territory,
the lands of the Khan of Khelat are interposed in one direction, and
numerous robber-tribes--Kakers, Murrees, Bhoogtees--in another. Until
the valley is securely linked to the Indus by a railway from Sukkur to
the Bolan Pass--a costly work, which could not be executed in less than
seven years--it will be impossible to quarter more than a few thousand
men in it--and these for six months of the year will be as completely
detached from their base of supply and reinforcement in India, as if a
tract of empty space ran between them. So far from ensuring any
increased security to India by our premature occupation of this valley,
we have only enhanced the chances of a hostile collision with the rulers
and people of Afghanistan. We were already in military occupation of
Quetta, and until easy and rapid communication had been established
between Quetta and the Indus, nothing was to be gained by a yet further
advance from our base. As a barrier against Russia this frontier is
without meaning, and no better proof of this fact could be adduced than
Sir Henry Rawlinson's commentary upon its merits in the Article on the
"Results of the Afghan War" which recently appeared in the _Nineteenth

    "The Afghan settlement is a very good settlement as far as it goes,
    but it is not immaculate--_it is not complete_. To yield us its full
    measure of defence, the Treaty must be supplemented by all
    legitimate precautions and supports. _Persia must be detached from
    Russia coûte que coûte._ Russia herself must not be left in any
    uncertainty as to our intentions. She must be made to understand ...
    _that she will not be permitted unopposed to establish herself in
    strength ... even at Abiverd_, nor to commence intrigues against the
    British power in India. She might indeed be warned that, if
    necessary, we were prepared in self-defence to support the
    Turcomans--with whom she has no legitimate quarrel--with arms or
    money, or even to turn the tables on her by encouraging the efforts
    of the Uzbegs to recover their liberty.... _It would be almost
    fatuity at such a moment to withdraw our garrison from Candahar...._
    Yacub Khan must be made to see that it is as much for his interest
    as our own to hold an efficient body of troops in such a position
    that, on the approach of danger ... _they might, with military
    alacrity, occupy Herat as an auxiliary garrison_."

And what is implied in detaching Persia from Russia he explains in
another part of his Essay.

    "If Russia, as there is strong reason to believe, is now pushing on
    to Merv or Sarakhs ... with the ultimate hope of occupying Herat,
    then it might very possibly be a sound policy to extend to Persia
    the provisions of the Asia Minor Protectorate, or even to support
    her actively in vindicating her rights upon the frontier of

From all which it would appear that our "Scientific Frontier" is simply
good for nothing until it has been supplemented by an offensive and
defensive alliance with the barbarian enemies of Russia all over the
world. In order to ensure the safety of India, we must protect not only
our own "Scientific Frontier," but we must guarantee the Sultan all his
Asiatic possessions; we must be ready at any moment to fight for the
"integrity and independence" of Persia; we must be prepared to march our
troops to Herat, and to show a front against the Russians on the Oxus;
we must provide the Tekeh-Turcomans with arms and money, and assist the
Uzbegs in their attempts to recover their liberty. Such are the
"legitimate precautions and supports" which are requisite to render the
new frontier immaculate and complete. But if with a "Scientific
Frontier" we remain liable to such tremendous demands as these, it
passes imagination to conjecture in what respect we could have been
worse off when our frontier was "haphazard."

The Circumstances of the Peace.

I shall next endeavour to show the circumstances which compelled the
Indian Government to acquiesce in a peace which thus left the avowed
object of the war unfulfilled. The preparations for the invasion of
Afghanistan were on a scale corresponding to the magnitude of the
enterprise as explained by the "official" correspondent of the _Times_.
Troops were set in motion for the North-West frontier from garrisons in
the extreme south of India. Men were sent from England to man heavy gun
batteries. In addition to the troops under General Roberts, no less than
three columns were formed to invade Afghanistan viâ Sukkur and the
Bolan, and the same number to advance through the Khyber. The force
which marched to Kandahar was supplied with four heavy gun batteries,
and a fifth was sent up subsequently, although, except upon the
supposition that permanent entrenched camps were to be formed in
Afghanistan, these heavy guns were simply an encumbrance and a source of
danger. But the campaign had barely commenced before the Government
became aware that it had utterly miscalculated its cost and difficulty.
It is easy enough for an army to enter Afghanistan; it is next to
impossible for it to subsist when it has got there. It is easy enough to
scatter the Afghans when collected in battle array; it is next to
impossible to subjugate them because they never are _so_ collected. From
these causes our raid into Afghanistan was but little removed from an
ignominious failure. If we had not made peace we should have been
compelled to evacuate the country from the enormous costliness of
retaining troops in it. Under such circumstances, a peace was needed too
urgently to allow the Government to stand out for any extraordinary
concessions. They took what they could get, which proved to be, as we
have seen, the right to place garrisons in the two valleys of Kurram and
Peshin. But having gone to war in search of a "Scientific Frontier," no
alternative was left to them except to frankly confess that they had not
found it; or to affirm that these two valleys constituted it.

We come now to the causes of our failure. These are all-important, and
ought to dissipate for ever the fear of an invasion of India by Russia
or any other Power. The plan of the campaign required that Afghanistan
should be invaded from three points; but the most important operation
was understood to be the advance of General Stewart upon Kandahar. As
soon as hostilities appeared inevitable, a small force under General
Biddulph had been sent forward to secure Quetta against a sudden attack.
General Stewart followed later on, and the two columns numbered upon
paper about 20,000 men, with 60 guns. Meanwhile, a third column was
ordered to assemble at Sukkur in support, and placed under the command
of General Primrose. These extensive preparations were supposed to
indicate the determination of the Indian Government to push on as far as
Herat. The distance which had to be traversed between Sukkur and
Kandahar is, roughly speaking, about four hundred miles, but the country
presents extraordinary difficulties. From Sukkur to Jacobabad extends a
level tract which, during the rains, is flooded to a depth of seven
feet. Between Jacobabad and Dadur--a town situated at the entrance of
the Bolan Pass--extends the Sinde desert. Any large force marching
across this desert would have to take with them, not only food and
forage, but water, for only at intervals of fifteen or twenty miles is
the parched and barren soil pierced by a few brackish springs, which
just suffice for the needs of the hamlets which have sprung up around
them. For six months of the year this desert is literally impassable. A
hot wind sweeps across it, which is fatal to man and beast. Only once
did the Indian Government venture to send troops across it after this
"blast of death" (as the natives call it) had begun to blow. This was in
the last Afghan war. Some hundreds of native troops were sent as an
escort in charge of supplies, and in four days one hundred Sepoys
perished, three hundred camp followers, and (I think) nine officers out
of fourteen. Beyond Dadur is the Bolan Pass. This Pass is about eighty
miles in length; regular road there is none; what purports to be a road
is merely the bed of a stream, which, during the rainy weather, is
filled from bank to bank with a volume of rushing water. Neither food
nor forage is obtainable in the Pass, and even the camels, when starting
from Dadur, had to carry a seven days' supply of food for themselves.
Between Quetta and Kandahar the country is open, but neither is food
procurable for a large force, nor forage for the horses and camels. From
first to last General Stewart's troops were almost wholly fed from
India. The winter, luckily, was one of unprecedented mildness. But for
this, in place of a march upon Kandahar, a terrible catastrophe could
hardly have been averted. In ordinary seasons the snows fall heavily in
and around Quetta early in November, and the cold is intense. The Bolan
Pass is swept from end to end by hurricanes of wind and rain and snow.
At the very time when these storms usually occur we had a dozen
regiments and batteries straggling along the whole length of the Bolan
Pass. Last year, however, there was neither snow nor hurricane, and our
troops got through the Pass in safety. There was no opposition offered
to our advance on Kandahar, but, from the want of food and the hardships
which had to be endured, no less than twenty thousand camels perished
upon the march. This mortality decided the campaign. When General
Stewart reached Kandahar the situation was as follows:--The magazines at
Quetta were nearly empty. Four months' food was collected at Sukkur, but
awaited carriage for its transport to Quetta. The third column under
General Primrose was assembling on the Indus, and needed ten thousand
camels to enable it to advance. To supply all these wants there were at
Sukkur about 1600 camels. In order to lessen the pressure on the
Commissariat, General Stewart divided his forces, despatching one column
to hunt for supplies in the direction of Giriskh, and sending another
with the same object to Khelat-i-Ghilzie. These movements caused the
death from cold and hunger of a large additional number of camels, and
demonstrated that there was not food in that part of Afghanistan
sufficient for a force so large as that collected at Kandahar. Sinde,
meanwhile, had been swept so bare of camels that it was impossible to
collect a sufficient number for the carriage of food to Quetta before
the hot weather had set in, and the march across the desert was barred
by "the blast of death." Immediate action was necessary if General
Stewart's troops were not to starve; and eight thousand men returned to
India, reducing the garrison left at Kandahar to four thousand. This
number, it was trusted, the Commissariat would be able to feed during
the hot weather. But even this small force was so scantily supplied with
carriage that it could not have moved, in a body, for fifty miles in any
direction. It was, so to speak, nailed to the spot on which it was
encamped. This want of food, far more than the physical difficulties of
the country, is and always will be the insuperable obstacle to carrying
on extensive military operations in Afghanistan. The people obtain no
more from the soil than just suffices for their own wants; and for days
together an invading army has to pass over huge wastes with hardly a
trace of human habitation, and consequently destitute of food.

Not a little amusing was the revulsion of feeling caused throughout
India by the lame and impotent conclusion of the advance on Kandahar. It
was a demonstration of the impossibility of an invasion which convinced
those who were most reluctant to be convinced. If when we had all India
from which to draw our supplies, and with no enemy to oppose us, our
utmost efforts had merely sufficed to place four thousand men in
Kandahar, and leave them there, isolated and defenceless, it was
chimerical to suppose that the Russians could march for double that
distance an army capable of attempting the conquest of India.
"Kandahar," writes a military correspondent to the _Pioneer_--the
official journal of India--"is acknowledged to be a mistake, and it is
hoped that a British army will never again be dispatched in that
direction; it is a mere waste of men, money, and means, and an
unsuitable line for either attack or defence."

And the _Pioneer_, the very purpose of whose existence is to preach the
infallibility of the Indian Government, thus endorses the remarks of its
correspondent: "The theories about Kandahar are by this time exploded;
indeed, there are many critics who have refused to adopt them from the
very beginning; believing against General Hamley, that the main road
into Afghanistan, whether we march as defenders of the Kabul Ameer or as
avengers, must lie past Peshawur and Jelalabad."

The failure on the Kandahar side placed the Indian Government in an
extremely difficult position. An advance on Herat was plainly out of the
question; even one on Ghuznee was beyond the power of General Stewart
and his troops. Elsewhere the aspect of affairs was hardly less
cheering. The expedition in the Kurram Valley had resulted in the
somewhat ignominious retreat out of Khost. We had about 15,000 men
holding the line from the Khyber to Jelalabad; but in effecting this,
14,000 camels had perished, and several of the regiments had been more
than decimated from sickness and exposure. We had not subjugated a rood
of territory on which our troops were not actually encamped. The main
strength of the Ameer's army was untouched, while all along our
Trans-Indus frontier the hill tribes were in a state of dangerous
unrest. The hot weather was coming on apace, when cholera and typhoid
fever would be added to the number of our enemies. Thirty thousand
troops had been set in motion, the garrisons in the interior of India
dangerously weakened; three millions of money expended; and this was all
that had been achieved. If now Yakoub Khan refused to come to terms,
what was to be done? General Brown might be ordered to force his way
from Jelalabad to Kabul, but what was he to do when he got there? The
cost in money would be certainly heavy--the cost in men, not improbably,
heavy also. And if, on our arrival at his capital, Yakoub Khan retired
to either Balkh or Herat, we were powerless to follow him. Yakoub Khan,
in fact, had the game in his hands. We had shot our bolt and failed. He
had simply to decline to make peace, and keep out of our reach. We
should then have been compelled either to evacuate the country, or to
occupy it with the certainty that a little later on we should be
compelled to withdraw, when the drain on the finances of India became
too heavy to endure. Sir Henry Rawlinson rightly says, that a very small
force can march from one end of Afghanistan to another; but a very large
force is requisite permanently to hold it. The tribal divisions which
hinder unity of resistance hinder also the achievement of any decisive
victory. Each tribe is an independent centre of life, which requires a
separate operation for its extinction.

Such was the dilemma in which the Government found themselves involved.
It was almost equally disastrous either to withdraw or to advance. If
the troops were withdrawn, they would return burdened with the ignominy
of failure. If they advanced, it would be into a tangle of military and
political embarrassments, the issue of which it was impossible to
foresee. There was only one way of escape possible, and that was to
relinquish the ambitious projects from which the war originated, and
acquiesce in any settlement which the adversary would agree to. The
result was the Treaty with Yakoub Khan--a Treaty which I have no
hesitation in saying has placed in peril the existence of our Indian

It is, indeed, impossible to account for the infatuation or the
obstinacy which caused the Indian Government to stipulate for the
reception of an undefended British Envoy at the Court of a prince in the
position of Yakoub Khan. It would have been so easy to have introduced a
clause in the Treaty, to the effect that as soon as Yakoub Khan's
authority was firmly established an English Envoy should be accredited
to Kabul. This would have saved the political consistency of the
Government without exposing the Indian Empire to the tremendous strain
and peril of a second Afghan expedition. There was absolutely nothing to
be gained, either in India or England, by immediately forcing an English
Envoy on the luckless Yakoub; while it enormously enhanced the
difficulties with which he had to cope. Nevertheless, in the face of
historic precedents, in defiance of multiplied warnings, Lord Lytton
deliberately resolved to reproduce, for the edification of Asia, the
tragedy of Shah Soojah and Sir William Nacnaghten, the only difference
being that on this occasion the principal parts were played by Yakoub
Khan and Major Cavagnari. The fact is that from first to last in this
bad business the chief agents were moving in a world of their own
imagining. They appear to have persuaded themselves that they had but to
refuse to _see_ facts, and the facts would vanish. They had but to
publish in the _Times_ that Lord Lytton was a "Viceroy specially
gifted," and forthwith he would become what he was described to be. They
had but to assert that the Afghans had no objection to the presence of a
British Envoy at Kabul, and immediately their objections would
disappear. The mischief is done now past recall. Hardly even in 1857 was
our Indian Empire in a position of greater peril than it is now. The
persistent opposition between official acts and official language which
has been the distinguishing characteristic of Lord Lytton's
administration has created an universal disbelief in the sincerity of
our speech and the equity of our intentions. In the circle which
surrounds the Viceroy, it seems, indeed, to have become an accepted
maxim that it is a matter of indifference whether or not the natives are
heartily loyal to our rule. And Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, in his Minute
on the Repeal of the Cotton Duties, notes the fact as "a grave political
danger." It is a maxim which could not have been formulated except by
the agents of a Government who felt that they had forfeited, past hope
of recovery, the confidence of those they were set to rule over. Of the
alienation itself there can be no question. The loyalty of the native
has, probably, never been at a lower ebb since 1857. And any reverse in
Afghanistan might kindle a flame that would spread from one end of India
to the other.

But there is nothing to be gained by anticipating greater difficulties
than already beset us. I will assume that no additional complications
occur--that General Roberts has succeeded without much difficulty in the
occupation of Kabul--that General Stewart has possession of Kandahar,
and that all we have to determine is what to do with Afghanistan now we
have got it. There are but three courses of conduct possible--withdrawal
from the country altogether, a return to the arrangements formulated in
the Treaty of Gundamuck, or annexation. I will consider the last first.


Nobody, so far as I know, desires to annex Afghanistan. But there are, I
apprehend, but few who are aware of what is involved in "the annexation
of Afghanistan," and the danger is that we may drift almost unwillingly
into annexation, to discover the full consequences only when too late.
Everybody is agreed that India cannot defray the costs. This is set down
by the supporters of Government at a sum of five millions annually. I
believe it would be much larger; but we will assume that five millions
is a correct estimate. By no possibility could we screw this additional
sum from the people of India. Already the expenses of the administration
increase at a far quicker rate than the revenues which have to meet
them. The costs of governing Afghanistan, therefore, would have to be
defrayed from the English Exchequer. But assuming this to be arranged,
the pecuniary difficulty is the smallest which has to be encountered. To
garrison the interior and frontier of Afghanistan we should require not
less than forty thousand men--one-half of whom would have to be English
soldiers. For, until the interior of Afghanistan is completely opened
out by roads which can be traversed throughout the year, the garrisons
holding the country would have to be sufficiently strong to be
independent of reserves and supports during the winter. And if we
attempted to hold Balkh and Herat, twenty thousand English soldiers
would not suffice. Now where are these English soldiers to come from? An
addition of at least forty thousand men to our regular army would be
required in order to supply them. But the English part of our
Afghanistan garrison does not present so insuperable a difficulty as the
native. It would not be safe, at least for many years, to organize our
native garrison from the Afghans themselves. The regiments would have to
be recruited in India specially for this service--but out of what races?
The natives of the Southern parts of India have not the physique capable
of enduring the severities of an Afghanistan winter. The Sikhs or
Hindoos of Upper India would certainly not enlist in a service which
carried them so far from their homes into the midst of an alien people
and an alien faith. The only recruits we should obtain in large numbers
would be Muhammadans. The danger, then, is obvious. In India the fierce
fanaticism of the Moslem creed is mitigated by its contact with the
milder tenets of Hindooism; but remove an Indian Moslem to Afghanistan,
and he would very soon become inspired by the religious zeal of his
co-religionists around him. We should be exposed to the risk,
perpetually, of our native garrison combining with the people of the
country to expel the infidel intruders from the land, and restore the
supremacy of the Prophet. But even these dangers dwindle into
insignificance when we contemplate the main result of an annexation of
Afghanistan. That result would be that the hills and deserts of
Afghanistan would no longer extend between the Russian Power and our
own. We should have given to Russia the power to interfere directly in
the internal concerns of India.

I have never supposed Russia to have any sinister designs upon India.
After much reading I have failed to discover any proof of such designs.
Those who suspect Russia obtain their evidence by a very simple process.
They reject as incredible the objects assigned by the Russian Government
as guiding its policy, and substitute their own fixed preconception in
place of them. I believe that neither Russia nor any other Power would
accept of India as a free gift. I cannot imagine a rational statesman
coveting for his country so burdensome and unprofitable a
responsibility. But that a Russian Government should ever attempt the
invasion and conquest of India is to me beyond the power of belief. What
Mr. Cobden wrote in 1835 appears to me as convincing at this day as it
was then.

    "China," he wrote, "affords the best answer to those who argue that
    Russia meditates hostile views towards our Indian possessions. China
    is separated from Russia by an imaginary boundary only; and that
    country is universally supposed to contain a vast deposit of riches
    well worthy of the spoiler's notice. Besides, it has not enjoyed the
    '_benefit_' of being civilized by English or other Christian
    conquerors--an additional reason for expecting to find a wealthy
    Pagan community, waiting, like unwrought mines, the labours of some
    Russian Warren Hastings. Why, then, does not the Czar invade the
    Chinese Empire, which is his next neighbour, and contains an
    unravaged soil, rather than contemplate, as the alarmist writers and
    speakers predict he does, marching three thousand miles over regions
    of burning deserts and ranges of snowy mountains to Hindostan, where
    he would find that Clive and Wellesley had preceded him?"

Apart, however, from the question of motives, it is not possible to
march an army from Herat to the Indus. And we must always bear in mind
that even if the Russian army reached the Indus, their real work,
instead of being over, would only then commence. With that vast extent
of hill and desert behind them they would have before them some sixty
thousand British troops in an entrenched position. Even a victory would
leave the invader begirt about with dangers and difficulty; a defeat
would be his utter annihilation. Not a soldier of the army of invasion
would return to tell the tale. It is impossible to divine where or how
Russia could raise the money for so gigantic an enterprise; and if the
money was forthcoming it is not credible that any Government should
fling it away on such a hopeless undertaking. In assuming that Russia
will refrain from an attack upon India, there is no need to credit
either the Government or the people with more than that ordinary common
sense which hinders men and nations from attempting to achieve the

The danger to India arises not from the existence of any Russian designs
against our Empire, but from the belief that such exist. This belief
will, so to speak, hybernate for a season; then all at once we find it
in full activity, and creating a panic in every heart of which it takes
possession. These are the critical moments for the well-being and
security of our Indian Empire. In such a period of panic we rushed into
the disastrous war in Afghanistan in 1838. Under the influence of like
feelings we involved ourselves in the inglorious raid the first act of
which has just terminated. On both occasions we have been guilty of
assailing a Prince whose only desire was to form an intimate alliance
with us. On both occasions we have carried fire and sword among a people
with whom we frankly avowed that we had no assignable cause of quarrel.
But so long as Afghanistan extended between us and the Russian dominions
in Asia it was physically impossible to declare war against Russia. In
our unreasoning panic we fell upon the Ameer and his people, because
there was no one else to attack. But if we make the Hindoo Khosh our
military frontier, then Russia, by assembling a few thousand men upon
the Oxus, can, whenever she pleases, agitate India from one end to the
other. She will not need to attack. The menace will be sufficient. For
we must remember that the undisputed supremacy of British rule in India
depends, in the main, upon two conditions, both of which are destroyed
if we annex Afghanistan. The one is, that no heavier burden be laid upon
the people than they are willing to bear; and the other, the absence of
any hope of deliverance. The cost of maintaining our supremacy in
Afghanistan _will_ make the burden of our rule utterly intolerable alike
to our native soldiers and our civil population; the assembling of a
Russian army on the frontiers of Afghanistan will provide the hope of
deliverance. The hazards and uncertainties of the situation would keep
the natives in a state of perpetual unrest. The ambitious and the
disaffected would engage in intrigue and conspiracy; trade would
languish; the internal development of the country be abruptly arrested;
and the Empire would assuredly be wrested from our hands on the occasion
of the first European war in which we became involved.

The Treaty of Gundamuck.

Annexation being impossible, is it wise, or is it practicable, to return
to the provisions of the Treaty of Gundamuck? It is neither wise nor
possible, for the simple reason that this Treaty was based upon a
fiction. It was grounded upon the utterly false assumption that there
existed in Afghanistan a central authority, acknowledged as legitimate
by all the people of Afghanistan, with whom we could establish permanent
diplomatic relations. There is no such authority. Instances have been
adduced of attacks made upon European Embassies in other Oriental
countries, and the argument has been put forward, that as,
notwithstanding such outbreaks, diplomatic relations have been
maintained with Turkey and Persia, there is no reason to conclude from
the fate of Major Cavagnari that they are impossible in Afghanistan. The
cases are not parallel. The Ameer of Kabul has no such authority in his
capital or throughout his dominions as the Sultan or the Shah. It is
possible, though not very probable, that a British Envoy might reside in
Kabul without being murdered, but the measure of his utility would
depend upon the fluctuating fortunes of the Ameer to whom he was
accredited. The only way to obviate this would be to place a force at
the disposal of the Envoy, sufficient to put down all insurrectionary
movements against the Ameer. But if we undertook this duty, we should
become responsible for the character of the civil administration. We
could not punish the victims of a cruel or rapacious Ameer, without at
the same time cutting off at their source the cruelty and rapacity, by
the deposition of an unworthy ruler. And thus, in a very brief time, we
should find that virtually we had annexed the country. Facts are
stubborn things, and it is worse than useless to fight against them.
Those who contend that the murder of Major Cavagnari ought not to be
allowed to overturn what they term the "settled policy" of the Ministry,
are bound to show in what way this "settled policy" can be carried out.
How do they propose to obtain an Ameer towards whom all the sections of
the Afghans shall practise a loyal obedience? And if no such Ameer can
be obtained, with whom or with what are we to establish diplomatic

The Policy of Withdrawal.

There remains the policy of withdrawal. The surest barrier against
foreign aggression in India is to be obtained in the contentment and
prosperity of the people. A people thus situated are prompt to repel
invasion, and secret intrigue is deprived of the conditions essential to
its success. But in order that the people of India should be prosperous
and contented, it is absolutely necessary that the financial burdens
they have to carry--and especially the military charges--should not be
enhanced. It is not possible to advance our military frontier--even to
the extent of the (so-called) "Scientific Frontier"--without an enormous
enhancement of our military expenditure. And all military expenditure is
unprofitable, in the sense that it takes so much from the tax-payer and
brings him no material equivalent. Consequently, whatever else this
forward policy accomplishes, it cannot fail to impoverish the people and
stimulate their discontent. Moreover, the incidents of the war have
demonstrated that an invasion of India from Central Asia is physically
impossible. We started from the Indus, firmly resolved to march to
Herat, if necessary; but when we had reached Kandahar, we found it
impossible to advance further. It would be equally impossible for a
Russian army to march from Herat to the Indus. There is, therefore, no
such reason for a change of frontier as was alleged in justification of
the war.

In all probability there is not even a Tory in England who does not in
his heart approve of a policy of withdrawal; but there are, he would
say, difficulties in the way. There are. After all the glowing eulogies
they have pronounced upon themselves, it will not be pleasant or easy
for Ministers to transfer these eulogies to their opponents. It will be
extremely disagreeable for a "specially gifted Viceroy" to have to
confess that his chiefest gift was a gigantic capacity for blundering.
But if India is to be preserved to the nation, there is no escape from
this unpleasant alternative. Either Ministers must acknowledge an error
that is now patent to all the world, or India must be saddled with the
heavy costs and the incalculable risks of an annexation of Afghanistan.
These risks, it must be remembered, are not transitory, but enduring;
and if we accept them, we must be prepared for a doom of absolute
effacement in the politics of Europe. The argument which will be urged
against withdrawing from Afghanistan is, of course, the old familiar
one--the loss of prestige. This is an argument impossible to refute
because the exact worth of prestige is an unknown quantity, as to which
no two people are agreed. But whatever be its value, to rush upon ruin
and destruction in order to preserve our prestige is an act of insanity.
It is as if a man should commit suicide in order to preserve his
reputation for courage. When we retired from Afghanistan in 1842, we
frankly confessed the mistake we had committed, and I am not aware that
any evil resulted from the confession. The wrongs that we had done left
behind them a legacy of evil, but not the confession of those wrongs.
And so it is now. The frontier policy of Lord Lytton has ruined our
reputation for justice, truthfulness, and generosity, and the stain of
that policy must cling to us for ever. We shall not conceal or efface it
by laying a crushing burden upon our native subjects and upon future
generations of Englishmen, in order to evade the humiliation of a
confession. On the contrary, we make what reparation is still in our
power when, in the interests of both, we refuse to annex Afghanistan.



    _La Science positive et la Métaphysique._ Par LOUIS LIARD,
    Professeur à la Faculté des Lettres de Bordeaux. (Ouvrage couronné
    par l'Institut de France.) Paris, 1879.

For some years past there has been observable in France, outside of and
in opposition to Positivism, a growing movement in favour of idealism in
general, and of the critical idealism of Kant in particular. This
philosophy, which had previously found very few adherents in our
country, has now begun to make its way into our teaching and our
Universities. Berkeley and Kant have been the subjects of special works,
and an attempt has been made to translate and reproduce their ideas by
harmonizing them with the principal doctrines of spiritualism. We have
here a movement full of promise and well deserving of attention.[1]
Among the different productions affording some notion of this
philosophical tendency, we make choice--as being both the most recent
and the most complete--of a remarkable work, distinguished and crowned
by the French Institute, _Positive Science and Metaphysic_, by a young
and learned professor of Bordeaux, M. Louis Liard.

To begin with, M. Liard's work is well composed, its plan being simple,
severe, and lucid. It divides itself into three parts. The first is
devoted to determining the nature and limits of positive sciences--that
is, of the sciences properly so called--and to showing that they cannot
pretend to abolish or replace metaphysics. In this portion of his book
the author discusses the three forms of the experimental philosophy of
our day, namely--Positivism, the philosophy of association, and that of

In the second part, the author examines what he calls Criticism--that is
to say, the philosophy of Kant. The preceding discussion having
demonstrated that the human mind is incapable of departing from certain
forms, certain laws, without which experience itself would be
impossible,--the author now resolves these into five fundamentals:
space, time, substance, cause, the Absolute. But are these forms or laws
of the mind the laws of things as well? Have they an objective
authority? We know that metaphysics hang upon the solution of this
question. We know, too, what is the solution given by Kant to this great
problem. In recognizing the necessary existence of these forms as laws
of the mind he disputes their external reality; hence he only admits
critical, not real and dogmatic metaphysic. Now, as regards this point
the author of the book under our notice, instead of dissenting from
Criticism as he had done from Positivism, appears on the contrary to
accept it by its own name, and to admire and endorse its conclusions. He
seems to grant or even to affirm that if Positivism is wrong, Criticism
is right, and that, strictly speaking, metaphysic is not a science.

And yet if metaphysic were not a science in the strict sense of the
word--that is to say, in the sense of objective sciences--would it
follow that it was nothing, or nothing more than criticism itself? By no
means: our author does not stop at that apparent solution; metaphysic
according to him has an object that criticism has not reached, has not
shaken; metaphysic has its own proper function, in which criticism can
never take its place. Only instead of founding it on the object, we must
found it on the subject. The mind must turn away from the external world
and re-enter itself. It is there that, without need of forms or
categories of which criticism has demonstrated the fallacy, the subject
grasps itself not only in its phenomena but in its being, and determines
itself in conformity to an end. This end is goodness: and this is the
only notion we can form to ourselves of the Absolute. Thus, metaphysic
is not the science of the object, but that of the subject; or if the
name of science be still withheld, it is at least the study of the
subject, and it is founded on and completed by morality. Thus, the
author ends by an evolution very similar to that of Kant, but with
certain differences which it will be our part to point out.

These constitute the three parts of the work. We will now take them up
in succession.


Let us first of all consider the characteristics of positive science. It
has for its object the conversion of facts into laws, or in other words
the resolving the composite into the simple, the particular into the
universal, the contingent into the necessary. But let us observe with
our author that we are only dealing here with a relative simplicity, a
partial universality, a conditional necessity. None of these characters
present themselves in a really absolute manner. The simple is invariably
composed of several terms; the universal only applies itself to a
certain class of phenomena; the necessary is so only with relation to
the consequences of a law, but the law itself always remains contingent.
Thus, no positive science can ever attain to the absolute. It is the
same with methods. These methods are induction and deduction. Now,
however precise these processes be, however marvellous the sequence and
interdependence of the propositions they discover and demonstrate, their
data are never more than particular and contingent facts; consequences,
then, can only be proportioned to those data. Hence it is certain that
the positive sciences cannot go beyond a relative universality or
necessity. It may seem as though we ought to make an exception in favour
of mathematics. But by a subtle discussion which it would be difficult
to give summarily, the author shows that they too come under the same
law, whence it follows that the domain of positive science properly
so-called is contained within the relative.

From this consideration there has sprung up in our day a philosophy that
reduces all sciences without exception to the knowledge of relation, and
by so doing has declared all metaphysics impossible: and this philosophy
is called Positivism. "Any proposition," says Auguste Comte, "which is
not finally reducible to the simple enunciation of a particular or
general fact, is incapable of holding a real or intelligible meaning."
"There is nothing absolute," says the same philosopher, "if it be not
this very proposition that there is nothing absolute." As to the proof
of this proposition, it lies, according to the school in question, in
the celebrated law which reduces all progress of the human mind in all
orders of research to three phases: the theological phase, in which
facts are explained by causes and supernatural agents; the metaphysical,
in which they are explained by abstract and ontological entities; and,
finally, the positive, in which phenomena are verified by experience and
referred to their laws--that is to say, to constant and always
verifiable relations of coincidence and succession.

Our author, having expounded this doctrine with much precision, proceeds
to criticize it with equal sagacity. He points out what is illusory in
this law of the three states; shows that it confuses metaphysic with
scholasticism; and proves, finally, that, in aiming at merging mind in
knowledge, and subordinating, as he says, the subjective to the
objective, Positivism does not understand what it is speaking of, since
all knowledge is ultimately referable to facts of consciousness--that is
to say, to something subjective, which is in effect, as Descartes has
pointed out, the only order of absolutely certain truths. Besides which,
let positive science, or rather the positive philosophy, in the name of
positive facts, proscribe metaphysic as it will, is it not evident that
the fundamental conceptions of all science--number, atom, force, matter,
cause, law--are metaphysical conceptions? Is it not evident that all
science whatever is impossible without a certain number of principles or
notions,--in a word, of intellectual laws, which even govern experience
itself? As yet the positive school has not answered the learned
demonstration of Kant on the necessity of the _à priori_ principle, or
rather it has ignored it. It has made no addition to that old
empiricism which the school of Leibnitz and of Kant had refuted.

But since the Positivism of Auguste Comte, too little versed in
metaphysical knowledge to discuss it authoritatively, there have arisen
two important schools, the one of association, the other of evolution.
The former has endeavoured to base experience on an experimental and
positive law; the latter has generalized this law, and made of it a
particular case of a more general law embracing the whole of
Nature--namely, the law of evolution.

The doctrine of association may be referred to the fundamental law that
all ideas rising simultaneously or successively in the human mind, tend
invariably to recall each other in the same order; this is what is
called association of ideas. When any two ideas have thus been
constantly associated without ever being separated (as, for instance,
form and colour), they unite indissolubly and thus become necessary
laws. Now, of all these necessary connections, the most universal is
this: no phenomenon ever appears without having been preceded by some
other phenomenon, which is always the same under the same circumstances.
This law is that of causality, which is both the supreme principle and,
at the same time, the result of all experience. To this doctrine of J.
S. Mill and Alexander Bain our author opposes the two following
objections:--1st, How does it explain the generalization? 2nd, How does
it explain the necessity of the laws of the understanding? On the first
point the English School appeals to a law that it calls the law of
_similarity_ or faculty of identifying the like in the different. But
this is indeed, strictly speaking, a fact of association? Should not
association, properly understood, be reduced to the law of
contiguity--that is to say, to the fact of our ideas only becoming
associated through relations of time? To admit the faculty of
recognizing similarity in diversity, what is this but to admit mind,
intelligence--something, in short, which is other than a simple external
association? As to the second point, can we reduce the rational
necessity that Kant and Leibnitz have laid down as the criterion of _à
priori_ principles to a pure necessity of habit--that is to say, to the
automatic expectation of the future inscribed on the past? Where is the
scientific guarantee in this hypothesis? Why should Nature bend to our
habits? "Who can assure us that we do not dream in thinking of the
future, and that the next sensation may not interrupt our dream by an
unforeseen shock?" We see how far-reaching this doubt is; it affects not
only metaphysic but science as well.

As to the philosophy of evolution, we know that, with regard to the
origin of the principles of thought, it consists in linking the
experience of present generations to that of generations past; in
substituting secular for individual experience--in a word, in filling up
by the accumulation of ages on ages the interval existing between
particular and contingent facts and the universality of principles. This
hypothesis is always at bottom no other than that of the _tabula rasa_,
only it is no longer the individual who is this _tabula rasa_, since
each one has, by heredity, received a pre-formed intelligence.
Nevertheless, under pain of contradicting the hypothesis, we are forced
to admit that there was a first subject who, prior to the action of the
object, must have been this _tabula rasa_. But here the objections of
Leibnitz reappear. What can a pure, abstract, and unmodified subject be?
And again, before any meeting of subject with object, we have to admit a
pure object having nothing subjective, just as the subject had nothing
objective. What shall we affirm of this pure object? Let us divest it if
you will of colour, heat, sound; must we not at least conceive it as
extended, as existing in time, conceive it, that is, according to the
necessary forms that are supposed to be suppressed? For to say that it
has been capable of existing without having anything in common with
these forms, and that out of this unknown and nameless condition have
arisen, by way of transformation, the notions of which we treat, were to
admit that something _can_ come out of nothing. We must therefore
acknowledge that universal notions do at least exist as germs at the
origin of evolution. It is not evolution that has created them,
evolution has only developed them, and be they ever so attenuated, they
still remain conditions without which nothing can be thought.

Such is the gist of the first part of M. Liard's book, and we have
nothing to add to it but our approbation. We can but admire the skilful
analysis with which it begins, and the vigorous discussion accompanying
that analysis. The three stages traversed by the experimental philosophy
of our days--namely, Positivism, the Associative Philosophy, and that of
Evolution--are competently and precisely summed up. The discussion is
cogent, solid, and could not be further developed without injury to the
unity of the work. No doubt it requires close attention to follow it;
but it is lucid and well sustained. Whatever the difficulty metaphysic
may encounter in constituting itself a science, and getting recognized
as such, it has been established that empiricism is not a tenable
position, since it has been found necessary to pass from positivism to
association, from association to evolution; while evolution itself still
supposed some pre-formation. One thing is certain, intelligence
invariably contains a something that does not come from without--namely,
intelligence itself.


The criticism of Positivism has taught us that there is no knowledge
possible without _à priori_ elements--that is to say, without laws
inherent in thought, which impose themselves upon phenomena, so as to
constitute veritable knowledge. This is the system of Kant, and thus
that system avoids not only empiricism, but scepticism as well, though
commonly confounded with it. For without necessary laws phenomena only
form an arbitrary succession, entirely dependent upon the organization
of the individual; we have no longer anything but individual
sensations. In the Kantian philosophy, however, the individual is
subjected to laws that are superior to himself; these are the laws of
human thought, and even, perhaps, of all thought whatever. These laws
impose themselves on each one of us in a necessary and universal manner,
and by so doing communicate to phenomena an objective reality in this
sense at least, that they are for individuals veritable objects; and
thus it is that mathematical truths are objects to the intellect, even
supposing they should be nowhere realized in any existence independent
of thought.

But are these laws of thought anything else than laws of thought? Do
they really attain to objective reality--to _things in themselves_. Kant
has denied that they do, and our author, in following in his steps,
agrees, or seems to agree, with the "Kritik" of Kant.

Let us then resolve the fundamental laws of the human intellect into
five principal concepts: these are, space and time, forms of
sensibility, substance and cause, laws of external experience, and,
lastly, the Absolute, the final and supreme condition of all knowledge.
Now, according to Kant and our author, these notions, at least the four
first, are at the same time necessary as subjective conditions of
thought, and contradictory so soon as we seek to realize them outside of

For example, that space and time are found by implication in every
internal or external representation, that they are not the result of
abstraction and generalization, this has been firmly established by
Kant; for the elements from which some have sought to derive them
already imply them. But, at the same time, they are only internal
conditions, of which the objects are unrealizable outside of ourselves,
and the reason of this is given by M. Liard, as follows:--Space and time
have three essential characteristics, they are homogeneous, continuous,
and unlimited. Now, if we seek to make of space and time _things in
themselves_ we may doubtless conceive them as homogeneous and
continuous, but not as unlimited, for no actual magnitude is unlimited;
all magnitude is expressed in numbers, and numbers are necessarily
finite, an infinite number involving a contradiction.

We will not enter into a question here mooted by the author, leading to
what Leibnitz calls the labyrinth of the continued (_Labyrinthus
continui_), or of invisibles; we will content ourselves with pointing
out that the reason here given is not by any means in conformity with
the ideas of Kant--indeed, that it contradicts them. In fact, our author
here applies to the two forms of sensibility the objection that Kant
raised only about real things and the sensible world. The world, indeed,
being composed of parts, can only be conceived as infinite by adding
these parts to each other, and by thus supposing the actual reality of
an infinite number. But it is not so with space, which, not being
composed of parts, is consequently not representable by numbers. "There
is only one single space, there is only one single time," says Kant. The
notion of space is therefore not formed by the infinite addition of
small portions of space and time. These are unities, not numbers. Hence
illimitableness is given with the very intuition. "Space," says Kant,
"is represented as a given infinite magnitude," _als eine gegebene
unendliche Quantität_. Now, so soon as the infinite is _given_, instead
of _being made_ by a mental addition, it seems to us that the above
difficulty vanishes.

Let us pass to the notion of substance and to that of cause. These two
notions are necessary to render possible the connection of phenomena in
the human mind. Our perceptions are, in fact, diverse; if they were only
diverse, and had no unity, there would be no passage from one phenomenon
to another; consciousness would arise and disappear with each
phenomenon, to arise and die anew with the next, and so on. But then
there would be no thought, for in order that thought should exist there
must be at least two different things presented to the unity of
consciousness. In other terms, we should be incapable of perceiving a
changing thing without something that was changeless. Hence this is a
necessary condition of knowledge. Now, let us see whether this condition
can be rendered objective. According to our author it cannot, for if we
subtract from surrounding things all the phenomena that fall under the
domain of the senses, what remains? Nothing. Common-sense, indeed,
believes in substance, but does not mean thereby an abstract and
metaphysical entity, it means the whole of what strikes the senses; when
the phenomenon is opposed to substance nothing is meant but that a new
phenomenon has just added itself to preceding ones. Wood burns; here
wood is the substance, combustion the phenomenon. This is how
common-sense understands the matter; but if we separate from the idea of
wood all that characterizes it as wood, nothing remains but a pure
abstraction, of which common-sense takes no account, and has never so
much as thought. Our author further combats the idea of substance by
appealing to the metaphysical difficulties that it suggests. Is there
only one substance, or are there several? Either hypothesis is equally
difficult to sustain. In other words, substance is nothing more than
that law in virtue of which the mind connects phenomena in one and the
same act of thought.

Here, again, we are obliged to say that the preceding arguments against
the objectivity of the notion of substance are, in our opinion, far from
conclusive. In the first place, it seems to us a false philosophical
method to exclude an object from the human mind because it suggests
difficulties that we are incapable of solving. Every object must be
presented to us as existing before we can judge of the possibility of
that object. Perhaps we do not possess the means of solving all the
questions which the existence of an object may suggest, but this is no
reason why it should not exist. The existence of things cannot be
subordinated to the limits of our understanding; it is this very
principle which seems to us soundest of all in the "Kritik" of Kant.
Even should we be for ever incapable of knowing whether there is one
substance or whether there are many, even should we be for ever doomed
to doubt as to this point, it would not follow that the existence of one
or of many substances were thereby done away with. Moreover, the
criticism of our author goes much further than the imperilling the
objectivity of substance; it really bears against the very notion
itself. If, in fact, every phenomenon being withdrawn, nothing remains
any longer in my mind, it is not merely objective substance that
vanishes, it is the notion itself. What, indeed, is a notion which,
analyzed, comes to naught? And what is this necessary law which is a
nonentity? Our author tells us that if we remove all the accidents there
remains "nothing perceptible to the senses." This is mere tautology, for
it is too evident that nothing sensible ought to remain in the notion,
all sensible accidents having been withdrawn; but what does remain is
that without which phenomena could not be connected. And this is no
empty concept, for how should an empty concept have any uniting power?
And, lastly, when the author, correcting himself, as we think, says that
the notion of substance reduces itself to what he calls a "fundamental
phenomenon," he does nothing but change the word, and in reality reverts
to what we call substance. For in what sense does anything
fundamental--that is to say, that to which other phenomena ultimately
reduce themselves, and which cannot be reduced to any other--still
preserve the name of phenomenon? All this, therefore, is but admitting
under one name what has been denied under another.

The criticism of the notion of cause is quite similar to that of the
notion of substance. It is a notion necessary to the mind, for just as
without substance there can be no mental connection between simultaneous
phenomena, in the same way without cause there can be no connection
between successive phenomena. Causality is the necessary law that
connects each phenomenon with its anterior conditions. Without this law
there could be no science, no induction, no experience. It cannot,
consequently, be derived from experience, since it is the very condition
of it. But do we seek to render cause objective as well as substance? If
so, we must understand it in a different sense. Cause is no longer
merely a phenomenon anterior to another, the antecedent of a consequent.
It is something quite different, it is force, the active power, that
initiates the movement, and of which we find the type in our own
consciousness. Hence, to render cause objective is nothing less than to
spiritualize the universe, to suppose everywhere causes similar to
ours--it is a kind of universal Fetichism. And, further, we fall into
the same difficulties as we did with regard to substance. Is there only
one cause or many causes? Lastly, causation thus understood is of no use
whatever to science, for science has no need at all of metaphysical
forces, that which is necessary to science, and employed by it under the
name of force, being a measurable quantity which it disengages from
phenomena and from experience.

On this new ground the difficulty that confronts critical idealism is
the same as that affecting the notion of substance. It lies in
defending the position against empiricism, from which are borrowed all
the arguments against the reality of the cause, while attempting,
nevertheless, to preserve the notion of it. How succeed in retaining as
an _à priori_ law what empiricism declares to be only an acquired habit?
How explain a law of mind imposing a determined order on external
phenomena? How can the entirely subjective need of relation determine
phenomena to produce themselves in the order desired by our
intelligence? The thunder rolls: my mind, in virtue of an innate law,
insists on this phenomenon being connected with a certain totality of
antecedent phenomena--namely, heat, the formation of clouds charged with
electricity of different kinds, the meeting of these clouds, and the
combination of the two electricities, &c. How and why have these
phenomena produced themselves in order to satisfy my mind? Our author
somewhere reproaches the partisans of innate ideas with supposing ideas
on one side and phenomena on the other. How can he exonerate Kant's
system from this objection? No philosopher ever insisted more than he on
the opposition between matter and form, the former being, as he says,
"given _à posteriori_," the latter ready prepared _à priori_ in the
mind. No philosopher, not even Leibnitz, has more radically separated
sensibility which is passive from the understanding whose principle is
spontaneity. How do these two opposite principles happen to agree? Even
were it pointed out that our senses themselves are innate, since our
sensations are but the manifestation of the specific activity of each
one of them--light, of the optic nerve, sound, of the acoustic--it still
remains certain that our sensations are only subjective as regards their
content and not as regards their origin; they arise in virtue of causes
to us unknown. How should understanding, by aid of a purely mental law,
and in order to its own satisfaction, evoke sensible phenomena from
nothingness, and if it had such a power, it could only be in virtue of
an active force, that is, of a veritable causality? You say that you
require relation, without which there could be no knowledge. And why
must there be knowledge because you feel the need of it? And why should
there not be in the understanding a need of unity and relation that
sensibility does not satisfy? To say that the mind at the same time that
it thinks the law produces phenomena conformable to that law, is to make
the mind itself the cause in the objective and metaphysical sense of the
word--is no other than that universal spiritualism that the author began
by refuting. We are therefore very far from admitting his criticism of
the principles of causality. Let us go on to the notion of the absolute.

M. Liard begins very properly by pointing out the confusion too often
made between the notion of the infinite and that of the absolute. He
says that the infinite can only be strictly understood in the
mathematical sense, but that hence, as Leibnitz has said, the true
infinite is the absolute. He admits the existence in the mind of the
notion of the absolute in so far as it is inseparable from that of the
relative. The Scotch philosopher, Hamilton, had endeavoured to suppress
this notion, and had reproached Kant for not having completely exorcised
the phantom of the absolute,[2] and for having retained it in the
character of _idea_ while contesting its objective existence. It is
remarkable that on this point, so decisive for metaphysics, Hamilton
should have been opposed and refuted by the more modern English
philosophers, who often pass for having pushed the critical and negative
spirit further than he, when, indeed, on this point it is just the
contrary. Herbert Spencer especially is one whom it is interesting to
consult here. He maintains against Hamilton the notion of the absolute
as positive, not negative, "as the correlative notion of the relative,
as the substratum of all thoughts"--I quote verbally--"as the most
important element of our knowledge."[3] He also maintains in opposition
to Hamilton that the affirmation of the absolute is "a knowledge and not
a belief." Only according to him this object that underlies all our
thoughts is absolutely indeterminable by us. We know that it _is_, not
_what_ it is. It is the incomprehensible, the unknowable.

M. Liard seems to us substantially to admit all these conclusions.
"Existence by others," he says, "is not to be understood without
self-existence." "Without the spur of the notion of the absolute, how
comprehend the obstinate persistence of the human mind in transcending
the limits of the relative? Is not this a proof that the relative is not
sufficient to itself?" It is one thing to affirm the absolute, another
to determine its nature. Even granting that we be powerless to speak as
to the essence of the absolute, and that it can never be for us other
than the indeterminable and unknowable, "is it nothing to be assured of
the existence of an unknowable? At all events religious beliefs might in
default of scientific certainty find in an irremovable basis this

We see therefore that our author agrees with Mr. Herbert Spencer in
granting the existence of the absolute; he does not seem to reduce it,
as Kant does, to a mere idea. He confines himself to saying that it
cannot be determined. He shows that none of the notions that have been
previously examined can fill up the concept of the absolute. Neither
space, nor time, nor substance, nor cause, nor the totality of
phenomena, can be raised to the notion of absolute. It is therefore
indeterminable. Now, as the absolute is the proper object of
metaphysics, it follows that metaphysics lack an object, having nothing
to say thereon. Hence it is self-condemned, and consequently metaphysics
is not a science.

Such is the conclusion of the second part. The first appeared to raise
us above phenomena by establishing the necessity of thought and of its
fundamental law. But the second confines us within the domains of
thought, and forbids us to go beyond. There is, indeed, a science of
thought, but this science is criticism, not metaphysics. Have we, then,
only escaped from positivism to fall into the abyss of scepticism?

Before explaining in what manner the author has endeavoured to escape
from this abyss, there is room for an important remark on the previous
discussion as to the notion of the absolute. Scepticism on this point
may assume three forms. Either, first, we do not even possess the notion
of it, our notion is entirely negative,--the absolute is the
non-relative, is indeed the relative with a negation: such is the view
of Sir W. Hamilton. Or else, secondly, we have the notion of the
absolute, of being in itself and by itself, of the superlatively real
being, _ens realissimum_, as Kant expresses it, but it is only a notion,
we cannot affirm the existence: this is Kant's doctrine. Or, thirdly, we
have indeed a positive notion of the absolute, and we necessarily affirm
its existence, only we are unable to determine its nature: this is the
conclusion arrived at by Herbert Spencer. Now, of these three doctrines
the two first alone, in our opinion, belong to what may be called
criticism. The third is manifestly a return to dogmatism. The more or
less of determination in the notion of the absolute is only the second
problem of metaphysic; the first is the existence of that absolute. And,
moreover, the doctrine of the divine incomprehensibility has always been
maintained by the greatest metaphysicians as well as the greatest
theologians. All mystics incline to it. There may therefore be room for
debate as to the more or less approximative character of our concepts of
the absolute. That any of these are adequate, or absolutely adequate, is
what no philosopher has ever thought himself obliged to maintain. No
doubt, to define the absolute as the unknowable, is to express the
doctrine under a very rigorous form, but one could hardly refuse to
allow the absolute to be the incomprehensible.

Consequently, then, if the author, as appears to be the case from the
passages we have quoted, thinks with Mr. Herbert Spencer that the notion
of the absolute corresponds to an existence, and if he contents himself
with maintaining its indeterminability, we may, if we like, consider
this to be a singularly attenuated metaphysic, but we are not entitled
to deny that it amounts to a departure from criticism and a return to
metaphysic. If, on the other hand, criticism does at least suppose one
fundamental datum,--thought, namely, and with the thought the
thinking,--we are still forced to grant to Descartes, and consequently
to metaphysic, the existence of the thinking subject; and hence that
science which our author declares not to be one would be found already
in possession of the claim by the single fact of what he has called the
criticism of two fundamental postulates: I think, I am--I think the
absolute, the absolute is. And is this then nothing?

We are therefore of opinion that M. Liard ought to have concluded the
second part of his work as he did the first--that is to say, that he
ought to have shown the insufficiency of criticism as he did that of
positivism. To our mind, criticism supposes metaphysic, as positivism
supposes criticism. Metaphysic contains the reason of criticism, as
criticism does that of positivism. Instead, then, of saying that
metaphysic is not a science, we should rather call it the culminating
point of science. But in place of following this natural order, which
is, indeed, only his own method, our author has preferred to prove
criticism right in the second part of his book, and metaphysic right in
the third, by a sort of _saltus_, not contained in what goes before. He
has chosen to appear nearer to Kant than he really is; has chosen to
carry on his own evolution in Kant's manner, and to rebuild on different
bases what he had demolished; but we shall see that this evolution is in
reality quite different from that of Kant, and that his justification of
criticism is only apparent, or at least if he defends it, this is really
only in order subsequently to undermine it.


Kant's evolution, which makes dogmatism to result from scepticism, was
an entirely moral evolution, substituting for speculative the authority
of practical reason. The evolution we have now to deal with is of a
quite different character; it consists in passing from objective to
subjective knowledge, from the object to the subject. Even if all that
has been just said on the side of criticism were true, there is at least
invariably one existence that remains untouched by it: this existence is
that of the thinking subject, and this existence is incontestable. What
appears to us as a circle to the circumference are objects, in the
centre is the subject. We do not confound ourselves with our sensations,
we distinguish between them and ourselves. Can, then, this consciousness
of the thinking subject be no more than the transformation of external
events? No; for all exterior events reduce themselves to one--_i.e._,
motion; and all interior events to one--_i.e._, thought. There is no
transition or transformation possible between one of these phenomena and
the other. "We acknowledge," says a distinguished savant, Professor
Tyndall, "that a definite thought and a molecular action of the brain
occur simultaneously, but we do not possess the essential organ, nor
even a rudiment of the organ we should require in order to pass by
reasoning from the one to the other." Thus, then, the subject exists and
is not reducible to the object. Shall we say that this subject is
nothing more than a sum of phenomena? But what adds up these phenomena?
A common bond is needed. Have we any consciousness of such a bond?
"Yes," replies our author, "we call internal states of consciousness,
past, present, or possible; we attribute them to ourselves, we say that
they take place within us. What does this mean if the _ego_ to which we
refer them is only their succession? How comprehend the continuity of
consciousness?" In a word, our author admits absolutely that the _ego_
has a consciousness of its own being, as distinct from its sensations
and from external objects. "It is," he says, "an activity constantly
modified, but yet always one, which dominating its states refers them
to the unity of one same consciousness."

Here, then, we have, without possibility of mistake, the fundamental
doctrine of the spiritualistic philosophy of Descartes, Leibnitz, Maine
de Biran, and Jouffroy. By laying down this principle the author
believes himself enabled to reinstate that metaphysic which criticism
had condemned. We, for our part, have no doubt of this; but we fail to
see how the author can at the same time hold this principle and the
Kantian principle of idealism. The "Kritik" of Kant bears upon the
subject as well as the object; according to it both the one and the
other are unknowable and incomprehensible noumena. The human mind is but
a complex compound of sensations and categories, the unity of which is
reached by the same process as the unity of external objects. No doubt
Kant is, indeed, obliged to concede something to the _ego_, the _cogito_
as he calls it; but he does not very clearly say what it is; it is not a
substance, not a category, not a result. "It is," says he, "the vehicle
of all categories." What can be more vague? The metaphor shows both how
little disposed Kant was to assign its due part to the _ego_--how vague
and uncertain he left it, and at the same time how he was forced to take
it into account. The _ego_, the active, continuous, self-conscious
_ego_, is the rock ahead to Kant's philosophy. For how dispute the
consciousness of substance and of cause, when one admits "a continuous
activity dominating all states of consciousness and reducing them to

What, then, is substance, according to our author? It is, he says,
something that does not change considered as the necessary condition of
that which changes. What is cause? Is it not the power of initiating any
given movement? Now, this same consciousness which gives us the _ego_ as
a continuous activity, does it not in so doing give it us as the
condition of phenomena and as the productive cause of movement in
voluntary efforts? Consequently, to grant that the _ego_ knows itself as
_ego_, and as activity, is in point of fact to restore the notions of
cause and substance which had been done away with. At most all that has
been gained from criticism is the difficulty of comprehending substance
and cause without objective, that is, material form. Its results, then,
amount only to the incomprehensibility of matter. But the cause of
metaphysic is not to be confounded with that of matter; metaphysic is
not tied to the existence of materialism; and were it even led in
self-defence to deny the very existence of matter altogether, one does
not see that such a negation need cost it much. Descartes did not
hesitate to place the existence of bodies in doubt, in order to save the
existence of spirit. Malebranche did not believe that the existence of
bodies could be proved except by revelation. Leibnitz did not think that
bodies were more than phenomena, the reality of which was spiritual.
There is, then, no common cause between the interests of metaphysic, or
of what Kant calls _dogmatism_, and the question of material
objectivity, which may be left open without compromising the
fundamental basis of things. How, then, can our author appear to assign
the victory to criticism while in reality depriving it of its chief
support by restoring to the _ego_ the immediate consciousness of itself
as a being, one, active, permanent, and continuous? Kant may have played
this game, because, in effect, outside of criticism, he only admits
moral reasons for reinstating dogmatism. But although our author follows
him too on that ground, he nevertheless enters in point of fact upon an
entirely different path when he invokes immediate consciousness as a
guarantee of the existence and activity of the mind. These are not moral
and practical, but metaphysical reasons. Metaphysic, then, independently
of morality, has its own proper foundation, which, far from being
affected by criticism, is the very foundation of criticism itself. This
foundation once admitted, are we entitled to declare metaphysic no
science? We hold that we are not. Doubtless, if by science be meant an
absolutely adequate knowledge of the object, such as mathematics
affords, metaphysic cannot pretend to such knowledge; but we have here
only a question of degree. The perfection of a science is not the same
thing as its existence. A science is what it is by reason of the
difficulties its objects present, and the imperfections of its method;
but it is science none the less if it possesses a given object and a
solid foundation. Now, such a foundation is admitted by our author when
he admits the intuition of the _ego_ by itself; and hence it is no
longer a mere question of words to refuse the name of science to the
series of deductions that may be drawn from a principle which has been
admitted valid.

If our author grants the foundation of metaphysics by adhering to the
Cartesian principle of the immediate knowledge of the mind by itself, he
at the same time acknowledges its most elevated term by defending the
existence of an absolute perfection, a supreme type of spirituality. "If
in ourselves," he says, "relatively perfect ideas realize themselves in
virtue of their relative perfection, why should not the total perfection
from whence they are derived exist? There is nothing contradictory in
such an absolute." Is not this to admit the doctrine of the perfect
being as the Cartesian School has constantly expressed it? but is it
enough _to_ say that the total perfection _may_ exist, enough to inquire
why it should not exist? Should we not go further, and say with Bossuet,
"On the contrary, perfection is the reason of being." Here we are forced
to allow, in the views, or at all events in the expressions of our
author, a fluctuation and uncertainty which now impel him towards the
critical, and now towards the metaphysical position, without his
arriving at a sufficiently decided conclusion. "The absolute," he says,
"would then be the ideal of moral perfection. But by such a definition
do we not compromise its reality?" To which doubt he replies that the
"true reality is precisely the ideal." Now, this is an equivocal and
obscure reply, demanding explanation. No doubt the reality claimed for
the perfect being is not a sensible and material reality. But there is
another than material reality--there is a spiritual, such as is
manifested to us in the reality of consciousness, in the immediate
activity and intuition of our being. We may, indeed, style this sort of
existence _ideal_, in opposition to material existence; but the
expression is incorrect, for that which, properly speaking, is an ideal
existence is one merely represented to the mind when thinking of
something that no longer exists, does not yet exist, nor ever will
exist. Now, the question is, whether the moral absolute, of which we
have just had the definition given, belongs to the first or to the
second of these ideals; whether it exists for itself, or only for us, in
so far as we think it, and while we think it. For a mode of existence
like this, dependent on our own thought, is very far from being the
supreme reality; it is only a modal and subjective reality. Thus our
author, we see, expresses himself too uncertainly. Nevertheless, his own
principles sufficiently authorized him to declare himself with more
precision. Indeed, we have seen, on the one hand, that he, with Mr.
Herbert Spencer, affirms the existence of the absolute; and, on the
other hand, that he acknowledges the concept of total perfection to be
in nowise contradictory. Granting so much, must not absolute perfection
be the reason of the existence of the absolute, as relative perfection
is the reason of the existence of the relative? If, however, any choose
to call that supreme perfection the _Idea_, with Hegel--as Plato calls
it the _Good_, Aristotle the pure _Act_, Descartes the _Infinitely
Perfect Being_--we have nothing to object, so long as it be clearly
understood that the _idea_ shall signify the identity of the thought and
the being, and not merely a subjective conception of the human mind.

To sum up: it results from what has been already said, that spite of his
powers of thought, the author has not been able to escape a certain
fluctuation between criticism and spiritualism, and has only arrived at
a contradictory compromise between the two conceptions. From criticism
he borrows the ideality of the notions of space, time, substance, cause,
and the idea of a moral absolute founded on purely moral motives. From
spiritualism he borrows the existence of the absolute as the necessary
correlative of the relative, and the consciousness of the subject which
perceives itself in its continuity as the cause of its phenomena; and,
finally, the idea of a total perfection, which may, without involving
any contradiction, have the reason of its existence in itself. These two
orders of conception are not so closely connected as they should be; too
much is conceded to criticism, too little to metaphysic; and M. Liard
inclines overmuch to give to morality the exorbitant privilege of
deciding between the two.


But is this equivalent to saying that we blame our author for his
enterprise, and for the attempt he has made to reconcile criticism with
dogmatism? By no means; for we are inclined to believe that this is the
very aim that all metaphysic should set before itself at the present
day. How, indeed, could we possibly admit that so powerful, so lofty an
intellectual effort as that initiated by Kant, which under the name of
criticism, of subjective or objective idealism, or even of positivism,
has but been the development of his primary thought; that so prodigious
a mental movement as this should be absolutely void of meaning, and
destined to leave no trace in science? How believe that since the days
of Descartes the human intellect has gone mad? Would not this be to
express ourselves in the same way as those who, including Descartes
himself in this condemnation, have maintained that since St. Thomas the
whole course of human thought has been only one long error? Can there be
anything more contrary to the laws of the human mind than this
hypothesis of absolute truth discovered once for all, leaving no room
beside it for anything but error? And besides, what more did Kant do
than, under the form of a system (a defective form, no doubt, but
hitherto the only one known to philosophy)--what more, we ask, did he
than develop and render prominent what had been implicitly contained in
the teaching of all preceding metaphysicians? Had not they all assigned
a share in human consciousness to the subjective and relative, and very
often a larger share than we are led to think, if we only regard their
conclusions? Has there, for example, been since the days of Plato a
single metaphysician who has denied the knowledge of the senses to be
relative, and has the full scope and bearing of this principle been
accurately measured? Can that be denied which has been scientifically
demonstrated, which Descartes already affirmed, _i.e._, that light and
sound--Nature's two great languages--are only the products of our
physical organization, and that outside of the eye that sees, and the
ear that hears, there is nothing external to us but a series of
vibrations and undulations, which are neither luminous nor sonorous?
Reduced to itself, without the presence of men or animals, matter is
merely darkness and silence! What sort of matter may this be, and how
little resembling the one we know? But is not, it may be said, the
reality of that matter attested at least by resistance, by impact? The
reality--yes; but is the very nature of the external thing, as it is in
itself, manifested thereby? What is impact, what is resistance, if not a
mode of our sensations? To be assured of this, we have but to turn to
all that metaphysicians teach us as to the nature of God. All agree in
saying that God has no sensations. If God be cognizant of matter, as is
indubitable, it follows that He does not know it through sensations
similar to ours. The _argumentum baculinum_ which appears so convincing
to Sganarelle, would be powerless with regard to a pure spirit, still
more an infinite spirit. Now is not this as much as to say that impact
is the mode of action bodies exercise on each other, and by which
sentient beings are made aware of their existence, but that it is a mode
purely relative to the sensibility of finite beings? Say that, we at
least admit with Descartes the reality of extension. But what is the
real size of the extended things by which we are surrounded, and which
according to the shape of our lenses we see enlarged, diminished, or
even distorted in a thousand ways? Were it to please God, as Leibnitz
has said, to collect the immensity of worlds into a walnut-shell, while
preserving the proportion of objects, we should never find it out; and
such diminution might be carried on infinitely, without ever reaching
any term of smallness. 'We grant it,' will be the reply--'all sensible
knowledge is relative; Plato, Malebranche, Leibnitz, have sufficiently
told us this; but above the senses there is the understanding, which
alone is made for truth. Our senses give us the appearance of things,
our understanding makes us see them as they are in themselves.' Nothing
more true, and this is the basis of metaphysics. But the question is, to
what point the understanding is separated and separable from
sensibility, and reciprocally, to what point sensibility enters into the
understanding. Is there anything in us which can really be called
understanding pure? Understanding--yes; but pure--no! Man cannot think
without images, says Aristotle; this alone demonstrates that our
understanding is always obliged to sensibilize its most abstract
concepts. Moreover, between pure concepts and the data of sensibility
there is still a debatable and obscure region--that, namely, of space
and time. And here it is that Kant has made his mark ineffaceably. It is
by so doing that he renovated metaphysics. He believed, thought, that
both these domains belonged to sensibility and not to intelligence, that
they too were only modes of representation--that is to say, modes purely
relative to the nature of our mind. On this point also traditional
metaphysics came to his support, at least as regards time. For is it not
said by all schools whatever that God is not in time, that He is an
eternal _Now_, that past and future are nothing to Him? Is it not this
conception which is constantly appealed to as affording the solution of
the conflict between divine prescience and human liberty? Now to affirm
that God is not in time, and that He sees all portions of time in one
sole and eternal present, is not this as much as to say that time is
only the mode of representation of finite beings with regard to
themselves; that, consequently, it is an image belonging to their
finitude, but not to what they are in themselves, since God, who must
see them as they are, sees them in an absolutely and radically different
manner? Let us add another difference between the human and divine
intelligence, pointed out by Bossuet, when he said, "We see things
because they are, but they are because God sees them." Therefore in God
intelligence is anterior to things, in us posterior. Now, though we can,
through artistic creation, form some idea of an intelligence anterior to
things, the analogy is, after all, a coarse one, since in us creative
imagination only deals with materials borrowed from without. Hence it
follows that our intelligence is but a very imperfect image of the
divine. Now, as the latter alone can be the type of veritable
intelligence, we can only attribute to ourselves a relative
intelligence, subordinated to the conditions of the creature. But does
not this amount precisely to saying that we only see things in a
subjective and human manner, and that, consequently, we do not know them
as they are in themselves? Let us go further still; let us raise
ourselves to conceptions of the perfect being, the divine being. Here,
too, all metaphysicians agree in acknowledging that we have only an
entirely relative view of the Divinity. Is there one who admits that we
can, without anthropomorphism, understand literally all the attributes
that we impute to the Deity? Has not God Himself defined Himself in
Scripture as _Deus absconditus_, and does not the doctrine of mysteries
in every great religion imply that the true essence of the Deity is
unknown to us, and that, consequently, the philosophic doctrine of the
attributes of God is a purely human conception, by which we strive to
represent to ourselves the unrepresentable, and to bring within the
grasp of our sensibility and our imagination the august and sublime
notion that confounds all created substance?

This is what we are taught by all metaphysic doctrine whatever, and not
only by that of Kant, Plato, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Descartes,
Malebranche, Leibnitz, Fénelon: all alike teach us that the senses are
but a confused and relative knowledge, that space and time are modes of
finite existence, that God can only be conceived of by analogy, and not
in His essence. Are such conceptions as these very different from those
of Kant? And if he has taken them up again under another form, if by
isolating he has exaggerated them, his is the merit of having brought
them into prominence, of reminding us of them, and forcing us to assign
them a more important place in our doctrines. Despite the warnings of
the greatest minds, and of all great minds, are we not ceaselessly
tempted to yield to the automatic instinct which makes us believe things
to be as we see them, makes us suppose the existence of a matter, solid,
coloured, sonorous, cold, or hot, such as the senses acquaint us with;
makes us believe in an absolute space and time, with which we no longer
know how to deal when we think of the true Absolute; makes us conceive
of this true Absolute or Goodness as of a species of great man, that we
strip of a body, without even reflecting whether we have really the
power of representing to ourselves anything absolutely incorporeal? It
is against this vulgar current dogmatism, which philosophy has so much
trouble in getting rid of, that not only Kant, but every metaphysician,
protests. Kant only expounded, under a rigorous and systematic form, all
the critical portion of previous metaphysics. To us it seems
impossible--with more or less reservation, and without insisting at
present too rigidly on the share of the relative and subjective in human
knowledge--impossible, we say, not to allow this share, and
consequently, in a certain measure, not to give in our adherence to
transcendental criticism and idealism. There is, however, as we have
seen above, something which escapes from this relativity of all human
knowledge: it is the very fact of knowing. This fact has in itself
something absolute. I know not whence it comes, I cannot explain it; I
marvel that a being should be met with in whom at one time or other what
we call knowledge has appeared; but this fact cannot exist without being
known by the knower. All knowledge supposes, then, a subject that knows
itself--that is to say, who is internally present to himself. Here
knowledge comes from within, not from without. Whatever is objective can
only _appear_ to me, and is consequently a _phenomenon_. I only see its
outside, and it is only in relation to myself that I can grasp even that
outside. But the conscious _ego_ sees itself from within. Shall we say
that it appears to itself? I am willing to say so, but as it appears to
itself that appearance is a reality, for the form that I give it is my
own form. In order that it should become _me_, _I_ must be _me_. Every
other object has to be given in the first instance before it is
perceived; in order that I should see a house, a house must be there. It
is not so with the _ego_. For if at the moment it is given me it is not
already me, how is it to become so? How shall I know it as such? And if
it be already me, it is already perceived as such. Hence it follows that
the external thing may be represented without being, as happens in
sleep, while I cannot think without thinking myself, or think myself
without existing. All subjectivism, all relativism, all criticism,
therefore, are baffled in presence of the _ego_.

It is from this solid and immovable foundation laid by Descartes at the
entrance of science that we may set out to extend the sphere of our
knowledge. Everything, it is said, is relative. What matter if that
relative be connected by precise and fixed relations with the unknown,
if that which is given be a strictly faithful projection of that which
is thought? For instance, we do not know the souls of other men in
themselves, we have never seen a soul such as it is in itself; those
even which are dearest to us are unknown like the rest. But if we
suppose all the signs by which they manifest themselves to be sincere,
is it not to know them truly and in the only way intelligible to us, to
hear their voices, and understand their words, and interpret their
actions? No doubt nothing external to ourselves can be known internally
by us; but if the exterior be the expression of the interior, is not the
one the equivalent of the other? And to ask more would amount to asking
to be more than man. Science teaches us that all appearances have a
fixed and precise relation to reality. The visible apparent sky is
strictly what it ought to be to express the real sky. The deeper our
knowledge of things goes, the more we see the perfect conformity of the
apparent to the real, the more faithfully do phenomena translate
noumena. Are we not, therefore, justified in supposing that these
relative noumena, which are still no more than appearances, could be
translated in their turn, if only we had the key to them, into other
noumena of which they are the form and image? I may say the same about
the anthropomorphic representations of Deity. I admit that the Absolute
is in its essence above all human representations. But these
representations, when we disengage them as much as possible from all
sensible elements, are none the less the true expression of that
incomprehensible essence in so far as it appears to a human
consciousness. If not God in Himself, it is God in relation to me; and
it is with only this last that we have to do so long as we are but men.

We do not, therefore, consider it impossible to assign to the critical
element its part in metaphysic without denying the objective reality of
knowledge. We think that the famous old distinction between being and
phenomena, the intelligible and the sensible, still endures, despite the
"Kritik" of Kant; or rather, this very "Kritik" itself is, in our eyes,
only a hyperbolical but striking manner of expressing this great truth.



[1] We already endeavoured to make this philosophy known at its earliest
appearance, by an article that appeared in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_
of the 19th October, 1873, under the title, "A New Phase of
Spiritualism." We are now dealing with the most recent form of this new

[2] Hamilton's "Discussions: Cousin, Schelling."

[3] Herbert Spencer's "First Principles," First Part p. 18.


When a Professor of _Political Economy_ was first established in the
University of Oxford, a controversy presently arose in the academical
common rooms concerning the just meaning of the phrase. Among elder and
conservative men, the most active-minded insisted that it ought to
receive the full width of meaning attached to it by Aristotle in his
Treatise on Economy, which, with him, was essentially the economy of the
State--that is, in pure Greek, _political_ economy, although this
epithet is not annexed to his title. By this interpretation, the science
naturally and necessarily became implicated with moral considerations,
which never can be excluded from the statesman's view. But the actual
students and professors of the new science--eminently Mr. Nassau Senior
and Dr. Whately, shortly afterwards Archbishop of Dublin--naturally
feared that by such an interpretation political economy would become
confounded with politics; would, indeed, cease to be a science; and by
so great an enlargement of its area, would fail to receive that special
and definite cultivation which Adam Smith had bestowed on it, as the
theory of national wealth. Whately indeed, to avoid this inconvenient
extension of the sense, proposed to call the topic, not political
economy, but _Catallactics_--that is, the science of exchanges.
Excellent in many respects as the last title was, it might have seemed
to exclude the whole doctrine of taxation, and still more decisively all
discussion of Malthus's theory of population, which belongs to politics
or to morals, not at all to the doctrine of exchange. In the end, the
economists ruled that their science does not at all teach what _ought_
to be, but simply what _is_, what _goes on_, and _will go on_, as an
inevitable result of individuals holding exchangeable right in definite
articles. Thus they seemed to have driven moral considerations out of
their science, as much as out of gardening or medicine. To call their
political economy, on that account, _heartless_ (as so many have done)
may seem ridiculous; but this form of attack on it arose from a
perception or belief that its professors were claiming for it an
_imperative_ force, while disclaiming morality, and were assuming that
it was a sufficient and supreme rule for political action.

Of late it has been maintained on a special ground that moral
considerations cannot wholly be excluded from political economy. Dr. W.
B. Hodgson, first holder of a new chair in Edinburgh as Professor of
_Mercantile_ Economy, has urged that, in so far as morality or
immorality in individuals affects wealth and the markets, we do not
exhaust the discussion on exchanges while we neglect this consideration.
Perhaps indeed no one, in discussing taxation, has omitted to consider
what taxes lead to fraudulent evasion or to smuggling; but economists
hitherto, with great unanimity, have resolved that, in their character
of economists, they will not notice moral evils from an opium trade, or
from sale of deadly weapons and ammunition, or from traffic in
intoxicants; nor can one in general discover from their writings that
they know vice to be wasteful, or national expenditure on needless and
foolish objects undesirable. They have a right to select what topics
they will treat, and what they will not treat. They have a right to say:
"Such and such considerations belong to morals, not to _our_ political
economy." But, on the one hand, if they are resolved that their science
shall be as unmoral as engineering or navigation, they must not claim
for it any decisive weight in State-politics; on the other hand, the
topics which they neglect need, so much the more urgently, to be treated
by others, especially since we have no professors of practical morals,
and (for more reasons than one) questions of the market are not thought
suitable to the pulpit.

That an exchange of one thing for another does, on the whole, _please_
both parties to the exchange, is evidently testified by the fact that
each acts voluntarily; hence, the inference is too lightly made that
each is _benefited_ by the transaction. Not only so, but from an
increasing magnitude of exchanges increase of wealth is inferred,
without any reference to the nature of the things exchanged. In a rough
estimate, this reasoning has, no doubt, a _primâ facie_ weight, for we
may not dictate to the tastes of others, nor assume that tastes which
are not ours are therefore silly. Yet, evidently things which perish in
the using quickly cease to be wealth, and things which are not likely to
be approved continuously cannot long command the same high price. No
article could fetch a price at all if it were not intended to be
enjoyed, used, or consumed; the final purchase is called expenditure,
and all expenditure is liable to moral judgment, approving or censuring.
When we censure expenditure, not merely because it is excessive, but
because it is essentially foolish or evil, we necessarily deplore and
deprecate the traffic which feeds it--the traffic which it encourages;
hence, some vicious trades are even forbidden by law. Short of this,
there is necessarily a large margin of trades which law does not, and
perhaps cannot successfully, forbid, which nevertheless may be justly
regretted, censured, and, as far as may be, discountenanced. Economists
are not here blamed if they (disowning moral considerations) do nothing
of the kind; but they must not be allowed to blind us to the fact that
some trades, not forbidden by law, are so far from promoting wealth and
weal as to be gravely pernicious. To rejoice in their magnitude, to
announce it triumphantly as a proof of national prosperity, is something
worse than a mistake.

No reader, it is believed, will complain that the last sentence is
mysterious or obscure. Our manufacturers of cotton and woollen have of
late loudly deplored the falling off of their home trade, while the
consumption of intoxicating drink continues to increase. They believe
that if the labouring classes spent less on the brewer and distiller,
they would spend more on the clothier. The most fanatical devotee of
alcohol cannot deny that too much of it is drunk, in face of the
long-continued avowal of the judges that drink is by far the greatest
cause of crime--drink, short of evident and provable drunkenness.
Indeed, it is not from those who are outright drunk, but from those who
have been drinking, that the worst and most numerous outrages come,
while the foot and the eye are steady, though the brain and the passions
are perverted. To boast and rejoice in the magnitude of the drink
traffic, legal as it undoubtedly is, has no moral defence. The topic is
here adduced, not in order to push that argument further, but in order
to insist that the mere increase of a trade does not _in itself_ denote
an increase of wealth; is not _in itself_ necessarily a thing to be
applauded either by the economist or by the moralist. In each case we
must look into detail, and consider whether this or that prosperous
trade, like a huge weed in a garden, dwarfs or kills other growths,
which, but for it, might thrive.

An avowed ardent disciple of Mr. Cobden--a gentleman in some eminence of
place and rank--has recently dissuaded taxes on wine and tobacco for the
sake of revenue, _not_ on the ground which one might expect--viz., that
a Government ought not to base a revenue on what may chance to be public
vice, _but_ on the ground that "the grower of wine in France and of
tobacco in America" can reasonably refuse to trade with us, if "we will
not accept payment in _the only coin_ which he has to offer--namely, in
his wine or his tobacco."[4] As if we were not competent to reply: "Of
wine and tobacco we quickly get more than enough. Preserve your grapes
in sawdust, or make them into raisins, and you will not find our people
averse to enjoy them, nor will you encounter any unreasonable duty from
our Custom-houses. As to tobacco, surely the rich land which alone can
raise it, can raise no end of other products which we are certain to
value." This well-informed writer, in his whole argument, seems to
account wine the only food-product which we receive from France (to
silks and elegant articles he once slightly alludes); but he cannot be
ignorant that the solid food which France sends us in eggs, cheese,
butter, vegetables, chickens, and dry fruit is enormous; she would in
ordinary years send us wheat, did not America, Russia, and Australia
make it needless. To speak of wine as _the only coin_ of France is a
wonderful straining of argument. But the reason for quoting it here is
to illustrate how completely the School of Cobden wishes the State to
ignore moral considerations in trade. Yet the State deserves no
reverence, if it be not moral. Laws and enactments, framed by minds
reckless of morality, are apt to be, on the one side unjust and
oppressive, on the other eminently corrupting. A State which gains
revenue from a vicious trade, such as gambling and debauchery,
demoralizes its people so effectually as to deserve reprobation rather
than reverence. According to the ancients, the lawgiver begins to
civilize society and to earn veneration by establishing marriage and
sanctifying the family. Are we to say, "We have changed all that now;
let the Church care for morality: it is no concern of the State?" Who
first taught such sentiment as wise policy, it is not easy to say; but
it certainly has, in practice, if not in theory, attained a deadly
currency. It never was the doctrine of Adam Smith. It is obviously a
sure road to ruin, if its development be unopposed.

A legislator, of course, ought not to guide his enactments by the
morality of any one school. If, in Greek fashion, we were to set up an
Epimenides, a Solon, a Lycurgus, as plenipotentiary to start us in a new
course, there might be some little danger of one-sided and conceited
morals; yet not much, even so; for a very one-sided or very stupid man
would hardly be elected: every lawgiver wishes his new institutions to
be permanent, and is sure to have some regard to the friction which they
would encounter in working. But where the legislation must have
sanction, not from one man, but from a thousand men, of whom six hundred
are elected from different circles of mixed ranks, from diverse
localities, where forms and schools of religion, based on variety of
thought, prevail, it is evidently impossible that in the laws
collectively approved any moral ideas should dominate, except those
which are common to all who are morally cultivated. To dread moral
considerations in the debates of an English Parliament, lest the
morality prevailing in its laws become one-sided and arbitrary, pedantic
and ascetic, is so baseless, so wanting in good sense, as scarcely to
seem sincere. When people tell us, "We shall be liable to have laws
against dancing and cardplaying, or laws compelling us to go to church,
if we insist that legislation ought to study for the public virtue,"
they not only make themselves ridiculous, they even force us to suspect
that they fear lest vice be repressed in ways inconvenient to the
vicious. So much is premised, lest it be imagined or pretended that in
pointing at moral limits to beneficial commerce any morality is desired
less broad than that which all noble and well-reputed schools
accept--the morals of mankind. At the same time, what is here advanced
is intended to bear less immediately on law than on the general tenor of
public opinion and practical writing.

Many economists write, as assuming that it is a step forward in
civilization when a barbarous people learns artificial wants. If a New
Zealander, instead of being satisfied with a mat for his back, which,
made by himself, will last him for years, betakes himself to an English
coat, which he must buy with a price,--which indeed less effectually
shields him from wet, and sooner wears out,--he does that which is
convenient to the English trader, but to him is a very doubtful gain:
perhaps rather he brings on himself colds, cough, and consumption. If a
thousand Maoris did the same, the commerce might figure in a Maori
budget, and a Maori economist might point to the new trade as a step
forward in national prosperity. The Zulus, as described by Englishmen
who have travelled in Zululand or lived in the midst of them in Natal,
are an upright, generous, faithful, honest race; and strange to say,
Englishmen, who have such experience of them, are found to corroborate
the utterance of Cetewayo, "A Zulu trained by a missionary is a Zulu
spoiled"--that is, when trained in our habits they lose their national
virtues. How can this be? why should it be? Apparently, because from us
they learn artificial wants. While an apron suffices a Zulu for
clothing, and a very simple hut for shelter, he can in many ways afford
to be hospitable and generous. A man with very few wants has all the
feelings of superfluity and wealth while surrounded by possessions so
slender that we count him very poor: and when with an amount of toil
which to his hardihood is not at all severe, he can always calculate on
providing for himself and family all that their simple habits need, he
is not deterred from present generosity by studying for his own future.
But if he learn to covet and count necessary a number of articles which
require from him threefold labour, he feels himself no longer rich, but
poor; then, instead of giving small favours gratuitously, he claims to
be paid for everything; instead of being princely, he becomes mercenary
and stingy. If he imitate the dress, he is liable to envy the wealth of
the Englishman, and in schemes of laying up for the future he easily
becomes avaricious, perhaps fraudulent. Such are the steps by which one
may justly calculate that some or many barbarians degenerate from the
normal goodness of their fellows. The artificial wants which they learn
when housed with our missionaries, or imbibe from the crafty allurements
of traders, are not (_primâ facie_) a benefit at all, do not conduce to
independence, to the sense of wealth, nor to the practice of virtue.
They are simply a convenience to the European trader. If a Maori or Zulu
chief frown upon such trade, which judgment does he deserve--to be
scolded as barbarous, or to be praised as sagacious? With them, perhaps
also with us, to account but few things necessary is a foundation for
many virtues. Our economists often reverse the picture.

No stress is here laid on the fact that the historical saints of
Christendom thought it an excellence to be satisfied with a minimum of
external appliances for the comfort of the body. So much of arbitrary
opinion may be imputed reasonably to them, and so much of fancy and
credulity to their biographers, that it does not occur to the present
writer to account their practices or principles any support to his
argument. But the case of Socrates, and many other Greek philosophers,
is different, and much to the point. With them, high thought, cheap
feeding, and mean circumstantials frequently went together; and perhaps
even those philosophers, who were somewhat mercenary and rich, would
vehemently have renounced the idea that it is a good thing to acquire
habits and tastes which make necessary to us things previously needless.
But there is danger of drawing the reader's thoughts into a new channel
by this allusion to Greek philosophers when an argument of national
economy is chiefly intended, not of personal virtues. As it is better
for an individual to be satisfied with supplies that are sufficient,
close at hand, and easy of attainment, than to have fastidious tastes
which cannot be supplied without considerable effort and labour, so it
is better for a nation to have a taste for its native products, so far
as our lower wants are concerned. If we can get all that the health and
strength of the body needs from our own soil, and with small
expenditure, this is better for us than to be enslaved to artificial
tastes, which multiply labours for mere bodily supply. To fix ideas, let
me illustrate the principle here contained by discussing those popular
beverages, tea and coffee.

Tea undoubtedly, as superseding beer, cider, and wine, has wrought much
benefit to England, even if it have been (when heavily taxed) dearer
than our native intoxicants. When taken with little food, in strong and
frequent cups, it may often have weakened the nerves; but it does not,
like alcohol, pervert the brain and inflame the mind, thus leading to
folly, vice, and crime. The present writer is, and always has been, a
tea drinker; nor have the many assaults on this beverage which have been
sent to him shaken his belief that, taken in moderation, it has no evil
comparable to its good. The present argument does not aim to prove that
tea is in itself bad, only that the too-exclusive addiction to it has
hurtfully excluded the trial of native beverages, which are perhaps
better, certainly cheaper, and far more accessible.

Rigid enemies of alcoholic drink often assure us, in poetical and
ecstatic language, that water is the only reasonable and right drink for
man, as for other animals; but the water which they recommend and
describe as gushing and sparkling in mountain rills does not come to the
hearth and home of every mountain dweller, much less is it attainable by
the inhabitants of cities or boggy plains. The hardy beasts of the
field, if they can get the water pure, manage to endure its coldness in
all seasons; so perhaps might we, if we could recover robustness of the
stomach without losing any advantage of a developed brain. That such
recovery is impossible is not here asserted, but simply that, under the
existing circumstances, the water (through its impurities or its
coldness) often needs to be cooked, to be warmed, to have then some
taste superadded which shall overcome mawkishness. When this is
conceded, the question arises, will no native botany suffice? Are we of
necessity driven to import tea from China or Assam? Such are the
wonderful and deep harmonies of Nature that in each long-inhabited
country the constitution of animals becomes adapted to its plants as
well as to its climate, and finds among them not only its food, but its
remedies for disease. Native herbs are often found more health-restoring
than pretentious foreign drugs; nor is it extravagant to imagine that
native leaves and berries might adapt themselves as well to the palate
of Englishmen as tea and coffee, and better to their stomachs, if,
instead of buying from the foreigner, we had duly studied our home
resources. In the case of coffee, it curiously happens that there are
persons among us who prefer what is called dandelion coffee to the
coffee of Arabia; and that the preference is sincere seems proved by the
accident that the dandelion thus prepared is dearer than the best Mocha.
Nor does this dearness weigh against our argument. Twenty years ago
brown bread was charged by bakers as fancy bread; ten years ago lentils
were double their present price; in each case because the demand was so
uncertain. The price of dandelion would quickly come down if it were in
large and daily request. As substitutes for tea many leaves may be named
which will not be called simply medicinal, prominently those of the
sweet bay, the peach, and the black currant. If we were by any cause cut
off from tropical markets, some combination would soon be discovered
which carried off public preference; and when a national taste in it had
once been established, every good purpose would have been attained
without the foreign article. Should we not in that case moralize with
wonder over the vast apparatus of great ships, which had been built, and
manned, and stored, and sent to sea, with loss of sailors' lives,
entailing widowhood and orphanhood, for no better reason than to bring
back leaves, for which adequate substitutes abound at home? This
argument undertakes not to prove, but to illustrate. It is not specially
confined to the case of tea or coffee. It does not make positive
assertion that we can now change the English taste, nor does it urge a
transition which would be violent, if at all sudden. It merely points to
reasonable probabilities, as showing that a vast trade with a distant
country to gratify an artificial want, if it prove how much we can
afford to spend without being ruined, yet does not at all prove that we
enrich ourselves by the exchange. At the same time, so great is the
facility for making drinks, that we might assume higher ground and press
our argument farther. The deliciousness of Oriental sherbet is no matter
of doubt or controversy. Its basis is simply barley-water; to flavour
it, the foreigner, of course, uses some of his own fruits, but we have
plenty of substitutes at hand, at least while sugar abounds to us. It
may be warmed, if necessary: so little need we depend on the Chinese.
Besides, some among us are satisfied with, and warmly applaud, the drink
prepared from simple oatmeal. If we all had this taste, we should
nationally be richer.

It may be retorted, "Did you not name _Sugar_? Do you advocate making
sugar of beetroot?" But no general renunciation of foreign commerce is
for a moment here suggested as expedient. While we can bring sugar made
from cane, and save our lands for other uses than beetroot, we presume
this commerce to conduce to wealth. Not but that we may suspect the
cheapness of sugar to conspire with other causes in slackening our zeal
for _Honey_. Bees do not occupy and use up arable land. An abundance of
cottage gardens and little rockeries satisfy them. Their depredations do
not lessen the sweetness of flowers, nor the savour of herbs. They add
to our wealth, at very small expense. They greatly add to the
fertilization of plants. By all means let us get from the foreigner what
we need; only let us not therefore neglect and forget our native

In other and greater matters a like topic recurs. When the controversy
against the Corn Laws was at its height, the advocates of repeal were
taunted with wishing to explode native wheat. They replied, "Wheat is
now largely sown in England where the climate or soil is unfavourable;
in such fields only, the culture will be discouraged; where it can be
produced and ripened with greater certainty it will still be grown, and
the price will no longer be forced up; the lands less suited to wheat
may well yield, either some other grain in rotation, or other needful
crop." Valid as this reply seemed, grand and glorious as are the results
of opening our ports to foreign corn, the retrospect of thirty years
nevertheless suggests new lines of thought. Want of food in Ireland when
the potato crop failed was the argument which converted Sir Robert Peel;
but the desire of selling cotton and woollen fabrics, or hardware, to
those whose "chief coin" was wheat, gave an earlier impetus to the
Anti-Corn Law League. Cobden and his associates were in the right, and
performed well the task of the day; but the existing state of our
agriculture is now discerned to be highly unsatisfactory. Every year
widens and deepens the conviction that our laws of Land Tenure are
fundamentally wrong; indeed, they are diverse from those of all the
world; if they are not signally better than those of all other nations,
they are gravely and lamentably worse; and the idea now presents itself,
that the temporary relief given to us by the free importation of wheat
has proved a buttress to an evil system of land laws, and has blinded us
to the essential evils contingent on a perpetual increasing ratio of the
population in great towns to that of the rustic districts. Much
wealthier, no doubt, we are, and our poorer classes are less
hard-worked. To dwell on the drawbacks through higher expectations,
artificial wants, higher prices of coal, bricks, and houses--not to
mention worse matters--might lead into too long digression. But, to
bring out the idea here pointed at, we may speculate as to the results
which must have followed, if no foreign markets had been able to give
us permanent supplies of necessary food. Suppose that barely we had been
able in 1847 to save from starvation as many poor Irishmen as we did
save, but that in succeeding years the United Kingdom had been cast on
its own resources for grain and cattle; will any one maintain that by a
proper use of the land we could not have fed our own population?

If any one is of that opinion, let him consider the phenomena of French
agriculture. A century ago France seemed unable to feed her inhabitants.
Thousands of the population died of starvation, even the king's own
servants. Misery among the peasants and the poorer classes in towns was
universal. No one imagined that the country could afford to export food,
or had any idea of its vast capacity of production. Her climate is not
now superior to what it was; her area is somewhat enlarged by the
sagacious plantings on dunes of sand; the soil is improved by a
century's tillage; the produce is more valuable, because the peasants
have been taught many secrets of fruit culture. Most important of all,
millions of peasants are owners of small freeholds. The "magic of
property" has made them industrious, saving and ever vigilant to
increase and improve the crops. We in England censure and deplore the
compulsion on a French parent to divide his petty freehold and his gains
equally among his children. If this be a grave evil, yet so much the
more remarkable are the marvellous results of the union in one man of
landlord, farmer, and labourer: for we see that by the universal and
untiring industry which this fact elicits, not only were the great
extravagances of the Second Empire and its wars sustained, but, in spite
of the scarcely calculable losses of the Franco-German war, the fine of
two hundred and fifty millions sterling, which France had to pay, was
paid within four or five years, while a larger army than ever was raised
and maintained. No one can dispute that the unexampled buoyancy of
French finance is due mainly to the sound conditions of French landed
tenure. Ireland, Scotland, and England all await a similar development,
and never can be satisfied without it: but we have postponed the day of
necessary reform by buying our food of almost every kind, in dangerous
amount, from foreign countries, while our own arable land goes back into
grass and pasture.

And what reply does the Right Hon. John Bright make, when addressed with
a claim of reformed landed tenure? His name is here adduced for honour,
as an eminent type of the Cobden School; but the habitual reply is,
"Good! we are in favour of Free Trade in land:" as though Free Trade
were in itself a charm which can scare away all evils; as though the
existing freedom to accumulate land to any extent by purchase were not
one of our greatest mischiefs. Men cannot live in the air. Land for a
dwelling is as essential as air and water. Land is very limited in
quantity, especially land conveniently situated, with favourable
conditions. Land primitively belongs to a nation, and no man naturally
has any right to more of it than he can himself cultivate and use. Large
landed estates are a vast power, social and political. Their possession
was originally in England an official trust, coupled with political
duties and customary dues in payment: but without right of ejectment
while those dues were paid. The commercial idea of land is a perversion
and abuse. Those who fancy that the abolition of entails and
primogeniture and whatever makes conveyances expensive, will bring about
the desirable reform, boast that their remedy will hoist up the market
price of land; in other words, it would make an effective purchase by
the State more and more difficult, more and more burdensome to the
community. Nay, it might even delay the necessary reform, until the
patience of a nation under a landlord Parliament broke down, and such a
revolution followed as that of France under Louis XVI. As there is a
moral limit to the magnitude of beneficial commerce with the foreigner,
much more is there a moral limit to the beneficial magnitude of landed
estates. Happily some despots are philanthropic; yet we are not in love
with despotism. Some great landowners are philanthropic: higher honour
be to them! but we must calculate that very many will covet power over
all who reside on the estate, and will use the power not always kindly;
or will employ it as a political engine to win state-offices and
salaries for their families; others, more directly and unblushingly
mercenary, will think chiefly how to raise rent, and will forbid both
crops and inhabitants, if wealthy lovers of occasional sport outbid
ordinary farmers. If from mere pride and love of the romantic a landlord
make his estate a wilderness, the nation still suffers the damage. Its
population is cooped into towns or driven into exile, its markets are
starved, its military force is lowered. While the Cobden School
pertinaciously connives at these great evils, and juggles with the
phrase "Free Trade" as if land were an article which ought to be on the
same footing as moveables, they are playing into the hands of their
nominal adversaries.

The first measure which we need is not one which shall facilitate the
purchase of new and new estates by the over-wealthy, who, if they are
not gamblers or otherwise vicious, often know not what to do with their
vast incomes; but much rather a measure which shall set a maximum area
for estates. The mildest thing to do is, not in the first instance to
pass any new _Act_, but only a resolution or _Vote_ of the Commons,
declaring that it is against the public interest for any individual to
possess more than a thousand acres of rustic land, or more than five
acres of town land; and that whoever bequeaths to one person more than
the above-named, ought to be subjected to a heavy and special land tax.
In the same direction we need other special votes of the House, to the
effect--that by legislation, by purchase, and by taxation the recovery
of the national soil for the nation from year to year ought to be
systematically pursued, wherever now held in large masses by bodies of
men or by individuals; and that in order to give to cultivators the full
results of their own industry, it is expedient that the State, out of
its own present or future domains, carve out numerous small farms to be
held under it as by copyright tenure, not subject to rise of rent.
Space does not permit further detail, or reply to objections; but the
idea intended is to work in the direction of _virtual_ freeholds, ever
increasing in number, which cannot be bought out of the hands of the
cultivators by tempting prices from the rich, because they are legally
State property, and destined to remain as areas of small culture. By
buying up from time to time the lands possessed by large charities, by
legacy taxes directed to discourage bequests of land in great mass, and
by direct purchases of land or rather by taking the legacy tax in land
itself, the State would beneficently in the course of many generations
undo the injustices and frauds of the past.

Land is so far from being a desirable object of unlimited commerce
(called by the Cobden School Free Trade), that, especially under the
modern interpretation which makes the lord (or chief man) _owner_ of the
land, the most jealous limitations ought to be imposed on it by the
State. So long, indeed, as a man holds no more of it than one family can
cultivate, jealousy is needless; for the holder (especially if he pay a
quit-rent for it) is sure to cultivate it, and cannot offend by
excluding population. Town land ought, as soon as possible, to become
town property; and, meanwhile, as early as possible, all town building
to be subjected to a public veto for sanitary reasons. To make away into
mercenary hands, as an article of trade, the whole solid area on which a
nation lives, is astonishing as an idea of statesmanship. There is
another matter connected with land as to which the State may justly feel
great jealousy--namely, as to the consumption and exportation of
material which cannot be reproduced. It is said that Sicily, under the
Romans first, was largely deteriorated by the perpetual exportation of
corn, exhausting even very fertile soil. Ireland in the past may have
suffered by the constant sending out of cattle and pigs, with no
back-current of commerce to restore all that their bones and flesh took
out of the earth. Virginia and other States of the American Union
largely ruined their soil by unceasing exportation of tobacco and other
products. But to come closer home, no crops of coal can be grown in
England and Wales. We reap where we have not sown, where we cannot sow.
We export in enormous mass what we cannot reproduce. We allow
individuals to become, out and out, proprietors of the national coal,
and then sanction their unlimited exportation of it, with the high
probability that this may cripple industry in the near future of
England. This surely is a commerce, the benefit of which is very
doubtful even in a cosmopolitan view. It may seem better to stimulate
other nations to search for coal on their own soil than to use up what
we cannot replace. And as for some other articles of immense commerce,
as tobacco, it may seem doubtful which nation loses more by it--the
importers or the exporters. Surely in all these cases the quality of the
things bought and sold must be considered carefully, before we regard
the magnitude of any trade a national benefit or a source of national

    F. W. NEWMAN.


[4] "Reciprocity," by Sir Louis Mallet, C.B., 1879: Printed for the
Cobden Club.


At the present time, when theologians and those who have most aptitude
for such discussions are arguing "in thoughts more elevate" of the
soul's future life, and its rewards and punishments therein, the
pre-historic student is tempted to let _his_ thoughts wander backwards
over a different aspect of the same subject, in an effort to link again
the chain of belief concerning heaven and hell, which joins this present
with a long-forgotten past. The difficulty which we feel in uniting
ourselves in thought with past ages, arises surely more often from the
imperfection of our sympathies than from the deficiency of our positive
knowledge. So many questions which were once new have long been settled,
so many experiments have been tried, such experiences have been lived
through since then; it is so impossible that the earlier conditions of
life and society should return; and we cannot bring ourselves to make
the effort of imagination necessary to place us in harmony with bygone
times. But there are some few questions which seem as far from
settlement now as they ever were; one of these is the question
concerning the destiny of man after death, the character of his journey
into that undiscovered country, and the sort of life he will lead when

    "A riddle which one shrinks
    To challenge from the scornful sphinx."

Some would dissuade us from the continuance of these (so they say)
unfruitful speculations; but it is very certain that man must change his
nature before they will lose their fascination for him; and until he
does so, he cannot read without sympathy the guesses which past
generations of men have made towards the solution of the same problems.
For them, indeed, these solutions have lost their interest, as ours will
soon do for us. Whatever lot that new condition may hold in store,
eternal pleasure or eternal pain, they have tried it now; whatever
scene the dark curtain hides, they have passed behind it. This is very
certain: as that we soon must. But so long as we remain here upon this
upper earth, we must be something above or below humanity if we refuse
ever to let our thoughts wander toward the changes and chances of
another life.

Not, indeed, that questions of this sort have ever had for the majority
of men in one age, or for the collective mass of human kind, an
all-absorbing interest. If we choose to look closely into the matter,
and to test men's opinion as it is displayed in their actions (the only
real opinion), we shall at first perhaps be struck by the slight belief
which they possess in a future state. For it is slight compared to their
"notional assent," that which they think they believe concerning it.
With the majority, faith upon this point is at best but shadowy, of an
otiose character suitable for soothing the lots of others, and
sometimes, alas! called into requisition to relieve us from the stings
of conscience on account of the pain which our own misconduct or neglect
has introduced therein. And as it is with us, so, save under exceptional
conditions, it has always been with men in the full vigour and enjoyment
of life. There have been times when one aspect of the future--its
terror--has been realized with an intensity, and has exercised an
influence upon life and conduct, such as is unknown in our days. But
these times have not been ordinary ones, and we are apt, I think, even
to over-estimate the force of faith during the Middle Ages. That term,
"dark ages," overrides our fancy; "we can never hear mention of them
without an accompanying feeling as though a palpable obscure had dimmed
the face of things, and that our ancestors wandered to and fro
groping."[5] But, then, neither have the most light-hearted and
sceptical of people been able to shut their eyes utterly to the warnings
of death. We are wont to think of the Greeks as of just such a
light-hearted, and in a fashion sceptical, temperament, and to contrast
the spirit of Hellas with the spirit of mediæval Europe. Scarcely any
thought of death, or of judgment after death, disturbs the serenity of
Greek art, such as it has come down to us. Thanatos is not to be
found;[6] even the tombs are adorned with representations of war and of
the chase, or with figures of the dancing Hours. And yet Greek art was
not without its darker side. It had, like mediæval poetry, its
Dante--Polygnotus, namely--who adorned the pilgrims' house at Delphi
with frescoes representing the judgment and the tortures of the
damned,--a Greek Campo Santo. He would have given us a different
impression of the Greek mind in presence of the fact of mortality, and
shown us how easily we are led to exaggerate the divergence in thought
between different nations and different times.

So we find as far back as we can test the belief of men, certain
theories touching the fate of the soul after death, which represent, in
the germ at least, the prevalent opinions of our own day; and out of
some of which these opinions have sprung. First among these, probably in
point of time, stands the purely sceptical theory which takes its rise
from the earliest efforts of language to give expression to the unseen.
Casting about for a name for the essential part of man, the life or soul
of him, language finds at first that it has no suitable word, and then
supplies its want by using the breath--the ψυχη, _spiritus_--in this
sense. Like the vital spark itself, the breath is seen to depart when
the man dies. Whither has it gone? The purely negative, the purely
sceptical answer would be, "It has disappeared." The answer actually
given in most religious creeds is, "It has gone to the unseen _place_,"
or the concealed _place_; as the Greeks said, to Hades (Ἀ-ίδης); or, as
our Northern ancestors said, to Hel.[7] Thus, out of pure negation we
have the beginning of a myth: the _spirit_ becomes something definite,
and the place it has gone to is partly realized. The unseen place is
underground, gained by a dark valley which stretches there from the
upper earth. Enough of the old belief remains to keep this home of the
dead itself dark and shadowy and lifeless. "The senseless dead, the
simulacra of mortals," as Homer says. And we remember how even a hero
like Achilles "would rather be on earth and serve for hire to a man of
mean estate, than rule a king among the dead."

The same thought is expressed by the Hebrew poet,[8]

    "Sheol shall not praise thee, Jehovah,
    The dead shall not celebrate thee;
    They that go down unto the pit shall not hope for thy truth;
    The living, the living, shall praise thee, as I do this day."

No people have held up this _destructive_ side of death, this negative
theory of a future, with sharper outline than the Greeks and Hebrews.
What a contrast to the teaching of modern religions is that line, "They
that go down unto the pit shall not hope for thy truth!" Other people
have found themselves unable to rest at this point; they have endowed
their place with a personality, but, still strongly impressed with its
horrors, this personality is grim and fearful. Even with the Greeks,
Hades is a person, not a place; with the Teutons, Hel has gone through
the same transformation: and a thousand other images of horror to be met
with in different creeds, devouring dragons, dogs who, like Cerberus,
threaten those who are journeying to the underground kingdom, can be
shown by their names to have sprung from merely negative images of
death, the unseen, the coverer, the concealer, the cave of night.

In contrast therefore with all these myths stand those which, after
death, send the soul upon a journey to some paradise, believed generally
to lie in the west. If these first are myths of hell, the second series
may be fairly described as myths of heaven. Nor can it be certainly
proved that the more cheerful view of the other world is of a later
growth in time than the first which seems so primitive. We see
indications of it in the interments of old stone-age grave mounds. While
among historical people the older Hebrews are the exponents of the
gloomier Sheol, the most hopeful picture of the soul's future finds
expression in the ritual service of the Egyptians. There we have a
complete history of the dead man's journey across the Nile and through
the twilight region of Apap, king of the desert, until at last it
reaches the home of the sun. And, to come nearer home, among all those
peoples with whom we are allied in blood, the Indo-European family of
nations, we shall find the evidences of a double belief, the belief in
death as of a dim underground place or as a devouring monster, and the
contrasting faith in death as a journey undertaken to reach a new
country where everything is better and happier than upon earth.

This is the myth of an earthly paradise, not, like our heaven,
disconnected altogether from the world, but a distant land lying
somewhere in the west, and forming part of the imaginary geography of
those times: so the belief is, more than others, a realistic one,
mingling with the daily experience of men and influencing deeply their
daily life. The necessary portal of death is even sometimes lost sight
of altogether, as when in the Middle Ages we find men undertaking more
than one expedition in search of the earthly paradise, and when we find
the current belief that in certain weathers was visible from the west
coast of Ireland that happy island to which St. Brandon and his
disciples had been carried when they left this world. For this reason,
though the notion of the western paradise is essentially the same for
all the human race, its local colouring constantly varies, changing with
the geographical position of each people: if they change their homes and
advance, as they will probably do, towards the land of promise, it moves
away before them, as the rainbow moves from us. The Egyptians had their
myth of the soul's journey, drawing all its distinctive features from
the special character of their land, chiefly from the commanding
influence which a great neighbouring desert exercised upon their
imagination. But for our ancestors, the parents of the Indo-European
races, the place of the desert was supplied by the sea.

The most probable conjecture has fixed the cradle of our race in that
corner of land which lies westward the steep range of the Beloot Tagh
mountains, an off-shoot of the Himalayas, and northward from the high
barren land of Cabul. This country, the ancient Bactriana, is the most
habitable district to be found anywhere in Central Asia. There the hills
stretch out in gentle slopes towards the west, and enclose fertile
valleys, whose innumerable streams, fed by the mountains east and south,
all go to swell the waters of the Oxus, now called the Jihon. Farther
north lies another fruitful country, watered by the Jaxartes, separated
from the first by a range of hills much inferior to those which divide
both lands from Yarkand and Cashgar on the east, and from Cabul on the
south. Both the great rivers empty themselves into the Sea of Aral,
between which and the Caspian, sharply cutting off the fertile country
from that sea, stretches the Khiva desert, a barren land affording a
scanty nourishment to the herds of wandering Turkic tribes. There is
good reason to believe, however, that this desert did not always exist,
but that in times not extraordinarily remote the Caspian Sea, joined to
the Sea of Aral, extended over a much larger area than it at present
covers: it is known even now to be sinking steadily within its banks.
With such a contraction of the great sea the desert would grow by a
double process, by the laying bare its sandy bed and by the withdrawal
of a neighbouring supply of moisture from the dry land. So it may well
have been that the fruitful territory wherein in remotest ages were
settled our Aryan ancestors, stretched so far west as to border upon a
large inland Asiatic sea. It has even been conjectured that the turning
of so much fertile land into desert was the proximate cause of those
migrations which sent the greater part of the Aryan races westward--to
people, at last, all the countries of Europe. The root which is common
to the European languages for the names of the sea, means, in the Indian
and Iranian languages, a desert: how can we account for this fact better
than by supposing that after the European nations had left their early
home, their brethren, who remained behind and who long afterwards
separated into the people of India and Persia, came to know as a desert
the district which their fathers had once known as the sea?

Thus, these ancient Aryans stood with their backs toward the mountains
and their faces toward the sea. All their prospect, all their future,
seemed to be that way; when their migrations began they were undertaken
in that direction--towards the west. Most important of all in the
formation of a creed, their sun-god, or sun-hero,[9] was seen by many of
them quenching his beams in the waters; the home of the sun is always
likewise the home of souls. What more natural, nay, what so necessary,
as that the Aryan paradise should lie westward beyond the sea? It has
been said just now that the Indian word for desert corresponds
etymologically with the European word for sea: that word must have been,
in the old Aryan, something like _mara_, from which we get the Persian
_mĕru_, desert, the Latin _mare_, the Teutonic (German and English)
_meer_. But from identically the same root we likewise get the Sanksrit
and the Zend (old Persian) _mara_, death, the Latin _mors_, the old
Norse _mordh_, the German _mord_, our _murder_, all signifying
originally the same thing.[10] What, then, does this imply? The word
which the old Aryans used for sea they used likewise for death. How
would this be possible, unless this, their first sea, were likewise the
sea of death, the necessary stage upon the road to paradise?

It might have been expected that such a connection of ideas would have
endowed the sea with an entirely terrible character, precluding any
attempt to explore its solitudes, or the lands which lay beyond. It has
been already said that as a matter of experience we find that the
_earthly_ paradise often comes to be realized so vividly that men lose
the fear which should attach to any attempt at finding it. They were not
religious, heavenward-looking men who, in Mr. Morris's poem, set out in
quest of the happy land; and no doubt the bard has been guided by a true
instinct, and that of all those mediæval mariners who were lost in their
search after St. Brandon's isle, none knew that they had found what they
were seeking--Death. The Greeks eagerly cherished delusions of the same
kind; and long before they had summoned up courage sufficient to
navigate the Mediterranean they had invented the myths of their western
islands of the blest, to which yellow-haired Rhadamanthus was taken when
expelled from Crete by his brother Minos, or of those gardens kept by
the daughters of the west,[11] where decay and death could not enter. It
is likely enough that for the Aryans _their_ western sea did long retain
its more fearful meaning, _a death_; but that they at last gained
courage to look upon it only as _the road_[12] to the land of which they
had long been dreaming.

How much more weighty a position the sea takes in men's thoughts than is
warranted by their real familiarity with it! Into the mass of sedentary
lives--the vast majority--it enters but seldom as an experience,
provided a man live only a few miles inland. And yet of all countries
which possess a sea-board, how full is the literature of reference to
this one phenomenon of physical nature! The sun and the moon, and all
the heavenly bodies, the familiar sights and sounds of land, are the
property of all; and yet allusions to these are not more common in
literature than allusions to the sea: one might fancy that man was
amphibious, with a power of actually living _upon_, and not only _by_,
the water. Charles Lamb acutely penetrates the cause of a certain
disappointment we all feel at the sight of the sea for the first time.
We go with the expectation of seeing all the sea at once, the
commensurate antagonist of the earth. All that we have gathered from
narratives of wandering seamen, what we have gained from true voyages,
and what we cherish as credulously from romances and poetry, come
crowding their images, and exacting strange tributes from expectation.
Thus we are imbued with thoughts of the sea before we have had any sight
of it ourselves, merely by the sea's great influence acting through the
total experience of humanity. "We think of the great deep and of those
who go down unto it: of its thousand isles, and of the vast continents
it washes; of its receiving the mighty Plata, or Orellana, into its
bosom, without disturbance or sense of augmentation; of Biscay swells
and the mariner--

    "For many a day and many a dreadful night,
    Incessant labouring round the stormy cape;

of fatal rocks and the 'still-vexed Bermoothes;' of great whirlpools and
the water-spout; of sunken ships and sumless treasures swallowed up in
the unrestoring depths." We must not narrow the influence of the sea in
mythology within the compass of man's mere experience of it. Few among
the Aryans lived by the Caspian shore; but the Sea of Death appears in
one form or another in the religious belief of all the Aryan people. The
tradition of the sea, its real wonders, and greater fancied terrors,
must have passed from one to another, from the few who lived within
sight and sound of the waters to others quite beyond its horizon, to
whom it was not visible even as a faint silvery line.

It is natural that, in early myths, no accurate distinction should have
been drawn between the sea and rivers with which the Aryans were
familiar. The Caspian was imagined a broad river bounding the habitable
earth, the origin of the Oceanus of the Greeks; and the sea of death is,
in its earliest form, a river of death. All after-forms of mythical
geography, moreover, such as we find among Indians, Greeks, or Norsemen,
are but graftings upon this central idea. As the Aryans changed their
homes, the new experiences gradually blotted out the old. The Greek
transferred his thoughts about the Caspian to the Mediterranean, and
when his geography extended, the Oceanus was pushed farther and farther
away, until the later Euhemerist geographers came to confound it with
the Atlantic. Thus it is but by accident that we give to ocean the
meaning which it now bears. The first ocean was the mythical river which
flowed round the earth, and the real physical forerunner of the myth was
not the Atlantic or any of our oceans, but the Caspian Sea as it
stretched before the eyes of the ancient Aryan folk.

The Norseman, especially the Icelander,[13] lived so close to the ocean,
that the older myth was forgotten beside the aspect of nature so
familiar to him. In the middle of his earth stood a high mountain, on
which was a strong city, Asgaard, the house of the Æsir or gods. Below
Asgaard lay the green and fruitful earth, man's home. Then outside
flowed or lay the great mid-earth ocean, just like the Greek ocean in
character, despite all differences of climate and country. At other
times the mid-earth sea is personified as a devouring monster,
Jörmungandr ("great monster"), the name of the mid-gaard serpent who
lies at the bottom of the encircling sea, shaking the earth when he
moves.[14] Beyond, lies the ice-bound land of giants--Jötunheim, giant's
home--dark like the Cimmerian land, and peopled with beings as weird and
terrible as the Cyclops or the Gorgons.

Gradually the myths of the river of death and the sea of death from
being one became two. The second was confined to those nations who lived
upon the sea-shore, and lost in great part its early shape; but neither
Indians, Greeks, nor Norsemen forgot the myth of the mortal river. The
Indian retained it singly; for when his turn for wandering came, he
passed over the eastern mountains and reached a land where no sea was
any longer to be seen or heard of. In the mythical language of the
Vedas, the mortal river is called Vaitera_n_i; it lies "across the
dreadful path to the house of Yama,"[15] the god of Hell.

From the belief in the river of death no doubt arose also the practice
of committing the dead to the care of the sacred Ganges; for just as the
Hindus kindle a funeral fire in the boat which bears the dead down this
visible stream of death, so used the Norsemen to place their hero's body
in his ship, and then having lighted it send it drifting out seawards
with the tide. In conjunction with that thought of the other world which
placed the final resting-place in a dark kingdom underground, the river
is seen in Greek mythology transferred to Hades; but it is multiplied
into four, which have all grown out of one, inasmuch as they were
feigned to flow out of the upper-earth river Oceanus:--

    "Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;
    Sad Acheron, of sorrow, black and deep;
    Cocytus named of lamentation loud
    Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegethon
    Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage."

These pictures are not quite in character with the Hellenic thought
about the future state. But it is certain that the more gloomy images of
death are preserved in connection with the rivers of Hades, with Hades
itself, and all that it contains. So it is with the northern Styx,
Gjöll,[16] as it is called in the Eddas. This, too, is an underground
stream lying, like the Indian, on the road to the gates of death.

Thus a separation arises between the sea and the river myths. If we wish
for something more cheerful than the pictures of Styx and Gjöll and
Vaitera_n_i, we must look, for the tales of an earthly paradise which
sprang up when men had lost their first terror of the sea, but had not
lost the beliefs to which their earliest thoughts about that sea gave

Such beliefs are those which lie enshrined in the Odyssey. This poem is
full of images of death, but they are not self-conscious ones, only
mythical expressions first applied to the passage of the soul from life,
and then made literal and physical by their transference to the
unexplored western sea. What the Caspian may have been to the ancient
Aryan, such was the Mediterranean to the Greek. The Ægean was his
home-like water; there he might pass from island to island without
losing sight of land; and he soon learnt to trust himself to its care,
and to know its currents and its winds. Long before he had navigated
beyond Cape Malea, all the coasts of the Ægean had become parts of his
familiar world: outside this was the region of the unknown. The Iliad
tells us what the early Greeks thought about the first. Myths may have
mingled with the legend of the fall of Troy, but the story in Homer is
essentially realistic, rationalistic even. The very powers of the
immortals and their doings seem petty and limited. The Odyssey, on the
other hand, is the product of the Greek imagination working in fields
unturned by experience, free from any guiding impulse of knowledge; and
here step in those monstrous shapes and strange adventures which differ
altogether from the probable events of the Iliad. We feel at once that
we are in a new world, a world not so much of supernatural beings as of
magic; lands of glamour and illusion, most like the giant-land of the
Norsemen; for we are getting towards the twilight regions of the earth
and the borders of Hades.

Some writers have attempted to explain the Odyssey as nothing more than
a myth of the sun's course through heaven. But surely there is too much
solidity about the story, too thorough an atmosphere of belief around
it, to suit a tale relating such airy unrealities as those. The Greeks
who first sung the ballads must have been thinking of a real journey
upon this solid earth. But it is easy to see how many images and notions
which had first been applied only to the sun-god would creep into such a
history as that of Odysseus. Undoubtedly the sun-myth had first pointed
out the home of the dead as lying in the west; and nothing is more
natural than that a people whose thoughts and hopes carried them in the
track of the wandering sun should, when they came to construct an epos
of travel, make the imaginary journey lie the same way. They would
interweave in the story such truths--or such sailors' yarns--as
Phœnician mariners or adventurous Greeks brought home from the distant
waters, with many images which had been first made of the sun's heavenly
voyage, and others which had been first applied to death. Their
geography would, indeed, be mythical; for they could have no accurate
notions of the lands which they spoke of; but it would not be without a
kernel of reality. Justin and Augustine may look upon the garden of the
Hesperides or the garden of Alcinoüs as a reminiscence of Paradise;
Strabo may assign them an exact position on the coast of Libya; and both
may be right. The myth of the two gardens--the Hebrew and the Greek
paradises--sprang up in obedience to an identical faculty of belief, and
therefore the two stories are in origin the same. But each myth
supported itself upon so much of reality as it could lay hold of: and it
is likely enough that the famous golden apples which Hercules was sent
to fetch owed their origin to the first oranges brought by Phœnician
merchantmen to Greece.

Besides some such slender thread of reality, the adventures of Odysseus
are built upon what men's imagination told them might lie in the western
seas. Now in reality there was only one thing which at the bottom of
their hearts they believed actually did lie there--namely, death; and
beyond that, the home of the departed. Therefore their stories of
adventure in the Mediterranean do all, upon a minute inspection, resolve
themselves into a variety of mythical ways of describing death; and upon
this as a dark background the varied colours of the tale are painted.
It need take away no jot of our pleasure in the brilliant picture to
acknowledge this. Nay, it gather adds to it, for behind the graceful air
of the poem, sung as a poem only, we hear a deeper note telling of the
passionate, obstinate questionings of futurity which belonged not more
to Greece three thousand years ago than they now belong to us.

Any one acquainted with the genesis of myth would at once be disposed to
see in the Odyssey the combination of two different legends; for one
series of adventures comes as a tale told during the course of the
second. We first see our hero on the island of Calypso, the sea-nymph;
and when Hermes has brought from the gods the command for his release,
he is carried thence by storms to the land of the Phæaceans. There
Nausicaa finds him and brings him to her father Alcinoüs, by whom he is
hospitably entertained, and at last sent back to Ithaca, his home. This
forms one complete legend, the simplest and probably the first, because
_into_ it is woven the account of Odysseus' earlier adventures. In the
halls of Alcinoüs the wanderer tells what happened to him before he
reached the cave of Calypso, and in this narrative we follow him to the
island of the Lotus-eaters, to the island of the Cyclops, thence to the
house of Circe, and from there to the very borders of hell itself. And
we guess that we have here got hold of a later amplified legend built up
out of the earlier myth. We find just such changes as this in Norse
mythology; a story told in a few lines by the elder Edda, is expanded
into an elaborate history in the younger. Looking again more closely at
the Odyssey, we discover that many circumstances in the expanded tale
bear close resemblance to one or other of the adventures in the shorter
category. Take, for instance, the life with Calypso and with Circe. Both
Calypso and Circe are nymphs, enchantresses; each lives alone upon her
island: with each Odysseus passes a term of years, living with her as
her husband, longing all the while to return to his own wife and his own
home, and yet unable to do so: from each Hermes is the deliverer. What
if Calypso and Circe both repeat in reality the same myth; and what if
Odysseus' other great adventure, the voyage to the Phæaceans, have
likewise its counterpart in the expanded story? The question of the real
identity or difference of the two stories can only be decided when we
have seen how much significance there is in the points of their apparent

Who is Calypso? Her name bespeaks her nature not ambiguously. It is from
καλύπτειν, to cover or conceal. She is the shrouder, or the shrouded
place, answering exactly therefore to Hel, which, as has before been
said, comes from the verb _helja_, "to hide." How, then, can Calypso be
anything else than death, as she dwells there in her cave, by the shores
of the sea? How can Odysseus' life with her, his sleep in her cave, be
anything else than an image of dying? The gods have determined that the
hero shall not remain in this mortal sleep for ever; so Hermes is sent
to command Calypso to let Odysseus go. Hermes is the god whose mission
it is to lead souls down to the realm of Hades--the psychopomp, as in
this office he is called. But sometimes he may come upon an opposite
message, to restore men to life; the staff which closes the eyes of men
may likewise open them when asleep. On such a task he comes--

    "Wind-like beneath, the immortal golden sandals
    Bare up his flight o'er the limitless earth and the sea;
    And in his hand that magic wand he carried,
    Wherewith the eyes of men he closes in slumber,
    Or wakens from sleeping."

He comes like the breath of morning awakening the world, to rouse our
hero from the embrace of death; and the whole scene is beautifully
attuned to an image of returning life. Therefore the interference of
Hermes between Odysseus and Calypso is full of significance. We
accordingly meet the same episode in the Circe tale. That this last is a
later widening of the first story appears from many things; chiefly in
this, that there is more moral in the history; for the truest myth is
content to follow the actual workings of nature, without attempting to
adorn a story with extraneous incident, or to convert its simplicity
into the complexities of allegory. That turning the companions into
swine was a punishment for luxury--that points the moral; the original
Circe, we may be sure, only touched her lovers with her sleepy magic
rod. It was the same wand with the "slepy yerde"[17] of Hermes, and she
used it not wantonly but only because all whom she embraces must fall
into the unwakeful slumber. If Circe's name does not reveal her nature
so nakedly as Calypso's does, this is but consistent with the fact of
her later creation. Nevertheless, we easily recognise by it death in one
of its many types--a ravenous animal or bird, a hawk or wolf.[18]

When Odysseus is freed from the fatal embrace of Calypso, he is not at
once restored to the common earth, but from his descent into hell goes
heavenwards, or at least to the happy islands of the blessed. The land
of the Phæaceans, Scheria, can scarcely be anything else than this
Paradise, to which, according to one myth, Rhadamanthus fled from his
brother Minos when he reigned in Crete. The Phæaceans, too, have had
dealings with "yellow-haired Rhadamanthus," whom they carried back in
their swift barques to Eubœa. The name of their island is merely land,
shore;[19] perhaps at first only the farther coast of the sea of death.

    "Far away do we live at the end of the watery plain,
    Nor before now have we ever had dealings with other mortals;
    But now there comes some luckless wanderer hither.
    Him it is right that we help; for all men, fellows and strangers,
    Come from Zeus; in his sight the smallest gift is pleasing."[20]

They live close to the gods, and in familiar converse with them. It is a
place where decay and death cannot enter. In the gardens of Alcinoüs
flowers and fruit do not grow old and disappear; winter does not succeed
to summer; all is one continuous round of blossoming and bearing fruit;
in one part of the garden the trees are all abloom; in another they are
heavy with clusters. There it _is_, as in that wizard's tower of
Middle-Age legend it only _seemed_ to be--

    "That from one window men beheld the spring,
    And from another saw the summer glow,
    And from a third the fruited vines arow."[21]

In name the Phæaceans appear as beings of the twilight--φαίαξ,
strengthened from φαιός, dusky, dim. Their most wondrous possessions are
their ships, which know the thoughts of men, and sail swifter than a
bird or than thought. "No pilots have they, no rudders, no oarsmen,
which other ships have, for they themselves know the thoughts and minds
of men. The rich fields they know, and the cities among all men, and
swiftly pass over the crests of the sea, shrouded in mist and
gloom."[22] Yet the Phæaceans themselves live remote from human
habitation, unused to strangers. It would seem, therefore, that the
ships travel alone on their dark voyages. For what purpose? It is not
difficult to guess. Their part is to carry the souls of dead men over to
the land of Paradise.[23] We can imagine them sailing in every human
sea; calling at every port, familiar with every city, though in their
shroud of darkness they are unseen by men. They know all the rich lands,
for every land has its tribute to pay to the ships of death. They are
the exact counterparts of the "grim ferryman which poets write of;" only
that the last plies his business in the ancient underground Hades, while
the Phæacean mariners are really believed to be inhabitants of the upper
earth; albeit they can pass from this life to the other.

Their business with Odysseus is to bring him back to the common world of
Greece--to beloved Ithaca. He has passed to the cave of Hel, and emerged
from it to visit the land of Paradise; now he returns, that his
adventures may be sung in the homes of Greece. How could men ever tell
tales of that strange country, if it really were a shore from which no
traveller returned? Accordingly, this traveller is laid to sleep in the
black barque of the Phæaceans, "a sweet sleep, unwakeful, nearest like
to death; and as arose the one brightest star to herald the morning, the
sea-troubled ship touched the shore."[24] Thus end the adventures of the
wanderer; and, as far as regards the belief concerning the sea of death,
this is all his adventures can tell us. His doings with the Cyclops,
with the Lotus-eaters, have their relationship with the same belief; but
they scarcely bring in any new elements; they only change the method of
their treatment and symbolize them in a new way. Hades is more
distinctly treated of in the second series; and this is enough to show
us that the mortal character of the whole journey has been lost sight of
more completely than in the first myths; so we noticed before, that the
significance of Calypso's name is half forgotten when her part is
assigned to Circe. The journey to Hades from Circe's island, Ææa,
tallies exactly with the journey to Scheria from the island of Calypso;
only, for the island of the blest is substituted the underground home of
souls; and when Odysseus addresses there his companion, Elpenor, whom he
had but a little while ago left dead on Circe's island, and asks him how
he could have come under the dark west more quickly on foot than
Odysseus did sailing in a black ship, we see that the meaning of the
ocean journey is forgotten, and that a sort of confusion has arisen
between the Hades under men's feet, to which the souls of the dead
descend, and the Hades at the end of the journey lying far away. This
part, then, is not significant of the Greek belief concerning an earthly
Paradise. The learned Welcker, who first showed how these Phæacean ships
were the carriers of souls,[25] wishes also to connect the myth with
some non-Hellenic source. He supposes it to have been gathered from the
Teutons. But surely we are not obliged to go so far, unless we are
prepared to consider Charon non-Hellenic also; and no one can really
pretend that. For the Phæacean myth is in many ways truer than the myth
of Charon and Styx. Styx is but the earth-river (or sea), Oceanus,
transferred to beneath the earth; and the story of the ferryman is a
compromise between the two creeds--that of the _under_-world and that of
the western paradise beyond sea; while the myth of the Phæaceans is a
simple expression of the last. The connection which we find between
Greek and German in these beliefs is derivable only from their common
ancestry--not from a contact in later days. Certainly these legends have
their close counterparts in Norse mythology; the two series only require
to be stripped of local colouring, and some unessential details, to
display very clearly their common brotherhood. How curious, for
instance, is it to see that Calypso corresponds literally in name with
the Northern goddess of the dead, Hel! Another myth, the story of the
burning of Baldur, repeats the same images of death which we trace in
the legend of Odysseus.

Baldur is quite evidently the sun-god. Less of a hero, more of a god,
than Odysseus, he is nevertheless mortal--as, indeed, all the Norse gods
are--and falls pierced by the hand of his own brother, Hödur. Then his
corpse is placed upon his ship, Hringhorn, and sent out upon this, as on
a pyre, drifting into the ocean. We can imagine how to the Norsemen upon
their stormy seas, the image of the sun dying red upon the western
waters recalled the story of Baldur's burning ship. The Viking imitated
his god in this, and when his time came ordered his funeral fire to be
lighted in like manner upon a ship and himself to be set sailing, as
Baldur was. After this we are brought in the myth to the underground
kingdom of Hel, and there the goddess entertains Baldur, as Calypso
entertained Odysseus, making ready her best to do him honour, and
seating him in the highest place in her hall. Then the gods take
counsel how Baldur is to be brought back again, and one of them,
Hermödr,[26] the messenger, like Hermes, is sent to beg Hel to let
Baldur out of Helheim. Fate and death are more powerful in northern
lands than they are in Greece. The gods cannot command that this Calypso
should let her prisoner go; and alas! they do not even obtain an answer
to their prayer save on conditions which they are unable to fulfil. Hel
will set Baldur free, if all things, both living and dead, weep for him;
but if one thing refuses to weep, then he must remain in the
under-world. Thereupon the gods sent messengers over the whole earth,
commanding all things, living and lifeless, to weep Baldur out of
Helheim; all things freely complied with the request, both men and
stones, and trees and metals; until as the messengers were returning,
deeming that their mission was accomplished, they met an old witch
sitting in a cave, and she refused to weep, saying, "Let Hel keep her
own."[27] This old witch is Calypso or Circe in another guise. Her name
is Thokk, that is, darkness (dökkr).

The Teutonic people had many myths and stories about the carrying the
dead across the sea. We have signalized the belief in such a passage as
the origin of those countless mediæval legends of the earthly Paradise:
doubtless it is the parent of the modern superstition that ghosts will
not cross the running water. Side by side with the story of the
Phæaceans we may place the superstition which Procopius records touching
our own island. The Byzantine historian of Justinian seems to have had
but vague ideas of the position of Britain, which, by the tide of
Teutonic invasion across the Rhine, had long been cut off from
intercourse with the Empire. These Easterns were careless and ignorant
of the remote West. So Procopius speaks of Britannia as lying opposite
to Spain; and then he mentions another island, Brittia--evidently in
reality our island--which faces the northern coast of Gaul, and of this
he tells the following strange story:--There is, he declares, an island
called Brittia, which lies in the Northern Seas. It is separated into
two divisions by a wall;[28] and on one side of this wall the air is
healthy and the land fertile and pleasant, and all things most apt for
human habitation. But on the other side the air is so noxious that no
one can breathe in it for an hour: it is given up to serpents and
poisonous animals and plants. Yet not entirely; for this is the home of
the dead. Then he goes on to relate how the fishermen who inhabit the
coast opposite this part of Brittia have to perform the strange duty of
carrying the souls across the strait. Each does his office in rotation;
when the man's night has come he is awoke by a knocking at his door, but
when he opens it, sees no one. He goes down to the shore, and finds
there strange vessels, which, though empty to mortal eyes, lie deep in
the water as though weighed down by some freight. Stepping in, each
fisherman takes his rudder, and then by an unfelt wind the vessels are
wafted in one night across the channel, a distance which, with oar and
sail, they could usually scarce accomplish in eight. Arrived at the
opposite side--our coast--the fishermen heard names called over and
voices answering in rota, and they felt the boats becoming light. Then,
when all the ghosts were landed, they were carried back to Gaul. We may
picture them returning to the habitable world in the first glow of
morning, or with the one bright morning star which shone on Odysseus
landing at Ithaca.

So much for the myth of the sea, or river, of death. A most important
change was wrought in belief when the custom of burning the dead was
introduced. It would seem that our Aryan ancestors were the beginners of
this rite. Whence it arose we cannot say; but if the God of Fire was a
prominent divinity, the thought of committing the dead into his charge
seems a simple and natural one. Among the Aryan people the only deep
traces of fire-worship are to be seen in the Vedic and Iranian
religions,[29] while the fire-burial survived in all: but the former may
well have held a prominent place in their older creed. Or--and this is
far from unlikely--the custom of fire-burial may have arisen out of the
sun myth, just as the belief in the soul's journey after death was
suggested by watching the sun's journey to the west. The two great
fire-funerals mentioned in Greek and Teutonic mythology are the funerals
of sun-gods. Heracles burning on Mount Œta, on the western coast of the
Ægean, may have been first thought of by Greeks who saw the sun setting
in fire over that sea; and Baldur's bale on the ship _Hringhorn_ is
evidently the Norse edition of the same story, his blazing ship the
blaze in the sky, as the sun sinks into the water. Burning the dead
never seems to have been a universal practice; rather a special honour
paid to kings and heroes. But then we must remember that immortality
itself was not, in ancient belief, granted to all men indiscriminately,
only to the greatest.

We see at once that with the use of fire-burial many of the old beliefs
had to be given up; all those, for instance, which depended upon the
preservation of the bodily remains. Of old time men had buried treasures
with the corpse in the expectation that they would be of some kind of
use to it; the body itself was at first imagined to descend to the
under-world or to travel the western journey to the home of the sun. But
now the body is visibly consumed upon the funeral pile, where, too, are
placed, by a curious survival of old custom, the precious things which
would formerly have been buried with it in the ground. The body and
these things have been consumed, are gone; where have they gone? Have
they perished utterly, and is there nothing more left than the earliest
belief of an Ἀ-ίδης--a nowhere; is nothing true of all those myths of
the soul passing away to a home of bliss? Instead of giving up this
faith, the Aryan people have only spiritualized it, robbed it of the too
literal and earthly clothing which in earlier times it wore. The thought
which had once identified the life with the breath comes again into
force, or, if some material representation is still wished for, we have
the smoke of the funeral pyre, which rises heavenwards like an ascending
soul. In this spirit we find in long after years, in the description of
the funeral fire of Beowulf the Goth, it is said that the soul of the
hero _wand to wolcum_, "curled to the clouds," imaging the smoke which
was curling up from his pyre. There is even a curious analogy between
the words for _smoke_ and _soul_ in the Aryan languages, showing how
closely the two ideas were once allied. From a primitive root _dhu_,
which means to shake or blow, we get both the Sanskrit root _dhuma_,
smoke, and the Greek θυμός, the immaterial part of man, his thought or
soul. Θυμός is not a mere abstraction like our word mind, but that which
could live when the body was killed or wasted to death by disease.[30]

Evidently, therefore, even the inanimate things, the weapons and
treasures which are burnt with the dead, survive in a land of essences
for the use of the liberated soul. To the question, Where does man's
essence go to when it rises from the funeral fire? the answer, if the
wish alone urged the thought, would be "To the gods." But with the
majority of burying people the belief in future union with the gods was
not strongly insisted upon. The islands of the blest are certainly not
to be confounded with Olympus; although the Phæaceans claim to live very
near the gods.[31] Yet with the use of burning, and among the Aryan
people, the hope gains a measure of strength. The gods of the Aryan
were, before everything, gods of the air. As the soul and the smoke
mounted upwards, "curled to the clouds," the belief of its having gone
to join the gods--chief god, Dyâus, the air--was impressed more vividly
upon his mind. And as the notion of the western journey to the home of
the sun was not abandoned, a natural compromise would be to send the
soul upwards to the path of the sun, and make its voyage a voyage in
heaven, led by the sun or by the wind. But his path still lay westward;
the home of the dead ancestors lay beyond the western boundary; there
was still an Oceanus to be crossed, and a dark Cimmerian land to be
passed through.

The heavenly path taken by the soul becomes, in the eye of mortals, a
_bridge_ spanning the celestial arch, and carrying them over the river
of death; and men would soon begin asking themselves where lay this
heavenly road. Night is necessarily associated with thoughts of
death--"Death, and his brother Sleep"--and of the other world. The
heavens wear a more awful aspect than by day. The sun has forsaken us,
and is himself buried beneath the earth; and a million dwellers in the
upper regions, who were before unseen, now appear to sight--the stars,
who in so many mythologies are associated with souls. Among the stars we
see a bright, yet misty, bow bent overhead: can this be other than the
destined bridge of souls? The ancient Indians called this road
gods'-path, because besides that it was the way for souls to God, it was
also the way from gods to men. They also called it the
cow-path--_gôpatha_, meaning possibly cloud-path--from which it is
likely we derive our name for it, "the Milky-way." The Low-German name
for the Milky-way is _kau-pat_--_i.e., kuh-pfad_, cow-path. But in their
hymns the Indians oftenest speak of it as the path of Yama, the way to
the house of Yama, the god of the dead:--

"A narrow path, an ancient one, stretches there, a path untrodden by
men, a path I know of:

"On it the wise who have known Brahma ascend to the world Svarga, when
they have received their dismissal," sings a Sanskrit poet.[32]

Another (R. V. i. 38. 5) prays the Maruts, the gods of the wind, not to
let him wander on the path of Yama, or, when he does so--that is, when
his time shall come--to keep him that he fall not into the hands of
Nirrtis, the Queen of Naraka (Tartarus). In another place we find as
guardians of the bridge two dogs, the dogs of Yama, and the dead man is
committed to their care:--

"Give him, O king Yama, to the two dogs, the watchers, the four-eyed
guardians of the path, guardians of men: grant him safety and freedom
from pain."

Thus stands out in its complete development the myth of the Bridge of
Souls: a narrow path spanning the arch of heaven, passing over the
dwelling of Nirrtis, the Queen of Tartarus (perhaps not clearly
distinguishable from the river of death), and reaching at last the
country of the wise Pitris, the "fathers" of the tribe, who have gone to
heaven before, and who since their death have not ceased to keep watch
over the descendants of their race. This road is guarded by two dogs,
the dogs of Yama, both wardens of the bridge and likewise psychopomps,
or leaders of the soul up the strait road.

This was essentially an Indian myth--or perhaps an Indian and
Iranian--and took the place of the myth of the sea journey, as it was
conceived by Greeks and Germans. The Indians and Iranians had never a
sea of death, so they could not have such ferrymen as the Phæaceans, or
legends such as the voyages of Odysseus and the burning of Baldur. In
the place of them, and with their mortal _river_, they adopted this
Bridge of Souls. The guardians are manifold in their nature; for their
names show them related both to Cerberus, who guards Hades, and to
Hermes, who leads the souls of the dead below; and, so far as we can
gather from the Vedas, these dogs of Yama discharged both offices,
sometimes keeping the bridge and sometimes conducting souls along it.
"Give him," says the prayer, "O Yama, to the two dogs." No doubt their
terrors were for the wicked only, and they are thus apt images of

    "Death comes to set thee free;
    Oh, meet him cheerily
      As thy true friend."[33]

Still, as we see from their appearance, the dreadful aspect of death
predominates. In like forms, as dogs or wolves, they return time out of
mind in Norse mythology and in Middle-Age legend.

It has been said that this myth of the Bridge of Souls was essentially
Indian and Iranian (old Persian). It is often most difficult to
ascertain what were the ancient Persian beliefs: but in this case the
myth has been handed down to us from the Persians through the Arabs, a
people possessing of right no part or lot in its construction. It is
generally acknowledged that Mohammed took from the Persians that famous
bridge so vividly described in the Korân.[34] Es-Sirât is the bridge's
name. It is finer than a hair and sharper than the edge of a sword, and
is, besides, guarded with thorns and briars along all its length.
Nevertheless, when, at the last day, the good Muslim comes to cross it,
a light will shine upon him from heaven, and he will be snatched across
like lightning or like the wind; but when the wicked man or the
unbeliever approaches, the light will be hidden, and, from the extreme
narrowness of the bridge and likewise becoming entangled in the thorns,
he will fall headlong into the abyss of fire that is beneath. This is
the fragment of our old Aryan mythology which the Mohammedan has taken
to himself to form an image of hell and of punishment after death. It is
significant that from the Persians should have been inherited the most
gloomy myth concerning the Bridge of Souls. For from the same source we
(Christians) gain our fearfullest notions of the Devil.

The bridge cannot be always the Milky-way. In at least one Sanskrit hymn
we learn--

"Upon it, they say, there are colours, white, and blue, and brown, and
gold, and red.

"And this path Brahma knows, and he who has known Brahma shall take it;
he who is pure and glorious."

Here the singer is evidently describing the rainbow. Now in the Norse
cosmology the rainbow had the same name as the Indian _patha-devayano_,
gods'-path. The Eddas call it As-bru, the bridge of the Æsir, or gods.
Its other name, Bifröst, the trembling mile, it may even have inherited
from the Milky-way, for that, when we look at it, seems to be always
trembling. Asbru or Bifröst, then, is the bridge whereby the gods
descend to earth. One end of it reaches to the famous Urdar fount, where
sit the weird sisters three--the Nornir, or fates. "Near the fountain
which is under the ash stands a very fair house, out of which come
three maidens, named Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld (Past, Present, Future).
These maidens assign the lifetime of men, and are called Norns."[35] To
their stream the gods ride every day along Bifröst to take counsel. For
in the Norse creed the gods know not the hidden things of the future,
nor have power to ward them off. Fate and death, the Twilight of the
Gods, lies ahead for them also, as these things lie ahead of mortals.

It is possible that a trace of the rainbow bridge is to be seen in the
Greek myth of the asphodel meadows, which are a part of the infernal
regions. But no other trace of the Bridge of Souls--if this be one--is
to be found throughout the range of Hellenic mythology.

The Eddas have nothing to say of the Milky-way. But we have clear
evidence that it was considered by the German people a path for the
dead. Indeed, in the scanty legends which survive, we can trace the
characteristic features of the Indian myth of the bridge guarded by
Yama's dogs, and the souls led along it by the wind-god. The wind-god of
the north is the father of gods, none less than Odin himself; and this
is why Odin is described as riding with his Valkyriur to the
battle-fields, to choose from the dead the heroes who shall go with him
to Valhöll, the hall of the chosen. It is because, as the wind-god, he
collects the breath of the departed. Odin and Freyja (Air and Earth)
divide the slain, says one legend--that is, the bodies go to earth, the
breath goes to heaven. Now, in the Middle Ages, when Odin-worship had
been overthrown, the gods of Asgaard descended to Helheim; from being
deities they were turned into fiends. Odin still pursued his office as
leader of the souls; but now he was huntsman of hell. One of the
commonest appearances of this fiend, therefore, is as a huntsman--called
the Wild Huntsman. He is heard by the peasants of the wild mountain
districts at this day. He is companioned by _two dogs_, and his chase
goes on along the Milky-way all the year through, save during the twelve
nights which follow Christmas. During that time he hunts on earth, and
the peasant will do well to keep his door well-barred at night. If he
does not, one of the hell-hounds will rush in and lie down in the ashes
of the hearth. No power will move him during the ensuing year, and for
all that time there will be trouble in the house. When the hunt comes
round again he will rise from his couch and rush forth, wildly howling,
to join his master.

A gentler legend is that which we find preserved in a charming poem of
the Swede, Torpelius, called "The Winter Street"--another of the names
for the Milky-way. With this, in the form in which it has been rendered
into English,[36] we may end our list of legends connected with the Sea
of Death or the Bridge of Souls. The story is of two lovers:--

          "Her name Salami was, his Zulamyth;
    And each so loved, each other loved. Thus runs the tender myth:

    "That once on earth they lived, and, loving there,
    Were wrenched apart by night, and sorrow, and despair;
    And when death came at last, with white wings given,
    Condemned to live apart, each reached a separate heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Yet loving still upon the azure height,
    Across unmeasured ways of splendour, gleaming bright,
    With worlds on worlds that spread and glowed and burned,
    Each unto each, with love that knew no limit, longing turned.

    "Zulamyth half consumed, until he willed
    Out of his strength one night a bridge of light to build
    Across the waste--and lo! from her far sun,
    A bridge of light from orb to orb Salami had begun.

    "A thousand years they built, still on, with faith,
    Immeasurable, quenchless, so my legend saith,
    Until the winter street of light--a bridge
    Above heaven's highest vault swung clear, remotest ridge from ridge.

    "Fear seized the Cherubim; to God they spake--
    'See what amongst thy works, Almighty, these can make!'
    God smiled, and smiling, lit the spheres with joy--
    'What in my world love builds,' he said, 'shall I, shall Love itself

       *       *       *       *       *

    C. F. KEARY.


[5] Elia.

[6] Unless indeed we are to except a figure upon the Ephesian drum
(Artemisium) now in the British Museum, which some have imagined to
represent Thanatos.

[7] Hel is from the Icl. _helja_ "to conceal."

[8] Isaiah xxxviii. 18, 19; cf. also Genesis xxxvii. 35; 1 Samuel
xxviii. 19. Sheol is misrendered "grave" in our version. It means the
place of the dead, not of bodies only.

[9] The fact that the sun dies every day militates against his claim to
the rank of a god: otherwise he would probably always receive the
greatest meed of worship. As it is, he is often worshipped rather as a
hero or demigod than a true immortal.

[10] Fick. "Verg. Wörterbuch der I.-G. Sp." s.v. _mara_.

[11] Hesperides. They are, however, called the daughters of Night by
Hesiod and others.

[12] Πόντος is from the same root as the Skr. _patha_, a _path_, _pfad_,
&c. One might suppose from this that the Greeks were the first
adventurers upon the deep waters. While the other Aryan folks called the
sea "a death," they called it a "road."

[13] There can be no doubt that the cosmology of the Eddas is to some
extent infected by the source from which we derive it. The picture of
earth, with its mountain Asgard and its surrounding sea, is nearly
exactly the picture of Iceland.

[14] So Poseidôn, the god of the sea, is the earth-shaker; earthquakes
being apparently attributed to the water under the earth.

[15] Weber in Chambr., 1020.

[16] "The sounding," from _gialla_, to sound (yell).

[17] Chaucer.

[18] Κίρκος (whence Κίρκη) is given as both hawk and wolf in L. & S. It
is most likely from a root _krik_, meaning to make a grating sound, and
therefore probably applied originally to the bird (cf. our nightjar).
The Latin _quercus_ seems to be from the same root--from its rustling?
We may compare Circe with Charôn, which means "an eagle."

[19] From σχερός.

[20] Od. vi. 204, _sqq._

[21] "Earthly Paradise."

[22] Od. viii. 562.

[23] Justin Martyr identifies the gardens of Alcinoüs with Paradise.
"Cohort. ad Græc." xxix.

[24] Od. xiii. 79, 88.

[25] "Rheinisches Museum für Philologie," vol. i. N.S. p. 219. _Die
Homerische Phäaken._

[26] Hermödr (heer-muth, kriegsmuth) was originally one of the names of
Odin, and therefore originally the wind. We easily see the connection
between the rushing wind, and the battle's rage. Hermes is likewise the
wind, and means "the rusher" (ὁρμάω, and cf. Sârameyas of the Vedas).

[27] Edda Snorra, Dæmisaga, 49.

[28] Procopius, Bel. Goth. iv. The wall identifies the island with

[29] The Iranian religion, as it has come down to us, is the historical
one founded by Zarathustra, who swept away most of the traces of the old
Aryan faith. There is difficulty, therefore, in obtaining the evidence
of a belief which was shared by the old Persians.

    κὰδ' δ' ἔπεσ' ἐν κόνιῃσι μακὼν, ἀπὸ δ' ἔπτατο θυμός.--Od. x. 163.

    οὔτε τίς, οὖν μόι νοῦσος ἐπήλυθεν, ἥτε μάλιστα
    τηκεδόνι στυγερῇ μελέων ἐξείλετο θυμόν.--Od. xi. 200.

[31] We are here speaking of beliefs which sprang originally from the
days of burial in the earth. Of these were all that class which included
the journey of the soul.

[32] V_r_hadâra_n_ayaka. Ed. Pol. iii 4-7.

[33] Fouque.

[34] Sale's Koran, Introd. p. 91. The Persian bridge was called Chinvat.

[35] See Edda den Eldra, Grimnismâl 44, and Edda Snorra, D. 15. That
Bifröst did not tremble through weakness we may gather from the fact
that it is the "best of bridges," "the strongest of all bridges"
(Simrock, D.M. 28), and that it will only be broken at the day of

[36] By E. Keary: _Evening Hours_, vol. iii.


    _Selection from the Correspondence of the late Macvey Napier, Esq._
    Edited by his son, MACVEY NAPIER. London: Macmillan & Co.

Mr. Macvey Napier, who succeeded Francis Jeffrey in the editorship of
the great Whig Review, had, of course, a perfect right to preserve the
letters which are published in this volume, and to study them in private
as much as he pleased. Indeed, for anything that appears to the contrary
in the "Introduction" by his son, the present Mr. Macvey Napier, they
may have been bequeathed by the original recipient with instructions
that they should some day be published. An edition, privately circulated
a short time ago, led to "representations that a correspondence of so
much interest ought to be made more accessible," and the present volume
is the result; but it might be maintained that the writers of such
letters would, if they could have been consulted, have objected to their
publication; and that to send them forth to the world in all their
nakedness was, at all events, not a delicate or magnanimous thing to do.
"Much might be said on both sides." Paley, in his chapter on the
original character of the Christian Morality, remarked that though a
thousand cases might be supposed in which the use of the golden rule
might mislead a person, it was impossible in fact to light on such a
case. That was a hazardous observation, for the truth is that when we
once get beyond elementary conditions of being and doing, we find human
beings differ so very widely, and in such utterly incalculable ways,
that it is in vain to poll the monitor in the breast on questions that
do in fact arise daily--five hundred in a thousand will vote one way,
and five hundred in another. "How would you like it yourself?" is a
question that elicits the most discordant replies. I have a very
positive feeling that I should have left many of these letters in the
portfolio, or put them into the fire; but when I look about me for a
standard which I could take in my hand to Mr. Napier, I am baffled--he
might produce one of his own that would silence me on the spot. And
when one has taken up a book to comment upon it with as little reserve
as may be, it seems idle, if not Irish, to begin by saying that the most
amusing or most fertile things in it ought never to have seen the light.

This point may recur before we have done; and in the meantime it should
be remarked that nothing very momentous, either to the honour or the
disgrace of human nature in general, or literary human nature in
particular, can be extracted from this correspondence. A late essayist
used to tell a true anecdote of a distinguished statesman who had lived
many years and seen as many changes as Ulysses. A friend asked him
something like this: "Well, now, you have had a great deal to do with
mankind, and you have outlived the heats and prejudices of youth; what
do you think of men in general?" And the veteran replied: "Oh, I like
them--very good fellows; but"--and here we shall mollify his language a
little--"but condemnably vain, you know." And really that is about the
worst thing you can find it in your heart to say of literary men after
running through these letters--"very good fellows, but very vain, you

Another point which lies less near the surface, and has at least the
look of novelty, would perhaps be this. It is the most frequent and most
voluminous of the writers who unconsciously tell us the most about
themselves; and who, with the pleasing exception of Jeffrey, show us the
most of their unamiable sides. But there is comfort for impulsive people
in the fact that it is not always the most self-controlled and
inoffensive of the writers who win upon us. The Brougham-Macaulay feud
runs sprawling through these pages till we are tired of it; and some of
poor Brougham's letters are downright venomous. But the total absence of
disguise and the blundering boyish inconsistency disarm us. Taking the
letters one by one, the moral superiority is with Macaulay on Brougham
as against Brougham on Macaulay, but taking the correspondence in the
lump, it is something like Charles Surface against Joseph Surface, in
another line--only, of course, there is no hypocrisy. While you come to
feel for Brougham in his spluttering rages, you feel also that Macaulay,
in his too-admirable self-continence, can do very well without your
compassion, whatever he may have to complain of. It is easy to discern
that Brougham honestly believed in his own superiority to the young
rival who outshone him, and yet that he was inwardly tormented.
Macaulay's forbearance was of the kind _qui coûte si peu au gens
heureux_. The editor, Mr. Napier, was, we may conjecture, the greatest
sufferer of the three. Much was owed to Brougham as a man of enormous
intellectual force; to which, apart from his past services, great
respect was due: but Macaulay was by far the best writer, and (to employ
a bull which is common enough) incomparably the most attractive
contributor. The strength of his hold upon the Review and its editor is
apparent on every tenth page of the book, and comes out forcibly enough
in a letter from Sir James Stephen to Mr. Napier. Mr. Napier had
written to Sir James, expressing some delicate surprise that no article
from his pen had reached the Review for a long time. Sir James excuses
himself in this fashion:--

    "I know that many of your contributors must be importunate for a
    place; that you must be fencing and compromising at a weary rate;
    that there are many interests of the passing day which you could not
    overlook; and that we should all have growled like so many fasting
    bears if denied the regular return of the Macaulay diet, to which we
    have been so long accustomed."

Sir James was an exceedingly busy man, and he was not professedly a man
of letters like Macaulay; but we may, if we like, read between the lines
in these excuses and find a little pique there, as well as a just sense
of an editor's difficulties.

Another point which lies broadly and prominently upon the surface in
these letters is a very unpleasant one. It is scarcely credible how much
dull conceit and sheer ignorant arbitrariness there often is in the
minds of able and cultivated men. It does not seem even to occur to them
that their own range may be limited, and their judgments upon many (or
even a few) topics not worth ink or breath. It should hardly be
offensive to an ordinary man to be told, or at least to find it tacitly
assumed, that he could not have invented fluxions, painted like
Rembrandt, or sung like Pindar. Why, then, should it be difficult for
any cultivated specialist, of more than ordinary faculties, to make the
reflection that he must be deficient in some direction or other? Yet we
find in practice that it is not only difficult, but impossible, in the
majority of cases. Mr. Napier seems to have invited, or at all events
not to have repelled, free criticisms on his Review from the
contributors in general, and the outcome is little short of appalling.
If ever there was an able man it was Mr. Senior, yet these are the terms
in which he allows himself to speak of an article on Christopher
North--or rather of Christopher North himself:--"The article on
Christopher North is my abomination. I think him one of the very worst
of the clever bad writers who infest modern literature; full of bombast,
affectation, conceit, in short, of all the _vitia_, _tristia_, as well
as _dulcia_. I had almost as soon try to read Carlyle or Coleridge." Now
Mr. Senior was, of course, entitled to dislike Christopher North, and
there is plenty to be said against him in the way of criticism; but the
charge of "affectation" is foolish, and the whole passage pitched in the
most detestable of all literary key-notes. John Wilson was a man of
genius, whose personal likings and rampant animal spirits led him most
mournfully astray. He was wanting also in love of truth for its own
sake; but he was as much superior to Mr. Senior as Shakspeare was to
_him_. And the addition about Carlyle or Coleridge--_or_ Coleridge!--is
just the gratuitous insolence of one-eyed dulness. There is enough and
to spare of blame ready in any balanced mind for either of these great
writers, but they can do without the admiration of wooden-headed prigs,
however able. The point, however, is that it never dawns upon the mind
of even so clever and cultivated a man as Mr. Senior, that his head may
have gaps in it.

Another instance to the same purport may be selected from a letter from
Mr. Edwin Atherstone, the poet--for it would perhaps be hard and
grudging to deny him the title, since he found an audience, and I have a
vague recollection of having once read verses of his about Nineveh or
Babylon which had in them power of the picturesque-meditative order.
Now, this is the way in which Mr. Edwin Atherstone speaks of Dr. Thomas
Brown, the metaphysician:--"For myself, I know not a writer, with the
exception of Shakspeare, Milton, Homer, and Scott, from whom I have
derived such high delight as from Dr. Brown."

Was ever such a category put on paper before? It is as if a man should
say his favourite musical instruments were the organ, the harp, the
trumpet, the violin, and the sewing-machine. Brown was one of the most
readable of metaphysicians; he made some acute hits, and he wrote
elegant verses; but his position in Mr. Atherstone's list is as
inexplicably quaint as that of "Burke, commonly called the Sublime," in
the epitaph on the lady who "painted in water-colours," and "was first
cousin to Lady Jones."

The worst examples of all, however, come from the letters of Francis
Jeffrey himself. Jeffrey has been underrated, and he was a most amiable
man; but some of the verdicts he thought fit to pronounce upon articles
in the _Edinburgh_, when edited by Mr. Napier, are _saugrenus_. In one
case he is about suggesting a contributor, to deal with a certain topic,
and is so polite as to say that the name of Mr. John Stuart Mill had
struck him:--"I once thought of John Mill, but there are reasons against
him too, independent of his great unreadable book and its elaborate
demonstrations of axioms and truisms."

There might be weighty "reasons against" Mr. Mill, but what his "Logic"
could have to do with the question is not clear. It never seems to have
crossed Jeffrey's mind that he _might_ be totally disqualified for
forming an opinion of a book like that; and, having called it
"unreadable" (though to a reader with any natural bent towards such
matters it is deeply interesting), he actually puts forward the fact
that Mill had written it as a reason against his being entrusted with
the treatment of a political topic in a Whig Review. Editors are human,
and the editorial position is a very troublesome one. An editor may lose
his head, as an overworked wine-taster may lose his palate. In a word,
allowances must be made; but, after a disclosure or two like this, it is
difficult not to conclude that the Review owed no more of its success to
its former editor than it might have owed to any intelligent clerk. But
we cannot let Jeffrey go yet. The following passage relates to an
article on Victor Cousin:--

    "Cousin I pronounce beyond all doubt the most unreadable thing that
    ever appeared in the _Review_. The only chance is, that gentle
    readers may take it to be very profound, and conclude that the
    fault is in their want of understanding. But I am not disposed to
    agree with them. It is ten times more _mystical_ than anything my
    friend Carlyle ever wrote, and not half so agreeably written. It is
    nothing to the purpose that he does not agree with the worst part of
    the mysticism, for he affects to understand it, and to explain it,
    and to think it very ingenious and respectable, and it is mere
    gibberish. He may possibly be a clever man. There are even
    indications of that in his paper, but he is not a _very_ clever man,
    nor of much power; and beyond all question he is not a good writer
    on such subjects. If you ever admit such a disquisition again, order
    your operator to instance and illustrate all his propositions by
    cases or examples, and to reason and explain with reference to
    these. This is a sure test of sheer nonsense, and moreover an
    infinite resource for the explication of obscure truth, if there be
    any such thing."

Now, the writer of the article in question was Sir William Hamilton. "He
may possibly be a clever man, but beyond all question he is not a good
writer on such subjects." So much for Jeffrey.

    "Nec sibi cœnarum quivis temere arroget artem,
    Non prius exacta tenui ratione saporum."

Poor Mr. Carlyle is again dragged in, and Sir William is pronounced "ten
times more _mystical_" than he--"mystical" in italics. When a writer,
using the word mystical opprobriously, prints it in italics, it is
usually safe to decide that he knows nothing of metaphysics. The
concluding sentences are instructive examples of editorial
self-confidence: "If ever you admit such a disquisition again, _order
your operator to_" do so-and-so. Thus, the treatment of Mill and
Hamilton being equally ignorant and inept, there is no escape for the
ex-editor. Both verdicts were after the too-celebrated
"this-will-never-do" manner, and that is all.

In the communications from literary men there are some fine instances of
just self-consciousness. Tom Campbell writes, with great warmth and
alertness, to promise an article upon a new work about the Nerves; but
shortly afterwards writes again, candidly confessing that he had found,
upon looking again at the work, that his aptitude for scientific detail
was not great enough to enable him to do justice to the subject. A
letter from William Hazlitt is so striking, both for its truthfulness
and its clear-headedness, as to deserve quoting in full. He had been
written to by Mr. Napier for some contributions to the _Encyclopædia
Britannica_, and he replies, from his well-known retreat at Winterslow
Hut, in these terms:--

    "I am sorry to be obliged, from want of health and a number of other
    engagements, which I am little able to perform, to decline the
    flattering offer you make me. I am also afraid that I should not be
    able to do the article in question, or yourself, justice, for I am
    not only without books, but without knowledge of what books are
    necessary to be consulted on the subject. To get up an article in a
    Review on any subject of general literature is quite as much as I
    can do without exposing myself. The object of an Encyclopædia is, I
    take it, to condense and combine all the facts relating to a
    subject, and all the theories of any consequence already known or
    advanced. Now, where the business of such a work ends, is just where
    I begin--that is, I might perhaps throw in an idle speculation or
    two of my own, not contained in former accounts of the subject, and
    which would have very little pretensions to rank as scientific. I
    know something about Congreve, but nothing at all of Aristophanes,
    and yet I conceive that the writer of an article on the Drama ought
    to be as well acquainted with the one as the other."

The honesty of this is quite refreshing. There is one more letter, of a
similar order, which deserves to be signalized. In August, 1843,
Macaulay, being pressed for more frequent contributions, writes from the
Albany that he can promise, at the very utmost, no more than two
articles in a year:--

    "I ought to give my whole leisure to my History; and I fear that if
    I suffer myself to be diverted from that design as I have done, I
    shall, like poor Mackintosh, leave behind me the character of a man
    who would have done something if he had concentrated his powers
    instead of frittering them away. There are people who can carry on
    twenty works at a time. Southey would write the history of Brazil
    before breakfast, an ode after breakfast, then the history of the
    Peninsular War till dinner, and an article for the _Quarterly
    Review_ in the evening. But I am of a different temper. I never
    write so as to please myself until my subject has for the time
    driven away every other out of my head. When I turn from one work to
    another a great deal of time is lost in the mere transition. I must
    not go on dawdling and reproaching myself all my life."

There is something melancholy in this, admirable as it is. Macaulay had
begun to watch the shadow on the dial too closely to permit him to do
much miscellaneous work with an easy mind. There is an important lesson
for men of letters in the sentence,--"When I turn from one work to
another, a great deal of time is lost in the mere transition." Here lies
the great difference between serious literary work and that of ordinary
business, where the mind is solicited by one thing after another in
rapid succession. In the first case, time and energy have to be expended
in evolving from within a fresh impulse for every topic. The most
readable writings of Southey are those which he produced fragment by
fragment, on topics for which little renewal of impulse was required. To
write a great poem in scraps, all by the clock, was a task which only a
very conceited and rather wooden man would have attempted; and the
result we know, though there are fine things in Southey's longer poems.
A powerful passage by Cardinal Newman on the difficulties of literary
work is almost too well known to bear quoting, but a living poet, Mrs.
Augusta Webster, has put the case so fairly that Macaulay's shade--which
is, of course, a shade that reads everything--may be gratified by seeing
in a handy way a few of her sentences:--

    "Occupations of study, scientific research, literary production--of
    brain-work of any kind that is carried on in the worker's private
    home with no visible reminder of customer or client--are taken to be
    such as can lightly be done at one time as well as another, and
    resumed after no matter what interruptions, like a lady's
    embroidery, which she can take up again at the very stitch she left
    her needle in. Professions of this sort not only admit, but in many
    instances require, considerable variation in the amount of daily
    time directly bestowed on them,--_directly_, for the true student is
    not at his work only when he is ostensibly employed, but whenever
    and wherever he may have his head to himself,--and there is no
    measure of visible quantity for the more or less results of
    application.... The literary man probably fares the worst of all. He
    is not merely not protected by the manual part of his processes, but
    it is his danger. It is so easy--what anybody can do at any time!...
    Of course the simple fact is that it is more difficult for this
    class of persons to practise their vocations under the drawback of
    perpetual breaks, actual and (what comes to nearly the same thing)
    expected, than it is for 'business men.' Let the attention of the
    solicitor, for instance, busied on the points of an intricate case,
    be perforce diverted to another matter, there is lost from that case
    just the time diverted, and a little extra to allow for the mind
    which returns to any interrupted course of thought, never returning
    to it exactly at the point at which it was forced to leave it. But
    there are the recorded facts; the direct conclusions to be drawn
    remain unaltered; nothing has disappeared, nothing has lost its
    identity. But suppose, let us say, a dramatist, devising his crisis
    after hours, perhaps days, of gradual growth, to the moment when he
    sees it before him as a reality.... Force his attention away, and he
    has lost, not merely the time he needed to complete a spell of
    works, with something over for the difficulty of resuming, but the
    _power_ of resuming. All has faded into a haze; and the fruit of
    days, may be, has been thrown away at the ripening, for such moments
    do not come twice."

There are but few of Mr. Napier's own letters in this volume, so that we
have only indirect means of measuring his idea of his editorial rights
or duties as against contributors. There is one case in which Macaulay
complains strongly of certain excisions, and there is another in which
he defends certain phrases of his own which appear to have offended the
taste of Mr. Napier, who found them undignified, if not slightly vulgar.
He submits of course--all the mutilated ones submit--and he says he
submits "willingly;" but all the while we can too plainly see the wry
faces he is making. Mr. Napier was, apparently, a purist in the matter
of style; but there is something almost grotesque in the spectacle of a
man of his quality correcting Macaulay. It reminds one of _cet imbécile
Buloz_.[37] The case of Leigh Hunt was very different, for he sometimes
went to the extreme verge of decorum--quarterly review decorum, that
is--and beyond it. But we may safely conclude that Macaulay knew much
better than his editor how to turn a sentence, or when the use of a
French locution was desirable for ends of literary effect. Upon this
subject of imported phrases Mr. Napier was, it seems, very punctilious,
for with Mr. G. H. Lewes he must have had a brisk correspondence about
it. Mr. Lewes, who was then a young writer, anxious to get his feet well
planted, submits, with every possible expression of acquiescence, one
might almost say, of abject agreement; but it is easy to see that his
compliance was forced. Macaulay in his discussion of this little matter
with Napier, easily and decisively lays down the true guiding
principle:--"The first rule of all writing,--that rule to which every
other rule is subordinate,--is that the words used by the writer shall
be such as most fully and precisely convey his meaning to the great body
of his readers. All considerations about the purity and dignity of style
ought to bend to this consideration."

This, indeed, exhausts the subject; and leaves the editor only one
question to solve--namely, whether the writer whom he employs has
presumably a meaning fit to be conveyed to the readers of his
periodical. Upon that point he must use his own judgment; but it was
idle for a man like Mr. Napier to criticize the phrasing of a man like
Macaulay, who had ten thousand times his reading. For it is upon the
"reading" that the matter very largely turns. The force of a quotation
or a phrase imported from a foreign tongue depends, not upon the bare
meaning of the words, but upon the suggestiveness of certain
associations. This does not necessarily imply that the precise context
is recalled, or certain hackneyed trifles from Lucretius and Horace, and
a score of such chips in porridge, would be indecent. If it be said that
all this implies that an editor should be omniscient, or at lowest an
omnivorous reader, the reply is, that it certainly does--unless the
principle adopted in the conduct of the periodical be the more recent
one of choosing contributors largely on account of their names, and then
leaving them to answer for their own sins, if any. One thing is clear,
that if a man like Jeffrey--or like Napier--could be shown the number of
blunders he made in mutilating the writings of his contributors, he
would feel very much humiliated. Thackeray complains very bitterly of
the suppression of some of his touches of humour, and his sufferings at
the hands of a critic like Mr. Napier (able man as he was) must have
been terrible indeed.

The system recently adopted of having every article signed, has not
yielded the results which were predicted or expected by those who so
long struggled to get it introduced. It has led to "starring" more
outrageous and more audacious than any that was ever seen upon the
stage, and to mischief far more serious. The worst of these is the
substitution of a spurious sort of authority for the natural influence
or weight of the writing, even upon some of the most important topics
which can engage the human mind. The opinion, for example, of a
versatile politician, or traveller, or physicist, on a question of
religion or morals may be of no more value than that of the first man
you meet on passing into the streets. But it will attract attention in
proportion to the notoriety of the author, and though wise men may know
that it is weak or foolish, they may wait a long while for the chance of
saying so from any pulpit worth preaching in, because the platforms are
pre-engaged; and also because, the "organs of opinion" being bound to
live by keeping up a succession of attractive names in their pages, it
will not do to offend the owners of such names. One other result of the
recent system (not everywhere and always, of course, but generally and
most frequently) is a want of freshness in periodical literature. This
evil our American friends manage to escape; only they are much bolder
than we are, and do not stand in terror of the charge of levity. But, as
a rule, writers who are fit for starring purposes lose freshness in a
very short time; and then they do a still farther mischief by striking
that key-note of second-hand thought which is so prevalent, or at least
so common in even our better literature.

It is amusing enough to recall the superstition of secrecy which
inspired the policy of the first Edinburgh Reviewers. Lord Jeffrey has
told us how the conspirators, Brougham, Sydney Smith, Horner, and
himself, used to meet by night in the back room of a printing-office,
and steal to their work by winding paths and back stairs, like
assassins. This was folly, though not inexcusably without rational
ground or motive, and one cannot resist the belief that the more modern
plan will work well some day, if it does not now. But the difference in
the results is not so great as might have been hoped for. Men of letters
do not now openly insult each other for differences of opinion in
politics or theology; but it is not any variation of mechanism which has
made the change, and, though less brutality of phrasing is now
permitted, it would be difficult to surpass in bitterness or unfairness
some of the signed and accredited criticism of our own day. On the
whole, it comes to this,--you can get no more out of given moral
conditions than there is in them. If public writers are clique-ish (a
word to disturb Mr. Napier in his grave, and certainly an ugly one) and
unjust to each other, it is because you cannot change the spots of the
leopard. A man who loves the truth will employ his pen conscientiously
and kindly, whether he writes anonymously or otherwise. To this it may
be added that there is something extremely quaint in one thing that we
may see taking place every week--the greater part of our newspaper
writing is still unsigned, and, considering what a hastily got-up
miscellany a newspaper necessarily is, it can hardly be otherwise. A
column of reviews in a newspaper is sometimes the work of as many hands
as there are books reviewed in it. But it might certainly have been
expected beforehand that reviewers who write without signature should be
both careful and moderate in attacking writers who sign, and who,
presumably, take more time over their work than contributors to
newspapers can generally do. Yet the newspaper columns in which
quarterly and monthly periodicals are reviewed are "too often" (we must
round the corner with the help of that commonplace) models of flippancy
and dogmatism.

On the whole, it is not from any mechanical changes of method that we
must expect improvement in Review literature. Of course, in largeness,
fulness, richness, and versatility the Review-writing of to-day is
immeasurably superior to that of the days when Macaulay and Brougham
fought for precedence in the _Edinburgh_. But so is the literature
reviewed--one is a big "rolling miscellany," and so is the other. It
does not seem to some of us that, _other things being made equal_, the
literature of our modern Reviews (using the word widely) is either
superior or inferior to that of the _Edinburgh_, for example. The
growth, however, of literature generally in force, colour, range, and
effectiveness, is something astounding. We note this, or rather it
overwhelms us, in turning over such a book as the Memoirs of Harriet
Martineau; and there is more than the insolence of new-fangled tastes in
putting such a question as--where would Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope"
be if it were published to-morrow? One day when Brougham had just left
(for London) a country-house where he had been staying, Rogers, who was
a fellow-guest with him, made some such remark as this--"In that
post-chaise went away this morning, Bacon, Newton, Demosthenes, and
Solon." It is not recorded that Rogers meant this as a joke; but where
would Brougham be after a little manipulation by Mr. Jevons or Mr.
Goldwin Smith? It would be tiresome to dwell upon this, and wrong to
suggest that the men were smaller because the outlook was less; but this
view, if anything, helps us to see the direction in which one of our
best hopes for literature must lie--namely, in its ever-increasing
volume. There will always be hostile camps, and there will always be
warriors of low _morale_, but as each camp enlarges, the _average_ pain
of those who suffer from injustice or neglect will be lessened. And this
observation is by no means addressed to mere questions of reviewing in
the minor sense, but rather to literature in the mass as representing
the culture of the time.

Since the time when Jeffrey ruled the _Edinburgh Review_, and even since
the death of Mr. Napier, "the advertising element," and commercial
elements in general, have played a great and new part, an increasing
part, too, in the fortunes, and thus in regulating the quality and
tendency, of current literature. One result of this state of things is
an ever-increasing tendency to compromise in the expression of opinion.
In spite of the spirit of tolerance of which we hear so much, there was
perhaps never a time in which the expression of opinion was so much
emasculated in the higher periodical literature, or in which so much
trickery of accommodated phraseology was going forward. This will last
for a long time yet--as long as periodical literature is a matter of
commercial speculation. It is an evil omen that the greatest amount of
freedom now displayed is in political and scientific discussion. It is
difficult to see where the remedy is to come from in discussions of
another kind. Probably we shall have a lesson by the cataclysmic method
before very long. There is in this volume a letter from Brougham to
Napier, in which Brougham is very angry about an indirect disclosure of
Romilly's heterodoxy, and he goes off at a tangent to express a doubt
whether Macaulay was any better than Romilly, but is very anxious that
conventional conformity should be strictly maintained in the Review,
even to the length of concealing from the general reader as far as
possible such facts as that a man so good and "religious" as Romilly
could be a disbeliever in this, that, or the other. We have now got
beyond that; the accredited policy is in a vague way to trump the cards
of the dangerous people, and then nobody shows his hand fairly and
freely. Meanwhile, everybody feels uneasy, from a latent sense of
insincerity; and, when once the excitement is off, the natural
perception that out of nothing nothing can come, reassumes its sway.
The game cannot go on in this way for ever, though no one can foresee by
what accident the lights will be blown out, the tables thrown over, and
the stakes roughly dealt with at last.

A great difference, as might be expected, arises from the incredible
widening of what might be called the constituencies of opinion.
Political articles of the "inspired" order do not count as they did, or
were supposed to do, in the days of "Coningsby" even, much less as they
did a decade or two sooner. The effective currents of thought are far
too numerous and far too massive to be guided--nay, too numerous and too
massive for even the most conceited of propagandists or prophets to
fancy he could calculate them. What sort of figure as a publicist or
"inspired" political writer would a man like Croker cut at this end of
the century? It must have been a dolorous day for such as he when they
first felt sure the tides were coming up which were to sweep them and
their works into oblivion, or at least into limbo, and make successors
to their function impossible in future. We do not affirm that the
present phase of change is for the best; no theory of progress will
justify statements of that kind. In fact, things are quite bad enough;
but some security against certain evils there must be, in the fact that
these are days in which it is difficult to hide a wrong, or an error,
which has an immediate sinister bearing upon ends cherished by any
school of opinion. Who on earth would now think of calling the _Times_
the Thunderer? Just when middle-aged men of to-day were babies it was
thought finely argumentative, if not conclusive, to call the London
University "Stinkomalee"--in the interest of Church and King; but the
"hard hitting" of our own time is done in other fashion. Even if the
Marquis of Salisbury were to edit a paper he would not be able to make
much out of Titus Oates. But the allusion to that episode in another
sphere of action may remind us of the late Lord Derby, who might almost
be called the last of the old school of politicians. The mere mention of
his name seems to flash light upon the gulf we have traversed since the
days when the world was divided between a Whig organ and a Tory organ.

Simultaneously with the incalculable increase of devotion to science, we
have had an increase of devotion to ends held to be practical, and this
has largely governed our literature. The subject now barely hinted at is
well worth extended treatment. It is, however, no more than the truth
that there has been recently a great diminution of speculative
enthusiasm of all kinds, with a largely increased tendency to make
things pleasant for all parties. Convenience, in fact, becomes more and
more the governing factor of life; this tells upon our better
literature; and until the wind sets again from the old quarters--as it
certainly will some day--we shall feel the want of certain elements of
freshness, individuality, and moral impulse which touch us more closely
than we at first recognize in reading the old Edinburgh Reviewers.



[37] One, at least, of the contributors whom Buloz tortured (Georges
Sand wrote that she wished him "_au diable_" ten times a day, only he
held her purse-strings) used to date his letters in this style:--"_A
vingt-cinq lieues de cet imbécile Buloz._"


Comparative Mythology.[38]

Towards the end of the last century the men of letters of Europe were
astonished to hear that in Asia, on the banks of the Ganges, a more
ancient and richer language had been found than that of Homer. It
offered in its words and forms striking analogies with the languages of
Rome and Athens. Interest once roused, systematic comparisons were made,
and comparative grammar was founded. The sphere of comparisons widened
and the group of Aryan languages was established.

It was thus ascertained that the languages of the Romans, of the Greeks,
of the Gauls, of the Germans, of the Lithuanians, and of the Slavs in
Europe, of the Hindoos and Persians in Asia, are made out of the same
materials and cast in the same mould; that they are only varieties of
one primitive type. The precise laws which regulated the formation of
each of these varieties were discovered, so that it is both possible to
proceed from one of these languages to the other, and to trace all of
them to the original type whence they come, to the lost type which they
reproduce. This lost type, the source of all the idioms of nearly the
whole of Europe and of a third of Asia, science has reconstructed: with
an almost absolute certainty, it has described the grammar, drawn up the
lexicon of that language, of which no direct echo remains, not the
fragment of an inscription on a broken stone, of that language of which
the life and the death are pre-historic, and which was spoken at a
period when there were as yet neither Romans, nor Hindoos, nor Greeks,
nor Persians, nor Germans, nor Celts, and when the ancestors of all
those nations were still wandering as one tribe, one knows not where,
one knows not when.

Closely following comparative grammar, almost at the same time rose up
comparative mythology, and with the ancient words awoke the gods that
they had sung, the beliefs that they had fostered. It was recognized
that if the Indo-Europeans spoke essentially the same language, they
also worshipped essentially the same gods and believed in the same
things. As comparative grammar, on hearing the sister-tongues, caught up
the echo of the mother, whose voice they repeat, so comparative
mythology, in its turn, on looking at the sister religions, has tried to
see through them the original image which they reflect. As the one
restored the words and forms of the language which lived on the lips of
the Aryans at the moment of the breaking up of the Aryan unity, the
other endeavoured to restore the gods and beliefs which lived in their
souls at the moment when, with the unity of the race, the identity of
language and belief passed away. This restoration of the pre-historic
gods and of the pre-historic beliefs is the final object of comparative
mythology, just as the reconstruction of words and forms is the final
object of comparative grammar. The object was analogous and so was the
method. It is the comparative method, which by comparing kindred
divinities and kindred beliefs, finds the original divinity and the
original belief which gave birth to them, and which are reproduced in
them. To sketch the picture of the original mythology, it is sufficient
to separate from the various derivative mythologies the essential
characteristics common to them. Every characteristic common to the
secondary religions will be legitimately referred to the primitive one,
whenever it is essential--that is to say neither borrowed from one of
the kindred religions nor due to an identical, but quite independent
development. If, for instance, the various Indo-European mythologies
agree in naming the gods _Daiva_, "the shining ones," it follows that in
the primitive mythology, in the religion of the period of unity, they
were known already as beings of light and called thus. It is a great
deal easier to admit that the seven derived religions have faithfully
repeated what has been handed down to them from their common source,
than to imagine that once separated they have created the same
conception, each one on its side, and have clothed it with the same
expression: the former hypothesis is a simple and natural induction: the
second is in reality made up of seven hypotheses, and implies seven
chances agreeing together, seven miracles.

Our object in the following pages is to give a sketch of one of the
chapters of the Aryan mythology. We try to show that the religion of the
Indo-European unity recognized a Supreme God, and we try to find the
most ancient form and the earliest origin of that conception among the
Aryans, and to follow out the transformations it has undergone in the
course of ages.

The Supreme God: Zeus, Jupiter, Varuna, Ahura Mazda.

The Aryan Gods are not organized as a Republic: they have a king. There
is over the gods a Supreme God.

Four of the Aryan mythologies have preserved a clear and precise notion
of this conception: they are those of Greece, of Italy, of ancient
India, and of ancient Persia. This Supreme God is called Zeus in Greece,
Jupiter in Italy, Varuna in ancient India, Ahura Mazda in ancient
Persia. Let us then listen to Zeus, to Jupiter, to Varuna, and to Ahura
Mazda each in his turn.

_Zeus and Jupiter._[39]--About three centuries before our era a Greek
poet thus addressed Zeus:--

    "Oh! Thou most glorious of immortals, whose names are many, for ever
    Almighty, Zeus, Thou who rulest nature, directing all things
    according to a law, hail! To Thee all this universe moving round the
    earth yields obedience, following whither thou leadest, and submits
    itself to Thy rule.... So great in Thy nature, King Supreme above
    all things, no work is achieved without Thee, neither on the earth,
    nor in the celestial regions of ether, nor on the sea, but those
    which the wicked accomplish in their folly."

This is the Zeus of the philosophers, of the Stoics, of Cleanthes: but
he was already the Zeus of the ancient poets. Powerful, omniscient, and
just is the god of Æschylus, as that of Cleanthes: he is the king of
kings, the blessed of the blessed, the sovereign power among all powers,
the only one who is free among the gods, who is the master of the
mightiest, who is subservient to no one's rule; above whom no one sits,
no one to whom from below he looks with awe; every word of his is
absolute; he is the God of deep thoughts, whose heart has dark and
hidden ways, impenetrable to the eye, and no scheme formed within his
mind has ever miscarried. Finally, he is the Father of Justice, Dike,
"the terrible virgin who breathes out on crime anger and death," it is
he who from hell raises vengeance with its slow chastisement against the
bold wayward mortal. Terpander proclaims in Zeus the essence of all
things, the god who rules over everything. Archilochus sings Zeus
father, as the God who rules the heavens, who watches the guilty and
unjust actions of men, who administers chastisements to monsters, the
God who created heaven and earth. The old man of Ascra knows that Zeus
is the father of gods and of men, that his eye sees and comprehends all
things and reaches all that he wishes. In short, as far back as the
Greek Pantheon appears in the light of history, even from Homer, Zeus
towers above the nation of gods which surrounds him. He himself
proclaims, and the other gods proclaim after him, that, unrivalled in
power and strength, he is the greatest of all; the gods, at his behest,
silently bow down before him; he would hurl into the gloomy depths of
Tartarus whomsoever should dare to disobey him: he would hurl him down
into the uttermost depths of the subterranean abyss: alone against them
all, he would master them. Should they let fall from the sky a golden
chain on which all the gods and goddesses might be suspended, they still
would be powerless, however hard they might strain to drag him from the
heavens to the earth; and if it pleased him, he could draw them up even
with the earth, even with the sea, and he would then fix the chain on
the ridge of Olympus, and suspend on it the whole universe; so much is
he above mankind, above the gods. Not only is he the most powerful, but
also he is the wisest--the μητιέτης; he is all wisdom and he is likewise
all justice. It is from him that the judges of the sons of the Achæans
have received their laws: very good, very great, he holds learned
conversations with Themis (the law) who sits at his side; prayers are
his daughters, whom he avenges for all the insults of the wicked.

Thus, power, wisdom, justice, belonged from all time to Zeus, to the
Zeus of Homer as well as to the Zeus of Cleanthes; to the Zeus of the
poets as to him of the philosophers, in the remotest period of paganism
as at the approach of the religion of Christ. A providential god rules
the Pantheon of the Hellenes.

What Zeus is in Greece, Jupiter is in Italy: the God who is above all
the gods. The identity of the two deities is so striking that the
ancients themselves, forestalling comparative mythology, recognized it
from the very first. He is the God, great and good amongst them all:
_Jupiter, optimus, maximus_.

_Varuna._--The most ancient of the religions of India, which the Vedas
have made known to us, has also a Zeus, whose name is Varuna.[40]

    "Truly admirable for grandeur are the works of Him who has separated
    the two worlds and fixed their vast extent: of Him who has set in
    motion the high and sublime firmament, who has spread out the
    heavens above and the earth beneath.

    "These heavens and this earth which reach so far, flowing with milk,
    so beautiful in form, it is by the law of Varuna that they remain
    fixed, facing each other, immortal beings with fertile seed.

    "This Asura,[41] who is acquainted with all things, has propped up
    these heavens, he has fixed the boundaries of the earth. He is
    enthroned above all the worlds, universal king; all the laws of the
    world are the laws of Varuna.

    "In the bottomless abyss the king Varuna has lifted up the summit of
    the celestial tree.[42] It is the king Varuna who has traced out to
    the sun the broad path he is to follow: to footless creatures he has
    given feet so that they may run.

    "Those stars, which illumine the night, where were they during the
    day? Infallible are the laws of Varuna: the moon kindles itself and
    walks through the night.

    "Varuna has traced out paths for the sun: he has thrown forwards the
    fluctuating torrent of rivers. He has dug out the wide and rapid
    beds where the waves of the days, let loose, unroll themselves in
    their order.

    "He has put strength into the horse, milk into the cow, intellect
    into the heart, Agni[43] into the waters, the sun in the sky,
    soma[44] into the stone.

    "The wind is thy breath, O Varuna! which roars in the atmosphere,
    like the ox in the meadow. Between this earth and the sublime heaven
    above, all things, O Varuna, are of thy creation."

There is an order in nature, there is a law, a habit, a rule, _a Rita_.
This law, this _Rita_, it is Varuna who has established it. He is the
god of the Rita, the god of Order, the guardian of the Rita; he is the
god of efficient and stable laws; in him rest as in a rock the fixed
immovable laws.

Organizer of the world, he is its master. He is the first of the Asuras,
"of the lords;" he is _the Asura_, "the Lord;" he is the sovereign of
the whole world, the king of all beings, the universal king, the
independent king; no one amongst the gods dares to infringe his laws;
"it is thou, Varuna, who art the king of all."

As he has omnipotence, he has omniscience too, he is "the Lord who knows
all things," the _Asura viçva-vedas_. He is the sage who has supreme
wisdom, in whom all sciences have their centre; when the poet wishes to
praise the learning of a god, he compares it to that of Varuna. "He
knows the place of the birds which fly in the air, he knows the ships
which are sailing on the ocean, he knows the twelve months and what they
will bring forth, he knows every creature that is born. He knows the
path of the sublime wind in the heights, he knows who sits at the
sacrifice. The God of stable laws, Varuna, has taken his place in his
palace to be the universal king, the god with the wondrous intellect.
Hence, following in his mind all these marvels, he looks around him at
what has happened and what will happen."

As he is the universal witness, he is also the universal judge, the
infallible judge whom nothing escapes: none can deceive him, and from
above he sees the evil done below and strikes it: he has sevenfold bands
to clasp thrice round the liar by the upper, by the middle, and by the
lower part of the body. The man, smitten by misfortune, implores his
pity, and feels that he has sinned, and that the hand which strikes is
also the hand that punishes:

    "I ask Thee, O Varuna, because I wish to know my fault:

    "I come to Thee, to question Thee who knowest all things. All the
    sages, with one voice, said to me, Varuna is angry with thee.

    "What great crime have I committed, O Varuna, that thou shouldst
    want to kill thy friend, thy bard. Tell me, O Lord, O infallible
    one, and I will then lay my homage at thy feet.

    "Free me from the bonds of my crime, do not sever the thread of the
    prayer that I am weaving, do not deliver me over to the deaths that,
    at thy dictate, O Asura, strike him who has committed a crime: send
    me not into the gloomy regions far from the light.

    "Let me pay the penalty of my faults; but let me not suffer, O King,
    for the crime of others; there are so many days that have not dawned
    yet! Let them dawn for us also, O Varuna!"

Such is the supreme God of the Vedic religion, an organizing God,
almighty, omniscient, and moral. The following is a Vedic hymn which
sums up with singular force the essential attributes of the God:--

    "He who from on high rules this world sees every thing as if it were
    before him. That which two men, seated side by side are plotting, is
    heard by king Varuna, himself the third.

    "This earth belongs to the king Varuna, and this sky, these two
    sublime worlds with their remote limits; the two seas[45] are the
    belly of Varuna, and he rests also even in this small pool of water.

    "He who should leap over the sky and beyond it, would not escape the
    king Varuna: he has his spies, the spies of the heavens, who go
    through the world; he has his thousand eyes which look on the earth.

    "The king Varuna sees everything, all that which is between the two
    worlds and beyond them: he reckons the winking of the eye of all

    "The world is in his hand like the dice in the hand of the gamester.

    "Let thy sevenfold bands, O Varuna, let thy bands of wrath which are
    thrice linked together, let them enfold the man with a lying tongue,
    let them leave free the man with a truthful tongue!"

_Ahura Mazda._[46]--Ancient Persia opposes to Zeus, to Jupiter, to
Varuna, her Ormazd or Ahura Mazda.[47] "It is through me," he said to
his prophet, Zoroaster, "that the firmament, with its distant
boundaries, hewn from the sparkling ruby, subsists without pillars to
rest upon; it is through me that the earth, through me that the sun, the
moon, and the stars take their radiant course through the atmosphere; it
was I who formed the seeds in such a manner that, when sown in the
earth, they should grow, spring up, and appear on the surface; it was I
who traced their veins in every species of plants, who in all beings put
the fire of life which does not consume them; it is I who in the
maternal womb produce the new-born child, who form the limbs, the skin,
the nails, the blood, the feet, the ears; it was I who gave the water
feet to run; it was I who made the clouds, which carry the water to the
world," &c. This development, taken from a recent book of the Ghebers,
the Bundahish, is to be found entire, in the very first words of their
oldest and holiest book, the Avesta: "I proclaim and worship Ahura
Mazda, the _Creator_." As far as history can be traced, he was already
what he is now. Near the ruins of the ancient Ecbatana, the traveller
may read, on the red granite of the mountain of Alvand, these words,
which were engraved by the hand of Darius, the king of kings, nearly
five centuries before the birth of Christ:--

    "A powerful God is Aurâmazda!
    'Twas he who made this earth here below!
    'Twas he who made that heaven above!
    'Twas he who made man!"

This God, who made the world, rules it. He is the sovereign of the
universe, the _Ahura_,[48] "the Lord." "He is a powerful god," exclaims
Xerxes; "he is the greatest of all the gods." It is to his favour that
Darius, inscribing upon the rock of Behistun the narrative of his
nineteen victories, ascribes both his elevation and his triumphs. It is
to his supreme care that he confides Persia: "This country of Persia,
which Aurâmazda has given me, this beautiful country, beautiful in
horses, beautiful in men, by the grace of Aurâmazda, and through me,
king Darayavus, has nothing to fear from any enemy. May Aurâmazda and
the gods of the nation bring me their help! May Aurâmazda protect this
country from hostile armies, from barrenness and evil! May this country
never be invaded by the stranger, nor by hostile armies, nor by
barrenness, nor by evil! This is the favour which I implore from
Aurâmazda and the gods of the nation!"

This world which he has organized is a work of intelligence; by his
wisdom it began, and by his wisdom it will end. He is the mind which
knows all things, and it is to him that the sage appeals in order to
penetrate the mysteries of the world.

    "Reveal to me the truth, O Ahura! What was the beginning of the good

    "Who is the father, who, at the beginning of time, begat Order?

    "Who has traced for the sun and the stars the paths that they must

    "Who makes the moon increase and decrease?

    "O Ahura! I would learn those mysteries and many more!

    "Who has fixed the earth and the immovable stars to establish them
    firmly, so that they might not fall? Who has fixed the waters and
    the trees?

    "Who has directed the rapid course of the wind and of the clouds?
    What skilful artist has made the light and the darkness?

    "What skilful workman has made sleep and wakefulness? Through whom
    have we dawn, noon, and night? From whom do they learn the law which
    is traced out for them? Who endeared the son to his father so that
    he should train him? Those are the things that I wish to ask Thee, O
    Mazda, O beneficent Spirit, O Creator of all things!"

In his omniscience are embraced all human actions. He watches over all
things, and is far-seeing, and never sleeping. He is the infallible one;
"it is impossible to deceive him, the Ahura, who knows all things." He
sees man, and judges and chastises him, if he has not followed his law,
for from him comes the law of man, as well as the law of the world; from
him comes the science supreme among all other sciences, that of duty,
the knowledge of those things we ought to think, say, and do, and of
those things we ought neither to think, nor say, nor do. To the man who
has prayed well, thought, spoken, and acted well, he opens his
resplendent paradise; he opens hell to him who has not prayed and who
has thought, spoken, and done evil.

The Supreme God, the God of Heaven.

Thus the Aryans of Greece, of Italy, of India, and of Persia agree in
giving the highest place in their Pantheon to a supreme God who rules
the world and who has founded order, a God sovereign, omniscient, and
moral. Has this identical conception been formed in each of these cases
by four independent creations, or is it a common inheritance from the
Indo-European religion, and did the Aryan ancestors of the Greeks, of
the Latins, of the Hindoos, and of the Persians already know a supreme
God, an organizing, a sovereign, an omniscient, a moral God?

Although the latter hypothesis is more simple and more probable than the
former, it cannot, however, be taken at once as certain; because an
abstract and logical conception of this kind may very well have
developed itself at the same time among several nations, in an identical
and independent manner. To whomsoever looks upon it at any time and in
any place, the world can reveal the existence of a Supreme maker:
Socrates is not the disciple of the psalmist; yet the heavens reveal to
him, as to the Hebrew poet, the glory of the Lord. But if it be found
that the abstract conception is closely connected with a naturalistic
and material conception, and that the latter is identical in the four
religions, as it is known, on the other hand, that these four religions
have a common past, the hypothesis that this abstract conception is a
heritage of this past, and not a creation of the present, may rise to a

Now, these Gods who organize the world, rule it and watch over it; this
Zeus, this Jupiter, this Varuna, this Ahura Mazda are not the
personifications of a simple abstract conception; they emerge from a
former naturalism, from which they are not yet quite detached; they
commenced by being gods of the heavens.

Zeus and Jupiter have never ceased to be gods of the heavens, and to be
conscious of it. When the world was shared among the gods, "Zeus
received the boundless sky in the ether and the clouds for his share."
It is as the God of heaven that sometimes he shines luminous, calm, and
pure, enthroned in the ethereal splendour, and that sometimes he becomes
gloomy and gathers clouds (νεφεληγερέτης), causing the rain to fall from
heaven (ὄμβριος, ὑέτιος), hurling upon the earth the eddy of fierce
winds, drawing forth the hurricane from the summit of the ether,
brandishing the lightning and the thunderbolt (κεραύνιος, ἀστραπαῖος).
This is why the thunderbolt is his weapon, his attribute, "the
thunderbolt with its never-tiring foot," which he hurls in the heights;
why he rolls on a resounding chariot, brandishing in his hand the fiery
trident, or dashing it on the wings of the eagle, or on Pegasus, the
aërial steed of the lightning. This is why he is the husband of Dêmêter,
"the mother Earth," whom he impregnates with his torrents of rain; this
is why he sent forth, from his brow according to some, from his belly
according to others, from the clouds according to the Cretan legend,
Athênê, the resplendent goddess with the penetrating glance, who came
forth, shaking golden weapons, with a cry which made heaven and earth
resound, as she is the incarnation of the stormy light which breaks
forth from the brow of heaven, from the belly of heaven, from the bosom
of the cloud, filling space with its splendour and with the crash of its
stormy birth. Lastly, the very name of Zeus (genitive _Dios_, formerly
_Divos_) is, in conformity with the laws of Greek phonetics, the literal
representative of the Sanscrit Dyaus, heaven (genitive _Divas_), and the
union of Ζεὺς πατήρ with Δημήτηρ is the exact counterpart of the Vedic
union of _Dyaus pitar_ with _Prithivî mâtar_, of the Heaven-Father with
Earth-Mother. The word Ζεύς is an ancient synonym of Οὐρανός, which
became obsolete as a common noun; still, in a certain number of
expressions, it retains something of its former meaning. Thus it is,
when the Earth prays Zeus to let rain fall upon her; when the Athenian
in praying exclaims: "O dear Zeus, rain thou on the field of the
Athenians and on the plains"--"Zeus has rained the whole night," says
Homer: ὕε Ζεὺς πάννυχος. In all these expressions Zeus may be literally
translated as a common noun, _sky_.

Jupiter, identical with Zeus in his functions, is identical with him in
his material attributes.

The word Jûpiter, or better Jup-piter, is for Jus-piter, composed of
_pater_ and of _Jus_, the Latin contraction of the Sanscrit _Dyaus_, of
the Greek Ζεύς: Juppiter is then the exact equivalent of Ζεὺς πατήρ, and
the word has even preserved more strongly than Zeus the sense of its
early meaning; _sub Jove_ signifies "under the heavens;" the hunter
awaits the marsian boar, heedless of the cold or snow, _sub Jove
frigido_, "under the cold Jupiter, under the cold sky." Dyaus is also in
Latin, as it is in Sanscrit, the name of the brilliant sky: "Behold,"
exclaims old Ennius, "above thy head this luminous space which all
invoke under the name of Jupiter:"

    "Aspice hoc sublime candens quem invocant omnes Jovem."

Varuna, like his European brethren, has been, and is yet, a material
god, and a material god of the same kind, a god of heaven. This is why
the sun is his eye, why the sun, "the beautiful bird which flies in the
firmament," is "his golden-winged messenger;"[49] why the celestial
rivers flow in the hollow of his mouth, as in the hollow of a reed; why
everywhere visible, by turns full of light and of darkness, by turns he
infolds himself in the night, and irradiates the dawns, and by turns
clothes himself in the white garments and in the black ones. Like Zeus,
and from the same cause, he gathers together the clouds, he turns the
sack that contains the rains, and lets it loose upside down on the two
worlds; he inundates the heaven and the earth, he clothes the mountains
with a watery garb, and his blood-red eyes unceasingly furrow the watery
dwelling with their twinkling flashes. As Zeus is the father of Athênê,
he is the father of Atharvan, "the Fire-God," of Bhrigu, "the
Thunderer"--that is to say, of Agni, of the lightning. Agni himself is
brought forth "from his belly in the waters," like a male Athênê.
Finally, like Zeus, like Jupiter, he bears in his very name the
expression of what he is; and the Sanscrit Varuna is the exact phonetic
representative of Οὐρανός, sky.

In fine, the sovereign god of Persia, notwithstanding the character of
profound abstraction which he has acquired and which is reflected in his
name Ahura Mazda, "the omniscient Lord," can himself be recognized as a
god of the heavens. The ancient formulæ of the litanies still show that
he is luminous and corporeal; they invoke the creator Ahura Mazda,
resplendent, very great, very beautiful, corporeally beautiful; white,
luminous, seen from afar; they invoke the entire body of Ahura Mazda,
the body of Ahura which is the greatest of bodies; they say that the sun
is his eye, and that the sky is the garment embroidered with stars with
which he arrays himself; lastly, the most abstract of the Aryan gods has
preserved a trait which shows him more closely tied than the others to
the material world from which they have freed themselves; he is called
"the most solid of the gods," because "he has for clothing the very
solid stone of the sky." Like Varuna, like Zeus, the lightning is in his
hands, "the molten brass which he causes to flow down on the two
worlds;" like them he is the father of the god of lightning, Atar.
Lastly, the most ancient historical evidence confirms the inductions of
mythology, as at the very time when the Achæmenian kings proclaim the
sovereignty of Aurâmazda, Herodotus wrote: "The Persians offer up
sacrifices to Zeus,[50] going up on the highest summit of the mountains,
as they call _Zeus the entire orb of the sky_."

Thus the supreme gods of the four great religions of Greece, of Italy,
of India, and of Persia, are at the same time, or have begun by being
gods of the skies. By the side of these four, Svarogu, the god of the
ancient pagan Slavs, should no doubt equally be placed. Like Zeus, like
Jupiter, like Varuna, like Ahura Mazda, he is the master of the
universe, the gods are his children, and it is from him that they have
received their functions; like them he is the god of the heavens, he is
the thunderer, and like them he is the father of the Fire, Svarojitchi,
"the son of heaven."[51]

His Origin.[52]

How did the god of the heavens become the organizing god, the supreme
God, the moral God? How was the abstract conception grafted on the
naturalistic conception? What is the connection between his material
attribute and his abstract function? The Vedas give the solution of this

As far as the eye can reach, it can never reach beyond the sky; whatever
is, is under the immense vault; all that which is born and dies, is born
and dies within its bounds. Now, whatever takes place in it, takes place
according to an immutable law. The dawn has never failed to appear at
her appointed place in the morning, never forgotten where she is to
appear again, nor the moment at which she is to reanimate the world.
Darkness and light know their appointed hour, and always at the desired
moment "the black One has given way to the white." Linked together by
the same chain in the endless path open before them, they follow their
way onwards, the two immortals, directed by a God, absorbing each
other's tints. The two fertile sisters do not clash with one another;
they never stop, dissimilar in form, but alike in spirit. Thus run the
days with their suns, the nights with their stars, season following
season. The sky has always in regular course ushered in by turn the day
and the night. The moon has always lit up at the fixed hour. The stars
have always known where they should go during the day. The rivers have
always flowed into the one ocean without making it full.

This universal order is either the motion of the heavens, or it is the
action of the God of heaven, according as we think of the body or the
soul, and view in the heavens the thing or the God. Thus, in the
Rig-Veda, to say "everything is _in_ Varuna"--that is, "in the
heavens"--and to say "everything is _through_ Varuna"--that is, "through
the heaven-God"--are one and the same thing; and in these formulæ of the
Veda, so clear in their uncertainty, theism is ever found side by side
with unconscious pantheism, of which it is only an expression. "The
three heavens and the three earths rest in Varuna," says a poet, and
immediately afterwards, giving personality to his God: "It is the
skilful king Varuna who makes this golden disc shine in heaven." The
wind which whistles in the atmosphere is his breath, and all that exists
from one world to the other was created by him. "From the king Varuna
come this earth below, and yonder heaven, too, these two worlds with
remote limits; the two seas are the belly of Varuna, and he rests also
even in the small pool of water."

This pantheistic theism, which makes no clear distinction between the
God of heaven and the universe over which he rules, or which is
comprised in him, penetrates Jupiter as well as Varuna. The Latin poets
offer the equivalent of the vacillating formulæ of Vedism. "The
mortals," says Lucretius, explaining the origin of the idea of God, "the
mortals saw the regular motions of the heavens and the various seasons
of the year succeed each other in a fixed order, without being able to
discover the causes. They had, therefore, no other alternative than to
attribute all to the gods, who made everything go according to their
will, and it was in the sky that they placed the seat and domain of the
gods, because it is there that may be seen revolve the night and the
noon, the day and the gloomy planets of the night; the nocturnal lights
wandering in the sky, and the flying flames, the clouds, the sun, the
rain, the snow, the winds, the thunderbolts, the hail, the sudden
convulsions, and the great threatening rumblings."[53]

This view of the heavens as the universal centre of the movements of
Nature might just as well have led to pantheism as to theism. The line
of the poet: "Juppiter est quodcunque vides, quocunque
moveris"--"Jupiter is everything that thou seest, everywhere that thou
movest"--does not refer only to the Jupiter of the metaphysicians of the
Porch; it also expresses one of the aspects of the Jupiter of primitive
mythology. It was not by a deviation from his earlier nature that Zeus
was confounded with Pan; he was Pan by birth; and if the epopee and the
drama show us only a personal Zeus, it is because by their very nature
they could and should see him only under this aspect, and had nothing to
obtain from the impersonal Zeus, although in this form he was as old as
in the other. And the Orphic theologian is not quite unfaithful to the
earlier tradition of religion, when he sings of the universal Zeus:--

    "Zeus was the first, Zeus is the last, Zeus the thunderer;
    Zeus is the head, Zeus is the middle; it is by Zeus that all things
      are made;
    Zeus is the male, Zeus is the immortal female;
    Zeus is the base of both the earth and the starry sky;
    Zeus is the breath of the winds, Zeus is the jet of the
      unconquerable flame;
    Zeus is the root of the sea, Zeus is the sun and the moon....
    The whole of this universe is stretched out within the great body
      of Zeus."

In the same manner, although Persia has in general preserved the
personality of her Supreme god, yet she suffers him, especially in the
sects, to become confounded with the Infinity of matter through which he
first revealed himself to the mind of his worshippers. After having
invoked the heavens as the body of Ahura Mazda, the most beautiful of
bodies, she placed above Ahura himself, and before him, the luminous
space, where he manifests himself, what the theologians called "the
Infinite light," and then by a new and higher abstraction declared
_Space_[54] to have been at the beginning of the world. Between this
wholly metaphysical principle and the naturalistic principle of the
primitive religion, there is only the distance of two abstractions:
Space is only the bare form of the luminous Infinite, and the luminous
Infinite, again, is an abstraction from the Infinite and luminous sky,
which was identical with Ahura.

Thus, accordingly as the heavens were considered as the seat or as the
cause of things, the god of the heavens became the matter of the world
or the demiurge of the world. From the period of Aryan unity, he was
without doubt the one and the other in turn; but it is probable that the
theistic conception was more clearly defined than the other, as it is so
in the derived mythologies; it has besides deeper roots in the human
heart and human nature, which in every movement and in every phenomenon
sees a Living Cause, a Personality.

This god of the heavens, having organized the world, is all wisdom; he
is the skilled artisan who has regulated the motion of the worlds. His
wisdom is infinite, for of all those mysteries which man tries in vain
to fathom he has the key, he is the author. But it is not only as the
Creator of the world that he is omniscient: he knows all things,
because, being all light, he sees all things. In the naturalistic
psychology of the Aryans, to see and to know, light and knowledge, eye
and thought, are synonymous terms. With the Hindoos, Varuna is
omniscient because he is the Infinite light; because the sun is his eye;
because from the height of his palace with its pillars of red brass, his
white looks command the world; because under the golden mantle that
covers him, his thousands, his myriads of spies, active and untiring
agents, sunbeams during the day, stars during the night, search out for
him all that which exists from one world to the other, with eyes that
never sleep, never blink. And in the same way, if Zeus is the
all-seeing, the πανόπτης, it is because his eye is the sun, this
universal witness, the infallible spy of both gods and men (Θεῶν σκοπὸν
ἠδὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν). The light knows the truth, it is all truth; truth is
the great virtue which the god of heaven claims; and lying is the great
crime which he punishes. In Homer, the Greek taking an oath, raises his
eyes towards the expanse of heaven and calls Zeus and the sun to
witness; in Persia, the god of heaven resembles in body the light, and
in soul the truth: Aryan morality came down from heaven in a ray of

His Destiny.

Thus, the Indo-European religion knew a supreme God, and this God was
the God of the heavens. He has organized the world and rules it,
because, as he is the heaven, all is in him, and all passes within him,
according to his law; he is omniscient and moral, because, being
luminous, he sees all things and all hearts.

This God was named by the various names of the sky--Dyaus, Varana, Svar,
which, according to the requirements of the thought, described either
the object or the person, the heavens or the God. Later on, each
language made a choice, and fixed the proper name of the God on one of
these words; by which its ancient value as a common noun was lost or
rendered doubtful: thus, in Greek _Dyaus_ became the name of the
heaven-god (Zeus) and Varana (Οὐρανός) was the name of the heavens, as a
thing; in Sanscrit _Dyaus_ or _Svar_ was the material heavens; the
heaven-god was Varana (later changed into Varuna); the Slavs fixed on
the word Svar, by means of a derivative, Svarogu, the idea of the
celestial god; the Romans made the same choice as the Greeks with their
_Jup-piter_, and set aside the other names of the heavens; lastly,
Persia described the god by one of his abstract epithets, the Lord,
Ahura, and obliterated the external traces of his former naturalistic

This god, who reigned at the time of the breaking up of the religion of
Aryan unity, was carried away, with the various religions which sprang
up from it, to the various regions where chance brought the Aryan
migrations. Of the five religions over which he ruled, three remained
faithful to him to the last, and only forsook him at the moment when
they themselves perished;--they are those of the Greeks, of the Romans,
and of the Slavs, with whom Zeus, Juppiter, and Svarogu preserved the
titles and attributes of the Supreme god of the Aryans, as long as the
national religion lasted. They succumbed to Christ; "Heaven-father" gave
way to the "Father who is in Heaven."

India, on the contrary, very soon forgot that god for whose origin and
formation, however, she accounts much better than any other Aryan
religion does; and it was not a foreign god who dethroned him--a god
from without--but a native god, a god of his own family, Indra, the hero
of the tempest.

In fact, the supreme god of the Aryans was not a god of unity; the
Asura, the Lord, was not the Lord in the same sense as Adonai. There
were by the side of him, within himself, a number of gods, acting of
their own accord, and often of independent origin. The wind, the rain,
the thunder; the fire under its three forms--the sun in the heavens, the
lightning in the cloud, the terrestrial fire on the altar; the prayer
under its two forms--the human prayer, which ascends from the altar to
heaven, and the heavenly prayer, which resounds in the din of the storm,
on the lips of a divine priest, and descends from the heights with the
torrents of libations poured from the cup of heaven, all the forces of
nature, both concrete and abstract, appealing at once to the eye and to
the imagination of man, were instantly deified. If the god of the
heavens, greater in time and space, always present and everywhere
present, easily rose to the supreme rank, carried there by his double
Infinity, yet others, with a less continuous, but more dramatic action,
revealing themselves by sudden, unexpected events, maintained their
ancient independence, and religious development might lead to their
usurping the power of the king of the heavens. Already during the middle
of the Vedic period, Indra, the noisy god of the storm, ascends the
summit of the Pantheon, and eclipses his majestic rival by the din of
his resounding splendour.

He is the favourite hero of the Vedic Rishis; they do not tire of
telling how he strikes with his bolt the serpent of the cloud, which
enfolds the light and the waters; how he shatters the cavern of Cambara,
how he delivers the captive Auroras and cows, who will shed torrents of
light and milk on the earth. It is he who makes the sun come out again;
it is he who makes the world, annihilated during the night, reappear; it
is he who recreates it, he who creates it. In a whole series of hymns he
ascends to the side of Varuna, and shares the empire with him; at last
he mounts above him, and becomes the Universal King:--

    "He, who, as soon as he was born, a god of thought, has surpassed
    the gods by the power of his intellect, he whose trembling made the
    two worlds quake by the power of his strength--O man, it is Indra!

    "He, who has firmly established the tottering earth and arrested the
    quivering mountains; he who has fixed the extent of the
    wide-stretching atmosphere, and who has propped up the sky,--O man,
    it is Indra!

    "He, who, after slaying the serpent, unpenned the seven rivers; who
    brought forth the cows from their hiding-place in the cavern; he,
    who, by the clashing of the two stones, has engendered Agni,--O man,
    it is Indra!

    "He, who made all these great things; he, who struck down the demon
    race, driving it to concealment; he, who, like a fortunate gamester
    who wins at play, carries off the wealth of the impious,--O man, it
    is Indra!

    "He, who gives life to both rich and poor, and to the priest his
    singer who implores him; the god with beautiful lips; the protecting
    god who brings the stones together to press out the soma,--O man, it
    is Indra!

    "He, who has in his hands the herds of horses and cows, the cities
    and the chariots of war; he, who has created the Sun and the dawn;
    he, who rules the waters,--O man, it is Indra!

    "He, who is invoked by the two contending armies, by the enemies
    facing each other, either triumphant or beaten; he, whom, when they
    meet in the struggle on the same chariot, during the onslaught, they
    invoke against each other,--O man, it is Indra!

    "He, who discovered Çambara in the mountains where he had been
    hidden forty years; he, who killed the serpent in his full strength,
    who struck him dead on the body of Dânu,[55]--O man, it is Indra!

    "Heaven and earth bow down before him; when he shakes, the mountains
    tremble; the drinker of soma, look at him! bearing the bolt in his
    arm, the bolt in his hand,--O man, it is Indra!"

But the usurper does not enjoy his triumph long; in the heat of his
victory he is already stung to the heart, mortally wounded by a new and
mystic power which is growing at his side, the power of prayer, of
sacrifice, of worship, of _Brahma_, whose reign begins to dawn towards
the end of the Vedic period, and which is still in existence.

What Indra did in India during an historical period, Perkun and Odin did
in a pre-historical period, the one among the Lithuanians, the other
among the Germans. Perkun and Odin are the Indras of these two nations,
and have each dethroned the god of the heavens. Perkun was the god of
the thunder with the Lithuanian pagans, and one can recognize in him a
twin brother of the Hindoo _Parjanya_, one of the forms of the god of
the storm in Vedic mythology. This king of the Lithuanian Pantheon is a
king of recent date; what proves it is that the Slavs, so closely
related to the Lithuanians in their beliefs, as well as in their
language, and who also knew the god Perkun, have still as their Supreme
god the Supreme god of the ancient Aryan religion, the god of the
heavens, Svarogu.

The same revolution took place in Germany, but in a more remote period.
The god of the heavens has vanished; he is replaced by the god of the
stormy atmosphere, Odin, or Wuotan, the Vâta of India, the warrior god
who is heard in the din of the tempest, leading his dishevelled bands of
warriors, or letting loose on a celestial quarry the howling packs of
the wild chase.

Thus did the Greeks, the Romans, and the Slavs allow their god to be
vanquished by a foreign god; the Germans, the Lithuanians, and the
Hindoos themselves forsook him for an inferior creation. Only in one
single nation he finds worshippers faithful to the last. They are not
numerous, but they have not allowed their belief to be encroached upon
either by time or by man. We mean the few thousands of Ghebers or
Parsis, who, during the great political and religious shipwreck of
Persia, fleeing before the victorious sword of the Prophet, kept from
Islam the treasure of their old belief, and who to this day, in the year
1879 of the Christian era, in the fire temples in Bombay, offer up
sacrifices to the very same god who was sung by the unknown ancestors of
the Aryan race at a time which eludes the grasp of history.



[38] Cf. Max Müller: "Lectures on the Science of Language," and
"Lectures on the Science of Religion;" Michel Bréal, "Mélanges de
Mythologie et de Linguistique."

[39] Maury, "Histoire des Religions de la Grèce;" Preller, "Griechische

[40] See Muir, "Sanscrit Texts," v. 58; Max Müller, "Lectures on the
Origin and Growth of Religion," p. 284.

[41] "This Lord."

[42] The cloud often compared to a tree branching out in the sky.

[43] The fire (Ignis) which is born in the waters of heaven in the form
of lightning.

[44] A sacred plant whose sap is offered to the gods. It is pressed
between two stones to extract the sacred liquor.

[45] The sea of the earth and the sea of the clouds.

[46] See J. Darmesteter, "Ormazd et Ahriman," §§ 18-59.

[47] Ormazd is the modern name, contracted from the ancient Ahura Mazda.

[48] Which is the same word as the Sanskrit Asura.

[49] The sun is also the bird of Zeus (Æschylus, the Suppliants).

[50] That is to say "to their Supreme God."

[51] G. Klek, "Einleitung in die Slavische Literatur-Geschichte."

[52] "Ormazd et Ahriman," §§ 62, sq.

    Praeterea, coeli rationes ordine certo
    Et varia annorum cernebant tempora vorti;
    Nec poterant quibus id fieret cognoscere causis.
    Ergo perfugium sibi habebant omnia Diveis
    Tradere, et ollorum nutu facere omnia flecti.
    In cœloque Deum sedes et templa locarunt,
    Per cœlum volvi quia nox et luna videtur,
    Luna, dies, et nox et noctis signa severa,
    Noctivagaeque faces cœli, flammaeque volantes,
    Nubila, sol, imbres, nix, ventei, fulmina, grando,
    Et rapidei fremitus, et murmura magna minarum.--v. 1187.

[54] In other systems, having regard to the eternity of the God and no
longer to his immensity, boundless Time became the first principle
(Zarvan Akarana).

[55] His mother.


The elaborate schemes which have been propounded in attempts to solve
the much-vexed riddle how best and most effectually to ameliorate the
condition of the working-classes--such as Owenism, Fourierism, and such
like--have had their inception in the minds of philanthropists outside
and above our circle. They have been conceived for the most part with a
genuine feeling of the immense importance of this, the most burning and
momentous question of modern days, and illumined in many cases with deep
philosophic insight; yet, as it is almost impossible for any but a born
proletarian to understand the needs, the wants and the daily lives of
the proletarian, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the absence of
this special knowledge may have contributed somewhat to the
unworkableness of the various systems proposed. Beyond this, however, it
strikes me that most of them contained a fatal flaw, inherent in their
constitutions. They were too ambitious, aimed at too much, and were
altogether of so revolutionary and subversive a character as to alarm
the great majority of those whose goodwill must be obtained before it
can be possible to reduce any theory to experiment on a sufficiently
extended scale to enable an unprejudiced observer to pronounce
decisively on the result accomplished.

Were it not that the accident of my having been thrown by birth and
association amongst the very poorest of the poor ("but indifferent
honest") community of a large city may enable me to supplement to some
extent the ideas enunciated by benevolent theorists belonging to the
upper strata of society, I should not have the temerity to seek to pass
out of the region of the "eternal silences." Moreover, I do not announce
a new and perfect evangel to be ushered in by loud flourish of trumpets.
I aim at nothing more ambitious than to be allowed to offer a few hints
as to the direction which I conceive future gospels of humanity must
take in order to be of practical utility.

Having thus endeavoured to justify myself for rushing in where sometimes
"angels fear to tread," I have no intention of apologizing for the
crudeness of my ideas, or my lack of grace in literary composition.
Taking into consideration the small amount of elementary education
drilled into me at a charity school for a brief period of my very
juvenile days, and the continued absence of any duly qualified
instructor since, "all that goes without saying."

One more egotistical, or egoistical, remark, and I proceed. I am in no
sense a _specialist_. I am neither a Good Templar nor a Convivial Toper;
neither a disciple of Nihilism, nor any other school of advanced thought
(so called), nor a bigoted sectarian. I am a private in neither the
ranks of bovine Toryism nor of rabid Radicalism; but I write simply as
one of that common ruck of ordinary practical working men, which in
reality forms the great staple of our plebiscite, although certain very
noisy and turbulent minorities may possibly have led to a contrary

In the erection of my little structure, I, like all other architects,
require a good foundation as the basis of operations; and in the present
case the foundation required is simply a desire on the part of those
bipeds who stand erect on pedestals for an increased knowledge of their
fellows who crawl and kneel and lie in a thousand and one contorted
postures on the miry clay. Enlarged knowledge will bring enlarged
sympathy for each other on the part of high and low alike. As matters
now stand, those above us never really see us in undress. When they come
across us we are either too slavishly sycophantic or too ruggedly
independent,--both being masks donned for the occasion,--and not in any
sense our natural selves; and I have a dim kind of suspicion that on the
few occasions when gentlemen voluntarily come forward and try to make us
believe that they are taking us into their confidence--on the hustings,
say, for instance--some disguise of the same kind may be adopted, and
that the features we then see are not altogether the real ones. If I am
right in this assumption, how is it possible for either class to have
anything like a competent knowledge of the other? Indeed, I do not think
I should be far wrong in saying that the manners and customs of the
Fijian Islanders and other aborigines of distant lands are better known
generally to the upper ten thousand than those of the lower native
millions; and, of course, the converse holds equally good. Domestic
servants, perhaps, may be said to form exceptions to this latter rule,
seeing that they often have peeps into the innermost arcana; but as they
are for the most part--the male portion of them at all events--more
utterly inexplicable beings than their masters, the general fund of
information is not much increased through that channel. Flunkeydom is
much more insufferable and incomprehensible to the general run of us
than swelldom itself.

Granted, however, the desire for a better acquaintance with their
humbler brethren on the part of our aristocracy and plutocracy (for
this, like all other good things, must _descend_ from above), it will be
found that, as a mutual understanding of each other's peculiarities is
increased, the rich man (in this paper, as in an Act of Parliament,
words denoting persons of the masculine gender shall be construed as
including persons of the feminine gender also) will bestow a little less
careful thought and attention on--shall I say partridges?--and more on
his fellow-man; and the bitter class-prejudice which undoubtedly exists
among the needy against the prosperous and well-fed will gradually die
out. Then, and then only, will a new and brighter era dawn on "poor
humanity;" and, I may say, that I hold optimist views with reference to
this consummation. I think I observe a growing acknowledgment of the
claims of humble folk in the literature of the day; and as literature is
universally regarded as an outcome of the prevalent tone of feeling, I
look upon this as a good omen.

Having worked myself into this happy frame of mind, I am emboldened to
request that consideration may be given to a few examples of the ideas
which, "in the stillness of the night," and otherwise, have intruded
themselves upon me--ideas embryonic and unformed, I doubt not, but
genuine as far as they go. From the multitude of these shadowy phantoms
which have now for a long time past oppressed me, I select those which
strike me as having special reference to the improvement of our poor
populations in four of the salient matters of life--viz., in health,
pocket, mind, and amusements; and these I will deal with _seriatim_.


This, amongst all sublunary blessings, is undoubtedly the one of
paramount importance, and, seeing how things now stand with us, it is
imperative that it should be _the_ question to receive earliest

I think it is the Rev. Harry Jones who, in one of his warm-hearted
essays, liken as rotten, worn-out, filthy habitation to a lump of putrid
carrion, exhaling poison all around, and which should be as
remorselessly cut out from amongst the dwellings of human beings as a
fly-blown spot is cut out from a carcass. This simile, perhaps, is not a
very savoury one, but it possesses a much greater merit, that of being
_absolutely true_--slightly vulgar, but astonishingly correct. I could
illustrate its verity by many pertinent instances which have come within
my own experience, but I feel that this is not the place to do so. What
then is the remedy? Obviously to re-enact the present "Artizans'
Dwellings Improvement Act" as a _compulsory_ statute, and not as an
optional one. Let the squalid, crazy, tumble-down rookeries which exist
in every town in the kingdom be ruthlessly demolished, care, of course,
being taken that suitable dwellings are cotemporaneously built on better
sanitary principles for those whom it will be necessary to evict in
order to carry out such improvements. And I would suggest, as a branch
of the pervading idea which forms the centre and core of my suggestions
(of which more anon), that the Municipal Corporations of our cities and
towns should be themselves in their official capacity the landlords of
such new and improved dwellings, and should employ their own tradesmen
to build them. And, furthermore, that in the erection of whatever new
cottages may be found necessary for the purpose indicated, the
latter-day style of running them up all alike, as uniform as so many
squares of glass in a sash, should be abandoned, and a little variety of
style, if only in trifling particulars, introduced. Human nature, even
the human nature of the uneducated poor, rebels against this painful
monotony, and grows intensely weary of over-much regularity, which, if a
virtue at all, is one of so starched and rigid a character, that it
takes a considerable amount of resolution, and a far higher degree of
culture than we can lay claim to, to enable us to fall in love with it.
To our uninstructed eyes, diversity of form is much more pleasing than
undeviating rectangularity.

Again, the most painstaking care must be taken that these substituted
domiciles be properly and thoroughly drained. Unhappily, although this
is a truism and a self-evident proposition, it is, through carelessness
or indifference, frequently neglected--a fact too sadly attested by the
ravages of fever from time to time in our outlying districts, where,
twenty years ago, the bricklayer and hodman had not arrived upon the
scene. To obviate this it is absolutely necessary that the most skilled
science should be employed, and the most searching local legislation
strictly enforced, to secure the carrying out of approved sewerage and
drainage systems.

Furthermore, I would suggest that no horse or cattle slaughterer,
tallow-melter, manure-merchant, tanner, or other person plying any of
the trades known as noisome or offensive, should be allowed to continue
such trades without a special licence, and that by the terms of such
licence they should be prohibited, under heavy penalties, from carrying
on their businesses outside the limits of a certain area to be expressly
set aside for that purpose, at such a distance from the centre of every
town as may be judged desirable by the sanitary authorities. Within this
area pig-styes and fowl-houses should be erected, and no swine, ducks,
or geese be permitted to be kept outside its boundary. An inspector
should be appointed specially for this quarter of the town, who should
direct all his energies to seeing that the best principles of
ventilation, smoke-consumption, drainage, use of disinfectants, &c. &c.,
are adopted throughout his domain; and all ill-conditioned recusants
against the decrees of the local senate should be mulcted in heavy
damages. On the part of the senate itself there must be no apathy, no
supineness, no dilettanteism, but a stern, vigorous determination
stringently and impartially to enforce prompt obedience to its edicts.

No doubt this would be somewhat of a hardship upon certain individuals,
on the score of inconvenience and increased cost of production; but I
doubt not they would take care to indemnify themselves. Even were it
otherwise, however, the aggregate gain in so important a matter as the
public health must swamp all minor considerations. Private interests
must inevitably be sacrificed in the advancement of the general weal.
All the Mrs. Partingtons that ever existed, with all their mops (whether
such mops are called monopolies, vested rights, or what not), must
perforce recede before the rising tide of the ocean of civilization.

Having well drained our streets and habitations, and consecrated a
_quartier_ for the purposes last mentioned, the next step must be to
increase the number of our iron hospitals; and, disregarding
sentimentality, immediately to isolate and put in quarantine all persons
suffering from infectious diseases. Firmly grasp this nettle the moment
it crops up, and without a shadow of doubt you will reduce to a minimum
the high rate of mortality at present existing in our overcrowded cities
through a total neglect of proper precaution. All textile fabrics,
bedding, books, &c., which have come in contact with the patient, to be
consumed by fire. Even Vandalism is excusable, nay, commendable, in
certain circumstances.

Finally, on this branch of the subject, I submit for the consideration
of municipalities the following recommendations:--

1. Preserve or procure open spaces, sufficient to form recreation
grounds for your communities--say an acre for every thousand
inhabitants. Regard this to be quite as imperative a necessity as the
acquisition of further land to add to the cemeteries in which you inter
the bodies of those who have "gone over to the majority." Let the quick
share your care and attention on equal terms with the dead in the matter
of requisite space and accommodation.

2. Cause your common lodging-houses and your still worse haunts to be
under the most vigilant supervision; and that _constantly_, and not
fitfully and spasmodically. The more severe and restrictive your
regulations are with reference to these matters the better it will be
for all decent, quiet citizens.

3. Provide every householder within your jurisdiction with a _filter_,
to insure to him and his the opportunity of enjoying water free from
organic and other impurities.

4. Furnish him also with two boxes, varying in size according to the
dimensions of his domicile: one to form a receptacle for dust, cinders,
old rags, broken bottles, and what is generically known as "dry dirt;"
and the other for decayed vegetables, the entrails of fish, and that
kind of refuse that we rather uneuphoniously call "muck." Such boxes to
be taken away once a week and empty ones left in their stead. As a
corollary to this, forbid him, under penalties, to continue his present
practice of pitching derelicts into the street, as the readiest means of
being quit of them; and make him responsible for the cleanliness of his
doorsteps and the pavement in front of his dwelling.

5. Send round carts of chloride of lime, at short intervals during warm
or "muggy" weather, and direct a bucketful to be delivered to every
housewife, to remove stenches from sinks, water-closets, &c.

6. Erect a furnace in some convenient locality, to serve the same
purpose as that known as the "Queen's tobacco-pipe" at the London Docks
does or did--_i.e._, to reduce to ashes all infected or condemned

The foregoing list of recommendations might be extended indefinitely;
but perhaps the above will be sufficient to begin with.

There are, no doubt, two objections at least which may be raised against
the adoption of any scheme founded on these hints: first, one on the
score of increased expenditure; secondly, one condemning increased
centralization. With regard to the former, my answer is that health,
especially the health of the aggregate mass of the body politic, cannot
possibly be bought too dear; and that nothing really is so costly to any
community as pestilence and death. As to the latter, I have no other
defence to urge than my firm conviction that, much as it is railed
against, centralization is as nearly an unmixed good as it is possible
for anything in this sublunary (and marvellously complex) sphere to be.
Everybody knows how inadequate the very best isolated efforts are to
exterminate any widespread evil; and even organizations which are
independent of, and do not radiate from or gravitate to, a common
centre, frequently cross each other's paths, and to some extent defeat
each other's purposes; occasioning a great waste of wholesome energy,
which, well directed, might achieve marvellous results. As cosmos is
greater than chaos--as a well-spliced rope is stronger than its separate
strands--so is centralization and cohesion greater and stronger than
individualism and segregation.


Many a vigorous arm has applied the axe to that dense and matted jungle,
the indigence of the lower orders; but little more has been accomplished
than the blunting of the hatchet and the exhaustion of the pioneer who
wielded it.

This being the case, it would be the height of folly for me, with my far
feebler frame and my puny weapon, to attempt to do more than to peer
cautiously around the deep shades, and try to find out, as a dweller
_within_ those murky woods, if here a little path and there a little
opening, into which a gleam of sunlight penetrates at times, be not
discoverable, half hidden, perchance, by clumps of brushwood, which it
will cost but little trouble to clear away. I shall therefore restrict
myself to indicating such of these openings as I see, or fancy I see,
from whence operations might, according to my notion, be directed
towards the demolition of portions at all events of this swart and
gloomy forest.

One of the largest of these clearings is undoubtedly, I think,
_Co-operation_, of which there are two kinds--viz., combinations between
masters and men in the shape of limited partnerships, a per-centage on
profits, &c.; and combinations amongst the wage-earners themselves for
certain specified purposes.

With regard to the first named, I am rather inclined to doubt the
probability of its ever becoming an important factor in the sum of human
progress, on account of the unlikelihood of its being generally adopted
either in the near or distant future, and I am still more sceptical as
to its efficacy as a panacea, even if it were universally reduced to
practice, especially in these days of commercial disasters.

Coming, then, to the other mode of co-operation--associations of manual
workers--this also divides itself into two branches, having two distinct
objects--namely, the receipt of higher wages for labour performed, and
the obtaining greater value in commodities in the disbursement of such
wages. Both these are, no doubt, laudable aspirations; and, although at
the first glance they may appear incompatible with, if not altogether
antagonistic to, each other,--inasmuch as increased remuneration to the
producer means an increase in the price of the thing produced,--yet it
will be seen, on mature reflection, that as a very large proportion of
operatives are employed in the manufacture of articles of luxury, of
which they are not consumers or purchasers, so much of the increase in
the price of such articles as finds its way into the pockets of the
artificer in the shape of added wages is a net gain to that portion of
the labouring classes, and will inevitably exude from such portion to
the benefit of the whole, in the same manner as what may be called in
contradistinction their normal earnings.

I should like to say one word about combinations of workmen in this
place, which may be distasteful to unqualified panegyrists of the
system: such combinations should invariably be in accordance with our
recognized code of morals, and they must be in obedience to the ordinary
laws of Nature; and it is to be feared that these desiderata to
perfection in co-operation have at times been lost sight of in the past.
I am compelled to blush for my order when I find them seizing the
opportunity of their employers being under a heavy time-contract for the
execution of important public or other works to organize a strike: this
is clearly an infraction of all the ethics of morality. Neither can I
appreciate their sense of the fitness of things when I hear them laying
it down as a sound axiom that wages should be equalized, so that the
stupid, idle, or inferior workman should be on a par with the skilled
and industrious one. This is a blunder against one of the most immutable
of Nature's laws--that of variety and infinite gradation; the suggestion
implies a yearning after the utterly unattainable, which it is
astonishing men of otherwise sound judgment should seriously entertain
for one moment. As a comrade of mine pithily observed, not long since,
when we were discussing the possibility of devising a scheme by which
all men should receive the same amount of remuneration for their labour,
and, when received, be enabled to make it go equally far--"You might as
well try to make men all o' one height."

Remove these excrescences from our combinations, and when it is found we
can be practical as well as earnest, co-operation will have acquired a
new vigour, and will be able to accomplish greater results. The main
citadel will be none the less impregnable because our forces are not
scattered abroad in various directions, in the vain endeavour to
strengthen totally indefensible frontiers.

But, after all, it is from the other branch of co-operation--the
_co-operative store system_--that the greatest advantages may be
expected to accrue. This is growing into favour yearly, still growing
(despite recent diatribes in the newspapers), and is extending its
ramifications into quite primitive districts. The knowledge that this is
an undoubted fact should afford gratification to the well-wishers of the

Yet this gratification is subject to some modification when it is seen
that this, not the least important birth of the nineteenth century,
though growing and bearing within itself the germs of almost infinite
possibilities, is at present of too tiny dimensions to grapple with that
colossal ogre--the wasteful expenditure of the impecunious. It is
Hercules indeed, but Hercules still in swaddling clothes before the
strangling of the serpent. The amount of dealings at these stores by the
class to whom they are calculated to prove the greatest boon, when
compared with dealings by this same class with _very_ retail shopkeepers
and at other places where the practice of paying "through the nose"
(pardon the vulgarity) so extensively prevails, will be found to be
almost infinitesimal. The question therefore arises, may it not be
possible to replace these pine torches by Edisonian lights, so as to
eliminate from wider tracts the thick darkness enwrapping the minds of
the sons and daughters of toil as to what constitutes their true
interests? It appears to me that there is one way of rendering this
feasible, which I deferentially submit for consideration. It may be
quite impracticable; and, if practicable, may contain such flaws as to
be futile. If so, on defects being pointed out which I am not able,
unassisted, to discover, I can only say I am open to conviction. I have
no desire to be charged with an ineradicable attachment to that peculiar
feat of horsemanship known as "riding a hobby to death." My plan is
simply this: first, let every town of say over 10,000 inhabitants
possess an internal government complete in itself, with plenary
administrative powers; let groups of villages, in such numbers as may be
determined on (the present Poor-Law Union Divisions might be taken as a
basis), form cordons round themselves in like manner, and with the like
objects; let every care be taken to select the very best men of every
social grade to form the local senate, and let the members of which it
is composed be paid for their services out of the public (local) funds,
be subject to re-election at short intervals, and be required to give
good accounts of their stewardship. Further, let it be clearly
understood that the only condition on which a man could hope to be
enrolled in this representative band, or, being enrolled, expect to be
allowed to continue his official existence, would be his distinct and
unquestioning recognition of _personal_ responsibility, as far as is
humanly possible, for, and his unwavering resolution to secure, the
well-being of _all_ his constituents, physically, pecuniarily, mentally,
and morally.

These preliminaries being supposed to be satisfactorily settled, such
incorporation or assembly of chosen ones might (always supposing my
views happened to find favour in their sight) open as many co-operative
stores--so many for each trade--as would be sufficient to supply the
needs of the entire community, selecting competent men from each trade
to manage the different departments, and paying them by an agreed salary
in the same manner as rate collectors and relieving officers are paid. A
certain specified per-centage to be added to the prime cost of the
various articles to defray the estimated expenses of management,
advertising, rent (if necessary, though it would be better if the local
legislators were also the landlords), wear and tear, depreciation in
stock, and miscellaneous expenses for the year; and sales to be made to
the consumer _for cash only_. The urban or rural chancellor of the
exchequer would, in his annual budget, soon learn to adjust the amount
of his tax (for so the per-centage may be considered), over and above
the original cost price, according to the probable exigencies of the
ensuing year, by the light afforded by the transactions of the preceding

Seeing how many millions of pounds are annually disbursed for the barest
sustenance and most absolute necessaries of life by the poor of the
three kingdoms, from most of whom exorbitant rates of profit are
wrung,--for the fact need not be expatiated on here that the more
indigent the purchaser, and the more his penury drives him to live from
hand-to-mouth, the less value he receives for his money, to say nothing
of the further irruptions made into his income by the only
partially-slain "truck system," or by the payment of interest to the
accommodating successors of the Lombards, whose golden balls proclaim
them to serve the honourable office of jackal-purveyors to the lions of
the gin-palaces,--seeing this, I say, shall I be stigmatized as a
dreamer, a half-crazy Utopian, if I anticipate magnificent results to
follow from fair trial of a scheme designed to stem the frightful
torrent of improvidence at present obtaining amongst the working
classes, and to enable them to occupy the new position of being
participators in the benefits of a sound commercial undertaking?

Here, however, as elsewhere, there are tares amongst the wheat--if,
indeed, it be wheat. An awkward inquiry obtrudes itself unbidden. What
is to become of the thousands of deserving folks, too old for the most
part to begin life _de novo_, who have earned a tolerably honest
livelihood as small shopkeepers, and who would probably find themselves,
under the system just recommended, "improved off the face of the earth?"
Partially the difficulty might be met by the employment of the most
active or most experienced of them in the borough stores. A little more
might be accomplished in this direction also by giving some of them
appointments to the numerous new offices it will be found necessary to
create if our municipal authorities ever do wake up and bestir
themselves, and aspire to becoming something more suitable to the spirit
of the age than mere assemblies for palaver. But when all this is done,
there will still be the residuum, and that residuum composed almost
exclusively of the feeble, the aged, the halt, the lame, and the blind,
who will be more or less thrown upon their own resources. For these, the
only gleam of light I can discern is the fact that a remnant of their
old customers will not find out all at once the error of their ways, and
will go on in their accustomed grooves for some time after the
centralized co-operative store shall have become _un fait accompli_, and
so their decline into pauperism will be slow and gradual. Heaven only
knows how some of these small shopkeepers contrive to exist even now by
vending pennyworths and halfpennyworths of this, that, and the other; it
can only be by imposing extravagant profits on the article vended. One
cannot help thinking that their case can hardly very well be worse than
it is, in any event. But be this as it may, care for their particular
interests must not be permitted to dominate over due consideration for
those of the vast aggregate mass forming the rest of our _clientèle_,
innumerable as "leaves in Vallambrosa,"--and, like other and greater
folks, superfluous retailers must submit to be sacrificed for the
benefit of the common weal.

It is impossible to deal even in the most cursory manner with this
"pocket" question without just glancing at the important bearing which
the question of temperance must exercise upon it. To place a further
spending power in the hands of an incurably intemperate populace would
obviously mean only to increase and intensify the vice of intemperance.
While deprecating any intention of making this paper the vehicle for a
furious tirade against drunkenness, I feel bound to say in passing that,
little as I love total abstinence, I regard it as a much lesser evil
than the unrestrained indulgence of dipsomania; and if any man feels
that he is so much a slave to his degraded appetite that he cannot keep
up a nodding acquaintance with John Barleycorn without wallowing under
his influence in the mud of inebriety, I respect that man for signing
the pledge. My optimist instincts, however, buoy me up again on this
subject also, for I sincerely believe that, high authority for the
assertion though there be, mankind are _not_ mostly fools; and that when
they have begun to realize the fact that they have a choice as to the
kind of investment they may obtain for their money, the great majority
of them will be looking out for some more substantial advantage than the
questionable luxury of seeking temporary oblivion from carking cares and
the grisly spectre of hopeless indigence. It may, I think, be relied on
with certainty that an improvement in the pecuniary circumstances of the
poor would beget increased self-respect, and self-respect would proclaim
drunkenness _unfashionable_, and that now vigorous and lusty giant would
ere long find himself as decrepit and infirm as Bunyan's Giant Pope.
Those of us who have read of the bacchanalian orgies of the great no
further back than the days of the Regency of George IV., and contrast it
with the sobriety which is said to prevail amongst them in our days,
cannot be accused of being groundlessly sanguine if we augur the
percolation downwards of this stream of moderation under happier
auspices, and that, too, in no remote future.

A third means of lightening the strain upon our _ouvriers_ is to
multiply the facilities for emigration. I would even go so far as to say
that I think an _International_ Emigration and Immigration League
between all the civilized nations of the world, for the purpose of
drafting overplus populations into thinly inhabited districts, would be
rather a good thing than otherwise, the inconveniences attending
differences of language, manners, and so forth, being quite
surmountable; whereas the difficulties attendant upon the possession of
more hands to labour than there is work to perform, and consequently
more hungry stomachs than there is food to fill, is altogether
insurmountable. With regard to the affliction of _mal du pays_, from
which undoubtedly many of the expatriated would suffer at intervals,
that would be found to be a much more tolerable burden to bear, combined
with a sufficiency of victuals and clothing, than the pangs of
starvation or semi-starvation even on one's "native heather."

But as it is no part of my programme to move too fast, or too far at
once, I do not insist upon any international arrangement of the kind I
have hinted at during, say, the present decade. I do, however, earnestly
entreat all whom it may concern to try their best to place the matter of
Emigration on a proper footing. I unhesitatingly maintain that whilst
Great Britain possesses untold thousands of acres of virgin soil, and
practically unlimited untried possibilities, in her numerous colonies,
this our "sea-girt isle" ought not to suffer from a plethora of willing
workers. The existing facilities held out to our overcrowded populations
to induce them to venture upon "fresh fields and pastures new" might be
multiplied a hundred-fold.

Surely it ought to be part of the fundamental policy of a
State--especially of a State whose real governing body is elected by
household suffrage--to take the most active measures for insuring the
weal of all its citizens: the humblest as well as the highest. Does not
this, indeed, form the very quintessential attribute of good government?
Has it not been rightly said that a State represents the totality of all
the individuals composing it? I assume these are sound political axioms;
and if I am right in this assumption, may I not suggest, as the most
certain way of attaining the desired end, that our Representative
Government should formally acknowledge our claims upon them by
appointing a Minister for "the Condition of the People," with a seat in
the Cabinet? The next step would be easy, for when once the whole
surroundings were fairly brought within the range of vision, the vital
importance of Emigration as a principal means of amelioration would be
recognized; and it would be discovered that an able Secretary for
Emigration would prove an invaluable auxiliary in the effective working
of the department.

It would be necessary, I apprehend, to select for this latter office a
man eminent as well for good temper as for a capacious intellect, as the
multiplicity of the functions he would have to perform would render such
office by no means a sinecure; and the involved and complex matters he
would have to deal with might, at times, go far in the direction of
ruffling the serenest imperturbability.

The eye of fancy depicts him in the active performance of his
multifarious duties, surrounded by numerous painstaking subordinates,
some of whom bear to him huge tomes, containing a full alphabetical list
(compiled from the census returns and other sources) of the populations,
industries, and assessments of the United Kingdom, divided into areas of
certain dimensions, showing the age, sex, occupation, and earnings or
incomings of every person; the number of houses (with their rentals or
estimated yearly value), workshops, or other business establishments of
every kind, specifying how many hands are employed in each and the
amount of wages paid; and also showing the number of persons in receipt
of out-door relief, and approximate number of vagrants in each district.
Other attentive satellites open before him the various domesday books,
containing reports by competent surveyors as to the quantity, and the
latent riches or irredeemable poverty, of uncultivated lands throughout
those vast dominions of ours on which the sun never sets; with copious
notes by skilled mercantile men and geographers, pointing out the places
where commodious ports might be formed, railways constructed, or
manufactories erected. Our much-worried Secretary, whose heart is in his
work, compares notes, and directs some of his chief clerks to prepare
digests of, for instance, the information contained in pp. 420 to 446 of
the 17th volume of the first set of books, and pp. 97 to 104 of the 32nd
volume of the second set, ready for his consideration on the day but one
following. He then takes up similar digests, which have previously been
prepared in like manner, and sees clearly that one hundred artisan
families of various specified trades, full particulars of which are
before him, may, with advantage to all parties, be transplanted, passage
free, from the blind alleys of Flintchester to the new settlement of
Hornihand in Australasia, with the authorities of which place the usual
arrangement will be made to assist them on their _début_, and lend them
a helping hand until they get fairly settled down. Day after day this
kind of thing goes on throughout the year, except for some two months
during the late summer and autumn vacation, when the hard-worked
Secretary and his staff are enjoying a well-earned holiday.

The more I ruminate on this matter of Emigration the more I am convinced
that it is indispensable; it should run on wider lines, and cover a far
more extended area than is possible under anything short of Governmental
intervention. Seeing the utter inutility and inefficacy of isolated
exertions to deal with the mighty problems which our complex
civilization presents for solution, I should, on behalf of myself and my
class, hail with joy the prospect of State interference in our
interests. Sneers may continue to be directed against, and witty
sarcasms levelled at, a "Paternal Government," "infringement of that
liberty of the subject which is the inherent privilege and birthright of
every Briton," and other like cuckoo-cries. But meantime we starve; we
increase and multiply in obedience to the law of Nature, and our
opportunities of earning subsistence do _not_ increase and multiply in a
corresponding ratio. And without by any means desiring to steep my pen
in midnight blackness in order to portray possible portentous
consequences, yet it is a proposition not to be controverted that the
ever-increasing preponderance of born toilers over any quantity of
remunerative toil which can by any possibility be created within the
limits of Great Britain proper must inevitably cause such consequences
to be calamitous. For some time past the dark shadow of over-population
has been looming on the horizon of "Merrie England," at first no bigger
than a man's hand, but later advancing nearer and still more near and
assuming colossal proportions; and the time cannot be far distant when
it will obstinately refuse to be ignored any longer, even by the most
unreflective, but will assert itself in a manner little to be desired.
How, then, to avert this evil? How to postpone the advent of the fateful
day? Are not these queries of vital interest to all ranks of society? I
for one feel them to be so: hence the above gropings after gleams of
daylight in the midst of the gathering shades. I do not pretend to aver
that I have found the sunshine, that I have discovered an absolute cure
for all the ills that "flesh is heir to." Too well I know what mistakes
and blunders are interwoven in the best-devised schemes of human origin.
Nevertheless, I hold that the free expression and ventilation of
opinions, even though they may be erroneous, is often eventually
productive of good, by serving to dispel vagueness of thought and loose
generalization, and solidifying the abstract into the concrete; until
which process has been accomplished no thing soever can be dealt with
satisfactorily. Therefore, as a firm _dis_believer in the Malthusian
philosophy, as also in the recommendations for checking the increase of
population more recently scattered broadcast amongst us, and being
deeply impressed with the imperative necessity of confronting the
difficulty at once--_now_, in these days when the heavens above us
appear to be hardening into brass, and the earth beneath us to be
corrugating into iron--I have requested the Editor of this REVIEW to
afford me the opportunity of giving publicity to my views.

Closely allied to this division of my paper, if not actually of it, is
the subject of _Charity_. Here, again, what a lamentable waste of vital
force, what an invertebrate entity crying aloud to be overhauled,
remodelled, jointed, and braced! Contrast the grand sum total yearly
given in charity with the paucity of definite results attained--the
well-worn comparison of the Nasmyth hammer and the nut instantaneously
recurs to one's mind. Except when subscriptions are raised for some
specific object outside the usual round altogether, how little there is
to show for the expenditure! Why is this so? And what is the remedy?
Obviously, I opine, the cause is individualism, isolation, caprice,--and
as obviously, I ween, the only cure is combination, organization,
system. Where we have now hundreds of little benevolent societies, with
their honorary secretaries and treasurers and fussy committees, each
neutralizing the others, let us have two or three established on a broad
basis, with a central committee who, when the "sinews of war" are
collected in one focus, will be strong enough to enter on paths at
present untrodden, and wise enough to understand that almost innumerable
differentiations in the nature of gifts will be necessary to cope
successfully with the almost illimitable diversities in the nature of
requirements, and who will insist on being invested with discretionary
powers in matters of occasional aids and supplemental benevolences. Then
it will be no longer possible for the shameless pauper, flaunting his
rags and sores in the marketplace, or the whining sycophantic hypocrite,
to monopolize the coals of one society, the blankets of a second, the
soup of a third, and so on _ad infinitum_, not seldom exchanged for
means of procuring beer to give additional zest to the utterance of the
sentiment--"What fools these gentlefolks be." The most searching
inquiries would be instituted, and perchance succour afforded to those
to whom it would prove an inestimable boon, but who, from constitutional
timidity or _mauvaise honte_, now starve and drop and die in silence,
overlooked by almoners who take the first miserable-looking object who
comes to hand, the most self-asserting or the most "'umble," and
straightway pour out the contents of their cornucopias upon shams,
making a miserable travesty of the sacred name of Charity.


It is refreshing to know that so far as this branch of the subject is
concerned, our governors, having by the force of circumstances been
compelled to realize the fact of our existence, and our claim to be
considered as veritably part and parcel of the body politic, with rights
of common citizenship, have further, within the last few years, by the
passing of the Compulsory Education Act, shown themselves possessed of
political sagacity, by thus taking steps to insure that our descendants,
when their turn comes to exercise and enjoy the civil privileges now
granted to them, shall at least have a ploughed and manured soil in
which to sow the seeds of love for law and order with some chance of due
fructification, instead of the rough, hibbly-hobbly cinder-heap of their
forefathers, which acknowledged no fertilizing influence but gross
bribery, and partially justified the political ostracism and exclusion
of its owners from all share in electoral privileges.

All hail, then, to the School Board system as a great step in the right
direction. Undeniably true as are some of the accusations brought
against it, alleging that many blunders and useless extravagances, and
much disregard for the susceptibilities of well-meaning but mistaken
opponents, have marked its progress onward in too many instances; yet as
the general idea is laudable and eminently conducive to promoting the
highest interests of the entire population, and as in the nature of
things it may be expected that greater experience will bring greater
wisdom, and the faults charged against the movement gradually become
"small by degrees and beautifully less," let us heartily wish it

Yet, why does the good work stop here? Why should not provision be made
for building upon the foundation thus laid? Why should totally unformed
intelligences be the only ones to profit by this guardian care, and why
should they be led a little way on the road and then left to flounder
along by themselves, and lose themselves in interminable mazes? Why, in
short, should education be confined to children, and not extended to

It is true that the University Extension Scheme, as now carried out in
many of our larger provincial towns to a very, very limited and only
faintly appreciable extent, tends to show that the wind is just
beginning to blow in this direction also. Something, however, much more
comprehensive is needed. The masses are not reached, as will be patent
to any one who will take the trouble to attend any of the courses of
lectures delivered in connection with this extension system. The
neophytes seeking initiation into this or that special branch of
learning will be found to be composed principally of what we call
"better class" people, with a sprinkling of pupil teachers and sucking

Nor is this the fault of the masses themselves, as may perhaps be
conjectured; the mere circumstance of the prices charged for admission
in itself forming an insuperable barrier to the great majority having
any part or lot in the matter, to say nothing of the fact that the whole
apparatus is professedly set in motion for the benefit of the
middle-class public solely.

But however inadequate this minute increase in the volume of the
fertilizing waters of Literature and Science may be for the mighty task
of irrigating the parched and arid desert which stretches out in
measureless extent before us, yet I am fain to regard it as a favourable
omen--as a symptomatic indication that the "fountains of the great
deeps" of human ignorance are beginning to be broken up, and that the
tide _is_ rising which, when it has reached its full height, will
disseminate the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge far and wide over the
landscape so that the lowly equally with the high-born may pluck and eat
thereof. The monster Cerberus has received a buffet on one of its three
heads, and the Hesperidean Gardens may ere long, I am sanguine enough to
hope, be entered by any thirsty passer-by without fear of molestation.

All this, however, is dreamy, unsubstantial verbiage. That it is not
also mere chimerical nonsense, which will not bear the strain of
practical application, I will attempt to show--always supposing as a
necessary preliminary, as in all the hypothetical propositions
throughout this paper, that that portion of the community who are nursed
in the lap of fortune are imbued with sympathetic feelings towards the
less favoured sharers of their common humanity, and do not object to
take a little trouble and bear a little charge by way of displaying
their fellow-feeling.

Grant this premiss, and what follows, or something better, may easily be
rendered an accomplished fact.

The first step will be the formation of a council or committee, after
the manner before suggested, save that in this case we shall want an
infusion of men of culture who at the same time shall be good workers
and good philanthropists (a rare combination, but not an impossible one,
I venture to think, notwithstanding the seductions a life of Sybaritic
ease and delicate refinement specially offers to the scholar), in every
considerable town or group of villages throughout the length and breadth
of the land, with power over the district purse-strings, and with no
superior authority except the Minister or Secretary of State for
Education at Whitehall--for, of course, such a functionary will in those
happy times be quite as much a necessity as a Master of the
Buckhounds--who alone will have power to veto their proceedings and
issue general rules for their guidance.

If I had the ear of this all-important official, I should whisper to him
that in my view the best mode of enlightening the working classes would
be to take possession of three already-existing institutions, and
enlarge their dimensions so as to make of them real forces, distinctly
visible, instead of the hole-and-corner obscure trivialities they are
now. These three institutions are--1st, Free Libraries; 2nd, Lecture
Halls; 3rd, Class Rooms.

1. To Free Libraries I have accorded the first place, because in all
probability it is there that the beneficial results will be more
immediately apparent, and the advantages offered will, in the first
instance, be most considerably made use of. The major portion of the
huge and unwieldy mass to be operated on would fly off at a tangent from
the exactness and method necessarily incident to formal lectures, and in
a still greater degree to class-work. It must first be left to itself to
sprawl and struggle at its own free-will; the restraining chain must not
be too soon brought into view; gradually and insensibly the quickening
influence must be brought to bear; the change from density to
clear-headedness, from sluggish inertness to mental activity, will not
be effected in a moment; not all at once will the spiritual part of the
long-benighted assert its claim to an equality with the animal part;
desultory reading only will impart a love for reading; odd waifs and
strays of information picked up just anyhow will alone create the desire
for the acquisition of further knowledge, and by imperceptible degrees
the naturally well-regulated mind will reject vagueness and demand
exactness; having reached which stage it will be fit to undergo the
further regimen prescribed. A good starting-point, however, will have
been gained when our operatives generally are imbued with a genuine love
of books and obtain a somewhat varied, if superficial, knowledge anent
the salient features of English literature.

These words, "_English_ literature," are used advisedly; for while I
would have every town of over 5000 inhabitants possessed of a Free
Library (varying in size according to the population), and every village
have its book-loan society, it would be well to insist on the greatest
and best of our own writers being well represented upon the shelves of
every institution of this character before venturing on translations
either of the ancient classics or modern foreign authors, even of
European reputation. Homer, Thucydides, Æschylus, Plato, Virgil, and the
rest, as well as Dante, Cervantes, Goethe, and the innumerable host of
Continental immortals, can very well wait a bit. We want to inspire
_British_ operatives with a love of letters. In endeavouring to effect
this, shall we not give the foremost place to the productions of
_British_ genius? We have to _form_ a taste. Is it not desirable that,
to begin with at all events, this should be a _national_ taste? But is
not this the very way, it may be asked, to foster insular prejudices,
narrowness, and bigotry? I reply, not necessarily, as many of our ablest
_littérateurs_ have not hesitated to attack the various abuses, follies,
and weaknesses which crop up in these islands from time to time--some
hurling denunciations at them aglow with all the fervour of passion and
intellect; others piercing them with the sharp spear of satire; and
others yet again calmly but pitilessly holding them up to contempt in a
train of close reasoning. Many, too, in addition to lashing the vices
peculiar to their native country, have, in terms of generous eloquence,
eulogized the virtues of our neighbours. Therefore, the man who is
disposed to wrap himself up in a mantle of national self-glorification
and self-righteousness will not find that the hierarchs of our national
literature are at all times compliant enough to fasten the clasp for

But I have a further answer--_i.e._, independently altogether of the
question whether the perusal of English works solely will or will not
have a tendency to nip the growing flower of cosmopolitanism in the bud,
the one essential point in training the English subject to think is to
train him to think in his own vernacular--to show him of what mighty
things his mother-tongue is capable, and to satisfy him that

    "Age cannot weary, nor custom stale
    Its infinite variety;"

and that if ever he, individually, wants to raise up his voice and make
himself heard on any subject that interests him or his fellows, he must
not fritter away his attention on more distant objects, but concentrate
his gaze on those which immediately surround him.

This view may appear somewhat contradictory to the one expressed when
dealing with the subject of Emigration; but really it is not so. The
leaving behind the special spot of earth where one drew one's first
breath, played as a boy, saw his first sweetheart, and grew up to
manhood, the parting from old friends and long-familiar objects, may
and does entail a severe struggle, and inflict many a bitter pang; but
it is unavoidable, and so must be submitted to. It is otherwise with
home ideas, habits, modes of thought, literature. These will serve to
mitigate the poignancy of separation from one's native land, will
intertwine themselves more closely round one's affections by reason of
that very separation, and be the means of causing miniature Englands to
arise in far-off regions, and in various degrees of latitude and
longitude. While releasing as cheerfully as may be what we _must_ let
go, let us hug more closely still that which we _can_ retain.

To return: In a well-equipped Free Library no standard British author
should be conspicuous by his absence. The poets, from Chaucer and Gower
to Tennyson and Browning; the dramatists, from Marlowe and Shakspeare to
W. S. Gilbert and Tom Taylor; the _modern_ historians, from Hume and
Gibbon to Froude and Freeman; the modern theologians, from Hooker and
Jeremy Taylor to Canon Farrar and the Dean of Westminster; the modern
essayists, from the projectors of the _Tatler_ and _Spectator_ to the
contributors to the current Reviews and Magazines; the philosophers, the
leaders in all departments of science, should be there; the best writers
of prose fiction, also, from Fielding and Goldsmith to Trollope and
George Eliot, should be well represented. The most profound and the most
volatile will alike find sufficient to occupy their attention here for
some time. The "Anglican paddock" (to misapply a now well-known term)
will afford plenty of grazing ground to cattle of moderate appetites for
a considerable period; and when it is exhausted, why, then, there are
toothsome grasses in endless profusion to be cropped over the boundary

2. With reference to Lecture Halls, these ought to be nearly as
plentiful as churches both in town and country, and can with proper
management be made to serve two ends--the carrying forward the work
begun at the Free Library, and the rousing from torpidity those whom
even that useful institution would fail to reach; for as many would only
be led to attend the lecture through the library, so there are many with
whom the contrary would hold good, as many a dormant, beer-sodden soul
would consent to be carried off for an hour or two to a lecture hall who
could never be persuaded to sit down in cold blood to the perusal of a
book, although such book might be written in the most fascinating and
brilliant style imaginable: the unused eyes would soon begin to ache,
the palsied brain soon begin to numb; whereas the speaker, if a good
one, and his heart in his subject, would contrive to rivet the man's
attention, despite of himself, by the magnetism of enthusiasm, and he
would carry away with him some sort of idea--muddled and distorted
probably, but still an _idea_--of what it was all about.

Penny Readings interspersed with music have been very much derided by
our erudite critics, I think without sufficient cause. These really
harmless, if not very high-class gatherings, blending together the
ingredients of a certain kind of instruction and of entertainment, were
doubtlessly called forth by a genuine desire to familiarize the lower
orders of the people with some of the more dramatic passages in our
literature, and to render visible to them a higher intellectual standard
than the tap-room and the music-hall had made them acquainted with. It
was a happy thought to mingle singing and playing with the readings. The
introduction of these not only served to take off a possible monotony
which might otherwise have been felt, but added attractions really
elevating in their influence, the status and general surroundings of the
auditory being taken into consideration. There is no need to pry too
curiously into the petty vanities which prompted this elocutionist or
that vocalist to make an appearance in public, nor to speculate too
closely upon the disproportion between the ludicrous extravagance of the
efforts often made by incompetent aspirants to obtain fame, and the very
modest modicum and evanescent character of that article vouchsafed in
return. All this is nothing to the purpose. The simple query is,--Have
these things, known as "Penny Readings," in ever so slight a degree,
fulfilled the object of their existence as that object is generally
understood? If an affirmative answer can be given (as I certainly
believe it can) to that question, then are they entitled to honest
praise, and not to supercilious contempt.

However, having deposited my little offering at this humble shrine as I
passed by, I am free to confess that if we never get any further than
this on the road towards the mental improvement of the million, the
march of intellect will be a very short march indeed. But it will
not--it cannot stop here. The universal law of progress forbids the
idea; and in some form or another the irresistible impetus to advance
will be felt and obeyed.

Meantime, no better means, so far as I see, appearing for the moment to
be available, I fall back upon my pet project of lectures, to be
delivered every night (Sundays excepted) from the middle of September to
the middle of May in every year, in every one of the multitudinous halls
built for the purpose, by men or women well versed in the several
subjects upon which they discourse.

Failing the possibility of procuring a sufficient number of lecturers
who could spare the time necessary to compose original matter for the
purpose, it would be by no means a bad plan, I think, to employ good and
experienced hands to condense and compress standard works on different
subjects into such a compass as to occupy two or three evenings, and
hand these digests over to practised elocutionists to be _read_. Take
history, for example. Prescott's "Conquests of Mexico and Peru,"
Motley's "Rise of the Dutch Republic," Irving's "Conquest of Granada,"
Carlyle's "French Revolution," or Hepworth Dixon's "Her Majesty's
Tower," are peculiarly well adapted to undergo this process. The
absorbing interest of the incidents described could not fail to engage
the attention of the audience; and I cannot help thinking that the
offended _manes_ of such of the above-named great ones as have departed
from amongst us would be appeased when it was represented to them that
this mutilation of their invaluable legacies to posterity had been
conducted with due reverence, and solely for the purpose of introducing
them to a far wider (and, perchance, not less appreciative) audience
than even their exalted talents could otherwise have commanded. As to
the still-living ones, perhaps before taking the liberty suggested with
their literary offspring, it might be courteous to ask their permission,
and I feel confident they would not be churlish enough to withhold it. I
may be reminded that there would still be publishers and owners of
copyright to be dealt with; but I leave suggestions as to the best means
of negotiating with these awful entities to persons of greater
experience than myself.

Obviously this lecture-hall business, like most of my other theories,
necessarily involves considerable expenditure; but if anything is to be
done, opulence must feel for indigence not only in heart but in pocket.

3. A thorough and unstinted employment of the means above indicated will
accomplish much towards the emancipation of our helots from that
thraldom of ignorance which gives to the more galling thraldom of caste
its sole _raison d'être_. But there is yet one thing needed, the
_utilization_ of knowledge acquired, and this can only be attained by
dint of laborious and unintermitting class-work. The sacred flame may be
kindled in the breast by desultory and omnivorous reading, but the light
emitted is as uncertain as that of a wandering marsh-fire--it wants
_focussing_ to be of any use to its possessor or his species. And it is
in the _class_, under the guidance of a gifted and genial teacher, that
this operation can best be performed. It is here that the finishing
touch must be applied; here the rounding-off take place; here the
heterogeneous be brought into homogeneity, and the discordant be reduced
to harmony and system.

If these things are so, the problems which present themselves to be
resolved are:--Given certain millions of untrained intellects in crying
need of class tuition scattered over certain thousands of square miles
in unequal proportions--how to provide sufficient building accommodation
to meet the exigencies of the case? and given an uncertain but
confessedly immense mass of torpidity and stagnation--how to infuse the
necessary leaven into it to quicken it and arouse its latent forces?

I answer as to the first proposition--Require the architects of the
multitudinous lecture halls aforesaid to submit plans to you, which
shall comprise sections not only of the main building but of three or
four adjuncts thereto suitable for class-rooms, after the style of the
chapels nestling under the wings of our old cathedrals, or the annexes
thrown out at convenient angles from our modern industrial exhibitions
for the display of specialities. These would add comparatively little to
the original cost of the structure, and save a great deal of time and
trouble in hunting up eligible sites, and, when found, negotiating terms
of purchase. As to the second proposition, make a _liberal_ distribution
of prizes part of your system, so liberal that not only proficiency
would be certain of obtaining a reward, but plodding and persevering
mediocrity also. Constant attendance, combined with such written answers
to questions as evinced that the pupil was making an effort, should,
however imperfectly the answers were framed, insure the possession of a
prize at the end of every session. With such materials to work upon, a
free use of stimulants to exertion must form no inconsiderable part of
the programme.

Again, no charge whatever must be made for admission to the classes.
Indeed, the entire domain of adult poor education must be as free as
United Italy--free from the Alps of the library to the Adriatic of the

Lastly, no restriction should be made as to the age or sex of the
scholar. I am of opinion that no greater incentive to emulation can be
offered to either man or woman than the consciousness that they are
associated with co-workers or competitors of the opposite sex.

It would be travelling out of the record were I ever so faintly to
attempt to enter into details as to the mode in which class-teaching
could most advantageously be conducted, or to endeavour to shadow forth
what I conceive to be the regulations best adapted for the purpose. No
general rules would be found competent to meet ever-varying special
conditions. All this must inevitably be left to conform itself to the
peculiarities of the respective groups of the taught and the
idiosyncrasies of the individual teachers.


On this last, but not least, division of the subject, I need not dilate
at very great length. Much has been written with reference to it of late
with which I cordially agree.

No one can help being sensible of the melancholy fact that the tendency
of many of our so-called entertainments is debasing and degrading in the
last degree. It is difficult to imagine anything much more demoralizing
in every aspect--anything which appears to be more utterly without
redeeming features--than our music-halls. Dances, which are simply
unnatural contortions on the part of the male performers, and indelicate
exhibitions on the part of the female ones; songs, which are utterly
idiotic and meaningless, except when their meaning is indecency,
sounding the very lowest depths of imbecility, and having no literary
merit save _double entendres_ of the most vulgar description; the whole
taking place in an atmosphere redolent with the fumes of beer, gin, and
tobacco,--such is the pabulum provided for our delectation through this
particular medium. Much the same poisonous mixture is administered at
our tea-gardens and other places where we most do congregate. Is it a
marvel, then, that our young men waste their strength in drunkenness,
and our young women stray from the narrow path? Is it wonderful that
when you respectables meet us abroad on Bank Holidays, or Derby or Boat
Race days, we comport ourselves in ruffianly fashion, and greet the ears
of your dames and damsels with expressions which it is not good for them
to hear?

Ultra-exclusives! those of you who are most deeply impressed with the
desirability of keeping us in our proper places, and are offended if we
pass "between the wind and your nobility," to you most of all do I
address myself, and take the liberty of saying that on _you_ rests the
onus of providing better and more healthy recreations for us; for needs
must that at times the most fastidious of you will find yourselves in
the midst of us, and it will interest you even more deeply than others
that we should not sink into unmitigated and universal rascaldom, the
only natural goal at which the pursuit of such pleasures as those
above-named is likely to land us. Give us attractions of a less baneful
character, and wean us from these cesspools of infamy. To you it is
specially important that this matter should receive attention. Do not,
however, seek to do the work half-way; do not attempt to take away the
means of recreation we have--evil as they are--until substitutes are
furnished; it will not be convenient to you that the people should have
too much time to _brood_; it will be safer for you that we should be
_mercurial_ rather than that we should be _morose_; in one mood or the
other, however you may strive to ignore us, we shall continue to exist
in tangible form and be distinctly visible to your perceptions.

I like not threats or innuendoes, however, and say no more concerning
this matter.

Time was when holy-days were frequent, when gorgeous pageants feasted
the eyes of our forefathers--times of Maypoles and morrice-dancers, of
roasted oxen and sheep, of conduits running with wine and milk: I say
not I wish these to return. Much I fear that all was not pure, pastoral,
Arcadian simplicity amidst these poetic scenes, fascinating as they are
to the imagination. I doubt not the taint of vice was there, and the
ghastly presence of misery and sorrow, and I do not regret them--let
them go.

What, then, do I suggest? Aware of the risk I run in having it imputed
to me that my suggestions have already been too numerous, I will, with
brevity, venture yet one more.

Repetition is vexatious; notwithstanding which, unification is
imperative, and committees must again be called into requisition.

Cricket-clubs, quoit-clubs, bowling-clubs, even skittle-clubs _ad
libitum_, in summer; ballad concerts, dramatic performances, &c., in
winter, under the same auspices. Membership extended to all comers, fee
payable one shilling per annum in monthly instalments; the expulsion or
suspension for a longer or shorter term--according to the more or less
heinous nature of the offence--of any member for bad language,
intoxication, or other misbehaviour; the gradual unbending of the rich
and the cultured, and their condescending to grace the sports with their
occasional presence, thereby infusing a spirit of refinement into them;
the prohibition of betting or _over_-drinking,--these are, shortly and
imperfectly stated, the remedies I would suggest.

To conclude the whole matter. We, the industrious poor of this
realm--the hard-working classes--are in pressing need of help now, in
this present time. This, I believe, is confessed on all hands, diverse
and contradictory as the theories how such help could best be given may
be. The question at issue is not whether ameliorations are desirable or
the contrary, but in what manner to bring them about, and how to be
certain that it is bread which is bestowed, and not a stone.

I do not claim to have solved this enigma, or to have invented a
millennium. I simply assert my belief that some of my propositions may
contain germs capable of being nurtured into hopeful possibilities.

As I have selected four principal points in which improvements are
required--health, pocket, mind, and amusements--so have I striven to
indicate four principal modes which I think best calculated to attain
the desired end, and which for the most part must come from _without_
our borders--namely, sympathy, earnestness, money, and centralized
organization--all being essential; the last-named especially being so,
for it may be regarded as an irrefragable verity that every movement to
be really efficacious must be _national_, and not parochial.

I look for many objections on both sides of the temperate zone, on the
waters of which alone I elect to voyage. The frigid will aver that I
expect too much, that my notions are Utopian and chimerical to the last
degree, and the nostrums prescribed empirical and baneful; that it is
not to be supposed sensible people will take all this trouble, and rush
into such reckless expenditure in a project so visionary. To such my
only answer is,--Where the return is to be great the investment must be
great also. The torrid, on the other hand, will say I am not
sufficiently thorough; that the only means of elevating the poor is by
lugging the wealthy down to their level, abrogating dignities,
distributing riches, abolishing ownership in lands and corporeal
hereditaments. To these my reply will be,--Evil will the day be which
shall dawn on such devil's-sabbath employments as these. Levelling
_up_wards is laudable; levelling _down_wards is execrable. I would in
nowise interfere with the least of these institutions. The overthrow of
dynasties will not advantage us, nor will a general scramble conduce to
our lasting welfare. I am a sceptic as to the benefits to be derived
from revolution, although professing myself a warm admirer of
reformation, as I understand the word--_re_-formation.

Neither do I anticipate that the time will ever come, under the best
devised systems, when poverty will altogether cease out of the land.
Evil will there be, and good also, while the world stands. This,
however, should be no excuse for indifferentism in the work of lessening
the sum-total of the evil, and increasing the sum-total of the good.

And so Lazarus unmoors his fragile boat, and launches it, unmanned and
untended, on the bosom of the stream,--to meet its fate.



In the Essay on Animals and Plants, which appeared in the September
Number of this Review, the names were given of the principal groups in
which the prodigious multitude of living creatures (existing or known to
have existed) have been classified by naturalists. It was therein also
indicated that these various groups, and all the subdivisions of such
groups, are distinguished one from another by variations in the forms
and structures of the creatures which compose them. This fact alone
would prove that very many differences in form must exist; but, indeed,
a very slight knowledge and a very cursory examination of animals and
plants would suffice to show this even to any one who knew nothing of
the scope or nature of biological classification. In truth, to the
non-scientific observer who feels an interest in living things, the
difficulty may seem to be rather how to find general resemblances than
how to detect differences between creatures which seem so totally
diverse as do humming birds from whales, bees from buffaloes, or the
numerous African herds of antelopes from the grasses on which they feed.

Nevertheless it was pointed out in the second Essay of this series[56]
that all living creatures do agree to a certain extent in the form and
structure of their bodies, inasmuch as their bodies are always bounded
by curved lines and surfaces, while, if we divide the body of any animal
or plant its structure may always be seen to be heterogeneous--that is
to say, composed of different substances, even the simplest showing a
variety of minute particles (granules) variously distributed throughout
its interior. It has also been pointed out[57] that all living creatures
agree in beginning life in the form of a small rounded mass of
protoplasm. But all animals and plants further agree in that each kind
has its own proper size, shape, structure, and colour, and each (as we
shall hereafter see) shows a positive unity in its fundamental
constitution, co-existing with the heterogeneity above referred to.

But though each kind has its own proper size, shape, structure, and
colour, yet these vary more or less in different individuals, and the
degrees of variability are different in different kinds both of animals
and plants.

As to size, although most living creatures have certain limits which
they rarely exceed or fall below, yet many organisms vary greatly in
this respect. Thus, that familiar weed, the common centaury (_Erythræa
centaurium_), may vary in height--according to the soil and other
external conditions--from half an inch to five feet.

As to figure and structure there is more constancy, and the amount of
variation which may in these respects be found between different
individuals of the same animal species, is generally but slight. In
plants and in plant-like animals much greater differences exist as to
external configuration; but even in them the internal structure of each
species varies but little.

Colour is a character which some readers may be disposed to regard as
extremely inconstant. We are familiar with many differently coloured
varieties of our cultivated flowers; and white blackbirds, and black
leopards are not very uncommon objects. Nevertheless, colour is really a
character of much constancy, and is one not only constantly present in
different individuals of one kind of plant or animal, but is one
constantly present in particular groups of kinds.

Thus, for example, all the English plants of the dandelion order which
have opposite leaves, have yellow flowers, with the single exception of
the eupatory (_Eupatorium cannabinum_), and whole groups of butterflies
are respectively characterized as being blue, or white, or yellow.

We have seen that the life of every living being is accompanied by, and
may be described as, a series of adjustments of action and structure to
external conditions which surround it. Accordingly we may expect to find
that the sizes, shapes, structures, and colours of living beings bear
relations, which are in very many cases obvious, to their external
circumstances, as directly favouring their nutrition, reproduction, or
preservation from external injury.

Every living creature must be either fixed (like a rooted tree), or
capable of spontaneously moving, or of being passively drifted from
place to place, and must have a structure and figure suitable to one or
other of these conditions.

Again, every living creature, whether free or fixed, is either a
terrestrial, an aquatic, or an aërial organism; and it may be fitted to
live in any two, or even in all three of these conditions--as, for
example, is the swan. If terrestrial, it may inhabit the surface of the
earth only, or it may occasionally or habitually dwell beneath it. The
structure, forms, and even colours of organisms are in most cases
plainly adapted to their modes of life in the above respects.

Thus, any living creature, which is fixed to the surface of the earth,
must either adhere to it by having one side or portion of its body
spread out and adjusted to irregularities in the supporting surface, or
else by sending prolongations of its substance into the substance of the
supporting body, as a plant sends its roots into the soil. Such
prolongations, moreover, must (in order to hold fast) either sink deeply
or else expand, at a slight depth, into a rounded or discoidal mass, or
into radiating processes whereby the whole structure may be securely

This special modification of form, again, may or may not be accompanied
by certain further modifications of structure, according as such rooting
parts are to serve, as mere holdfasts, simply for attachment, or (as in
most plants) for the absorption of food also.

Another modification is also correlated with these conditions. We have
seen[58] that an interchange of gases takes place between each organism
and its surrounding medium. But such interchange cannot take place in
the subterranean part of the body, and a corresponding difference of
structure between such subterranean part and other parts must therefore

Again, as to colour, we find differences which are evidently related to
the different degrees in which different parts of a living body are
exposed to the influence of light. Such contrasts notoriously exist, not
only between the green parts of plants above the soil and the lighter
coloured roots, but between the foliage of a plant which is exposed to
sun light and another of the same kind kept in a dark cellar. Many
animals which live in permanent darkness are colourless, as, _e.g._, the
_Proteus_;[59] but yet this is not an invariable rule, some, as the
mole, being of a dark colour.

The forms of organisms are evidently often directly related to
surrounding influences. A plant or plant-like animal fixed to the soil
may be so fixed that light, air, food, friends and enemies can have
access equally on all sides or not. Thus, a tree so placed that light
and air are excluded on one side, will not grow freely towards that
side, but only in directions from whence light and air have access. A
coral reef increases much more rapidly towards the open sea (the waves
of which bring in food and facilitate gaseous interchange) than towards
an adjacent shore.

The mere contiguity of parts will often affect the form of organisms.
Thus, in many flowers parts which are adjacent become dwarfed, while
others which are freely exposed become fully developed, as we see in the
flowers of many _Umbelliferæ_, or plants of the parsley, fennel, and
hemlock order.

The shapes of flowers bear relation (as we shall see later) to their
need for attracting insects which by their visits effect the development
of seed, and for repelling others the access of which would be hurtful.

The avoidance of enemies may be so effected by an organism that their
access may be made impossible save in one direction, the extent of
vulnerable surface even in that direction being minimized. We have an
example of such a condition in those worms which live in calcareous
tubes, and which are some of those called "tubicolous annelids."[60]

Again, the medium in which an organism lives--whether aërial or
aqueous--has an important relation with its form. A delicate seaweed,
the beautifully radiating form of which is a just object of admiration
as long as it is supported by its denser natural medium (the sea water),
collapses into an amorphous mass when withdrawn thence into the thin
air. Obviously a much greater rigidity and strength of structure is
needed to support an aërial organism than an aquatic one, unless the
former can support itself on other solid structures, such as rocks or
trees. In the latter case the form attained may be very elongated and
slender, as in the many creeping and climbing plants, which are so often
furnished with processes for grasping (tendrils) to aid them in their
mode of life.

An aërial fixed organism, if it does not rise from the surface of the
earth, cannot spread itself very far without developing other points of
support--without rooting again. This re-rooting is a familiar phenomenon
in many plants, as, _e.g._, the strawberry. But even a shrub like the
common bramble (which is not itself prostrate, but which sends out
extraordinarily prolonged branches) is aided by such a process. The ends
of its long branches apply themselves to the ground and begin to pierce
its surface, the incipient leaves of its terminal bud becoming
metamorphosed into roots.

An aquatic fixed organism, however, may extend to a very great length,
freely floating without effecting any such fresh attachment. Thus the
seaweed _Laminaria digitata_[61] will spread over a circle 12 feet in
diameter, while _L. longicornis_ grows in the form of an elongated
riband, from 8 to 12 feet in length and 2 or 3 feet wide. The giant form
_Macrocystis_ (with a much more subdivided outline) may extend to the
extraordinary length of 700 feet.

The conditions under which needful gaseous interchange can be effected
and food obtained by different living creatures, govern in various other
ways the forms of their bodies.

Thus, if it is helpful to the life of a creature to submit as large a
surface of its body as possible to the influence of light, or to the
action of air or water, then for this purpose its body must be expanded
and its expanded parts divided and subdivided as they extend in
different directions. It is for this reason that trees branch, and that
their branches and twigs divide and subdivide as they do. It is for this
reason also that their branches do not grow out one above another in
precisely the same direction, but, on the contrary, grow in such a
manner that each one may overshadow those immediately beneath as little
as may be. Similarly and for the same reason leaves are developed mostly
in an alternating fashion, so that each may be able to expose its green
surface to the light and air as much as possible.

Plant-like animals which grow up in an arborescent manner from a fixed
base do not generally branch in so regularly alternating a mode as do
plants, and in some cases their successive branches may even be
regularly superimposed. This is due to their not requiring, as plants
do, that their surface should be very extensively exposed to light,
neither their gaseous interchange nor their nutrition being impaired by
such superposition. The water which carries to them both the nutritious
particles on which they feed and the gases they respire, will act with
nearly or quite the same efficiency in either arrangement of their

If the exigences of life require any organism to retain much fluid
within it, this circumstance may lead to its assumption of a dilated
more or less globular form, as in the melon cactus, and, to a less
degree, in the leaves of the common stonecrop.

But the conditions under which alone certain fixed organisms can obtain
their food may govern also their internal structure. Thus, we shall see
that in plants which feed by absorbing matters through their roots, an
internal arrangement has to be effected for distributing material thus
obtained, and conveying it upwards through the stem. So, again, many
fixed animals need a greater supply of food and gases than they can
obtain from the water which bathes or may reach them without effort on
their parts. Such animals may be provided with special internal
structures, which cause currents of water to flow towards them, and very
often to penetrate within them, as in the shell _Mya_ or the razor

Fixed subterranean creatures are rare, but such do exist, as, for
example, the truffle (_Tuber cibarium_). Surrounding influences must in
such instances be alike on all sides, while the imbedded position of
such organisms render superfluous the development of any elongated
process for the purpose of fixing them. Such creatures, then, have a
spheroidal figure, and neither internally nor externally are their
structures developed in special directions.[63]

The fixed organisms which are the most aërial in their habits are
attached to elevated objects, such as trees, and necessarily have a
portion of their frame set apart to fix them to the object which
supports them. The most conspicuous creatures of this kind are, perhaps,
the plants termed "Epiphytes," on account of this habit. Amongst them
may be mentioned the beautiful orchids called "air plants," and the
familiar mistletoe. Other vegetable organisms--the multitude of
creeping plants--rear themselves to great heights by the aid of their
more robust brothers, but they can hardly be reckoned as aërial

The colours which plants display have sometimes a singular relation to
the mountain elevations or geographical positions they inhabit, but
these considerations will be aptly treated of in the relations borne by
living creatures to physical conditions and to one another.

Living creatures which are capable of moving or being freely moved
about, present us with similar but more marked differences.

Certain aquatic creatures drift passively about (borne by streams or
currents) with no permanent relation between any fixed portion of their
bodies and the medium which transports them. Such creatures being
equally acted on on all sides by surrounding agencies might be expected
(like the subterranean truffle) to exhibit a spheroidal figure, with
only one kind of surface upon their whole exterior. This is just what we
find to be the case in a variety of more or less minute organisms, such,
_e.g._ as _Myxastrum radians_ and _Magosphæra planula_.[65]

The former of these consists, at one stage of its existence, of a small
globular mass of protoplasm, from the whole periphery of which a
multitude of fine pseudopodia radiate. When about to reproduce, the
creature retracts its pseudopodia, and forms around its exterior a
structureless coat or cyst, an action which takes place frequently in
lowly organisms, and is called their process of _encystment_. The
contents of the cyst then divides into separate bodies, which escape by
the rupture of the cyst. Each of these bodies is enclosed in a silicious
case with an aperture at one end, whence its contained protoplasm
issues, and, having so issued, assumes a spherical shape.

_Magosphæra_ is another small creature which goes through a remarkable
series of changes, the greater number of which exemplify the ball-like
shape of body alike on all sides.

Wherever the surface of the body is covered by pseudopodia, those
processes, inasmuch as they have a power of spontaneous movement, enable
the creatures possessing them slightly to aid or to resist the drifting
action of the water in which they float.

But a living organism may be devoid of any definite shape whatever, as
in _Protamœba_,[66] which consists of a mere particle of protoplasm,
from which irregular-shaped processes of unequal size are irregularly
protruded in every direction, so that the form of the creature may be
said to be quite indeterminate.

The bodies of almost all organisms have, however, more or less definite
forms, which may be all classed under seven morphological categories.

(1). The simplest form of all exemplifies _spherical symmetry_, and is
that which we have seen in the truffle, the radiolarian, the volvox,
_Myxastrum_ and _Magosphæra_. In this spherical form any number of axes
drawn through the creature in any direction are equal.

(2). The next organic form is one in which the body sphere is more or
less elongated at its poles, the latter being equal and similar. In such
an organism we have one axis longer than any one of the others and
central, while from this axis symmetrical radii can be drawn in all
directions. This form may be said to exemplify _equipolar symmetry_, and
such is found in some radiolarians, in some small parasites
(_Gregarinida_),[67] and others.

(3). The next morphological category may be spoken of as _unipolar
symmetry_. Bodies which exemplify it are like those included in the last
category, save that the two poles of the body are not alike.

Instances of this symmetry are to be sought in creatures which have one
end of their body fixed, or which always or mostly move with the same
end of the body in front, and thus have their two extremities in more or
less constantly different relations to surrounding influences.

The lowest worms and sponges may serve as examples of this symmetry in
its simplest expression. As also may the curious compound tunicary
called _Pyrosoma_.[68] In all such creatures the body does not extend
out in the form of lateral prolongations.

But in many others it does send out processes on all sides, and in
various directions, as in most trees and all plants which have a
definite axis of growth, so that unipolar symmetry is the predominant
symmetry in the vegetable kingdom.

(4). But unipolar symmetry with diverging outgrowths leads us to the
next category which may be called _radial symmetry_. Under this head are
included the forms of such creatures as possess unipolar bodies from
which equal and corresponding outgrowths radiate in different

We have examples of this in the starfishes, in the sea anemones, and in
such plants as the melon cactus. But the outgrowths may project in only
four directions, each being at right angles with the two neighbouring
outgrowths. We thus get a crucial form of radiation, in which the body
may be described as having one main axis (in the direction of motion)
crossed by two other shorter but equal axes at right angles to it and to
each other.

We have an example of this in _Tetraplatia volitans_,[69] an aquatic
creature with an elongated body, which presents four distinguishable
longitudinal surfaces, of which each opposite and corresponding pair is
hardly distinguishable from one another.

(5). This form leads us directly to that kind of symmetry which is
predominant in the animal kingdom and which is called _bilateral
symmetry_. Forms of this kind exhibit four aspects which may be
distinguished as right and left, dorsal and ventral. The body here
presents a long axis (in the direction of motion) crossed by two shorter
axes at right angles to it and to each other. Of these shorter axes, one
connects the dorsal and ventral surfaces, while the other connects the
lateral (right and left) surfaces, and these two axes may be, and
generally are, unequal. All worms, insects, mollusks, fishes, birds,
reptiles, and beasts, are examples of creatures with bilateral symmetry.
The dorsal and ventral aspects of the body generally differ in
correspondence with the different relations to surrounding conditions
which they usually bear, as notably in snakes and creatures which glide
with their bellies applied to the surface of the ground.

(6). The last kind of symmetry which here needs notice is that termed
_serial symmetry_. In the creatures which exhibit it we have a body
which is not only almost always bilaterally symmetrical but which is
made up of a succession of similar parts, forming a series along its
main or longitudinal axis. Insects, crabs, lobsters, and other allied
forms give us examples of serial symmetry, but this is perhaps best seen
in such animals as thousand legs and hundred legs--millipedes and

Besides the fundamental distinctions which depend upon the kind of
symmetry governing the form of any living being, other subordinate
differences exist respectively related to the conditions under which the
various activities necessary for life have to be carried on. Such
activities are the needful gaseous interchange, the processes of
reproduction, and the acquisition of food. Thus, the most intimate
relation exists between the form of the body and the manner in which
locomotion has to be effected, whether by the whole body or by processes
projecting from it. If the latter, then whether by paddling or jumping;
if by the whole body, then whether by lateral or vertical bendings of
that body.

Thus, we see that fishes, which swim by lateral flexure of the body,
have the tail expanded vertically; while in porpoises, which require
vertical flexions (to come rapidly to the surface to breathe), the tail
is expanded horizontally. On the other hand, creatures which swim not by
either kind of body flexure, but by a paddling action only, have the
tail shortened, as we see in swans and turtles. Further details of this
kind will be more appropriately treated of in an Essay devoted
exclusively to the consideration of the forms of animals.

There are a multitude of aquatic creatures which cannot be properly
spoken of as either "fixed" or "mobile," for they are in fact both. They
are creatures which move about by the help of others, being themselves
fixed to other creatures which are actively locomotive.

Thus, sea-snails, lobsters, fishes, whales, and even ships, bear about
with them sometimes lowly-organized plants; but often other animals,
permanently fixed to and growing parasitically upon them and having the
shape of their body suited to their peculiar situation.

Often such parasites form flattened encrustations on their involuntary
hosts--as is the case with the acorn shells or sessile barnacles.[70]
Others have elongated bodies, which stream through the water with the
motions of the creatures carrying them. We see this in confervoid
growths, also in ordinary barnacles, and in certain modified crab-like
creatures, such as _Lerneocera_.[71]

These creatures fix themselves to their movable supports by means
similar to those by which other creatures secure themselves to
stationary supports. Thus, some of these do so by means of expanded
disks, which fit accurately to the supporting surface, while certain
parasites fix themselves by means of ingrowing prolongations or
root-like processes, as in the _Rhizocephala_.[72] Others, again, adhere
by the intervention of hooks and suckers, and this is especially the
case with such as fix themselves internally and live perpetually bathed
(as the tape-worms[73] do) in the nutritious fluids contained within the
bowels of the creatures they infest.

Terrestrial mobile organisms can, of course, only be moved by their own
efforts, or by the efforts of other organisms.

The simplest terrestrial locomotion is like that of the aquatic
_Amœba[74] primitiva_, and is performed by land _Amœbæ_; and the curious
plant _Myxomycetes_[75] also moves in a substantially similar manner.
This very curious organism consists of a net-work of protoplasmic
threads, which spread over decaying leaves and stems. The threads
exhibit streams of granules flowing within them, and they give out
processes like pseudopodia, while the whole complex mass can slowly
creep over a supporting surface, which it thus slowly flows over by its
branching processes.

Other lowly plants propel themselves by means of a pair of filamentary
protoplasmic threads, which vibrate actively, and are therefore called
vibratile cilia. As an example may be mentioned the _Protococcus[76]
nivalis_, the little spheroidal alga, which abounds on Alpine summits
and in Arctic regions.

As in aquatic, so in terrestrial organisms, external form is intimately
related to modes of motion. Thus, locomotion may be effected by
undulations of the whole body, as often in serpents and terrestrial
vermiform animals. It may, on the contrary, be effected by the action of
levers projecting from the surface of the body, _i.e._, by limbs, and
these may be multitudinous and minute, as in hundred legs and thousand
legs, or few and large, as in beasts. Moreover, the motions may be
movements of pulling or of pushing, or by combinations of these, or by
jumps, which may be effected in various manners, the consideration of
which will find a fitting place in an Essay devoted to "Motion."

Again, terrestrial, like aquatic, organisms often involuntarily carry
about with them other living creatures which have fixed themselves to
their bodies. Thus, the fruits, or seeds, of many plants (as, _e.g._,
those of the common Agrimony, _Agrimonia eupatoria_) are beset with
hooks or bristles which readily adhere to the coats of passing animals,
and so gain a greater diffusion than they could otherwise obtain. A very
remarkable form of the kind is _Martynia proboscidea_ (called Testa di
_Quaglia_ by the Italians), which has a pair of curved and pointed
processes like the tusks of an elephant, which are several inches long.
It is notorious for adhering to clothes, &c. Other noteworthy plants are
_Uncaria procumbeus_, or the grapple plant of South Africa and
_Harpagophytum_,[77] the fruit of which is provided with hooked
processes. Those of _Harpagophytum_ spread out in all directions, and
are of different lengths, with sharp hooks, variously turned, so that
its power of clinging is extreme. The seed, with all its processes, is
so large as to fill the hand when grasped. It is said to cause the death
of the lion. Having adhered to that beast's skin, the irritation
produced and the impossibility of getting it off at last induces the
lion to bite it, and once in his mouth he cannot remove it, and so the
animal dies miserably.

Some animals fix themselves much as these seeds of plants do. Amongst
them are the parasites known as tics which fix themselves with great
tenacity by the appendages of their mouths. Other parasites--like the
itch insect[78] and forms allied to it--have hooked processes and stiff,
hard bristles, which are at once very irritating and very adherent.
Creatures are also carried about inside others, as is the case with the
seeds of many plants. These are disseminated by birds which have
swallowed but have not digested such seeds, and in an analogous manner
the great tape-worm group becomes also widely diffused.

Moving subterranean organisms, inasmuch as they must penetrate through a
dense and highly-resisting substance, must evidently either have forms
which offer little resistance--reducing friction to a minimum--or must
be provided with special means of penetrating such substance. Evidently
the least resisting form is presented by a body much elongated, rounded,
and more or less attenuated at the advancing end, which end has to
effect the requisite penetration. This is the form of the earth-worm--a
form which is approximated to by a variety of creatures which have not
the least affinity of nature with it, but only more or less resemble it
as regards its dwelling-place and mode of locomotion.

Such, for example, are the curious serpents called _Typhlops_,[79] and
such are the legless lizards[80] (_Anguis_), and such, again, are the
simpler vermiform animals allied to frogs, called _Cæciliæ_.[81]

In order to burrow quickly and easily by means of processes of the body,
it is evidently a necessary condition that the earth should be rapidly
removed by the powerful action of parts situated towards the body's
anterior end. The similarity of effect of similar conditions in
creatures which are most widely divergent in nature is exemplified by
the mole and the mole-cricket, which are each provided with a strong and
broadened-out pair of anterior digging-limbs.

Living creatures may be sustained in the air for a longer or shorter
time at one or another stage of their existence. The reproductive
particles of the lowest forms of animals and plants are so excessively
minute that they float in the air with the greatest ease, without
needing any complication of structure--their spheroidal form harmonizing
with the equal action upon them of influences on all sides of them.
Reproductive parts which, though less minute than these, are still very
small, may also be diffused by floating in the atmosphere. Such are the
pollen grains of those trees which are fertilized merely by the action
of the winds, such as the hazel, poplar, birch, and of lowly plants, as
the grasses. It is by the wind that the pollen grains of these plants
are accidentally brought into contact with the appropriate surfaces for
their reception. Conspicuous in the spring of the year are the clouds of
yellow dust, pollen grains, given off by fir trees, which are plants
also wind-fertilized. But here we find a slight complication; for to
facilitate the dispersion of such particles the outer coat of each of
their pollen grains is produced into a short wing-like process on each
side, and these processes help at once to sustain it in the air, and to
aid its propulsion by offering more surface to the force of the aërial

Very much more conspicuous are the wing-like expansions of many
seeds--such, for example, as those of the maple. These expansions serve
to diffuse the seeds which bear them, as do also the delicate cottony
filaments which surround the seeds of a variety of plants of widely
different natures and affinities, as some kinds of spider float through
the air by the aid of the delicate filaments which they send forth to
serve as an aërial float. Familiar to every one is the delicate little
parachute-like structure of radiating filaments on the seeds of such
plants as the dandelion--which seeds most children have at some time
helped to diffuse by blowing.

Aërial progress by actual effort is effected by a limited group of
organisms, and only in certain cases (bats, birds, and insects) does it
take the form of true flight in creatures now existing. In other
creatures, such as so-called flying fishes, squirrels, opossums, and the
little flying dragon, the more or less prolonged aërial sustentation is
effected by expansions of skin, which act as parachutes in ways be later
described in detail.

True flight seems to need a definite mechanism of one kind--namely, a
mechanism which shall give rapid and reiterated blows to the air from a
point towards the dorsal side, and head end of the body, by structures
of considerable superficial extent, and capable of rapid and delicate
inclinations of surface. Such structures must be light and therefore
delicate, and yet possess very considerable strength to resist the
strain of the body's prolonged sustentation, and to effect its
occasionally very rapid progress, as in the swift and in dragon-flies.
These conditions which we find fulfilled in all existing flying
organisms were also fulfilled organisms which have for ages passed away
from the surface of this by planet, such as the extinct flying reptiles
called _Pterosauria_ or _Pterodactyles_.[82]

In all such rapidly flying creatures the form of the body is necessarily
modified so as to throw the centre of gravity where it may be best
sustained. It is this which packs what are practically a bird's teeth in
its belly, and thickens so greatly the muscles on its breast which are
formed in such a way as to serve both the usual purposes of
breast-muscles, and also that which is effected in most cases by muscles
of the back, which in birds are very greatly diminished in volume and

But there are living creatures which have relations with two media;
which, though they are aquatic, yet by the help of the air rise and
float, so as to be partly bathed in the atmosphere; while others carry
down a portion of that atmosphere below the surface of water, so as to
be sub-aqueously aërial. Examples of the last-mentioned condition are
afforded by such spiders as have the habit of enclosing a bubble of air
within the meshes of their self-woven network, and going down with it,
being thus able there to maintain themselves as in a diving-bell. The
reverse condition obtains in such plants as _Valisneria_,[83] which
secrete air within expanded bladder-like receptacles, and, thus aided,
rise to the surface and float. Another example is that of certain polyp
animals, such as the Portuguese man of war, which also rise and swim
upon the surface of the sea by the aid of floats in the form of
bladders, which are also filled with air by means of their own life
processes. The same also is the case in many seaweeds.

Thus, these multitudinous forms of living creatures, both animals and
plants, are reducible to certain categories in harmony with their modes
of life, and the relations existing between them and all surrounding
influences. We may see that, without compliance with certain of such
laws, their existence would be impossible, and we see that there is a
general correspondence between their shape and structure on the one
hand, and their environment (that is, the totality of all surrounding
agencies and influences) on the other. Are we to consider that such
influences are the _causes_ of their form and structure? Obviously the
biological facts before us, as yet, are insufficient to enable us to
give a satisfactory answer to this question. It will for the present be
enough to bear in mind that by some writers the environment _is_ deemed
the one and sufficient cause of all the characters of living creatures.
But as yet we have not even seen what _is_ the environment. Evidently
physical influences--the earth, sea, or air, light, heat, and motion--do
not exhaust it. One important factor would be omitted if we neglected to
note the share taken in the environment of each living creature by a
multitude of other living creatures which are in various ways related to
it. This question must occupy us later.

But by the forms of living creatures is not meant merely their external
form. Some general notion then should here at starting be obtained of
their internal form--that is, of their essential structure.

The minutest and probably the simplest forms of living creatures
(whether plant or animal) are such as are presented by _Bacteria_,[84]
the yeast-plant and _Protoccus_. Bacteria are those minute creatures the
mode of origin of which in sealed infusions has been so much of late
disputed, but the activity of which in promoting the decomposition of
dead substances is undisputed. A _bacterium_ is a particle of
protoplasmic matter, either spheroidal or oblong, or like a short rod,
or shaped like a corkscrew, and bacteria may also be in the form of a
short chain of spheroids, or of oblong particles, or of rods united in a
zigzag manner.

Their breadth may vary from the 1/30000 to 1/10000 of an inch. They may
also assume quite another appearance, by surrounding themselves with a
gelatinous envelope, which condition is called their _zooglæa_ state of

They may be readily obtained by making some hay tea, and keeping it for
a day or two, when they will be found to abound in the scum which forms
on the surface, and to be in active motion. In the corkscrew form,
_Spirillum volitans_, each end of the body is produced into a minute
hair-like process or _cilium_, and it is by the lashings of these cilia
that the minute organism moves about.

Other as simple but larger organisms may consist of a minute mass of
semi-fluid protoplasm, containing granules, as we find to be the case in
the plant _Vaucheria_,[85] and many other _Algæ_, and in the animal
_Amœba primitiva_.[86]

An organism of this simplest kind or a fragment of a higher organism
which presents this simplest condition is called a cell.[87] Very
generally such cell has within it a more or less distinctly marked
generally denser and spheroidal body called a _nucleus_, within which,
again, other minute spots may appear called _nucleoli_.

Even in this simplest of all possible conditions of life a slight
difference appears between its most external film and its inner
substance--just as a cup of broth left to stand will form for itself a
filmy outermost layer. This incipient difference between what is inner
and what is outer is one which is constantly maintained in all higher
organisms, as we shall soon see abundantly. But the distinction into
outer and inner is, as has been said, shown in a much more marked way in
the constituent units, or _cells_, which build up the bodies of plants
generally; for these consist of an inner part of protoplasm, enclosed in
a distinct external cellulose envelope or _cell-wall_. As has also been
shown, many of the lowest animals take on occasionally the _encysted_
condition when they also consist of a particle of bioplasm enclosed in a
distinct cell-wall or _cyst_, though one not made of cellulose.

The protoplasmic contents of the cell may attract watery fluid thus
forming clearer spaces or _vacuoles_ within it, and these may become so
extended that the protoplasm may be reduced to a thin layer lining the
cell wall, thread-like processes or remnants of protoplasm often passing
across the cell from one part of the protoplasmic lining to another. A
cell, almost always a nucleated cell, is the original form of every
living creature without exception; and a great number of small, and some
considerably sized living beings, never get beyond this unicellular
condition, however much their cell may become enlarged or complicated in
shape. Such creatures form the lowest of all animals and plants; but the
overwhelming majority of living creatures are formed of aggregations of
cells which cohere and fuse together in various ways. As an example of a
unicellular and typically cellular living creature we may take the yeast
plant (_Saccharomyces cerevisiæ_), which consists of a particle of
bioplasm enclosed in a cell-wall of cellulose, the whole being globular
or oval in shape, and generally about 1/3000 of an inch in diameter.
Within its bioplasm a clear space or vacuole may often be distinguished.
Often these organisms appear with a more complicated outline, due to the
growth of new saccharomycetes from its outer wall, and the budding forth
of others again from the side of such protruding processes, all of which
ultimately become detached as independent saccharomycetes, though they
often continue adherent for a long time, forming strings or other
temporary aggregations of such organisms.

In _Protococcus_ we meet with one of the lowest order. Its colour is
green, which, as in all other higher plants also, is due to the presence
in its protoplasm of a colouring matter called _chlorophyll_, either
diffused or aggregated in certain denser granules of protoplasmic
substance. Protococcus may be smaller or much larger than the yeast
plant, it is spheroidal, and its protoplasm is enclosed in a tough case
of cellulose, which, however, it may not nearly fill, while the long
cilia may protrude through it and propel the whole organism by their
reiterated lashings.

It has been already said that a vegetable may temporarily exist as a
particle of bioplasm without any cell-wall, and such is the case with
_Protococcus_, the cellular envelope of which occasionally disappears.
More remarkable still is the form already referred to under the name
_Myxomycetes_,[88] which, for part of its existence, is the form of an
indefinitely-shaped, naked protoplasmic mass.[89]

Living creatures which consist of a single cell may present,
nevertheless, a considerable complication of structure. Thus, an
organism as simple as the _amœba primitiva_, before noticed, may have
the power of forming, or, as it is technically called, _secreting_, from
its own substance and its surrounding medium a most complex supporting
skeleton of calcareous or silicious nature. It may have its outer
envelope so markedly differentiated from its inner as to require a
distinct designation as _exosarc_, while it may give rise in its
interior not only to a nucleus and nucleolus, but to two regularly
formed cavities with the power of rythmical pulsation, and one definite
portion of its external wall may be perforated to form a permanent mouth
instead of as in such forms as _Amœba_, any part serving indifferently
as a mouth and every portion having similar functions without
differentiation. All these and other complications of structure may
arise by direct growth and transubstantiation of the single cell into
the various physically and chemically different parts.

Again, a living creature which is fixed may so extend itself as to
simulate stem, roots, and branches, and yet remain essentially simple,
consisting merely of one greatly enlarged and complicated cell.

Thus, a unicellular plant may take on a great complexity of form while
still remaining purely unicellular. It may assume the form of a stem
with roots and leaves. An example of such we may see in the genus
_Caulerpa_,[90] which, although unicellular, simulates in its outline
the fern called _Blechnum_.

The next grade of structural complication in living creatures is
produced by the lowly plants, such as _Protococcus_, which multiply by
spontaneous self-division or _fission_. This process may take place
repeatedly and at the same time incompletely, in this way producing an
apparently compound organism. Thus, we have the second grade of
structural complication in living creatures--namely, the aggregation of
cells into a loosely joined mass.

Other simple forms are those presented by the minute organisms Diatoms
and Desmids, the former enclosed in silicious cases, and some presenting
the only exception to the general law that organic bodies are bounded by
curved lines and surfaces.

Wonderful is the minute ornamentation presented by the surfaces of these
microscopic plants. Some of them cohere by imperfect division in the
second grade of structural complication just described; they may form
longitudinal series of cells, or they may be arranged round a common

One of the best examples of this secondary grade of complication is
presented by the spherically aggregated cells of _Volvox_.[91] These
present us with a good example of the way in which the shape of the
individual cells may spontaneously alter, to suit the mode of their
aggregation. Originally spherical, the adjacent sides of these cells
become flattened, and thus the cells acquire a polygonal figure.

Other instances of the coherence of the cells of unicellular organisms
into indefinite and inconstant aggregations is presented by some
radiolarians, individuals which cohere into what are called _colonies_.

From such incomplete aggregation, the next step is to definite and
stable aggregations, in which the life of the constituent parts is more
or less plainly subservient to, and dominated by, the life of the whole.
Such we find in all but the lowest _Fungi_,[92] and _Algæ_, in
sponges,[93] and _Hydræ_, and also in all higher organisms. In such
permanent aggregations, the dominant life of the whole is shown partly
in greater constancy of external form and partly in the setting apart of
separate portions of the whole, either for the nourishment of the entire
creature or for the reproduction of fresh individuals, or for effecting
gaseous interchange, or (in animals) for ministering to feeling and

Thus, the overwhelming majority of living creatures are, as has been
said, formed of aggregation of cells, which cohere or fuse together in
various ways--and not only of aggregation of cells but of aggregation of
aggregations of cells or "tissues." Each tissue is a structure formed by
the aggregation, or by aggregation and metamorphoses, of certain sets of
cells. Thus, every higher plant or animal is made of an inconceivable
multitude of cells, together with tissues which are not cellular, but
which have originated by metamorphosis of cells, and every such higher
plant or animal at first consists entirely of an aggregate of plainly
distinct cells; and, first of all, of one single cell only, whence its
whole structure, however complex, has originally sprung, though
generally not until it has had at least a portion of another cell mixed
with it.

This transformation of cells, at first all alike, into distinct orders
of cells or _tissues_, whence different organs with different functions
arise, is characteristic of all living creatures above those which each
consist throughout life of one cell only.

We have seen that unicellular organisms may unite into a cylindrical or
spheroidal colony, as in some _Radiolaria_, or into a spheroid of
closely-adjusted cells, forming one layer, as in _Volvox_. But however
large or complex such aggregation may be, it never forms sets of united
cells or tissues. The whole of these lower creatures, therefore, may be
spoken of as unicellular organisms; as though they may consist of many
cells, those cells retain their individuality. Such creatures are all
the lowest animals--those called _Hypozoa_[94] or _Protozoa_, and also
the lowest cryptogamic[95] plants.

All other animals and all the higher plants are multicellular. The
description of one animal (which is placed as it were on the boundary
between the multicellular and the unicellular division), the little
parasitic worm _Dicyema_,[96] must for the present be postponed, as its
significance could not yet be understood.

Before leaving the consideration of the forms of living creatures, a
further distinction should be made clear--that is to say, a distinction
in the nature of resemblances which may exist between various parts.

There are two different relations which may exist between a part or
organ in one animal or plant, and another part or organ in another
animal or plant. One of these relations is called _analogy_ and the
other _homology_, and it is very desirable to bear clearly in mind the
distinction which exists between these two relations.

_Analogy_ refers to the use to which any part or organ is put--that is,
it refers to its function.

Thus, the flower of the daisy is, as we shall see, analogous to that of
the buttercup. The spathe of an arum is analogous to the corolla of the
dead nettle (for both serve to shelter the essential parts of the

The foot of a horse is analogous to the foot of a man, and the shell of
a tortoise to the shell of an armadillo; for the two former serve for
support and locomotion, while the latter two are solid protecting
envelopes to the body. So also the flying organ or wing of a bat is
analogous to the flying organ or wing of a beetle.

_Homology_ refers to essential similarity in position compared with all
the other parts or organs of the body, and must be considered apart from

Thus, as we shall see in the next Essay a single floret of the daisy is
homologous with the whole flower of the buttercup. The spathe of an arum
is the homologue of any bract,[97] however insignificant in size and
apparently devoid of function. The foot of a horse is homologous (as we
shall see later) to the middle toe only of man, while the shell of the
tortoise is in part homologous with the shell of the armadillo and in
part with the ribs of the latter animal.

There is no relation of homology, however remote, between the wings of a
bat and of a beetle, and these two animals (as will shortly appear) have
the parts and organs of their bodies so fundamentally different, that it
is doubtful whether any definite relations of homology can be
established between them.

A special term has been devoted to signify a resemblance between two
parts in two different animals and plants, which resemblance has been
induced by or is directly related to their common needs, and the
similarity of external influences. This term is "homoplasy," and
structures which may thus be supposed to have grown alike in obedience
to the influence of similar external causes acting on similar innate
powers have been called _Homoplasts_.

Such, then, are the more general conditions as to structure and figure
which living creatures present, and (as has been said) with great
differences as to the amount of possible variation, most kinds have a
definite limit as to size. It remains only to make general observations
on the colours of living creatures.

But a few years ago, hardly any few general remarks of really scientific
interest and value could have been made respecting the varied hues and
markings which organisms present. No rational relation was even
suspected to exist between the colours of plants and the busy insect
life which swarms about their blossoms or about the varied colours of
birds, and the details of their habits and modes of existence.

It was known, of course, that Arctic foxes and hares became white in
winter, and that each benefited by its change, and suffered from the
change of the other; the snow tint which enabled the hare to escape also
facilitating the unobserved approach of the fox. It was also known that
many desert animals were of the colour of the sandy plain they wandered
over, and that tree-snakes and tree-frogs were often green. But it
seemed incredible that the varied shades or bright adornments of the
living world should each and all be governed by rigid laws, generally
connected with the welfare of the organisms so furnished. Here, if
anywhere, the reign of utilitarianism in Nature appeared to be at an
end, and creative fancy to have full play, regardless but of the harmony
and beauty thus revealed to appreciating eyes. The labours and fruitful
thoughts of Bates and Wallace have, however, opened up a wide field for
most interesting inquiry. They have made it evident that in many
instances the most direct utility accompanies colour both in animals
and plants. The colours of flowers serve to attract insects and birds,
by the visits of which they are fertilized or their fertility is greatly
augmented. It is this relation between attractiveness and insect
fertilization which explains the absence of colour from the flowers of
plants which are fertilized only by the wind, such as the fir trees
before-mentioned, oaks, beeches, nettles, sedges, and many others. It
also explains the conspicuousness of the flowers of many oceanic
islands, such as those of the Galapagos archipelago. But it also
explains, as Mr. Wallace has pointed out, the remarkable beauty of
Alpine flowers, by their need of attracting insects from a distance, the
conspicuous patches of bright colour serving thus to attract wandering
butterflies upwards from the valleys.

But more remarkable still is the explanation given to the semblance
borne by the colours of some creatures to those of others of quite a
different kind, as of some moths to bees, and some harmless flies to
wasps. For now it is clear that by this mimicry they escape the attacks
of many enemies, who avoid such apparently dangerous forms. On the other
hand, the bright liveries of such offensive creatures are highly useful
to the wearers, for such tints act as a warning to enemies, and so save
them from their being pounced on by creatures which might fatally wound
them, though unable to swallow them. But the beautiful liveries of such
powerful predatory kinds as tigers and leopards do not serve as
warnings. They serve their wearers, however, none the less, though it is
by aiding their concealment, and so allowing their prey to approach them
unsuspectingly to fatal nearness. For the vertical stripes of the tiger
resemble the vertical shadows of the grasses of the jungle amongst which
it lurks, as the scattered spots of the leopard agree with the scattered
spots of shadow amongst the foliage of trees on the boughs of which it
lies in wait. But to say more on this head would be to anticipate
remarks to come, when the relations of living beings to one another are
under consideration, and the subject is too extensive to be here treated
in full. Moreover, it must be noted that such relations do not by any
means serve to explain all the phenomena of organic colour. Direct
action is in some curious way exerted upon many organisms, by
surrounding tints, and similarly different geographical districts and
varieties of locality affect directly the colour of both animals and
plants, but these questions will be fully treated of under the head of
the relations of animals to the physical world. Suffice it here to note
that the phenomena of colour no less than the phenomena of form are in
harmony with (whether or not the result of) the active agencies of all
environing conditions. But colour of some kind is a universal attribute
of all material things. Though apparently most irregularly distributed
through the world of life, yet order underlies the seeming confusion. Of
certain large groups certain tints are characteristic, as has already
been remarked with respect to the great order to which the dandelion
belongs. But the same remark may be made of various others, as, for
example, of the order _Cruciferæ_ (to which the wallflower and turnip
belong), the flowers of which are generally white, pink, or yellow,
while the gentians, again, are noteworthy for exhibiting pure colours.

But the colours which predominate in the whole mass of living creatures
of all kinds are tints of green, brown, or reddish-yellow. Bright
colours, such as blue, scarlet, crimson, gold, or silver are
exceptional, and the colour blue is especially rare. The borrowed
radiance of the inorganic world, in the form of metallic brightness, is
especially a characteristic of those living gems, the humming birds; but
not a few other animals also exhibit it. Thus, of birds more or less
gifted with metallic radiance, though in a less degree than humming
birds, may be mentioned the sunbirds, the trogons, and the beautiful
family of pheasants; and many insects and many fishes shine with
metallic tints.

Brightness of this kind (though the leaves of a few plants have a
coppery lustre) is unknown in the world of plants, in which shades of
green are overwhelmingly predominant, and are universally present,
except in a few exceptional forms, notably the fungi.[98]

Various aquatic animals belonging to very different groups agree in
possessing a perfectly glass-like transparency. Amongst them are fish
which live in the ocean; for example, the Teleostean[99] fish
(_Leptocephalus_), also mollusca of all kinds, including even perfectly
transparent cuttle fishes.[100] There are also glass-like
crustaceans,[101] and also planarians[102] and sea anemones.[103]
Plants, however, never present this character, although by it they
might, as well as animals, escape being preyed upon.

Most fishes which inhabit the deep sea are of a dull black colour,
though some are white, and the majority of all deep-sea animals,
considered as a whole, are more or less decidedly coloured, many
brightly so.[104]

Luminosity is a character of many lowly animals, and it is the presence
of minute creatures possessing this character which so often causes the
spray dashed from the prow of an advancing ship to appear like a shower
of sparks, while glowing bodies traverse the water beneath its surface.
Many insects, such as fire-flies and glow-worms, are notoriously
luminous. In the vegetable world, however, this character is very rarely
present, being only so in certain fungi, some of which exhibit a
wonderful luminosity. Humboldt relates that he found this to be
especially splendid in mines.

As like phenomena of colour characterize certain groups of living
creatures, so also like phenomena of colour may characterize certain
geographical regions being common to creatures of very different kinds
which inhabit such regions, as we shall hereafter see. The brightest of
living things, the humming birds, have their true home in the equatorial
region of America, to which continent they are exclusively confined. But
it is in the equatorial region of the whole earth that we find the most
brilliant birds of other kinds, the most brightly coloured reptiles and
fishes, the largest and many of the loveliest butterflies, moths and
beetles, the most beautiful orchids, the largest of all flowers and of
all clusters of flowers.

But neither the temperate, nor even the Arctic nor Antarctic climes are
denied the glory of bright tints in the long days of their brief, but
sometimes fervid, summer. Indeed, the golden burst of gorse and glow of
heather in our temperate zone have, in their way, an unequal charm;
while every here and there Arctic lands and Alpine heights exhibit
beauties of colour which are hardly elsewhere presented by the field of
animated nature to the eye of man.



[56] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW for July, 1879, p. 678.

[57] Loc. cit., p. 704.

[58] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW for July, 1879, p. 703.

[59] _Ibid._ for September, 1879, p. 27.

[60] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, pp. 33 and 43.

[61] One of the _Melanospermeæ_; _Ibid._ p. 36.

[62] Creatures belonging to the class _Lammellibranchiata_; see
CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, pp. 30 and 43.

[63] The truffle may be generally regarded rather as the fruit of a
plant than as an entire plant, and yet in some of the group the rest of
the plant (which is called the _Mycelium_) is quite rudimentary, or even

[64] There are climbers in Brazil, the roots of which, descending around
the trunk of the tree supporting them, clasp the latter with such a
deadly embrace that it dies and decays. In the meantime, the descending
roots (having become fixed in the ground) swell and meet so as to form a
new and irregularly-shaped trunk of solid wood, which has thus (by an
inverted process) grown downwards instead of upwards. There are other
such creepers in the East which have a wide-spreading downward growth
(see Wallace's "Malay Archipelago," vol. i. p. 131).

[65] Creatures belonging to the group _Rhizopoda_; see CONTEMPORARY
REVIEW for September, 1879, pp. 35 and 43.

[66] One of the lowest of the _Rhizopoda_; _Ibid._ p. 36.

[67] A class of _Hypozoa_; see CONTEMPORARY REVIEW for September, 1879,
pp. 35 and 43.

[68] _Ibid._ pp. 31 and 43.

[69] _Ibid._ p. 35, and _Archiv für Mikroskop. Anatomie_, vol. xv. Heft
3, plate xx.

[70] See CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 31.

[71] One of the _Copepoda_; see loc. cit., p. 31.

[72] See loc. cit., p. 31.

[73] Of the class _Cestoidea_; see loc. cit., pp. 34 and 43.

[74] Loc. cit., p. 36.

[75] Loc. cit., p. 37.

[76] Loc. cit., p. 36.

[77] All these three plants belong to the _Dicotyledonous_ order
_Sesameæ_, which would come between the _Lobiatæ_ and the _Orobanchaceæ_
of the list given on p. 42 in the CONTEMPORARY REVIEW for September,
1879. This order contains the _Sesamum orientale_, the seeds of which
yield sesamum or gingilie oil, principally used in the manufacture of
soap. 58,940 tons of these seeds were imported into France in 1855.

[78] This and the tics belong to the class _Arachnida_; see CONTEMPORARY
REVIEW, September, 1879, pp. 32 and 43.

[79] For the _Typhlopsidæ_, see CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p.

[80] Loc. cit., p. 24.

[81] Belonging to the class _Ophiomorpha_; see loc. cit., pp. 27 and 43.

[82] See CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 25.

[83] _Valisneria spiralis_: these are distinct male and female flowers.
The male flowers are on short stalks, which break and allow their
flowers to rise to the surface and there float, scattering their pollen.
The female flowers grow on long coiled stalks, which uncoil and allow
them to rise to the surface to be fertilized, after which the stalks
recoil and withdraw them again below. This is a monocotyledonous plant
of the order _Hydrocharideæ_.

[84] See CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 37.

[85] Loc. cit., p. 37.

[86] Loc. cit., p. 36.

[87] There is an ambiguity in the use of the word "cell." By some
writers it is only used to denote a particle of protoplasm with a
nucleus (whether or not it is enclosed in a "cell-wall"), while such a
particle without a nucleus is called by them a _Cytod_. By others it is
used to denote any particle of protoplasm enclosed in a cell-wall, and
by others, again, as denoting any distinct particle of protoplasm with
or without a nucleus, and with or without a cell-wall. It is in this
widest sense that it is here proposed to use the term "cell,"
distinguishing, where needful, those with a nucleus or envelope as "a
nucleated" or "a walled" cell.

As yet the two natures and functions of the nucleus and nucleolus are by
no means cleared up. The nucleus often appears to contain a complexity
of fibrils, transitory aggregations of which have been supposed to cause
the appearance of nucleoli. The apparently simplest protoplasm is
probably of really very complex, most minute structure.

[88] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 37.

[89] Here reference may be made to the name _Bathybius_, which was given
by Professor Huxley to a material found at the sea bottom, of great
extent and indefinite shape, and which was supposed by him to be the
remains of a mass of once living protoplasm, but which there is much
reason now to suppose was really but inorganic material. Reference is
here made to this, because some persons seem to imagine that if
_Bathybius_ were a lowly animal some important speculative consequences
would follow. But this is an utter mistake. It is generally admitted
already that there are living structureless protoplasmic organisms of no
definite shape, and of which detached particles can live and grow. It
would make no real difference whatever to the known facts of life if a
creature of the kind should be found as large as the Pacific Ocean, with
its portions exceptionally detachable and its shape irregular in the

[90] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 37.

[91] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 36.

[92] Loc. cit., pp. 37 and 43.

[93] Loc. cit., p. 34.

[94] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, September, 1879, pp. 35 and 43.

[95] For explanation of this application of this term see loc. cit., p.

[96] Loc. cit., p. 35.

[97] A kind of leaf the nature of which as well as of spathes, florets,
and flowers, will be explained in the next Essay.

[98] CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, loc. cit., pp. 37 and 43.

[99] Teleostean fishes are generally bony, but the bones are represented
by cartilages in _Leptocephalus_. As to teleosteans, see CONTEMPORARY
REVIEW, September, 1879, p. 27.

[100] _Ibid._, loc. cit., p. 30.

[101] _Ibid._, loc. cit., pp. 31 and 43.

[102] _Ibid._, loc. cit., pp. 33 and 43.

[103] _Ibid._, loc. cit., p. 34. As examples of transparent sea
anemones, Nautactis and its allies, belonging to the _Actinozoa_, may be

[104] See Moseley's "Challenger," p. 592.


    CONSTANTINOPLE, _Sept. 9th, 1879_.

Three months have elapsed since my last letter, and were it not for the
suffering people we might treat of the history of the Turkish Government
during these months as so many acts in a comedy; but human suffering is
never ridiculous, and those who live in the midst of it find nothing
amusing in the obstinate stupidity which causes it. It is not pleasant
to live among the ruins of a crumbling Empire, however picturesque these
ruins may appear at a distance, and however much it may be for the
interest of foreign politicians to leave them undisturbed. Whatever may
be the course of contemporary thought in England, where the fate of
Turkey has unfortunately become a party question, the people of Turkey
can only think of it as it affects their own interests, and they desire
above all things that the people of England, without distinction of
party, should understand their condition as it is. This is a reasonable
desire, whether anything can be done for them or not; and these letters
are intended to represent contemporary life and thought _in Turkey_.

The Fall of Khaireddin Pacha.

Khaireddin Pacha commenced life as a Circassian slave in Tunis. He came
to Constantinople last year as an exiled Prime Minister of the Bey, but
possessed of immense wealth which he had accumulated while in office,
and with a high reputation for learning, skill as an administrator, and
devotion to the faith of Islam. He was well received by the Sultan, who
often consulted him in regard to political affairs; and finally, through
the influence of France and England, he was appointed Grand Vizier. But
he made no friends among the Turkish Pachas, and had no party in the
country. Even the most liberal of the governing class regarded him as an
interloper, who had neither the ability nor the experience necessary to
fit him for the place which he had secured by European influence. He
reciprocated their distrust, and spoke of them freely as a band of
bandits. He was too good a Mussulman to attempt to build up a party
among the Christians. He depended simply upon his personal influence
over the Sultan and the support of the French and English Ambassadors.
He succeeded in exiling all the ex-Grand Viziers, but he had still more
dangerous enemies among his own colleagues, who thwarted him at every
step, worked upon the fears of the Sultan, and brought the affairs of
the Government to a dead-lock. He finally proposed to the Sultan a plan
of Government which, under the name of reform, involved an abdication of
his supreme power in favour of the Grand Vizier. This was supported by
all the influence of France, England, and Austria, but opposed by the
Ulema and almost the whole governing class. It led to a formal decision
on the part of the Ulema, which is of far greater importance than the
fall of the Grand Vizier which was the first result of it. It declared
that the Sultan ruled the Empire as Caliph, that he was bound by the
Sheriat or sacred law, and that he could not delegate his authority to
another. Under this decision there can be no such thing as civil
government in Turkey. Civil law can never take the place of the Sheriat,
and the emancipation of the Christian subjects of the Porte is an
impossibility. The Ulema admit the necessity of administrative reform,
and recognize the fact that the Empire is in peril; but it must be a
return to ancient customs, and not a recognition of the principles of
European civilization. They are in favour of limiting the power of the
Sultan, but it must be limited by an extension of the influence of the
Ulema. This triumph of the Ulema is the one important feature of the
Ministerial crisis. As Khaireddin had no party, there are few who regret
his fall. As few had any faith in the influence of English moral suasion
applied to the Sultan by Sir A. H. Layard, there are few who are
disappointed at its failure; but it may be well to note that Sir A. H.
Layard and Khaireddin Pacha have both attempted to control the Turkish
Government by their personal influence over the Sultan, and have both
been defeated by the stronger influence of palace intrigue. There are no
doubt certain advantages in maintaining intimate personal relations with
an absolute sovereign, but, in fact, no sovereign is so absolute that he
cannot be to a great extent controlled by his Ministers; and the
Ambassador who is intimate with the Sultan, and seeks to control his
actions, is certain to excite the jealousy and opposition of the
Ministers and the palace. Even with the Sultan himself, he is obliged to
assume a very different tone from that which he would use in dealing
with a Minister. He may smile, but he cannot frown--he may suggest, but
he cannot threaten--he may persuade, but he cannot dictate--he may
secure a promise, but he cannot exact its fulfilment. In the present
case he has certainly failed to keep his own _protégé_ in office, and,
what is more important, he has failed to secure any modifications in the
system of government.

The Ulema who have triumphed in this conflict are the most powerful,
compact, and thoroughly organized body in Turkey. They represent all the
wealthy and influential Turkish families. They monopolize the two great
departments of law and religion, and the revenues of the higher orders
of the hierarchy are immense. Those who are not fanatics by nature or
conviction are so by profession, and their idea of reform is a return to
the good old days of the Caliph of Bagdad. The Sultan is afraid of them,
and he has reason to be so. When the crisis came it was much easier and
safer for him to yield to them than to follow the counsels of Sir A. H.
Layard, or to abdicate in favour of Khaireddin Pacha. He could invite
the former to dinner oftener than ever, and give the latter a pension.
He had nothing to fear from either.

The office of Grand Vizier was abolished for the second time within two
years, and a Prime Minister appointed who could be trusted to do
nothing; and it is a curious fact that this office is now abolished for
the sake of increasing the power of the Sultan, while it was given up
two years ago for the purpose of limiting his authority and
strengthening that of the Ministry. It was Achmet Vefik Pacha, the most
determined and independent man in Turkey, who was then appointed Prime
Minister. It is Arifi Pacha, a man who never had an idea of his own, who
is now selected to fill the place; while men of strong will and
reactionary proclivities like Osman Pacha and Said Pacha continue to
hold their places as Ministers of War and Justice.

Sultan Murad.

It must not be supposed that all the Turks are satisfied with this
triumph of the Ulema, and the rule of Osman Pacha. Those who are out of
office are, of course, dissatisfied. But beyond this there is a strong
party at Constantinople which favours a radical change in the Government
as the only hope of saving the Empire from destruction. They would limit
the power of the Sultan by a genuine Constitution, and a Representative
Assembly; but they believe that this can never be accomplished under the
present Sultan. The fate of Mithad Pacha is always before their eyes.
Their plan is to dethrone Hamid and reinstate Murad, whose liberal views
are well known, and whose health is such that he could not resist
radical measures even if he did not favour them. I have no means of
knowing the real strength of this party, or exactly who are its leaders,
nor do I know anything more of the health of Sultan Murad than the fact
that his partisans declare that he is quite as sane and strong as his
brother. But there is such a party, and it is confident of ultimate
success. Of course, it is not supported by the British Ambassador, as
Mithad Pacha was in the overthrow of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz; but it may have
other foreign influence behind it, and it would, no doubt, result in the
immediate recall of Mithad Pacha to the capital. As I am
constitutionally a Conservative and opposed to revolution, I have not
much sympathy with this movement; but I have no doubt that, if Turkey is
to be left to herself to work out her own destiny, there is more to be
hoped from a Representative Assembly than from any other possible
modification of the Government. Mithad Pacha's Parliament was a surprise
to the world, and not least to those who devised it. His Constitution
was a fraud designed to deceive Europe. The members of his Assembly were
selected by the Government, its acts were ignored. It was finally
disbanded, and many of its members were imprisoned. But in spite of all
this it demonstrated the fact that there was material in Turkey for an
independent Assembly, which would be qualified by a little experience to
control the Government, and would favour radical reforms in the
administration. The governing class at Constantinople is hopelessly
corrupt and effete, but men came up to this Assembly from the interior,
who might in time have supplanted the present rulers, and infused new
life into the administration. Those who now favour an Independent
Parliament believe that the present Sultan will never consent to it, and
therefore propose to reinstate Murad; but it is possible that if English
moral suasion were turned in this direction, it might meet with more
success than it has obtained thus far. The Ulema would probably oppose
it, although they accepted it as part of the plan of Mithad Pacha.
Circumstances have changed, and their experience of the last Assembly
was not satisfactory.

There is no reason to suppose that Sultan Murad himself has any part in
this plan, or any knowledge of it. He is kept a close prisoner, and
guarded from all outside influences with the greatest care, but his name
is powerful, for his misfortunes and the well-known amiability of his
character have roused the sympathy of the common people in his behalf.
They are inclined to regard him as their rightful sovereign, and to
believe that he might save them from their present misery. They may be
mistaken, but all the world sympathizes with their kindly feeling
towards this unhappy prince, whose mind gave way under the burden of
responsibility which was suddenly forced upon him, and the shock which
he experienced at the death of his uncle and his Ministers, who was
himself deposed before he had regained his faculties, and who, for no
fault of his own, is doomed to spend his life as a prisoner of State.

The Progress of Reform.

We are officially assured that the change in the Ministry will in no way
impede the progress of reform, which has already been carried out in the
Department of Justice, and which is soon to be applied to the civil
administration. The plan has already been elaborated. It has been sent
to the Valis for their approval, and will soon be submitted to the
Eastern Roumelia Commission, after which it will be considered by the
Sultan and, if approved by him, will be proclaimed in the form of a new
_Hatt_. It professes to be a plan for a reorganization of the Vilayets,
on the principle of decentralization and local self-government. It does
not seem to excite much interest in any quarter, probably for the reason
that all this exists already _on paper_, and that if Aali Pacha could
not execute the elaborate scheme, which he proclaimed when the Vilayets
were organized, there is not much probability that the new _Hatt_ will
be any more effective. The people of Turkey have no faith in paper
reforms. They are issued as easily as paper money, and are as easily
repudiated; they are like leading articles in the daily papers--they are
written, read, and forgotten, alike by the author and the reader, within
the twenty-four hours. There is an old proverb current among the Turks
which says, "The decrees of the Sultan last three days--the day they are
made, the day they are kept, and the day they are forgotten." If the
proverb were a new one, the second day would be omitted.

The reforms which have been completed by Said Pacha, the Minister of
Justice, are not of a nature to encourage the hopes of the people. A
large number of new officials have been appointed, but they are of the
same class as those already in office. Indeed, there seems to have been
a special purpose in these appointments of making it known to the people
that no change was to be expected in the method of administering the
law. Only seventeen out of one hundred and eighty-three of these new
officials are Christians, and the Turkish papers take pains to declare
that it is absurd to suppose that Christians are competent to hold these
offices. This is the result of the demand of Lord Salisbury that the
Courts of the Empire should be reorganized under European control. They
will continue to be what they have been, and it will be but a small
consolation to the suffering people of Turkey to know that they have
been condemned in strong terms by the British Government. The worst
feature of the case is that the law offers no man any protection against
arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. A man may be thrown into prison and
kept there for years without any trial or any knowledge of the charges
brought against him. Such cases are very common. Or he may he beaten by
the police, or chained in a dungeon, on the most frivolous charge. I
knew a case the other day of a Greek who was severely beaten because he
requested a police officer to arrest a Turk who was plundering his shop
in broad day. All this was done in the presence of a European gentleman,
too. There are several Armenians in prison now in Constantinople whose
only offence was the wearing of hats in place of the fez. At the same
time, crimes of every description are committed with impunity without
any apparent effort on the part of the authorities to discover the
perpetrators. Almost in sight of Constantinople, and under the immediate
jurisdiction of the capital, is a district where for months the peaceful
inhabitants of Adabazar have been plundered and murdered by the
Circassians. They have appealed again and again to Constantinople for
protection. They have tried to interest the Ambassadors in their behalf.
They sent a deputation to the Grand Vizier. He had no time to see them,
but turned them over to another official who requested them to present
him in writing a statement of the reforms which they thought were needed
in the Empire! A few hundred soldiers, or even one determined man sent
from Constantinople, would have restored order; but nothing could be
done. Five men were murdered while the deputation was in this city. The
whole Turkish coast of the Black Sea is infested with brigands who
plunder at will. They are well known, but no one thinks of arresting or
punishing them. Travellers are only secure when they are provided with a
safe-conduct from the leaders. The Reports of the new Consuls in Asia
Minor acknowledge a state of things which is almost too bad to be
believed. There is no security in the administration of the law for
person, property, or life, and there seems to be no prospect of any
improvement. Some more radical reform is needed than the appointment of
one hundred and sixty-six new Turkish judges.

A scheme of financial reform has also been projected, and the foreign
Embassies have been invited to nominate a certain number of persons as
inspectors to superintend the collection of the revenue; but this is
nothing new. The Imperial Ottoman Bank has nominally held this position
for many years, and at times has exercised some control, no doubt with
advantage to the Government. A new system of taxation, carried out under
the control of honest and responsible Europeans, would increase the
revenue of the Government without adding to the burdens of the people;
but the place where reform is most needed is in the expenditure rather
than the collection of the revenue. The present scheme does not command
confidence in Constantinople in regard to the collection of the taxes,
and it offers no security for the control of the expenses of the
Government. The truth is that the whole financial system is hopelessly
corrupt, and, however it may be patched or mended, it will be rotten
still. There is no hope for the Turkish Government until it is ready to
put its finances into the hands of competent Europeans who shall have
absolute control over everything connected with expenditure as well as
collection; and I am sorry to say that there seems to be no present
prospect of any such arrangement. The enormous expenditure of the Palace
is unlimited and uncontrolled, and the Sultan will not submit to any
control. Financial reform must begin there, or it will amount to
nothing. The present Sultan before he came to the throne was known to be
a very careful and economical man, and no doubt he would be glad to be
so now, but he has not the courage to break with the traditions of the
past--give up his thousands of slaves, women, and palace officials, and
live like a European sovereign rather than an Oriental despot. So long
as he maintains the present system he must have money, no matter who
starves for want of it; and he must continue to take money, on his
personal order, from whatever department of the Government may be so
happy as to have any in its treasury.

The Government is bankrupt; its revenues are not half enough to meet its
current expenses; its army is starving; its civil service forced to live
on plunder; its income mortgaged for years in advance to secure loans on
which it is paying thirty or forty per cent. interest in one form or
another; but still no one would dare to suggest to the Sultan the
possibility of his reducing his own expenses to a sum equal to that
expended by the Queen of England. Thus far all talk of financial reform
is prompted by the desire to borrow more money in Europe to meet the
present wants of the Government. These difficulties once surmounted,
everything would go on as before. It is no friendship to Turkey to lend
her money, until such time as the Sultan and his Ministers are ready for
a real reform, beginning at the Palace, and conducted under the control
of Europeans appointed and supported by their own Governments. But there
is no prospect of any such arrangement.

The Turks do not appreciate the dangers which beset them. They see that
the country is in an unsettled state, and they feel the want of money;
but the evils of which the people complain are nothing new. They exist
now in an aggravated form, on account of the war and the confusion which
has reigned for several years at Constantinople; but the Turks see no
reason why they should not be reduced to a normal state, and be quietly
endured for centuries to come, as they have been for centuries past.
Their attention is directed exclusively to their foreign relations, and
whatever is said or done about reform is intended solely to conciliate
public opinion in Europe. Could the rulers here be brought face to face
with a really independent Representative Assembly, freely chosen by the
people, they would be made to think less of Europe and more of Turkey.
They would see that their rule has become well-nigh intolerable, even to
the Mussulman population of the Empire. Then there would be some hope of
genuine administration and financial reform. It is even possible that
the Christian element in such an Assembly might be strong enough to
secure, in time, the emancipation of the non-Mussulman population--and
it should never be forgotten that this must come in some form. England
does not insist upon it now, but she will, and so will all Europe. It
would be far better for Turkey if it could be brought about by the
Christians themselves; but if it is not, it will be forced upon the
Turks by direct European intervention, or possibly by the overthrow of
the Empire.

The Egyptian Crisis.

The affairs of Egypt have been so fully discussed in England that it is
unnecessary for me to do more than to indicate the course of thought on
this subject at Constantinople. At the outset, the Sultan and his
Ministers sympathized with the Khedive. They feared that European
intervention at Cairo would pave the way for a similar intervention
here; and when he appealed to the Sultan he had reason to expect his
support. But the Turks thought they saw their opportunity to regain
their hold on Egypt, and the Khedive was summarily removed. The Turkish
papers here did not hesitate to rejoice over it as a "new conquest of
Egypt," and it is still believed here that this view of the subject was
encouraged by England, that it was the purpose of Lord Beaconsfield to
escape from the embarrassing demands of France by restoring Egypt to the
control of the Sultan.

But when the Turks found that they had been misled or mistaken, and that
Egypt was less than ever under their control, they regretted the steps
which had been taken, and began once more to sympathize with the Khedive
whom they had deposed. He was very liberal in his expenditure of money
at Constantinople, and always found it for his interest to maintain a
host of retainers here; but the new Khedive will have no money to spend
here, and will need agents in Paris and London rather than in
Constantinople. The tribute-money no longer comes here, but is paid to
bondholders in England and France. There is no hope of putting any more
Turks into lucrative offices in Egypt. In short, the connection of that
country with Turkey is no longer anything more than nominal, and the
Turks feel their disappointment very keenly. They have now but one hope
left. They understand very well the difficulties which must arise from a
joint protectorate by France and England, and hope that the mutual
jealousies of these Powers may throw Egypt once more into the hands of
Turkey. The tone of the French press, even of so cautious and
conservative a periodical as the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, gives them
some ground for this hope; but the Khedive lost his throne by giving too
much importance to this mutual jealousy, which manifested itself much
more plainly in Egypt than it did in Europe; and it is to be hoped that
the Turks will be equally disappointed. Every one in the East regards
the present situation as impracticable and temporary, but it may result
in the independence of Egypt under a general European protectorate, or
in a further division of the Ottoman Empire by the annexation of Egypt
to England and Syria to France. The opportunity of annexing Egypt
without compensation to France was lost when England refused to listen
to the suggestions of Germany three years ago, because, as Lord Derby is
reported to have said, it would have shocked the moral sense of the

The Greek Question.

The Greek Question is not a simple one. Very few questions connected
with the East are simple. The aspirations of the kingdom of Greece are
natural. Her appeal to Europe was justifiable, and there can be no
question of the advantage which it would be to Greece, and to the
populations of Epirus, Thessaly, and Crete, if these provinces were
annexed to the kingdom. If this were all, they would be annexed, and all
the world would rejoice. It is to be regretted that the Congress of
Berlin did not shut its eyes to other considerations and settle it
off-hand in this way; but they did not, and no Power now exists which
can do so.

These provinces belong to Turkey, and she cannot see that it is for her
interest to give them up. Greece cannot possibly offer her anything in
return for them, and, as against Turkey, she has no claim upon them. The
Congress of Berlin advised Turkey to arrange, by friendly negotiation,
for the cession of a part of them; but there is really no ground upon
which a negotiation can be based. Turkey is ready to yield something out
of respect to Europe, but she naturally wishes to give up as little as
possible. Then there are other Powers interested. Austria and Italy, but
especially the former, have their own views of the destiny of European
Turkey, and their own plans of aggrandizement. Albania and Macedonia
have to be considered. England, France, and Russia, also, are looking
forward to the future, and questioning how the settlement of this
question will affect their plans for the final solution of the Eastern
Question. Here is room for intrigues without end, and complications
without limit.

The Greeks are indignant, especially against England and Austria; and
their papers here have used some very disagreeable language. They are
now solemnly protesting against the right of Sir A. H. Layard and Count
Zichy to take a short vacation, so long as this question remains
unsettled. Some of them seem to believe that Osman Pacha really
contemplates a reconquest of Greece itself, and that England might
consent to it. All this is absurd; but there can be no doubt about the
fact that England and Austria have thus far opposed the claims of
Greece, and that Austria and Turkey have, each in her own way,
contributed to excite discontent in Albania, and keep up a state of
anarchy in Macedonia. A leading paper in Vienna, ten days ago, openly
declared that it was the intention of Austria to push on to Salonica,
after taking possession of Novi Bazaar. She certainly has very little
sympathy with Greece, and if this question is to be settled at all she
will keep the Greeks as far from Salonica as possible.

The Turkish papers are allowed to discuss this question with perfect
freedom, and one of the most moderate, the _Djeridei-Havadis_, says:--

    "If the Hellenic Kingdom is desirous of avoiding a war with the
    Albanians, it ought to follow the line of conduct proposed by the
    Porte. If it acts in opposition to it, a war will follow which can
    only result in ruin, as has happened before. If the Porte had only
    to satisfy Greece, it is probable that it would show itself
    yielding, but the Imperial Government cannot, with a light heart,
    provoke a conflict and see the blood of its subjects poured out, for
    the Albanians have decided to defend their country, arms in hand. It
    is astonishing that Europe, in seconding the demands of Greece,
    completely forgets the rights of the Albanians."

The Commission appointed to settle this question is now in session at
Constantinople, and some arrangement may be made, but the current
opinion in the city, among both Greeks and Turks, is that neither party
will yield anything. Another meeting is to be held to-morrow; and if
the Greeks are ready to give up Janina, a settlement is possible--in
spite of the Albanians. The impression is that they will not fight,
although the Greeks in Thessaly and Epirus have roused their hostility,
and have failed to do anything to conciliate them in past years. They
have an honest fear of being Hellenized by force, and although they have
little sympathy for the Turkish Government, and are constantly
quarrelling among themselves, they still have a strong national pride,
and they may take up arms in good earnest. If they do, it will be a
serious matter for Greece.

The Principality of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria is enjoying a brief period of comparative repose. The Russians
have left the country. The Prince has assumed the reins of Government.
The people are busy with their harvests, and, except in certain
districts where the disbanded soldiers of the Turkish army have taken to
brigandage, there is peace and quiet everywhere, and there is no reason
to fear anything more disquieting than the excitement of a general

The Principality has a great advantage over Eastern Roumelia, in that it
has secured its independence, and can work out its destiny by itself,
without any interference on the part of the Turks or of an European
Commission; but both Prince and people are without experience, and there
are no popular leaders who have any practical knowledge of government.
The people are jealous of their newly-acquired rights, and naturally
opinionated and disputatious. The coming elections will no doubt cause
great political excitement, and the new Assembly will not be very easily
managed, or be likely to win the admiration of Europe by its wisdom. It
should be remembered, however, that this lack of experience is the
misfortune and not the fault of the Bulgarians, and that Europe has not
dealt with them in a way to win their confidence and command their
respect. It has left them with a grievance which they can never forget
for a moment, which must influence all their political action, and which
forces them to maintain intimate relations with Russia, which is not a
country where they can learn political wisdom, although it has given
them a Constitution which is a model of liberality. There was nothing in
the Russian administration of the province which was adapted to prepare
them for such a Constitution, or teach them how to conduct a free and
liberal government. Prince and people have to begin everything for
themselves. Indeed, they are probably worse off than they would have
been if there had been no civil administration attempted in the province
by the Russians. An army of occupation of any country is unfitted for
the organization of civil government. This was attempted on a grand
scale in the Southern States of America after the civil war, and under
exceptionally favourable circumstances, but all these civil governments,
established and fostered by military force, were unsatisfactory while
they continued, and disappeared when the army was withdrawn. If this was
a work which could not be accomplished by the United States, and by an
army which was made up chiefly of civilians, it is not strange that,
with all possible goodwill, the Czar of Russia failed to establish a
satisfactory civil administration in Bulgaria. He gave them as good a
Prince as was to be found in the German market, and as liberal a
Constitution as any in Europe. He maintained order and protected all
classes as long as his soldiers remained in the country; but the whole
administration was necessarily Russian in its spirit and methods, and
altogether unlike what it ought to be under the new Constitution. The
Bulgarians who were trained under it will have to unlearn much that they
have learned, and begin anew, or they will fail to satisfy the people.
All this is the misfortune rather than the fault of the nation, and it
has a right to expect that Europe will be patient and friendly, while it
gains by experience the wisdom which no nation has ever acquired in any
other way.

Prince Alexander is young, and as inexperienced as his people, but those
who know him best have confidence in his good sense, and he is said to
be not unlike the late Prince Albert in character. He will need all his
good qualities to attain success; and if successful, he will certainly
deserve to be ranked with the Prince Consort and King Leopold. His work
certainly involves more self-denial than either of theirs, and not less
tact and good sense. He was no doubt elected through the influence of
Russia; but he is no mere creature of the Czar, and has no desire to act
as a Russian agent. On the contrary, he is heartily in sympathy with the
liberal ideas of the West, and anxious to secure the goodwill of
England. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Palgrave, the English
Consul-General, this does not seem to the Bulgarians so hopeless a task
as it once did.

The Prince was received by his people with the greatest enthusiasm. No
sovereign was ever more heartily welcomed, and each stage of his journey
was a new triumph. He probably appreciated this all the more from the
fact that his visit to Constantinople was made as disagreeable as
possible. He was first refused permission to come at all, on the
pretence that his life would be in danger. This plea was too absurd to
deceive any one, but it might have caused serious difficulty if he had
not appealed to the Great Powers, and at the same time manifested a
disposition to conciliate the Porte by proposing to limit his stay at
Constantinople to a visit of a few hours. He arrived in the Bosphorus in
the morning, and left in the afternoon. He was received by the Sultan,
but was told that owing to the pressure of business his Firman was not
ready, and could not be delivered to him. No Bulgarian was allowed to
approach him, and no boat allowed to go out to his steamer. Large bodies
of troops were stationed along his route and about the Russian Embassy,
and he was treated very much like a prisoner of State. It is not easy to
understand why this farce was played by the Turks, or what they expected
to gain by it. They probably refused the permission in the first place
with the intention of treating him as an ordinary Turkish Vali, and
sending his Firman to be read in public at Tirnova by a Turkish
official; but after the failure of this plan there was no obvious reason
for treating him as they did at Constantinople. Some have supposed that
it was intended as a studied insult to the Prince, others that it was an
elaborate practical joke played upon the Russian Embassy, which had at
one time suggested that it was unnecessary for the Prince to come to
Constantinople, as other vassal Princes had always done. But whatever
may have been the motive which prompted this singular treatment, it only
served to make the reception of the Prince the next day at Varna more
impressive, and to give more importance to the wild enthusiasm of his
new subjects, who could not have received him with greater joy if he had
himself just delivered them from the hated rule of the Turks. He was
inaugurated at Tirnova, the ancient capital, and then went at once to
Sofia, the new seat of government. His first difficulty was the choice
of a Ministry. Two parties had already been developed in the
Constitutional Assembly which adopted the Constitution and elected the
Prince. They grew out of a difference of opinion in regard to religious
liberty, freedom of the press, the right of association, with other
similar questions, and at once assumed the names, Conservative and
Liberal. The Conservative party included the clergy of the Bulgarian
Church, and some of the best educated and most enlightened Bulgarians,
who felt that too much liberty was a dangerous thing for a people
brought so suddenly from bondage to freedom--who feared that the country
would be flooded with Nihilism, Socialism, and all other isms. The
Liberal party, however, had a large majority in the Assembly, and was
led with considerable skill by two or three experienced politicians, who
were wise enough to avoid extreme measures. When the Prince arrived, he
attempted to form a Ministry which should include the leaders of both
these parties; but for some reason the majority of those selected were
Conservatives, and the Liberals declined to serve with them, so that he
has a Conservative Ministry, with the probability that the new Assembly
will have a strong Liberal majority. This is an unfortunate beginning,
as the party conflict which is likely to ensue will probably weaken the
influence of some of the best men in the nation, who are really Liberal
in their views, but who fear that absolute liberty will degenerate into
license and sap the foundations of religion and morality. They do not
think that the people are ready for "a free Church in a free State."
They fail to see that the influence of the Church can only be
strengthened by educating the clergy and reviving their spiritual life.
The Bulgarians are naturally a religious people; but, both while they
were under the Greek Patriarch, and since they have received their
independence, their Church has been an essentially political
organization. It needs now to be spiritualized. The best men of both
parties acknowledge this; but, as in all other countries, there is a
difference of opinion as to how far it should be defended and supported
by the State.

I have said that this division of parties was an unfortunate beginning
for this new State, but after all it is far better that there should be
real living questions before the people than that politics should
degenerate into a new struggle for office. The very discussion of these
questions will tend to educate the people and revive the Church, and it
will probably be found that when a new Liberal Ministry is formed the
responsibilities of office will make it as conservative in most respects
as the present Government. The Prince has the confidence of all the
people, and will no doubt accept the result of the coming elections as a
Constitutional sovereign, and then direct the attention of the people to
other questions of the utmost importance concerning the organization of
the various departments of the Government. No doubt serious difficulties
will be encountered and mistakes will be made, but the spirit of the
people is good. They desire good order, peace, and quiet, and they will
make every effort to secure it. They merit the sympathy and goodwill of
all civilized nations, and especially of those who believe in free
government and liberal institutions.

Eastern Roumelia.

The condition of affairs in Eastern Roumelia is much less hopeful, as
the difficulties encountered in the organization of the Government are
very much greater and more numerous. North of the Balkans they are only
such as might be experienced by any new Representative Government in any
civilized country, but in the nondescript province of Roumelia the
people are suffering from evils inflicted upon them by the Congress of
Berlin. Everything is unsettled. No one knows who rules the country, or
what is the form of government. It seems to be for the interest of
certain parties to prolong this state of things and introduce as much
disorder as possible. The people are kept in a constant state of
excitement, and no one knows what to expect from one day to another. The
Congress of Berlin is primarily responsible for this, and no doubt it
was for the interest of Austria to keep up a state of anarchy and
confusion in European Turkey. It was her plan to absorb the European
provinces herself, and the way must be kept open to Salonica and if
possible to Constantinople. It is believed here that England went to
Berlin with a secret agreement to support these pretensions of Austria,
but no one sees exactly how England is to profit by this arrangement. It
is certain that no one in Turkey gained anything by the division of
Bulgaria, but the evils which have resulted would have been much less if
in addition to this division the Congress had not devised the
extraordinary scheme of giving different forms of Government to the two
Bulgarias. This plan, of course, insured the permanent discontent of the
whole Bulgarian nation, but, worse than this, it made the impression
upon the Turks and Greeks that the arrangement for Eastern Roumelia was
only a temporary one, and that by skilful agitation they might overturn
it. They have not failed to improve this opportunity. The Phanariote
and Roumelian Greeks are doing everything in their power to create
disturbance and cause difficulty in Eastern Roumelia. An unceasing
torrent of abuse is poured out upon the Bulgarians by the Greek papers
and their French organ the _Phare du Bosphore_. They are full of false
statements and misrepresentations of every kind, and a portion of the
Greeks in the province act in full sympathy with these papers. Free
Greece does not sympathize with this crusade, and an attempt was made a
few weeks since to induce the Greeks here to come to an understanding
with the Bulgarian Church, by withdrawing the excommunication and
arranging for harmonious co-operation. It is understood that the
Patriarch was in favour of this, but the Greek papers here opposed it
with a violence which was incomprehensible to the uninitiated. They
declared that "the maintenance of the schism was the only hope of
Hellenism," and appealed to the Porte to prevent by force a
reconciliation "which would inevitably result in the union of Greeks and
Bulgarians to drive out the Turks and divide the country between them,"
This opposition on the part of the Phanariotes prevented the execution
of the plan.

The Turks also are doing what they can to create disturbance in the
province, and find some excuse for occupying it with their army. This
was, of course, to be expected, and is in some degree excusable. They
naturally wish to regain possession of this rich province, and they feel
that they have cause of complaint against the Bulgarians, who do not
receive the returning refugees with much cordiality. There are real
difficulties on both sides which cannot fail to give rise to serious
trouble. It is a pity that the whole arrangement could not have been
left to a really impartial Commission, free to act on principles of
equity and common sense. The difficulties are such as these, for
example. There are many towns where the Bulgarian quarter was burned by
the Turks. When the Turks fled and the Bulgarians returned, they
occupied the Turkish houses, and they are now naturally disinclined to
give them up to the refugees and camp in the fields. Again, there are
many cases where the Bulgarians were deprived of their lands in the most
iniquitous manner some years ago, under the pretence of a new law in
regard to title-deeds. These lands were seized by rich Turks, who fled
during the war, but now come back to claim them. The Bulgarians have the
original titles and the Turks new ones. To whom do the lands rightly

There are other cases where Turks return who are known to have taken
part in the massacres. There has been a general amnesty, but it can
hardly be expected that these persons will be well received. These are
only a few of the many difficulties connected with the return of the
refugees which irritate the Turks and the Bulgarians both; and in some
cases both parties merit our sympathy.

In addition to these deliberate attempts to make trouble on the part of
the Turks, Greeks, and also of some few hot-headed Bulgarians who are
foolish enough to suppose that a disturbance might hasten their union
with the Principality, the confusion in the Government is a source of
constant trouble. No one knows what the Government is. The Porte claims
supreme authority, and sends peremptory orders to the Pacha. The Pacha
naturally considers himself the head of the Government. The European
Commission claims the right to exercise control whenever it sees fit.
The Consuls assume the right to intrigue or to dictate in the name of
their respective Governments. The Administrative Council, a majority of
which is Bulgarian, considers itself to be responsible for the
administration, and there is a Constitution of hundreds of articles
which is theoretically the law of the land. A National Assembly is soon
to be added to the list. The militia have been under the command of a
Levantine Frenchman, who was not responsible to the Governor, and who
does not appear to have had a single qualification for his office.
Happily he has just been replaced by a better man.

Having inflicted all this confusion upon Eastern Roumelia, the European
Powers are complaining that the people do not know how to govern
themselves! Perhaps they do not, but as yet they have had no opportunity
to make the experiment. If peace and quiet is ever to be restored to
this unhappy province, the Government must be simplified and
consolidated; it must be left to manage its own affairs, and to make the
best it can of the elaborate Constitution which Europe has conferred
upon it. Alecko Pacha is not a great man, but he was the best man
available for his position, and he is a man who is much more likely to
throw up his office in disgust at the trouble which it gives him than to
lend himself to any scheme for resisting the will of Europe. He ought to
be encouraged and supported. The Bulgarians, who constitute the majority
of the population, are discontented at the arbitrary action which
separated them from the Principality, but they are satisfied that they
have nothing to gain from any present agitation of this question, and
they only desire to be left to govern themselves in accordance with the
decision of Europe, and to be assured that they will not be turned over
again to the tender mercies of the Turkish Government. The fear of this
is universal, and it is this fear which keeps them in a state of
constant excitement. It is not without reason. A large Turkish army is
camped on their borders. The Porte is seeking some excuse for entering
the province. Certain European representatives at Philippopolis are
always threatening this, and the people believe that they are intriguing
to bring it about. Everything is in confusion and uncertainty in regard
to the Government, and nothing seems settled. There can be no peace and
quiet in a country which is in constant fear of invasion, and something
ought to be done to remove this fear from Eastern Roumelia. The Turkish
army should certainly be removed, and the Porte should be warned to let
Alecko Pacha alone and allow him to organize his Government as best he
can. If this source of fear and irritation were removed, the Bulgarians
would accept the situation and make the best of it. It would be for
their interest to do so, and an industrious, thrifty population is
always quick to see what is for its interest.

The gymnastic clubs, which were originally formed for another purpose,
are now kept up and supported by sober, conservative men, simply from
this fear of a Turkish invasion. If the fear were removed these
associations would be dissolved at once, as they ought to be; for
Bulgarian merchants are not in the habit of spending money for anything
which is not essential to their well-being. These clubs are not
revolutionary, but they might become a source of disorder if they were
made permanent.

It is not probable that the European Powers will allow any invasion of
the country; but the Turks have always in hand the pretence of sending
troops to occupy the Balkans, and this fact to some extent justifies the
fears of the Bulgarians. If there were danger of another Russian
invasion, the Turks would be fully justified in occupying the passes at
once, and there is nothing in Eastern Roumelia to prevent or even delay
such an occupation; but under present circumstances, when there is
nothing to be feared from Russia--when peace and quiet is the thing of
all others to be desired--the occupation of the Balkans would be a




(_Under the Direction of_ Professor E. H. PALMER.)

Colonel Malleson certainly did well to claim permission to rewrite Sir
John Kaye's last volume (_History of the Indian Mutiny_, by Colonel
Malleson, Vol. I., London: W. H. Allen & Co.), and comparison of the two
may afford to the historian of the future valuable aid in interpreting
the volumes yet to come. A great part of the present must be held to be
the work of the virulent pamphleteer and violent partisan rather than of
the historian; and if the quotations of, and references to, the Red
Pamphlet indicate relations between Colonel Malleson and its author, the
publishers cannot be held to have exercised a wise discretion in their

The task of the reviewer of such a book is unusually heavy. Book for
book, almost chapter for chapter, it is intended to replace Sir John
Kaye's work, and the reviewer therefore needs to study the two
carefully, and to compare them minutely. Colonel Malleson, no doubt, had
access to Sir John Kaye's materials, but within a certain field seems to
have been unable to see the other side of any question. To arm, to leave
Sepoys armed, is simply to detain European troops to watch them; it is
nothing that to disarm them is to drive them, and all their connections,
wild with terror as sheep marked for the slaughter; yet he cannot be
ignorant of the cases in which a few bad men committed a regiment, and
how whole regiments "went" in terror of their masters' vengeful
distrust.[105] In saying, as he does so confidently, that by enrolling
the Calcutta Volunteers on their first offer, on 20th May, Lord Canning
would have set free half a European regiment, Colonel Malleson must have
been thinking of what the Volunteers might have been fit to do had they
been enrolled and drilled six months before,--provided they had been
willing to take the day-work of garrison duty, and to think more of the
State than of the house and furniture at Ballygunj: the real profit of
the enrolment was the confidence and cheerfulness organization gave to
the Europeans themselves. And--to take a more important instance--the
"Gagging Act" was an insolent expression of distrust of Englishmen, an
attempt to prevent their opinions reaching England _in print_. For
distrust of their discretion English editors had given cause enough, and
for influencing English opinion, as Indian newspapers may be said to be
unknown in England in their original sheets, a letter from the editor of
the _Friend of India_ to any English paper would have been as sure of
English readers, and of as much weight with them, as if it had been set
up in the damp printing-house at Serampore.

Colonel Malleson quotes from the "Red Pamphlet," as Sir John Kaye had
done before him, a smart description of "Panic Sunday." From Colonel
Cavanagh's report it seems pretty clear that the higher classes--the
"society"--of Calcutta were not among the refugees in the fort, and as
Secretaries to Government and Members of Council may be counted on the
fingers, it would be as well if the historian would name the fugitives
before death takes all who could answer the charge. We have had access
to the diary of a young civilian, then a guest of the Member of Council
who lived furthest from Government House, away in Alipore, beyond the
house of the Lieutenant-Governor and the great jail of Alipore and the
lines of the native regiment which was the great terror of Calcutta: on
that Sunday, host and guest went to the Cathedral twice as usual, and
after the evening service the guest returned home, while the host drove
to Calcutta to call on some cousins; as the cousins had driven to
Alipore, and the visitors at both houses waited a while those households
at least were afoot till a later hour than usual, and at last went to
bed as usual without closing an extra door.

The second chapter closes with an impassioned peroration, wherein the
removal of Mr. William Tayler from his post at Patna is likened to the
judicial murder of Lally, and the starvation of Dupleix. It is clear
enough, from Colonel Malleson's account, that Mr. Tayler liked to carry
out his own plans too well to risk interference by over-frankness to his
superiors. In the face of an enemy such concealment may be as
mischievous as disobedience, and Sir John Kaye reminds us that at an
earlier date confidence in Mr. Tayler's judgment had been shaken; and
his report of his message to his district officers, the report which
immediately preceded, and probably led to, his suspension, says nothing
of the clause which sets the treasure above anything save human life.
Under any circumstances Mr. Tayler's defence is not helped by sharp
censures on Mr. Money, or by blindness to the fact that the best
intelligence made a march to Patna seem more perilous than the far
longer one through a jungle country to Calcutta. Wise after the event,
indeed, we may see that Mr. Tayler's forecast was sounder than Mr.
Halliday's; but the Lieutenant-Governor, and Lord Canning too, could
only act on the circumstances known to them, and Mr. Tayler was replaced
by an officer of yet higher rank in the official hierarchy, and probably
forestalled renewed promotion by resigning the Service as soon as he
could get a pension. But why were not his services rewarded? asks
Colonel Malleson, ready with the hard word "intrigue." But who were the
sharers in the intrigue, and who was to profit by it? Men whom Lord
Canning sharply rebuked and degraded were yet recommended by him for
honour, and no courteous letter from Mr. Talbot can do away with the
fact that the Viceroy, writing when all heat of strife was over and all
facts known, yet did not obtain for Mr. Tayler any distinction.

On one point, however, we are bound to protest against Sir John Kaye's
harsh judgment: to him the arrest of the Wahabi leaders was a scandalous
breach of the usages of war. But they were unquestionably subjects of
the British Crown, and the question surely is--would they have resisted
arrest by ordinary process or not? If not, they had to thank Mr. Tayler
for courteous consideration in arresting them himself, and detaining
them in honourable captivity; in resisting they would have been guilty
of that rebellion against their sovereign in which there was too good
reason to believe them sharers.

On the many points whereon both authors are in substantial accord it
would be waste of space to touch, and we pass to the other important
episode in which Colonel Malleson traverses Sir John Kaye's judgment,
and here our verdict is with the later author: in treating of Durand's
conduct at Indore, Colonel Malleson seems to have risen above the region
of personal feeling, if not of personal knowledge; so that while his
full and vivid narrative shows plainly the difficulties, political and
strategical, of Durand's position and also of his retreat, he shows as
clearly that it is no simple case of Durand _versus_ Holkar, but one in
which each may be commended without loss of credit to the other.

So much space has been of necessity devoted to the chief points on which
the two authors are at variance, that none is left for the transactions
which Colonel Malleson's changed arrangement brings into the present
volume, though Kaye had intended for them a place in some later one. His
work in the new field makes us only the more regret that he did not
bring to his task the unbiassed mind of a man who had never known the
author of the Red Pamphlet or Mr. William Tayler. But we would, in a
concluding word, beg him to revise his Indian spelling; to a man who has
once felt the charm of a fancy rule the claims of established usage go
for nothing, but at all events he may be decently consistent; why does
Colonel Malleson double so many letters which in Urdu are single, and
why does he spell the name of the ancient and famous, if now obscure,
town of Jaunpore as though it were "the City of Life"?

Captain Low's _History of the Indian Navy_ (2 vols., London: Bentley &
Son) has long been reproachfully demanding notice; it is easy to say
something about such a work, not easy to treat it worthily. A man could
hardly put together 1100 pages of small type without recording many
noteworthy facts, but all matters of interest might have been packed in
much smaller compass, and so packed would have found more readers and a
more favourable verdict.

The two volumes trace the rise and fall of the Navy from its germ in the
"ten grabs and galivats" taken up for the defence of the factory and
shipping of Surat in 1615, through the period of its glory when its
ships bore the Company's flag alongside of the Royal Navy on many
hard-fought days, through its decline, when they carried mails or
transported troops with rare enjoyment of a brush, to its abolition in
our own time, when, less fortunate than its sister service, it fell a
victim to mutiny and disorders in which it had no share.

The first period in its history ends with the year 1759, when, with the
capture of Gheriah, and the destruction of Angria's power, piracy as a
business of State came to an end, and when the ruin of the Seedee, and
the substitution of the Company as High Admiral of the Mogul Empire,
placed the local Marine first among the maritime powers of India. Its
first serious service was in the operations which broke the power of the
Portuguese in the Gulf, and in 1622 reduced Ormuz from an emporium of
proverbial wealth and magnificence to its normal condition of a poor
barren island, and for many years the Portuguese found it as much
occupation as the pirates who might well have been its first concern. No
doubt the captains of well-armed India-men, whose crews were borrowed
for service on grabs and galivats, looked down on the latter as a sort
of coastguard, but the aid of such light craft was invaluable against
the shoals of small vessels which beset new-comers fore and aft, pouring
down crowds of well-armed men from their long overhanging prows. For in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the shores of the Indian Ocean
swarmed with pirates, kept down indeed by the Portuguese in the heyday
of their power, but making head again till, by the middle of the
seventeenth century, according to Italian travellers, they feared none
but Dutch and English, and these only for a pestilent practice of firing
the magazine rather than surrender. Yet to the Mogul governor of Surat
probably the pirate of home growth was less objectionable than the
intrusive trader; and indeed the Nuwab was not without excuse if he
regarded the European as a more powerful pirate, seeing that some
commanders took by force goods which the native owner would not sell,
others ransacked ships not said to belong to the Mogul's ports, the
mutinous crews of others became open pirates; and lastly, we find
Captain Kidd, and other heroes of the black flag, practising their
vocation in these seas. The native pirate, the European rival, and the
professional rover, kept the local marine pretty well employed, but it
is not always easy to distinguish between the services of this body and
the Company's armed trading ships.

Of more interest to the Mogul Government than foreign trade were the
vessels in which Mahomedan pilgrims of all ranks sailed to Arabian and
Persian shrines, and for their benefit it came to terms with the Seedee,
better known to us as the Hubshi of Jinjirah, the boldest of the
pirates, giving him a large allowance and high rank to secure his
convoy. The Company made more than one attempt to supplant him, and
indeed furnished ships to guard the Mocha-Jeddah fleet in 1698, but the
Seedee kept his office till 1759; in the general decay of the central
power he first neglected, then openly defied, the Governor of Surat, and
instead of protecting trade became its chief oppressor; till at last, in
1759, after much negotiation, the Nuwab induced the Bombay Government to
intervene, and as a reward obtained for the Company the Seedee's office.
What direct profit the Company derived from the appointment Captain Low
does not tell us; the omission can hardly be the consequence of the
lamented destruction of papers which followed the sale of the old India
House, for he records that in 1694 the Seedee's subsidy amounted to four
lacs, no doubt considerably bettered by presents, and in 1735 the money
allowance was but a lac and a half: the revenues of the districts and
customs assigned to the Company went to support the Surat squadron, but
the fees of office granted to the officer who was its deputy amounted,
to near a lac of rupees a year; it is well to remember that the holder's
gross pay was but Rs.1,000 a year, that the Governor of Bombay had but
some £500, and that till near the end of the century private trade was
allowed: no one, however, was permitted to enjoy this great prize for a
second year. Whatever were the profits to the Company, the Nuwab could
see that it did more for its wages than the Seedee, for in the next nine
years the Surat squadron destroyed near a hundred pirate vessels of the
Gulfs of Cutch and Cambay.

After another seventy years the Bombay Marine became in name what, as
the only local armed fleet, it had long been in fact--the Indian Navy.
Wherever round the basin of the Indian Ocean there had been fighting in
those years, the vessels of the Bombay Marine had borne the British flag
with honour, though the services of officers and crews, both afloat and
ashore, had been too sparingly recognised. And in those years was
commenced the series of surveys which are still the chief authorities
for the navigation of the Eastern seas, and have given the names of
Rennie, Moresby, Haines, and Taylor a permanent place in history. But
men who entered the Bombay Marine were still serving efficiently when
the Indian Navy was abolished, in the belief that ships of the Royal
Navy would carry on the police of the seas as efficiently, but at less
annual cost, and that other arrangements might be made for the business
of inland navigation and transport; the necessity for recurrent shore
surveys seems not to have been foreseen, though already a special
department has been created and placed under a retired officer of the
Indian Navy. It is impossible not to admit that, through its want of
influential friends, the Service was treated unjustly. The guarantee of
"Colonel Sykes's clause" has, through repeated agitation, been made so
effectual for officers of the Indian Army that men of forty have retired
as full colonels, because all their regimental seniors had joined the
Staff Corps, while the officers of the Indian Navy were forced to retire
without appeal on something like the pension of their rank. But they
must have felt a grim satisfaction in knowing that they had outlived the
piracy which had been the scourge of Western India and the first cause
of the creation of the force; their last serious service was in
administering a final pounding to their old enemies the Waghers, the
last survivors of the flourishing pirate communities of Kattyawar.

Besides surveys of the Eastern seas, European nations trading with India
are indebted to the Indian Navy for the opening up of the Overland
Route, and so, indirectly, for the construction of the Suez Canal.
Without steam, indeed, the Red Sea could never have become a highway of
commerce, while with its extended use that great canal could not for
ever be closed; but the _Hugh Lindsay_ of the Indian Navy, the first
steamer constructed in the East, which, after thirty years of service,
was still staunch enough for work as a tug at Kurachi, was the first
steamer to appear on its waters, making the voyage to and from Suez in
1830, under the command of Captain John Lindsay. The expense of the
voyage, however, was so great that, after seven trips, the Court bade
the Government of Bombay only repeat it in case of emergency, and it was
reserved for Lieutenant Waghorn, also of the Indian Navy, by sacrifice
of his private fortune and professional prospects and ten years'
unceasing labour, to prove that communication with India through the Red
Sea was not only a luxury of State, but a profitable commercial
enterprise. From his labours all have profited save himself and his
family, and the only public acknowledgment of his services is a bust in
the Canal Garden at Suez.

With some labour, caused by the want of an index, many notices of
interest might be quarried from Captain Low's pages. The early history
of Bombay, the antecedents of the rulers of Muscat and Zanzibar, the
settlement at Aden, the true story of Perim, the achievements of the
Sepoy Marines, who are now represented by two regular regiments of the
Bombay Army, all invite notice, but our space is exhausted. Yet we must
find room to mention the self-denial of Commodore Hayes, who, rather
than embroil the Company with China, released two junks captured in
running the blockade from Batavia with Dutch property, and so sacrificed
his large share of £600,000 lawful prize; and the gallantry of
Midshipman Denton, who, unable to board a proa, lashed her bowsprit to
the taffrail of his gunboat, and so continued his course, fighting her
all the time. And for contrast with the experience of the Bay of Bengal,
where we believe that the full pressure of a great cyclone has never
been recorded, as the anemometers have broken with a pressure of sixty
pounds, we may note that, in the cyclone of November, 1854, so famous at
Bombay, the pressure did not exceed thirty-five pounds to the square
foot: with such a storm as that which raged in Calcutta in October,
1864, the whole native town of Bombay would come down like a house of
cards. We are sorry not to have been able to notice Captain Low's
labours more favourably; particular points which we had noted for
objection we will pass over in silence.

       *       *       *       *       *

Captain Richard Burton is _facile princeps_ of modern travellers. There
scarcely any part of the world which he has not visited, and wherever he
goes he seems to have the history, geography, and ethnology of the
country at his fingers' ends. His last important contribution to
geographical science is the account of his visit to the Land of Midian,
whither he went, commissioned by the ex-Khedive of Egypt, in search of
the gold mines of which the ancient Arab geographer and others speak.
The results of his expeditions are published in two works: _The
Gold-Mines of Midian and the Ruined Midianite Cities_ (London: C. Kegan
Paul & Co., 1878) and _The Land of Midian (Revisited)_, 2 vols., issued
by the same publishers during the present year. Having received an
invitation from the ex-Viceroy, Captain Burton proceeded to Cairo in
March, 1877, where an expedition was organized for the purpose of
exploring the auriferous region. The author's comparison of the Cairo of
the present time with the city as he knew it in his old pilgrim days,
and as it is described in Lane's "Modern Egyptians," forms, although
only incidental, a very interesting portion of the book. The chapter on
Suez also is a good specimen of Captain Burton's style, and contains at
once a topographical sketch, an archæological and historical
description, and a chatty and amusing account of the modern city, its
society, and surroundings. Midian, called nowadays by its inhabitants,
as by the mediæval Arabic geographers, _Arz Maydan_, the Land of Midian,
is that part of Arabia which occupies the east coast of the Gulf of
Akabah, and extends some two degrees further to the south. The borders
are somewhat difficult to ascertain, and it is probable that the ancient
Midianites, like some of the larger and more powerful Bedawin tribes of
the present day, wandered far and wide, and that their limits shrunk or
extended according to their numbers, or the resisting power of their
neighbours. The ancient history of the land is told by Captain Burton in
a most exhaustive manner, the Biblical accounts being supplemented by
copious references to Greek, Latin, Jewish, and Arabic writers of all
ages. The quantity of gold, silver, and other metals mentioned in
Numbers xxxi. 22, as being produced by Midian, was curiously borne out
by the results of the expedition. A lengthy and learned notice is also
given of the Nabathæans, whose former rock-cut capital, Petræa, is still
one of the marvels of Arabia; whose king, or ethnarch, Aretas (in
Arabic, El Hareth), is mentioned in the New Testament; and whose rule
embraced so large a portion of Syria and Arabia, and extended late into
Christian times.

The discovery that gold existed in Midian was in the first place due to
Haji Wali, familiar to the readers of Captain Burton's "Pilgrimage to
Mecca and Medina" as the companion of the author in the caravanserai at
Cairo while preparing for the journey to Hejjaz. The old Haji was once
returning from a visit to Mecca, when halting by the shore of the Gulf
of Akabah he scooped up a handful of granitic sand which sparkled in the
bed of the wady and took it with him to Alexandria. There he took his
specimen to an assayer, and, although the glitter which had attracted
him proved only to be produced by the presence of mica, his sand when
smelted in a crucible yielded a comparatively large portion of pure
gold. The information of the discovery was not received with
encouragement by the official to whom Haji Wali communicated it, and the
latter ceased to think more of the subject. The assayer, however, set
out for the new Eldorado and lost his life, probably murdered by the
Bedawin. Captain Barton believes that the secret of the gold has never
been really lost, and that the washing of sand has always been
clandestinely carried on. Be that as it may, Captain Burton, believing
the Haji's story, endeavoured to recommend his discovery to the notice
of the Egyptian authorities, who _pooh-pooh'd_ the whole thing, and
merely remarked that gold was becoming too common. For nearly a quarter
of a century Captain Burton kept the secret to himself, but at length he
again sought out his old friend Haji Wali, obtained from him more exact
information as to the locality, and carried him off with the expedition,
the means for organizing which Ismail Pasha furnished. The results of
the expedition, which was only a pioneer one, were sufficient to
corroborate all that the Haji had said, and to confirm Captain Burton's
own prognostications drawn from the ancient sources which his extensive
learning enabled him to consult. The adventures of the party fill the
remainder of the first of his two books and form extremely pleasant

The second of the two books contains somewhat less antiquarian research,
but more practical information than the first. It is a record of the
second expedition (also equipped at the expense of the Egyptian
Government by order of the ex-Khedive), and is full of pleasant
travel-talk and adventure. Setting out from Cairo in a sickly season and
under the most unfavourable circumstances--the resources of the country
being drained by distress at home and the Turkish-Russian war
abroad--they at length got under way once more for the desert, not
without encountering hair-breadth escapes from the bursting of some of
the tubes of the engine of their steamer. Once landed, the initial
difficulties of desert travel had to be encountered. "It had been
reported," says Captain Burton, "that I was the happy possessor of
£22,000, mostly to be spent in El-Muwaylah. The unsettled Arabs plunder
and slay; the settled Arabs slander and cheat." These, however, were
soon smoothed over by the commander's tact and firmness, the rival
claims of two tribes to act as escort were disposed of, and the work of
the expedition then began.

The first march, through Madyan proper (North Midian), occupied
fifty-four days. The country was essentially a mining district, and very
rich in mineral wealth, though, strange to say, it had not been much
worked by the ancients. The first expedition found free gold in the
basalt, but the researches of the second yielded none. The second march,
through South Midian, lasted eighteen days. Its principal object was to
ascertain the depth from east to west of the quartz formations, and to
explore the virgin region towards the east. Here, however, they were
stopped by the exactions and turbulent conduct of the Maazeh, who tried
to pick quarrels with their Huweitat guides, and made it impossible for
Captain Burton to proceed without such loss of time and other
inconveniences as must have sacrificed the other and more important
objects of the expedition. The last journey was through the southern
portion of Midian, and lasted twenty-four days. This part of the country
has been systematically worked in former times, and it is here that the
gold and silver mines are placed by the mediæval Arab geographers.

Throughout Midian, ruined towns, villages, mining stations, and smelting
furnaces were found, testifying to the former mining industry of the
country, and described by Captain Burton in his usual graphic and
careful style.

That Midian abounds in mineral wealth, and that gold and silver may be
found in plenty there, is clear both from the documentary evidence of
the author and from the testimony of the physical and geological
features of the country. The very first reconnaissance showed a
formation exactly reproducing "the conditions which Australia shows, and
which produced the huge 'welcome nugget' of Ballarat." The country also
closely resembles the known gold-working sites of Ancient Egypt, but
with _filons_ of larger size. Some of these "Ophirs of Egypt Proper"
yielded the treasury of Ramses the Great the enormous sum of £90,000,000
a year, as hieroglyphic inscriptions tell us. Herodotus, too, tells us
of the immense wealth in the precious metals possessed by some of the
Pharaohs. The modern Bedawins have legends of "gold pieces, square as
well as round, bearing, by way of inscription, 'prayers' to the Apostle
of Allah," which Captain Burton suspects to be "the Tibr, or 'pure
gold-dust,' washed from the sands and cast probably in rude moulds." The
close proximity to the sea and the facilities of the country for
transport, it being "prepared by Nature to receive a tramway," remove
half the difficulties of working.

That the specimens brought back by Captain Burton's expedition did not
actually yield a larger proportion of the precious metals is in all
probability due to the fact that they had no expert with them, and did
not, therefore, sufficiently seek for and select stone from the
auriferous rocks, but brought away much that the ancients had rejected,
or left as unworkable. He is, however, convinced, as the impartial
reader of his work must also be, that the gold land of Midian is still a
fine field for commercial enterprise, which would soon restore to it the
advantages which all ancient authorities declare that it once possessed.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The Land of Midian" attracted another explorer besides Captain
Burton--namely, the late Dr. Beke, an account of whose labours has been
given to the world by his widow in a bulky volume on the subject. His
object was to discover the "true Mount Sinai," which he identified with
a certain Jebel Barguir, otherwise the "Mountain of Light," on the
Eastern shore of the Gulf of Akaba, and in which he fancied he saw the
"volcano," the existence of which he had previously conjectured in his
pamphlet, "Mount Sinai a Volcano." To make this theory accord with the
Scriptural account, he had not only to shift the scene of the Law-giving
from the Sinaitic Peninsula to the other side of the Gulf, but he was
obliged to find another Mizraim than Egypt, and boldly sacrificed
hieroglyphic, Biblical, and classic testimony, as well as that of
tradition, to his own hypothesis. In confirmation of his theory, he
found indications that the Mountain of Light was regarded as a holy
place, and discovered ancient inscriptions near the summit, of which he
brought copies home in triumph. Unfortunately, however, the name
_Barguir_ turns out to be his own corruption of _Bakir_, a well-known
Mohammedan name, and, in the present instance, that of the petty Arab
saint whose tomb gives the only sanctity the mountain may possess, while
the proper name of the mountain is Jebel el Yitm; the inscriptions are
only the ordinary Nabathæan _graffiti_ and Arab-tribe marks, which are
so common all over Arabia Petræa; and lastly, there is no volcano at
all. The volume is interesting, as it contains much topographical
information about a country the ancient history and future prospects of
which render it of the highest importance; but as a contribution to the
literature of the much-vexed question of the Exodus the late Dr. Beke's
work is absolutely useless. Whether the so-called Peninsula of Sinai is
really the scene of the early portion of that drama, the recent Egyptian
researches of Dr. Brugsch Bey have rendered very doubtful; but wherever
Mount Sinai has ultimately to be placed, it is not that discovered by
Dr. Beke.

       *       *       *       *       *

As Mrs. Burton supplemented the "Unexplored Syria" of her husband and
the late C. F. Tyrwhitt Drake with her own more personal but none the
less interesting "Inner Life of Syria," so she has now embodied her own
impression of the various localities which she and Captain Burton have
visited during the last few years in a pleasant book entitled, _A. E.
I.: Arabia, Egypt, and India_ (London: W. Mullan & Son, 1879). Mrs.
Burton's pages are eminently readable, her powers of observation are
keen, and her descriptions always fresh and vivid. If the spots she
writes about have been often before depicted by pen and pencil, she yet
finds something new to say, and some interesting and little-known
historical incident to narrate, concerning them. The latter part of the
book, containing a history and description of the old Portuguese
settlement of Goa, and a minutely-detailed account of the life and works
of St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the Indies, will be new to most
readers and read with interest by all. The book is one which may be
taken up at any moment with the certainty of finding something to amuse,
instruct, or furnish food for earnest thought.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Egypt to Palestine_, by S. C. Bartlett, though bearing the name and
address of a London publisher (Sampson Low, Marston, & Co.) on the
title-page, is evidently the production of an American firm, the name of
which, indeed, appears on some of the maps. The book is well got up, and
as a description of the localities, their antiquities and history, is
equal to the average of such publications. It is, however, entirely
composed of materials collected from the works of other authors, taken
often without acknowledgment, and is profusely illustrated by pictures
and maps copied from other works, the sources of which are never
acknowledged at all. The only passages at all original in the work are
those which describe Mr. Bartlett's own journey, the highest interest of
which consists in an occasional enumeration of the hymns he and his
companions sang to the Arabs (cf. p. 193), and which would have much the
same effect on the Tiyahah as the performances of the howling dervishes
have upon an American tourist.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Lewis Pelly has published, in two handsome volumes, a literal
translation of the text of the _Miracle Play of Hasan and Husein_
(London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1879), as performed throughout India and
Persia during the month of Mohurram, by the Shiah Mohammedans. The
progress of Islam in its early days was so rapid that, in a short time,
it had overwhelmed Persia, Egypt, Syria, and a large portion of the rest
of the Byzantine Empire in its tide of conquest. The death of Mohammed
naturally brought forward rival claimants to the supreme authority, and
the dispute ultimately resolved itself into one between Ali, the cousin
and son-in-law of the Prophet, and representative of the Hashimi clan,
and Moawiyeh, the representative of the Ommayeh family, between whom and
the Hashimis an old feud existed, originating in their rival claims to
be the hereditary guardians of the Kaabeh Temple at Mecca. These two
parties offered an obvious rallying point for the two opposing factions
in El Islam, the conquered Persians and the conquering Arabs, the former
of whom resisted the traditional ceremonial law with which their Semitic
co-religionists would have trammelled them. The consequence was that the
Aryan faction rallied round Ali, and the Arabs round Moawiyeh. The
latter proved the stronger party, and were known as Sunnis, followers of
the Sunnah or traditional law, while the adherents of the former were
designated Shiahs or Sectarians, and thus originated the first great
schism in Mohammedanism. The struggles of Ali's party for supremacy, his
own murder, and the subsequent massacre of his sons, Hasan and Husein,
who lost their lives under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, are the
incidents on which the drama is founded, and the memory of which has
kept alive the rancorous ill-feeling between the two sects. In the play
itself the historical element is largely mixed with the marvellous and
legendary, and the dramatic unities are wholly neglected; but it
nevertheless exhibits enough of the real facts to give it an intense
living interest, while the antiquated language and strange incidents
that are introduced carry us back to the remotest times. An admirable
introduction contains a notice by Dr. Birdwood, C.S.I., of the origin
of the Shiah schism, and of the ceremonies with which the Mohurram
festival is celebrated throughout India and Persia; and Mr. A. N.
Wollaston, of the India Office, has both edited the text and illustrated
it with some concise and appropriate notes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Charles Riew has just issued the first volume of his _Catalogue of
the Persian MSS. in the British Museum_ (London: 1879), containing
Christian and Mohammedan Theology, and the works on History and
Geography of which the Museum has a large and important collection.
Amongst these are the _Jámi ut tawárikh_, written in the seventh--eighth
centuries of the Hejra, and comprising the histories of all the
principal Turkish and Mongol dynasties; the _Táríkh i Rashídí_, a
history of the Khans of Mogolistan and of the Amirs of Kashgar; and the
_Zafar Namah_, the earliest authentic history of Timur, written by his
order in 1404 A.D. A brief but complete analysis of each manuscript is
given, enabling scholars to refer at once and without difficulty to any
portion of the histories without the labour of looking through an often
voluminous manuscript. The value of such a scholar-like production as
this Catalogue is cannot be over-estimated; it has, in fact, placed
within reach of the student of history most important and authentic
works, the very existence of which was unknown except to a few
Orientalists. The second volume is already complete in MS., and will be
shortly published. We shall look forward to it with great interest, as
the British Museum possesses a magnificent collection of Persian
poetical and other works.

       *       *       *       *       *

A _Pahlavi Dictionary_, by Dastur Jamaspji Minocheherji Jamasp Asana, of
which the first two volumes have just appeared (London: Trübner and Co.,
1879), supplies a want long felt by students of the old Persian speech.
Pahlavi is the name applied to the old Persian tongue, and more
particularly to that phase of it which was spoken during the reigns of
the Sassanian kings. It is of great interest to the philologist,
inasmuch as it contains a large admixture of Semitic words, derived,
however, from a different source than the Arabic element in modern
Persian, and appears to be akin to the Assyrian. It is sometimes called
_Huzvaresh_, though this word seems to be more properly applied to a
particular method of reading, by which, when a Semitic word occurs in
the text, the priest _reads_ the Aryan equivalent, just as we in English
say "pounds, shillings, and pence" when we meet with the signs £ s. d.,
and _read_ "namely," though we write and print "videlicet" or "viz."
Dastur Jamaspji Asana interprets the word _Huzvaresh_ to mean the
"language of Assyria," a suggestion which, if correct, throws some light
on the origin of the language. The etymology of the word Pahlavi has
been the subject of much discussion, but the latest as well as the most
reasonable conjecture is that of Dr. Haug (followed by the author of
this Dictionary), that it is identical with _Parthva_, the Parthia of
the classical writers; that most warlike and important nation having
given its name to the language, just as the province of Pars has given
the name to the language of modern Iran. The great difficulty in
compiling such a dictionary as the present, apart from the
unsatisfactory nature of the available texts, is that the alphabet is so
very vague and confused. The language contains a very great number of
sounds which the alphabet, borrowed from the Semitic, is incapable of
expressing; the same letter, therefore, is often used for different
sounds, and combinations of the various letters again often express
simple sounds. This makes the arrangement very difficult, but the author
of this work has adopted the only safe method, that of arranging the
words according to the alphabetical order of the letters rather than in
order of sounds. A table, in which the various combinations of the
letters are explained, also much simplifies reference. The author has in
all cases followed the traditional reading and interpretation of words,
leaving to the more critical scholars of Europe the task of
investigating them from a scientific point of view.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Haug's _Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the
Parsis_ (Trübner's Oriental Series, 1878) is another most important
contribution to comparative theology and philology. The nature of the
doctrines of Zoroaster and the rites and ceremonies of the Magians had
for centuries exercised the uninitiated. The earliest mention of them
occurs in the Prophet Jeremiah (xxxix. 3), who speaks of the _rab mag_
(chief of the Magi) as forming part of the retinue of Nebuchadnezzar at
his entry into Jerusalem; Ezekiel calls the Persian king Cyrus (who
professed the religion of the Magi) the "anointed of the Lord;" the New
Testament speaks of Magi from the East--translated "wise men" in our
version--as the first to pay homage to our Lord; and the old Persian
language has supplied, through the New Testament also, the name
Paradise, which is universally employed to represent heaven throughout
the civilized world. Herodotus also mentions them, and testifies to the
purity of their worship and their morals, and other Greek as well as
Latin writers have treated at more or less length on the subject of the
Magi. But these scattered and incomplete notices were all that scholars
had until Hyde, the celebrated Oxford scholar, in 1700, collected all
the ancient sources of information into a volume _Historia religionis
veterum Persarum eorumque Magorum_. The original texts of the Zend
Avesta, &c., however, of which some manuscripts had been brought to
Europe, were still sealed books, and the Parsi priests in India and
Persia strictly refrained from affording any information upon their
contents. At length, in 1754, Anquetil Duperron, an enterprising
Frenchman, undertook a journey to India with the express intention of
procuring manuscripts and learning the Zend language, in both of which
purposes he succeeded, and published ten years later the first known
translation of the Zend Avesta. His work was by many scholars, Sir
William Jones and Richardson, the Persian lexicographer, amongst the
number, regarded as worthless, Richardson maintaining that the texts
themselves were forgeries, while Sir William Jones endeavoured to prove
that Anquetil had been the victim of priestly fraud and deception.
Nearly a century later Eugene Burnouf, an eminent French Sanscrit
scholar, proved his countryman's work to be genuine, corrected many of
his faults, and placed the study on a sounder scientific basis. Others,
especially German and Scandinavian _savants_, followed in the same path,
forming, however, different schools of interpretation, until at last Dr.
Martin Haug brought order into the confusion, and succeeded in bringing
the study of Zend within the limits of exact philological science. The
foundation of all these studies must of course necessarily be the
traditional interpretation handed down by the Parsi priests, but this
would have been comparatively useless without the investigation of
European scholars. Many of the Avesta texts are furnished with Pahlavi
translations and comments, but the Pahlavi itself was but imperfectly
understood, and the whole subject was for a long time in hopeless
confusion; the reader may, however, take up Dr. Haug's Essays with the
full assurance that he has the most trustworthy account of the Parsis,
their Scriptures, history, and religious rites, that can be now
ascertained. Anything like a _résumé_ of such a work would be out of
place here, but we can cordially recommend it as, with all its recondite
erudition, a most readable book.

Mr. Bernard Quaritch, of Piccadilly, has published a romance in modern
Arabic, entitled, _The Autobiography of the Constantinople
Story-teller_, edited by Mr. J. Catafago, a well-known Arabic scholar,
and said to be the work of an Englishman, Colonel Rous. It is
principally as a curiosity of literature that it will be read, as it
does not narrate any very novel or original adventures, and the style is
very simple and unpretending. It, however, contains some clear and
concise descriptions of many localities in the East which are but little
known to the ordinary reader, and will be welcome to the student of
Arabic as an easy text-book of the language.

       *       *       *       *       *

Professor James Sanua, late of Cairo, is an enthusiastic politician and
an original satirist. We have just received thirty numbers of an Arabic
comic paper, written, illustrated, and published by him in Paris, and
directed against the ex-Khedive of Egypt, whose misgovernment he
mercilessly exposes, and whose deposition it was his avowed object to
bring about. The editor, a native of Egypt, and a Copt by religion, was
for many years engaged in tuition in some of the highest families of
Cairo. Possessing a keen sense of humour and a great mastery over the
Arabic language, he used to pass his evenings in improvising a sort of
dramatic entertainment, in which he himself sustained all the
characters, and in which he satirized the social foibles of his
fellow-countrymen. The originality of his _séances_ soon attracted large
audiences, and amongst the visitors and admirers were the Khedive and
the princes of his family. The opportunity was too good to be lost, and
Professor Sanua passed from mere social topics, and administered sound
and severe castigations to his august visitor for his misgovernment and
oppression of the fellaheen. This boldness drew down upon him the
displeasure of Ismail Pasha, and Abu Naddára Zerka (the Father of Blue
Spectacles), as he was nicknamed, found it convenient to withdraw to
Paris, where he published his paper. It is written for the most part in
the vulgar Egyptian dialect, and contains articles upon, and
illustrations of, the principal events of the latter part of the reign
of the deposed prince. The pictures, which are rude, but full of force,
are explained in a French introduction, which is prefixed to the
collected thirty numbers, and form a very interesting and curious record
of modern Egyptian history.

       *       *       *       *       *

A new paper, literary and political, has just been advertised at
Constantinople. It is to be written in the Arabic language, and edited
by M. G. Dellal, a native of Aleppo, and an accomplished Arabic scholar
and poet. Modern Arabic literature is exceedingly plentiful at the
present time, and Beyrout has long been a centre of activity. Sheikh
Nasyf el Yazji, who died some few years ago, gave a great impulse to the
study of Arabic by his "Majma' el Bahrain," a book in imitation of the
"Macamat" of Harírí, and containing in a small compass more information
on the Arabs of the classical period, their customs, histories,
proverbs, &c., than perhaps any other work. Dr. Butrus Bustani, of the
same town, earned for himself a lasting name by his Arabic lexicon,
"Muhít el Muhít," which has not only a native but a European reputation;
and the same eminent scholar has established a press, from which have
emanated many standard Arabic works, and numerous translations of
valuable European works on science and history. A magazine entitled _El
Jinán_, "The Garden of Paradise," is also published there fortnightly,
and contains, besides political articles and general news, a great deal
of interesting miscellaneous information. The last important publication
of the "Matba' al Maarif," or "Scientific Press," as it is called, is an
Encyclopædia in the Arabic language, on the plan of the European


[105] The Sixth was never heard of after the massacre of its officers; a
dozen men were enough for that work, and there are those still living
who believe that the per-centage of traitors in its ranks was small. At
Benares, too, the mess-guard held the mess-premises against all comers
till the station was quiet, and then through sheer terror marched off
without plunder.


(_Under the Direction of the_ Rev. Prebendary J. DAVIES, M.A.)

One of the most useful volumes for classical students which has seen the
light this year is the solid collection of _Specimens of Roman
Literature, illustrative of Roman Thought and Style_, edited by Messrs.
Cruttwell and Banton, of Bradfield College, and published by C. Griffin
and Co. Mr. Cruttwell is creditably known for his compendious History of
Roman Literature, and it is a happy afterthought of himself and his
composition-master to supplement that manual by the present collection
of extracts from Latin prose and poetry, designed as models for
composition, samples to be learnt by rote, and exercises in unseen
translation. The work contains above 900 passages, illustrative (1) of
Roman thought in the fields of religion, philosophy, art, and letters;
and (2) of Roman style, from the earliest date to the times of the
Antonines. Edited of necessity, by reason of their bulk, sans note or
comment, these selections are availably grouped in a preliminary
synopsis, happily headed with descriptive and apposite English titles,
and further adapted to English reference by an index of authors classed
in their periods, and another of subjects and titles of passages. It is
hard to conceive a completer or handier repertory of specimens of Latin
thought and style, and it is but fair to add that no small proportion of
the contents is comparatively novel and unhackneyed, a boon at the same
time to the exhausted composition tutor and to the acquisition-seeking,
wideawake pupil. For example, among descriptions selected in
illustration of style, we come upon passages from Ennius, Pacuvius, and
Accius, preserved in Cicero's De Divinatione and De Naturâ Deorum,
followed by epigrams of those elder poets, Valerius Œdituus, Porcius
Licinus, and Quintus Lutatius Catulus, embalmed in the antiquarian pages
of Aulus Gellius. The literature of Roman agriculture is represented (§§
31-4) by specimens of Varro de Re Rusticâ, directing how to choose the
best oxen for draught, or slaves for farm work; how to make a duck-pond,
or prepare a snail-bed; as well as of Columella and, of course, Virgil.
Pliny's natural history is taxed largely for characteristic
contributions: the letters of his nephew, as well as of Seneca and
Cicero, for epistolary style, as well as for philosophy, religious
views, and the like. Lucretius and Catullus are excellently represented:
as in the field of Roman drama are Plautus and Terence, with fragments
of elder playwrights. Nor is scant justice done to the purely Roman
field of satire, as is seen in apt extracts from Horace, Juvenal, and
Persius, whilst a happy selection is made of producible specimens of
Petronius. Even Roman parody is not overlooked, nor yet an insight into
Roman gastronomy. In fact, we know not where to turn for defaults in the
presence of such assiduous and various compilations. Here and there may
be detected careless printers' errors, such as _Tar_ for _Ter_. (the
abbreviation of Terence); and it would have been neater to head the
hortatory or suasory orations, illustrated in pp. 567-8, §§ 73-5, with
an English title, rather than to describe each in mingled and maimed
speech as "a suasoria" (_i.e._, "suasoria oratio.") But the work is so
calculated to be useful to scholars and editors that we must trust its
value will be enhanced in future editions by the most careful revision.

       *       *       *       *       *

A volume of somewhat kindred use and purpose, though of additional value
as suggestive of a standard of translation indisputably sound and high,
is the collection of _Translations_, by Professor Jebb, Mr. Jackson, and
Mr. Currey, of Trinity, Cambridge, published by Deighton, Bell, & Co.,
Cambridge, and George Bell & Sons, London, just a year ago. Its
usefulness is enhanced by a fourfold applicability to the wants of
translators into Greek and Latin, and out of those languages into
English, whether in prose or poetry. The samples are, of course, limited
considerably by the area of the field they cover, but they will be
admitted to be amply sufficient for models and patterns, and no tiro, or
even advanced student, can fail to be benefited by the variety,
excellent choice, scholarly handling, brief but seasonable annotation,
and general accommodation to student-use, of the selections which form
the four divisions of this practical manual. The rule of "Ne quid nimis"
has been sufficiently respected to forbid tedious reiteration of types
of the same style, so that in Greek verse into English only three
examples of Theocritus occur, one a sweet piece of idyllic description,
a second illustrative of the mimes of Sophron, a third breathing the
Alexandrian tone of poetic stimulus to the halting liberality of the
would-be literary Ptolemies. The proportion of extracts from Homer and
the dramatists is scarcely larger, and rather guides the reader to form
a criterion of style for himself than helps him to be armed beforehand
for passages which may be set in this or that examination. In
translation the canon of accuracy and fidelity is tendered in preference
to that of liveliness and effect, though it cannot be said that Messrs.
Jebb and Jackson's translations from Plautus and Terence, or those of
Jebb and Currey from Martial, Juvenal, and Ausonius, are deficient in
the life and spirit suggested by the originals. As much may be said
without controversy for the prose models in either language; nor is it
to be lightly regarded that the aim of the editors has been to help
classical students to train themselves in preparation for examination.
Not to be prolix in notice of a volume which may be referred to again
and again in our examination of texts and school-books to follow in our
chronicle, it may be admissible to quote in Latin and English some six
lines of Professor Jebb's translation from the Phormio (pp. 140-1) as a
type of the neatness and spirit of the average of these translations.
Phormio is explaining how, with all his ebullitions, he has never been
indicted for assault:--

    "Quia non rete accipitri tenditur neque miluo,
    Qui male faciunt nobis: illis qui nihil faciunt tenditur;
    Quia enim in illis fructus est, in illis opera luditur.
    Aliis aliunde est periclum unde aliquid abradi potest:
    Mihi sciunt nihil esse. Dices, ducent damnatum domum:
    Alere nolunt hominem edacem: et sapiunt, meâ quidem sententia,
    Pro maleficio si beneficium summum nolunt reddere."
        _Phorm._, act. ii. 2.

"Because we do not spread nets for hawks and kites that do us harm; the
net is spread for the harmless birds. The fact is, pigeons may be
plucked: hawks and kites mock our pains. Various dangers beset people
who can be pilfered--I am known to have nothing. You will say, 'They
will get a writ of _habeas corpus_.' They would rather not keep a large
eater: and I certainly think they are right to decline requiting a bad
turn with a signal favour."

       *       *       *       *       *

From a summary notice of these two volumes of wider range and scope, it
is an easy leap to such noteworthy classical translations and texts of
the year or season as lie on our table for review. Of the former we note
with satisfaction a new and very readable version of _The Letters of the
Younger Pliny_, literally translated by John Delaware Lewis, M.A.
(London: Trubner & Co., 1879), whose version of Juvenal's Satires some
years back was accurate, lively, and well-achieved. In approaching
another author of the silver age, well deserving of a more modern
English transcript than those of Melmoth and Lord Orrery, Mr. Lewis has
been minded to present this pleasantest of gossips, and most cultured of
letter-writers, in a guise as little as possible encumbered with notes
or excursions, and in such wise that the volume is admirably adapted for
the library table, whether the object be comparison with the Latin text,
or refreshment of the memory, anent this or that sentiment of the
many-sided and voluminous man of law and letters. Under the conviction
that enough has been done to present Pliny himself to his readers in the
volumes by Church and Brodribb (in the Ancient Classics), and by
Pritchard and Bernard, as well as the notices of life and letters by W.
S. Teuffel and English bibliographers, Mr. Lewis has confined himself to
the briefest of introductions, and been content to bestow most pains on
apt and parallel English counterparts to the expressions and idioms of
the Latin. Thus the task undertaken has been made to assume an easy,
unaffected form, at the same time that it is calculated to stand close
examination by the criterion of the Latin text. A good specimen both of
the gossiping author and his latest translator might be cited from Book
II. 6 to Avitus, in which is described the triple-graded dinner given by
a shabby, purse-proud host (α) to himself and his intimates, (β) to his
lesser friends, (γ) to his freedmen at the same board, but of fare
graduated according to degree. Pliny tells his correspondent that he
demurred to this procedure to his next neighbour at table, and
propounded his own practice on this wise: "I invite people to dine, not
to be invidiously ticketed, and I treat as my entire equals in all
respects those whom I have already made my equals by inviting them at my
table." And this equality, for the time being, he extended to his
freedmen, on the sensible point of view that they were then his guests,
not his freedmen. In the same book (letter 15) occurs a letter of Pliny
to Valerianus, brief enough for quotation, and yet expressing with
lively brevity more than one home truth for those who realize Horace's
sketch, "O si angulus iste proximus accedat." "How," he asks, "does your
old Marsian property treat you? And your new purchase? Are you pleased
with the estate now that it is your own? Indeed, nothing is so agreeable
when you have once got it, as it was when you longed to have it. As for
me, the farms which I inherited from my mother treat me but so-so: yet
they delight me as coming from my mother; and besides, long endurance
has hardened me: constant growling comes to this at last, that one is
ashamed to growl." Next but one to this letter comes one of those
charming descriptions which are, _par excellence_, Pliny's _chefs
d'œuvre_, minutely detailing the features and attractions of his villas.
These constitute to the young student so many _loci classici_, by no
means to be overlooked in preparation for facing the test-paper of a
scholarship examination, and it is sound counsel to candidates for such
to avail themselves of a translation like Mr. Lewis's for general
purposes, taking such letters as the one alluded to (II. xvii.) for
special study and comparison with its original. Here, as elsewhere, Mr.
Lewis adds pertinent and sensible notelets in cases of difficulty; but
it is only fair to say _à propos_ of the, as he would seem to imply in
his preface, long-since shelved translation of Melmoth, that in Bohn's
Classical Library (George Bell & Sons) will be found a revision and
correction of _The Letters of Caius Plinius Cœcilius Secundus_, as
translated by Melmoth, annotated and otherwise accommodated to modern
reading by the Rev. F. C. T. Bosanquet, B.A., of Gonville and Caius
College, Cambridge, which will be found in all respects excellently
suited for the need of the current reader. Whilst here and there the
style of Melmoth strikes us as forgetting itself for a brief space,
where the modern editor has felt bound to interpose a more literal
rendering, and in such cases it is simpler to refer to the uniform
translation of Lewis, it is certainly a real boon to have the notes of
Bosanquet's Melmoth's Pliny to consult, whether they represent the
explanatory and illustrative labour of Melmoth, and his literary or
antiquarian contemporaries, or the careful supplementary illustrations
of his accommodator to modern eyes. So much explanation is due to one of
the best recent volumes of Bohn's Classical Series (1878).

       *       *       *       *       *

The feeling is more mixed with which we touch upon Mr. T. Hart Davies's
_Translation of Catullus into English Verse_ (London: C. Kegan Paul &
Co., 1879), the author of which is a quondam Oxonian in the Indian Civil
Service. Fully persuaded that Catullus is very untranslatable, and that
the subtle charm of his dainty versification evaporates, it is evidence
alike of Mr. Hart Davies's courage and culture that, afar from classical
libraries, he has recreated his mind and tastes with the reproduction of
one of the most genuine classical poets; given us anew the touching
songs to Lesbia, and the unequalled nuptial songs (lxi. and lxii.); and
rendered with more or less success the pictorial epic, in petto, of the
marriage of Peleus and Thetis, and the pathetic allusions to an
early-lost brother in the poem to Hortalus. He deserves, too, the praise
of having read carefully the recent literature of the subject, and
guaged with creditable acuteness and discrimination the lucubrations of
Professor R. Ellis, the criticisms of Mr. Munro, and the critical essays
of Schwabe, Heyse, and Couat. He hesitates, however, it would seem, to
accept Munro's well-sustained rehabilitation of Cæsar and Mamurra (_à
propos_ of Poem xxix. on Cæsar), and in two or three passages seems to
us to err in point of prolixity, which is as foreign as can be conceived
to the style of his original, as well as, in one or two places, in
misconception of his sense. In either aspect, he cannot be regarded as
competing (which indeed he does not aspire to do) with Theodore Martin:
but we cannot honestly say that we regard his version of the Atys as an
improvement in readableness on that of one of the ablest of critics, but
most puzzling and hopeless of verse-translators, Professor Robinson
Ellis. Indeed, it is a question whether he has imported any improvement
into the rendering of his Galliambics by adopting the Tennysonian rather
than the Catullian rhythm and measure. Mr. Hart Davies is mostly happy
in his shorter versions. The invitation to Cæcilius is bright and brisk
(p. 33): there is a touching sadness in the lines to Cornificius (p.
35). The stanzas to the poet's self on the "Coming of Spring" (p. 43)
breathe much of the tiptoe of expectation and love of adventure infused
into the original lines. And as a neat sample of the translator's muse
may be quoted the transcript of the "Lines to Sirmio," adequately
executed, and endorsed with some of the original pathos and

    "Sirmio, fairest of all isles that be,
      Or all peninsulas that ocean laves,
    Whether around them roll the mighty sea,
          Or a lake's placid waves.
    Thee with what joy, what rapture do I view,
      Returned from Thynia and Bithynia's plain!
    I scarce can credit that the bliss is true
          Thee to behold again.
    Oh! what more blessed is than labours past!
      In weary wanderings abroad we roam,
    Then spent with toil we come again at last,
          Seeking our rest at home.
    This for our toils the sole reward is found,
      Hail, lovely Sirmio, and thou Lydian mere!
    And now, my home, let all thy laughter sound,
          Now is thy master here."

Mr. Hart Davies's temporary exile has obviously the solace of

       *       *       *       *       *

If a wide divergence from the beaten track into fresh fields and
pastures new be a merit, as it must be to jaded schoolmasters, if not to
school-boys, some praise should be accorded to Mr. Heitland, a Fellow
and Lecturer of St. John's, Cambridge, and his coadjutor, Mr. Raven, for
having furnished the Pitt Press Series with so good an edition of that
part of the _History of Quintus Curtius_, which relates to the Indian
expedition of Alexander the Great. The subject, author, and hero are to
modern readers novel and unhackneyed: and there is that suspicion of
imperfect knowledge attaching to all three which sets the mind on the
qui vive to acquire what is knowable about them. For such an undertaking
no better guides could be needed. An introduction primes the student
with the needful information (α) as to Curtius and his book; (β) as to
Alexander's career; while Appendix D (187-9) supplements from Mr. Talboy
Wheeler's "History of India from the Earliest Ages" the general and
current information as to the plan of his Indian campaign. Anent the
date and authorship of Curtius's history, it is shown to be the work of
Q. Curtius Rufus, a rhetorician of the reign of Claudius, and referable
to the silver age of Latin literature. His transparent imitation of Livy
has suggested the not improbable supposition that he may have been even
that historian's pupil, nor is it an impertinent criticism of the
editors' that in common with that master Curtius seems to ignore the
"high aims and farsightedness which give its grandeur to Alexander's
character." The string of notable usages in Curtius's style, given in
pp. 14-15, exhibits more than one palpable Livianism; and the use of
poetical language bespeaks his attentive study of Virgil. Tiros will be
comforted by hearing that "if Curtius is less pleasant to read than
Livy, he is also less difficult." The criticisms of the editors on the
grounds of his historical value at the revival period are interesting
and perspicuous, and the special interest of the particular portion of
history adopted as a specimen of the author needs no apology in a
country where the reigning sovereign has the collateral title of Empress
of India. Six chapters of the eighth Book bring the reader through the
country west of the Indus to the bank of that river, its passage, and
the ensuing battle on the eastern bank, with the defeat of the army of
Porus; whilst the ninth Book embraces Alexander's advance through the
Punjab, his operations in descending the Jhelam and Chenab, his descent
of the Indus, and exploration of its mouth, with an account also of the
homeward march; and the least that can be said of Messrs. Heitland and
Raven's editorial work, whether critical or explanatory, is, that no
difficulty of text is overlooked or imperfectly handled, no discrepancy,
as comparing Curtius with parallel authorities, ignored. A test-passage,
wherein to prove this statement, may be taken in the fourteenth chapter
of the eighth Book, the battle between Alexander and Porus, which is
described with unflagging care and zeal from first to last, the
situations and details being compared, and, where possible, reconciled
with Arrian, the poetical phrases characteristic of Curtius pointed out
and illustrated, and the unusual words, _e.g., copidas_ ("choppers" like
a Goorka knife, the κοπὶς from the same root as κόπτω), clearly though
succinctly explained. On Alexander's order to Cœnus in §§ 15 of the
battle chapter, "ipse dextrum move et turbatis signa infer" (advance the
right wing, &c.), an excellent note, for which Mr. Heitland undertakes
the sole responsibility, accredits him, in our judgment, as a most sound
historical commentator, by the exhaustiveness wherewith he reconciles
Arrian and Curtius's view of Alexander's position and movements, and
those of Cœnus. The former with the main body took the Indian horse in
flank, before they could change their front, and enabled Cœnus to fall
on what had been their front but was now their disordered flank: and as
to the difficulty in the way of this explanation, that according to
Arrian the war-chariots were in front of the Indian horse, it is justly
deemed easier to conceive Cœnus eluding these clumsy adversaries, than
Alexander expecting him to see from the Macedonian left the right moment
for his own charge, and then wheel round the whole Indian army, and
execute his orders opportunely. With the same lucidity is the whole
narrative commented on: and every geographical, historical, or military
difficulty investigated, with a commendable eye both to ancient and
modern references and authorities. Equally interesting, too, will be
found the elucidations of questions of style, such as in viii. §§ 10,
where "igni _alita_ sepulchra" reveals a certainly post-Augustan but
doubtfully Ciceronian form; or as in viii. 14 §§ 41 the use of "malum"
(plague take you) borrowed interjectionally from the comic poets and, as
is shown in the notes ad loc., from Cicero De Off. ii. §§ 53. Students,
however, must search this volume minutely to understand aright the helps
it affords to their just estimate of Quintus Curtius Rufus as a
rhetorical moralist and historian, worthy of perusal in the wake of Livy
and of Seneca. Maps, indices, and list of names, are given, which will
be found of service.

       *       *       *       *       *

For our next topic of criticism recourse must be had to Ciceronian
Latin, and to the famous speech of Rome's greatest orator, which is
generally reckoned the first of his public and political orations.
Called in the MSS. the speech "De imperio Gnæi Pompeii" "apud Quirites"
it is better known as the oration _pro lege Maniliâ_, and because there
is no compendious school edition of this speech, apart from others of
the same orator in the hands of English school-boys, Professor Wilkins,
of Owens College, has judiciously undertaken to prepare an edition of
it, with the cognizance, sanction, and assistance of Karl Halm, of
Munich, and his smaller edition for English students. The English
professor's name is a sufficient earnest of his work's thoroughness, and
though it might be matter of doubt whether his historical introduction
of over forty pages is not unnecessarily circumstantial (we note that in
Chambers' preface to the same oration in the "Ciceronis Selectæ
Orationes," 1849, of their Educational Course, it is limited to two), it
must be admitted that a complete preliminary summary has the result of
shortening afterwork by admitting of copious references to it in the
notes in place of explanation. Such is certainly the case with Mr.
Wilkins's present task (_M. Tullii Ciceronis De Imperio Gnœi Pompeii
Oratio ad Quirites_, by A. S. Wilkins, M.A., Professor of Latin in the
Owens College, Manchester. London: Macmillan & Co., 1879), where the
introduction traces consecutively the career and campaigns and varying
fortunes of Mithridates, during over twenty years, through his struggles
with Lucullus, and his easy resistance to Acilius Glabrio, down to the
period when the tribune Manilius proposed a Bill to commit the conduct
and consummation of the war to the then favourite of fortune, Pompey
the Great. Against this Bill were arrayed the Moderate Republicans, and
the talents of the orator Hortensius, whilst on behalf of it spoke
Julius Cæsar, either with an eye to a future precedent in his own case,
or perhaps to create a reaction. It is probable, however, that the
masterly eloquence of Cicero in defence of the Bill, and his exhaustive
demonstration of Pompey's fitness for the supreme command against
Mithridates, were the causes of the general and irresistible acceptance
of the Manilian proposal. As Mr. Wilkins notes at the close of his
introduction, this speech contains the best example from antiquity of
the regular arrangement of a speech of the deliberate class, while the
third section of the argument presents a model of demonstrative oratory
scarcely paralleled in the days of the Republic, except in the funeral
orations. As has been already remarked, the fulness of Professor
Wilkins's introduction tends to disencumber his commentary and its notes
of digressive and indirect matter; and the result is highly favourable
to the due mastery of the sense and gist of the oration by the patient
student. Every passage has its critical difficulties explained; every
uncommon construction or use of a word is noted; every antithesis is
pointed out by the observant editor. In the first class may be instanced
the use in c. ii. of _vectigalibus_ in the masculine gender for
_tributaries_, which has its parallel in § 45; in the third the contrast
in c. iii., between "In Asiæ luce h.e," "in the foreground of Asia,"
_lux_ being used of what is present to the eyes of all, and open to
extensive commerce, as opposed to "_Ponti latebris_," as the
hiding-place of Mithridates is termed just before. In the same chapter
there is an antithesis, as is well shown in the description of past
generals having carried off _insignia victoriæ, non victoriam_, "only
triumphs, not a victory;" and as a sample of other notes dealing with
fiscal duties and such like, we may notice those in c. vi., on "ubertate
agrorum" "magnitudine pastionis," and the sources of revenue farmed by
the "publicani." In the same passage _scriptura_ is the "rent for
pasturage," and _custodiis_ (§ 16) = "coastguard posts, to prevent
vessel unloading unless at the emporia where there were custom-houses."
For _publicanis omissis_, a despaired-of reading in c. vii. § 18, the
editor adopts the conjecture _publicanorum bonis_ or _fortunis amissis_;
and indeed seldom fails in the likeliest cure for a corrupt word or
text. Incidentally he is rich in rules for orthography, as where on "tot
milibus" he cites Lachmann (Lucret. i. 313) for the use of the single
_l_ where a long _i_ is followed by a short one in the next syllable;
nor does he fail to note any memorable change of construction, _e.g._,
where in c. xiii. in the sentence, "_Hiemis_ enim non _avaritiæ_
perfagium majores nostri in sociorum atque amicorum tectis esse
voluerunt," we have a change from the objective to the subjective
genitive, "a refuge _from_ the winter, not _for_ avarice." But enough
has been said to signify the merit of this handbook; and we must deal
more briefly with such other Latin volumes as are still on our list.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among these perhaps Mr. Reid's Lælius (_M. Tullii Ciceronis Lælius de
Amicitia_, by James S. Reid, M.L.: Cambridge University Press, 1879) is
the most notable, an edition based mainly on Seyffert's elaborate
edition, yet evidently strengthened by seasonable comparison with the
best German editions. Mr. Reid disowns acquaintance with any English
edition of the Lælius, having only heard of that of Mr. Arthur Sidgwick,
when his own was far advanced through the press. The object and purpose
of the edition is twofold, viz. (1) elucidation of the subject-matter
and comparison of the editor's own conclusions touching it with those of
other editing scholars; and (2) a thorough elucidation of the Latinity
of the dialogue, a task to which all who are cognizant of his edition of
Cicero's speeches for Archias and for Balbus will admit his eminent
fitness. A fourfold introduction summarises the salient points of
Cicero, as a writer of philosophy; the scope of this treatise on
"Friendship:" the structure, personages, and other circumstances of the
dialogue, and a quasi-dramatic analysis of the same. It will be found
that Cicero, whilst having no sympathy with the Epicurean philosophy of
his day, sided mainly with the Peripatetics, though inclining in a few
points of detail to the Stoics. An instructive disquisition on the
sources of the dialogue opens out various clues to inquiring students,
and suggests particularly minuter testing of the question how far Cicero
directly imitated Plato's Lysis, which is perhaps more probable than
that he used for it the Nicomachean Ethics, although, in form, beyond a
doubt the Lælius is more Aristotelian than Platonic. The "mitis
sapientia Læli" in the dialogue stands out in contrast with the genial
learning of Mucius Scævola and the severer cultivation of Gaius Fannius.
An interesting passage in the dialogue is that in which Lælius states a
question relating to friendship, in which he was to some extent at issue
with Scipio, viz., the difficulty of friendship enduring a whole
lifetime. Scipio held the negative view, and Lælius demurred to it, and
in c. x., xi., &c., the occurrences which tend to break off friendship
are enumerated. In the tenth chapter are to be found two or three very
apt elucidations of the text, such as that on the construction of
"contentione condicionis," and the sense of condicio (not "conditio") in
§ 34, but one note (16) on "optimis quibusque" stands out as a sample of
exhaustive criticism. The argument of Lælius is that there is no greater
curse in friendships than, in the run of men, the desire of money; in
the best, the desire of honour and glory: "in optimis quibusque honoris
certamen et gloria." Let us see how Mr. Reid examines this last clause,
which he compares with the sentiment, "optimus quisque gloria maxime
ducitur," in the oration for Archias. The best authors, it is shown, use
only the _neuter_ plural of _quisque_, and that with a superlative; Cic.
Fam. vii. 33, where we have "literas longissimas quasque," being
exceptional, because literæ, "an epistle," has no singular. Mr. Reid
instances, indeed, from the De Officiis ii. 75, "Leges et proximæ quæque
duriores," but only to propose an emendation to a senseless reading,
viz., "Leges, et proxima quæque"--_i.e._, "laws, and harsher each of
them than its predecessor." In the present case, he adds, "quibusque"
may be used for ἑκάστοις in the sense of "each set of people," or the
plural may be due merely to assimilation with "plerisque." In a note on
the difficult passage, p. 41, "et minime tum quidem Gaius frater, nunc
idem acerrimus," Mr. Reid, rightly, it should seem, adopts the
interpretation of Madvig, Opusc., 2, 281, that _minime_ qualifies _acer_
to be supplied from "acerrimus." This sample of interpretational tact
must suffice from a copious inventory; and with reference to helpful
elucidation of matter and illustration of proper names, quotations,
adagia, and what not, it need only be said that it is in this edition
always sound and seasonable.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the same employers, the Syndics of the Pitt Press, Mr. A. G.
Peskett, M.A., of Magdalen College, has carefully edited the fourth and
fifth books of Cæsar's Commentaries on the Gallic War, _Gai Juli Cæsaris
De Bello Gallico Commentariorum, IV. V._ (Cambridge University Press,
1879), with a helpful commentary derived from study of German and
English editors, and speculations on the topographical, geographical,
and astronomical problems involved in Cæsar's account. These books, it
will be remembered, contain _inter alia_ the description of Cæsar's
Bridge over the Rhine, his preparations for invading Britain, his first
somewhat abortive attempts, and then, after a winter in Italy and
Illyricum, his maturer arrangements, and landing--not without damage to
his fleet--on the shore of Britain. The second of these campaigns
embraces the narrative of the treachery of Ambiorix and the utter defeat
of the Romans, v. 36-7. In the fourth book, one of the most interesting
problems is the construction of Cæsar's Rhine Bridge, c. 17; whether
Cæsar's method of strengthening the four bearing piles with their
transverse beams was (as Kraner and Heller practically agree) by four
fibulæ at each junction of the beam with the piles (eight in all), or,
as Cohausen believes, by two fibulæ at each end, one serving instead of
cross-piece c, in fig. 1, for the beam to rest upon. Napoleon's view of
the fibulaæ, given in fig. 4, p. 63, is far less tenable, and the most
reasonable view is that of Heller. In c. 36, Book V., note, we have good
examples of the actual words of Ambiorix to Titurius, as they may be
gathered from the _oratio obliqua_ in which the historian casts them. In
c. 37, it should seem that the reading _lapsi_ has less likelihood,
though better authority, than "elapsi," and Napoleon's identification of
the site of the battle is shown to be accurate, in a note discussing the
topography of Tongres, the Geer, and the village of Lowaige. From a
cursory examination of this edition of two interesting books of Cæsar's
Gallic War we should be disposed to congratulate the young student of
intelligence, into whose hands a volume at once so helpful and so lucid
may fall. There remains on our list only one Latin volume, the third
part of Professor Mayor's Juvenal for Schools, containing Satires X. and
XI. But this, as well as a batch of recent editions of Greek plays and
Greek authors, such as Xenophon, Lucian, &c., must be postponed until
another time.


(_Under the Direction of_ MATTHEW BROWNE.)

In referring to two more of Messrs. Macmillan and Co.'s _English Men of
Letters_ we shall reproduce, reckless of the charge of "damnable
iteration," the charge we have made before. Here is _Burke_, by Mr. John
Morley, and _Hume_, by Professor Huxley, each volume containing over two
hundred close pages; and most admirable volumes they are. But let us
turn again to the prospectus and note its language: "These Short Books
are addressed to the general public with a view both of stirring and
satisfying an interest in literature and its great topics in the minds
of those who have to run as they read." This language is both wide and
careful; the old metaphor may be read more or less loosely, of course;
and it may be said that those who care much for Burke and Hume must be
provided for in the series, and that the writers who deal with them have
treated their topics as pleasantly as may be. We do not deny this, and
the little volumes are substantial additions to the literature of the
day. But they are not for readers who have to run with their books in
their hand.

Mr. John Morley's estimate of Burke is known to us all, and it is what
might be expected. As a philosophical politician, and as a speculative
writer in general, Burke, of course, pleases Mr. Morley by the positive
tendencies of his mind. We are pleased to see that he assigns its due
rank to the too often underrated Inquiry about the Sublime and
Beautiful. But Mr. Morley has perhaps the fault which Sterne told his
friend the Count belonged especially to the French; he is "too serious."
Of course, Burke is a great man, and one must not cut jokes in a memoir
of him--at least one must not if one can't. But it is quite certain
Sydney Smith would have done it; and there are many ways in which a page
may be lit up. Well worth notice, as an amusing touch, was that passage
in the Inquiry in which Burke speaks deprecatingly of Bunyan, because he
did not write like Virgil, and though the present work "is biographical
rather than critical," we miss a number of amusing anecdotes. This may
be the result of literary fastidiousness on Mr. Morley's part, but, if
so, we submit that the fastidiousness is carried too far. There is a
little story that some one (we forget the name at the moment) who had
lost largely by investing in some West Indian property, alleged that he
had been induced to invest by Burke's glowing descriptions of the
country, and that Burke replied, "Ods boddikins! must one swear to the
truth of a song?"--or in very similar language. Now this is really
illustrative. We can by no means agree with Mr. Morley that Burke was
free from the vicious tendencies of the rhetorician, not to say the
rhetorical Celt. He had the Celtic leaning towards forlorn hopes, and
the Celtic want of truthfulness. Of course, the Dr. Richard Price, who
is so contemptuously treated in the "Reflections," was a much smaller
man than Burke, but he had more love of truth and more capacity of
adhering to principle in his little finger than Burke had in his whole
nature. Mr. John Morley does his friendly and ingeniously reticent best
for him; but students who reject the "positive" method (except as an
auxiliary or a check) will persist in thinking that the painful tangles
of the great man's life, and the blind alleys and other faults of his
writings, were the result of his deficiency on the side of truthfulness.
It will be doing anything but injustice to Burke, Mr. Morley, or the
reader, if we call particular attention to p. 173 and so on to p. 177
inclusive. They give a bird's-eye view of the most important part of the
subject; they contain instructive comparisons between Burke, Sir Thomas
More, and Turgot: and they seem to us to contain large proof in small
compass of what Mr. Morley will of course not admit--namely, Burke's
want of love for the truth, and his incapacity for abstract speculation.

As a reasoned account of the life and writings of the subject of the
book, Professor Huxley's _Hume_ is one of the very best of the
series--we were going to pronounce it the best, but remembered in good
time that we had not seen them all. In any case it is excellent. It does
not seem to us that Hume's "Description of the Will" is grammatically
open to the criticism on p. 181. But comment like this would be useless
unless we gave the reader an opportunity of judging. This is Hume's
"description of the Will," as quoted by Professor Huxley:--

    "Of all the immediate effects of pain and pleasure there is none
    more remarkable than the _will_; and though, properly speaking, it
    be not comprehended among the passions, yet as the full
    understanding of its nature and properties is necessary to the
    explanation of them, we shall here make it the subject of our
    inquiry. I desire it may be observed that, by the _will_, I mean
    nothing but _the internal impression we feel and are conscious of,
    when we knowingly give rise to any new motion of our body, or new
    perception of our mind_. This impression, like the preceding ones of
    pride and humility, love and hatred, it is impossible to define, and
    needless to describe any further."--(ii. p. 150.)

And this is Professor Huxley's comment:--

    "This description of a volition may be criticized on various
    grounds. More especially does it seem defective in restricting the
    term "will" to that feeling which arises when we act, or appear to
    act, as causes: for one may will to strike, without striking; or to
    think of something which we have forgotten."

But is not this met by the last six of the words which Professor Huxley
has italicised? They are certainly very wide, and one might ask, in
addition, what word of absolute "restriction" is employed by Hume in
this passage? He indicates what he means by the word "Will," by saying
that it is what we are conscious of upon certain occasions, and this
gives a clue to the quality of the sensation; but it was obvious, and
did not need saying, that the quality of the sensation might remain,
though its complete outcome were baulked.

In presenting and criticizing Hume's views upon such topics as Theism,
Immortality and Miracles, Necessary Truth, &c., Professor Huxley is, so
far as we have discovered, both accurate and candid. It is only
necessary to suggest that the reader should keep his eyes open--for
there is really not one new word to be written upon these matters.

It is not often that you are told what a man died of. You are put off
with some such phrase as "a painful malady," or a "family complaint."
Yet, it is often just what we desire to know, because the illness from
which a man suffers stands in direct relation to his power of work and
his capacity of endurance. Consumption, except in its later stage, is
not usually painful. Nor does it necessarily make work difficult. The
same may be said of maladies which come on paroxysmally, and leave those
blessed intervals of ease of which Paley, himself a sufferer, writes
with such unaccustomed tenderness. In the _Gibbon_ of this series, Mr.
Morison slurred over the very curious, perhaps unexampled fact, that
Gibbon had long concealed a bad hernia and had done nothing for it. It
finally killed him, but that with his amazing corpulence he could live a
long time with a serious rupture, and keep his general health and his
placidity, is very interesting. Professor Huxley tells us point-blank
what Hume died of, and it is quite as well for biographers to be
specific in such matters. We may just inquire, in passing, where the
Professor got his "_solid_ certainty of waking bliss"? It seems pedantic
to notice every trifle of this sort, but if small errors in quotation
were, so to speak, nipped in the bud, many logomachics would be saved.
How much discussion, in pulpits and out of them, has been wasted upon
the supposition that Pope wrote that "an honest man's the _noblest_ work
of God." Whereas Pope wrote "noble," and it was Burns, in the "Cotter's
Saturday Night," who started the error. Now "solid" is as good sense as
"sober," but the latter is what suits the verse best, and it is what
Milton made Comus say.

       *       *       *       *       *

The "run" upon Dante continues. Here is _Dante: Six Sermons_, by Philip
H. Wicksteed, M.A. (C. Kegan Paul & Co.) "In allowing," says Mr.

    "the publication of this little volume, my only thought is to let it
    take its chance with other fugitive productions of the pulpit that
    appeal to the press as a means of widening the possible area rather
    than extending the period over which the preacher's voice may
    extend; and my only justification is the hope that it may here and
    there reach hands to which no more adequate treatment of the subject
    was likely to find its way."

The sermons were delivered first at Little Portland Street Chapel, where
Mr. Wicksteed succeeded Dr. Martineau, and afterwards at the Free
Christian Church at Croydon, where the Rev. Rodolph R. Suffield formerly
preached, but where the Rev. E. M. Geldart is now (we believe) the
minister. The book contains only about 160 pages, and gives a very
readable and complete account both of Dante and his poetry. The style is
that of the pulpit, iterative, florid, and full of amplifications; but
that was natural. It is a serious matter, however, that the author keeps
up his strain of eulogy from end to end at a pitch which has an almost
_falsetto_ sound with it. It seems hardly fair to leave unnoticed the
charges of artificiality and worse which have been abundantly made
against Dante and his poetry, especially as this book is intended for
popular use; and it is a pity that Mr. Wicksteed should go out of his
way to settle difficult questions in this off-hand way:--

   "It is often held and taught, that a strong and definite didactic
   purpose must inevitably be fatal to the highest forms of art, must
   clip the wings of poetic imagination, distort the symmetry of
   poetic sympathy, and substitute hard and angular contrasts for the
   melting grace of those curved lines of beauty which pass one into
   the other. Had Dante never lived, I know not where we should turn
   for the decisive refutation of this thought; but in Dante it is the
   very combination said to be impossible that inspires and enthrals
   us. A perfect artist guided in the exercise of his art by an
   unflagging intensity of moral purpose; a prophet, submitting his

and so forth, in the same strained and insistent key. But no wise critic
has ever said that "a strong and definite didactic purpose must
inevitably be fatal to the highest forms of art." What is maintained on
_that_ side of the debate is that the "purpose" must not be permitted to
shape the poem; that the poem itself must be moulded upon lines of
beauty and not of "moral purpose"--though the "moral purpose" may be
immanent in the work. But who is bound to take Mr. Wicksteed's word for
the statement that Dante's great poem is not the very strongest
confirmation in all literature of the truth that a _controlling_ and
_interfering_ moral purpose injures a poem, Milton's "Paradise Lost"
being the next strongest?

       *       *       *       *       *

A well-known, and also imperfectly known, "nook in the Apennines" is the
Republic of San Marino, about which there is a good deal of information
in _A Freak of Freedom; or, The Republic of San Marino_, by J. Theodore
Bent (Longman, Green & Co.) It appears to be partly the record of a
visit paid by the author to the spot in 1877, and is illustrated by
fifteen woodcuts from the author's own drawings, to say nothing of a
map. Mr. Bent was presented with the freedom of the Republic, and we do
not know that any one, except another citizen of it, or some near
neighbour, could criticize his little book to much advantage. But we
trust he will permit us to remark that he might have made his work more
amusing and instructive. There is a good deal about the place in
Addison, and this is referred to (among other interesting matters) in an
article in Knight's "Penny Magazine" for May 31st, 1834. But, though we
have not time to make references, we have a strong impression that there
are many descriptions, new and old, of San Marino, which it would have
been refreshing to quote. We know, however, of no work which gives so
much information as Mr. Bent's.

       *       *       *       *       *

It might be the subject of a very plausible doubt whether French novels
of a high order ought to be translated into English, since those who are
really capable of understanding and enjoying them will be certain to
understand French, and since, moreover, the finest qualities of the
writing must disappear in the process of translation. Then, with regard
to French novels of a much lower class, they are not worth the trouble
of turning into English; are more likely in themselves to do harm than
good; and their reproduction in our language cannot tend to encourage
"native talent." We have before us, from Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston,
Searle, & Rivington, _The Cat and Battledore, and other Tales_, by
Honoré de Balzac, translated into English by Philip Kent, B.A. (3 vols.)
Perhaps it was not a bad idea to give the merely English reader some
chance of appreciating the extraordinary qualities of the author of "Le
Père Goriot," "Le Peau de Chagrin," and "La Recherche de l'Absolu"
(neither of which is, the general reader may be told, in this
collection): but Balzac is not a writer with a soul in him, and the
experiment need not be carried any further. Those who know nothing of
Balzac, and who read novels simply for excitement, will be glad of these
three volumes, and the glimpse they give of an unique writer; but to
studious readers Balzac's novels have an interest which is mainly
psychological. The preface (here translated) to the "Comédie Humaine" is
a strange presumptuous medley, which raises, like all the author's most
characteristic works, the question of perfect sanity--a question which
Mr. Leslie Stephen once opened very acutely, and dismissed too curtly.
To have read through a story of Balzac's is to have passed through one
of those wonderfully vivid dreams which leave you puzzled and lost at
the moment of awaking. It seems to be generally admitted that his
writings do not tend to make his readers "immoral" in the usual sense of
the adjective, but there is something ineffably droll in his patronage
of "Christianity, especially Catholic Christianity," and that defence of
his own writings which the reader may amuse himself by studying in the
preface. He is not only conservative, he is monarchical, and objects to
representative Government, if it "hands us over to the rule of the
masses." But what chiefly concerns those who buy novels, or send for
them to the libraries, is the quality of the stories, and they may
depend upon getting a full measure of excitement, with some instruction,
out of "La Maison du Chat qui pelote" and the companion stories.

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