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Title: Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art
Author: Various
Language: English
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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.

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Transcriber's Note:
  Underscores "_" before and after a word or phrase indicate _italics_
    in the original text.
  Equal signs "=" before and after a word or phrase indicate =bold=
    in the original text.
  The carat character "^", designates a superscript.
  Small capitals have been converted to SOLID capitals.
  Old or antiquated spellings have been preserved.
  Typographical errors have been silently corrected but other variations
    in spelling and punctuation remain unaltered.
  Footnotes have been moved to the end of the article in which
    they occur.

[Illustration: Eng^d. by J. T. Gage, New York. THE LESSON.]



   THE ECLECTIC MAGAZINE OF FOREIGN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

                 OLD SERIES COMPLETE IN LXIII. VOLS.

                  JANUARY, 1844, TO DECEMBER, 1864.

                        NEW SERIES, VOL. XLI.

                       JANUARY TO JUNE, 1885.


                              NEW YORK:
              E. R. PELTON, PUBLISHER, 25 BOND STREET.
                                1885.



                  INDEX TO VOLUME XLI.


  FRONTISPIECE: THE LESSON.
                                                                  PAGE.
  AGNOSTICISM AND THE RELIGION OF HUMANITY, LAST WORDS ABOUT.
         By Herbert Spencer              _Nineteenth Century_       127

  AMERICA, A WORD MORE ABOUT. By Matthew Arnold
                                         _Nineteenth Century_       433

  AMERICAN AUDIENCE, THE. By Henry Irving
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       475

  ANCIENT ORGANS OF PUBLIC OPINION. By Prof. R. C. Jebb.
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       107

  ARNOLD’S LAY SERMON, MR.                        _Spectator_       259

  ART, A FEW NOTES ON PERSIAN.           _Chambers’s Journal_       396

  AUTHORS AS SUPPRESSORS OF THEIR BOOKS.
         By W. H. Olding, LL.B.        _Gentleman’s Magazine_       262

  AUTOMATIC WRITING, OR THE RATIONALE OF PLANCHETTE.
         By Frederick W. H. Myers       _Contemporary Review_       547


  BANK OF ENGLAND, THE. By Henry May
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       679

  BEHIND THE SCENES. By F. C. Burnand
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       408

  BIG ANIMALS                             _Cornhill Magazine_       778

  BISMARCK’S CHARACTER, PRINCE                   _Temple Bar_       386

  BLACKSTONE. By G. P. Macdonell
                                       _Macmillan’s Magazine_       703

  BYGONE CELEBRITIES AND LITERARY RECOLLECTIONS.
         By Charles Mackay             _Gentleman’s Magazine_        29

  BYGONE CELEBRITIES AND LITERARY RECOLLECTIONS.
         By Charles Mackay, LL.D.      _Gentleman’s Magazine_       165


  CAMORRA, THE.                             _Saturday Review_       381

  COLERIDGE AS A SPIRITUAL THINKER.
         By Principal Tulloch.           _Fortnightly Review_       305

  COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GHOST STORIES, THE.
         By Andrew Lang                  _Nineteenth Century_       805

  COMMENT ON CHRISTMAS, A. By Matthew Arnold
                                        _Contemporary Review_       836

  CONCERNING EYES. By William H. Hudson
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_       772

  CORNEILLE, LE BONHOMME. By Henry M. Trollope
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_       359

  CURIOSITIES OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
                                         _Chambers’s Journal_       245


  DAY OF STORM, A                             _The Spectator_       786

  DE BANANA                               _Cornhill Magazine_       529

  DELLA CRUSCA AND ANNA MATILDA: AN EPISODE IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.
         By Armine T. Kent                  _National Review_       336

  DEMOCRATIC VICTORY IN AMERICA, THE.
         By William Henry Hurlburt       _Nineteenth Century_       183

  DICKENS AT HOME, CHARLES. WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO HIS
      RELATIONS WITH CHILDREN. By his eldest daughter
                                          _Cornhill Magazine_       362

  DRESS, HOW SHOULD WE? THE NEW GERMAN THEORIES ON CLOTHING.
         By Dora de Blaquière                    _Good Words_       273

  DUELLING, FRENCH. By H. R. Haweis               _Belgravia_       222


  ECONOMIC EFFECT OF WAR.                         _Spectator_       846

  ELECTRICITY AND GAS, THE FUTURE OF     _Chambers’s Journal_        81

  ELLIOT, THE LIFE OF GEORGE. By John Morley
                                       _Macmillan’s Magazine_       506

  EMILE DE LAVELEYE                     _Contemporary Review_       205

  ENGLISHMEN AND FOREIGNERS               _Cornhill Magazine_       215

  EXPLORATION IN A NEW DIRECTION              _The Spectator_       689


  FAITHLESS WORLD, A. By Frances Power Cobbe
                                        _Contemporary Review_       145

  FOLK-LORE FOR SWEETHEARTS. By Rev. M. G. Watkins, M. A.
                                                  _Belgravia_       491

  FOOD AND FEEDING                        _Cornhill Magazine_       155

  FOREIGN LITERATURE NOTES                      143, 284, 426, 571, 717

  FRENCH DRAMA UPON ABELARD, A. By a Conceptualist
                                            _National Review_       633


  GENERAL GORDON AND THE SLAVE TRADE    _Contemporary Review_        92

  GERMAN ABROAD, THE. By C. E. Dawkins      _National Review_       811

  GOETHE. By Prof. J. R. Seeley         _Contemporary Review_        16

  GO TO THE ANT.                          _Cornhill Magazine_       416


  HITTITES, THE. By Isaac Taylor   _British Quarterly Review_       545

  HOW INSECTS BREATHE. By Theodore Wood          _Good Words_       401


  IN THE NORWEGIAN MOUNTAINS.
     By Oscar Frederik, King of Sweden and Norway _Temple Bar_      521

  INTERESTING WORDS, SOME.               _Chambers’s Journal_       826

  IRISH HUMOR, THE DECAY OF.                  _The Spectator_       383


  JEWS, THE HEALTH AND LONGEVITY OF THE.
      By P. Kirkpatrick Picard, M.D., M.R.C.S. _Leisure Hour_       540

  JOHNSON, SAMUEL. By Edmund Gosse       _Fortnightly Review_       178


  LAUREL.                                _All the Year Round_       804

  LITERARY NOTICES:
             The Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker,
          136—The Story of My Life, 139—Our Great Benefactors,
          141—Life of Mary Woolstonecraft, 141—Principles of
          Political Economy, 142—A Review of the Holy Bible,
          142—The Young Folks’ Josephus, 142. True, and Other
          Stories, 281—Noble Blood, 281—Prince Saroni’s Wife and
          the Pearl-shell Necklace, 281—Dr. Grattan, 281—The
          Old-Fashioned Fairy Book, 281—Katherine, 281—White
          Feathers, 281—Egypt and Babylon, from Sacred and Profane
          Sources, 282—The Hundred Greatest Men: Portraits of the
          Hundred Greatest Men in History, 283—Eve’s Daughters; or,
          Common-Sense for Maid, Wife and Mother, 283—A Review of
          the Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, 283—
          The Elements of Moral Science, Theoretical and Practical,
          284—Episodes of My Second Life, 423—A Historical Reference
          Book, 424—Bermuda: An Idyll of the Summer Islands, 425—
          Elements of Zoology, 425—The Reality of Religion, 425—
          The Enchiridion of Wit: The Best Specimens of English
          Conversational Wit, 426—The Dictionary of English History,
          568—Personal Traits of British Authors, 569—Italy from the
          Fall of Napoleon I. in 1815, to the Death of Victor Emanuel
          in 1878, 569—Harriet Martineau (Famous Women Series), 570—
          Weird Tales by E. T. W. Hoffman, 571—Jelly-Fish, Star-Fish
          and Sea Urchins, 712—Origin of Cultivated Plants, 713—The
          Adventures of Timias Terrystone, 714—The Secret of Death,
          716—Greater London: A Narrative of Its History, Its People,
          and Its Places, 717—Russia Under the Tzars, 851—The French
          Revolution, 853—Louis Pasteur: His Life and Labors, 855—At
          Grammar of the English Language in a Series of Letters,
          the Sign of the Lyre, 856—Working People and their Employers,
          856.


  M. JULES FERRY AND HIS FRIENDS                 _Temple Bar_       753

  MACPHERSON’S LOVE STORY.
         By C. H. D. Stocker                   _Leisure Hour_       790

  MAN IN BLUE, THE. By R. Davey               _Merry England_       277

  MASTER, A VERY OLD                      _Cornhill Magazine_       601

  MASTER IN ISLAM ON THE PRESENT CRISIS,
    A. INTERVIEW WITH SHEIKH DJAMAL-UD-DIN AL HUSSEINY AL AFGHANY.
                                          _Pall Mall Gazette_       849

  MISCELLANY:
             Heligoland as a Strategical Island How the Coldstreams
          got their Motto Women as Cashiers The House of Lords: Can
          it be Reformed? A Revolving Library A Child’s Metaphors
          Has England a School of Musical Composition? Booty in War
          Sir Henry Bessemer Some Personal Recollections of George
          Sand The American Senate Shakespeare and Balzac The Dread
          of Old Age A True Critic An Aerial Ride The Condition of
          Schleswig Chinese Notions of Immortality An Approaching
          Star Germans and Russians in Persia Learning to Ride A
          Tragic Barring-Out Intelligence in Cats The Migration of
          Birds, 858 Oriental Flower Lore What’s in a Name? Historic
          Finance The Three Unities A Sunday-school Scholar A Mahdi
          of the Last Century

  MONTAGU, MRS                                   _Temple Bar_        85

  MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORIES                   _Edinburgh Review_         1

  MYTHOLOGY IN NEW APPAREL, OLD.   By J. Theodore Bent
                                       _Macmillan’s Magazine_       662


  NEW ENGLAND VILLAGE, THREE GLIMPSES OF A
                                       _Blackwood’s Magazine_       120

  NIHILIST, A FEMALE. By Stepniak         _Cornhill Magazine_        38


  ODD QUARTERS. By Frederick Boyle                _Belgravia_       648

  ORGANIC NATURE’S RIDDLE. By St. George Mivart
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       591

  ORGANIC NATURE’S RIDDLE. By St. George Mivart
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       763

  ORGANIZATION OF DEMOCRACY, THE. By Goldwin Smith
                                      _Contemporary Magazine_       609

  OUTWITTED: A TALE OF THE ABRUZZI                _Belgravia_       667


  PEKING, THE SUMMER PALACE. By C. F. Gordon Cumming.
                                                  _Belgravia_       373

  PIERRE’S MOTTO: A CHACUN SELON SON TRAVAIL. A TALK IN A
    PARISIAN WORKSHOP ABOUT THE UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
                                               _Leisure Hour_       405

  POETRY:
    BEYOND THE HAZE. A WINTER RAMBLE REVERIE.
                                          _Cornhill Magazine_        84
    LORD TENNYSON. By Paul H. Hayne                                 520
    ON AN OLD SONG. By W. E. H. Lecky _Macmillan’s Magazine_        474
    RONSARD: ON THE CHOICE OF HIS TOMB. By J. P. M.
                                       _Blackwood’s Magazine_       202

  POETRY OF TENNYSON, THE. By Roden Noel
                                        _Contemporary Review_       459

  POLITICAL SITUATION OF EUROPE, THE.
         By F. Nobili-Vitelleschi, Senator of Italy
                                         _Nineteenth Century_       577

  POPULAR ENGLISH, NOTES ON. By the late Isaac Todhunter.
                                       _Macmillan’s Magazine_       561

  PORTRAIT, THE. A Story of the Seen and the Unseen.
                                       _Blackwood’s Magazine_       315


  QUANDONG’S SECRET, THE                 _Chambers’s Journal_       525


  REBELLION OF 1798, AN ACTOR IN THE. Letitia McClintock.
                                                  _Belgravia_       173

  REVIEW OF THE YEAR. By Frederic Harrison
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       445

  ROMANCE OF A GREEK STATUE, A. By J. Theodore Bent
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_       499

  “ROMEO AND JULIET,” THE LOCAL COLOR OF. By William Archer
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_        67

  RUSSIAN ADVANCE IN CENTRAL ASIA, THE.
         By Major-General Sir Henry Rawlinson, K.C.B
                                         _Nineteenth Century_       721

  RUSSIAN PHILOSOPHER ON ENGLISH POLITICS, A
                                       _Blackwood’s Magazine_       692

  RYE HOUSE PLOT, THE. By Alexander Charles Ewald
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_       249


  SAND, GEORGE                                   _Temple Bar_       817

  SAVAGE, THE. By Prof. F. Max Müller    _Nineteenth Century_       243

  SIBERIA TO SWITZERLAND, FROM. The Story of an Escape.
                 By William Westfall    _Contemporary Review_       289

  SIR WILLIAM SIEMENS. By William Lant Carpenter
                                       _Gentleman’s Magazine_       621

  SIR TRISTRAM DE LYONESSE. By E. M. Smith    _Merry England_       656

  SMITH, WILLIAM AND SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM   _Saturday Review_        70

  SOME SICILIAN CUSTOMS. By E. Lynn Linton       _Temple Bar_        73

  SOCIAL SCIENCE ON THE STAGE. By H. Sutherland Edwards
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       830

  STATE _versus_ THE MAN, THE. By Emile de Laveleye
                                        _Contemporary Review_       732

  STIMULANTS AND NARCOTICS. By Percy Greg
                                         _Contemporary Review_      479


  THUNDERBOLTS                             _Cornhill Magazine_       58

  TRAPPISTS, AMONG THE. A GLIMPSE OF LIFE AT LE PORT DU SALUT.
         By Surgeon-General H. L. Cowen           _Good Words_       53

  TRUE STORY OF WAT TYLER, THE. By S. G. G.                         748

  TURKISH PROVERBS, SOME                       _The Spectator_      787

  TURNING AIR INTO WATER                  _All the Year Round_      536


  UNITY OF THE EMPIRE, THE. By the Marquis of Lorne
                                          _Nineteenth Century_      643


  VIVISECTION, SCIENTIFIC VERSUS BUCOLIC. By James Cotter Morison
                                         _Fortnightly Review_       558


  WHEN SHALL WE LOSE OUR POLE-STAR?      _Chambers’s Journal_       802

  WÜRZBURG AND VIENNA. SCRAPS FROM A DIARY. By Emile De Laveleye
                                        _Contemporary Review_        95

  WÜRZBURG AND VIENNA. SCRAPS FROM A DIARY.
   By John Wycliffe: His Life and Work _Blackwood’s Magazine_       224



[Illustration]

     ECLECTIC MAGAZINE OF FOREIGN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

       New Series.        JANUARY, 1885.      Old Series complete
 Vol. XLI., No. 1.                            in 63 vols.


MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORIES.

On October 1st, 1876, one of the millionaires of the New World died at
San Francisco. Although owning a no more euphonious name than James
Lick, he had contrived to secure a future for it. He had founded and
endowed the first great astronomical establishment planted on the
heights, between the stars and the sea. How he came by his love of
science we have no means of knowing. Born obscurely at Fredericksburg,
in Pennsylvania, August 25th, 1796, he amassed some 30,000 dollars by
commerce in South America, and in 1847 transferred them and himself to
a village which had just exchanged its name of Yerba Buena for that
of San Francisco, situate on a long, sandy strip of land between the
Pacific and a great bay. In the hillocks and gullies of that wind-blown
barrier he invested his dollars, and never did virgin soil yield a
richer harvest. The gold-fever broke out in the spring of 1848. The
unremembered cluster of wooden houses, with no trouble or tumult of
population in their midst, nestling round a tranquil creek under a
climate which, but for a touch of sea-fog, might rival that of the
Garden of the Hesperides, became all at once a centre of attraction
to the outcast and adventurous from every part of the world. Wealth
poured in; trade sprang up; a population of six hundred increased to
a quarter of a million; hotels, villas, public edifices, places of
business spread, mile after mile, along the bay; building-ground rose
to a fabulous price, and James Lick found himself one of the richest
men in the United States.

Thus he got his money; we have now to see how he spent it. Already the
munificent benefactor of the learned institutions of California, he
in 1874 formally set aside a sum of two million dollars for various
public purposes, philanthropic, patriotic, and scientific. Of these
two millions 700,000 were appropriated to the erection of a telescope
“superior to, and more powerful than any ever yet made.” But this, he
felt instinctively, was not enough. Even in astronomy, although most
likely unable to distinguish the Pole-star from the Dog-star, this
“pioneer citizen” could read the signs of the times. It was no longer
instruments that were wanted; it was the opportunity of employing them.
Telescopes of vast power and exquisite perfection had ceased to be a
rarity; but their use seemed all but hopelessly impeded by the very
conditions of existence on the surface of the earth.

The air we breathe is in truth the worst enemy of the astronomer’s
observations. It is their enemy in two ways. Part of the sight which
brings its wonderful, evanescent messages across inconceivable depths
of space, it stops; and what it does not stop, it shatters. And this
even when it is most transparent and seemingly still; when mist-veils
are withdrawn, and no clouds curtain the sky. Moreover, the evil grows
with the power of the instrument. Atmospheric troubles are magnified
neither more nor less than the objects viewed across them. Thus, Lord
Rosse’s giant reflector possesses—_nominally_—a magnifying power of
6,000; that is to say, it can reduce the _apparent_ distances of the
heavenly bodies to 1/6000 their _actual_ amount. The moon, for example,
which is in reality separated from the earth’s surface by an interval
of about 234,000 miles, is shown as if removed only thirty-nine miles.
Unfortunately, however, in theory only. Professor Newcomb compares the
sight obtained under such circumstances to a glimpse through several
yards of running water, and doubts whether our satellite has ever been
seen to such advantage as it would be if brought—substantially, not
merely optically—within 500 miles of the unassisted eye.[1]

Must, then, all the growing triumphs of the optician’s skill be
counteracted by this plague of moving air? Can nothing be done to get
rid of, or render it less obnoxious? Or is this an ultimate barrier,
set up by Nature herself, to stop the way of astronomical progress?
Much depends upon the answer—more than can, in a few words, be easily
made to appear; but there is fortunately reason to believe that it
will, on the whole, prove favorable to human ingenuity, and the rapid
advance of human knowledge on the noblest subject with which it is or
ever can be conversant.

The one obvious way of meeting atmospheric impediments is to leave part
of the impeding atmosphere behind; and this the rugged shell of our
planet offers ample means of doing. Whether the advantages derived from
increased altitudes will outweigh the practical difficulties attending
such a system of observation when conducted on a great scale, has
yet to be decided. The experiment, however, is now about to be tried
simultaneously in several parts of the globe.

By far the most considerable of these experiments is that of the
“Lick Observatory.” Its founder was from the first determined that
the powers of his great telescope should, as little as possible, be
fettered by the hostility of the elements. The choice of its local
habitation was, accordingly, a matter of grave deliberation to him for
some time previous to his death. Although close upon his eightieth
year, he himself spent a night upon the summit of Mount St. Helena with
a view to testing its astronomical capabilities, and a site already
secured in the Sierra Nevada was abandoned on the ground of climatic
disqualifications. Finally, one of the culminating peaks of the Coast
Range, elevated 4,440 feet above the sea, was fixed upon. Situated
about fifty miles south-east of San Francisco, Mount Hamilton lies far
enough inland to escape the sea-fog, which only on the rarest occasions
drifts upward to its triple crest. All through the summer the sky above
it is limpid and cloudless; and though winter storms are frequent,
their raging is not without highly available lucid intervals. As to the
essential point—the quality of telescopic vision—the testimony of Mr.
S. W. Burnham is in the highest degree encouraging. This well-known
observer spent two months on the mountain in the autumn of 1879, and
concluded, as the result of his experience during that time—with the
full concurrence of Professor Newcomb—that, “it is the finest observing
location in the United States.” Out of sixty nights he found forty-two
as nearly perfect as nights can well be, seven of medium quality, and
only eleven cloudy or foggy;[2] his stay, nevertheless, embraced the
first half of October, by no means considered to belong to the choice
part of the season. Nor was his trip barren of discovery. A list of
forty-two new double stars gave an earnest of what may be expected from
systematic work in such an unrivalled situation. Most of these are
objects which never rise high enough in the sky to be examined with any
profit through the grosser atmosphere of the plains east of the Rocky
Mountains; some are well-known stars, not before seen clearly enough
for the discernment of their composite character; yet Mr. Burnham used
the lesser of two telescopes—a 6-inch and an 18-inch achromatic—with
which he had been accustomed to observe at Chicago.

The largest refracting telescope as yet actually completed has a
light-gathering surface 27 inches in diameter. This is the great Vienna
equatorial, admirably turned out by Mr. Grubb, of Dublin, in 1880,
but still awaiting the commencement of its exploring career. It will,
however, soon be surpassed by the Pulkowa telescope, ordered more than
four years ago on behalf of the Russian Government from Alvan Clark
and Sons, of Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. Still further will it be
surpassed by the coming “Lick Refractor.” It is safe to predict that
the optical championship of the world is, at least for the next few
years, secured to this gigantic instrument, the completion of which may
be looked for in the immediate future. It will have a clear aperture of
_three feet_. A disc of flint-glass for the object-lens, 38·18 inches
across, and 170 kilogrammes in weight, was cast at the establishment of
M. Feil, in Paris, early in 1882. Four days were spent and eight tons
of coal consumed in the casting of this vast mass of flawless crystal;
it took a calendar month to cool, and cost 2,000_l._[3] It may be
regarded as the highest triumph so far achieved in the art of optical
glass-making.

A refracting telescope three feet in aperture collects rather more
light than a speculum of four feet.[4] In this quality, then, the
Lick instrument will have—besides the Rosse leviathan, which, for
many reasons, may be considered to be out of the running—but one
rival. And over this rival—the 48-inch reflector of the Melbourne
observatory—it will have all the advantages of agility and robustness
(so to speak) which its system of construction affords; while the
exquisite definition for which Alvan Clark is famous will, presumably,
not be absent.

Already preparations are being made for its reception at Mount
Hamilton. The scabrous summit of “Observatory Peak” has been smoothed
down to a suitable equality of surface by the removal of 40,000 tons
of hard trap rock. Preliminary operations for the erection of a dome,
75 feet in diameter, to serve as its shelter, are in progress. The
water-supply has been provided for by the excavation of great cisterns.
Buildings are rapidly being pushed forward from designs prepared by
Professors Holden and Newcomb. Most of the subsidiary instruments
have for some time been in their places, constituting in themselves
an equipment of no mean order. With their aid Professor Holden and
Mr. Burnham observed the transit of Mercury of November 7th, 1881,
and Professor Todd obtained, December 6th, 1882, a series of 147
photographs (of which seventy-one were of the highest excellence)
recording the progress of Venus across the face of the sun.

We are informed that a great hotel will eventually add the inducement
of material well-being to those of astronomical interest and enchanting
scenery. No more delightful summer resort can well be imagined. The
road to the summit, of which the construction formed the subject of a
species of treaty between Mr. Lick and the county of Santa Clara in
1875, traverses from San José a distance, as a bird flies, of less
than thirteen miles, but doubled by the windings necessary in order to
secure moderate gradients. So successfully has this been accomplished,
that a horse drawing a light waggon can reach the observatory buildings
without breaking his trot.[5] As the ascending track draws its coils
closer and closer round the mountain, the view becomes at every turn
more varied and more extensive. On one side the tumultuous coast
ranges, stooping gradually to the shore, magnificently clad with
forests of pine and red cedar; the island-studded bay of San Francisco,
and, farther south, a shining glimpse of the Pacific; on the other,
the thronging pinnacles of the Sierras—granite needles, lava-topped
bastions—fire-rent, water-worn; right underneath, the rich valleys of
Santa Clara and San Joaquim, and, 175 miles away to the north (when the
sapphire of the sky is purest), the snowy cone of Mount Shasta.

Thus, there seems some reason to apprehend that Mount Hamilton, with
its monster telescope, may become one of the show places of the New
World. _Absit omen!_ Such a desecration would effectually mar one of
the fairest prospects opened in our time before astronomy. The true
votaries of Urania will then be driven to seek sanctuary in some less
accessible and less inviting spot. Indeed, the present needs of science
are by no means met by an elevation above the sea of four thousand and
odd feet, even under the most translucent sky in the world. Already
observing stations are recommended at four times that altitude, and
the ambition of the new species of climbing astronomers seems unlikely
to be satisfied until he can no longer find wherewith to fill his
lungs (for even an astronomer must breathe), or whereon to plant his
instruments.

This ambition is no casual caprice. It has grown out of the growing
exigencies of celestial observation.

From the time that Lord Rosse’s great reflector was pointed to the sky
in February, 1845, it began to be distinctly felt that instrumental
power had outrun its opportunities. To the sounding of further depths
of space it came to be understood that Atlantic mists and tremulous
light formed an obstacle far more serious than any mere optical or
mechanical difficulties. The late Mr. Lassell was the first to act on
this new idea. Towards the close of 1852 he transported his beautiful
24-inch Newtonian to Malta, and, in 1859-60, constructed, for service
there, one of four times its light capacity. Yet the chief results
of several years’ continuous observation under rarely favorable
conditions were, in his own words, “rather negative than positive.”[6]
He dispelled the “ghosts” of four Uranian moons which had, by glimpses,
haunted the usually unerring vision of the elder Herschel, and showed
that our acquaintance with the satellite families of Saturn, Uranus,
and Neptune must, for the present at any rate, be regarded as complete;
but the discoveries by which his name is chiefly remembered were made
in the murky air of Lancashire.

The celebrated expedition to the Peak of Teneriffe, carried out in
the summer of 1856 by the present Astronomer Royal for Scotland, was
an experiment made with the express object of ascertaining “how much
astronomical observation can be benefited by eliminating the lower
third or fourth part of the atmosphere.”[7] So striking were the
advantages of which it seemed to hold out the promise, that we count
with surprise the many years suffered to elapse before any adequate
attempt was made to realize them.[8] Professor Piazzi Smyth made his
principal station at Guajara, 8,903 feet above the sea, close to the
rim of the ancient crater from which the actual peak rises to a further
height of more than 3,000 feet. There he found that his equatorial
(five feet in focal length) showed stars fainter by _four magnitudes_
than at Edinburgh. On the Calton Hill the companion of Alpha Lyræ
(eleventh magnitude) could never, under any circumstances, be made out.
At Guajara it was an easy object twenty-five degrees from the zenith;
and stars of the fourteenth magnitude were discernible. Now, according
to the usual estimate, a step downwards from one magnitude to
another means a decrease of lustre in the proportion of two to five.
A star of the fourteenth order of brightness sends us accordingly
only 1/39th as much light as an average one of the tenth order. So
that, in Professor Smyth’s judgment, the grasp of his instrument was
virtually _multiplied thirty-nine times_ by getting rid of the lowest
quarter of the atmosphere.[9] In other words (since light falls off
in intensity as the square of the distance of its source increases),
the range of vision was more than sextupled, further depths of space
being penetrated to an extent probably to be measured by thousands of
billions of miles!

This vast augmentation of telescopic compass was due as much to the
increased tranquillity as to the increased transparency of the air.
The stars hardly seemed to twinkle at all. Their rays, instead of
being broken and scattered by continual changes of refractive power
in the atmospheric layers through which their path lay, travelled
with relatively little disturbance, and thus produced a far more
vivid and concentrated impression upon the eye. Their images in the
telescope, with a magnifying power of 150, showed no longer the
“amorphous figures” seen at Edinburgh, but such minute, sharply-defined
discs as gladden the eyes of an astronomer, and seem, in Professor
Smyth’s phrase, to “provoke” (as the “cocked-hat” appearance surely
baffles) “the application of a wire-micrometer” for the purposes of
measurement.[10]

The lustre of the milky way and zodiacal light at this elevated station
was indescribable, and Jupiter shone with extraordinary splendor.
Nevertheless, not even the most fugitive glimpse of any of his
satellites was to be had without optical aid.[11] This was possibly
attributable to the prevalent “dust-haze”, which must have caused
a diffusion of light in the neighborhood of the planet more than
sufficient to blot from sight such faint objects. The same cause
completely neutralized the darkening of the sky usually attendant
upon ascents into the more ethereal regions, and surrounded the sun
with an intense glare of reflected light. For reasons presently to be
explained, this circumstance alone would render the Peak of Teneriffe
wholly unfit to be the site of a modern observatory.

Within the last thirty years a remarkable change, long in
preparation,[12] has conspicuously affected the methods and aims of
astronomy; or, rather, beside the old astronomy—the astronomy of
Laplace, of Bessel, of Airy, Adams, and Leverrier—has grown up a
younger science, vigorous, inspiring, seductive, revolutionary,
walking with hurried or halting footsteps along paths far removed
from the staid courses of its predecessor. This new science concerns
itself with the _nature_ of the heavenly bodies; the elder regarded
exclusively their _movements_. The aim of the one is _description_,
of the other _prediction_. This younger science inquires what sun,
moon, stars, and nebulæ are made of, what stores of heat they possess,
what changes are in progress within their substance, what vicissitudes
they have undergone or are likely to undergo. The elder has attained
its object when the theory of celestial motions shows no discrepancy
with fact—when the calculus can be brought to agree perfectly with
the telescope—when the coursers of the heavens come strictly up to
time, and their observed places square to a hair’s-breadth with their
predicted places.

It is evident that very different modes of investigation must be
employed to further such different objects; in fact, the invention
of novel modes of investigation has had a prime share in bringing
about the change in question. Geometrical astronomy, or the astronomy
of position, seeks above all to measure with exactness, and is thus
more fundamentally interested in the accurate division and accurate
centering of circles than in the development of optical appliances.
Descriptive astronomy, on the other hand, seeks as the first condition
of its existence to _see_ clearly and fully. It has no “method of
least squares” for making the best of bad observations—no process for
eliminating errors by their multiplication in opposite directions;
it is wholly dependent for its data on the quantity and quality of
the rays focussed by its telescopes, sifted by its spectroscopes,
or printed in its photographic cameras. Therefore, the loss and
disturbance suffered by those rays in traversing our atmosphere
constitute an obstacle to progress far more serious now than when the
exact determination of places was the primary and all-important task
of an astronomical observer. This obstacle, which no ingenuity can
avail to remove, may be reduced to less formidable dimensions. It may
be diminished or partially evaded by anticipating the most detrimental
part of the atmospheric transit—by carrying our instruments upwards
into a finer air—by meeting the light upon the mountains.

The study of the sun’s composition, and of the nature of the stupendous
processes by which his ample outflow of light and heat is kept up and
diffused through surrounding space, has in our time separated, it
might be said, into a science apart. Its pursuit is, at any rate, far
too arduous to be conducted with less than a man’s whole energies;
while the questions which it has addressed itself to answer are
the fundamental problems of the new physical astronomy. There is,
however, but one opinion as to the expediency of carrying on solar
investigations at higher altitudes than have hitherto been more than
temporarily available.

The spectroscope and the camera are now the chief engines of solar
research. Mere telescopic observation, though always an indispensable
adjunct, may be considered to have sunk into a secondary position.
But the spectroscope and the camera, still more than the telescope,
lie at the mercy of atmospheric vapors and undulations. The late
Professor Henry Draper, of New York, an adept in the art of celestial
photography, stated in 1877 that two years, during which he had
photographed the moon at his observatory on the Hudson on every
moonlit night, yielded _only three_ when the air was still enough
to give good results, nor even then without some unsteadiness; and
Bond, of Cambridge (U. S.) informed him that he had watched in vain,
through no less than seventeen years for a faultless condition of our
troublesome environing medium.[13] Tranquillity is the first requisite
for a successful astronomical photograph. The hour generally chosen for
employing the sun as his own limner is, for this reason, in the early
morning, before the newly emerged beams have had time to set the air in
commotion, and so blur the marvellous details of his surface-structure.
By this means a better definition is secured but at the expense of
transparency. Both are, at the sea-level, hardly ever combined. A
certain amount of haziness is the price usually paid for exceptional
stillness, so that it not unfrequently happens that astronomers see
best in a fog, as on the night of November 15th, 1850, when the elder
Bond discovered the “dusky ring” of Saturn, although at the time no
star below the fourth magnitude could be made out with the naked eye.
Now on well-chosen mountain stations, a union of these unhappy divorced
conditions is at certain times to be met with, opportunities being
thus afforded with tolerable certainty and no great rarity, which an
astronomer on the plains might think himself fortunate in securing once
or twice in a lifetime.

For spectroscopic observations at the edge of the sun, on the contrary,
the _sine quâ non_ is translucency. During the great “Indian eclipse”
of August 18th, 1868, the variously colored lines were, by the aid
of prismatic analysis, first described, which reveal the chemical
constitution of the flamelike “prominences,” forming an ever-varying,
but rarely absent, feature of the solar surroundings. Immediately
afterwards, M. Janssen, at Guntoor, and Mr. Norman Lockyer, in England,
independently realised a method of bringing them into view without
the co-operation of the eclipsing moon. This was done by _fanning
out_ with a powerfully dispersive spectroscope the diffused radiance
near the sun, until it became sufficiently attenuated to permit the
delicate flame-lines to appear upon its rainbow-tinted background. This
mischievous radiance—which it is the chief merit of a solar eclipse
to abolish during some brief moments—is due to the action of the
atmosphere, and chiefly of the watery vapors contained in it. Were our
earth stripped of its “cloud of all-sustaining air,” and presented,
like its satellite, bare to space, the sky would appear perfectly black
up to the very rim of the sun’s disc—a state of things of all others
(vital necessities apart) the most desirable to spectroscopists. The
best approach to its attainment is made by mounting a few thousand feet
above the earth’s surface. In the drier and purer air of the mountains,
“glare” notably diminishes, and the tell-tale prominence-lines are thus
more easily disengaged from the effacing lustre in which they hang, as
it were suspended.

The Peak of Teneriffe, as we have seen, offers a marked exception to
this rule, the impalpable dust diffused through the air giving, even at
its summit, precisely the same kind of detailed reflection as aqueous
vapors at lower levels. It is accordingly destitute of one of the chief
qualifications for serving as a point of vantage to observers of the
new type.

The changes in the spectra of chromosphere and prominences (for they
are parts of a single appendage) present a subject of unsurpassed
interest to the student of solar physics. There, if anywhere, will be
found the key to the secret to the sun’s internal economy; in them, if
at all, the real condition of matter in the unimaginable abysses of
heat covered up by the relatively cool photosphere, whose radiations
could, nevertheless, vivify 2,300,000,000 globes like ours, will reveal
itself; revealing, at the same time, something more than we know of the
nature of the so-called “elementary” substances, hitherto tortured,
with little result, in terrestrial laboratories.

The chromosphere and prominences might be figuratively described as an
ocean and clouds of tranquil incandescence, agitated and intermingled
with waterspouts, tornadoes, and geysers of raging fire. Certain
kinds of light are at all times emitted by them, showing that certain
kinds of matter (as, for instance, hydrogen and “helium”[14]) form
invariable constituents of their substance. Of these unfailing lines
Professor Young counts eleven.[15] But a vastly greater number appear
only occasionally, and, it would seem, capriciously, under the stress
of eruptive action from the interior. And precisely this it is which
lends them such significance; for of what is going on there, they have
doubtless much to tell, were their message only legible by us. It has
not as yet proved so; but the characters in which it is written are
being earnestly scrutinised and compared, with a view to their eventual
decipherment. The prodigious advantages afforded by high altitudes
for this kind of work were illustrated by the brilliant results of
Professor Young’s observations in the Rocky Mountains during the summer
of 1872. By the diligent labor of several years he had, at that time,
constructed a list of one hundred and three distinct lines occasionally
visible in the spectrum of the chromosphere. In seventy-two days, at
Sherman (8,335 feet above the sea), it was extended to 273. Yet the
weather was exceptionally cloudy, and the spot (a station on the Union
Pacific Railway, in the Territory of Wyoming) not perhaps the best that
might have been chosen for an “astronomical reconnaissance.”[16]

A totally different kind of solar research is that in aid of which
the Mount Whitney expedition was organized in 1881. Professor S. P.
Langley, director of the Alleghany observatory in Pennsylvania, has
long been engaged in the detailed study of the radiations emitted
by the sun; inventing, for the purpose of its prosecution, the
“bolometer,”[17] an instrument twenty times as sensitive to changes
of temperature as the thermopile. But the solar spectrum as it is
exhibited at the surface of the earth, is a very different thing from
the solar spectrum as it would appear could it be formed of sunbeams,
so to speak, _fresh from space_, unmodified by atmospheric action.
For not only does our air deprive each ray of a considerable share of
its energy (the total loss may be taken at 20 to 25 per cent. when
the sky is clear and the sun in the zenith), but it deals unequally
with them, robbing some more than others, and thus materially altering
their relative importance. Now it was Professor Langley’s object to
reconstruct the original state of things, and he saw that this could
be done most effectually by means of simultaneous observations at the
summit and base of a high mountain. For the effect upon each separate
ray of transmission through a known proportion of the atmosphere
being (with the aid of the bolometer) once ascertained, a very simple
calculation would suffice to eliminate the remaining effects, and thus
virtually secure an extra-atmospheric post of observation.

The honor of rendering this important service to science was adjudged
to the highest summit in the United States. The Sierra Nevada
culminates in a granite pile, rising, somewhat in the form of a
gigantic helmet, fronting eastwards, to a height of 14,887 feet.
Mount Whitney is thus entitled to rank as the Mount Blanc of its own
continent. In order to reach it, a railway journey of 3,400 miles,
from Pittsburg to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to Caliente,
was a brief and easy preliminary. The real difficulty began with
a march of 120 miles across the arid and glaring Inyo desert, the
thermometer standing at 110° in the shade (if shade there were to be
found.) Towards the end of July 1881, the party reached the settlement
of Lone Pine at the foot of the Sierras, where a camp for low-level
observations was pitched (at a height, it is true, of close upon 4,000
feet), and the needful instruments were unpacked and adjusted. Close
overhead, as it appeared, but in reality sixteen miles distant, towered
the gaunt, and rifted, and seemingly inaccessible pinnacle which was
the ultimate goal of their long journey. The illusion of nearness
produced by the extraordinary transparency of the air was dispelled
when, on examination with a telescope, what had worn the aspect of
patches of moss, proved to be extensive forests.

The ascent of such a mountain with a train of mules bearing a delicate
and precious freight of scientific apparatus, was a perhaps unexampled
enterprise. It was, however, accomplished without the occurrence,
though at the frequent and imminent risk, of disaster, after a
toilsome climb of seven or eight days through an unexplored and, to
less resolute adventurers, impassable waste of rocks, gullies, and
precipices. Finally a site was chosen for the upper station on a swampy
ledge, 13,000 feet above the sea; and there, notwithstanding extreme
discomforts from bitter cold, fierce sunshine, high winds, and, worst
of all, “mountain sickness,” with its intolerable attendant debility,
observations were determinedly carried on, in combination with those at
Lone Pine, and others daily made on the highest crest of the mountain,
until September 11. They were well worth the cost. By their means a
real extension was given to knowledge, and a satisfactory definiteness
introduced into subjects previously involved in very wide uncertainty.

Contrary to the received opinion, it now appeared that the weight
of atmospheric absorption falls upon the upper or blue end of the
spectrum, and that the obstacles to the transmission of light waves
through the air diminish as their length increases, and their
refrangibility consequently diminishes. A yellow tinge is thus imparted
to the solar rays by the imperfectly transparent medium through which
we see them. And, since the sun possesses an atmosphere of its own,
exercising an unequal or “selective” absorption of the same character,
it follows that, if both these dusky-red veils were withdrawn, the true
color of the photosphere would show as a very distinct _blue_[18]—not
merely _bluish_, but a real azure just tinted with green, like the hue
of a mountain lake fed with a glacier stream. Moreover, the further
consequence ensues, that the sun is hotter than had been supposed. For
the higher the temperature of a glowing body, the more copiously it
emits rays from the violet end of the spectrum. The blueness of its
light is, in fact, a measure of the intensity of its incandescence.
Professor Langley has not yet ventured (that we are aware of) on an
estimate of what is called the “effective temperature” of the sun—the
temperature, that is, which it would be necessary to attribute to the
surface of the radiating power of lamp-black to enable it to send us
just the quantity of heat that the sun does actually send us. Indeed,
the present state of knowledge still leaves an important hiatus—only
to be filled by more or less probable guessing in the reasoning by
which inferences on this subject must be formed; while the startling
discrepancies between the figures adopted by different, and equally
respectable, authorities sufficiently show that none are entitled to
any confidence. The amount of heat received in a given interval of
time by the earth from the sun is, however, another matter, and one
falling well within the scope of observation. This Professor Langley’s
experiments (when completely worked out) will, by their unequalled
precision, enable him to determine with some approach to finality.
Pouillet valued the “solar constant” at 1·7 “calories”; in other works,
had calculated that, our atmosphere being supposed removed, vertical
sunbeams would have power to heat in each minute of time, by one
degree centigrade, 1·7 gramme of water for each square centimetre of
the earth’s surface. This estimate was raised by Crova to 2·3, and
by Violle in 1877 to 2·5;[19] Professor Langley’s new data bring it
up (approximately as yet) to three calories per square centimetre
per minute. This result alone would, by its supreme importance to
meteorology, amply repay the labors of the Mount Whitney expedition.

Still more unexpected is the answer supplied to the question: Were
the earth wholly denuded of its aëriform covering, what would be the
temperature of its surface? We are informed in reply that it would
be _at the outside_ 50 degrees of Fahrenheit below zero, or 82 of
frost. So that mercury would remain solid even when exposed to the
rays—undiminished by atmospheric absorption—of a tropical sun at
noon.[20] The paradoxical aspect of this conclusion—a perfectly
legitimate and reliable one—disappears when it is remembered that
under the imagined circumstances there would be absolutely nothing to
hinder radiation into the frigid depths of space, and that the solar
rays would, consequently, find abundant employment in maintaining a
difference of 189 degrees[21] between the temperature of the mercury and
that of its environment. What we may with perfect accuracy call the
_clothing function_ of our atmosphere is thus vividly brought home to
us; for it protects the teeming surface of our planet against the cold
of space exactly in the same way as, and much more effectually than,
a lady’s sealskin mantle keeps her warm in frosty weather. That is to
say, it impedes radiation. Or, again, to borrow another comparison, the
gaseous envelope we breathe in (and chiefly the watery part of it) may
be literally described as a “trap for sunbeams.” It permits their
entrance (exacting, it is true, a heavy toll), but almost totally bars
their exit. It is now easy to understand why it is that on the airless
moon no vapors rise to soften the hard shadow-outlines of craters or
ridges throughout the fierce blaze of the long lunar day. In immediate
contact with space (if we may be allowed the expression) water, should
such a substance exist on our enigmatical satellite, must remain
frozen, though exposed for endless æons of time to direct sunshine.

Amongst the most noteworthy results of Professor Langley’s observations
in the Sierra Nevada was the enormous extension given by them to the
solar spectrum in the invisible region below the red. The first to make
any detailed acquaintance with their obscure beams was Captain Abney,
whose success in obtaining a substance—the so-called “blue bromide”
of silver—sensitive to their chemical action, enabled him to derive
photographic impressions from rays possessing the relatively great
wave-length of 1,200 millionths of a millimetre. This, be it noted,
approaches very closely to the theoretical limit set by Cauchy to that
end of the spectrum. The information was accordingly received with no
small surprise that the bolometer showed entirely unmistakable heating
effects from vibrations of the wave-length 2,800. The “dark continent”
of the solar spectrum was thus demonstrated to cover an expanse nearly
eight times that of the bright or visible part.[22] And in this newly
discovered region lie three-fifths of the entire energy received from
the sun—three-fifths of the vital force imparted to our planet for
keeping its atmosphere and ocean in circulation, its streams rippling
and running, its forests growing, its grain ripening. Throughout
this wide range of vibrations the modifying power of our atmosphere
is little felt. It is, indeed, interrupted by great gaps produced by
absorption _somewhere_; but since they show no signs of diminution at
high altitudes, they are obviously due to an extra-terrestrial cause.
Here a tempting field of inquiry lies open to scientific explorers.

On one other point, earlier ideas have had to give way to better
grounded ones derived from this fruitful series of investigation.
Professor Langley has effected a redistribution of energy in the
solar spectrum. The maximum of heat was placed by former inquirers in
the obscure tract of the infra-red; he has promoted it to a position
in the orange approximately coincident with the point of greatest
luminous intensity. The triple curve, denoting by its three distinct
summits the supposed places in the spectrum of the several maxima
of heat, light, and “actinism,” must now finally disappear from our
text-books, and with it the last vestige of belief in a corresponding
threefold distinction of qualities in the solar radiations. From one
end to the other of the whole gamut of them, there is but one kind of
difference—that of wave-length, or frequency in vibration; and there
is but one curve by which the rays of the spectrum can properly be
represented—that of energy, or the power of doing work on material
particles. What the effect of that work may be, depends upon the
special properties of such material particles, not upon any recondite
faculty in the radiations.

These brilliant results of a month’s bivouac encourage the most
sanguine anticipation as to the harvest of new truths to be gathered by
a steady and well-organized pursuance of the same plan of operations.
It must, however, be remembered that the scheme completed on Mount
Whitney had been carefully designed, and in its preliminary parts
executed at Alleghany. The interrogatory was already prepared; it
only remained to register replies, and deduce conclusions. Nature
seldom volunteers information: usually it has to be extracted from her
by skilful cross-examination. The main secret of finding her a good
witness consists in having a clear idea beforehand what it is one wants
to find out. No opportunities of seeing will avail those who know not
what to look for. Thus, not the crowd of casual observers, but the few
who consistently and systematically _think_, will profit by the
effort now being made to rid the astronomer of a small fraction of his
terrestrial impediments. It is, nevertheless, admitted on all hands
that no step can at present be taken at all comparable in its abundant
promise of increased astronomical knowledge to that of providing
suitably elevated sites for the exquisite instruments constructed by
modern opticians.

Europe has not remained behind America in this significant movement.
An observatory on Mount Etna, at once astronomical, meteorological,
and seismological, was nominally completed in the summer of 1882,
and will doubtless before long begin to give proof of efficiency in
its threefold capacity. The situation is magnificent. Etna has long
been famous for the amplitude of the horizon commanded from it and
the serenity of its encompassing skies favors celestial no less than
terrestrial vision. Professor Langley, who made a stay of twenty days
upon the mountain in 1879-80, with the object of reducing to strict
measurement the advantages promised by it, came to the conclusion that
the “seeing” there is better than that in England (judging from data
given by Mr. Webb) in the proportion of three to two—that is to say,
a telescope of two inches aperture on Etna would show as much as one
of three in England. Yet the circumstances attending his visit were
of the least favorable kind. He was unable to find a suitable shelter
higher up than Casa del Bosco, an isolated hut within the forest belt
(as its name imports), at considerably less than half the elevation of
the new observatory; the imperfect mounting of his telescope rendered
observation all but impossible within a range of 30 degrees from the
zenith, thus excluding the most serene portion of the sky; moreover,
his arrival was delayed until December 25th, when the weather was
thoroughly broken, high winds were incessantly troublesome, and only
five nights out of seventeen proved astronomically available. It is,
accordingly, reassuring to learn that while, with the naked eye, at
ordinary levels, he could see but six Pleiades, with glimpses of a
seventh and eighth, on Etna he steadily distinguished nine even before
the moon had set;[23] and that the telescopic definition though not
uniformly good, was on December 31st such as he had never before
seen on the sun, “least of all with a blue sky;”[24] the “rice-grain”
structure came out beautifully under a power of 212; and for the
spectroscopic examination of prominences, the fainter orange light of
their helium constituent served almost equally well with the strong
radiance of the crimson ray of hydrogen (C)—a test of transparency
which those accustomed to such studies will appreciate.

The Etnean observatory is the most elevated building in Europe. It
stands at a height above the sea of 9,655 ft., or 1,483 ft. above the
monastery of the Great St. Bernard. Its walls enclose the well-known
“Casa Inglese,” where travellers were accustomed to spend the night
before undertaking the final ascent of the cone, and occupy a site
believed secure from the incursions of lava. Astronomical work is
designed to be carried on there from June to September. For the Merz
equatorial, 35 centimetres (13·8 inches) in aperture, which is _facile
primus_ of its instrumental equipment, a duplicate mounting has been
provided at Catania, whither it will be removed during the winter
months. The primary aim of the establishment is the study of the
sun. Its great desirability for this purpose formed the theme of the
representations from Signor Tacchini (then director of the observatory
of Palermo, now of that of the Collegio Romano), which determined
the Italian government upon trying the experiment. But we hear with
pleasure that stellar spectroscopy will also come in for a large share
of attention. The privilege of observation from the summit of Etna will
not be enjoyed exclusively by the local staff. The Municipality of
Catania who have borne their share in the expense of the undertaking,
generously propose to give it somewhat of an international character,
by providing accommodation for any foreign astronomers who may
desire to enjoy a respite from the hampering conditions of low-level
star-gazing. We cannot doubt that such exceptional facilities will be
turned to the best account.

Eight years have now passed since General de Nansonty, aided by the
engineer Vaussenat, established himself for the winter on the top of
the Pic du Midi. Zeal for the promotion of weather-knowledge was the
impelling motive of this adventure, which included, amongst other rude
incidents, a snow-siege of little less than six months. It resulted in
crowning one of the highest crests of the Pyrenees with a permanent
meteorological observatory opened for work in 1881. It is now designed
to render the station available for astronomical purposes as well.

The important tasks in progress at the Paris observatory have of
late been singularly impeded by bad weather. During the latter half
of 1882 scarcely four or five good nights per month were secured,
and in December these were reduced to two.[25] Moreover, M. Thollon,
who, according to his custom, arrived from Nice in June for the
summer’s work, returned thither in September without having found the
opportunity of making _one single_ spectroscopic observation. Yet
within easy and immediate reach was a post, already in scientific
occupation, where as General de Nansonty reported, ordinary print was
legible by the radiance of the milky way and zodiacal light alone,
and fifteen or sixteen Pleiades could be counted with the naked
eye. At length Admiral Mouchez, the energetic director of the Paris
observatory, convinced of the urgent need of an adjunct establishment
under less sulky skies, issued to MM. Thollon and Trépied a commission
of inquiry into telescopic possibilities on the Pic du Midi. Their stay
lasted from August 17th, to September 22d, 1883, and their experiences
were summarised in a note (preliminary to a detailed report) published
in the “Comptes Rendus” for October 16th, glowing with a certain
technical enthusiasm difficult to be conveyed to those who have never
strained their eyes to catch the vanishing gleam of a “chromospheric
line” through a “milky” sky, and dim and tremulous air. The definition,
they declared, was simply marvellous. Not even in Upper Egypt had they
seen anything like it. The sun stood out, clean-cut and vivid, on a
dark blue sky, and so slight were the traces of diffusion, that, for
observations at his edge the conditions approached those of a total
eclipse. These advantages are forcibly illustrated by the statement
that, instead of eight lines ordinarily visible in the entire spectrum
of the chromosphere, more than thirty revealed themselves in the orange
and green parts of it alone (Dto. F)! A fact still more remarkable is
that prominences were actually seen, and their forms distinguished,
though foreshortened and faint, on the very disc of the sun itself—and
this not merely by such glimmering views as had previously, at
especially favorable moments, tantalised the sight of Young and
Tacchini, but steadily and with certainty. We are further told that, on
the mornings of September 19th and 20th, Venus was discerned, without
aid from glasses, within two degrees of the sun.

These extraordinary facilities of vision disappeared, indeed, as, with
the advance of day, the slopes of the mountain became heated and set
the thin air quivering; but were reproduced at night in the tranquil
splendor of moon and stars.

The expediency of using such opportunities was obvious; and it has
accordingly been determined to erect a good equatorial in this tempting
situation, elevated 9,375 feet above the troubles of the nether air.
The expense incurred will be trifling; no special staff will be
needed; the post will simply constitute a dependency of the Paris
establishment, where astronomers thrown out of work by the malice of
the elements may find a refuge from enforced idleness, as well as,
possibly, unlooked-for openings to distinction.

We must now ask our readers to accompany us in one more brief flight
across the Atlantic. After a successful observation of the late transit
of Venus at Jamaica, Dr. Copeland, the chief astronomer of Lord
Crawford’s observatory at Dun Echt, took advantage of the railway which
now crosses the Western Andes at an elevation of 14,666 feet, to make a
high-level tour of exploration in the interests of science. Some of the
results communicated by him to the British Association at Southport
last year, and published, with more detail, in the astronomical journal
“Copernicus,” are extremely suggestive. At La Paz, in Bolivia, 12,050
feet above the sea, a naked-eye sketch of the immemorially familiar
star-groups in Taurus, _made in full moonlight_, showed seventeen
Hyades (two more than are given in Argelander’s “Uranometria Nova”)
and ten Pleiades. Now ordinary eyes under ordinary circumstances
see six, or at most seven, stars in the latter cluster. Hipparchus
censured Aratus—who took his facts on trust from Eudoxus—for stating
the lesser number, on the ground that, in serene weather, and in the
absence of the moon, a seventh was discernible.[26] On the other hand,
several of the ancients reckoned nine Pleiades, and we are assured that
Moestlin, the worthy preceptor of Kepler, was able to detect, under
the little propitious skies of Wurtemberg, no less than fourteen.[27]
An instance of keensightedness but slightly inferior is afforded by a
contemporary American observer: Mr. Henry Carvil Lewis, of Germantown,
Pennsylvania, frequently perceives twelve of this interesting sidereal
community.[28] The number of Pleiades counted is, then, without some
acquaintance with the observer’s ordinary range of sight, a quite
indeterminate criterion of atmospheric clearness; although we readily
admit that Dr. Copeland’s detection of ten in the very front of a full
moon gives an exalted idea of visual possibilities at La Paz.

During the season of _tempestades_—from the middle of December to
the end of March—the weather in the Andes is simply abominable. Mr.
Whymper describes everything as “bottled up in mist” after one brief
bright hour in the early morning, and complains, writing from Quito,
March 18th, 1880,[29] that his exertions had been left unrewarded by a
single view from any one of the giant peaks scaled by him. Dr. Copeland
adds a lamentable account—doubly lamentable to an astronomer in search
of improved definition—of thunderstorms, torrential rains merging
into snow or hail, overcast nocturnal skies, and “visible exhalations”
from the drenched pampas. At Puno, however, towards the end of March,
he succeeded in making some valuable observations, notwithstanding the
detention—as contraband of war, apparently—of a large part of his
apparatus. Puno is the terminal station on the Andes railway, and is
situated at an altitude of 12,540 feet.

Here he not only discovered, with a 6-inch achromatic, mounted as
need prescribed, several very close stellar pairs, of which Sir John
Herschel’s 18 inch speculum had given him no intelligence; but in
a few nights’ “sweeping” with a very small Vogel’s spectroscope,
he just doubled the known number of a restricted, but particularly
interesting, class of stars—if stars indeed they be. For while in
the telescope they exhibit the ordinary stellar appearance of lucid
points, they disclose, under the compulsion of prismatic analysis, the
characteristic marks of a gaseous constitution; that is to say, the
principal part of their light is concentrated in a few bright lines.
The only valid distinction at present recognisable by us between stars
and “nebulæ” is thus, if not wholly abolished, at least rendered of a
purely conventional character. We may agree to limit the term “nebulæ”
to bodies of a certain chemical constitution; but we cannot limit the
doings of Nature, or insist on the maintenance of an arbitrary line of
demarcation. From the keen rays of Vega to the undefined lustre of the
curdling wisps of cosmical fog clinging round the sword-hilt of Orion,
the distance is indeed enormous. But so it is from a horse to an oak
tree; yet when we descend to volvoxes and diatoms, it is impossible to
pronounce off-hand in which of the two great provinces of the kingdom
of life we are treading. It would now seem that the celestial spaces
have also their volvoxes and diatoms—“limiting instances,” as Bacon
termed such—bodies that share the characters, and hang on the borders
of two orders of creation.

In 1867, MM. Wolf and Rayet, of Paris, discovered that three yellow
stars in the Swan, of about the eighth magnitude possessed the notable
peculiarity of a bright-line spectrum. It was found by Raspighi and Le
Sueur to be shared by one of the second order of brightness in Argo
(γ Argûs), and Professor Pickering, of Harvard, reinforced
the species, in 1880-81, with two further specimens. Dr. Copeland’s
necessarily discursive operations on the shores of Lake Titicaca raised
the number of its members at once from six to eleven or twelve. Now the
smaller “planetary” nebulæ—so named by Sir William Herschel from the
planet-like discs presented by the first-known and most conspicuous
amongst them—are likewise only distinguished from minute stars by
their spectra. Their light, when analysed with a prism, instead of
running out into a parti-colored line, gathers itself into one or more
bright dots. The position on the prismatic scale of those dots, alone
serves to mark them off from the Wolf-Rayet family of stars. Hence the
obvious inference that both nebulæ and stars (of this type) are bodies
similar in character, but dissimilar in constitution—that they agree
in the general plan of their structure, but differ in the particular
quality of the substances glowing in the vast, incandescent atmospheres
which display their characteristic bright lines in our almost
infinitely remote spectroscopes. Indeed, the fundamental identity of
the two species are virtually demonstrated, by the “migrations” (to use
a Baconian phrase) of the “new star” of 1876, which, as its original
conflagration died out, passed through the stages, successively, of
a Wolf-Rayet or _nebular star_ (if we may be permitted to coin the
term), and of a planetary nebula. So that not all the stars in space
are suns—at least, not in the sense given to the word by our domestic
experience in the solar system.

The investigation of these objects possesses extraordinary interest.
As an index to the true nature of the relation undoubtedly subsisting
between the lucid orbs and the “shining fluid” which equally form part
of the sidereal system, their hybrid character renders them of peculiar
value. Their distribution—so far restricted to the Milky Way and its
borders—may perhaps afford a clue to the organisation of, and processes
of change in that stupendous collection of worlds. At present,
speculation would be premature; what we want are facts—facts regarding
the distances of these anomalous objects—whether or not they fall
within the range of the methods of measurement at present available;
facts regarding their apparent motions; facts regarding the specific
differences of the light emitted by them: its analogies with that
of other bodies; its possible variations in amount or kind. The
accumulation of any sufficient information on these points will demand
with every external aid, the patient labor of years; under average
conditions at the earth’s surface, it can scarcely be considered as
practically feasible. The facility of Dr. Copeland’s discoveries
sufficiently sets off the prerogatives, in this respect, of elevated
stations; it is not too much to say that this purpose—were it solely
in view—would fully justify the demand for their establishment.

Towards one other subject which we might easily be tempted to dwell
upon, we will barely glance. Most of our readers have heard something
of Dr. Huggins’s new method of photographing the corona. Its importance
consists in the prospect which it seems to offer for substituting
for scanty and hurried researches during the brief moments of total
eclipse, a leisurely and continuous study of that remarkable solar
appendage. The method may be described as a _differential_ one.
It depends for its success on the superior intensity of coronal
to ordinary sunlight in the extreme violet region. And since it
happens that chloride of silver is sensitive to those rays _only_ in
which the corona is strongest, the coronal form disengages itself
photographically, from the obliterating splendor which effectually
shrouds it visually, by the superior vigor of its impression upon a
chloride of silver film.

Now if this ingenious mode of procedure is to be rendered of any
practical avail, advantage must, above all, be taken of the finer air
of the mountains. This for two reasons. First, because the glare which,
as it were, smothers the delicate structure we want to obtain records
of, is there at a minimum; secondly, because the violet rays by which
it impresses itself upon the “photographic retina”[30] are there at a
maximum. These, as Professor Langley’s experiments show, suffer far
more from atmospheric ravages than their less refrangible companions
in the spectrum; the gain thus to them, relatively to the general
gain, grows with every yard of ascent; the proportion, in other words,
of short and quick vibrations in the light received becomes exalted
as we press upwards—a fact brought into especial prominence by Dr.
Copeland’s solar observations at Vincocaya, 14,360 feet above the
sea-level. Indeed, for all the operations of celestial photography, the
advantages of great altitudes can hardly be exaggerated; and celestial
photography is gradually assuming an importance which its first
tentative efforts, thirty-four years ago, gave little reason to expect.

Thus, in three leading departments of modern astronomy—solar physics,
stellar spectroscopy, and the wide field of photography—the aid of
mountain observatories may be pronounced indispensable; while in all
there is scarcely a doubt that it will prove eminently useful. There
are, indeed, difficulties and drawbacks to their maintenance. The
choice of a site, in the first place, is a matter requiring the most
careful deliberation. Not all elevated points are available for the
purpose. Some act persistently as vapor-condensers, and seldom doff
their sullen cap of clouds. From any mountain in the United Kingdom,
for instance, it would be folly to expect an astronomical benefit.
On Ben Nevis, the chief amongst them, a meteorological observatory
has recently been established with the best auguries of success; but
it would indeed be a sanguine star-gazer who should expect improved
telescopic opportunities from its misty summit.

Even in more favored climates, storms commonly prevail on the heights
during several months of the year, and vehement winds give more or less
annoyance at all seasons; the direct sunbeams sear the skin like a hot
iron; the chill air congeals the blood. Dr. Copeland records that at
Vincocaya, one afternoon in June, the black bulb thermometer exposed
to solar radiation stood at 199°.1 of Fahrenheit—actually 13° above
the boiling-point of water in that lofty spot—while the dry bulb was
coated with ice! Still more formidable than these external discomforts
is the effect on the human frame itself of transportation into a
considerably rarer medium than that for existence in which it was
constituted. The head aches; the pulse throbs; every inspiration is a
gasp for breath; exertion becomes intolerable. Mr. Whymper’s example
seems to show that these extreme symptoms disappear with the resolute
endurance of them, and that the system gradually becomes inured to its
altered circumstances. But the probationary course is a severe one;
and even though life flow back to its accustomed channels, labor must
always be painfully impeded by a diminution of the vital supply. And
the minor but very sensible inconveniences caused by the difficulty
of cooking with water that boils twenty or thirty degrees (according
to the height) below 212°, by the reluctance of fires to burn, and of
tobacco to keep alight, and we complete a sufficiently deterrent list
of the penalties attendant on literal compliance with the magnanimous
motto, _Altiora petimus_.

That they will, nevertheless, not prove deterrent we may safely
predict. Enthusiasm for science will assuredly overbear all
difficulties that are not impossibilities. Dr. Copeland, taking all
into account, ventures to recommend the occupation during the most
favorable season—say from October to December—of an “extra-elevated
station” 18,500 ft. above the sea, more than one promising site for
which might be found in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca. For a permanent
mountain observatory, however, he believes that 12,500 ft. would be the
outside limit of practical usefulness. It is probable, indeed, that
the Rocky Mountains will anticipate the Andes in lending the aid of
their broad shoulders to lift astronomers towards the stars. Already a
meteorological post has been established on Pike’s Peak in Colorado,
at an altitude of 14,151 ft. Telescopic vision there is said to be of
rare excellence; we shall be surprised if its benefits be not ere long
rendered available.

After all, the present strait of optical astronomy is but the
inevitable consequence of its astonishing progress. While instruments
remained feeble and imperfect, atmospheric troubles were comparatively
little felt; they became intolerable when all other obstacles to a vast
increase in the range of distinct vision were removed. The arrival of
that stage in the history of the telescope, when the advantages to be
derived from its further development should be completely neutralised
by the more and more sensibly felt disadvantages of our situation on an
air-encompassed globe, was only a question of time. The point was a
fixed one: it could be reached later only by a more sluggish advance.
Both the difficulty and its remedy were foreseen 167 years ago by the
greatest of astronomers and opticians.

       “If the theory of making telescopes,” Sir Isaac Newton
     wrote in 1717,[31] “could at length be fully brought into
     practice, yet there would be certain bounds beyond which
     telescopes could not perform. For the air through which we
     look upon the stars is in a perpetual tremor as may be seen
     by the tremulous motion of shadows cast from high towers,
     and by the twinkling of the fixed stars. The only remedy is
     a most serene and quiet air, such as may perhaps be found
     on the tops of the highest mountains above the grosser
     clouds.”
                                        —_Edinburgh Review_.



GOETHE

BY PROF. J. R. SEELEY.


                          III.

The highest rank in literature belongs to those who combine the
properly poetical with philosophical qualities, and crown both with a
certain robust sincerity and common sense. The sovereign poet must be
not merely a singer, but also a sage; to passion and music he must add
large ideas; he must extend in width as well as in height; but, besides
this, he must be no dreamer or fanatic, and must be rooted as firmly
in the hard earth as he spreads widely and mounts freely towards the
sky. Goethe, as we have described him, satisfies these conditions, and
as much can be said of no other man of the modern world but Dante and
Shakspeare.

Of this trio each is complete in all the three dimensions. Each feels
deeply, each knows and sees clearly, and each has a stout grasp of
reality. This completeness is what gives them their universal fame, and
makes them interesting in all times and places. Each, however, is less
complete in some directions than in others. Dante though no fanatic,
yet is less rational than so great a man should have been. Shakspeare
wants academic knowledge. Goethe, too, has his defects, but this is
rather the place for dwelling on his peculiar merits. In respect of
influence upon the world, he has for the present the advantage of being
the latest, and therefore the least obsolete and exhausted, of the
three. But he is also essentially much more of a teacher than his two
predecessors. Alone among them he has a system, a theory of life, which
he has thought and worked out for himself.

From Shakspeare, no doubt, the world may learn, and has learnt, much,
yet he professed so little to be a teacher, that he has often been
represented as almost without personality, as a mere undisturbed
mirror, in which all Nature reflects itself. Something like a century
passed before it was perceived that his works deserved to be in a
serious sense studied. Dante was to his countrymen a great example
and source of inspiration, but hardly, perhaps, a great teacher. On
the other hand, Goethe was first to his own nation, and has since
been to the whole world, what he describes his own Chiron, “the noble
pedagogue,”[32] a teacher and wise counsellor on all the most important
subjects. To students in almost every department of literature and art,
to unsettled spirits needing advice for the conduct of life, to the age
itself in a great transition, he offers his word of weighty counsel,
and is an acknowledged authority on a greater number of subjects
than any other man. It is the great point of distinction between him
and Shakspeare that he is so seriously didactic. Like Shakspeare
myriad-minded, he has nothing of that ironic indifference, that
irresponsibility, which has been often attributed to Shakspeare. He
is, indeed, strangely indifferent on many points, which other teachers
count important; but the lessons which he himself considers important,
he teaches over and over again with all the seriousness of one who
is a teacher by vocation. And, as I have said, when we look at his
teaching as a whole, we find that it has unity, that, taken together,
it makes a system, not, indeed in the academic sense, but in the sense
that a great principle or view of life is the root from which all the
special precepts proceed. This has, indeed, been questioned. Friedrich
Schlegel made it a complaint against Goethe, that he had “no centre;”
but a centre he has; only the variety of his subjects and styles is so
great, and he abandons himself to each in turn so completely, that in
his works, as in Nature itself, the unity is much less obvious than the
multiplicity. Now that we have formed some estimate of the magnitude
of his influence, and have also distinguished the stages by which
his genius was developed, and his influence in Germany and the world
diffused, it remains to examine his genius itself, the peculiar way of
thinking, and the fundamental ideas through which he influenced the
world.

Never, perhaps, was a more unfortunate formula invented than when, at
a moment of reaction against his ascendancy, it occurred to some one
to assert that Goethe had talent but not genius. No doubt the talent
is there; perhaps no work in literature exhibits a mastery of so many
literary styles as “Faust.” From the sublime lyric of the prologue,
which astonished Shelley, we pass through scenes in which the problems
of human character are dealt with, scenes in which the supernatural
is brought surprisingly near to real life, scenes of humble life
startlingly vivid, grotesque scenes of devilry, scenes of overwhelming
pathos; then, in the second part, we find an incomparable revival of
the Greek drama, and, at the close, a Dantesque vision of the Christian
heaven. Such versatility in a single work is unrivalled; and the
versatility of which Goethe’s writings, as a whole, gives evidence is
much greater still. But to represent him, on this account, as a sort
of mocking-bird, or ready imitator, is not merely unjust. Even if we
give this representation a flattering turn, and describe him as a being
almost superior to humanity, capable of entering fully into all that
men think and feel, but holding himself independent of it all, such
a being as is described (where, I suppose, Goethe is pointed at) in
the Palace of Art, again, I say, it is not merely unjust. Not merely
Goethe was not such a being, but we may express it more strongly and
say: such a being is precisely what Goethe was not. He had, no doubt,
a great power of entering into foreign literatures; he was, no doubt,
indifferent to many controversies which in England, when we began to
lead him, still raged hotly. But these were characteristic qualities,
not of Goethe personally, but of Germany in the age of Goethe. A sort
of cosmopolitan characterlessness marked the nation, so that Lessing
could say in Goethe’s youth that the character of the Germans was to
have no character. Goethe could not but share in the infirmity, but his
peculiarity was that from the beginning he felt it as an infirmity, and
struggled to overcome it. That unbounded intolerance, that readiness to
allow everything and appreciate every one, which was so marked in the
Germans of that time that it is clearly perceptible in their political
history, and contributed to their humiliation by Napoleon, is just
what is satirized in the delineation of Wilhelm Meister. Jarno says
to Wilhelm, “I am glad to see you out of temper; it would be better
still if you could be for once thoroughly angry.” This sentiment was
often in Goethe’s mouth; so far was he from priding himself upon serene
universal impartiality. Crabbe Robinson heard him say what an annoyance
he felt it to appreciate everything equally and to be able to hate
nothing. He flattered himself at that time that he had a real aversion.
“I hate,” he said, “everything Oriental” (“Eigentlich hasse ich alles
Orientalische”). He goes further in the “West-östlicher Divan,”
where, in enumerating the qualities a poet ought to have, he lays it
down as indispensable that he should hate many things (“Dann zuletzt
ist unerlässlich dass der Dichter _manches hasse_”). True, no doubt
that he found it difficult to hate. An infinite good nature was born
in him, and, besides this, he grew up in a society in which all
established opinions had been shaken, so that for a rational man it
was really difficult to determine what deserved hatred or love. What
is wholly untrue in that view of him, which was so fashionable forty
years ago—“I sit apart holding no form of creed, but contemplating
all”—is that this tolerance was the intentional result of cold pride
or self-sufficiency. He does not seem to me to have been either proud
or unsympathetic, and among the many things of which he might boast,
certainly he would not have included a want of definite opinions—he,
who was never tired of rebuking the Germans for their vagueness, and
who admired young Englishmen expressly because they seemed to know
their own minds, even when they had little mind to know. Distinctness,
character, is what he admires, what through life he struggles for,
what he and Schiller alike chide the Germans for wanting. But he
cannot attain it by a short cut. Narrowness is impossible to him,
not only because his mind is large, but because the German public
in their good-natured tolerance have made themselves familiar with
such vast variety of ideas. He cannot be a John Bull, however much he
may admire John Bull, because he does not live in an island. To have
distinct views he must make a resolute act of choice, since all ideas
have been laid before him, all are familiar to the society in which
he lives. This perplexity, this difficulty of choosing what was good
out of such a heap of opinions, he often expresses: “The people to be
sure are not accustomed to what is best, but then they are so terribly
well-read!”[33] But it is just the struggle he makes for distinctness
that is admirable in him. The breadth, the tolerance, he has in common
with his German contemporaries; what he has to himself is the resolute
determination to arrive at clearness.

Nevertheless, he may seem indifferent even to those whose minds are
less contracted than was the English mind half a century ago, for this
reason, that his aim, though not less serious than that of others, is
not quite the same. He seldom takes a side in the controversies of the
time. You do not find him weighing the claims of Protestantism and
Catholicism, nor following with eager interest the dispute between
orthodoxy and rationalism. Again when all intellectual Germany is
divided between the new philosophy of Kant and the old system, and
later, when varieties show themselves in the new philosophy, when
Fichte and Schelling succeed to the vogue of Kant, Goethe remains
undisturbed by all these changes of opinion. He is almost as little
affected by political controversy. The French Revolution irritates him,
but not so much because it is opposed to his convictions as because it
creates disturbance. Even the War of Liberation cannot rouse him. Was
he not then a quietest? Did he not hold himself aloof, whether in a
proud feeling of superiority or in mere Epicurean indifference, from
all the interests and passions of humanity? If this were the case, or
nearly the case, Goethe would have no claim to rank in the first class
of literature. He might pass for a prodigy of literary expertness and
versatility, but he would attract no lasting interest. Such quietism
in a man upon whom the eyes of a whole nation were bent, could never
be compared to the quietism of Shakspeare, who belonged to the
uninfluential classes, and to whom no one looked for guidance.

But in truth the quietism of Goethe was the effect not of indifference
or of selfishness, but of preoccupation. He had prescribed to himself
in early life a task, and he declined to be drawn aside from it by the
controversies of the time. It was a task worthy of the powers of the
greatest man; it appeared to him, when he devoted himself to it, more
useful and necessary than the special undertakings of theologian or
philosopher. At the outset he might fairly claim to be the only
earnest man in Germany, and might regard the partisans alike of Church
and University as triflers in comparison with himself. The French
Revolution changed the appearance of things. He could not deny that
the political questions opened by that convulsion were of the greatest
importance. But he was now forty years old, and the work of his life
had begun so early, had been planned with so much care and prosecuted
with so much method, that he was less able than many men might have
been to make a new beginning at forty. Hence he was merely disturbed by
the change which inspired so many others, and to the end of his life
continued to look back upon the twenty odd years between the Seven
Years’ War and the Revolution as a golden time, as in a peculiar sense
his own time.[34] The new events disturbed him in his habits without
actually forcing him to form new habits; he found himself able, though
with less comfort, to lead the same sort of life as before; and so he
passed into the Napoleonic period and arrived in time at the year of
liberation, 1813. Then, indeed, his quietism became shocking, and he
felt it so himself; but it was now really too late to abandon a road on
which he had travelled so long, and which he had honestly selected as
the best.

What, then, was this task to which Goethe had so early devoted
himself, and which seemed to him too important to be postponed even
to the exigencies of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods? It
was that task about which, since Goethe’s time, so much has been
said—self-culture. “From my boyhood,” says Wilhelm, speaking evidently
for Goethe himself, “it has been my wish and purpose to develop
completely all that is in me.” Elsewhere he says, “to make my own
existence harmonious.” Here is the refined form of selfishness of which
Goethe has been so often accused. And undoubtedly the phrase is one
which will bear a selfish interpretation, just as a Christian may be
selfish when he devotes himself to the salvation of his soul. But in
the one case, as in the other, it is before all things evident that
the task undertaken is very serious, and that the man who undertakes
it must be of a very serious disposition. When, as in Goethe’s case it
is self-planned and self-imposed, such an undertaking is comparable
to those great practical experiments in the conduct of life which
were made by the early Greek philosophers. Right or wrong, such an
experiment can only be imagined by an original man, and can only be
carried into effect by a man of very steadfast will. But we may add
that it is no more necessary to give a selfish interpretation to this
formula than to the other formulæ by which philosophers have tried
to describe the object of a moral life. A harmonious existence does
not necessarily mean an existence passed in selfish enjoyment. Nor is
the pursuit of it necessarily selfish, since the best way to procure
a harmonious existence for others is to find out by an experiment
practised on oneself in what a harmonious existence consists, and by
what methods it may be attained. For the present, at least, let us
content ourselves with remarking that Goethe, who knew his own mind
as well as most people, considered himself to carry disinterestedness
almost to an extreme. What especially struck him in Spinoza, he says,
was the boundless unselfishness that shone out of such sentences as
this, “He who loves God must not require that God should love him
again.” “For,” he continues, “to be unselfish in everything, especially
in love and friendship, was my highest pleasure, my maxim, my
discipline, so that that petulant sentence written latter, ‘If I love
you, what does that matter to you?’ came from my very heart.”

However this may be, when a man, so richly gifted otherwise, displays
the rarest of all manly qualities—viz., the power and persistent will
to make his life systematic, and place all his action under the control
of a principle freely and freshly conceived, he rises at once into the
highest class of men. It is the strenuous energy with which Goethe
enters into the battle of life, and fights there for a victory into
which others may enter, that makes him great, that makes him the
teacher of these later ages, and not some foppish pretension of
being above it all, of seeing through it and despising it. But just
because he conceived the problem in his own manner, and not precisely
as it is conceived by the recognized authorities on the conduct of
life, he could take little interest in the controversies which those
authorities held among themselves, and therefore passed for indifferent
to the problem itself. He did not admit that the question was to form
an opinion as to the conditions of the life after death, though he
himself hoped for such a future life, for he wanted rather rightly to
understand and to deal with the present life; nor did he want what is
called in the schools a philosophy, remarking probably that the most
approved professors of philosophy lived after all much in the same way
as other people. It seemed to him that he was more earnest than either
the theologians or the philosophers, just because he disregarded their
disputes and grappled directly with the question which they under
various pretexts evaded—how to make existence satisfactory.

He grasps it in the rough unceremonious manner of one who means
business, and also in the manner which Rousseau had made fashionable.
We have desires given us by God or Nature, convertible terms to him;
these desires are meant to receive satisfaction, for the world is not
a stupid place, and the Maker of the world is not stupid. This notion
that human life is not a stupid affair, and that the fault must be ours
if it seems so, that for everything wrong there must be a remedy,[35]
is a sort of fundamental axiom with him, as it is with most moral
reformers. Even when he has death before his mind he still protests.
“‘He is no more!’ Ridiculous! Why ‘no more?’ ‘It is all over.’ What
can be the meaning of that? Then it might as well never have existed.
Give me rather an eternal void.” And this way of thinking brings him at
once, or so he thinks, into direct conflict with the reigning system
of morality, which is founded not on the satisfaction, but on the
mortification of desire. He declares war against the doctrine of
self-denial or abstinence. “Abstain, abstain!—that is the eternal
song that rings in every ear. In the morning I awake in horror, and am
tempted to shed bitter tears at the sight of day, which in its course
will not gratify one wish, not one single wish.” So speaks Faust, and
Goethe ratifies it in his own person, when he complains that, “we are
not allowed to develop what we have in us, and are denied what is
necessary to supply our deficiencies; robbed of what we have won by
labor or has been allowed us by kindness, and find ourselves compelled,
before we can form a clear opinion about it to give up our personality,
at first in instalments, but at last completely; also that we are
expected to make a more delighted face over the cup the more bitter it
tastes, lest the unconcerned spectator should be affronted by any thing
like a grimace.” He adds that this system is grounded on the maxim
that “All is vanity,” a maxim which characteristically he pronounces
false and blasphemous. That “all is _not_ vanity” is indeed almost the
substance of Goethe’s philosophy. “His faith,” so he tells the Houri
who, at the gate of Paradise, requires him to prove his orthodoxy, “has
always been that the world, whichever way it rolls, is a thing to love,
a thing to be thankful for.”[36]

This doctrine again, is not in itself or necessarily a doctrine of
selfishness, though it may easily be represented so. It may be true
that all virtue requires self-denial; but for that very reason we may
easily conceive a system of senseless and aimless self-denial setting
itself up in the place of virtue. It is not every kind of self-denial
that Goethe has in view, but the particular kind by which he has found
himself hampered. His indignation is not moved when he sees absistence
practised in order to attain some great end; it is the abstinence which
leads to nothing and aims at nothing that provokes him. He has given
two striking dramatic pictures of it. There is Faust, who cannot
tolerate the emptiness of his secluded life; but does it appear that he
rebels against it simply because it brings no pleasure to himself, even
though it confers benefit upon others and upon the world? The burden
of his complaint is that his abstinence does no good to anybody, that
the studies for which he foregoes pleasure lead to no real knowledge;
and expressly to make this clear, Goethe introduces the story of the
plague, which Faust and his father had tried to cure by a drug, which
did infinitely more harm than the plague itself. The other picture is
that of Brother Martin in “Götz,” the young monk who envies Götz his
life so full of movement and emotion, while he is himself miserable
under the restraint of his vows. Here, again, the complaint is that no
good comes of such abstinence. The life of self-denial is conceived as
an utter stagnation, unhealthy even from a moral point of view. It is
contrasted with a life not of luxury, but of strenuous energy, at once
wholesome and useful to the world.

So far, then, Goethe’s position is identical with that which
Protestants take up against monasticism, when they maintain that
powers were given to be used, desires implanted in order that they
might be satisfied. He does not, any more than they, assert that
when some great end is in view it may not be nobler to mortify
the desire than to indulge it. But he applies the principle more
consistently, and to a greater number of cases than they had applied
it. Not against celibacy or useless self-torture only, but against
all omission to satisfy desire, against all sluggishness or apathy
in enjoyment—understood always that no special end is to be gained
by the self-denial—he protests. In his poem, called the “General
Confession” (“Generalbeichte”) he calls his followers to repent of the
sin of having often let slip an opportunity of enjoyment, and makes
them solemnly resolve not to be guilty of such sins in future. Here, at
least, the reader may say, selfishness is openly preached; and perhaps
this is the interpretation most commonly put upon the poem. Yet it is
certainly unjust to pervert in this way an intentional paradox, and, in
fact, in that very poem Goethe introduces the most elevated utterance
of his philosophy; for the vow which the penitents are required to
take is that they will “wean themselves from half-measures and live
resolutely in the Whole, in the _Good_, and the Beautiful!” Goethe, in
short, holds, as many other philosophers have done, that an elevated
morality may be based on the idea of pleasure not less than on the idea
of duty.

This principle, not new in itself, led to very new and important
results when it was taken up not by a mere reasoner but by a man of
the most various gifts and of the greatest energy. By “pleasure”
or “satisfaction of desire” is usually meant something obvious,
something passive, merely a supply of agreeable sensations to each of
the five senses. In Goethe’s mouth the word takes quite a different
meaning. He cannot conceive pleasure without energetic action, and
the most necessary of all pleasures to him is that of imaginative
creation. The desires, again, for which he claims satisfaction—what
are they? Chief among them is the desire to enter into the secret of
the universe, to recognize “what it is which holds the world together
within.” Such desires as these might be satisfied, such pleasures
enjoyed, without any very culpable self-indulgence. And existence
would be satisfactory, or, as he calls it, harmonious, if it offered
continually and habitually food for desire so understood, which is
almost the same thing as capacity. But there are hindrances. The chief
of these is the supposition of self denial. Of course every practical
man knows that self-denial of a certain kind must be constantly
practised in life. The small object must be foregone for the sake of
the greater, the immediate pleasure for the sake of the remote, nay,
the personal pleasure for the sake of the pleasure which is generous
and sympathetic. But the timid superstition which sets up self-denial,
divorced from all rational ends, as a thing good and right in itself,
which makes us afraid of enjoyment as such, this is the chief
hindrance, and against this Goethe launches his chief work “Faust.”
There is another hindrance, less obvious and needing to be dealt with
in another way, which Goethe therefore attacks usually in prose rather
than in poetry.

Man, as Goethe conceives him, is essentially active. The happiness he
seeks is not passive enjoyment, but an occupation, a pursuit adapted
to his inborn capacities. It follows that a principal condition of
happiness is a just self-knowledge. He will be happy, who knows what
he wants and what he can do. Here again Goethe gives importance
to a doctrine which in itself is obvious enough by the persistent
energy with which he applies it. He has been himself bewildered by
the multiplicity of his own tastes and aptitudes. He has wanted to
do everything in turn, and he has found himself capable to a certain
extent of doing everything. Hence the question—What is my true
vocation? has been to him exceptionally difficult. In studying it
he has become aware of the numberless illusions and misconceptions
which hide from most men the true nature of their own aptitudes, and
therefore the path of their happiness. He finds that the circumstances
of childhood, and especially our system of education, which “excites
wishes, instead of awakening tastes,” have the effect of creating a
multitude of unreal ambitions, deceptive impulses and semblances of
aptitudes. He finds that most men have been more or less misled by
these illusions, have more or less mistaken their true vocation, and
therefore missed their true happiness. On this subject he has collected
a vast mass of observations, and, in fact, added a new chapter to
practical morality. This is the subject of “Wilhelm Meister,” not
the most attractive nor the most perfect, but perhaps the most
characteristic, of Goethe’s works and, as it were, the text-book
of the Goethian philosophy. It is said not to be widely popular in
Germany. Most English readers lay it down bewildered, wondering what
Goethe’s admirers can see in it so extraordinary, and astonished at
the indifference to what we have agreed to call morality—that is, the
part of morality that concerns the relations of the sexes—which reigns
throughout it. I shall touch on this latter point later. Meanwhile, let
me remark, that few books have had a deeper influence upon modern
literature than this famous novel. It is the first important instance
of a novel which deals principally and on a large scale with opinions
or views of life. How Wilhelm mistook his vocation, and how this
mistake led to many others; how a secret society, the Society of the
Tower, taught a doctrine on the subject of vocations, and of the
method by which men are to be assisted in discovering their true
vocations; how Wilhelm is assisted and by what stages he arrives at
clearness—this is the subject of a long and elaborate narrative. It
is throughout most seriously instructive; it is seldom very amusing;
and we may add that the moral of the story is not brought out with very
convincing distinctness. But it has been the model upon which the novel
of the present day is formed. Written twenty years before the Waverley
Novels, which are in the opposite extreme, since they make no serious
attempt to teach anything and dwell upon everything which Goethe
disregards, adventure, surprise, costume, it began to produce its
effect among us when the influence of the Waverley Novel was exhausted.
The idea now prevalent, which gives to the novel a practical as well
as an artistic side, the idea which prompts us, when we wish to preach
any kind of social or moral reform, to write a novel about it, seems to
have made way chiefly through Goethe’s authority.

But the substance of “Wilhelm Meister” is even more important than the
form. It presents the whole subject of morality under a new light, and
as in this respect it is only the fullest of a number of utterances
to the same effect made by Goethe, it can never be fully appreciated
when it is considered by itself, but must be judged in the closest
connection with his other works and with his life. Every attempt to
treat such a subject as morality in an original manner has something
alarming about it. Such attempts ought to be laid only before minds
strong enough to consider them calmly, and yet of necessity they
come to the knowledge of “the weak brethren,” who are frightened
or unsettled by them. Moreover, such attempts are always likely to
be one-sided. As it is usually an intense perception of something
overlooked into the orthodox morality that prompts them, the innovator
is apt to be hurried into the opposite extreme, and to overlook in his
turn what the orthodox morality has taught rightly. Goethe laid himself
open to the charge of immorality. “Wilhelm Meister” was received
with horror by the religious world; it was, if I remember right,
publicly burnt by Count Stolberg. In England, Wordsworth spoke of it
with disgust, and it still remains the book which chiefly justifies
the profound distrust and aversion with which Goethe has been and is
regarded among those who are Christian either in the dogmatic or in the
larger sense. Not unnaturally it must be confessed.

But I do seriously submit that Christians should learn to be less timid
than they are. In their absorbing anxiety for “the weaker brethren”
they often seem to run the risk of becoming “weak brethren” themselves.
We ought not to come to the consideration of moral questions under the
influence of panic and nervous fright. It is true that few books seem
at first sight more directly opposed than “Wilhelm Meister” to that
practical Christianity which we love to think of as beyond controversy,
that spirit which, as it breathes from almost all Christian churches
and sects alike, strikes us as undoubtedly the essential part of
religion. At first sight the book seems secular, heathenish in an
extraordinary degree. Let us, then, if we will, warn young people
away from it; but let us ask ourselves at the same time how a man so
gifted, so serious and also so good natured—for there is no appearance
of rancor in the book, which even contains a picture, tenderly and
pleasingly drawn, of Christian pietism—could come to take a view so
different from that commonly accepted of questions about which we are
all so anxious. Such a course may lead us to see mistakes made by
modern Christianity, which may have led Goethe also into mistakes by
reaction; whereas the other course, of simply averting our eyes in
horror, can lead to no good.

We may distinguish between the positive and the negative part of this
moral scheme. All that “Wilhelm Meister” contains on the subject of
vocations seems valuable, and the prominence which he gives to the
subject is immensely important. In considering how human life should be
ordered, Goethe begins with the fact that each man has an occupation,
which fills most of his time. It seems to him, therefore, the principal
problem to secure that this occupation should be not only worthy, but
suited to the capacity of the individual and pursued in a serious
spirit. What can be more simple and obvious? And yet, if we reflect, we
shall see that moralists have not usually taken this simple view, and
that in the accepted morality this whole class of questions is little
considered. Duties to this person and to that, to men, to women, to
dependents, to the poor, to the State—these are considered; but the
greatest of all duties, that of choosing one’s occupation rightly, is
overlooked. And yet it is the greatest of duties, because on it depend
the usefulness and effectiveness of the man’s life considered as a
whole, and, at the same time, his own peace of mind, or, as Goethe
calls it, his inward harmony. Nevertheless, it is so much overlooked
that in ordinary views of life all moral interest is, as it were,
concentrated upon the hours of leisure. The occupation is treated as a
matter of course, a necessary routine about which little can be said.
True life is regarded as beginning when work is over. In work men may
no doubt be honest or dishonest, energetic or slothful, persevering or
desultory, successful or unsuccessful, but that is all; it is only in
leisure that they can be interesting, highly moral, amiable, poetical.
Such a view of life is, to say the least, unfortunate. It surrenders to
deadness and dulness more than half of our existence.

In primitive times, when the main business of life was war, this was
otherwise. Then men gave their hearts to the pursuit to which they
gave their time. What was most important was also most interesting,
and the poet when he sang of war sang of business too. Hence came the
inimitable fire and life of Homeric and Shakspearian poetry. But when
war gave place to industry, it seemed that this grand unity of human
life is gone. Business, the important half of life, became unpoetical,
from the higher point of view uninteresting—for how could the
imagination dwell on the labors of the office or the factory?—and all
higher interest was confined to that part of life in which energy is
relaxed. Goethe’s peculiar realism at once prompts and enables him to
introduce a reform here. He denies that business is uninteresting, and
maintains that the fault is in our own narrowness and in our slavery
to a poetical tradition. It is the distinction of “Wilhelm Meister”
that it is actually a novel about business, not merely a realistic
novel venturing to approach the edge of that slough of dulness which
is supposed to be at the centre of all our lives, but actually a novel
about business as such, an attempt to show that the occupation to which
a man gives his life is a matter not only for serious thought, but that
it is a matter also for philosophy and poetry. That such a novel must
at first sight appear tame and dull is obvious; it undertakes to create
the taste by which it can be enjoyed, and will be condemned at once by
all who are not disposed to give it a serious trial. But the question
it raises is the fundamental question of modern life. Comprehensive and
practical at once, Goethe’s mind has found out that root of bitterness
which is at the bottom of all the uneasy social agitations of the
nineteenth century. We live in the industrial ages, and he has asked
the question whether industry must of necessity be a form of slavery,
or whether it can be glorified and made into a source of moral health
and happiness.

It is commonly said that “Wilhelm Meister,” seems to make Art the one
object of life; but this is not Goethe’s intention. He was himself an
artist, and, as the work is in a great degree autobiographical, art
naturally comes into the foreground, and the book becomes especially
interesting to artists, but the real subject of it is vocations in
general. In the later books, indeed, art drops into the background, and
we have a view of feminine vocations. The “Beautiful Soul” represents
the pietistic view of life; then Therese appears in contrast,
representing the economic or utilitarian view; finally, Natalie hits
the golden mean, being practical like Therese but less utilitarian,
and, ideal like her aunt, the pietist, but less introspective. On the
whole, then, the lesson of the book is that we should give unity to
our lives by devoting them with hearty enthusiasm to some pursuit, and
that the pursuit is assigned to us by Nature through the capacities
she has given us. It is thus that Goethe substitutes for the idea of
pleasure that of the satisfaction of special inborn aptitudes different
in each individual. His system treats every man as a genius, for it
regards every man as having his own unique individuality, for which
it claims the same sort of tender consideration that is conceded to
genius. But in laying down such rules Goethe thinks first of himself.
He has spent long years in trying to make out his own vocation. He has
had an opportunity of living almost every kind of life in turn. It was
not till he returned from Italy that he felt himself to have arrived at
clearness. What was Goethe’s vocation? Or, since happiness consists in
faithful obedience to a natural vocation, what was Goethe’s happiness?
His happiness is a kind of religion, a perpetual rapt contemplation, a
beatific vision. The object of this contemplation is Nature, the laws
or order of the Universe to which we belong. Of such contemplation he
recognizes two kinds, one of which he calls Art and the other Science.
He was in the habit of thinking that in Art and Science taken together
he possessed an equivalent for what other men call their religion.
Thus, in 1817, on the occasion of the tercentenary of the Reformation,
he writes a poem in which he expresses his devout resolution of showing
his Protestantism, as ever, by Art and Science.[37] It was because
his view of Art was so realistic, that he was able thus to regard
Art as a sort of twin-sister of Science. But the principle involved
in this twofold contemplation of Nature is the very principle of
religion itself, and in one sense it is true that no man was ever more
deliberately and consciously religious than Goethe. No man asserted
more emphatically that the energy of action ought to be accompanied by
the energy of feeling. It is the consistent principle of his life that
the whole man ought to act together, and he pushes it so far that he
seems to forbid all division of labor in science. This is the position
taken up in “Faust” which perhaps is seldom rightly understood.
Science, according to “Faust,” must not be dry analysis pursued at a
desk in a close room; it must be direct wondering contemplation of
Nature. The secrets of the world must disclose themselves to a loving
gaze, not to dry thinking (_trocknes Sinnen_), man must converse with
Nature “as one spirit with another,” “look into her breast as into
the bosom of a friend.” How we should _not_ study is conveyed to us
by the picture of Wagner, who is treated with so much contempt. He is
simply the ordinary man of science, perhaps we may think the modest
practical investigator, of the class to which the advance of science
is mainly due. But Goethe has no mercy on him—why? Because his nature
is divided, because his feelings do not keep pace with his thoughts,
because his attention is concentrated upon single points. Such a man
is to Goethe “the dry creeper,” “the most pitiable of all the sons of
earth.”

Thus it is, then, that Art and Science taken together, the living,
loving, worshipping contemplation of Nature, out of which comes the
knowledge of Nature, are to Goethe religion. But is not such a religion
wholly different from religion as commonly understood, wholly different
from Christianity?

It was, indeed, very different from such Christianity as he found
professed around him. In his youth Goethe was acquainted with several
eminently religious persons, Fräulein von Klettenberg, the Frankfurt
friend of his family, Jung Stilling, and Lavater. He listened to
these not only with his unfailing good humor, but at times with more
conviction than “Dichtung und Wahrheit” would lead us to suppose. In
some of his early letters he himself adopts pietistic language. But
as his own peculiar ideas developed themselves, they separated him
more and more from the religious world of his time. At the time of his
Italian journey and for some years afterwards, we find him speaking
of Christianity not merely with indifference, but with a good deal of
bitterness. This hostility took rather a peculiar form. As the whole
disposition of his mind leads him towards religion, as he can no more
help being religious than he can help being a poet, he does not reject
religion but changes his religion. He becomes, or tries to become,
a heathen in the positive sense of the word; for the description of
Goethe as the Great Heathen is not a mere epithet thrown at him by
his adversaries. He provoked and almost claimed it in his sketch of
Winckelmann, where, after enthusiastic praise of the ancients and of
Winckelmann as an interpreter of the ancient world, he inserted a
chapter entitled, “Heidnisches,” which begins thus: “This picture of
the antique spirit, absorbed in this world and its good things, leads
us directly to the reflection that such excellences are only compatible
with a heathenish way of thinking. The self-confidence, the attention
to the present, the pure worship of the gods as ancestors, the
admiration of them, as it were, only as works of art, the submission
to an irresistible fate, the future hope also confined to this world,
since it rests on the preciousness of posthumous fame; all this belongs
so necessarily together, makes such an indivisible whole, creates a
condition of human life intended by Nature herself, that we become
conscious, alike at the height of enjoyment, and in the depth of
sacrifice and even of ruin, of an indestructible health.” Clearly when
he wrote this (about 1804) Goethe wished and intended to pass for a
heathen. And, indeed, the antique attracts him scarcely at all from the
historical side—he is no republican, no lover of liberty—but almost
exclusively because it offers a religion which is to him the religion
of health and joy.

Is it, then, true that Christianity is a system of morbid and
melancholy introspectiveness, sacrificing all the freshness and glory
of the present life to an awful future? He makes this assumption, and
had almost a right to make it, since the Christianity of his time had
almost exclusively this character. He was, however, himself half aware
that there was all the difference in the world between the Christianity
of his time and original Christianity or Christianity as it might be.
And even at the time of his greatest bitterness he drops expressions
which show that he does not altogether relinquish his interest in
Christianity, but keeps open for himself the alternative of appearing
as a reformer rather than an assailant of it. In the third period and
the old age his tone is a good deal more conciliating than in the
passage above quoted. In the Autobiography he appears, on the whole, as
a Christian, and even makes faint attempts here and there to write in
a style that Christians may find edifying. He tells us expressly that
he had little sympathy with the Encyclopædists, and, in a passage of
the “West-östlicher Divan,” he declares with real warmth that he “has
taken into his heart the glorious image of our sacred books, and, as
the Lord’s image was impressed on St. Veronica’s cloth, he refreshes
himself in the stillness of the breast in spite of all negation and
hindrance with the inspiring vision of faith.” Again, when in the
“Wanderjahre” he grapples constructively, but somewhat too late, with
the problems of the nineteenth century, we find him assuming a reformed
Christianity[38] as the religion of the future.

May we then regard Goethe as one who in reality only opposed the
corruptions of Christianity even when he seemed to oppose Christianity
itself? Certainly _other worldliness_ does not now appear, at
least in England, as a necessary part of Christianity. Surely that
contrast between the healthy spirit of antiquity and the morbidness
of Christianity, which was like a fixed idea in the mind of Goethe’s
generation, need not trouble us now. Those sweeping generalizations
belonged to the infancy of the historical sciences. Mediævalism does
not now seem identical with Christianity. The sombre aspect of our
religion is clearing away. Christian self-denial now appears not as
the aimless, fruitless mortification of desire which Goethe detested,
but as the heroic strenuousness which he practiced. The world which
Christians renounce now appears to be, not the universe nor the present
life, but only conventionalism and tyrannous fashion. With such a
religion, Goethe’s philosophy is sufficiently in harmony. According to
these definitions the spirit even of “Wilhelm Meister” is not secular.
Even his avowal of heathenism comes to wear a different aspect, when
we find him writing thus of the religion of the old Testament: “Among
all heathen religions, for to this class belongs that of Israel as much
as any, this one has great points of superiority,” &c. (he mentions
particularly its “excellent collection of sacred books”). So that,
after all, Goethe may only have been a heathen as the prophet Isaiah
was a heathen!

Thus hindrance after hindrance to our regarding Goethe as a great
prophet of the higher life and of the true religion disappears. There
remains one which is not so easily removed. What surprises the English
reader in “Wilhelm Meister” is not merely the prominence given to Art,
or the serious devotion to things present and to the present life, but
also the extraordinary levity with which it treats the relations of men
and women. The book might, in fact, be called thoroughly immoral, if
the use of that word which is common among us were justifiable. More
correctly speaking, it is immoral throughout on one point; immoral, in
Goethe’s peculiar, inimitable, good-natured manner. The levity is the
more startling in a book otherwise so remarkably grave. Every subject
but one is discussed with seriousness; in parts the solemnity of the
writer’s wisdom becomes quite oppressive; but on the relations of men
and women he speaks in a thoroughly worldly tone. Just where most
moralists grow serious, he becomes wholly libertine, indifferent, and
secular. There is nothing in this novel of the homely domestic morality
of the Teutonic races; a French tone pervades it, and this tone is more
or less perceptible in the other writings of Goethe, especially those
of the second period, with the exception of “Hermann und Dorothea.” On
this subject, the great and wise thinker descends to a lower level; he
seems incapable of regarding it with seriousness; or if he does treat
it seriously, as in the Elective Affinities, he startles us still more
by a certain crude audacity.

It seems possible to trace how Goethe fell into this extraordinary
moral heresy. Starting from the idea of the satisfaction of desire,
and with a strong prejudice against all systems of self-denial,
he perceived, further, that chastity is the favorite virtue of
mediævalism, that it is peculiarly Catholic and monastic. Then, as
his mind turned more and more to the antique, he found himself in
a world of primitive morals, where the woman is half a slave. He
found that in the ancient world friendship is more and love less
than in the modern—to this point, too, Winckelmann had called his
attention—and, since he had adopted it as a principle that the
ancients were healthy-minded and that the moderns are morbid, he
jumped to the conclusion that the sentimental view of love is but a
modern illusion. He accustomed his imagination to the lower kind of
love which we meet with in classical poetry, the love of Achilles for
Briseis, of Ajax for Tecmessa. In his early pamphlet against Wieland
(“Götter, Helden und Wieland,” 1773), we find him already upon this
train of reasoning, and his conclusions are announced with the most
unceremonious plainness. How seriously they were adopted may be seen
from the “Roman Elegies,” written fifteen years later. Among the many
reactions which the eighteenth century witnessed against the spirit of
Christianity, scarcely any is so startling and remarkable as that which
comes to light in these poems. Here the woman has sunk again to her
ancient level, and we find ourselves once more among the Hetaeræ of old
Greek cities. After reading these wonderful poems, if we go through the
list of Goethe’s female characters we shall note how many among them
belong to the class of Hetaeræ—Clärchen. Marianne, Philine, Gretchen,
the Bayadere. And if we turn to his life, we find the man, who shrank
more than once from a worthy marriage, taking a Tecmessa to his tent.
The woman who became at last his wife was spoken of by him in a letter
to the Frau von Stein, as “that poor creature.” She is the very beauty
celebrated in the “Roman Elegies.”

This strange moral theory could not but have strange consequences.
Love, as Goethe knows it, is very tender, and has a lyric note as fresh
as that of a song-bird; but it passes away like the songs of spring. In
his Autobiography, one love-passage succeeds another, each is
charmingly described, but each comes speedily to an end. How far in
each case he was to blame is matter of controversy. But he seems to
betray a way of thinking about women such as might be natural to an
Oriental Sultan. “I was in that agreeable phase,” he writes, “when a
new passion had begun to spring up in me before the old one had quite
disappeared.” About Friederika he blames himself without reserve,
and uses strong expressions of contrition; but he forgets the matter
strangely soon. In his distress of mind he says he found riding, and
especially skating, bring much relief. This reminds us of the famous
letter to the Frau von Stein about coffee. He is always ready in a
moment to shake off the deepest impressions and to receive new ones;
and he never looks back. A curious insensibility, which seems imitated
from the apparent insensibility of Nature herself, shows itself in his
works by the side of the deepest pathos. Faust never once mentions
Gretchen again, after that terrible prison scene; her remembrance does
not seem to trouble him; she seems entirely forgotten, until, just at
the end, among the penitents who surround the Mater Gloriosa, there
appears one who has borne the name of Gretchen. In like manner—this
shocked Schiller—when Mignon dies she seems instantly forgotten, and
the business of the novel scarcely pauses for a moment.

We are also to remember that Goethe was a man of the old _régime_. If
he who had such an instinctive comprehension of feminine character,
at the same time treats women in this Oriental fashion, we are to
remember that he lived in a country of despotic Courts, and also that
he was entirely outside the movement of reform. Had he entered into the
reforming movement of his age, he might have striven to elevate women,
as he might have heralded and welcomed some of the ideas of 1789, and
the nationality movements of 1808 and 1813. He certainly felt at times
that all was not right in the status of women (“Der Frauen Schicksal
ist beklagenswerth”), and how narrowly confined was their happiness
(“Wie enggebunden ist des Weibes Glück,”), as he certainly felt how
miserable was the political conditions of Germany. Nevertheless he did
not take the path either of social or of political reform. He worked in
another region, a deeper region. He was a reformer on the great scale
in literature, art, education, that is, in culture, but he was not a
reformer of institutions. And as he did not look forward to a change in
institutions, his views and his very morality rested on the assumption
of a state of society in many respects miserably bad.

But the effect of this aberration upon Goethe’s character as a teacher
and upon his influence has been most disastrous. And inevitably, for
as it has been the practice in the Christian world to lay all the
stress of morality upon that very virtue which Goethe almost entirely
repudiates, he appears not only to be no moralist but an enemy of
morality. And as he once brought a devil upon the stage, we identify
him with his own Mephistopheles, though, in fact, the tone of cold
irony is not by any means congenial to him. He has the reputation of
a being awfully wise, who has experienced all feelings good and bad,
but has survived them, and from whose writings there rises a cold
unwholesome exhalation, the odor of moral decay. It is thought that he
offers culture, art, manifold intellectual enjoyment, but at the price
of virtue, faith, patriotism.

If I have taken a just view, the good and bad characteristics of his
writings stand in a different relation. It is not morality itself that
he regards with indifference, but one important section of morality.
And he is an indifferentist here, partly because he is a man formed
in the last years of the old _régime_, partly because he is borne
too far on the tide of reaction against Catholic and monastic ideas.
Nevertheless, he remains a moralist; and in his positive teaching he is
one of the greatest moral teachers the world has ever seen. In his life
he displayed some of the greatest and most precious virtues, a nobly
conscientious use of great powers, a firm disregard of popularity, an
admirable capacity for the highest kind of friendship. His view of life
and literature is, in general, not ironical and not enervating, but
sincere, manly, and hopeful. And his view of morality and religion, if
we consider it calmly and not in that spirit of agonized timidity which
reigns in the religious world, will perhaps appear to be not now very
dangerous where it is wrong, and full of fresh instruction where it
is right. The drift of the nineteenth century, the progress of those
reforms in which Goethe took so little interest, have tended uniformly
to the elevation of woman, so that it seems now scarcely credible
that at the end of the last century great thinkers can seriously have
preferred to contemplate her in the half servile condition in which
classical poetry exhibits her. On this point at least the world is
not likely to become pagan again. On the other hand Carlyle himself
scarcely exaggerated the greatness of Goethe as a prophet of new
truth alike in morals and in religion. Just at the moment when the
supernaturalist theory, standing alone, seemed to have exhausted its
influence, and to be involving religion in its own decline, Goethe
stood forth as a rapt adorer of the God in Nature.[39] Naturalism in his
hands appeared to be no dull system of platitudes, no empty delusive
survival of an exploded belief, but a system as definite and important
as Science, as rich and glorious as Art. Morality in his hands appeared
no longer morbid, unnaturally solemn, unwholesomely pathetic, but
robust, cheerful, healthy, a twin-sister of happiness. In his hands
also morality and religion appeared inseparably united, different
aspects of that free energy, which in him was genius, and in every one
who is capable of it resembles genius. Lastly, his bearing towards
Christianity, when he had receded from the exaggerations of his second
period, was better, so long as it seemed hopeless to purge Christianity
of its _other-worldliness_, than that of the zealots on either side.
He entered into no clerical or anti-clerical controversies; but, while
he spoke his mind with great frankness, did not forget to distinguish
between clericalism and true Christianity, cherished no insane ambition
of destroying the Church or founding a new religion,[40] and counselled
us in founding our future society to make Christianity a principal
element in its religion, and not to neglect the “excellent collection
of sacred books” left us by the Hebrews.—_Contemporary Review_.



BYGONE CELEBRITIES AND LITERARY RECOLLECTIONS.

BY CHARLES MACKAY.


  I. DANIEL O’CONNELL—SERJEANT TALFOURD—ROBERT CARRUTHERS.

The three gentlemen whose names appear at the head of this chapter
of my reminiscences, breakfasted together at the table of Mr.
Rogers, along with our host and myself, in the summer of 1845. They
were all remarkable and agreeable men, and played a part more or
less distinguished in the social life of the time. Mr. O’Connell
called himself, and was called by his friends, the Liberator, but
was virtually the Dictator, or uncrowned king, of the Irish people.
Serjeant, afterwards Judge, Talfourd, was an eminent lawyer—a
very eloquent speaker, and a poet of some renown. Mr. Robert
Carruthers was the editor of the _Inverness Courier_, a paper of
much literary influence; a man of varied acquirements and extensive
reading, particularly familiar with the literature and history of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and more especially with
the writings of Pope, his contemporaries and predecessors. Whenever
Mr. Macaulay, while engaged on the “History of England,” which,
unfortunately, he did not live to complete, was in doubt about an
incident, personal or national, that occurred during the reigns of
James II., William and Mary, or Queen Anne, and was too busy to
investigate for himself, he had only to appeal for information to Mr.
Carruthers, and the information was at once supplied from the abundant
stores of that gentleman’s memory. I was well acquainted with all of
these notables, but had never before met the three together.

Mr. O’Connell had long passed his prime in 1845—being then in his 70th
year—but appeared to be in full bodily and mental vigor, and in the
height of his power, popularity, and influence. He had for years been
extravagantly praised by one half of the nation and as extravagantly
blamed and denounced by the other, and his support had been so
absolutely necessary to the existence of the Whig and Liberal
Ministry in England, that when this support seemed to be of doubtful
continuance, or any indications of his present lukewarmness or
future opposition were apparent, the baits of power, place, or high
professional promotion were constantly dangled before his eyes, to keep
him true to the cause to which he had never promised allegiance, but to
which he had always adhered with more or less of zeal and consistency.
For upwards of a quarter of a century his name figured more frequently
in the leading columns of all the most prominent journals of London and
the provinces than that of any statesman or public character of the
time. As he jocularly but truly said of himself, he was the best abused
man in the country; but though he did not choose to confess it, he was,
at the same time, the most belauded. He was a man of a fine personal
presence, of a burly and stalwart build, with quick glancing eyes full
of wit, humor and of what may be called “rollicking” fun; and of a
homely, persuasive, and telling eloquence, that no man of his day could
be truly said to have equalled. The speeches of his great contemporary
and countryman, Richard Lalor Shiel, were more elegant, scholarly, and
ambitious; but they were above the heads of the commonalty, and often
failed of their effect by being “caviare to the general,” and sometimes
tired or “bored” those who could understand and even appreciate them,
by their great length and too obvious straining after effect. No
exception of the kind could be taken to the speeches of Daniel—or, as
he was affectionately called, “Dan” O’Connell. They were all clear as
day, logical as a mathematical demonstration, and warm as midsummer.
If he had many of the faults he had all the virtues of his Celtic
countrymen, and even in his strongest denunciations of his political
opponents there was always a touch of humor that forced a laugh
or a smile from the persons he attacked. He once, in Parliament,
spoke of the great Duke of Wellington as “a stunted corporal with
two left legs,” and the Duke of Wellington, who was said to be
proud of his legs, remarking to Lucas, the artist who had painted
his portrait, pointing to his legs—without taking notice of the
facial likeness—“those are my legs,” had sense enough to laugh.
The description, however, was not quite original, inasmuch as Pope,
more than a hundred years previously, had applied the same epithet
to Lintot the bookseller. Daniel O’Connell could excite at will the
laughter or the indignation of the multitude, and was not in reality
an ill-tempered or an ill-conditioned man, though he often appeared
to be so when it suited his purpose. But though choleric he was never
malicious.

On this occasion the conversation was almost entirely literary.
O’Connell’s voice was peculiarly sweet and musical, and in the
recitation of poetry, of which he had a keen and critical appreciation,
it was impossible to excel, and difficult to equal him, in either comic
or pathetic passages. The manner in which he declaimed “The Minstrel
Boy to the War Has Gone,” “The Last Rose of Summer,” and other favorite
songs of Thomas Moore was perfect, and had almost as pleasant an effect
upon the hearer’s mind as if they had been sung by a well-trained
singer. He was, in short, a delightful companion, and fascinated every
society in which he felt himself sufficiently at ease to be induced
to give free play to his wit, his humor, his imagination, and his
wonderful power of mimicry.

Though seemingly at this time in the full high noon of his power and
popularity, his influence was in reality on the wane, and circumstances
over which he had no control, and which he had done nothing to produce,
were at work to divert from his person and his cause the attention and
the love of the Irish people. The first symptoms of the mysterious
disease in the potato, which was unfortunately the chief food of the
Irish millions, began to make themselves apparent, and to divert the
attention of the Irish from political to more urgent questions of life
and death. The too probable consequences of this great calamity tended
necessarily to diminish the rent or tribute collected from the needy as
well as the prosperous to recompense the “Liberator” for the sacrifices
he had made in relinquishing the practice of his profession to devote
his time, talent, and energies entirely to the parliamentary service
of the people. Added to this, a race of younger and more impulsive
men, fired by his example, had arisen to agitate the question of the
Repeal of the Union on which he had set his heart, and scorning, in
their impatience, the peaceful and legal methods which he employed, did
their best to goad the impulsive people into open rebellion. Foremost
among these were Mr. Smith O’Brien, whose futile treason came to an
inglorious collapse in a cabbage garden; and next, the members of the
party of Young Ireland, and the gifted poets of the “Nation,” among
whom were Mr. D’Arcy McGee, and Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, whose tuneful
violence was far more agreeable to the youthful agitators of the new
generation than the more prudent strategy of O’Connell. The potato
disease and the fearful famine that followed on its devastating track,
which sent at least a million of people to the United States and two
millions into untimely graves in Ireland, preyed upon the spirit of the
great agitator, impaired his health, and ultimately led to his death
of a broken heart, at Genoa, in 1847, in the 72nd year of his age. He
was, at the time, on a pilgrimage to Rome to crave the blessing of
the Pope, but was not destined to reach the, to him, “holy city,” the
capital of his faith. His heart, however, was embalmed and taken to
Rome, and his corpse conveyed to his native country for interment. I
little thought on that joyous morning of 1845, when we sat seriously
merry and intellectually sportive at the social board of Mr. Rogers in
St. James’s Place, that the end was so near, and that the light which
shone so brilliantly was so speedily to be extinguished, and the
sceptre of democratic authority to be so shattered that none could take
it up when it fell from the hands which had so long wielded it.

The second of the guests this morning was also an orator, not
celebrated for his power over crowds, but highly distinguished in
the Senate and the Forum. Serjeant Talfourd did not speak often in
Parliament or at public meetings, but when he did he was listened to
with pleasure and attention. The scenes of his triumphs were the law
courts, and especially the Court of Common Pleas, where he was the
leading practitioner. He was noted among the members of the Bar and
the attorneys for his power over the minds of jurymen, and his winning
ways of extorting a favorable verdict for the client who was fortunate
enough to have him for an advocate. He had room enough in his head
both for law and literature—the law for his profit and his worldly
advancement, and literature for the charm and consolation of his life.
He was well known too, and highly esteemed by the leading literary
men of his time, and took especial interest in the laws affecting
artistic, musical, and literary copyright. He was largely instrumental
in extending the previously allotted term of twenty-eight years to
forty-two years, and for seven years after the death of the artist,
composer, or author. This measure put considerable and well-deserved
profits into the pockets of the heirs of Sir Walter Scott, and was said
at the time to have been specially devised and enacted for that purpose
and for that only. This, however, was an error which Serjeant Talfourd
emphatically contradicted whenever it was hinted or asserted. It had,
incidentally, that effect, which no one was churlish and ungrateful
enough to grudge or lament, but was advocated in the interest of all
men of letters, and of literature itself in its widest extent, and if
it erred at all, only erred on the side of undue restriction to so
short a period as forty-two years. It ought to have been extended to
the third generation of the benefactors of their country, and probably
will be so extended at a future time, when the rights of authors will
be as strictly protected—and will be thought of at least as much
importance—as the right of landlords to their acres; of butchers,
bakers, and tailors to be paid for their commodities; or those of
doctors and lawyers to be paid for their time and talents.

Mr. Charles Dickens dedicated to Serjeant Talfourd the “Posthumous
Papers of the Pickwick Club”—the early work by which his great fame
was established—in grateful acknowledgment of the Serjeant’s services
to the cause of all men of genius, in the enactment of the new law
of copyright. “Many a fevered head,” he said, “and palsied hand will
gather new vigor in the hour of sickness and distress, from your
exalted exertions; many a widowed mother and orphaned child, who would
otherwise reap nothing from the fame of departed genius but its too
pregnant legacy of sorrow and suffering, will bear in their altered
condition higher testimony to the value of your labors than the most
lavish encomiums from lip or pen could ever afford.”

Serjeant Talfourd was raised to the Bench in 1848, being then in
his fifty-third year. This promotion had the natural consequence of
removing him from the House of Commons. He was a singularly amiable
man—of gentle, almost feminine character—of delicate health and
fragile form. He possessed little or none of the staid or stern gravity
popularly associated with the idea of a judge, and looked more like
the poet that he undoubtedly was, than the busy lawyer or magistrate.
He died suddenly in the year 1854, under circumstances peculiarly sad
and pathetic. After attending Divine Service on Sunday, the 11th March,
in the Assize town of Stafford, apparently in his usual health, he
took his seat on the bench on the following morning, and proceeded to
address the grand jury on the state of the calendar. It contained a
list of more than one hundred prisoners, an unusually large number of
whom were charged with atrocious offences, many of which were to be
directly traced to intemperance. He took occasion, in the course of his
remarks, to comment upon the growing estrangement in England between
the upper and lower classes of society, and the want of interest and
sympathy exhibited between the former and the latter, which he
regarded as of evil augury for the future peace and prosperity of the
country. While uttering these words he became flushed and excited—his
speech became thick and incoherent, and he suddenly fell forward with
his face on the desk at which he was sitting. He was removed at once
to his lodgings in the immediate vicinity of the court, but life was
found to be extinct on his arrival. Thus perished a singularly able and
estimable man, universally beloved by his contemporaries.

Mr. Carruthers, who resided in the little town of Inverness, sometimes
called by its inhabitants the “Capital of the Highlands,” was often
blamed by his intimate friends for hiding his great abilities in so
small a sphere, and not launching boldly forth upon the great sea of
London, which they considered a more suitable arena for the exercise
of his talents and the acquirement of fame and fortune by the pursuits
of literature. But he was not to be persuaded. He loved quiet; he
loved the grand and solemn scenery of his beautiful native country,
and perhaps if all the truth were told, he preferred to be a great
man in a provincial town, than a comparatively small one in a mighty
metropolis. In Inverness he shone as a star of the first magnitude. In
London, though his light might have been as great, it might have failed
to attract equal recognition. In addition to all these considerations,
the atmosphere of great cities did not agree with his health, and the
fine, free, fresh invigorating air of the sea and the mountains was
necessary to his physical well-being. This he enjoyed to the full
in Inverness. The editing of the weekly journal, which supplied him
with even greater pecuniary results than were necessary to supply the
moderate wants of himself and his household, left him abundant leisure
for other and congenial work. He soon made his mark in literature, and
became noted not only for the vigor and elegance of his style, but for
his remarkable accuracy of statement, even in the minutest details of
his literary and historical work. He edited, with copious and accurate
notes, an edition of Pope, and of Johnson and Boswell’s “Tour to the
Hebrides,” and greatly added to the value of those interesting books by
notes descriptive and anecdotical of all the places and persons
mentioned in them. He also contributed largely to the valuable
“Cyclopædia of English Literature” edited by Messrs. Chambers, of
Edinburgh; besides contributing essays and criticisms to many popular
serials and reviews, published in London and Edinburgh. He was one of
the most admirable story tellers of his time, or indeed of any time,
had a most retentive and abundantly furnished memory, and never missed
the point of a joke, or overlaid it with inappropriate or unnecessary
words or phrases. His fund of Scottish anecdotes—brimful of wit and
humor—was apparently inexhaustible, and his stories followed each
other with such rapidity as to suggest to the mind of the listener the
beautiful lines of Samuel Rogers:

    Couched in the hidden chambers of the brain
    Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain,
    Awake but one, and lo! what myriads rise,
    Each stamps its image as the other flies.

The good things for which Mr. Carruthers was famous were not derived
from books, but from actual intercourse with men, and if collected,
would have formed a finer and more diverting repertory of Scottish wit
and humor, than has ever been given to the world. He was often urged
to prepare them for publication, and as often promised to undertake
the work, but always postponed it until he had more leisure than he
possessed at the time of promising. But that day unfortunately never
came. If it had come, the now celebrated work of Dean Ramsay on the
same subject would have been eclipsed, or altogether superseded in the
literary market.

His local knowledge, and the fascination of his conversation were so
great, that every person of any note in the literary or political world
who visited Inverness, came armed with a letter of introduction to Mr.
Carruthers, or made themselves known to him during their stay in the
Highlands. The first time that I travelled so far North, through the
magnificent chain of freshwater lochs that are connected with each
other by the Caledonian Canal, a leading citizen of Inverness, who was
a fellow-passenger on the trip, seeing I was a stranger, took the pains
to point out to me all the objects of interest on the way, and to name
the mountains, the straths, the glens, and the waterfalls on either
side. On our arrival at Inverness, he directed my attention to several
mountains and eminences visible from the boat when nearing the pier.
“That,” said he, “is Ben Wyvis, the highest mountain in Ross-shire;
that is ‘Tom-na-hurich,’ or the hill of the fairies; that is Craig
Phadrig, once a vitrified fort of the original Celtic inhabitants; and
that,” pointing to a gentleman in the foremost rank of the spectators
on the landing-place, “is Mr. Carruthers, the editor of the _Courier_!”

Mr. Carruthers used to relate with much glee that he escorted the
great Sir Robert Peel to the battle-field of Culloden, and pointed out
to him the graves of the highland warriors who had been slain in that
fatal encounter. Seeing a shepherd watching his flocks feeding on the
scant herbage of the Moor, he stepped aside to inform the man of the
celebrity of his companion. The information fell upon inattentive ears.
“Did you never hear of Sir Robert Peel?” inquired Mr. Carruthers.
“Never _dud_!” (did), replied the shepherd. “Is it possible you never
heard of him. He was once Prime Minister of England.” “Well!” replied
the shepherd, “he seems to be a very respectable man!”

On another occasion, he escorted Mr. Serjeant Talfourd and his friend
Mr. John Forster, who was also the intimate friend of Mr. Charles
Dickens, over the same scene, and was fond of telling the story
that the same or some other shepherd shouted suddenly to another of
the same occupation at a short distance on the Moor, “_Ian! Ian!_”
Serjeant Talfourd, who was the author of the once celebrated tragedy
of “Ion,”—with a bland smile of triumph or satisfaction on his face,
turned to Mr. Forster, laid his hand upon his breast, and said,
“Forster, this _is_ fame.” He did not know that _Ian_ was the Gaelic
for John, and that the man was merely calling to his friend by his
Christian name.

Among the odd experiences of the little town in which he passed his
days, Mr. Carruthers related that a gentleman, who had made a large
fortune in India, retired to pass the evening of his life in his native
place. Finding the time hanging heavy on his hands, and being of an
active mind, he established a newspaper, sometime about the year 1840.
He grew tired of it after two or three years, and discontinued it in
a day without a word of notice or explanation. With equal suddenness
he resumed its publication in 1850, and addressed his readers, in his
first editorial, “Since the publication of our last paper, nothing of
importance has occurred in the political world.” Nothing had occurred
of more importance than the French Revolution of 1848—the dethronement
and flight of King Louis Philippe—and convulsions in almost every
country in Europe, Great Britain excepted.

Mr. Carruthers, who had received the degree of Doctor of Laws a few
years previously, died in 1878, full of years and honors, regretted and
esteemed by all the North of Scotland, and by a wide circle of friends
and admirers in every part of the world where English literature is
appreciated; and Scotsmen retain a fond affection for their native
country, and the men whose lives and genius reflect honor upon it.


  II. PATRIC PARK, SCULPTOR.

I am glad to be able in these pages to render tribute, however feeble,
to one of the great but unappreciated geniuses of his time; a man of
powerful intellect as well as powerful frame, a true artist of heroic
mould and thought, who dwarfed the poor pigmies of the day in which his
lot was cast by conceptions too grand to find a market: Patric Park,
sculptor, who concealed under a somewhat rude and rough exterior as
tender a heart as ever beat in a human bosom. Had he been an ancient
Greek, his name might have become immortal. Had he been a modern
Frenchman, the art in which he excelled would have brought him not only
bread, but fortune. But as he was only a portrayer of the heroic in
the very prosaic country in which his lot was cast, it was as much as
he could do to pay his way by the scanty rewards of an art which few
people appreciated, or even understood, and to waste upon the marble
busts of rich men, who had a fancy for that style of portraiture, the
talents, or rather the genius, which, had encouragement come, might
have produced epics in stone to have rivalled the masterpieces of
antiquity.

Patrick, or, as he usually signed himself, Patric, Park was born in
Glasgow in 1809, and I made his acquaintance in the _Morning Chronicle_
office in 1842, when he was in the prime of his early manhood. He sent
a letter to the editor to request the insertion of a modest paragraph
in reference to a work of his which had found a tardy purchaser in
Stirling, where it was destined to adorn the beautiful public cemetery
of the city. The paragraph was inserted not as he wrote it, but with
a kindly addition in praise of his work and of his genius. He came to
the office next day to know the writer’s name. And when the writer
avowed himself, a friendship sprung up between the two, which suffered
no abatement during the too short life of the grateful man of genius,
who, for the first time, had been publicly recognized by the humble
pen of one who could command, in artistic and literary matters, the
columns of a powerful journal. Park’s nature was broad and bold, and
scorned conventionalities and false pretence. George Outram, a lawyer
and editor of a Glasgow newspaper, author of several humorous songs
and lyrics upon the odds and ends of legal practice, among which
the “Annuity” survives in perennial youth in Edinburgh and Glasgow
society, and brother of the gallant Sir James Outram, of Indian fame,
used to say of Park, that he liked him because he was not smooth
and conventional. “There is not in the world,” he said to me on one
occasion, “another man with so many delightful corners in his character
as Park. We are all of us much too smooth and rounded off. Give me Park
and genuine nature, and all the more corners the better.”

Park had a very loud voice, and sang Scotch songs perhaps with more
vehemence than many people would admire, but with a hearty appreciation
that was pleasant to witness. It is related that a deputation of
Glasgow bailies came up to London, with Lord Provost Lumsden at their
head, in reference to the Loch Katrine Water Bill, for the supply of
Glasgow with pure water, which was then before Parliament, and that
they invited their distinguished townsman to dine with them at the
Victoria Hotel, Euston Square. After dinner Park was called upon
for a song, and as there was nobody in the dining-room but one old
gentleman, who, according to the waiter, was very deaf, Park consented
to sing, and sang in his very best style the triumphant Jacobite
ballad of “Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet,” till, as one of the
bailies said, “he made the rafters ring, and might have been heard at
St. Paul’s.” The deaf gentleman, as soon as the song was concluded,
is reported to have made his way to the table, and apologising for
addressing a company of strangers, to have turned to Park and said,
with extraordinary fervor and emotion, “May God Almighty bless you,
sir, and pour his choicest blessings upon your head! For thirty years I
have been stone deaf and have not heard the sound of the human voice.
But I heard your song, every word of it; God bless you!”

Upon one occasion, when we were travelling together in the Western
Highlands, the captain of one of the Hutcheson steamers was exceedingly
courteous and attentive to his passengers, and took great pains to
point out to those who were making this delightful journey for the
first time all the picturesque objects on the route. At one of the
landing-places the young Earl of Durham was taken on board, with his
servants, and from that moment the captain had neither eyes nor ears
for any other person in the vessel. He lavished the most obsequious
and fulsome attention upon his lordship, and when Park asked him a
question, cut him short with a snappish reply. Park was disgusted, and
expressed his opinion of the captain in a manner more forcible than
polite. As there was a break in the navigation in consequence of some
repairs that were being effected in one of the locks, the passengers
had to disembark and proceed by omnibus to another steamer that awaited
their arrival at Loch Lochy. Park mounted on the box by the side of the
driver, and was immediately addressed by the captain, “Come down out
of that, you sir! That seat’s reserved for his lordship!” Park’s anger
flashed forth like an electric spark, “And who are _you_, sir, that
you dare address a gentleman in that manner?”

“I am the captain of the boat, sir, and I order you to come down out of
that.”

“Captain, be hanged!” said Park, “the coachman might as well call
himself a captain as you. The only difference between you is, that
he is the driver of a land omnibus and that you are the driver of an
aquatic omnibus.” The young Earl laughed, and quietly took his place in
the interior of the vehicle, leaving Park in undisputed possession of
the box-seat.

His contempt for toadyism in all its shapes and manifestations was
extreme. There was an engineer of some repute in his day, with whom he
had often come into contact, and whom he especially disliked for his
slavish subservience to rank and title. The engineer meeting Park on
board of the boat, said, “Mr. Park, I wish you not to talk about me!
I am told that you said, I was not worth a damn! Is it true?” “Well,”
replied Park, “it may be; but if I said so I underrated you. I think
you are worth two damns, and I damn you twice!”

On another occasion, when attending a _soirée_ at Lady Byron’s, he
was so annoyed at finding no other refreshment than tea, which he did
not care for, and very weak port wine negus, which he detested as
an unmanly and unheroic drink, that he took his departure, resolved
to go in search of some stronger potation. The footman in the hall,
addressing him deferentially in search of a “tip,” said, “Shall I call
your carriage, my lord?” “I’m not a lord,” said Park, in a voice like
that of a stentor. “I beg pardon, sir, shall I call your carriage?”
“I have not got a carriage! Give me my walking stick! And now,” he
added, slipping a shilling into the man’s hand, “can you tell me of
any decent public-house in the neighborhood where I can get a glass of
brandy-and-water? The very smell of her ladyship’s negus is enough to
make one sick.”

Park resided for a year or two in Edinburgh, and procured several
commissions for the busts of legal and other notabilities, and,
what was in a higher degree in accordance with his tastes, for some
life-size statues of characters in the poems and novels of Sir Walter
Scott, to complete the Scott monument in Princes Street. He also
executed, without a commission, a gigantic model for a statue of Sir
William Wallace, for whose name and fame he had the most enthusiastic
veneration, with the idea that the patriotic feelings of the Scottish
nation would be so far excited by his work as to justify an appeal to
the public to set it up in bronze or marble (he preferred bronze,) on
the Calton Hill, amid other monuments to the memory of illustrious
Scotsmen. But the deeds of Wallace were too far back in the haze of
bygone ages to excite much contemporary interest. The model was a
noble work, eighteen feet high, and wholly nude. Some of his friends
suggested to him that a little drapery would be more in accordance with
Scottish ideas, than a figure so nude that it dispensed even with the
customary fig-leaf. Park revolted at the notion of the fig-leaf, “a
cowardly, indecent subterfuge,” he said. “To the pure all things are
pure, as St. Paul says. There is nothing impure in nature, but only in
the mind of man. Rather than put on the fig-leaf I would dash the model
to pieces.” “But the drapery?” said a friend, the late Alexander Russel
of the _Scotsman_. “What I have done I have done, and I will not spoil
my design. Wallace was once a man, and if he had lived in the last
century and I had to model his statue, I would have draped it or put it
in armor as if he had been the Duke of Marlborough or Prince Eugene.
But the memory of Wallace is scarcely the memory of a man but of a
demigod. Wallace is a myth; and as a myth he does not require clothes.”
“Very true,” said Russel, “but you are anxious to procure the public
support and the public guineas, and you’ll never get them for a naked
giant.” “Then I’ll smash the model,” said the indignant and dispirited
artist. And he did so, and a beautiful work was lost to the world for
ever.

At the time of our first acquaintance Park was somewhat smitten by the
charms of a beautiful young woman in Greenock, the daughter of one of
his oldest and best friends. The lady had no knowledge of art, and
scarcely knew what was meant by the word sculptor. She asked him one
day whether he cut marble chimney-pieces? This was too much. He was
_désillusionné_ and humiliated, and the amatory flame flickered out, no
more to be relighted.

Park and I and three or four friends were once together on the top of
Ben Lomond, on a fine clear day in August. The weather was lovely,
but oppressively hot, and the fatigue of climbing was great, but not
excessive. At the summit, so pure was the atmosphere that looking
eastward we could distinctly see Arthur’s Seat, overlooking Edinburgh,
and the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth, twenty miles beyond. Looking
westward, we could distinctly see Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde.
Thus the eye surveyed the whole diameter of Scotland. By a strange
effect of atmosphere the peak of Goatfell in Arran, separated optically
from the mountain by a belt of thick white cloud, seemed to be
preternaturally raised to a height of at least 20,000 feet above the
sea. I pointed it out to Park. “Nonsense!” he said. “Why Goatfell would
be higher than the Himalayas if your notion were correct.” “But I know
the shape of the peak,” I replied; “I have been on the top of Goatfell
at least half-a-dozen times, and would swear to it, as to the nose on
your face.” And as we were speaking the white cloud was dissipated, and
the Himalayan peak seemed to descend slowly and take its place on the
body of Goatfell, from which it had appeared to have been dissevered.
“Well,” he said, “things are not what they seem, and I maintain that it
was as high as the Himalayas or Chimborazo while the appearance lasted.”

The mountain at this time shone in pale rose-like glow, and Park,
inspired by the grandeur of the scene, preached us a very eloquent
little sermon, addressing himself to the sun, on the inherent dignity
and beauty of sun-worship as practised by the modern Parsees and
the ancient Druids. He concluded by a lament that his own art was
powerless to represent or personify the grand forces of nature as the
Greeks had attempted to do. “The Apollo Belvidere,” he said, “is the
representative of a beautiful young man. But it is not Apollo. Art
can represent Venus—the perfection of female beauty, and Mars—the
perfection of manly vigor; but Apollo; no! Yet I think I would have
tried Apollo myself if I had lived in Athens two thousand years ago.”

“‘A living dog is better than a dead lion.’”

“True,” said Park, “I am a living dog, Phidias is a dead lion. I have
to model the unintellectual faces of rich cheesemongers, or grocers, or
iron masters, and put dignity into them, if I can, which is difficult.
And when I add the dignity, they complain of the bad likeness, so that
I often think I’d rather be a cheesemonger than a sculptor.”

I called at Park’s studio one morning, and was informed that he every
minute expected a visit from the great General Sir Charles James
Napier—for whose character and achievements he had the highest
admiration. He considered him by far the greatest soldier of modern
times—and had prevailed upon the general to sit to him for his bust.
Park asked me to stay and be introduced to him, and nothing loth, I
readily consented. I had not long to wait. The general had a nose like
the beak of an eagle—larger and more conspicuous on his leonine and
intellectual face than that of the Duke of Wellington, whose nose was
familiar in the purlieus of the Horse Guards. It procured for him the
title of “conkey” from the street urchins, and I recognised him at
a glance as soon as he entered. On his taking the seat for Park to
model his face in clay, the sculptor asked him not to think of too
many things at a time, but to keep his mind fixed on one subject. The
general did his best to comply with the request, with the result that
his face soon assumed a fixed and sleepy expression, without a trace of
intellectual animation. Park suddenly startled him by inquiring, “Is it
true, general, that you gave way—retreated in fact—at the battle of
——?” (naming the place, which I have forgotten). The general’s eyes
flashed sudden fire, and he was about to reply indignantly when Park
quietly remarked, plying his modelling tool on the face at the time,
“That’ll do, general, the expression is admirable!” The general saw
through the manœuvre, and laughed heartily.

The general’s statue in Trafalgar Square is an admirable likeness. Park
was much disappointed at not receiving the commission to execute it.

Park modelled a bust of myself, for which he would not accept payment.
He found it a very difficult task to perform. I had to sit to him at
least fifty times before he could please himself with his work. On one
occasion he lost all patience, and swearing lustily, _more suo_, dashed
the clay into a shapeless mass with his fist. “D—n you,” he said, “why
don’t you keep to one face? You seem to have fifty faces in a minute,
and all different! I never but once had another face that gave me half
the trouble.”

“And whose was the other?” I inquired.

“Sir Charles Barry’s” (architect of the Houses of Parliament at
Westminster). “He drove me to despair with his sudden changes of
expression. He was a very Proteus as far as his face was concerned,
and you’re another. Why don’t you keep thinking of one thing while I
am modelling, or why can’t you retain one expression for at least five
minutes?”

It was not till fully three months after this outburst that he took
courage to begin again, growling and grumbling at his work, but
determining, he said, not to be beaten either by Sir Charles or myself.
“Poets and architects, and painters and musicians, and novelists,” he
said, “are all difficult subjects for the sculptor. Give me the face
of a soldier,” he added, “such a face as that of the Emperor Napoleon.
There is no mistake about _that_; or, better still, that of Sir Charles
James Napier! If there is not very much immortal soul, so called, in
the faces of such men, there is a very great deal of body.”

Park was commissioned by the late Duke of Hamilton to model a bust
of Napoleon III., and produced, perhaps the very finest of all the
fine portrait-busts which ever proceeded from his chisel. The Emperor
impressed Park in the most favorable manner, and he always spoke of him
in terms of enthusiastic admiration, as well for the innate heroism as
for the tenderness of his character. “All true heroes,” he said, “are
tender-hearted; and the man who can fight most bravely has always the
readiest drop of moisture in his eye when a noble deed is mentioned or
a chord of human sympathy is touched.” The bust of Napoleon was lost
in the wreck of the vessel that conveyed it from Dover to Calais, but
the Duke of Hamilton commissioned the sculptor to execute a second copy
from the clay model, which duly reached its destination.

Patric Park died before he was fifty, and when, to all appearance,
there were many happy and prosperous years before him, when having
surmounted his early difficulties, he might have looked forward to
the design and completion of the many noble works to which he pined
to devote his mature energies, after emancipation from the slavery
of what he called “busting” the effigies of “cheesemongers.” He had
been for some months in Manchester, plying his vocation among the
rich notabilities of that prosperous city, when one day, emerging
from a carriage at the railway station, he observed a porter with a
huge basket of ice upon his head, staggering under the load and ready
to fall. Park rushed forward to the man’s assistance, prevented him
from falling, steadied the load upon his head by a great muscular
exertion, and suddenly found his mouth full of blood. He had broken
a blood-vessel; and stretching forth his hand, took a lump of ice
from the basket, and held it in his mouth to stop the bleeding. He
proceeded to the nearest chemist’s shop for advice and relief, and was
forthwith conveyed to his hotel delirious. A neighboring doctor was
called in, Park beseeching him for brandy. The brandy was refused.
A telegram was sent to his own physician in London. He came down by
the next train, and expressed a strong opinion on seeing the body and
learning all the facts, that the brandy ought to have been given. But
he arrived too late. The noble, the generous, the gifted Park was no
more, and an attached young wife and hundreds of friends, amongst whom
the writer of these words was one of the most attached, were “left
lamenting.”—_Gentleman’s Magazine._

         (_To be concluded._)



A FEMALE NIHILIST

BY STEPNIAK.


                         I.

On the 27th of July, in the year 1878, the little town of Talutorovsk,
in Western Siberia, was profoundly excited by a painful event. A
political prisoner, named Olga Liubatovitch, it was said had miserably
put an end to her days. She was universally loved and esteemed, and
her violent death therefore produced a most mournful impression
throughout the town, and the _Ispravnik_ or chief of the police, was
secretly accused of having driven the poor young girl, by his unjust
persecutions, to take away her life.

Olga was sent to Talutorovsk, some months after the trial known as
that of the “fifty” of Moscow, in which she was condemned to nine
years’ hard labor for Socialist propagandism, a punishment afterwards
commuted into banishment for life. Unprovided with any means whatever
of existence, for her father, a poor engineer with a large family,
could send her nothing, Olga succeeded, by indefatigable industry, in
establishing herself in a certain position. Although but little skilled
in female labor, she endeavored to live by her needle, and became
the milliner of the semi-civilized ladies of the town, who went into
raptures over her work. These fair dames were firmly convinced—it is
impossible to know why—that the elegance of a dress depends above all
things upon the number of its pockets. The more pockets there were,
the more fashionable the dress. Olga never displayed the slightest
disinclination to satisfy this singular taste. She put pockets upon
pockets, upon the body, upon the skirts, upon the underskirts; before,
behind, everywhere. The married ladies and the young girls were as
proud as peacocks, and were convinced that they were dressed like the
most fashionable Parisian, and, though they were less profuse with
their money than with their praises, yet in that country, where living
costs so little, it was easy to make two ends meet. Later on, Olga
had an occupation more congenial to her habits. Before entering the
manufactories and workshops as a sempstress in order to carry on the
Socialist propaganda, she had studied medicine for some years at
Zurich, and she could not now do less than lend her assistance in
certain cases of illness. This soon gave her a reputation, and at the
request of the citizens, the police accorded to her the permission to
fill the post of apothecary and phlebotomist, as the former occupant
of that post, owing to habitual drunkenness, was fit for nothing. Not
unfrequently she even took the place of the district doctor, a worthy
man who, owing to old age and a partiality for brandy, was in such a
state that he could not venture upon delicate operations, because his
hands shook. She acted for him also in many serious cases baffling his
antediluvian knowledge. Some of her cures were considered miraculous;
among others, that of the district judge, whom, by determined
treatment, she had saved after a violent attack of _delirium tremens_,
a malady common to almost all men in that wild country.

In a word, Olga was in great favor with the peaceful citizens of
Talutorovsk. The hatred of the police towards her was all the greater
for that reason. Her proud and independent disposition would not
permit her to submit to the stupid and humiliating exigencies of the
representatives of the Government. Those representatives, barbarous and
overbearing as they were, considered every attempt to defend personal
dignity a want of respect toward themselves—nay, a provocation, and
neglected no occasion of taking their revenge. There was always a
latent war between Olga and her guardians, a war of the weak, bound
hand and foot, against the strong, armed at all points; for the police
have almost arbitrary power over the political prisoners who are under
their surveillance. In this very unequal struggle, however, Olga did
not always come off the worst, as often happens in the case of those
who, proud, daring, and fearing nothing, are always ready to risk
everything for the merest trifle. One of these conflicts, which
lasted four days and kept the whole of the little town in a state of
excitement by its dramatic incidents, was so singular that it deserves
to be related.

Olga had sent from her parents a parcel of books, which, in her
position, was a gift indeed. She went to the _Ispravnik_ to get them,
but met with an unforeseen obstacle. Among the books sent to her was a
translation of the “Sociology” of Herbert Spencer, and the _Ispravnik_
mistook it for a work on _Socialism_, and would not on any account give
it up to her. In vain Olga pointed out to him that the incriminated
book had been published at St. Petersburg with the license of the
Censorship; that sociology and socialism were very different things,
etc. The _Ispravnik_ was stubborn. The discussion grew warm. Olga
could not restrain some sharp remarks upon the gross ignorance of her
opponent, and ended by telling him that his precautions were utterly
useless, as she had at home a dozen books like that of Herbert Spencer.

“Oh! you have books like this at home, have you?” exclaimed the
_Ispravnik_. “Very well; we’ll come and search the house this very day.”

“No,” exclaimed Olga, in a fury; “you will do nothing of the kind; you
have no right, and if you dare to come I will defend myself.”

With these words she left the place, thoroughly enraged.

War was declared, and the rumor spread throughout the town, and
everywhere excited a kind of timorous curiosity.

Directly Olga reached her home she shut herself up and barricaded
the door. The _Ispravnik_, on his side, prepared for the attack.
He mustered a band of policemen, with some _poniatye_, or
citizen-witnesses, and sent them to the enemy’s house.

Finding the entrance closed and the door barricaded, the valorous army
began to knock energetically, and ordered the inmate to open.

“I will not open the door,” replied the voice of Olga within.

“Open, in the name of the law.”

“I will not open the door. Break it in! I will defend myself.”

At this explicit declaration the band became perplexed. A council of
war was held. “We must break open the door,” they all said. But as all
these valiant folks had families, wives, and children whom they did
not wish to leave orphans, no one cared to face the bullets of this
mad-woman, whom they knew to be capable of anything. Each urged his
neighbor onward, but no one cared to go forward himself.

Recourse was had to diplomacy.

“Open the door, miss.”

No reply.

“Please to open the door, or you will repent it.”

“I will not open the door,” replied the firm voice of the besieged.

What was to be done? A messenger was sent to the _Ispravnik_ to inform
him that Olga Liubatovitch had shut herself up in her house, had
pointed a pistol at them, and had threatened to blow out the brains of
the first who entered.

The _Ispravnik_, considering that the task of leadership would fall
to him as supreme chief (and he also had a family), did not care
to undertake the perilous enterprise. His army, seeing itself thus
abandoned by its leader, was in dismay; it lost courage; demoralisation
set in, and after a few more diplomatic attempts, which led to nothing,
it beat a disgraceful retreat. A select corps of observation remained,
however, near the enemy’s citadel, intrenched behind the hedges of the
adjoining kitchen-gardens. It was hoped that the enemy, elated by the
victory in this first encounter, would make a sortie, and then would be
easily taken, in flank and rear, surrounded, and defeated.

But the enemy displayed as much prudence as firmness. Perceiving the
manœuvres of her adversaries, Olga divined their object, and did not
issue from the house all that day, or the day after, or even on the
third day. The house was provided with provisions and water, and Olga
was evidently prepared to sustain a long siege.

It was clear that if no one would risk his life, which naturally no
one was disposed to risk, nothing could be done save to reduce her by
hunger. But who, in that case, could tell how long the scandal of this
flagrant rebellion would last? And then, who could guarantee that this
Fury would not commit suicide instead of surrendering? And then, what
complaints, what reprimands from superiors!

In this perplexity, the _Ispravnik_ resolved to select the least among
many evils, and on the fourth day he raised the siege.

Thus ended the little drama of July 1878, known in Siberia as the
“Siege of Olga Liubatovitch.” The best of the joke was, however, that
she had no arms of a more warlike character than a pen-knife and some
kitchen utensils. She herself had not the slightest idea what would
have happened had they stormed her house, but that she would have
defended herself in some way or other is quite certain.

The _Ispravnik_ might have made her pay for her rebellion by several
years of confinement, but how could he confess to his superiors the
cowardice of himself and his subordinates? He preferred, therefore,
to leave her in peace. But he chafed in secret, for he saw that the
partisans of the young Socialist—and they were far from few—ridiculed
himself and his men behind their backs. He determined to vindicate his
offended dignity at all cost, and, being of a stubborn disposition, he
carried out his resolve in the following manner.

A fortnight after the famous siege, he sent a message to Olga to come
to his office at eight o’clock in the morning. She went. She waited an
hour; two hours; but no one came to explain what she was wanted for.
She began to lose patience, and declared that she would go away. But
the official in attendance told her that she must not go; that she must
wait; such were the orders of the _Ispravnik_. She waited until eleven
o’clock. No one came. At last a subaltern appeared, and Olga addressed
herself to him and asked what she was wanted for. The man replied that
he did not know, that the _Ispravnik_ would tell her when he came in.
He could not say, however, when the _Ispravnik_ would arrive.

“In that case,” said Olga, “I should prefer to return some other time.”

But the police officer declared that she must continue to wait in the
antechamber of the office, for such were the orders of the
_Ispravnik_. There could be no doubt that all this was a disgraceful
attempt to provoke her, and Olga, who was of a very irascible
disposition, replied with some observations not of the most respectful
character, and not particularly flattering to the _Ispravnik_ or his
deputy.

“Oh! that’s how you treat the representatives of the Government in the
exercise of their functions, is it?” exclaimed the deputy, as though
prepared for this. And he immediately called in another policeman as a
witness, and drew up a statement of the charge against her.

Olga went away. But proceedings were taken against her before the
district judge, the very man whom she had cured of _delirium tremens_,
who sentenced her to three days’ solitary confinement. It was
confinement in a dark, fetid hole, full of filth and vermin.

Merely in entering it, she was overcome with disgust. When she was
released, she seemed to have passed through a serious illness. It was
not, however, the physical sufferings she had undergone so much as the
humiliation she had endured which chafed her proud disposition.

From that time she became gloomy, taciturn, abrupt. She spent whole
days shut up in her room, without seeing anybody, or wandered away
from the town into the neighboring wood, and avoided people. She was
evidently planning something. Among the worthy citizens of Talutorovsk,
who had a compassionate feeling towards her, some said one thing, some
another, but no one foresaw such a tragic ending as that of which
rumors ran on July 27.

In the morning the landlady entered her room and found it empty. The
bed, undisturbed, clearly showed that she had not slept in it. She had
disappeared. The first idea which flashed through the mind of the old
dame was that Olga had escaped, and she ran in all haste to inform the
_Ispravnik_, fearing that any delay would be considered as a proof of
complicity.

The _Ispravnik_ did not lose a moment. Olga Liubatovitch being one of
the most seriously compromised women, he feared the severest censure,
perhaps even dismissal, for his want of vigilance. He immediately
hastened to the spot in order to discover if possible the direction the
fugitive had taken. But directly he entered the room he found upon the
table two letters signed and sealed, one addressed to the authorities,
the other to the sister of Olga, Vera Liubatovitch, who had also been
banished to another Siberian town. These letters were immediately
opened by the _Ispravnik_, and they revealed the mournful fact that the
young girl had not taken to flight, but had committed suicide. In the
letter addressed to the authorities she said, in a few lines, that she
died by her own hand, and begged that nobody might be blamed. To her
sister she wrote more fully, explaining that her life of continuous
annoyance, of inactivity, and of gradual wasting away, which is the
life of a political prisoner in Siberia, had become hateful to her,
that she could no longer endure it, and preferred to drown herself in
the Tobol. She finished by affectionately begging her sister to forgive
her for the grief she might cause her and her friends and companions in
misfortune.

Without wasting a moment, the _Ispravnik_ hastened to the Tobol, and
there he found the confirmation of the revelation of Olga. Parts of
her dress dangled upon the bushes, under which lay her bonnet, lapped
by the rippling water. Some peasants said that on the previous day
they had seen the young girl wandering on the bank with a gloomy and
melancholy aspect, looking fixedly at the turbid waters of the river.
The _Ispravnik_, through whose hands all the correspondence passed of
the political prisoners banished to his district, recalled certain
expressions and remarks that had struck him in the last letters of Olga
Liubatovitch, the meaning of which now became clear.

There could no longer be any doubt. The _Ispravnik_ sent for all the
fishermen near, and began to drag the river with poles, casting in
nets to recover the body. This, however, led to nothing. Nor was it
surprising: the broad river was so rapid that in a single night it must
have carried a body away—who knows how many leagues? For three days
the _Ispravnik_ continued his efforts, and stubbornly endeavored to
make the river surrender its prey. But at last, after having worn out
all his people and broken several nets against the stones and old
trunks which the river mocked him with, he had to give up the attempt
as unavailing.


                        II.

The body of Olga, her heart within it throbbing with joy and
uncertainty, had meanwhile been hurried away, not by the yellow waters
of the Tobol, but by a vehicle drawn by two horses galloping at full
speed.

Having made arrangements with a young rustic whom, in her visits to
the neighboring cottages in a medical capacity, she had succeeded in
converting to Socialism, Olga disposed everything so as to make it be
believed that she had drowned herself, and on the night fixed secretly
left her house and proceeded to the neighboring forest, where, at a
place agreed upon, her young disciple was awaiting her. The night was
dark. Beneath the thick foliage of that virgin forest nothing could
be seen, nothing could be heard but the hootings of the owls, and
sometimes, brought from afar, the howling of the wolves, which infest
the whole of Siberia.

As an indispensable precaution, the meeting-place was fixed at a
distance of about three miles, in the interior of the forest. Olga
had to traverse this distance in utter darkness, guided only by the
stars, which occasionally pierced through the dense foliage. She was
not afraid, however, of the wild beasts, or of the highwaymen and
vagrants who are always prowling round the towns in Siberia. It was
the cemetery-keeper’s dog she was afraid of. The cemeteries are always
well looked after in that country, for among the horrible crimes
committed by the scum of the convicts one of the most common is that
of disinterring and robbing the newly buried dead. Now the keeper of
the cemetery of Talutorovsk was not to be trifled with; his dog still
less so. It was a mastiff, as big as a calf, ferocious and vigilant,
and could hear the approach of any one a quarter of a mile off.
Meanwhile the road passed close to the cottage of the solitary keeper.
It was precisely for the purpose of avoiding it that Olga, instead of
following the road, had plunged into the forest, notwithstanding the
great danger of losing her way.

Stumbling at every step against the roots and old fallen trunks,
pricked by the thorny bushes, her face lashed by boughs elastic as
though moved by springs, she kept on for two hours with extreme
fatigue, sustained only by the hope that she would shortly reach the
place of meeting, which could not be far off. At last indeed, the
darkness began to diminish somewhat and the trees to become thinner,
and a moment afterwards she entered upon open ground. She suddenly
stopped, looked around, her blood freezing with terror, and recognised
the keeper’s cottage. She had lost her way in the forest, and, after so
many windings, had gone straight to the point she wished to avoid.

Her first impulse was to run away as fast as her remaining strength
would enable her, but a moment afterwards a thought flashed through
her mind which restrained her. No sound came from the cottage; all
was silent. What could this indicate but the absence of the occupant?
She stood still and listened, holding her breath. In the cottage not
a sound could be heard, but in another direction she heard, in the
silence of the night, the distant barking of a dog, which seemed,
however, to be approaching nearer. Evidently the keeper had gone out,
but at any moment might return, and his terrible dog was perhaps
running in front of him, as though in search of prey. Fortunately from
the keeper’s house to the place of appointment there was a path which
the fugitive had no need to avoid, and she set off and ran as fast as
the fear of being seized and bitten by the ferocious animal would allow
her. The barking, indeed, drew nearer, but so dense was the forest that
not even a dog could penetrate it. Olga soon succeeded in reaching the
open ground, breathless, harassed by the fear of being followed and
the doubt that she might not find any one at the place of appointment.
Great was her delight when she saw in the darkness the expected
vehicle, and recognised the young peasant.

To leap into the vehicle and to hurry away was the work of an instant.
In rather more than five hours of hard driving they reached Tumen, a
town of about 18,000 inhabitants, fifty miles distant from Talutorovsk.
A few hundred yards from the outskirts the vehicle turned into a
dark lane and very quietly approached a house where it was evidently
expected. In a window on the first floor a light was lit, and the
figure of a man appeared. Then the window was opened, and the man,
having recognised the young girl, exchanged a few words in a low tone
with the peasant who was acting as driver. The latter, without a word,
rose from his seat, took the young girl in his arms, for she was small
and light, and passed her on like a baby into the robust hands of the
man, who introduced her into his room. It was the simplest and safest
means of entering unobserved. To have opened the door at such an
unusual hour would have awakened people, and caused gossip.

The peasant went his way, wishing the young girl all success, and
Olga was at last able to take a few hours rest. Her first step had
succeeded. All difficulties were far indeed, however, from being
overcome; for in Siberia it is not so much walls and keepers as
immeasurable distance which is the real gaoler.

In this area, twice as large as all Europe, and with a total population
only twice that of the English capital, towns and villages are
only imperceptible points, separated by immense deserts absolutely
uninhabitable, in which if any one ventured he would die of hunger,
or be devoured by wolves. The fugitive thus has no choice, and must
take one of the few routes which connect the towns with the rest of
the world. Pursuit is therefore extremely easy, and thus, while the
number of the fugitives from the best-guarded prisons and mines amounts
to hundreds among the political prisoners, and to thousands among the
common offenders, those who succeed in overcoming all difficulties and
in escaping from Siberia itself may be counted on the fingers.

There are two means of effecting an escape. The first, which is very
hazardous, is that of profiting, in order to get a good start, by the
first few days, when the police furiously scour their own district
only, without giving information of the escape to the great centres, in
the hope, which is often realised, of informing their superiors of
the escape and capture of the prisoner at the same time. In the most
favorable cases, however, the fugitive gains only three or four days
of time, while the entire journey lasts many weeks, and sometimes many
months. With the telegraph established along all the principal lines
of communication, and even with mere horse patrols, the police have
no difficulty whatever in making up for lost time, and exceptional
cleverness or good fortune is necessary in order to keep out of their
clutches. But this method, as being the simplest and comparatively
easy, as it requires few preparations and but little external
assistance, is adopted by the immense majority of the fugitives, and it
is precisely for this reason that ninety-nine per cent. of them only
succeed in reaching a distance of one or two hundred miles from the
place of their confinement.

Travelling being so dangerous, the second mode is much more safe—that
of remaining hidden in some place of concealment, carefully prepared
beforehand, in the province itself, for one, two, three, six months,
until the police, after having carried on the chase so long in vain,
come to the conclusion that the fugitive must be beyond the frontiers
of Siberia, and slacken or entirely cease their vigilance. This was the
plan followed in the famous escape of Lopatin, who remained more than
a month at Irkutsk, and of Debagorio Mokrievitch, who spent more than
a year in various places in Siberia before undertaking his journey to
Russia.

Olga Liubatovitch did not wish, however, to have recourse to the latter
expedient, and selected the former. It was a leap in the dark. But
she built her hopes upon the success of the little stratagem of her
supposed suicide, and the very day after her arrival at Tumen she set
out towards Europe by the postal and caravan road to Moscow.

To journey by post in Russia, a travelling passport (_podorojna_) must
be obtained, signed by the governor. Olga certainly had none, and could
not lose time in procuring one. She had, therefore, to find somebody in
possession of this indispensable document whom she could accompany. As
luck would have it, a certain Soluzeff, who had rendered himself famous
a few years before by certain forgeries and malversations on a grand
scale, had been pardoned by the Emperor and was returning to Russia.
He willingly accepted the company of a pretty countrywoman, as Olga
represented herself to him to be, who was desirous of going to Kazan,
where her husband was lying seriously ill, and consented to pay her
share of the travelling expenses. But here another trouble arose. This
Soluzeff, being on very good terms with the gendarmes and the police,
a whole army of them accompanied him to the post-station. Now Olga had
begun her revolutionary career at sixteen, she was arrested for the
first time at seventeen, and during the seven years of that career had
been in eleven prisons, and had passed some few months in that of Tumen
itself. It was little short of a miracle that no one recognised the
celebrated Liubatovitch in the humble travelling companion of their
common friend.

At last, however, the vehicle set out amid the shouts and cheers of the
company. Olga breathed more freely. Her tribulations were not, however,
at an end.

I need not relate the various incidents of her long journey. Her
companion worried her. He was a man whom long indulgence in luxury had
rendered effeminate, and at every station said he was utterly worn out,
and stopped to rest himself and take some tea with biscuits, preserves,
and sweets, an abundance of which he carried with him. Olga, who was
in agonies, as her deception might be found out at any moment, and
telegrams describing her be sent to all the post-stations of the line,
had to display much cunning and firmness to keep this poltroon moving
on without arousing suspicions respecting herself. When, however, near
the frontier of European Russia, she was within an ace of betraying
herself. Soluzeff declared that he was incapable of going any farther,
that he was thoroughly knocked up by this feverish hurry-skurry, and
must stop a few days to recover himself. Olga had some thought of
disclosing everything, hoping to obtain from his generosity what she
could not obtain from his sluggish selfishness. There is no telling
what might have happened if a certain instinct, which never left Olga
even when she was most excited, had not preserved her from this very
dangerous step.

A greater danger awaited her at Kazan. No sooner had she arrived than
she hastened away to take her ticket by the first steamboat going up
the Volga towards Nijni-Novgorod. Soluzeff, who said he was going
south, would take the opposite direction. Great, therefore, was her
surprise and bewilderment when she saw her travelling companion upon
the same steamer. She did everything she could to avoid him, but in
vain. Soluzeff recognised her, and, advancing towards her, exclaimed in
a loud voice:—

“What! you here? Why, you told me your husband was lying ill in the
Kazan Hospital.”

Some of the passengers turned round and looked, and among them the
gendarme who was upon the boat. The danger was serious. But Olga,
without losing her self-possession, at once invented a complete
explanation of the unexpected change in her itinerary. Soluzeff took it
all in, as did the gendarme who was listening.

At Moscow she was well known, having spent several months in its
various prisons. Not caring to go to the central station, which is
always full of gendarmes on duty, she was compelled to walk several
leagues, to economise her small stock of money, and take the train at a
small station, passing the night in the open air.

Many were the perils from which, thanks to her cleverness, she escaped.
But her greatest troubles awaited her in the city she so ardently
desired to reach, St. Petersburg.

When a Nihilist, after a rather long absence, suddenly reaches some
city without previously conferring with those who have been there
recently, his position is a very singular one. Although he may know he
is in the midst of friends and old companions in arms, he is absolutely
incapable of finding any of them. Being “illegal” people, or outlaws,
they live with false passports, and are frequently compelled to change
their names and their places of abode. To inquire for them under their
old names is not to be thought of, for these continuous changes are not
made for mere amusement, but from the necessity, constantly recurring,
of escaping from some imminent danger, more or less grave. To go to the
old residence of a Nihilist and ask for him under his old name would be
voluntarily putting one’s head into the lion’s mouth.

Under such circumstances, a Nihilist is put to no end of trouble,
and has to wander hither and thither in order to find his friends.
He applies to old acquaintances among people who are “legal” and
peaceful—that is to say, officials, business men, barristers, doctors,
etc., who form an intermediate class, unconsciously connecting the
most active Nihilists with those who take the least interest in public
affairs. In this class there are people of all ranks. Some secretly
aid the Nihilists more or less energetically. Others receive them into
their houses, simply as friends, without having any “serious” business
with them. Others, again, see them only casually, but know from whom
more or less accurate information is to be obtained; and so on. All
these people being unconnected with the movement, or almost so, run
little risk of being arrested, and living as they do “legally”—that is
to say, under their own names—they are easy to be found, and supply
the Ariadne’s thread which enables any one to penetrate into the
Nihilist labyrinth who has not had time, or who has been unable, to
obtain the addresses of the affiliated.

Having reached St. Petersburg, Olga Liubatovitch was precisely in this
position. But to find the clue in such cases is easy only to those who,
having long resided in the city, have many connections in society. Olga
had never stayed more than a few days in the capital. Her acquaintances
among “legal” people were very few in number, and then she had reached
St. Petersburg in the month of August, when every one of position is
out of town. With only sixty kopecks in her pocket, for in her great
haste she had been unable to obtain a sufficient sum of money, she
dragged her limbs from one extremity of the capital to the other. She
might have dropped in the street from sheer exhaustion, and been taken
up by the police as a mere vagabond, had not the idea occurred to her
to call upon a distant relative whom she knew to be in St. Petersburg.
She was an old maid, who affectionately welcomed her to the house,
although, at the mere sight of Olga, her hair stood on end. She
remained there two days; but the fear of the poor lady was so extreme
that Olga did not care to stay longer. Supplied with a couple of
roubles, she recommenced her pilgrimage, and at last met a barrister
who, as luck would have it, had come up that day from the country on
business.

From that moment all her tribulations ended. The barrister, who had
known her previously, placed his house at her disposal, and immediately
communicated the news of her arrival to some friends of his among
the affiliated. The next day the good news spread throughout all St.
Petersburg of the safe arrival of Olga Liubatovitch.

She was immediately supplied with money and a passport, and taken to a
safe place of concealment, secure against police scrutiny.


                        III.

It was at St. Petersburg that I first met her.

It was not at a “business” gathering, but one of mere pleasure, in a
family. With the “legal” and the “illegal” there must have been about
fifteen persons. Among those present were some literary men. One of
them was a singular example of an “illegal” man, much sought for at
one time, who, living for six or seven years with false passports,
almost succeeded in legalising himself, as a valuable and well-known
contributor to various newspapers. There was a barrister who, after
having defended others in several political trials, at last found
himself in the prisoner’s dock. There was a young man of eighteen in
gold lace and military epaulettes, who was the son of one of the most
furious persecutors of the Revolutionary party. There was an official
of about fifty, the head of a department in one of the ministries, who,
for five years running, was our Keeper of the Seals—who kept, that is
to say, a large chest full to the brim of seals, false marks, stamps,
etc., manufactured by his niece, a charming young lady, very clever in
draughtsmanship and engraving. It was a very mixed company, and strange
for any one not accustomed to the singular habits of the Palmyra of the
North.

With the freedom characteristic of all Russian gatherings, especially
those of the Nihilists, every one did as he liked and talked with
those who pleased him. The company was split up into various groups,
and the murmur of voice filled the room and frequently rose above the
exclamations and laughter.

Having saluted the hosts and shaken hands with some friends, I joined
one of these little groups.

I had no difficulty in recognising Olga Liubatovitch, for the portraits
of the principal prisoners in the trial of the “fifty,” of whom she was
one of the most distinguished figures, circulated by thousands, and
were in every hand.

She was seated at the end of the sofa, and, with her head bent, was
slowly sipping a cup of tea. Her thick black hair, of which she had
an abundance, hung over her shoulders, the ends touching the bottom
of the sofa. When she rose it almost reached to her knees. The color
of her face, a golden brown, like that of the Spaniards, proclaimed
her Southern origin, her father and grandfather having been political
refugees from Montenegro who had settled in Russia. There was nothing
Russian, in fact, in any feature of her face. With her large and black
eyebrows, shaped like a sickle as though she kept them always raised,
there was something haughty and daring about her, which struck one at
first sight, and gave her the appearance of the women belonging to her
native land. From her new country she had derived, however, a pair of
blue eyes, which always appeared half-closed by their long lashes, and
cast flitting shadows upon her soft cheeks when she moved her eyelids,
and a lithe, delicate, and rather slim figure, which somewhat relieved
the severe and rigid expression of her face. She had, too, a certain
unconscious charm, slightly statuesque, which is often met with among
women from the South.

Gazing at this stately face, to which a regular nose with wide nostrils
gave a somewhat aquiline shape, I thought that this was precisely
what Olga Liubatovitch ought to be as I had pictured her from the
account of her adventures. But on a sudden she smiled, and I no longer
recognised her. She smiled, not only with the full vermilion lips of a
brunette, but also with her blue eyes, with her rounded cheeks, with
every muscle of her face, which was suddenly lit up and irradiated like
that of a child.

When she laughed heartily she closed her eyes, bashfully bent her head,
and covered her mouth with her hand or her arm, exactly as our shy
country lasses do. On a sudden, however, she composed herself, and her
face darkened and became gloomy, serious, almost stern, as before.

I had a great desire to hear her voice, in order to learn whether it
corresponded with either of the two natures revealed by these sudden
changes. But I had no opportunity of gratifying this desire. Olga did
not open her mouth the whole evening. Her taciturnity did not proceed
from indifference, for she listened attentively to the conversation,
and her veiled eyes were turned from side to side. It did not seem,
either, to arise from restraint. It was due rather to the absence of
any motive for speaking. She seemed to be quite content to listen and
reflect, and her serious mouth appeared to defy all attempts to open it.

It was not until some days afterwards, when I met her alone on certain
“business,” that I heard her voice, veiled like her eyes, and it was
only after many months’ acquaintance that I was able to understand
her disposition, the originality of which consisted in its union
of two opposite characteristics. She was a child in her candor,
bordering on simplicity, in the purity of her mind, and in the modesty
which displayed itself even in familiar intercourse and gave to her
sentiments a peculiar and charming delicacy. But at the same time this
child astounded the toughest veterans by her determination, her ability
and coolness in the face of danger, and especially by her ardent and
steadfast strength of will, which, recognising no obstacles, made her
sometimes attempt impossibilities.

To see this young girl, so simple, so quiet, and so modest, who
became burning red, bashfully covered her face with both hands,
and hurried away upon hearing some poetry dedicated to her by some
former disciple—to see this young girl, I say, it was difficult to
believe that she was an escaped convict, familiar with condemnations,
prisons, trials, escapes, and adventures of every kind. It was only
necessary, however, to see her for once at work to believe instantly
in everything. She was transformed, displaying a certain natural and
spontaneous instinct which was something between the cunning of a
fox and the skill of a warrior. This outward simplicity and candor
served her then like the shield of Mambrino, and enabled her to issue
unscathed from perils in which many men, considered able, would
unquestionably have lost their lives.

One day the police, while making a search, really had her in their
grasp. A friend, distancing the gendarmes by a few moments, had merely
only time to rush breathless up the stairs, dash into the room where
she was, and exclaim, “Save yourself! the police!” when the police were
already surrounding the house. Olga had not even time to put on her
bonnet. Just as she was, she rushed to the back stairs, and hurried
down at full speed. Fortunately the street door was not yet guarded
by the gendarmes, and she was able to enter a little shop on the
ground floor. She had only twenty kopecks in her pockets, having been
unable, in her haste, to get any money. But this did not trouble her.
For fifteen kopecks she bought a cotton handkerchief, and fastened it
round her head in the style adopted by coquettish servant-girls. With
the five kopecks remaining she bought some nuts, and left the shop
eating them, in such a quiet and innocent manner that the detachment
of police, which meanwhile had advanced and surrounded the house on
that side, let her pass without even asking her who she was, although
the description of her was well known, for her photograph had been
distributed to all the agents, and the police have always strict orders
to let no one who may arouse the slightest suspicion leave a house
which they have surrounded. This was not the only time that she slipped
like an eel through the fingers of the police. She was inexhaustible
in expedients, in stratagems, and in cunning, which she always had at
her command at such times; and with all this she maintained her serious
and severe aspect, so that she seemed utterly incapable of lending
herself to deceit or stimulation. Perhaps she did not think, but acted
upon instinct rather than reflection, and that was why she could meet
every danger with the lightning-like rapidity of a fencer who parries a
thrust.


                        IV.

The romance of her life commenced during her stay in St. Petersburg
after her escape. She was one of the so-called “Amazons,” and was one
of the most fanatical. She ardently preached against love and advocated
celibacy, holding that with so many young men and young girls of the
present day love was a clog upon revolutionary activity. She kept her
vow for several years, but was vanquished by the invincible. There was
at that time in St. Petersburg a certain Nicholas Morosoff, a young
poet and brave fellow, handsome, and fascinating as his poetic dreams.
He was of a graceful figure, tall as a young pine-tree, with a fine
head, an abundance of curly hair, and a pair of chestnut eyes, which
soothed, like a whisper of love, and sent forth glances that shone like
diamonds in the dark whenever a touch of enthusiasm moved him.

The bold “Amazon” and the young poet met, and their fate was decided. I
will not tell of the delirium and transports through which they passed.
Their love was like some delicate and sensitive plant, which must not
be rudely touched. It was a spontaneous and irresistible feeling. They
did not perceive it until they were madly enamoured of each other.
They became husband and wife. It was said of them that when they were
together inexorable Fate had no heart to touch them, and that its cruel
hand became a paternal one, which warded off the blows that threatened
them. And, indeed, all their misfortunes happened to them when they
were apart.

This was the incident which did much to give rise to the saying.

In November 1879, Olga fell into the hands of the police. It should be
explained that when these succeed in arresting a Nihilist they always
leave in the apartments of the captured person a few men to take into
custody any one who may come to see that person. In our language, this
is called a trap. Owing to the Russian habit of arranging everything
at home and not in the cafés, as in Europe, the Nihilists are often
compelled to go to each other houses, and thus these traps become
fatal. In order to diminish the risk, safety signals are generally
placed in the windows, and are taken away at the first sound of the
police. But, owing to the negligence of the Nihilists themselves,
accustomed as they are to danger, and so occupied that they sometimes
have not time to eat a mouthful all day long, the absence of these
signals is often disregarded, or attributed to some combination
of circumstances—the difficulty, or perhaps the topographical
impossibility, of placing signals in many apartments in such a manner
that they can be seen from a distance. This measure of public security
frequently, therefore, does not answer its purpose, and a good half of
all the Nihilists who have fallen into the hands of the Government have
been caught in these very traps.

A precisely similar misfortune happened to Olga, and the worst of
it was that it was in the house of Alexander Kviatkovsky, one of
the Terrorist leaders, where the police found a perfect magazine of
dynamite, bombs, and similar things, together with a plan of the
Winter Palace, which, after the explosion there, led to his capital
conviction. As may readily be believed, the police would regard with
anything but favorable eyes every one who came to the house of such a
man.

Directly she entered, Olga was immediately seized by two policemen, in
order to prevent her from defending herself. She, however, displayed
not the slightest desire to do so. She feined surprise, astonishment,
and invented there and then the story that she had come to see some
dressmakers (who had, in fact, their names on a door-plate below, and
occupied the upper floor) for the purpose of ordering something, but
had mistaken the door; that she did not know what they wanted with
her, and wished to return to her husband, etc.; the usual subterfuges
to which the police are accustomed to turn a deaf ear. But Olga played
her part so well that the _pristav_, or head of the police of the
district, was really inclined to believe her. He told her that anyhow,
if she did not wish to be immediately taken to prison, she must give
her name and conduct him to her own house. Olga gave the first name
which came into her mind, which naturally enough was not that under
which she was residing in the capital, but as to her place of residence
she declared, with every demonstration of profound despair, that she
could not, and would not, take him there or say where it was. The
_pristav_ insisted, and, upon her reiterated refusal, observed to the
poor simple thing that her obstinacy was not only prejudicial to her,
but even useless, as, knowing her name, he would have no difficulty in
sending some one to the Adressni Stol and obtaining her address. Struck
by this unanswerable argument, Olga said she would take him to her
house.

No sooner had she descended into the street, accompanied by the
_pristav_ and some of his subalterns, than Olga met a friend, Madame
Maria A., who was going to Kviatkovsky’s, where a meeting of Terrorists
had actually been fixed for that very day. It was to this chance
meeting that the Terrorists owed their escape from the very grave
danger which threatened them; for the windows of Kviatkovsky’s rooms
were so placed that it was impossible to see any signals there from the
street.

Naturally enough the two friends made no sign to indicate that they
were acquainted with each other, but Madame Maria A., on seeing Olga
with the police, ran in all haste to inform her friends of the arrest
of their companion, about which there could be no doubt.

The first to be warned was Nicholas Morosoff, as the police in a short
time would undoubtedly go to his house and make the customary search.
Olga felt certain that this was precisely what her friend would do, and
therefore her sole object now was to delay her custodians so as to give
Morosoff time to “clear” his rooms (that is to say, destroy or take
away papers and everything compromising), and to get away himself. It
was this that she was anxious about, for he had been accused by the
traitor Goldenberg of having taken part in the mining work connected
with the Moscow attempt, and by the Russian law was liable to the
penalty of death.

Greatly emboldened by this lucky meeting with her friend, Olga,
without saying a word, conducted the police to the Ismailovsky Polk,
one of the quarters of the town most remote from the place of her
arrest, which was in the Nevsky district. They found the street and
the house indicated to them. They entered and summoned the _dvornik_
(doorkeeper), who has to be present at every search made. Then came the
inevitable explanation. The _dvornik_ said that he did not know the
lady, and that she did not lodge in that house.

Upon hearing this statement, Olga covered her face with her hands, and
again gave way to despair. She sobbingly admitted that she had deceived
them from fear of her husband, who was very harsh, that she had not
given her real name and address, and wound up by begging them to let
her go home.

“What’s the use of all this, madam?” exclaimed the _pristav_. “Don’t
you see that you are doing yourself harm by these tricks? I’ll forgive
you this time, because of your inexperience, but take care you don’t
do it again, and lead us at once to your house, or otherwise you will
repent it.”

After much hesitation, Olga, resolved to obey the injunctions of the
_pristav_. She gave her name, and said she lived in one of the lines of
the Vasili Ostrov.

It took an hour to reach the place. At last they arrived at the house
indicated. Here precisely the same scene with the _dvornik_ was
repeated. Then the _pristav_ lost all patience, and wanted to take
her away to prison at once, without making a search in her house.
Upon hearing the _pristav’s_ harsh announcement, Olga flung herself
into an arm-chair and had a violent attack of hysterics. They fetched
some water and sprinkled her face with it to revive her. When she had
somewhat recovered, the _pristav_ ordered her to rise and go at once
to the prison of the district. Her hysterical attack recommenced. But
the _pristav_ would stand no more nonsense, and told her to get up, or
otherwise he would have her taken away in a cab by main force.

The despair of the poor lady was now at its height.

“Listen!” she exclaimed. “I will tell you everything now.”

And she began the story of her life and marriage. She was the daughter
of a rustic, and she named the province and the village. Up to the age
of sixteen she remained with her father and looked after the sheep. But
one day an engineer, her future husband, who was at work upon a branch
line of railway, came to stop in the house. He fell in love with her,
took her to town, placed her with his aunt, and had teachers to educate
her, as she was illiterate and knew nothing. Then he married her, and
they lived very happily together for four years; but he had since
become discontented, rough, irritable, and she feared that he loved her
no longer; but she loved him as much as ever, as she owed everything
to him, and could not be ungrateful. Then she said that he would be
dreadfully angry with her, and would perhaps drive her away if she went
to the house in charge of the police; that it would be a scandal; that
he would think she had stolen something; and so on.

All this, and much more of the same kind, with endless details and
repetitions, did Olga narrate; interrupting her story from time to time
by sighs, exclamations, and tears. She wept in very truth, and her
tears fell copiously, as she assured me when she laughingly described
this scene to me afterwards. I thought at the time that she would have
made a very good actress.

The _pristav_, though impatient, continued to listen. He was vexed at
the idea of returning with empty hands, and he hoped this time at all
events her story would lead to something. Then, too, he had not the
slightest suspicion, and would have taken his oath that the woman he
had arrested was a poor simple creature, who had fallen into his hands
without having done anything whatever, as so frequently happens in
Russia, where houses are searched on the slightest suspicion. When Olga
had finished her story the _pristav_ began to console her. He said that
her husband would certainly pardon her when he heard her explanation;
that the same thing might happen to any one; and so on. Olga resisted
for a while, and asked the _pristav_ to promise that he would assure
her husband she had done nothing wrong; and more to the same effect.
The _pristav_ promised everything, in order to bring the matter to an
end, and this time Olga proceeded towards her real residence. She had
gained three hours and a half; for her arrest took place at about two
o’clock, and she did not reach her own home until about half-past five.
She had no doubt that Morosoff had got away, and after having “cleared”
the rooms had thrice as much time as he required for the operation.

Having ascended the stairs, accompanied by the _dvorniks_ and the
police, she rang the bell. The door opened and the party entered, first
the antechamber, then the sitting-room. There a terrible surprise
awaited her. Morosoff in person was seated at a table, in his dressing
gown, with a pencil in his hand and a pen in his ear. Olga fell into
hysterics. This time they were real, not simulated.

How was it that he had remained in the house?

The lady previously mentioned had not failed to hasten at once and
inform Morosoff, whom she found at home with three or four friends. At
the announcement of the arrest of Olga they all had but one idea—that
of remaining where they were, of arming themselves, and of awaiting
her arrival, in order to rescue her by main force. But Morosoff
energetically opposed this proposal. He said, and rightly said, that it
presented more dangers than advantages, for the police being in numbers
and reinforced by the _dvorniks_ of the house, who are all a species of
police agents of inferior grade, the attempt at the best would result
in the liberation of one person at the cost of several others. His view
prevailed, and the plan, which was more generous than prudent, was
abandoned. The rooms were at once “cleared” with the utmost rapidity,
so that the fate of the person arrested, which was sure to be a hard
one and was now inevitable, should not be rendered more grievous. When
all was ready and they were about to leave, Morosoff staggered his
friends by acquainting them with the plan he had thought of. He would
remain in the house alone and await the arrival of the police. They
thought he had lost his senses; for everybody knew, and no one better
than himself, that, with the terrible accusation hanging over his
head, if once arrested it would be all over with him. But he said he
hoped it would not come to that—nay, he expected to get clear off
with Olga, and in any case would share her fate. They would escape or
perish together. His friends heard him announce this determination
with mingled feelings of grief, astonishment, and admiration. Neither
entreaties nor remonstrances could shake his determination. He was
firm, and remained at home after saying farewell to his friends, who
took leave of him as of a man on the point of death.

He had drawn up his plan, which by the suggestion of some mysterious
instinct perfectly harmonised with that of Olga, although they had
never in any way arranged the matter. He also had determined to feign
innocence, and had arranged everything in such a manner as to make it
seem as though he were the most peaceful of citizens. As he lived under
the false passport of an engineer, he covered his table with a heap of
plans of various dimensions, and, having put on his dressing-gown and
slippers, set diligently to work to copy one, while waiting the arrival
of his unwelcome guests.

It was in this guise and engaged in this innocent occupation that he
was surprised by the police. The scene which followed may easily be
imagined. Olga flung her arms round his neck, and poured forth a stream
of broken words, exclamations, excuses, and complaints of these men who
had arrested her because she wished to call upon her milliner. In the
midst, however, of these exclamations, she whispered in his ear, “Have
you not been warned?”

“Yes,” he replied in the same manner, everything is in order. “Don’t be
alarmed.”

Meanwhile he played the part of an affectionate husband mortified by
this scandal. After a little scolding and then a little consolation, he
turned to the _pristav_ and asked him for an explanation, as he could
not quite understand what had happened from the disconnected words of
his wife. The _pristav_ politely told the whole story. The engineer
appeared greatly surprised and grieved, and could not refrain from
somewhat bitterly censuring his wife for her unpardonable imprudence.
The _pristav_, who was evidently reassured by the aspect of the husband
and of the whole household, declared nevertheless that he must make a
search.

“I hope you will excuse me, sir,” he added, “but I am obliged to do it;
it is my duty.”

“I willingly submit to the law,” nobly replied the engineer.

Thereupon he pointed to the room, so as to indicate that the _pristav_
was free to search it thoroughly, and having lit a candle with his
own hand, for at that hour in St. Petersburg it was already dark, he
quietly opened the door of the adjoining room, which was his own little
place.

The search was made. Certainly not a single scrap of paper was found,
written or printed, which smelt of Nihilism.

“By rights I ought to take the lady to prison,” said the _pristav_,
when he had finished his search, “especially as her previous behavior
was anything but what it ought to have been; but I won’t do that. I
will simply keep you under arrest here until your passports have been
verified. You see, sir,” he added, “we police officers are not quite so
bad as the Nihilists make us out.”

“There are always honest men in every occupation,” replied the engineer
with a gracious bow.

More compliments of the same kind, which I need not repeat, were
exchanged between them, and the _pristav_ went away with most of his
men, well impressed with such a polite and pleasant reception. He left,
however, a guard in the kitchen, with strict injunctions not to lose
sight of the host and hostess, until further orders.

Morosoff and Olga were alone. The first act of the comedy they had
improvised had met with complete success. But the storm was far from
having blown over. The verification of their passports would show that
they were false. The inevitable consequence would be a warrant for
their arrest, which might be issued at any moment if the verification
were made by means of the telegraph. The sentinel, rigid, motionless,
with his sword by his side and his revolver in his belt, was seated in
the kitchen, which was at the back, exactly opposite the outer door,
so that it was impossible to approach the door without being seen by
him. For several hours they racked their brains and discussed, in a low
voice, various plans of escape. To free themselves by main force was
not to be thought of. No arms had been left in the place, for they had
been purposely taken away. Yet without weapons, how could they grapple
with this big sturdy fellow, armed as he was? They hoped that as the
hours passed on he would fall asleep. But this hope was not realised.
When, at about half-past ten, Morosoff, under the pretext of going into
his little room, which was used for various domestic purposes, passed
near the kitchen, he saw the man still at his post, with his eyes wide
open, attentive and vigilant as at first. Yet when Morosoff returned
Olga would have declared that the way was quite clear and that they had
nothing to do but to leave, so beaming were his eyes. He had, in fact,
found what he wanted—a plan simple and safe. The little room opened
into the small corridor which served as a sort of antechamber, and its
door flanked that of the kitchen. In returning to the sitting-room,
Morosoff observed that when the door of the little room was wide open,
it completely shut out the view of the kitchen, and consequently hid
from the policeman the outer door, and also that of the sitting-room.
It would be possible, therefore, at a given moment, to pass through
the antechamber without being seen by the sentinel. But this could not
be done unless some one came and opened the door of the little room.
Neither Olga nor Morosoff could do this, for if, under some pretext,
they opened it, they would of course have to leave it open. This would
immediately arouse suspicion, and the policeman would run after them
and catch them perhaps before they had descended the staircase. Could
they trust the landlady? The temptation to do so was great. If she
consented to assist them, success might be considered certain. But if
she refused! Who could guarantee that, from fear of being punished as
an accomplice, she would not go and reveal everything to the police? Of
course she did not suspect in the least what kind of people her lodgers
were.

Nothing, therefore, was said to her, but they hoped nevertheless to
have her unconscious assistance, and it was upon that Morosoff had
based his plan. About eleven o’clock she went into the little room,
where the pump was placed, to get the water to fill the kitchen
cistern for next day’s consumption. As the room was very small, she
generally left one of the two pails in the corridor, while she filled
the other with water, and, of course, was thus obliged to leave the
door open. Everything thus depended upon the position in which she
placed her pail. An inch or two on one side or the other would decide
their fate; for it was only when the door of the little room was wide
open that it shut out the view of the kitchen and concealed the end
of the antechamber. If not wide open, part of the outer door could be
seen. There remained half an hour before the decisive moment, which
both employed in preparing for flight. Their wraps were hanging up in
the wardrobe in the antechamber. They had, therefore, to put on what
they had with them in the sitting-room. Morosoff put on a light summer
overcoat. Olga threw over her shoulders a woollen scarf, to protect
her somewhat from the cold. In order to deaden as much as possible
the sounds of their hasty footsteps, which might arouse the attention
of the sentinel in the profound silence of the night, both of them
put on their goloshes, which, being elastic, made but little noise.
They had to put them on next to their stockings, although it was not
particularly agreeable at that season, for they were in their slippers,
their shoes having been purposely sent into the kitchen to be cleaned
for the following day, in order to remove all suspicion respecting
their intentions.

Everything being prepared, they remained in readiness, listening to
every sound made by the landlady. At last came the clanging of the
empty pails. She went to the little room, threw open the door, and
began her work. The moment had arrived. Morosoff cast a hasty glance.
Oh, horror! The empty pail scarcely projected beyond the threshold, and
the door was at a very acute angle, so that even from the door of the
sitting-room where they were part of the interior of the kitchen could
be seen. He turned towards Olga, who was standing behind him holding
her breath, and made an energetic sign in the negative. A few minutes
passed, which seemed like hours. The pumping ceased; the pail was full.
She was about to place it on the floor. Both stretched their necks and
advanced a step, being unable to control the anxiety of their suspense.
This time the heavy pail banged against the door and forced it back on
its hinges, a stream of water being spilt. The view of the kitchen was
completely shut out, but another disaster had occurred. Overbalanced
by the heavy weight, the landlady had come half out into the corridor.
“She has seen us,” whispered Morosoff, falling back pale as death.
“No,” replied Olga, excitedly; and she was right. The landlady
disappeared into the little room, and a moment afterwards recommenced
her clattering work.

Without losing a moment, without even turning round, Morosoff gave the
signal to his companion by a firm grip of the hand, and both issued
forth, hastily passed through the corridor, softly opened the door, and
found themselves upon the landing of the staircase. With cautious steps
they descended, and were in the street, ill clad but very light of
heart. A quarter of an hour afterwards they were in a house where they
were being anxiously awaited by their friends, who welcomed them with a
joy more easy to imagine than to describe.

In their own abode their flight was not discovered until late in the
morning, when the landlady came to do the room.

Such was the adventure, narrated exactly as it happened, which
contributed, as I have said, to give rise to the saying that these two
were invincible when together. When the police became aware of the
escape of the supposed engineer and his wife, they saw at once that
they had been outwitted. The _pristav_, who had been so thoroughly
taken in, had a terrible time of it, and proceeded with the utmost
eagerness to make investigations somewhat behindhand. The verification
of the passports of course showed that they were false. The two
fugitives were therefore “illegal” people, but the police wished to
know, at all events, who they were, and to discover this was not very
difficult, for both had already been in the hands of the police, who,
therefore, were in possession of their photographs. The landlady and
the _dvornik_ recognised them among a hundred shown to them by the
gendarmes. A comparison with the description of them, also preserved in
the archives of the gendarmerie, left no doubt of their identity. It
was in this manner the police found out what big fish they had stupidly
allowed to escape from their net, as may be seen by reading the report
of the trial of Sciriaeff and his companions. With extreme but somewhat
tardy zeal, the gendarmes ransacked every place in search of them. They
had their trouble for nothing. A Nihilist who thoroughly determines
to conceal himself can never be found. He falls into the hands of the
police only when he returns to active life.

When the search for them began to relax, Olga and Morosoff quitted
their place of concealment and resumed their positions in the ranks.
Some months afterwards they went abroad in order to legitimatise their
union, so that if some day they were arrested it might be recognised by
the police. They crossed the frontier of Roumania unmolested, stopped
there some time, and having arranged their private affairs went to
reside for awhile at Geneva, where Morosoff wished to finish a work of
some length upon the Russian revolutionary movement. Here, Olga gave
birth to a daughter, and for awhile it seemed that all the strength
of her ardent and exceptional disposition would concentrate itself in
maternal love. She did not appear to care for anything. She seemed even
to forget her husband in her exclusive devotion to the little one.
There was something almost wild in the intensity of her love.

Four months passed, and Morosoff, obeying the call of duty, chafing at
inactivity, and eager for the struggle, returned to Russia. Olga could
not follow him with her baby at the breast, and, oppressed by a
mournful presentiment, allowed him to depart alone.

A fortnight after he was arrested.

On hearing this terrible news, Olga did not swoon, she did not wring
her hands, she did not even shed a single tear. She stifled her grief.
A single, irresistible, and supreme idea pervaded her—to fly to him;
to save him at all costs; by money, by craft, by the dagger, by poison,
even at the risk of her own life, so that she could but save him.

And the child? That poor little weak and delicate creature, who needed
all her maternal care to support its feeble life? What could she do
with the poor innocent babe, already almost an orphan?

She could not take it with her. She must leave it behind.

Terrible was the night which the poor mother passed with her child
before setting out. Who can depict the indescribable anguish of her
heart, with the horrible alternative placed before her of forsaking her
child to save the man she loved, or of forsaking him to save the little
one. On the one side was maternal feeling; on the other her ideal, her
convictions, her devotion to the cause which he steadfastly served.

She did not hesitate for a moment. She must go.

On the morning of the day fixed she took leave of all her friends, shut
herself up alone with her child, and remained with it for some minutes
to bid it farewell. When she issued forth, her face was pale as death
and wet with tears.

She set out. She moved heaven and earth to save her husband. Twenty
times she was within an ace of being arrested. But it was impossible
for her efforts to avail. As implicated in the attempt against the life
of the Emperor, he was confined in the fortress of St. Peter and St.
Paul; and there is no escape from there. She did not relax her efforts,
but stubbornly and doggedly continued them, and all this while was in
agony if she did not constantly hear about her child. If the letters
were delayed a day or two, her anguish could not be restrained. The
child was ever present in her mind. One day she took compassion on a
little puppy, still blind, which she found upon a heap of rubbish,
where it had been thrown. “My friends laugh at me,” she wrote, “but I
love it because its little feeble cries remind me of those of my child.”

Meanwhile the child died. For a whole month no one had the courage to
tell the sad news. But at last the silence had to be broken.

Olga herself was arrested a few weeks afterwards.

Such is the story, the true story, of Olga Liubatovitch. Of Olga
Liubatovitch, do I say? No—of hundreds and hundreds of others. I
should not have related it had it not been so.—_Cornhill Magazine_.



AMONG THE TRAPPISTS.

A GLIMPSE OF LIFE AT LE PORT DU SALUT.


BY SURGEON-GENERAL H. L. COWEN.

The monastic order of Trappists—a branch of the Cistercian—possesses
monasteries in many parts of Europe, one, composed of German brethren,
being in Turkey. Some of these establishments are agricultural or
industrial associations; others are reformatories for juvenile
delinquents; while some have been instituted for effecting works that
might be dangerous to health and life, such as draining marshy lands
where the fatal malaria broods.

The Monastery of La Trappe le Port du Salut, the subject of the present
description, stands near the village of Entrammes, at Port Raingeard,
on the river Mayenne, on the borders of Maine, Anjou, and Brittany.
Its site has been most picturesquely chosen in a charming nook, where
the stream having rapidly passed through some rocky cliffs suddenly
expands, and flows slowly through rich pasture-lands. With its church,
farms, water-mill, cattle-sheds, gardens, and orchards, the whole
settlement looks like a hamlet surrounded with an enclosure (_clôture_)
marking the limits of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction. A narrow
passage between two high walls leads to the entrance-gate, bearing the
inscription, “Hic est Portus Salutis,”—“Here is the haven of safety.”
A long chain with an iron cross for a handle being pulled and a bell
rung, a porter opens a wicket, bows his head down to his knees—the
obligatory salutation of the Trappist—and in silence awaits the
ringer’s interrogation. The latter may have come simply from curiosity,
or he may be a traveller seeking for shelter and hospitality, a beggar
asking alms, or even a wrong-doer in search of an asylum; he may be
rich or poor, Christian, Jew, or Mohammedan—no matter! the porter at
once grants admittance, conducts him to the guests’ reception-room, and
summons the hostelier.

A monk in white robes appears, his head shaven with the exception
of a ring of hair. He bows as did the porter. If the visitor only
contemplates a stay of a few hours no formality is gone through;
a meal and refreshments are offered, and he is conducted over the
monastery. But if he proposes to sleep there, the monk, whose rules are
to consider that every guest has been guided to the place by our Lord
Himself, says, “I must worship in your person Jesus Christ, suffering
and asking hospitality; pray do not heed what I am about to do.” He
then falls prostrate on the ground, and so remains for a short time,
in silent devotion. After this he leads the way to an adjoining room,
and requests the visitor to write his name in a book, open here, as
elsewhere in France, for the inspection of the police. The entry made,
the father hostelier (as he is called) reads from “The Imitation of
Jesus Christ” the first passage that attracts his eye. In the case of
our informant it was “I come to you, my son, because you have called
me.” But whatever the text may be, he adds, “Let these words form the
subject of your meditations during your stay at La Trappe.”

The _Communauté_ is the name of the monks’ private buildings, where
no strangers are permitted to penetrate, except by special permission
and accompanied by a father. Here perpetual silence is prescribed,
save during the times of religious service, and the visitor is warned
that in his tour around the domicile he is to kneel, pray, and make
the sign of the cross when and where he sees his companion do so. This
proceeding would at first sight seem to exclude from the monastery all
non-Roman Catholics. The member of any religious communion, however, is
welcome, provided he pays a certain deference to the rules, and as the
Trappist guide walks in advance, and never turns round to observe how
his guest is engaged, all derelictions in minor matters are purposely
allowed to escape his notice. Were it otherwise, he would at once
retrace his steps, lead the way to the entrance-door, show the visitor
out, and without uttering a single word, bow and leave him there.

The church is a part of the _Communauté_, and is plain in architecture
and simple in ornamentation. Here it is that each Trappist is brought
to die. Whenever any monk is in the throes of death, an assistant
of the hospital runs about the monastery striking with a stick on a
board. At that well-known summons the brethren flock to the church,
where their dying brother has been already laid on ashes strewn on the
stones in the shape of a cross, and covered with a bundle of straw.
A solemn joy lights up every face, and the Trappist passes away amid
the thanksgiving of his companions who envy his happiness. It is the
_finis coronat opus_ of his life-work.

The Trappist must always be ready for the grave, and as he is to be
buried in his religious vestments, so he is bound to sleep in those
same vestments, even to the extent of keeping his shoes on. The
dormitory is common to all, the abbot included. The beds are made
of quilted straw, as hard as a board, and are separated by a wooden
partition, without doors, reaching more than half way to the ceiling.
There is not the least distinction of accommodation. The Superior rests
not more luxuriously than the brethren, because equality rules here as
elsewhere in the monastery. For La Trappe is a republic governed by a
Chapter, the abbot being only the executive for all temporal affairs,
and wielding absolute power in spiritual matters alone. But although
he holds authority from the see of Rome, yet he is elected by the
brethren, who may if they choose elevate the humblest official of the
monastery. There are no menial occupations, as the world esteems them,
inside the religious houses of the order. The commonest duties may be
performed by inmates of the highest social rank.

The Chapter House answers the double purpose of a hall for meetings and
of a reading-room. The Chapter assembles daily at 5 A.M.—the
fathers in their white gowns, the brethren in their brown ones—in
order to discuss any matter, temporal or spiritual, interesting to
the general community. When the secular business of the day has been
gone through the abbot says, “Let us speak concerning our rules,”
implying that any derelictions which may have occurred during the
past twenty-four hours are to be considered. Then all the monks in
succession, as they may have occasion, accuse themselves of any
neglect, even the most trivial. One may say, “Reverend Father,”
addressing the abbot, “I accidentally dropped my tools when working;”
another, “I did not bow low enough when Brother Joseph passed me;” a
third, “I saw that Brother Antony carried a load that was too heavy,
and I did not assist him.” These and such like self-accusations may
seem puerile, but they lead up to the preservation of some of the
essential precepts of the order, unremitting attention while at labor,
deferential demeanor and Christian courtesy towards brethren.

But if any brother may have omitted to mention derelictions of which he
himself was not aware it then devolves upon his companions, with the
view of maintaining rules, on the observance of which the happiness
of all is concerned, to state to the abbot what those faults may have
been. For instance, one will say, “When Brother Simeon comes to the
Chapter he sometimes forgets to make the sign for the brethren who
stood up on his arrival to sit down again, and yesterday Brother Peter
remained standing for one hour, until another brother came in and made
the sign to be seated.” Thus warned Brother Simeon rises and kisses the
informant, thanking him in this way for kindly reproving him. These
accusations are considered by the brethren as showing their zeal for
reciprocal improvement.

The Trappist is bound to make the abbot acquainted at once with
everything that occurs within the precinct of the monastery, and
minutiæ of the most trifling and sometimes even ludicrous nature must
be reported without delay. To the same ear, and in private, must also
be communicated those confessions in which personal feelings—even
against himself—are concerned. To quote a single instance. It once so
happened that a brother of Le Port du Salut took a dislike to
Dom. H. M., the abbot, and came to tell him of it.

“Reverend Father, I am very unhappy.”

“Why so, brother?”

“Reverend Father, I cannot bear the sight of you.”

“Why so?”

“I do not know; but when I see you I feel hatred towards you, and it
destroys my peace of mind.”

“It is a temptation as bad, but not worse, than any other,” replied the
abbot; “bear it patiently; do not heed it; and whenever you feel it
again come at once and tell me, and especially warn me if I say or do
anything that displeases you.”

The common belief that Trappists never speak is altogether erroneous.
They do speak at stated times and under certain conditions, and
they make use besides of most expressive signs, each of which is
symbolical. Thus joining the fingers of both hands at a right angle,
imitating as it does the roof of a house, means _house_; touching the
forehead signifies the _abbot_; the chin, a _stranger_; the heart, a
_brother_; the eyes, to _sleep_, and so on with some hundreds of like
signs invented by Abbé de Rance, the founder of the order. Trappists
converse in this manner with amazing rapidity, and may be heard
laughing heartily at the comicality of a story told entirely by signs.
Strange to say there is no austere gloom about the Trappist. His face
invariably bears the stamp of serenity, often that of half-subdued
gaiety. The life he leads is nevertheless a very hard one. No fire is
allowed in the winter except in the _chauffoir_ or stove-room, and
there the monks are permitted during excessive cold weather to come
in for fifteen minutes only, the man nearest the stove yielding his
place to the new-comer. The _chauffoir_ and the hospital are the only
artificially heated apartments in the building.

The Trappist takes but one meal and a slight refection per day. He is
the strictest of all vegetarians, for he is not allowed to partake of
any other food except milk and cheese. From the 14th of September to
the Saturday in Passion week, he must not even touch milk. Vegetables
cooked in water, with a little salt, together with some cider apples,
pears and almonds, being all that is permitted him, and during that
long period he takes food but once daily. The diet is not precisely
the same in all monasteries, certain modifications being authorised,
according to the produce of the monastic lands. Thus at Le Port du
Salut they brew and drink beer and at other places where wine is made
they use that in very limited quantities, largely diluted with water.

Trappists wait in turn at table upon their brethren. No one, not even
the abbot, is to ask for anything for himself, but each monk is bound
to see that those seated on either side of him get everything they are
entitled to, and to give notice of any omission by giving a slight tap
upon the table and pointing with the finger to the neglected brother.

Any monk arriving in the refectory after grace prostrates himself in
the middle of the room and remains there until the abbot knocks with a
small hammer and thus liberates him. A graver punishment is inflicted
now and again at the conclusion of dinner. The culprit, so called, lies
flat on the stones across the doorway, and each brother and guest is
compelled to step over him as he makes his exit. I say guest advisedly,
for it is the privilege of all who receive hospitality at La Trappe to
dine once—not oftener—in the monks’ refectory. During meals one of
the Brotherhood reads aloud, in accordance with Cistercian practice.

The dinner at Le Port du Salut consists generally of vegetable soup,
salad without oil, whole-meal bread, cheese, and a modicum of light
beer. Though the cooking is of the plainest description the quality of
the vegetables is excellent, and the cheese has become quite famous.
The meal never lasts longer than twenty minutes, and when over, all
remaining scraps are distributed to the poor assembled at the gate.
Six hundred pounds weight of bread and several casks of soup are also
distributed weekly, besides what the abbot may send to any sick person
in the vicinity.

The ailing Trappist is allowed to indulge in what is called _Le
Soulagement_, viz. two eggs taken early in the morning. In cases of
very severe illness, and when under medical treatment in the hospital,
animal food may be used; but the attachment to rules is so great that
the authority of the Superiors has frequently to be exercised in order
to enforce the doctor’s prescription. In the words of Father Martin,
the attendant of the hospital, “When a Trappist consents to eat meat,
he is at death’s very door.”

The cemetery is surrounded on all sides by the buildings of the
_Communauté_, so that from every window the monks may see their last
resting place. The graves are indicated by a slight rising of the grass
and by a cross bearing the saint’s name assumed by the brother on his
_profession_. Nothing else is recorded save his age and the date of
his death. Threescore years and ten seem to be the minimum of life at
La Trappe, and astonishing as this longevity may appear _primâ facie_,
it is more so when one considers that the vocation of most postulants
has been determined by a desire to separate themselves from a world,
in which they had previously lost their peace of soul and their bodily
health.

Under the regularity of monastic life, its labor, its tranquillity,
and either despite the severity of the diet or in virtue of it, it is
wonderful how soon the dejected and feeble become restored to health.
Out of fifteen novices, statistics show that only one remains to be
what is called a _profès_, the other fourteen leaving the monastery
before the expiration of two years. A touching custom may be here
mentioned. Trappists are told in their Chapter meeting, “Brethren, one
of us has lost a father (or any other relation); let us pray for the
departed soul.” But none know the name of the bereft brother.

After having taken vows as a _profès_ the Trappist holds a
co-proprietorship in the buildings and lands of the association and
must live and die in the monastery. Death is his goal and best hope.
In order to remind him of it, a grave is always ready in the cemetery;
but the belief is altogether erroneous that each Trappist digs his own
grave. When the earth yawning for the dead has been filled, another pit
is opened _by any one ordered for the task_. Each Trappist then comes
and prays at the side of this grave which may be his own. Neither do
Trappists when they meet each other say, “Brother, we must die,” as is
also generally accredited to them. This is, we think, the salute of the
disciples of Bruno at La Grande Chartreuse.

The farm buildings of Le Port du Salut are many and various, including
sheds for cattle, a corn-mill, and looms for the manufacture of the
woollen and cotton clothing the monks wear. There is much land,
outside, as well as inside the walls of the precinct, which the monks
cultivate, and they may be often seen in their full robes, despite the
heat of the summer, working steadfastly in the fields, and the abbot
harder than any of them.

During the twenty-four hours of an ordinary working day the Trappist
is thus employed. He rises generally at two A.M., but on
feast days at midnight or at one o’clock in the morning according to
the importance of the festival. He immediately goes to church, which
is shrouded in darkness, except the light that glimmers from the small
lamps perpetually burning before the altar as in all Roman Catholic
churches. The first service continues until three o’clock; at that
hour and with the last words of the hymn all the monks prostrate
themselves on the stones and remain in silent meditation during thirty
minutes. The nave is then lighted, and the chants are resumed until
five A.M., when masses commence. The number of hours given to
liturgic offices is, on an average, seven per day. Singing, but in a
peculiar way, forms a part of the worship. All the musical notes are
long and of equal duration, and this because the Trappist must sing
hymns “for the love of God, and not for his own delectation.” Moreover,
he must exert his voice to its utmost, and this being prolonged at
intervals during seven hours per diem proves a greater fatigue than
even manual labor.

The distribution of the labor takes place every day under the
superintendence of the abbot, the prior, and the cellérier, the last
named official having the care of all the temporalities of the place,
and being permitted, like the Superior, to hold intercourse with the
outer world. The cellérier stands indeed in the same relation to the
monastery as does a supercargo to a ship.

Labor is regular or occasional. To the first the brethren are
definitely appointed, and their work is every day the same; the latter,
which is mainly agricultural, is alloted by the Superior according
to age, physical condition, and aptitude, but it is imperative that
every monk _must participate in manual labor_. Even a guest may, if he
pleases, claim, what is considered as _a privilege_, three hours of
work a day.

After dinner the Trappist gives one hour to rest, but the maximum never
exceeds seven hours, and on feast days is materially reduced by earlier
rising. The mid-day siesta over, labor continues until a quarter to
five o’clock, which is the hour of refection. Then comes the last
religious office of the day, the “Salve Regina,” at which guests as
well as brethren are expected to assist. The last word of the hymn at
this service is the last word of the day. It is called “The Time of the
Great Silence.” Monks and guests then leave the church, smothering the
sound of their footsteps as much as possible, and noiselessly retire
to their respective resting places; lights are put out, except in case
of special permission of the abbot, and a death-like quiet and gloom
reigns everywhere throughout the habitation.

The life of guests at Le Port du Salut differs from that of a Trappist.
There is a parlor common to all, with a fire burning in it during
winter, but each one sleeps in a separate cell, and has three meals
a day; he may eat eggs from Easter until September, and have his
vegetables cooked with butter. Last, though not least, his wants are
attended to, and his cell swept and cleaned by the father and the
brother of the hostelerie, who are also at liberty to hold conversation
with him.

A guest may stay in the monastery for three days without giving any
particulars of himself, for fourteen days if he chooses to disclose who
and what he is, and for as much as three months if his circumstances
seem to need it. After that time, if he be poor, he may be sent away to
another monastery at the cost of the senders; but the abbot is free to
extend a guest’s visit to any duration.

Trappists are most useful citizens. They perform, per head, more labor
than any farmer; they expend upon their own maintenance the very
minimum necessary to support existence; they undertake at the cost of
their lives works of great public utility, such as the draining of the
extensive marshes of Les Dombes, in the south of France, and of La
Metidja, at Staouëli, near Algiers, which they are converting into
fruitful fields. As horticulturists, agriculturists, dairymen, millers,
and breeders of cattle they are unrivalled; for men whose faith is
that to work is to pray, cannot fail to excel those with whom work
is, if even necessary, a tiresome obligation. Lastly, in all new
establishments, the Trappist only considers his monastery founded when
a dead brother has taken possession of the land and lies buried in the
first open grave.

Such is the real life of the Trappists. It is apparently a happy one;
and it is with feelings of deep regret and of friendly remembrance that
the departing guest, as he reaches a turning of the road, and sees the
steeple of the monastery of Le Port du Salut disappear, stands for a
moment to cast a last look upon that peaceful abode ere he wends his
way again into the wide, wide world.—_Good Words._



THUNDERBOLTS.


The subject of thunderbolts is a very fascinating one, and all the
more so because there are no such things in existence at all as
thunderbolts of any sort. Like the snakes of Iceland, their whole
history might, from the positive point of view at least, be summed up
in the simple statement of their utter nonentity. But does that do away
in the least, I should like to know, with their intrinsic interest and
importance? Not a bit of it. It only adds to the mystery and charm of
the whole subject. Does any one feel as keenly interested in any real
living cobra or anaconda as in the non-existent great sea-serpent?
Are ghosts and vampires less attractive objects of popular study than
cats and donkeys? Can the present King of Abyssinia, interviewed by
our own correspondent, equal the romantic charm of Prester John, or
the butcher in the next street rival the personality of Sir Roger
Charles Doughty Tichborne, Baronet? No, the real fact is this: if
there _were_ thunderbolts, the question of their nature and action
would be a wholly dull, scientific, and priggish one; it is their
unreality alone that invests them with all the mysterious weirdness
of pure fiction. Lightning, now, is a common thing that one reads
about wearily in the books on electricity, a mere ordinary matter of
positive and negative, density and potential, to be measured in ohms
(whatever they may be), and partially imitated with Leyden jars and
red sealing-wax apparatus. Why, did not Benjamin Franklin, a fat old
gentleman in ill-fitting small clothes, bring it down from the clouds
with a simple door-key, somewhere near Philadelphia? and does not Mr.
Robert Scott (of the Meteorological Office) calmly predict its probable
occurrence within the next twenty-four hours in his daily report, as
published regularly in the morning papers? This is lightning, mere
vulgar lightning, a simple result of electrical conditions in the upper
atmosphere, inconveniently connected with algebraical formulas in _x_,
_y_, _z_, with horrid symbols interspersed in Greek letters. But
the real thunderbolts of Jove, the weapons that the angry Zeus, or Thor,
or Indra hurls down upon the head of the trembling malefactor—how
infinitely grander, more fearsome, and more mysterious!

And yet even nowadays, I believe, there are a large number of
well-informed people, who have passed the sixth standard, taken prizes
at the Oxford Local, and attended the dullest lectures of the Society
for University Extension, but who nevertheless in some vague and dim
corner of their consciousness retain somehow a lingering faith in the
existence of thunderbolts. They have not yet grasped in its entirety
the simple truth that lightning is the reality of which thunderbolts
are the mythical or fanciful or verbal representation. We all of us
know now that lightning is a mere flash of electric light and heat;
that it has no solid existence or core of any sort; in short, that it
is dynamical rather than material, a state or movement rather than a
body or thing. To be sure, local newspapers still talk with much show
of learning about the “electric fluid” which did such remarkable damage
last week upon the slated steeple of Peddington Torpida church; but the
well-crammed schoolboy of the present day has long since learned that
the electric fluid is an exploded fallacy, and that the lightning which
pulled the ten slates off the steeple in question was nothing more in
its real nature than a very big immaterial spark. However, the word
thunderbolt has survived to us from the days when people still believed
that the thing which did the damage during a thunderstorm was really
and truly a gigantic white-hot bolt or arrow; and as there is a natural
tendency in human nature to fit an existence to every word, people
even now continue to imagine that there must be actually something or
other somewhere called a thunderbolt. They don’t figure this thing to
themselves as being identical with the lightning; on the contrary, they
seem to regard it as something infinitely rarer, more terrible, and
more mystic; but they firmly hold that thunderbolts do exist in real
life, and even sometimes assert that they themselves have positively
seen them.

But if seeing is believing, it is equally true, as all who have looked
into the phenomena of spiritualism and “psychical research” (modern
English for ghost-hunting), know too well that believing is seeing
also. The origin of the faith in thunderbolts must be looked for (like
the origin of the faith in ghosts and “psychical phenomena”) far
back in the history of our race. The noble savage, at that early
period when wild in woods he ran, naturally noticed the existence
of thunder and lightning, because thunder and lightning are things
that forcibly obtrude themselves upon the attention of the observer,
however little he may by nature be scientifically inclined. Indeed,
the noble savage, sleeping naked on the bare ground, in tropical
countries where thunder occurs almost every night on an average, was
sure to be pretty often awaked from his peaceful slumbers by the
torrents of rain that habitually accompany thunderstorms in the happy
realms of everlasting dog-days. Primitive man was thereupon compelled
to do a little philosophising on his own account as to the cause and
origin of the rumbling and flashing which he saw so constantly around
him. Naturally enough, he concluded that the sound must be the voice
of somebody; and that the fiery shaft, whose effects he sometimes
noted upon trees, animals, and his fellow-man, must be the somebody’s
arrow. It is immaterial from this point of view whether, as the
scientific anthropologists hold, he was led to his conception of these
supernatural personages from his prior belief in ghosts and spirits, or
whether, as Professor Max Müller will have it, he felt a deep yearning
in his primitive savage breast toward the Infinite and the Unknowable
(which he would doubtless have spelt like the professor, with a capital
initial, had he been acquainted with the intricacies of the yet
uninvented alphabet); but this much at least is pretty certain, that he
looked upon the thunder and the lightning as in some sense the voice
and the arrows of an aërial god.

Now, this idea about the arrows is itself very significant of the
mental attitude of primitive man, and of the way that mental attitude
has colored all subsequent thinking and superstition upon this very
subject. Curiously enough, to the present day the conception of the
thunderbolt is essentially one of a _bolt_—that is to say, an arrow,
or at least an arrowhead. All existing thunderbolts (and there are
plenty of them lying about casually in country houses and local
museums) are more or less arrow-like in shape and appearance; some of
them, indeed, as we shall see by-and-by, are the actual stone arrow
heads of primitive man himself in person. Of course the noble savage
was himself in the constant habit of shooting at animals and enemies
with a bow and arrow. When, then, he tried to figure to himself the
angry god, seated in the stormclouds, who spoke with such a loud
rumbling voice, and killed those who displeased him, with his fiery
darts, he naturally thought of him as using in his cloudy home the
familiar bow and arrow of this nether planet. To us nowadays, if we
were to begin forming the idea for ourselves all over again _de novo_,
it would be far more natural to think of the thunder as the noise of
a big gun, of the lightning as the flash of the powder, and of the
supposed “bolt” as a shell or bullet. There is really a ridiculous
resemblance between a thunderstorm and a discharge of artillery. But
the old conception derived from so many generations of primitive men
has held its own against such mere modern devices as gunpowder and
rifle balls; and none of the objects commonly shown as thunderbolts
are ever round: they are distinguished, whatever their origin, by the
common peculiarity that they more or less closely resemble a dart or
arrowhead.

Let us begin, then, by clearly disembarrassing our minds of any
lingering belief in the existence of thunderbolts. There are absolutely
no such things known to science. The two real phenomena that underlie
the fable are simply thunder and lightning. A thunderstorm is merely
a series of electrical discharges between one cloud and another, or
between clouds and the earth; and these discharges manifest themselves
to our senses under two forms—to the eye as lightning, to the ear as
thunder. All that passes in each case is a huge spark—a commotion,
not a material object. It is in principle just like the spark from
an electrical machine; but while the most powerful machine of human
construction will only send a spark for three feet, the enormous
electrical apparatus provided for us by nature will send one for
four, five, or even ten miles. Though lightning when it touches the
earth always seems to us to come from the clouds to the ground, it is
by no means certain that the real course may not at least occasionally
be in the opposite direction. All we know is that sometimes there is an
instantaneous discharge between one cloud and another, and sometimes an
instantaneous discharge between a cloud and the earth.

But this idea of a mere passage of highly concentrated energy from
one point to another was far too abstract, of course, for primitive
man, and is far too abstract even now for nine out of ten of our
fellow-creatures. Those who don’t still believe in the bodily
thunderbolt, a fearsome aërial weapon which buries itself deep in the
bosom of the earth, look upon lightning as at least an embodiment of
the electric fluid, a long spout or line of molten fire, which is
usually conceived of as striking the ground and then proceeding to
hide itself under the roots of a tree or beneath the foundations of a
tottering house. Primitive man naturally took to the grosser and more
material conception. He figured to himself the thunderbolt as a barbed
arrowhead; and the forked zigzag character of the visible flash, as it
darts rapidly from point to point, seemed almost inevitably to suggest
to him the barbs, as one sees them represented on all the Greek and
Roman gems, in the red right hand of the angry Jupiter.

The thunderbolt being thus an accepted fact, it followed naturally
that whenever any dart-like object of unknown origin was dug up out
of the ground, it was at once set down as being a thunderbolt; and,
on the other hand, the frequent occurrence of such dart-like objects,
precisely where one might expect to find them in accordance with
the theory, necessarily strengthened the belief itself. So commonly
are thunderbolts picked up to the present day that to disbelieve in
them seems to many country people a piece of ridiculous and stubborn
scepticism. Why, they’ve ploughed up dozens of them themselves in their
time, and just about the very place where the thunderbolt struck the
old elm-tree two years ago, too.

The most favorite form of thunderbolt is the polished stone hatchet or
“celt” of the newer stone age men. I have never heard the very rude
chipped and unpolished axes of the older drift men or cave men described
as thunderbolts: they are too rough and shapeless ever to attract
attention from any except professed archæologists. Indeed, the wicked
have been known to scoff at them freely as mere accidental lumps of
broken flint, and to deride the notion of their being due in any way
to deliberate human handicraft. These are the sort of people who would
regard a grand piano as a fortuitous concourse of atoms. But the
shapely stone hatchet of the later neolithic farmer and herdsman is
usually a beautifully polished wedge-shaped piece of solid greenstone;
and its edge has been ground to such a delicate smoothness that it
seems rather like a bit of nature’s exquisite workmanship than a simple
relic of prehistoric man. There is something very fascinating about
the naïf belief that the neolithic axe is a genuine unadulterated
thunderbolt. You dig it up in the ground exactly where you would expect
a thunderbolt (if there were such things) to be. It is heavy, smooth,
well shaped, and neatly pointed at one end. If it could really descend
in a red-hot state from the depths of the sky, launched forth like a
cannon-ball by some fierce discharge of heavenly artillery, it would
certainly prove a very formidable weapon indeed; and one could easily
imagine it scoring the bark of some aged oak, or tearing off the tiles
from a projecting turret, exactly as the lightning is so well known to
do in this prosaic workaday world of ours. In short, there is really
nothing on earth against the theory of the stone axe being a true
thunderbolt, except the fact that it unfortunately happens to be a
neolithic hatchet.

But the course of reasoning by which we discover the true nature of
the stone axe is not one that would in any case appeal strongly to
the fancy or the intelligence of the British farmer. It is no use
telling him that whenever one opens a barrow of the stone age one is
pretty sure to find a neolithic axe and a few broken pieces of pottery
beside the mouldering skeleton of the old nameless chief who lies
there buried. The British farmer will doubtless stolidly retort that
thunderbolts often strike the tops of hills, which are just the places
where barrows and tumuli (tumps, he calls them) most do congregate;
and that as to the skeleton, isn’t it just as likely that the man was
killed by the thunderbolt as that the thunderbolt was made by a man?
Ay, and a sight likelier, too.

All the world over, this simple and easy belief, that the buried stone
axe is a thunderbolt, exists among Europeans and savages alike. In
the West of England, the laborers will tell you that the thunder-axes
they dig up fell from the sky. In Brittany, says Mr. Tylor, the old
man who mends umbrellas at Carnac, beside the mysterious stone avenues
of that great French Stonehenge, inquires on his rounds for _pierres
de tonnerre_, which of course are found with suspicious frequency in
the immediate neighborhood of prehistoric remains. In the Chinese
Encyclopædia we are told that the “lightning stones” have sometimes
the shape of a hatchet, sometimes that of a knife, and sometimes that
of a mallet. And then, by a curious misapprehension, the sapient
author of that work goes on to observe that these lightning stones are
used by the wandering Mongols instead of copper and steel. It never
seems to have struck his celestial intelligence that the Mongols made
the lightning stones instead of digging them up out of the earth. So
deeply had the idea of the thunderbolt buried itself in the recesses
of his soul, that though a neighboring people were still actually
manufacturing stone axes almost under his very eyes, he reversed
mentally the entire process, and supposed they dug up the thunderbolts
which he saw them using, and employed them as common hatchets. This
is one of the finest instances on record of the popular figure which
grammarians call the _hysteron proteron_, and ordinary folk describe
as putting the cart before the horse. Just so, while in some parts
of Brazil the Indians are still laboriously polishing their stone
hatchets, in other parts the planters are digging up the precisely
similar stone hatchets of earlier generations, and religiously
preserving them in their houses as undoubted thunderbolts. I have
myself had pressed upon my attention as genuine lightning stones, in
the West Indies, the exquisitely polished greenstone tomahawks of the
old Carib marauders. But then, in this matter, I am pretty much in the
position of that philosophic sceptic who, when he was asked by a lady
whether he believed in ghosts, answered wisely, “No, madam, I have seen
by far too many of them.”

One of the finest accounts ever given of the nature of thunderbolts
is that mentioned by Adrianus Tollius in his edition of “Boethius on
Gems.” He gives illustrations of some neolithic axes and hammers, and
then proceeds to state that in the opinion of philosophers they are
generated in the sky by a fulgureous exhalation (whatever that may
look like) conglobed in a cloud by a circumfixed humor, and baked
hard, as it were, by intense heat. The weapon, it seems, then becomes
pointed by the damp mixed with it flying from the dry part, and leaving
the other end denser; while the exhalations press it so hard that
it breaks out through the cloud, and makes thunder and lightning. A
very lucid explanation certainly, but rendered a little difficult of
apprehension by the effort necessary for realising in a mental picture
the conglobation of a fulgureous exhalation by a circumfixed humor.

One would like to see a drawing of the process, though the sketch
would probably much resemble the picture of a muchness, so admirably
described by the mock turtle. The excellent Tollius himself, however,
while demurring on the whole to this hypothesis of the philosophers,
bases his objection mainly on the ground that if this were so, then
it is odd that thunderbolts are not round, but wedge-shaped, and that
they have holes in them, and those holes not equal throughout, but
widest at the ends. As a matter of fact Tollius has here hit the right
nail on the head quite accidentally; for the holes are really there,
of course, to receive the haft of the axe or hammer. But if they were
truly thunderbolts, and if the bolts were shafted, then the holes would
have been lengthwise as in an arrowhead, not crosswise, as in an axe or
hammer. Which is a complete _reductio ad absurdum_ of the philosophic
opinion.

Some of the cerauniæ, says Pliny, are like hatchets. He would have
been nearer the mark if he had said “are hatchets” outright. But this
_aperçu_, which was to Pliny merely a stray suggestion, became to the
northern peoples a firm article of belief, and caused them to represent
to themselves their god Thor or Thunor as armed, not with a bolt, but
with an axe or hammer. Etymologically Thor, Thunor, and thunder are the
self-same word; but while the southern races looked upon Zeus or Indra
as wielding his forked darts in his red right hand, the northern races
looked upon the Thunder-god as hurling down an angry hammer from his
seat in the clouds. There can be but little doubt that the very notion
of Thor’s hammer itself was derived from the shape of the supposed
thunderbolt, which the Scandinavians and Teutons rightly saw at once
to be an axe or mallet, not an arrowhead. The “fiery axe” of Thunor is
a common metaphor in Anglo-Saxon poetry. Thus, Thor’s hammer is itself
merely the picture which our northern ancestors formed to themselves,
by compounding the idea of thunder and lightning with the idea of the
polished stone hatchets they dug up among the fields and meadows.

Flint arrowheads of the stone age are less often taken for
thunderbolts, no doubt because they are so much smaller that they look
quite too insignificant for the weapons of an angry god. They are more
frequently described as fairy-darts or fairy-bolts. Still, I have known
even arrowheads regarded as thunderbolts and preserved superstitiously
under that belief. In Finland, stone arrows are universally so viewed;
and the rainbow is looked upon as the bow of Tiermes, the thunder-god,
who shoots with it the guilty sorcerers.

But why should thunderbolts, whether stone axes or flint arrowheads, be
preserved, not merely as curiosities, but from motives of superstition?
The reason is a simple one. Everybody knows that in all magical
ceremonies it is necessary to have something belonging to the person
you wish to conjure against, in order to make your spells effectual. A
bone, be it but a joint of the little finger, is sufficient to raise
the ghost to which it once belonged; cuttings of hair or clippings of
nails are enough to put their owner magically in your power; and that
is the reason why, if you are a prudent person, you will always burn
all such off-castings of your body, lest haply an enemy should get hold
of them, and cast the evil eye upon you with their potent aid. In the
same way, if you can lay hands upon anything that once belonged to an
elf, such as a fairy-bolt or flint arrowhead, you can get its former
possessor to do anything you wish by simply rubbing it and calling
upon him to appear. This is the secret of half the charms and amulets
in existence, most of which are real old arrowheads, or carnelians cut
in the same shape, which has now mostly degenerated from the barb to
the conventional heart, and been mistakenly associated with the idea
of love. This is the secret, too, of all the rings, lamps, gems, and
boxes, possession of which gives a man power over fairies, spirits,
gnomes, and genii. All magic proceeds upon the prime belief that you
must possess something belonging to the person you wish to control,
constrain, or injure. And, failing anything else, you must at least
have a wax image of him, which you call by his name, and use as his
substitute in your incantations.

On this primitive principle, possession of a thunderbolt gives you
some sort of hold, as it were, over the thunder-god himself in person.
If you keep a thunderbolt in your house it will never be struck by
lightning. In Shetland, stone axes are religiously preserved in every
cottage as a cheap and simple substitute for lightning-rods. In
Cornwall the stone hatchets and arrowheads not only guard the house
from thunder, but also act as magical barometers, changing color with
the changes of the weather, as if in sympathy with the temper of the
thunder-god. In Germany, the house where a thunderbolt is kept is safe
from the storm; and the bolt itself begins to sweat on the approach
of lightning-clouds. Nay, so potent is the protection afforded by a
thunderbolt that where the lightning has once struck it never strikes
again; the bolt already buried in the soil seems to preserve the
surrounding place from the anger of the deity. Old and pagan in their
nature as are these beliefs, they yet survive so thoroughly into
Christian times that I have seen a stone hatchet built into the steeple
of a church to protect it from lightning. Indeed, steeples have always
of course attracted the electric discharge to a singular degree by
their height and tapering form, especially before the introduction of
lightning-rods; and it was a sore trial of faith to mediæval reasoners
to understand why heaven should hurl its angry darts so often against
the towers of its very own churches. In the Abruzzi the flint axe has
actually been Christianised into St. Paul’s arrows—_saetti de San
Paolo_. Families hand down the miraculous stone from father to son as a
precious legacy; and mothers hang them on their children’s necks side
by side with medals of saints and madonnas, which themselves are hardly
so prized as the stones that fall from heaven.

Another and very different form of thunderbolt is the belemnite, a
common English fossil often preserved in houses in the west country
with the same superstitious reverence as the neolithic hatchets. The
very form of the belemnite at once suggests the notion of a dart or
lance-head, which has gained for it its scientific name. At the present
day, when all our girls go to Girton and enter for the classical
tripos, I need hardly translate the word belemnite “for the benefit
of the ladies,” as people used to do in the dark and unemancipated
eighteenth century; but as our boys have left off learning Greek
just as their sisters are beginning to act the “Antigone” at private
theatricals, I may perhaps be pardoned if I explain, “for the
benefit of the gentlemen,” that the word is practically equivalent
to javelin-fossil. The belemnites are the internal shells of a sort
of cuttle-fish which swam about in enormous numbers in the seas
whose sediment forms our modern lias, oolite, and gault. A great
many different species are known and have acquired charming names in
very doubtful Attic at the hands of profoundly learned geological
investigators, but almost all are equally good representatives of
the mythical thunderbolt. The finest specimens are long, thick,
cylindrical, and gradually tapering, with a hole at one end as if on
purpose to receive the shaft. Sometimes they have petrified into iron
pyrites or copper compounds, shining like gold, and then they make very
noble thunderbolts indeed, heavy as lead, and capable of doing profound
mischief if properly directed. At other times they have crystallised
in transparent spar, and then they form very beautiful objects, as
smooth and polished as the best lapidary could possibly make them.
Belemnites are generally found in immense numbers together, especially
in the marlstone quarries of the Midlands, and in the lias cliffs of
Dorsetshire. Yet the quarrymen who find them never seem to have their
faith shaken in the least by the enormous quantities of thunderbolts
that would appear to have struck a single spot with such extraordinary
frequency. This little fact also tells rather hardly against the theory
that the lightning never falls twice upon the same place.

Only the largest and heaviest belemnites are known as thunder stones;
the smaller ones are more commonly described as agate pencils. In
Shakespeare’s country their connection with thunder is well known, so
that in all probability a belemnite is the original of the beautiful
lines in “Cymbeline”—

    Fear no more the lightning flash,
    Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone,

where the distinction between the lightning and the thunderbolt is
particularly well indicated. In every part of Europe belemnites and
stone hatchets are alike regarded as thunderbolts; so that we have the
curious result that people confuse under a single name a natural fossil
of immense antiquity and a human product of comparatively recent but
still prehistoric date. Indeed, I have had two thunderbolts shown me at
once, one of which was a large belemnite and the other a modern Indian
tomahawk. Curiously enough, English sailors still call the nearest
surviving relatives of the belemnites, the squids or calamaries of the
Atlantic, by the appropriate name of sea-arrows.

Many other natural or artificial objects have added their tittle to
the belief in thunderbolts. In the Himalayas, for example, where
awful thunderstorms are always occurring as common objects of the
country, the torrents which follow them tear out of the loose soil
fossil bones and tusks and teeth, which are universally looked upon as
lightning-stones. The nodules of pyrites, often picked up on beaches,
with their false appearance of having been melted by intense heat, pass
muster easily with children and sailor folk for the genuine
thunderbolts. But the grand upholder of the belief, the one true
undeniable reality which has kept alive the thunderbolt even in a
wicked and sceptical age, is beyond all question the occasional falling
of meteoric stones. Your meteor is an incontrovertible fact; there is
no getting over him; in the British Museum itself you will find him
duly classified and labelled and catalogued. Here, surely, we have
the ultimate substratum of the thunderbolt myth. To be sure, meteors
have no kind of natural connection with thunderstorms; they may fall
anywhere and at any time; but to object thus is to be hypercritical.
A stone that falls from heaven, no matter how or when, is quite good
enough to be considered as a thunderbolt.

Meteors, indeed, might very easily be confounded with lightning,
especially by people who already have the full-blown conception of a
thunderbolt floating about vaguely in their brains. The meteor leaps
upon the earth suddenly with a rushing noise; it is usually red-hot
when it falls, by friction against the air; it is mostly composed of
native iron and other heavy metallic bodies; and it does its best to
bury itself in the ground in the most orthodox and respectable manner.
The man who sees this parlous monster come whizzing through the clouds
from planetary space, making a fiery track like a great dragon as it
moves rapidly across the sky, and finally ploughing its way into the
earth in his own back garden, may well be excused for regarding it
as a fine specimen of the true antique thunderbolt. The same virtues
which belong to the buried stone are in some other places claimed for
meteoric iron, small pieces of which are worn as charms, specially
useful in protecting the wearer against thunder, lightning, and evil
incantations. In many cases miraculous images have been hewn out of the
stones that have fallen from heaven; and in others the meteorite itself
is carefully preserved or worshipped as the actual representative of
god or goddess, saint or madonna. The image that fell down from Jupiter
may itself have been a mass of meteoric iron.

Both meteorites and stone hatchets, as well as all other forms of
thunderbolt, are in excellent repute as amulets, not only against
lightning, but against the evil eye generally. In Italy they protect
the owner from thunder, epidemics, and cattle disease, the last two of
which are well known to be caused by witchcraft; while Prospero in the
“Tempest” is a surviving proof how thunderstorms, too, can be magically
produced. The tongues of sheep-bells ought to be made of meteoric iron
or of elf-bolts, in order to insure the animals against foot-and-mouth
disease or death by storm. Built into walls or placed on the threshold
of stables, thunderbolts are capital preventives of fire or other
damage, though not perhaps in this respect quite equal to a rusty
horseshoe from a prehistoric battle-field. Thrown into a well they
purify the water; and boiled in the drink of diseased sheep they render
a cure positively certain. In Cornwall thunderbolts are a sovereign
remedy for rheumatism; and in the popular pharmacopœia of Ireland they
have been employed with success for ophthalmia, pleurisy, and many
other painful diseases. If finely powdered and swallowed piecemeal,
they render the person who swallows them invulnerable for the rest
of his lifetime. But they cannot conscientiously be recommended for
dyspepsia and other forms of indigestion.

As if on purpose to confuse our already very vague ideas about
thunderbolts, there is one special kind of lightning which really seems
intentionally to simulate a meteorite, and that is the kind known as
fireballs or (more scientifically) globular lightning. A fireball
generally appears as a sphere of light, sometimes only as big as a
Dutch cheese, sometimes as large as three feet in diameter. It moves
along very slowly and demurely through the air, remaining visible for
a whole minute or two together; and in the end it generally bursts
up with great violence, as if it were a London railway station being
experimented upon by Irish patriots. At Milan one day a fireball of
this description walked down one of the streets so slowly that a small
crowd walked after it admiringly, to see where it was going. It made
straight for a church steeple, after the common but sacrilegious
fashion of all lightning, struck the gilded cross on the topmost
pinnacle, and then immediately vanished, like a Virgilian apparition,
into thin air.

A few years ago, too, Dr. Tripe was watching a very severe
thunderstorm, when he saw a fireball come quietly gliding up to him,
apparently rising from the earth rather than falling towards it.
Instead of running away, like a practical man, the intrepid doctor
held his ground quietly and observed the fiery monster with scientific
nonchalance. After continuing its course for some time in a peaceful
and regular fashion, however, without attempting to assault him, it
finally darted off at a tangent in another direction, and turned
apparently into forked lightning. A fireball, noticed among the
Glendowan Mountains in Donegal, behaved even more eccentrically, as
might be expected from its Irish antecedents. It first skirted the
earth in a leisurely way for several hundred yards like a cannon-ball;
then it struck the ground, ricochetted, and once more bounded along
for another short spell; after which it disappeared in the boggy soil,
as if it were completely finished and done for. But in another moment
it rose again, nothing daunted, with Celtic irrepressibility, several
yards away, pursued its ghostly course across a running stream (which
shows, at least, there could have been no witchcraft in it), and
finally ran to earth for good in the opposite bank, leaving a round
hole in the sloping peat at the spot where it buried itself. Where it
first struck, it cut up the peat as if with a knife, and made a broad
deep trench which remained afterwards as a witness of its eccentric
conduct. If the person who observed it had been of a superstitious
turn of mind, we should have had here one of the finest and most
terrifying ghost stories on the entire record, which would have made
an exceptionally splendid show in the Transactions of the Society
for Psychical Research. Unfortunately, however, he was only a man of
science, ungifted with the precious dower of poetical imagination;
so he stupidly called it a remarkable fireball, measured the ground
carefully like a common engineer, and sent an account of the phenomenon
to that far more prosaic periodical, the “Quarterly Journal of the
Meteorological Society.” Another splendid apparition thrown away
recklessly, forever!

There is a curious form of electrical discharge, somewhat similar to
the fireball but on a smaller scale, which may be regarded as the exact
opposite of the thunderbolt, inasmuch as it is always quite harmless.
This is St. Elmo’s fire, a brush of lambent light, which plays around
the masts of ships and the tops of trees, when clouds are low and
tension great. It is, in fact, the equivalent in nature of the brush
discharge from an electric machine. The Greeks and Romans looked upon
this lambent display as a sign of the presence of Castor and Pollux,
“fratres Helenæ, lucida sidera,” and held that its appearance was an
omen of safety, as everybody who has read the “Lays of Ancient Rome”
must surely remember. The modern name, St. Elmo’s fire, is itself a
curiously twisted and perversely Christianized reminiscence of the
great twin brethren; for St. Elmo it’s merely a corruption of Helena,
made masculine and canonised by the grateful sailors. It was as Helen’s
brothers that they best knew the Dioscuri in the good old days of
the upper empire; and when the new religion forbade them any longer
to worship those vain heathen deities, they managed to hand over the
flames at the masthead to an imaginary St. Elmo, whose protection stood
them in just as good stead as that of the original alternate immortals.

Finally, the effects of lightning itself are sometimes such as to
produce upon the mind of an impartial but unscientific beholder the
firm idea that a bodily thunderbolt must necessarily have descended
from heaven. In sand or rock, where lightning has struck, it often
forms long hollow tubes, known to the calmly discriminating geological
intelligence as fulgurites, and looking for all the world like
gigantic drills such as quarrymen make for putting in a blast. They
are produced, of course, by the melting of the rock under the terrific
heat of the electric spark; and they grow narrower and narrower as they
descend till they finally disappear. But to a casual observer, they
irresistibly suggest the notion that a material weapon has struck the
ground, and buried itself at the bottom of the hole. The summit of
Little Ararat, that weather-beaten and many-fabled peak (where an
enterprising journalist not long ago discovered the remains of Noah’s
Ark), has been riddled through and through by frequent lightnings, till
the rock is now a mere honeycombed mass of drills and tubes, like an
old target at the end of a long day’s constant rifle practice. Pieces
of the red trachyte from the summit, a foot long, have been brought
to Europe, perforated all over with these natural bullet marks, each
of them lined with black glass, due to the fusion of the rock by the
passage of the spark. Specimens of such thunder-drilled rock may be
seen in most geological museums. On some which Humboldt collected
from a peak in Mexico, the fused slag from the wall of the tube has
overflowed on to the surrounding surface, thus conclusively proving (if
proof were necessary) that the holes are due to melting heat alone, and
not to the passage of any solid thunderbolt.

But it was the introduction and general employment of lightning-rods
that dealt a final deathblow to the thunderbolt theory. A
lightning-conductor consists essentially of a long piece of metal,
pointed at the end, whose business it is, not so much (as most people
imagine) to carry off the flash of lightning harmlessly, should it
happen to strike the house to which the conductor is attached, but
rather to prevent the occurrence of a flash at all, by gradually and
gently drawing off the electricity as fast as it gathers, before it has
had time to collect in sufficient force for a destructive discharge.
It resembles in effect an overflow pipe, which drains off the surplus
water of a pond as soon as it runs in, in such a manner as to prevent
the possibility of an inundation, which might occur if the water
were allowed to collect in force behind a dam or embankment. It is a
floodgate, not a moat: it carries away the electricity of the air
quietly to the ground, without allowing it to gather in sufficient
amount to produce a flash of lightning. It might thus be better
called a lightning-preventor than a lightning-conductor: it conducts
electricity, but it prevents lightning. At first, all lightning-rods
used to be made with knobs on the top, and then the electricity used
to collect at the surface until the electric force was sufficient to
cause a spark. In those happy days, you had the pleasure of seeing
that the lightning was actually being drawn off from your neighborhood
piecemeal. Knobs, it was held, must be the best things, because you
could incontestably see the sparks striking them with your own eyes.
But as time went on, electricians discovered that if you fixed a fine
metal point to the conductor of an electric machine it was impossible
to get up any appreciable charge, because the electricity kept always
leaking out by means of the point. Then it was seen that if you made
your lightning-rods pointed at the end, you would be able in the same
way to dissipate your electricity before it ever had time to come to a
head in the shape of lightning. From that moment the thunderbolt was
safely dead and buried. It was urged, indeed, that the attempt thus to
rob Heaven of its thunders was wicked and impious: but the common-sense
of mankind refused to believe that absolute omnipotence could be
sensibly defied by twenty yards of cylindrical iron tubing. Thenceforth
the thunderbolt ceased to exist, save in poetry, country houses, and
the most rural circles; even the electric fluid was generally relegated
to the provincial press, where it still keeps company harmoniously with
caloric, the devouring element, nature’s abhorrence of a vacuum, and
many other like philosophical fossils: while lightning itself, shorn of
its former glories, could no longer wage impious war against cathedral
towers, but was compelled to restrict itself to blasting a solitary
rider now and again in the open fields, or drilling more holes in the
already crumbling summit of Mount Ararat. Yet it will be a thousand
years more, in all probability, before the last thunderbolt ceases
to be shown as a curiosity here and there to marvelling visitors,
and takes its proper place in some village museum as a belemnite, a
meteoric stone, or a polished axe head of our neolithic ancestors. Even
then, no doubt, the original bolt will still survive as a recognised
property in the stock-in-trade of every well-equipped poet.
-_Cornhill Magazine._



THE LOCAL COLOR OF “ROMEO AND JULIET.”


BY WILLIAM ARCHER.

“Romeo and Juliet” affords a good illustration of the fallacy which
lies at the root of the Shakespearologists’ panegyrics of the poet’s
“local color.” We are told that every touch and tint is correctly and
vividly Italian. Schlegel, Coleridge, and Philarète Chasles have sought
to concentrate in impassioned word-pictures the coloring at once of
“Romeo and Juliet” and of Italy. What Shakespeare designed to paint, in
vivid but perfectly general hues, was an ideal land of love, a land of
moonlight and nightingales, a land to which he had certainly travelled,
perhaps before leaving the banks of the Avon. It happens that Italy,
of all countries in the material world, most closely resembles this
fairyland of the youthful fantasy. If we must place it on the earth
at all, we place it there. Therefore did Shakespeare willingly accept
the Italian names for scene and characters provided in his original;
and, therefore, our scenic artists very properly draw their inspiration
from Italian orange groves and Italian palaces. But it is a fundamental
error to regard Romeo and Juliet as specifically Italians, or their
country as Italy and nothing but Italy. Their pure-humanity is of no
race, their Italy has no latitude or longitude. Shakespeare could not
if he would, and would not if he could, have given it the minutely
accurate local color of which we hear so much.

Could not if he would, for even the most devout believers in his visit
to Italy place it after the date of “Romeo and Juliet” and before that
of “The Merchant of Venice.” Now, to maintain that the poet evolved
Italian local color out of his inner consciousness is merely a piece of
the supernaturalism which infects Shakespearology. Schiller, by
diligent study and conversations with Goethe, grasped the cruder local
colors of Switzerland, but Shakespeare had no means or opportunity
for such study, and no Goethe to aid him. By lifelong love two modern
Englishmen have attempted to construct an Italy in their imagination;
Rossetti quite successfully, Mr. Shorthouse more or less so.
Shakespeare had neither the motives nor the means for attempting any
such feat.

But further, had Shakespeare known Italy as well as Mr. Browning,
he would still have refrained from loading “Romeo and Juliet” with
local color. His audience did not want it, could not understand it,
would have been bewildered by it. The very youth of Juliet (“she is
not fourteen”) proves, it is said, that the poet thought of her as an
early-developed Italian girl. Now, the physiological observation here
implied is in itself questionable, and, had it conflicted with their
pre-conceptions as to the due period of first love in girls, would have
been incomprehensible, if not repellent, to an Elizabethan audience.
We, though taught to regard it as “local color,” are, by our social
conventions, so accustomed to place the marriageable age later, that in
our imagination we always add three or four years to Juliet’s fourteen;
and on the stage the addition is generally made in so many words. But
the social conventions of Shakespeare’s time tended in precisely the
opposite direction. Anne, daughter of Sir Peter Warburton, was only
twelve when, in 1539, she was married to Sir Edward Fitton. In Porter’s
“Angrie Women of Abington,” published in 1599, some five years after
the probable date of “Romeo and Juliet,” it is explicitly stated that
fifteen was the ordinary age at which girls married. That was the age
of Lady Jane Grey at her marriage: the wife of Sir Simon d’Ewes was
even younger; and a little research could easily supply a hundred other
cases. In Johnson’s “Crowne Garland of Goulden Roses” (1612) a girl who
is single at twenty expresses her despair of ever being married. Thus
we find that this renowned proof of Juliet’s Italian nature resolves
itself into a familiar trait of English social habit in the sixteenth
century. Had it been otherwise, it would have been a fault and not a
merit in a play which addressed itself, not to an ethnological society,
but to a popular audience.

A touch which may possibly have conveyed to Shakespeare’s audience a
peculiarly Italian impression, is Lady Capulet’s suggestion that Romeo
should be poisoned. In the sixteenth century poisoning was commonly
known in England as “the Italian crime,” and was probably connected
with Italy in the popular mind as are macaroni and organ-grinders
at the present day. But poison is part of the stock-in-trade of the
tragic dramatist, and plays a prominent part in the two most distinctly
northern of the poet’s works, “Hamlet” and “Lear,” Again, the
Apothecary’s speech,—

    Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua’s law
    Is death to any he that utters them,

is held up as a peculiarly Italian touch, no such law appearing in the
English statute-book of the time. The fact is that Shakespeare found
the idea in Brooke’s “Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet,” and
used it simply to heighten the terror of the situation.

The insult of “biting the thumb” is said, rather doubtfully, to be
characteristically Italian; but what can be more English than the cry
for “clubs, bills, and partisans” which immediately follows it? Lord
Campbell, indeed, seeks to prove Shakespeare’s minute knowledge of
_English_ law by the frequent and accurate references to it in this
opening scene. The “grove of sycamore” under which Romeo is described
as wandering, is said to be of unmistakably Italian growth; why, then,
does Schlegel, though one of the originators of the local-color theory,
seek to make it still more Italian by translating it “Kastanienhain”?
Had Shakespeare possessed either the will or the ability to transport
his hearers into specifically Italian scenes, would he have confined
himself to mentioning one tree, which is neither peculiar to Italy nor
a particularly prominent feature in Italian landscapes? Where are the
oranges and olives, the poplar, the cypress, and the laurel? Where are
the rushing Adige and the gleaming Alps? Where is the allusion to the
Amphitheatre, which could scarcely have been wanting had the poet known
or cared anything about Verona except as the capital of his mythic
love-land? It might as well be argued that he intended the local color
to be peculiarly English because he makes Capulet call Paris an “Earl.”

The truth is that when the reader’s imagination is heated to a
certain point, the colors which subtle associations have implanted
in it flush out of their own accord, with no stronger stimulus from
the poet than is involved in the mere mention of a name. There is a
strict analogy in the Elizabethan theatre. Given poetry and acting
which powerfully excited the feelings, and the placard bearing the
name of “Agincourt” made all the glaring incongruities vanish, and
conjured up in the mind of each hearer such a picture of the tented
field as his individual imagination had room for. So it is with the
Italy of “Romeo and Juliet.” Our fancy being quickened by the mere
glow of the poetry, the very name “Verona” places before us a vivid
picture composed of all sorts of reminiscences of art, literature, and
travel. The pulsing life of the two lovers—types of pure-humanity as
general as ever poet fashioned—easily puts on a southern physiognomy
with their Italian names. The might of a name has power to cloak even
openly incongruous details. It is only on reflection, for instance,
that we recognize in Mercutio a most un-Italian and distinctly Teutonic
figure, an “angelsächsisch-treuherzig” humorist, as Kreyssig truly
says, who is even made to ridicule Italian manners and phrases with the
true Englishman’s provincial intolerance. Thus all of us, in reading
“Romeo and Juliet,” are haunted by visions of Italy, whose origin the
commentators strive to find in individual touches of local color and
costume, instead of in the powerful stimulus given to all sorts of
latent associations by the whole force of the poet’s genius. Even apart
from travel, pictures and descriptions which do actually aim at local
color have made us far more familiar with Italy than any Elizabethan
audience can possibly have been. It is scarcely paradoxical to maintain
that the least imaginative among us gives to the love-land of “Romeo
and Juliet” far more accurately Italian hues than it wore in the
imagination of Shakespeare himself. In the same way I, for my part,
never read Marlowe’s “Jew of Malta” without forming a vivid picture
of the narrow, sultry stairways of Valetta (which I have never seen),
conjured up, not certainly by any individual touches of description in
the text, but by the mere imaginative vigor of the whole presentation.
Conversely, too, a work of small vitality, a second-rate French tragedy
for instance, may be full of accurate local and historical allusion,
and may yet transport us no whither beyond the cheerless steppes of
frigid alexandrines. There is an art, and a high art, to which definite
local color is essential, but Shakespeare’s is of another order. If
we want a masterpiece of strictly Italian coloring we must go, not to
“Romeo and Juliet,” but to Alfred de Musset’s “Lorenzaccio.”

Shakespeare, in short, presents us with so much, or so little, of
the Italian manners depicted in Brooke and Paynter as would be
readily comprehensible to his audience. The fact, too, that the whole
love-poetry of the period was influenced by Cisalpine models gave to
the forms of expression in certain portions of his work a slightly
Italian turn. For the rest, he imbued the great erotic myth with the
warmest human life, and left it to create an atmosphere and scenery of
its own in the imagination of the beholder. No atmosphere or scenery
can be more appropriate than those of an Italian summer, and therefore
it is right that our scenic artists should strain their resources to
reproduce its warm luxuriance of color. “For now these hot days is the
mad blood stirring,” says Benvolio, and if we choose to call this hot
air a scirocco, why not? But Shakespeare knew nothing of scirocco or
tramontana; he knew that warmth is the life-element of passion, and
made summer in the air harmonise with summer in the blood. That is the
whole secret of his “local color.”—_Gentleman’s Magazine._



WILLIAM SMITH AND WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.


In the year 1856 Lord Ellesmere, then President of the Shakspeare
Society, received one day a little pamphlet bearing the at that time
astounding title, “Was Lord Bacon the author of Shakspeare’s Plays?”
The writer’s name was Smith. Mr. William Henry Smith, of 76 Harley
Street, writer on Shakspeare, is the style he goes by in the Catalogue
of the British Museum, to distinguish him from others of the name,
whose works fill no less than eight volumes of that Catalogue, and have
a special index all to themselves, thereby nobly confirming the truth
of our Mr. Smith’s answer to some irreverent critics who had jested
on his patronym, that it was “a name which some wise and many worthy
men have borne—which though not unique, is perfectly genteel.” What
Lord Ellesmere, either in his presidential or merely human capacity,
thought of the pamphlet, we do not know; but Lord Palmerston (who had
passed the threescore years then) is said to have declared himself
convinced by it, though he is also said to have added that he cared
not a jot who the author of the plays might have been provided he was
an Englishman. By some of the critics poor Mr. Smith was very roughly
handled, and what seems to have galled him most was an insinuation by
Nathaniel Hawthorne (then at Liverpool as American Consul) that he had
merely taken for his own the ideas of Miss Delia Bacon, whose book
was not published till the year after Mr. Smith’s pamphlet, but of
whose speculation some rumors had before that come “across the Atlantic
wave.” This Mr. Smith (in his next publication, _Bacon and Shakspeare;
an Inquiry touching Players, Playhouses, and Play-writers in the Days
of Elizabeth_, 1857) most emphatically denied. He had never heard the
name of Miss Bacon till he saw it in a review of his pamphlet: he could
not for a long while find what or where she had written, and when he
did so the alleged insinuation seemed to him too preposterous to be
worth notice. Out of courtesy to Mr. Hawthorne, however, he made his
denial public; Mr. Hawthorne returned the courtesy of acceptance, and
so this part of the great Baconian controversy slept in peace. In 1866
appeared in New York, a book called _The Authorship of Shakspeare_,
the work of a Mr. Nathaniel Holmes, which so enchanted Mr. Smith that
he vowed “Providence had provided exactly the champion the cause
required,” and that for him it remained only “to retire to the rear of
this unexpected American contingent,” and to “make himself useful in
the commissariat department.” This American book had, among its other
striking merits, this unique one—of being such that no man could
possibly quarrel with it. “If argument,” says Mr, Smith, “is ever to
outweigh preconception and prejudice, the preponderance can only be in
one direction”—perhaps the only judgment ever formulated by mortal man
which it would be literally impossible to traverse. In this rearward
position Mr. Smith modestly abode for eighteen years; but now—“now
that the triumph seems so near at hand, we cannot resist coming to the
front to congratulate those that have fought the battle upon their
success, and, we candidly own, to show ourselves as a veteran who has
survived the campaign, and is ready to give an honest account of the
stores which still remain on his hands.” This congratulation and these
stores may be read and seen in another little pamphlet just published
by Mr. Smith, and to be bought at Mr. Skeffington’s shop in Piccadilly.

It is in no spirit of cavil or disparagement that we overhaul those
stores, but solely out of curiosity. We have read Mr. Smith’s last
pamphlet, and read again his two earlier ones, with the most lively
interest and amusement. Indeed, we have never for our part, been
able to see the necessity for that “lyric fury” into which some of
Mr. Smith’s opponents have lashed themselves. His theory has amused
thousands of readers—readers of Bacon (both Francis and Delia), of
Shakspeare, and of Mr. Smith; it has harmed nobody; it has added fresh
lustre to the memories of two great men. Surely, then, we should do ill
to be angry, and to be angry with one so courteous and good-humored as
Mr. Smith would be a twofold impossibility. Moreover, we have always
felt that there was a great deal to be said for the theory that Francis
Bacon wrote the plays printed under the name of William Shakspeare,
just as there is a great deal to be said for the converse of the
theory, or for any other speculation with which the restless mind of
man chooses for the moment to concern itself. After a certain lapse of
years there can be no proof positive, no mathematical proof, that any
man did or did not write anything. The mere fact of a work having gone
for any length of time under such or such a name _proves_ nothing; that
the manuscript is confessedly in a particular man’s handwriting, or
the undisputed receipt of a manuscript from a particular man, really,
when one comes to consider it, _proves_ nothing, so far as authorship
is concerned. Take the excellent ballad of “Kafoozleum,” for instance.
That, like Shakspeare’s plays, was known and popular before it was
printed; like those, it was printed anonymously; no manuscript of it is
known to exist; the authorship is unknown. A hundred years hence who
will be able to _prove_ it was not written by Lord Tennyson, let us
say? One line in it runs “A sound there falls from ruined walls.” Why
should not some speculative Smith a hundred years hence point to this
line as proof conclusive that it must be the work of him who wrote,
“The splendor falls on castle walls”? The parallel would be at least
incomparably closer than any of those as yet found in the undisputed
writings of Bacon and the alleged writings of Shakspeare. Let this
be, however; we are not now concerned with any attempt to destroy Mr.
Smith’s theory, for which, we repeat, we still feel, as we have always
felt, there is very much to be said—very much to be said, of course,
on both sides; the puzzle is how very little Mr. Smith, and those about
him, have found to say on their side.

And, in truth, little as Mr. Smith had found to say in 1856-57 he
has found still less to add now in 1884. His “stores” are still very
scanty. He has, indeed, satisfied himself (he had “an intuitive idea”
of it in 1856) that Shakspeare could neither read nor write, beyond
scrawling most illegibly his own name (the reading he passes by), and
curiously enough on the evidence, or rather hypothesis, of another
Smith one William James! But, of course, as no scrap of Shakspeare’s
handwriting is known to exist beyond six signatures, all tolerably like
each other, this hypothesis cannot stand for very much. Yet really this
is the only fresh “fact” Mr. Smith has added to his stores in all these
seven-and-twenty years. He recapitulates his old “facts” and, we must
add, some of his old blunders, when he says “there is no record of his
having been in any way connected with literature until the year 1600,”
forgetful of the mention of Shakspeare’s name as author of _The Rape
of Lucrece_ in the prelude to Willobie’s _Avisa_ (1594), the marginal
reference to the same work in Clarke’s _Polimanteia_ (1595), and the
long catalogue of the works then attributed to Shakspeare, as well as
the very high praise given to him and them in Meres’s _Palladis Tamia_,
1598. The allusions in Greene’s _Groatsworth of Wit_ and Chettle’s
_Kind-Harts Dreame_ we put by as hypotheses merely; but how curious
it is to find the champions of this theory so strangely ignorant,
or careless of facts familiar, we will not say to every student of
Shakspeare’s writings, because the word student in connexion with those
works has come to have a rather distasteful sound in these Alexandrian
days, but to every one who has ever had any curiosity about the man
to whom these marvellous works are commonly attributed. Nor is this
knowledge within the reach only of those who have money, leisure, or
learning. Any one who is able to procure a ticket of admission to
the Reading-Room of the British Museum may get it at first hand for
himself; numberless books exist any one of which at the cost of a few
shillings will furnish him with it at second-hand. We remember to have
been much struck last year, when turning over the leaves of Mrs. Pott’s
edition of the _Promus_, with many proofs of the same ignorance of what
one may call the very alphabet of the subject. Coleridge, as we all
know now blundered much in the same way in his lectures on Shakspeare;
but our knowledge both of the poet and his times has very greatly
increased since Coleridge lectured. Mr. Smith and Mrs. Pott cannot
now soothe themselves with the thought that it is better to err with
Coleridge than to shine with Mr. Halliwell-Phillips or Mr. Furnivall;
they have only themselves to blame if the world declines to take
seriously a theory which its champions have been at so little serious
pains to examine and support.

The well-known passage in the _Sonnets_ (Bacon’s or Shakspeare’s)

    And almost thence my nature is subdued
    To what it works in, like the dyer’s hand,

receives curious confirmation from Mr. Smith’s writings. He has
studied Bacon’s works so closely and long that he has insensibly
infected himself with some of that great man’s peculiarities. It is
the vice, says Bacon, in the _Novum Organum_, of high and discursive
intellects to attach too much importance to slight resemblances, a vice
which leads men to catch at shadows instead of substances. Mr. Smith
quotes this saying; yet how must this vice have got possession of his
intellect when he drew up that list of “Parallel passages, and peculiar
phrases, from Bacon and Shakspeare,” which may be read in his _Bacon
and Shakspeare_! Take one instance only:—In the _Life of Henry VII._
occurs this passage: “As his victory gave him the knee, so his purposed
marriage with the Lady Elizabeth gave him the heart, so that both knee
and heart did truly bow before him”; in _Richard II._ is this line,
“Show heaven the humbled heart and not the knee”; and in _Hamlet_ this,
“And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee.” Is it possible that Mr.
Smith would seriously have us draw any inference from the fact that in
these three passages the word “knee” occurs and in two of them the word
“heart”? Really, he might as well insist that, because Mr. Swinburne
has written “Cry aloud; for the old world is broken” and because Mr.
Arnold has declared himself to be “Wandering between two worlds, one
dead, the other powerless to be born,” the author of _Dolores_ and the
author of the _Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse_ must be one and the
same man! Again, Macaulay has noticed how, contrary to general custom,
the later writings of Bacon are far superior to the earlier ones in
richness of illustration. It is the same with Mr. Smith. His first
pamphlet, though direct and lucid enough, was singularly free from
all illustration or ornament of any kind. His next contains passages
of wonderful richness and imagination. Bacon, he says, is like an
orange-tree, “where we may observe the bud, the blossom, and the
fruit in every stage of ripeness, all exhibited in one plant at the
same time.” And he goes on in a strain of splendid eloquence:—“The
stentorian orator in the City Forum, who, restoring his voice with the
luscious fruit, continues his harangue to the applauding multitude,
little reflects, that the delicate blossom which grew by its side, and
was gathered at the same time, decorates the fair brow of the fainting
bride in the far-off village church.” Never surely before has the
familiar fruit of domestic life been so poetized since “Bon Gaultier”
wrote of the subjects of the Moorish tyrant how they would fain have
sympathized with his Christian prisoner:—

    But they feared the grizzly despot and his myrmidons in steel,
    So their sympathy descended in the fruitage of Seville.

We cannot conclude without offering to Mr. Smith, in all humility, a
little theory of our own, vague as yet and unsubstantial, but worth,
we do venture to think, his consideration or the consideration of
anybody who is in want of a theory to sport with. This is, that these
plays, or at any rate a considerable number of them, were really
and truly written by Walter Raleigh. We have not as yet had time to
examine this theory very closely, or (like Mr. Smith with his) to find
very much evidence in support of it. But of what we have done in that
direction we freely make him a present. The following plays were all
produced after the year 1603, the year when Raleigh was sent to the
Tower for his alleged share in the Cobham plot:—_Othello_, _Measure
for Measure_, _Lear_, _Pericles_, _Antony and Cleopatra_, _Macbeth_,
_Cymbeline_, _Winter’s Tale_, _Tempest_, _Henry VIII._, _Taming of the
Shrew_. It has been allowed on Mr. Smith’s side that Bacon, amid all
his variety of business, both public and private, must have been very
hard put to it to find the mere time to write the plays. No man of
that age could have had at that time so much leisure on his hands as
Raleigh. But that is not all. In the ninth chapter of his _Instructions
to his Son_, on the inconveniences arising from the immoderate use of
wine, is a passage which might almost be described as a paraphrase of
Cassio’s famous discourse on the same subject. Nor is this all. Raleigh
had been in the Tower before, in 1592, on a rather delicate matter, in
which Mistress Throckmorton, afterward Lady Raleigh, had a share. The
injustice of his second imprisonment would naturally recall the first
to his mind, equally or still more unjust as he probably thought. To
the second he would hardly dare to allude; but what was more likely
than that he should find a sort of melancholy pleasure in recalling the
first? Now, if Mr. Smith will turn to the second scene of the first act
of _Measure for Measure_ (first acted in December 1604, and written
therefore in the first year of Raleigh’s imprisonment), he will find
an allusion to the unfortunate cause of his first disgrace obvious to
the dullest comprehension. The apparently no less obvious allusion
in _Twelfth Night_ to Cole’s brutality at Raleigh’s trial cannot,
unfortunately, stand, as we know for certain from John Manningham’s
Diary that the comedy was played in the Middle Temple Hall in the
previous year. But from such evidence as we have given (and, did time
and space serve we could add to it) we think a very good case could be
made out for Raleigh, and we commend the making of it to Mr. Smith,
who seems to have plenty of time to spare on such matters. At any rate
if he will not have Shakspeare for the author of these plays, he must
really now begin to think of getting some other Simon Pure than Bacon,
if within a quarter of a century and more he has been able to find no
better warranty for his theory than that he has given us. But we must
entreat him to be a little more careful of poor Raleigh, if he discard
our suggestion, than he has been of poor Shakspeare, the only evidence
of whose existence he has declared to be the date of his death! But
perhaps he is only following Plutarch, whom Bacon praises for saying
“Surely I had rather a great deal men should say there was no such man
at all as Plutarch, than that they should say there was one Plutarch
that would eat his children as soon as they were born.”—_Saturday
Review._



SOME SICILIAN CUSTOMS.


BY E. LYNN LINTON.

Naturally the most important events of human life are birth,
marriage, death. Hence we find among all peoples who have emerged
from primitive barbarism, ceremonies and customs special to these
three supreme circumstances. These ceremonies and customs are of most
picturesque observance and most quaint significance in the middle
term of civilization;—amongst those who are neither savages not yet
blocked out into fair form, nor educated gentlefolk smoothed down to
the dead level of European civilization; but who are still in that
quasi-mythical and fetichistic state, when usages have a superstitious
meaning beyond their social importance, and charms, signs, omens, and
incantations abound as the ornamental flourishes to the endorsement of
the law.

We will take for our book of reference no certain Sicilian customs,[41]
one of Dr. Pitrè’s exhaustive cycle. We could not have a better guide.
Dr. Pitrè has devoted twenty good years of his life, health, and
fortune to collecting and preserving the records of all the popular
superstitions, habits, legends and customs of Sicily. Some of these are
already things of the past; others are swiftly vanishing; others again
are in full vigor. Dr. Pitrè’s work is valuable enough now; in a short
time it will be priceless to students and ethnologists who care to
trace likenesses and track to sources, and who are not content with the
mere surface of things without delving down to causes and meanings.

All women, the world over, who expect to become mothers, are curious
as to the sex of the unborn child; and every old wife has a bundle
of unfailing signs and omens which determine the question out of
hand without leaving room for doubt. In Sicily these signs are as
follows—among others of dubious modesty, which it is as well to leave
in obscurity. If you suddenly ask an expectant mother: “What is the
matter with your hand?” and she holds up or turns out the palm of her
right hand, her child will be a boy. If she holds up her left hand or
turns out the back of her right, it will be a girl. If she strews salt
before the threshold, the sex of the first person who enters in at the
door determines that of the unborn—a man for a boy, a woman for a
girl. If she goes to draw water from the well, and throws a few drops
over her shoulder without looking back, the sex of the first person
who passes, after the performance of this “sortilegio,” in like manner
determines the sex of the child. After the first child, the line in
which the hair grows at the nape of the neck of the preceding is an
unfailing sign of that which is coming after. If it grows in a peak it
presages a boy, if straight a girl. This is also one of the infallible
signs in India. If the woman sees an ugly or a deformed creature,
and does not say in an audible voice: “Diu ca lu fici”—God has made
it—she will produce a monster. If she repeats the charm, devoutly as
she ought, she has saved her child from deformity.

The patron saint of expectant mothers in Sicily is S. Francisco di
Paola. To secure his intervention in their behalf they go to church
every Friday to pray specially to him. The first time they go they
are blessed by putting on the cord or girdle proper to this saint; by
receiving, before their own offering, two blessed beans, a few blessed
wafers, and a small wax taper, also blessed, round which is twisted a
slip of paper whereon is printed—“Ora pro nobis Sancte Pater Francisce
di Paola.” The cord is worn during the time of pregnancy; the candle
is lighted during the pains of childbirth, when heavenly interposition
is necessary; and the beans and wafers are eaten as an act of devotion
which results in all manner of good to both mother and child.

In country places pregnant women who believe in the knowledge of the
midwife rather than in the science of the doctor, are still bled at
stated times, generally on the “even” months. Dr. Pitrè knew personally
one woman who had been bled the incredible number of two hundred and
thirteen times during her pregnancy. She had moreover heart disease;
and she offered herself as a wet-nurse.

The quarter in which the moon chances to be at the time of birth has
great influence on the future character and career of the new-born. So
have special days and months. All children born in March, which is the
“mad” month of Italy (“Marzo è pazzo”), are predisposed to insanity.
Woe to the female child who has the ill-luck to be born on a cloudy,
stormy, rainy day! She must infallibly become an ugly woman. Woe to
the boy who is born with the new moon! He will become a “loup garou,”
and he will be recognized by his inordinately long nails. But well is
it for the child who first sees the light of day on a Friday—unlike
ourselves, with whom “Friday’s child is sour and sad”—or who is born
on St. Paul’s night. He will be bright, strong, bold and cheerful. He
will be able to handle venomous snakes with impunity for his own part,
and to cure by licking those who have been bitten. He will be able to
control lunatics and to discover things secret and hidden; and he will
be a chatterbox.

More things go to make a successful or unsuccessful “time” in Sicily
than we recognize in England. A woman in her hour of trial is held and
hindered as much as was ever poor Alcmena, when Lucina sat crosslegged
before her gate, if a woman “in disgrazia di Dio”—that is, leading an
immoral life—either in secret or openly, enters the room. The best
counter-agent then is to invoke very loudly Santa Leocarda, the Dea
Partula of Catholicism. If she be not sufficiently powerful, and things
are still delayed, then all the other saints, the Madonna, and finally
God himself, are appealed to with profound faith in a speedy release.
In one place the church bells are rung; on which all the women within
earshot repeat an Ave. In another, the silver chain of La Madonna della
Catena is the surest obstetrician; and science and the doctor have
no power over the mind of the suffering woman where this has all. To
this day is believed the story of a poor mother who, when her pain had
begun, hurried off to the church to pray to the Madonna della Catena
for aid. When she returned home, the Holy Virgin herself assisted her,
and not only brought her child into the world, but also gave her bread,
clothes and jewels.

If the child be born weak or dying, and the need is therefore imminent,
the midwife baptizes it. For which reason she must never be one who
is deaf and dumb—nor one who stutters or stammers. Before baptism
no one must kiss a new-born infant, seeing that it is still a pagan;
which thing would therefore be a sin. In Modica the new-born child
is no longer under the protection of the Madonna, but under that of
certain mysterious beings called “Le Padrone della Casa.” To ensure
this protection the oldest of the women present lays on the table, or
the clothes chest, nine black beans in the form of a wedge—repeating
between her teeth a doggerel charm, which will prevent “Le Padrone
della Casa” from harming the babe or its mother. Others, instead of
black beans, put their trust in a reel or winder with two little bits
of cane fastened to it crosswise, which they lay on the bed, and which
also is certain to prevent all evil handling by these viewless forms.
At Marsala, the night after that following the birth, the windows
of the room where the infant lies are shut close, a pinch of salt
is strewn behind the door, and the light is left burning, so that a
certain malignant spirit called ’Nserra may not enter to hurt the
new-born. In other places they hide in the woman’s bed—generally
under the pillow—a key, or a small ball, or a clove of garlic, or the
mother’s thimble, or scissors, all or any of which does the same good
office of exorcism as the pinch of salt, and the light left burning.
For the first drink, a whole partridge, beak and feet, is put into a
pint of water, which is then boiled down to a cupful, and given to the
woman as the best restorative art and science can devise. When she is
allowed to eat solids she has a chicken, of which she is careful to
give the neck to her husband. Were she herself to eat it, her child’s
neck would be undeniably weak.

When taken to the church to be baptized, the infant, if a boy, is
carried on the right arm—if a girl, on the left. In the church the
father proper effaces himself as of no account in the proceedings; and
the godfather carries off all the honors. The more pompous ceremonial
at baptism occurs only at the birth of the first son. The Sicilian
proverb has it: “The first son is born a baron.”

Immediately after the baptism Sicilian Albanians dance a special dance;
and when they go home they throw out roasted peas to the people. Hence:
“When shall we have the peas?” is used as a periphrasis for: “When
does she expect her confinement?” The water in which the “chrism,” or
christening cup is washed, is accounted holy, because of the sacred oil
which it has touched. It is flung out on to a hedge, so that no foot of
man may tread the soil which has received it. Also the water in which
the child is first washed is treated as a thing apart. It is thrown on
to the highway, if the babe be a boy; under the bed, or the oven, or in
some other part of the house, if it be a girl;—the one signifying that
a man must fare forth, the other that a woman must bide within.

When the child “grows two days in one,” and “smiles to the angels?”
it is under the guardianship of certain other viewless, formless and
mysterious creatures, who seem to be vagabonds and open-air doubles of
the “Padrone della Casa.” These are “Le Donne di fuori.” The mother
asks permission of these “Donne,” before she lifts the child from the
cradle. “In the name of God,” she says, as she takes it up, “with your
permission, my ladies.” These “Donne di fuori,” are not always to be
relied on, for now they do, and now they do not, protect the little
one. It is all a matter of caprice and humor; but certainly no mother
who loved her child would omit this courteous entreaty to the, “Donne”
who are supposed to have had the creature in their keeping while she
was absent, and it was sleeping.

Not everyone in Sicily can marry according to his desire and the
apparent fitness of things; for there are old feuds between parish and
parish, as bitter as were ever those of Guelf and Ghibelline in times
past; and the devotees of one saint will have as little to say to the
devotees of another as will Jew and Gentile, True Believer and Giaour.
In early times this local rivalry was, naturally, more pronounced than
it is at present; but even now in Modica it is extremely rare if a San
Giorgioaro marries a Sampietrana, or vice versâ—each considering the
other as of a different and heretical religion. A marriage made not
long ago between two people of these several parishes turned out ill
solely on the religious question, the husband and wife not agreeing to
differ, but each wanting to convert the other from the false to the
true faith, and indignant because of ill-success. Just lately, says Dr.
Pitrè, a Syracusan girl, whose patron saint was Saint Philip, and who
was betrothed to a young man of the confraternity of the Santo Spirito,
sent all adrift because, a few days before the marriage was to take
place, she went to see her lover, lying ill in bed, and found hanging
to the pillow a picture of the objectionable Santo Spirito. Whereat,
furious and enraged she snatched down the picture, tore it into a
thousand pieces which she trampled under foot, and then and there made
it a sine quâ non that her husband-elect should substitute for this
a picture of Saint Philip. This the young man refused to do; and the
marriage was broken off.

Here in Sicily, as elsewhere, the seafaring population have little or
nothing to say to the landsfolk by way of marriage; holding themselves
more moral, more industrious, and in every way superior to those who
live by the harvests of the earth or by the quick returns and easy
profits of trade. But there is much more than this. The daughter of a
small landed proprietor will not be given to the master of men in any
kind of business, nor will the son of the former be suffered to marry
the daughter of the latter. A peasant farmer, without sixpence, would
not let his girl marry a well-to-do shepherd. A workman or rather a
day laborer—“bracciante”—would not be received into the family of a
muleteer, nor he again into one where the head was the keeper of swine
or of cattle. The husbandman who can prune vines disdains the man who
cannot dig, let him be what he will; the cow-herd disdains the ox-herd,
and he again the man who looks after the calves. The shepherd is above
the goat-herd; and so on, down to the most microscopic differences,
surpassing even those of caste-ridden India.

When conditions, however, are equal, and there are no overt objections
to the desired marriage, the mother of the young man takes the thing
in hand. She knows that her son wants to marry, because he is sullen,
silent, rude, contradictious and fault-finding; because last Saturday
night he hitched up the ass to the hook in the house wall, instead of
stabling it as he ought, and himself passed the night out of doors; or
because—in one place in Sicily—he sat on the chest, stamped his feet
and kicked his heels, so that his parents, hearing the noise, might
know that he was disturbed in his mind, and wanted to marry so soon as
convenient. Then the mother knows what is before her, and accepts her
duties as a good woman should.

She dresses herself a little smartly and goes to the house of the Nina
or Rosa with whom her son has fallen in love, to see what the girl is
like when at home, and to find out the amount of dower likely to be
given with her. She hides under her shawl a weaver’s comb, which, as
soon as she is seated, she brings out, asking the girl’s mother if she
can lend her one like it? This latter answers that she will look for
one, and will do all she can to meet her visitor’s wishes. She then
sends the daughter into another room, and the two begin the serious
business of means and dowry.

In olden times the girl who did not know how to weave the thread she
had already spun had small chance of finding a husband, how great
soever her charms or virtues. Power looms and cheap cloth have changed
all this and substituted a more generalized kind of industriousness;
but, all the same, she must be industrious—or have the wit to appear
so—else the maternal envoy will have none of her; but leaving the
house hurriedly, crosses herself and repeats thrice the Sicilian word
for “Renounced.” In Modica the young man’s mother sets a broom against
the girl’s house-door at night which does the same as the weaver’s
comb elsewhere; and, if all other things suit, the young people are
betrothed the following Saturday. And after they are betrothed the
girl’s mother goes to a church at some distance from her own home,
where she stands behind the door, and, according to the words said by
the first persons who pass through, foretells the happiness or the
unhappiness of the marriage set on foot.

The inventory of the girl’s possessions—chiefly house and
body-linen—is made by a public writer, and always begins with an
invocation to “Gesù, Maria, Giuseppe”—the Holy Family. It is sent
to the bridegroom-elect wrapped in a handkerchief. If considered
satisfactory, it is kept; if insufficient, it is returned. If accepted
as sufficient, there is a solemn conclave of the parents and kinsfolk
of the two houses. The girl is seated in the middle of the room.
Her future mother-in-law, or the nearest married kinswoman of the
bridegroom if she be dead, takes down and then plaits and dresses
her hair—all people who have been to Italy know what a universal
office of maternal care is this of dressing the girl’s hair;—slips
the engaged ring on her finger; puts a comb in her head; gives her
a silk-handkerchief, and kisses her. After this the girl rises,
kisses the hands of her future father-and mother-in-law, and seats
herself afresh, between her own kinsfolk on her left, and those of
her “promesso sposo,” on her right. In some places is added to these
manifestations a bit of flame-colored ribbon (“color rosso-fuoco;
colore obbligato”), which the future mother-in-law plaits into the
girl’s tresses while combing her hair, and which this latter never puts
off till the day of the wedding. Formerly a “promessa sposa” wore a
broad linen band across her brow and down her face, tied under her chin
with a purple ribbon.

On her side the girl’s mother gives the future son-in-law a scapulary
of the Madonna del Carmine, fastened to a long blue ribbon. When the
formal kiss of betrothal is given between the young people, the guests
break out into “Evvivas!” and the wine and feasting begin. Formerly
a “promessa sposa” shaved off one or both of her eyebrows. But this
custom was inconvenient. If anything happened to prevent the marriage
it spoilt all chances for the future.

Gifts from the man to the woman are de rigueur—a survival of the old
mode of barter or purchase. These gifts are generally of jewelry;
but sometimes the pair exchange useful presents of body-linen, &c.
At Easter the man gives the woman either a luscious sweet called
“cassata,” or a “peccorella di pasta reale,” that is a lamb couchant
made of almond paste, crowned with a tinsel crown, carrying a flag,
and colored after nature. At the Feast of St. Peter—the 29th of July;
not the same as Saints Peter and Paul—he gives keys made of flour and
honey, or of almonds, or of caramel. On the 2nd of November—the day
off All Souls’—he takes her sweet brown cakes with a white mortuary
figure raised in high relief, as a child, or a man, or a death’s head
and cross bones, or a well-defined set of ribs to symbolize a skeleton,
according to the nearest relative she may have lost. But in Mazarra
no one who loved his bride would give her aught in the likeness of a
cat, as this would presage her speedy death. Biscuits for St. Martin’s
day; gingerbread in true lovers’ knots, tough and tasteless, and
sugar bambini for Christmas; huge hearts, of a rather coarse imitation
of mincemeat, and sugared over, for the Feast of the Annunciation; on
the day of Saints Cosmo and Damian, medlars, quinces and the saints
themselves done in honey and sugar—and so on;—these are the little
courtesies of the betrothal which no man who respected himself,
or desired the love of her who was to be his wife, would dream of
neglecting.

During the time of betrothal, how long so ever it may last, the young
people are never suffered to be one moment alone, nor to say anything
to each other which all the world does not hear. The man may go once
a week to the girl’s house; where he seats himself at the corner of
the room opposite to that where she is sitting; but he may not touch
her hand nor speak to her below his breath. In the country, when they
cannot marry for yet awhile, they engage themselves from year to year.
But they are always kept apart and rigorously watched.

Formerly marriages were somewhat earlier than now. Now they are delayed
until the young fellow has served his three years in the army. They
used to be most general when he was twenty and she eighteen; and a
proverb says that at eighteen a girl either marries or dies. The church
did not sanction marriages earlier than these several ages, save in
exceptional cases; and any one who assisted at the marriage of a girl
below the age of eighteen, without the consent of her parents and
guardians, was imprisoned for life and forfeited all he had. This law,
however, was frequently broken in remote places, and especially about
Palermo, where “the marriages of Monreale” have passed into a proverb.
When a young girl, say of sixteen, marries and has a good childbirth,
they say, “She has been to Monreale.”

May and August are unlucky months in which to be married. September
and the following three months are the most propitious. The prejudice
against May dates from old classic times; while June was considered as
fit by the Romans as it is now by the Palermitans. Up to the end of the
sixteenth century the day of days was St. John the Baptist’s. Two days
in the week are unlucky for marriage—Tuesday and Friday:

    “Nè di Venere nè di Marte
     Non si sposa nè si parte.”

Sunday is the best day of all; especially in country places, where it
is evidently the most convenient.

If the bride or one of the bridal party slips by the way, if the ring
or one of the candles on the altar falls in church, the young couple
may look out for sorrow. If two sisters are married on the same day,
ill will fare the younger. If one candle shines with less brilliancy
than the other, or one of the kneeling spouses rises before the other,
that one whose candle has not burnt as it should, or the one who has
risen before the partner, will die first or die soon.

In Piano de’ Greci—the Greek Colony about twelve miles from
Palermo—the young husband keeps his Phrygian cap on his head in
church, as a sign that he too is now the head of a new family; and in
olden times the bride used to come into church on horseback. In one
place, Salaparuta, the bride enters in at the small door and goes out
by the large; and she must perforce pass beneath the campanile, else
she has not been married properly. In the Sicilian-Albanian colonies,
after the wedding-rings—of gold for the man, of silver for the woman,
as marking her inferior condition—have been placed on their fingers
and the wedding crowns on their heads, the officiating priest puts a
white veil on himself. He then steeps some bread in a glass of wine,
and gives the young couple to eat three times; after which, invoking
the name of the Lord, he dashes the glass to the ground. Then they all
dance a certain dance, decorous, not to say lugubrious, consisting
properly of only three turns made round and round as a kind of waltz,
guided by the priest, with the accompaniment of two hymns, one to the
Prophet Isaiah, and the other—Absit omen—to the Holy Martyrs. After
the dance comes the Holy Kiss. The priest kisses the husband only, and
he all the men and his bride. She kisses only all the women.

On their return from church “confetti” are thrown in the way before the
newly-married couple; or if not, then boxes of sweetmeats—like the
dragées of a French christening—are afterwards given to the parents
and kinsfolk. In one place they throw dried peas, beans, almonds
and corn—this last is the sign of plenty. Or they vary these with
vegetables, bread and corn and salt mixed; or with corn and nuts; or
“dolci” made of wheaten flour and honey. In Syracuse they throw salt
and wheat—the former the symbol of wisdom, the latter of plenty. The
Romans used to throw corn at their wedding feasts; and the nut-throwing
of Sicily dates from the times when young Caius or Julius flung to
his former companions those “nuces juglandes,” as a sign that he was
no longer a boy ready to play as formerly with them all. In Avola,
the nearest neighbor goes up to the bride with an apron full of
orange leaves, which she flings in her face, saying, “Continence and
boy-children!” then strews the remainder before the house-door. To
this ceremony is added another as significant—breaking two hen’s eggs
at the feet of the “sposi.” At one place they sprinkle the threshold
with wine before entering. Another custom at Avola, as sacred as our
wedding-cake, is to give each of the guests a spoonful of “ammilata,”
almonds pounded up with honey. At Piano de’ Greci, and in the other
Sicilian-Greek colonies, the mother-in-law stands at the door of the
house waiting for her daughter-in-law to give her a spoonful of honey
as soon as she enters, to which are added “ciambelle”—small cakes in
the form of a ring. The bride’s house is adorned with flowers, but it
is a bad omen if two bits of wire get put by chance crosswise.

At dinner the bridegroom leaves the bride to go to his own home, but he
returns in the middle of the meal to finish it with his bride; which
seems a daft-like custom, serving no good purpose beyond the waste
of time. They are very particular as to who shall sit on the right
and who on the left of the bride, when, gayly dressed and set under
a looking-glass, she sits like a doll to receive the congratulations
of her friends. The first day of these receptions all the invitations
are given by the mother of the bride; the second they are given by
the mother of the bridegroom. There is good store of maccheroni and
the like; and at Modica a plate is set to receive the contributions
of the guests—like our Penny Weddings in the North. Some give money,
some jewelry, etc., and the amount raised is generally of sufficient
worth in view of the condition of the high contracting parties. In the
evening they dance, when the “sposo” or “zitu,” cap in hand, makes a
profound bow to the bride or “zita,” who rises joyously and dances
“di tutta lena.” After a few turns the “zitu” makes another profound
bow and sits down; when the bride dances once round the room alone,
then selects first one partner then another. “Non prigari zita pr’
abballari.” Songs and dances finished, the mother-in-law accompanies
the bride to the bride-chamber. In default of her, this time-honored
office devolves on the bridegroom’s married sister or otherwise
nearest relation. This is de rigueur; and there was an ugly affray
at Palermo not so long ago on this very matter, which ended in the
wounding and imprisonment of the bridegroom and his kinsfolk. Often
all sorts of rude practical jokes are played, especially on old people
or second marriages; some of which are horribly unseemly, and all are
inconvenient. The bride stays eight days in the house receiving visits,
and having a “good time” generally; after which she goes to church
dressed all in white. In the marriage contract it is specified to what
festas and amusements the husband shall take her during the year; and
in olden times was added the number of dishes she was to have at her
meals, the number of dresses she was to be allowed during the year,
down to the most minute arrangements for her comfort and consideration.

Now comes the last scene of all—the last rites sacred to the shuffling
off this mortal coil, which close the trilogy of life.

Among old Sicilian rules was one which enjoined, after three days’
illness, the Viaticum. This is eloquent enough of the rapidity with
which Death snatched his victims when once he had laid his hand on
their heads. The most common prognostications of death are: the
midnight howling of a dog; the hooting of an owl; the crowing of a
hen at midnight; to dream of dead friends or kinsfolk; to sweep the
house at night; or to make a new opening of any kind in an inhabited
house. Boys are of evil omen when they accompany the Viaticum, but as
they always do accompany it, it would seem as if no one who has once
received the Last Sacraments has a chance of recovery. He has not much;
but it does at times happen that he breaks the bonds of death already
woven round him and comes out with renewed life and vigor. Death is
expected at midnight or at the first hours of the morning or at mid-day.
If delayed, something supernatural is suspected. Had the dying man when
in health burnt the yoke of a plough? Is there an unwashed linen-thread
in his mattress? Perhaps he once, like care, killed a cat. If he delays
his dying, the friends must call out his name in seven Litanies, or at
least put his clothes out of doors. In any case he dies because the
doctor has misunderstood his case and given him a wrong medicine; else
Saints Cosmo and Damian, Saints Francisco and Paolo, would have saved
him. When he dies the women raise the death-howl and let loose their
hair about their shoulders. All his good qualities are enumerated and
his bad ones are forgotten. He is dressed in white, and after he is
dressed his shroud is sewn tight. This pious work gains indulgences
for those who perform it; and the very needle is preserved as a sacred
possession. Sometimes, however, it is left in the grave-clothes to
be buried with the corpse. In certain places the women are buried
in their wedding-dress, which they have kept all these years to
serve as their shroud. Seated or in bed the corpse is always laid
out feet foremost to the door, and for this reason no one in Sicily
makes a bed with the head to the window and the feet to the door.
It would be a bad omen. About the corpse-bed stand lighted candles,
or, however poor the family, at least one little oil lamp. The hired
mourners, “repulatrici,” were once so numerous and costly as to demand
legislative interference and municipal regulation. To this day they
tear their hair and throw it in handfuls on the corpse; and the sisters
who lament their brothers—rustic Antigones and Electras—exhale their
sorrows in sweet and mournful songs.

In past ages a piece of money was put into the mouth of the corpse—a
survival of the fare which Charon was bound to receive. A virgin has a
palm branch and a crown in her coffin; a child a garland of flowers. It
is the worst possible omen for a bridal procession to meet a funeral.
It has to be averted by making the “horns”—or “le fiche” (thrusting
the thumb between the first two fingers) or by putting a pomegranate
before the door or in the window. At Piano de’ Greci certain little
loaves or bread-cakes in the form of a cross are given to the poor on
the day of a death. In Giacosa, behind the funeral procession comes an
ass laden with food, which, after the burial, is distributed either
here in the open or under cover in some house. The Sicilian-Albanians
do not sit on chairs during the first days of mourning, but on the
dead man’s mattress. In some houses all is thrown into intentional
confusion—turned upside down, to mark the presence of death. Others
put out the mattress to show that the invalid is dead; others again
remake the bed as for marriage, placing on it the crucifix which the
sick man had held in his hand when dying. Woe to those who let the
candle go out while burning at the foot of the bed! On the first day of
mourning, there is one only of these corpse-lights; on the second day
two; on the third three. Men and women sit round—the men covered up in
their cloaks with a black ribbon round their throats—the women with
their black mantles drawn close over the head, all in deep mourning.
For the first nine days, friends, also in strict mourning, throng the
house to pay their formal visits of condolence. The mourners do not
speak nor look up, but sit there like statues, and talk of the dead in
solemn phrases and with bated breath, but entering into the minute and
sometimes most immodest details. The mourning lasts one or two years
for parents, husband or wife, and brothers and sisters; six months for
grandparents, and uncles and aunts; three months for a cousin.

Babies are buried in white with a red ribbon as a sash, or disposed
over the body in the form of a cross. They lie in a basket on the table
with wax candles set round, and their faces are covered with a fine
veil. They are covered with flowers, and on the little head is also
a garland of flowers. No one must weep for the death of an infant.
It would be an offence against God, who had compassion on the little
creature and took it to make of it an angel in Paradise before it had
learned to sin. The announcement of its death is received with a cry of
“Glory and Paradise!” and in some places the joybells are rung as for a
festa. When taken to the Campo Santo, it is accompanied with music and
singing.

The soul of the dead is to be seen as a butterfly, a dove, an angel.
The soul of a murdered man hovers about the cross raised to his memory
on the place of his murder; the soul of one righteously executed by the
law, remains on earth to frighten the timid; the soul of the suicide
goes plumb to hell, “casal-diavolo,” unless the poor wretch repents
at the supreme moment. Judas is condemned to hover always over the
“tamarix Gallica,” on which he hanged himself, and which still bears
his name; children go to the stars; while certain women believe that
their souls will go up the “stairs of St. Japicu di Galizia,” which
plain people call the Milky Way.

These are the most striking and picturesque of the customs and usages
collected by Dr. Pitrè in his exhaustive and instructive little book.
What remains is either too purely local, or too little differenced to
be of interest to people not of the place. Also have been omitted a few
unimportant details of a certain “breadth” and naturalistic simplicity
which would not bear translating into English.—_Temple Bar._



THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY AND GAS.


More than eighty years ago, Davy first produced and exhibited the
arc-light to an admiring and dazzled audience at the Royal Institution;
and forty years later, at the same place, Faraday, by means of his
memorable experiments in electro-dynamics, laid down the laws on which
the modern dynamo-electric machine is founded. Though known at the
beginning of the century, the electric light remained little more than
a scientific curiosity until within the last ten years, during which
period the dynamo-electric machine has been brought to its present
perfection, and electric lighting on a large and economical scale thus
rendered possible. The first practical incandescent lamps were produced
only seven years ago, though the idea of lighting by incandescence
dates back some forty years or more; but all attempts to manufacture an
efficient lamp were rendered futile by the impossibility of obtaining a
perfect vacuum. The year 1881 will long be remembered as that in which
electric lighting by incandescence was first shown to be possible and
practicable.

The future history of the world will doubtless be founded more or less
on the history of scientific progress. No branch of science at present
rivals in interest that of electricity, and at no time in the history
of the world has any branch of science made so great or so rapid
progress as electrical science during the past five years.

And now it may be asked, where are the evidences of this wonderful
progress, at least in that branch of electricity which is the subject
of the present paper? Quite recently, the wonders of the electric light
were in the mouths of every one; while at present, little or nothing is
heard about it except in professional quarters. Is the electric light
a failure, and are all the hopes that have been placed on it to end in
nothing? Assuredly not. The explanation of the present lull in electric
lighting is not far to seek; it is due almost solely and entirely
to speculation. The reins, so to say, had been taken from the hands
of engineers and men of science; the stock-jobbers had mounted the
chariot, and the mad gallop that followed has ended in ruin and
collapse. Many will remember the electric-light mania several years
ago, and the panic that took place among those holding gas shares.
The public knew little or nothing about electricity, and consequently
nothing was too startling or too ridiculous to be believed. Then came a
time of wild excitement and reckless speculation, inevitably followed
by a time of depression and ruination. Commercial enterprise was
brought to a stand-still; real investors lost all confidence; capital
was diverted elsewhere; the innocent suffered, and are still suffering;
and the electric light suffered all the blame. The government was
forced to step in for the protection of the public; and the result of
their legislation is the Electric Lighting Act which authorizes the
Board of Trade to grant licenses to Companies and local authorities
to supply electricity under certain conditions. These conditions have
reference chiefly to the limits of compulsory and permissive supply,
the securing of a regular and efficient supply, the safety of the
public, the limitation of prices to be charged, and regulations as to
inspection and inquiry.

That the electric light has not proved a failure may be gleaned from a
rough survey of what has been done during the past two years, in spite
of unmerited depression and depreciation. In this country, permanent
installations have been established at several theatres in London and
the provinces; the Royal Courts of Justice, the Houses of Parliament,
Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Bank of England, and other
well-known buildings; while numerous railway stations, hotels, clubs,
factories, and private mansions throughout the country, have also
adopted the new light either entirely or in part. In addition to this,
over forty steamships have been fitted with the electric light during
the past year; and the Holborn Viaduct, with its shops and buildings,
has been lighted without interruption for the past two years. On the
continent, in addition to a large number of factories, private houses
and public buildings, numerous theatres at Paris, Munich, Stuttgart,
Brunn, Vienna, Berlin, Prague and Milan have been electrically
lighted. In New York, an installation of ten thousand lights has been
successfully running for the last year or two. Any one wishing to
see the electric light to advantage and its suitability to interior
decoration, should visit the Holborn Restaurant. This building, with
its finely decorated rooms, its architectural beauties, and ornamental
designs in the renaissance style, when viewed by the electric light, is
without doubt one of the chief sights of London.

The electric light in the form of the well-known powerful and dazzling
arc-light is the favorite illuminant for lighting harbors, railway
stations, docks, public works, and other large spaces. But it is to
the incandescent lamp that one must look par excellence for the “light
of the future.” It has been satisfactorily established that lighting
by incandescence is as cheap as lighting by gas, provided that it be
carried out on an extensive scale.

Very contradictory statements have from time to time been published
as to the relative cost of lighting by electricity and gas; and a few
remarks on the subject, without entering into detailed figures, will
explain much of this discrepancy. These remarks will refer to electric
lighting by incandescence.

In the first place, the lighting may be effected in one of three
ways—(1) by primary batteries; (2) by dynamo-machines; or (3) by a
combination of dynamo machines and secondary batteries. The expense of
working with primary batteries is altogether prohibitory, except in the
case of very small installations; while secondary batteries have not
yet been made a practical success; so that the second method mentioned
above is the only one at present in the field. In the second place, a
distinction must be made between isolated installations and a general
system of lighting from central stations. Up to the present time,
nearly all the lighting by electricity has been effected by isolated
installations. If every man requiring one hundred or even several
hundred lights were to set up his own gas-works and supply himself from
them, the cost of lighting by gas would be enormously increased. Hence
it is manifestly unfair to compare the cost of electric light obtained
from isolated installations with gas obtained from gas-works supplying
many thousands of lights; yet this is being constantly done. Central
stations supplying at least, say, ten thousand lights, and gas-works on
an equal scale, must be compared in order to arrive at a true estimate
of the relative cost of electricity and gas. Several such extended
installations are now being erected in London and elsewhere. With
improved generating apparatus, and above all, with improved lamps, it
is confidently anticipated that the electric light will eventually be
cheaper than gas. Even if dearer than gas, it will be largely used for
lighting dwelling-houses, theatres, concert halls, museums, libraries,
churches, shops, showrooms, factories, and ships; while perhaps gas may
long hold its own as the poor man’s friend, since it affords him warmth
as well as light.

The incandescent light is entirely free from the products of combustion
which heat and vitiate the air; it enables us to see pictures and
flowers as by daylight; it supports plants instead of poisoning them,
and enables many industries to be carried on by night as well as by
day. Add to this an almost perfect immunity from danger of fire and
no fear of explosion. When it is realized that a gas flame gives
out seventeen times as much heat as an incandescent lamp of equal
light-giving power, and that an ordinary gas flame vitiates the air
as much as the breathing of ten persons, some idea may be formed of
the advantage of the electric light from a sanitary point of view.
To this may be added absence of injury to books, walls and ceilings.
Visitors to the Savoy Theatre in London will doubtless have seen the
adaptability of this light for places of public amusement and it is now
possible to sit out a play in a cool and pleasant atmosphere without
incurring a severe headache. To theatrical managers the light offers
in addition unusual facilities for producing spectacular effects, such
as the employment of green, red, and white lamps to represent night,
morning, and daylight. The freedom from weariness and lassitude after
spending an evening in an electrically lighted apartment must be
experienced in order to be appreciated. The electric light very readily
adapts itself to the interior fittings and decorations of houses and
public buildings, and it can be placed in positions where gas could not
be used on account of the danger of fire. The old lines of gas-fittings
should be avoided as far as possible, and the lights placed singly
where required and not “bunched” together. For the lighting of mines,
electricity must stand unrivalled, though little has as yet been done
in this direction. Its speedy adoption either voluntarily or by Act of
Parliament, with the employment of lime cartridges instead of blasting
by gunpowder, will in the future render explosions in mines almost an
impossibility. In some cases, gas may yet for some time compete with
the electric light both in brilliancy and economy; for the electric
light has spurred on the gas Companies to the improved lighting of many
of our public streets and places.

With the general introduction of electricity for the purpose of
lighting comes the introduction of electricity for the production of
power; for the same current entering by the same conductors can be
used for the production of light or of power, or of both. The same
plant at the central stations will supply power by day and light by
night, with evident economy. Electricity will thus be used for driving
sewing-machines, grinding, mixing, brushing, cleaning, and many other
domestic purposes. In many trades requiring the application of power
for driving light machinery for short periods, electricity will be of
the greatest value, and artisans will have an ever ready source of
power at their command in their own homes.

Is electricity to supersede gas altogether? By no means, for gas is
destined to play a more important part in the future than it has done
in the past. Following close upon the revolution in the production of
light comes a revolution in the production of heat for purposes of
warming and cooking, and for the production of power. Gas in the future
will be largely used not necessarily as an illuminant, but as a fuel
and a power producer. When gas is burned in an ordinary gas flame,
ninety-five per cent. of the gas is consumed in producing heat, and
the remaining five per cent. only in producing light. Gas is far more
efficient than raw coal as a heating agent; and it is also far cheaper
to turn coal into gas and use the gas in a gas-engine, than to burn
the coal directly under the boiler of a steam-engine; for gas-engines
are far more economical than steam-engines. Bearing these facts in
mind it cannot but be seen that the time is not far distant when, both
by rich and poor, gas will be used as the cheapest, most cleanly, and
most convenient means for heating and cooking, and raw coal need not
enter our houses; also that gas-engines must sooner or later supersede
steam-engines, and gas thus be used for driving the machine that
produces the electricity. In the case of towns distant not more than,
say, fifty miles from a coal-field, the gas-works could with advantage
be placed at the colliery, the gas being conveyed to its destination
in pipes. Thus, coal need no longer be seen, except at the colliery
and the gas-works. With the substitution of gas for coal, as a fuel,
will end the present abominable and wasteful production of smoke. When
smoke, “blacks,” and noxious gases are thus done away with, life in
our most populous towns may become a real pleasure. Trees, grass, and
flowers will flourish, and architecture be seen in all its beauty.
Personal comfort will be greatly enhanced by the absence of smuts,
“pea-soup” fogs, and noxious fumes; and monuments, public buildings,
and pictures saved from premature destruction.

The present method of open fires is dirty, troublesome, wasteful,
and extravagant. With the introduction of gas as a heating agent,
there will be no more carting about of coals and ashes, and no more
troublesome lighting of fires with wood, paper, and matches. No more
coal-scuttles, no more smoky chimneys, no more chimney sweeps! On
the other hand, the old open coal fire is cheerful, “pokable,” and
conducive to ventilation; while the Englishman loves to stand in front
of it and toast himself. All this, however, may still be secured in
the gas stoves of the future, as any one could easily have satisfied
himself at the recent Smoke Abatement Exhibition in London. The gas
stove of the future must be an open radiating stove, and not a closed
stove, which warms the air by conduction and convection chiefly, and
renders the air of a room dry and uncomfortable.

It has been frequently pointed out that our coal-fields are not
inexhaustible; but they doubtless contain a sufficient supply for
hundreds of years to come. Long before the supply is likely to run
short, other sources of nature will be largely drawn upon. These are
the winds, waterfalls, tides, and the motion of the waves. The two
former have to some extent been utilized; but little or nothing has
been done or attempted with the latter. Before these can be to any
extent made use of, means must be devised for storing energy in the
form of electricity; a problem which is now being vigorously attacked,
but as yet without much practical success. That electricity has a great
future before it cannot for a moment be doubted.—_Chambers’s Journal._



                BEYOND THE HAZE.

             A WINTER RAMBLE REVERIE.


    The road was straight, the afternoon was gray,
      The frost hung listening in the silent air;
      On either hand the rimy fields were bare;
    Beneath my feet unrolled the long, white way,
    Drear as my heart, and brightened by no ray
      From the wide winter sun, whose disc reclined
      In distant copper sullenness behind
    The broken network of the western hedge—
      A crimson blot upon the fading day.

    Three travellers went before me—one alone—
      Then two together, who their fingers nursed
      Deep in their pockets; and I watched the first
    Lapse in the curtain the slow haze had thrown
    Across the vista which had been my own.
      Next vanished the chill comrades, blotted out
      Like him they followed, but I did not doubt
    That there beyond the haze the travellers
      Walked in the fashion that my sight had known.

    Only “beyond the haze;” oh, sweet belief!
      That this is also Death; that those we’ve kissed
      Between our sobs, are just “beyond the mist;”
    An easy thought to juggle with to grief!
    The gulf seems measureless, and Death a thief.
      Can we, who were so high, and are so low,
      So clothed in love, who now in tatters go,
    Echo serenely, “Just beyond the haze,”
      And of a sudden find a trite relief?
                              —_Cornhill Magazine_.



MRS. MONTAGU.


Matthew Robinson, of West Layton in Yorkshire, married when he was
eighteen, and before he was forty found himself father of a numerous
family—seven sons and two daughters. His wife, whose maiden name was
Drake, had inherited property in Cambridgeshire, and this seems to have
been the cause of their settling at Cambridge about the year 1727. They
may also have been induced to do so from the fact that Dr. Conyers
Middleton, Mrs. Robinson’s step-father, held the office of Public
Librarian there. Conyers Middleton became subsequently celebrated by
his “Life of Cicero”; but at this time he was chiefly known as the
malignant enemy of the learned Bentley, Master of Trinity College, and
as the author of various polemical tracts and treatises.

Middleton took an interest in the grandchildren of his deceased wife.
His favorite among them was his god-daughter Elizabeth, the elder of
the two girls. When first he saw her she was not quite eight years old.
He was at once struck by her precocious intelligence, and undertook to
begin her education. Her power of attention, and strength of memory,
were tested in the following way. He kept her with him while conversing
with visitors on subjects far beyond her grasp, and expected her both
to listen, and to give him afterwards some account of what had passed.
The exercise was a severe one, but his little pupil profited by it.
Guided by him, she made her first steps in Latin, her knowledge of
which, in after-life, was an inexhaustible source of pleasure. She
often regretted that she had not learnt Greek as well.

A favorite amusement of the young Robinsons was that of playing at
Parliament, their gentle mother sitting by and obligingly acting as
Speaker, a title which her children habitually used when mentioning
her among themselves. Often, when dispute waxed too warm, had she to
interfere, and restore order among the senators, of whom Elizabeth was
not the least eloquent.

Wimpole Hall, now the home of the Yorkes, was, in the early part of
last century, inhabited by Lord Oxford.[42] In 1731, Mrs. Robinson went
from Cambridge to pay a visit there, taking her daughter Elizabeth
with her. Lord and Lady Oxford had an only child and heiress, Lady
Margaret Harley, who, a few years later, became Duchess of Portland.
Lady Margaret was eighteen, and Elizabeth Robinson eleven. In spite
of the difference in their ages, they became friends at once.
Lady Margaret was immensely diverted by Elizabeth’s liveliness of
mind, and restlessness of body, and—being addicted to dispensing
nicknames—called her Fidget. Elizabeth was doubtless flattered by the
notice the other accorded her. On getting back to Cambridge, she sat
down to write a letter to her new friend, but had difficulty in finding
something to say. One can imagine her chewing the feather of her pen,
and rolling her eyes, in the agony of composition. At last she began:

          “This Cambridge is the dullest place: it neither affords
        anything entertaining nor ridiculous enough to put into
        a letter. Were it half so difficult to find something
        to say as something to write, what a melancholy set of
        people should we be who love prating!”

Letter-writing soon ceased to cause her the slightest effort. This
was well, for she was cut off for a period from all but epistolary
intercourse with Lady Margaret, owing to her father’s settling at a
place he owned in Kent, Mount Morris, near Hythe. Had Mr. Robinson
followed his inclination, he would have preferred living in London, for
he much appreciated the society of his fellow-men. But prudence forbade
this. Though comfortably off, he was not wealthy, and already his
elder sons were treading on his heels. He fell to repining at times,
declaring that living in the country was simply sleeping with his
eyes open. His daughter Elizabeth (evidently now an authority in the
household) would rally him sharply when he spoke so, and we learn from
one of her letters that she had taken to putting saffron in his tea to
enliven his spirits. His temper, for all that, continued most
uncertain. Once, after promising to take her to the Canterbury Races,
and the festivities which followed them, he changed his mind suddenly,
and decided on remaining at home. Keenly disappointed was Elizabeth,
who was so eager about dancing, that she fancied she had at some time
or other been bitten by the tarantula. But philosophy came to her aid,
and she confessed that writing a long letter to her dear duchess, was a
more rational pleasure than “jumping and cutting capers.”

Her health was not altogether satisfactory. An affection of the
hip-joint was the cause of her being ordered to Bath in 1740. Neither
the place itself, nor the lounging life led by the bathers, were much
to her taste. It amused her, though, to comment satirically on the
people she saw. Who, one wonders, were the good folks thus turned
inside out?—

          “There is one family here that affect sense. Their stock
        is indeed so low that, if they laid out much, they would
        be in danger of becoming bankrupt; but, according to
        their present economy, it will last them their lives.
        And everybody commends them—for who will not praise
        what they do not envy? To commend what they admire, is
        above the capacity of the generality.”

On leaving Bath, she spent some weeks with the Duke and Duchess of
Portland, at their grand house in Whitehall. During her visit she was
ordered by the doctor to enter on a fresh course of baths—this time
at Marylebone—and thither she used to proceed every morning in the
ducal coach. The duchess accompanied her on the first occasion, and was
“frightened out of her wits” at the intrepidity with which she plunged
in. Lord Dupplin, who was given to rhyming, actually found material for
an ode in the account he received of Miss Fidget’s aquatic feats.

The following year, Mr. Robinson’s younger daughter, Sarah, caught
the smallpox. Elizabeth who, besides being rather delicate, had a
considerable share of beauty to lose, was at once removed by her
parents from Mount Morris, and sent to lodge in the house of a
gentleman farmer living a few miles off—a certain Mr. Smith of Hayton.
By most young women, familiar, as was she, with the delights of
Ranelagh, Vauxhall, and Marylebone Gardens, the life at Hayton would
have been thought supremely dull; but Elizabeth had a mind too well
stored to find time hang heavy. “I am not sorry,” she writes, “to be
without the appurtenances of equipage for a while, that I may know
how much of my happiness depends upon myself, and how much comes from
the things about me.” Mr. Smith who enjoyed an income of four hundred
a year, she describes as a busy, anxious person, very silent, and
disposed to be niggardly. Mrs. Smith was a good sort of body, excellent
at making cheeses and syllabubs. The two Miss Smiths were worthy
damsels, yet hardly interesting to the pupil of Conyers Middleton.
The house was as clean as a new pin; it contained much worm-eaten
panelling and antique furniture, well rubbed and polished. The room
assigned to Elizabeth was spacious though dark, owing to the masses of
ivy veiling the windows. Here she reigned undisturbed; a big clock on
the staircase-landing struck the hours with solemn regularity. From
without came the cawing of rooks, and the grating noise of a rusty
weathercock fixed in the stump of an old oak-tree. She wrote of course
to the Duchess of Portland apologising for addressing her grace on
paper “ungilded and unadorned.” To Miss Donnellan,[43] another favored
correspondent, whose acquaintance she had made at Bath, she gives the
following account of herself and her surroundings:

          “I am forced to go back to former ages for my
        companions; Cicero and Plutarch’s heroes are my
        only company. I cannot extract the least grain of
        entertainment out of the good family I am with; my best
        friends among the living are a colony of rooks who have
        settled themselves in a grove by my window. They wake me
        early in the morning, for which I am obliged to them for
        some hours of reading, and some moments of reflection,
        of which they are the subject. I have not yet discovered
        the form of their government, but I imagine it is
        democratical. There seems an equality of power and
        property, and a wonderful agreement of opinion. I am apt
        to fancy them wise for the same reason I have thought
        some men and some books so, because they are solemn, and
        because I do not understand them. If I continue here
        long, I shall grow a good naturalist. I have applied
        myself to nursing chickens, and have been forming the
        manners of a young calf, but I find it a very dull
        scholar.”

At last, Sarah Robinson was pronounced convalescent; and the sisters,
who were devoted to one another, were permitted to have an interview,
in the open air, at a distance of six feet apart. Soon after, all fear
of infection being gone, Elizabeth bid adieu to Hayton and its inmates
(not forgetting the rook republic) and returned home.

Miss Robinson was not of a susceptible nature. There is reason to
believe that, during her stay in London, she had several sighing swains
at her feet. There is mention too, in one of her letters, of a certain
clownish squire, a visitor at Hayton, who complimented her “with all
the force of rural gallantry.” But this gentleman she could only liken
to a calf, and his attentions were received with polite indifference.
Indeed, on the subject of marriage, she had decided opinions.

          “When I marry,” was her written declaration, “I do not
        intend to enlist entirely under the banner of Cupid
        or Plutus, but take prudent consideration, and decent
        inclination, for my advisers. I like a coach and six
        extremely; but a strong apprehension of repentance would
        not suffer me to accept it from many that possess it.”

A suitor of an approved type soon presented himself. In the person of
Edward Montagu, Esquire, the main requirements seemed combined. He was
of good birth, being a grandson of the first Lord Sandwich: he was
rich, and had prospects of increased wealth some day. He had a place in
Yorkshire, another in Berkshire, and a house in town. He represented
Huntingdon in Parliament. _Au reste_, he was a courteous gentleman,
grave in aspect and demeanor, and some thirty years her senior. It may
be added that he was a mathematician of distinction, happiest when
alone pursuing his studies.

In August 1742, being then twenty-two, Elizabeth Robinson became Mrs.
Montagu. It was not without a flutter of anxiety that she took even
this prudent step, but the sequel showed that she had chosen wisely. A
more generous, indulgent husband she could not have found. “He has no
desire of power but to do good,” was her report, after some experience
of his temper, “and no use of it but to make happy.” She suffered a
heavy bereavement, two years afterwards, in the loss of an infant boy,
her only child. This affected her health, and we hear of frequent
visits paid by her to Tunbridge Wells to drink the waters. Here is a
picture of the folks she encountered on the Pantiles:

          “Tunbridge seems the parliament of the world, where
        every country and every rank has its representative; we
        have Jews of every tribe, and Christian people of all
        nations and conditions. Next to some German, whose noble
        blood might entitle him to be Grand Master of Malta,
        sits a pin-maker’s wife from Smock Alley; pickpockets,
        who are come to the top of their profession, play with
        noble dukes at brag.”

The letters of Mrs. Montagu have been compared with those of her
kinswoman by marriage, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, to the disadvantage
of the latter. Of the two, Lady Mary is the livelier and wittier on
paper, but her writings are disfigured by a coarseness which, with the
other’s taste, she might have avoided. Mrs. Montagu is seen at her best
when addressing intimate friends. Her style is then easy and natural,
and the good things that drop from her pen are worth picking up; but it
is another affair when she writes to a stranger, especially one whom
she intends to dazzle with her learning. She then drags in gods and
goddesses to adorn her pages, uses metaphor to straining, and moralises
at wearisome length.

The Montagus, though living in perfect harmony, afforded each other
little companionship. When at Sandleford, their favorite residence near
Newbury, in Berkshire, Mr. Montagu was all day long shut up in his
study. His wife was thrown on her own resources for amusement. With
country neighbors often stupid, and oftener rough, she had nothing in
common. It is just possible that she felt the winged fiend _Ennui_
hovering over her. Some remarks addressed to a correspondent on the
necessity of occupation give that impression:

          “It is better to pass one’s life _à faire des riens, qu’
        à rien faire_. Do but do something; the application to
        it will make it appear important, and the being the doer
        of it laudable, so that one is sure to be pleased one’s
        self. To please others is a task so difficult, one may
        never attain it, and perhaps not so necessary that one
        is obliged to attempt it.”

To please others was no such difficult task for her, and she must
have known it. Cultivated society was the element in which she was
made to move. She was always glad when the time arrived to get into
her postchaise, and roll over the fifty-six miles that lay between
Sandleford and her house in Hill Street, Berkeley Square. This
habitation was at once stately and convenient; one room was furnished
in the Chinese style: the walls were lively with pagodas, willow-trees,
and simpering celestials. Here she collected around her the witty
and the wise. Her _salon_ quickly became the fashion. We find her on
one occasion apologizing to a lady for not answering her letter, and
explaining that, on the previous day, “the Chinese room was filled by a
succession of people from eleven in the morning till eleven at night.”
She is said to have introduced the custom—which did not however take
permanent root—of giving mid-day breakfasts. Madame du Boccage, a
lady of eminence in the French literary world, who happened to be in
England in 1750, gives a description of one of them in a letter to her
sister Madame Duperron. It appears that bread-and-butter, cakes hot and
cold, biscuits of every shape and flavor, formed the solid portion of
the feast. Tea, coffee, and chocolate were the beverages provided. The
hostess, wearing a white apron, and a straw hat (like those with which
porcelain shepherdesses are crowned), stood at the table pouring out
the tea. Madame du Boccage was much impressed by the fine table-linen,
the gleaming cups and saucers, and the excellence of the tea, which in
those days cost about sixteen shillings a pound. But especially did
she admire the lady of the house, who deserved, she considered, “to be
served at the table of the gods.“

Mrs. Montagu had, all her life, been a student of Shakespeare, and an
ardent admirer of his works. Her indignation may be imagined therefore
when Voltaire dared to condemn what he was pleased to call _les farces
monstrueuses_ of the bard of Avon.[44] It was contended by Voltaire that
Corneille was immeasurably superior to Shakespeare as a dramatist,
inasmuch as the latter set at nought Aristotle’s unities of time and
place, and otherwise violated accepted rules of dramatic composition.
That the vigor and freedom which characterise Shakespeare’s genius
should be depreciated, and the stilted artificialities of the French
school held up to admiration, was more than Mrs. Montagu could stand.
She thus denounces the philosopher of Ferney, and his opinions, in a
letter to Gilbert West:

          “Foolish coxcomb! Rules can no more make a poet than
        receipts a cook. There must be taste, there must be
        skill. Oh, that we were as sure our fleets and armies
        could drive the French out of America as that our poets
        and tragedians can drive them out of Parnassus. I hate
        to see these tame creatures, taught to pace by art,
        attack fancy’s sweetest child.”

There was nothing for it but to enter the lists herself, and measure
swords with the assailant. She accordingly set to work at her “Essay on
the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare,” and very well she acquitted
herself of the task. Her essay, though heavy, did credit to her taste
and erudition. It was published in 1769, and had no small success. From
first to last, six editions appeared. She treated Voltaire in it with
surprising forbearance; yet he is said to have been extremely nettled
at his sovereign dictum being called in question—and by a woman
too! This was not her only literary performance. To the “Dialogues
of the Dead,” of which her friend Lord Lyttleton was the author, she
contributed three, the brightest being that in which Mercury and
Mrs. Modish are made to converse. Mrs. Modish is a typical woman of
fashion of the day. Mercury summons her to cross the Styx with him,
and she—surprised and unprepared—pleads in excuse divers trumpery
engagements (balls, plays, card-assemblies, and the like), to meet
which she neglects all her home duties. As several fine ladies tossed
their heads on reading the dialogue, and declared the Modish utterances
to be “abominably satirical,” we may presume that the cap fitted.

In 1770, Mrs. Montagu had completely established her empire in the
world of literature. A list of the remarkable people who assembled
beneath her roof would fill a page. She was on terms of friendly
intimacy with Johnson, Goldsmith, Burke, Hume, Reynolds, Walpole,
Garrick, Dr. Burney, Dr. Young, Bishop Percy, Lords Lyttleton, Bath,
Monboddo, and a host more. Of the other sex may be named Mesdames
Carter, Chapone, Barbauld, Boscawen, Thrale, Vesey, Ord, and Miss
Burney. Dr. Doran, in his memoir of Mrs. Montagu, explains how her
parties, and those given by Mrs. Vesey and Mrs. Ord, came to be called
_Bluestocking_ Assemblies. It seems that Mr. Benjamin Stillingfleet,
who was always a welcome guest at them, wore stockings of a bluish
grey; and this peculiarity was fixed upon, by those disposed to deride
such gatherings, as affording a good stamp wherewith to brand them.
A _Bluestocking Club_ never existed. There was a _Literary Club_, of
which Sir Joshua Reynolds and Dr. Johnson were the promoters, and to
this the so-called bluestockings of both sexes belonged.

It was in 1774 that Hannah More was first introduced to Mrs. Montagu.
Hannah was the daughter of a schoolmaster in Gloucestershire, and had
come up to town at the invitation of Garrick. Her ambition from her
earliest childhood had been to mix in intellectual society, and win for
herself, if possible, a place therein. This she succeeded in doing with
a swiftness that will surprise those who have tried to read the plays
and ballads by which she made her name. Her cleverness, sound sense,
and fresh enthusiasm, attracted the “female Mecænas of Hill Street” (so
she styles Mrs. Montagu), who invited her to dinner, Johnson, Reynolds,
and Mrs. Boscawen, being of the party.

          “I feel myself a worm,” she tells her sister, “the more
        a worm from the consequence which was given me by mixing
        with such a society. Mrs. Montagu received me with the
        most encouraging kindness. She is not only the finest
        genius, but the finest lady I ever saw. Her countenance
        is the most animated in the world—the sprightly
        vivacity of fifteen, with the judgment and experience
        of a Nestor. But I fear she is hastening to decay very
        fast; her spirits are so active that they must soon wear
        out the little frail receptacle that holds them.”

Cards were discountenanced in Hill Street. After dinner, the company,
augmented by fresh arrivals, divided itself into little groups,
and much animated conversation went on. The hostess was especially
brilliant, holding her own in a brisk argument against four clever
men. Hannah was amused at observing how “the fine ladies and pretty
gentlemen” who could only talk twaddle, herded together.

Mrs. Montagu was generally happy in her friendships, which she made
with caution, and only abandoned for good reason. It is hard to say
what first caused a breach between her and Johnson, who sometimes
smothered her with compliments, and as often, in chatting with Boswell,
spoke of her with harshness and disrespect. She, it is stated, once
pronounced his “Rasselas” an opiate, and the remark of course was not
allowed to lie where it fell. In return, he fastened on her “Essay
on Shakespeare,” declaring that there was not one sentence of true
criticism in the whole book. There is reason to suppose also that
he was jealous of the respectful deference she showed to Garrick
and Lyttleton. He certainly caused her pain later on, by the sneers
he bestowed on the latter (then dead) in his “Lives of the Poets.”
He had shown her the manuscript of the Life in question, and the
expressions in it which offended her she had marked for omission. He,
however, thought fit to disregard her wishes, and sent it to press as
originally written. On opening the book, and finding her idol alluded
to as “poor Lyttleton,” and accused of vanity and a cringing fear of
criticism, she was naturally incensed. As it was not convenient to
seek out the offender in Bolt Court, she asked him to dinner, and he
had the temerity to go. The repast over, he attempted to engage her in
conversation, but her icy manner repelled him. Retiring discomfited, he
seated himself next General Paoli, to whom he remarked, “Mrs. Montagu,
sir, has dropped me. Now, sir, there are people whom one should like
very well to drop, but would not wish to be dropped by.” After this,
open war was declared on both sides. Malicious onlookers, for sport’s
sake, fomented the disagreement. Foremost among these was Horace
Walpole. He relates with infinite glee that, at a bluestocking assembly
at Lady Lucan’s, “Mrs. Montagu and Johnson kept at different ends of
the chamber, and set up altar against altar.” Johnson had many reasons
for feeling grateful to Mrs. Montagu; it is therefore satisfactory to
know that, at the time of his death, he and she were on cordial terms
again.

Not only could she dispute with the learned, and frolic with the
fashionable, in town; but at Sandleford Mrs. Montagu kept the farm
accounts, and rattled away glibly about agriculture. Then again at
Denton, her husband’s place in Northumberland, where he owned extensive
coal-mines, it was she, not he, who visited the pits with the overseer,
and discussed the prospects of trade. Her husband’s apathy to what
went on around him, and disinclination to move, irritated her, as is
evident from the slightly petulant remarks she lets drop thereupon
in her letters. She lost all patience with her brother William, the
clergyman, who preferred a life of easy retirement to going ahead in
his profession. “He leads,” she writes, “a life of such privacy and
seriousness as looks to the beholders like wisdom; but for my part, no
life of inaction deserves that name.” In 1774, her husband’s health was
visibly failing. He scarcely left the house, sought his bed at five
o’clock in the evening, and did not leave it till near noon. He died
the following year, bequeathing all his property, real and personal,
to his widow. She, after an interval of seclusion at Sandleford,
proceeded to the North, and busied herself in visiting her coal-mines,
and feasting her tenants on a liberal scale. Her colliery people she
blew out with boiled beef and rice-pudding. “It is very pleasant,”
she remarks, “to see how the poor things cram themselves, and the
expense is not great. We buy rice cheap, and skimmed milk and coarse
beef serve the occasion.” Having projected various schemes of charity
and usefulness among her vassals in Northumberland, she proceeded to
Yorkshire, and with the state of affairs on her property there she was
equally pleased. A prolonged drought, it is true, had this summer burnt
the country to a brown crust; not a blade of grass was visible; cattle
had to be driven miles to water. Yet her tenants asked no indulgence
nor favor, but paid their rents like men, hoping philosophically that
the next season would be better.

The following year, she was moving in a different scene. She was
in Paris, where her reputation as a _bel esprit_ of the first rank
was established. The doors of the greatest houses were thrown open
to receive her, and she was hurried hither and thither in a manner
bewildering.

Voltaire was prevented by age and decrepitude from appearing in public;
but he heard of her arrival, and took the opportunity of addressing
a letter to the Academy renewing his attack on Shakespeare. She was
present when this letter (intended as a crushing response to her
essay) was read. The meeting over, the president observed to her
apologetically, “I fear, Madam, you must be annoyed at what you have
just heard.” She at once answered, “I, sir! Not at all. I am not one of
M. Voltaire’s friends!”

She had already named as her heir her nephew Matthew Robinson (the
younger of the two sons of her third brother Morris), who assumed, by
royal licence, the surname and arms of Montagu. In young Matthew, now
a boy of fourteen, her hopes and affections were accordingly centred.
His education was her first care. She sent him to Harrow, where he
did dwell. In the holidays, she had him taught to ride and to dance,
the latter exercise being essential, in her opinion, for giving young
people a graceful deportment. She was indeed shocked at observing, on
one of her later visits to Tunbridge Wells, that owing to there being
a camp hard by at Coxheath, young ladies had adopted a military air,
strutting about with their arms akimbo, humming marches, and refusing
to figure in the courtly minuet.

When he was seventeen, Matthew Montagu was entered at Trinity College,
Cambridge. Here again, without doing anything remarkable, he acquitted
himself creditably, and never got into a single scrape. While he was
thus progressing, his aunt was preparing to leave her residence in
Hill Street, and move into a far finer mansion which she had purchased
in Portman Square. This edifice, considerably altered and modernised,
fills up the north-west angle of the square. It is conspicuous for its
size, and the spacious enclosure surrounding it. Much building and
decorating had to be got through before the fortunate owner could
migrate thither. In the following extract from a letter written at the
time, she proves herself a sharp woman of business:

          “My new house is almost ready. I propose to move all my
        furniture from Hill Street thither, and to let my house
        unfurnished till a good purchaser offers. Then, should
        I get a bad tenant, I can seize his goods for rent; and
        such security becomes necessary in these extravagant
        times.”

Meantime, extensive improvements were being carried on at Sandleford.
Within the house, various Gothicisms, in imitation of Strawberry Hill,
were contrived. Without, what with widening of streams, levelling of
mounds, planting in and planting out, our good lady’s purse-strings
were kept perpetually untied. Yet she managed to keep well within
her income. The celebrated landscape-gardener, “Capability” Brown,
superintended matters.

          “He adapts his scheme,” she says, “to the character of
        the place and my purse. We shall not erect temples to
        heathen gods, build proud bridges over humble rivulets,
        or do any of the marvellous things suggested by caprice,
        and indulged by the wantonness of wealth.”

The winter of 1782 found Mrs. Montagu established at her palace,
for so her foreign friends called it, in Portman Square. Everything
about it delighted her—the healthy open situation, the space and
the magnificence. We hear of one room with pillars of old Italian
green marble, and a ceiling painted by Angelica Kauffmann. At a later
date, she further adorned it with those wondrous feather hangings, to
form which, feathers were sought from every quarter, all kinds being
acceptable, from the flaring plumage of the peacock and the parrot to
the dingier garb of our native birds. It was with reference to this
feathering of her London nest that the poet Cowper wrote:

    “The birds put off their every hue,
     To dress a room for Montagu.”

When Matthew Montagu left Cambridge, there was a talk of his making the
grand tour. His aunt, however, decided that the atmosphere of home was
less likely to be corrupting. The scheme was therefore abandoned, and
he was sent forth instead into London society. The impression he made
was such as to satisfy her. She was of course anxious that, if he did
marry, he should exercise judgment in his choice. When therefore he
fixed his affections on a charming girl with fifty thousand pounds,
she could raise no objections. He entered Parliament as member for
Bossiney,[45] and in 1787 he seconded the Address to the Throne in a
maiden speech which appears to have attracted some attention; members
of both Houses called to congratulate his aunt upon his successful
start in public life: “indeed, for several mornings,” says she, “I had
a levée like a Minister.”

In process of time a grand-nephew made his appearance, and then Mrs.
Montagu’s cup of joy seemed to be full. From this point her life flowed
smoothly onward to its close. Death had made sad havoc among those who
had assembled around her once, yet the gaps were quickly filled. She
entertained more splendidly than ever. Her parties differed from the
old gatherings in Hill Street. Royalty honored her with its presence.
Titles, stars, and decorations abounded: she herself had never been
more sparkling: yet the witty aroma being more diffused, smelt fainter.
While welcoming the rich, she did not forget the poor. Every May
Day, the courtyard before her house was thronged by a multitude of
chimney-sweeps, with faces washed for the occasion, and for these a
banquet of roast beef and plum pudding was provided.

It surprised her friends that one so fragile in appearance, who looked
as though a breath of wind might blow her away, should be equal to
the fatigues of a worldly existence. Hannah More, when first she knew
her, had described her as “hastening to insensible decay by a slow but
sure hectic.” Twenty years after, on one of her brief visits to town,
she found her hectic patient (aged seventy-six) “well, bright, and in
full song,” The excitement afforded by mixing with the giddy world had
long since wearied and sickened the worthy Hannah, but to the mistress
of Montagu House it had become a necessity. Without it she would
have moped. She resigned her sceptre gradually and reluctantly. Sir
Nathaniel Wraxall alludes in a rather malicious tone to the splendor of
her attire, when in extreme old age, and especially to the quantity
of diamonds that flashed on head, neck, arms, and fingers. “I used
to think,” he says, “that these glittering appendages of opulence
sometimes helped to dazzle the disputant whom her arguments might not
always convince, or her literary reputation intimidate.” At length
failing strength obliged her to retire from a scene in which she had
long shone the brightest star, and we hear of her less and less. She
died in 1800, aged eighty.

The gap left by her in society has never been exactly filled—except
possibly by Lady Blessington, who was a far shallower person than her
predecessor, with sympathies less exclusively literary. The kindness
Mrs. Montagu showed to struggling authors, and the assistance she lent
them in time of need, are pleasant to remember. It was to her influence
in a great measure, that Beattie owed the success of his “Minstrel,”
and Hannah More that of her windy play “Percy.” She condescended to
notice the humblest efforts—like those, for instance, of Mrs.
Yearsley, the ungrateful milk-woman of Bristol, in whose poetical
effusions she discovered a surprising “force of imagination and harmony
of numbers.”

The literary _salon_, properly so called, appears to be a thing of the
past. Society is now too large, and time too precious, to admit of its
revival. Besides, workers in literature appeal to a discerning public,
and not to individual patrons and patronesses, for support. Even if
such a revival were possible, a leader like Mrs. Montagu could hardly
be found. It was Johnson himself who said of her:

          “She exerts more mind in conversation than any
        person I ever met with; she displays such powers
        of ratiocination, such radiations of intellectual
        excellence, as are amazing.”

This is strong praise, and it agrees with the opinions of others hardly
less celebrated. There are few, it would seem, at the present day, of
whom the same could, with truth, be said.—_Temple Bar._



GENERAL GORDON AND THE SLAVE TRADE.


In an article in the _Fortnightly Review_ for the month of October,[46]
under the heading of “The Future of the Soudan,” grave charges are made
against General Gordon.

It is alleged in that article that General Gordon’s proclamation
at Khartoum, of the 18th or 19th of February last, will have a
very injurious effect upon the condition of thousands of unhappy
negroes from the upper regions of the Nile, who are, or will become,
slaves. That General Gordon has undone by his own hands the work he
devoted years of his life to accomplish. That his proclamation to
the slaveholders showed that he was inclined to temporize with an
injustice, and that the English Government have confirmed the right
of man to sell man. It is further asserted that the issue of the
proclamation secured General Gordon’s safe arrival at Khartoum.

The writer advocates the total abolition of slavery in Egypt at once,
without any compensation. He is of opinion that General Gordon should
not have accepted a commission from the Khedive. He thinks that if
an equitable administration, under the British Government, cannot be
established, it would be better to abandon the Soudan absolutely, and
leave the native chiefs to themselves, even at the risk of there being
a period of anarchy; but further on he says there is no reason why we
should allow the Soudan to sink into barbarism. And then he goes on to
assume that some form of government might be established, separate from
Egypt, and that the railway from Suakim to Berber ought to be made,
if we wish to keep open the road to Khartoum, and our access to the
heart of Africa. The writer considers that the garrisons of Kassala
and Sennaar should have been relieved through Abyssinia, and that
General Gordon was most unwisely empowered to settle the nomination of
the future native administration of the country, in place of frankly
withdrawing from the Soudan, and leaving the tribes to settle their
government among themselves. The writer then makes a direct charge
against General Gordon to the effect that he, in a proclamation of
February 26, said he had been compelled to send for British troops, who
were then on the road, and would arrive in a few days. In conclusion,
the writer of the article states that the despatch of the present
expedition is a sufficient proof that General Gordon overrated his
powers.

Now what are the facts?

According to the terms of the Convention[47] between the British and
Egyptian Governments for the suppression of the slave trade, dated
August 4, 1877, it was agreed that slave-hunting should cease, and that
any persons engaged therein should be treated as murderers, and it
was further arranged that after certain dates—viz., August 4, 1884,
in lower Egypt, and August 4, 1889, in the Soudan, all trafficking in
slaves between family and family, should be illegal, and be punished
with imprisonment. It was further resolved that a special ordinance
should be published throughout the land of Egypt, in order to prepare
the people for the change determined upon.

General Gordon, during the time that he was Governor-General of the
Soudan, rigidly adhered to this Convention, and annually published a
proclamation to the effect that the sale of slaves between family and
family would determine in 1889. In Lower Egypt, where, by the terms
of the Convention, the sale of slaves has already become illegal, no
such proclamations have been promulgated, nor have any steps whatever
been taken to put the terms of the Convention into force. Although
General Gordon faithfully carried out the provisions of this article
of the Convention, he was adverse to the conditions. He saw that they
could not be carried out; and suggested that the only effectual way of
abolishing slavery would be the following:—

   1. The registration of all existing slaves.

   2. Registers to be kept in each Government office of the names of
      slaves and their owners, with a description of each.

   3. Every slave not registered within six months from a certain date
      to be free.

   4. All slaves born after a certain date to be free.

And he suggested that the Convention should be cancelled, and that the
foregoing proposals should take its place.

Prior to General Gordon’s arrival in the Soudan in February last, it
was rumored throughout that country by the emissaries of the Mahdi,
that General Gordon would proclaim the freedom of all slaves, which
form seven-eighths of the population of that province. In order to
counteract this baneful influence, General Gordon, on his arrival at
Khartoum, issued the proclamation[48] complained of. What are its terms?
It simply tells the people what they are by law entitled to—viz.,
“That whoever has slaves shall have full right to their services,
and full control over them, and that no one shall interfere with
their property.” General Gordon had no power to cancel the Convention
and abolish slavery. What he did was in accordance with a solemn
convention entered into by the Governments of Great Britain and Egypt,
and in no way referred to the making of new slaves, and still less to
slave-hunting, against which nefarious traffic, as is well known, all
his energies have been exercised.

It is not the case that the issue of the proclamation procured the safe
arrival of General Gordon at Khartoum. The proclamation was not issued
until after his arrival at Berber—most probably not until after his
arrival at Khartoum itself.

With regard to the total abolition of slavery, without compensation,
at once—the writer can hardly have considered the question. For a
powerful nation like Great Britain to confiscate the personal property
of a people, with whom slavery dates from the time of the Pharaohs,
would be as impolitic as it would be unjust. We have no right, human
or divine, to so deal with property that is not our own. We did not
dare to act in this manner when we gave our slaves their freedom, we
began by proposing a loan of £15,000,000, and we ended by a gift of
£20,000,000.

With respect to General Gordon’s commission as Governor-General which
is objected to—how could he have derived any power without it? The
number of Egyptian employés and troops could be counted by thousands,
each province being under the government of an Egyptian Pasha. How
could he have issued any orders unless he derived his authority from
the firman of the Khedive.

The writer advocates the evacuation of the Soudan upon any terms, even
if such withdrawal would result in anarchy—always provided that Great
Britain is not prepared to exercise a protectorate over it—and then he
goes on to recommend the construction of the Suakim and Berber railway
under any circumstances, with the view of opening the road to Khartoum,
and giving us access to the heart of Africa. He seems to consider
that the people of the Soudan would, after a time of anarchy, form
good governments. It is asserted, on the contrary, that the country,
at present a productive one, would revert into barbarism, and, after
a scene of murder, rapine, and plunder, would become the resort of
slave-hunters,[49] who would carry on raids into all the surrounding
provinces.

The writer does not say where the money is to come from for the
construction of the railway, or how it is to be maintained. When
he speaks of the garrisons of Sennaar and Kassala being withdrawn
through Abyssinia, he apparently forgets the extreme hatred that
exists between the natives of the Soudan and the Abyssinians. He
seems to have forgotten the thousands of people whom General Gordon
was sent to remove. Putting on one side the Egyptian garrisons in
the Bahr-el-Gazelle, and at the equator, and other places, Colonel
Coetlogen states[50] that the people to be removed from Khartoum and
Sennaar alone consists of from 40,000 to 50,000 persons, and is of
opinion that the evacuation would take two years to carry out, and
could only be carried out at great risk, and with much bloodshed.

It is very difficult to explain the meaning of the proclamation of
February 26,[51] wherein General Gordon speaks of having sent for
British troops who would in a few days be in Khartoum. It would seem as
if the proclamation had been promulgated under some misapprehension or
misunderstanding open to explanation. General Gordon is not an Arabic
scholar, and his interpreter may have inserted words that he did not
use. Again, General Gordon may have intended to allude to Graham’s
force proceeding to Suakim,[52] since the proclamation is addressed to
the inhabitants of the Soudan generally, of which Suakim is an integral
part; or he may refer to the 200 Indian troops that on the same day
(February 26) he requests[53] may be sent to Wadi-Halfa.

As this incident has nothing to do with the future of the Soudan, nor
with the slave proclamation, it would seem quite unnecessary for the
writer of the article in the _Fortnightly Review_ to go out of his way
to charge General Gordon, an absent officer, with having proclaimed an
untruth.

As to the statement that “the dispatch of the present expedition is
a sufficient proof that General Gordon overrates his powers,” it is
not to be believed that the people of England will endorse any such
unfair statement. On the contrary, they will be of opinion that General
Gordon’s prestige has never stood so high as it does at this time. It
has certainly carried him through the perils of a terrible ordeal out
of which it seems probable that he and his companions will emerge with
undiminished reputation. Few persons will ever know the fearful anxiety
which he has undergone during this time of trial—not on account of
himself, but on account of those who were with him, and for whose lives
he considered himself responsible. General Gordon never asked for any
expedition to Khartoum. After Graham’s victories, he requested that
two squadrons of British cavalry should be sent to Berber, and 200 men
to Wadi-Halfa. He himself remarked, he made these requests solely on
account of the moral effect they would produce if acceded to.

It is difficult to know for what purpose the present expedition is
sent, except it be to carry out the evacuation of this fertile country.
It is to be hoped, however, in the interests of humanity, that the
country may be retained under Egyptian rule, the more especially as
Khartoum is as essential to Egypt as our frontier position at Quetta
is to India. Under Egyptian rule it returned a surplus revenue of over
£100,000.

The question of Zebehr requires no comment, and it is too long a
subject to go into.

In conclusion, it may be observed that, while General Gordon would
perhaps deprecate any notice being taken of the article referred to,
yet in his absence his friends do not consider it should be allowed to
pass unobserved.—_Contemporary Review._



WÜRZBURG AND VIENNA.

SCRAPS FROM A DIARY.

BY EMILE DE LAVELEYE.


Going to Vienna to collect books and documents, with the intention of
studying the results of Bosnia’s occupation by Austro-Hungary, I take
the Rhine route, and stop two days at Würzburg to see Ludwig Noiré and
have a talk on Schopenhauer. The _Vater Rhein_ is now changed beyond
recognition: _quantum mutatus ab illo_. How different all is to when
I visited it for the first time, years ago on foot, stopping at the
stages mentioned in Victor Hugo’s “Rhin,” which had just appeared.
All those grand peeps of Nature to be got on the old river, as it
forced its majestic way through barriers of riven rocks and volcanic
upheavals, have now almost wholly disappeared. The wine-grower has
planted his vineyards even in the most secluded nooks, and built stone
terraces where the rocks were too steep for cultivation. All along
the banks, these giant staircases climb to the summits of peaks and
ravines. The vines have stormed the position, and their aspect is
uniform. The Burgs, built on heaps of lava, “the Maus” and “the Katze,”
those sombre retreats of the Burgraves of old, now covered with the
green leaves of the vine, have lost their former wild aspect. The
Lorelei manufactures white wine, and the syren no longer intoxicates
sailors with the songs of her harp, but with the juice of the grape.
There is nothing here now to inspire Victor Hugo’s “Burgraves,” or
Heine’s

    “Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten,
     Dass ich so traurig bin;
     Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,
     Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.”

Below, engineering skill has dammed in the waters of the river, and
the basaltic blocks form a black wall with white lines between the
stones. Black and white! Even the old God of the Rhine has adopted
the Prussian colors. Embankments have been constructed at the wide
points of the river, for the purpose of increasing its depth, and of
reconquering meadows, by the slow but natural process of raising the
level by mud deposits. Between Mannheim and Cologne, the current has
gained ten hours, and the dangers of navigation of legendary celebrity
have disappeared. All along the embankments immense white figures
inform navigators at what distance from them it is safe to pass. On
each bank, too, runs a railway, and on the river itself pass steamers
of every shape, form, and description—steamers with three decks, for
tourists, as in the United States, little pleasure-boats, iron barges
from Rotterdam, steam-tugs worked by paddle or screw, and dredgers of
various proportions; all these hundreds of chimneys vomit a continuance
of black smoke, which darkens the whole atmosphere. The carriage roads
are in admirable order; not a rut is visible, and they are lined with
fruit-trees, and with the same black and white basaltic blocks as the
river. The Prussian colors again; but the aim is to point out the road
for carriages on dark nights. When the way turns either to the right
or the left, the trees on each side of it are painted white, so as to
be distinctly visible. I have never anywhere seen a great river so
thoroughly tamed, subdued, and utilized, so completely bent to man’s
necessities. The free Rhine of Arminius and of the Burgraves is as well
disciplined as any grenadier of Brandenburg, The economist and the
engineer admire, but painters and poets bewail.

Buffon, in a page published in every “Cours de Littérature,” sings
a hosanna to cultivated Nature, and appears unable to find words
strong enough to express his horror of Nature in its savage state,
“brute” Nature as he calls it. At the present day, our impression is
precisely the reverse of this. We seek on almost inaccessible summits,
in the region of eternal snow, and in the very heart of hitherto
unexplored continents, a spot where man has not yet penetrated, and
where we may behold Nature in her inviolate virginity. We are stifled
by civilization, wearied out with books, newspapers, reviews, and
periodicals, letters to write and to read; railway travelling, the
post, the telegraph, and the telephone, devour time and completely
mince up one’s life; any solitude for fruitful reflection is quite out
of the question. Shall I find it, at least, among the fir-trees of
the Carpathians, or beneath the shade of the old oaks of the Balkans?
Industry is spoiling and soiling our planet. Chemical produce poisons
the water, the dross from different works and factories covers the
country, quarries split up the picturesque slopes of valleys, black
coal smoke dulls the verdant foliage and the azure of the sky, the
drainage of large cities turns our rivers into sewers, whence emerge
the germs of typhus. The useful destroys the beautiful; and this
is so general as at times to bring tears to the eyes. Have not the
Italians on the lovely Isle of Sta. Heléna, near to the public gardens
in Venice, erected works for the building of engines, and replaced
the ruins of a fourth-century church by chimneys, whose opaque smoke,
produced by the detestable bituminous coal of the Saar, would soon
leave a sooty trace on the pink marble of the Doge’s palace and on
the mosaics of St. Mark, just as we see them on St. Paul’s Cathedral
in London, so ugly covered with sticky streaks. It is true that the
produce of this industrial activity becomes condensed in revenue,
which enriches many families, and adds considerably to the list of the
bourgeois population inhabiting the capital. Here, on the banks of the
Rhine, these revenues are represented by villas and castles, whose
pseudo-Greek or Gothic architecture peeps out from among masses of
exotic trees and plants in the most sought-after positions, near to
Bonn, Godesberg, St. Goar or Bingen. Look! there is an immense feudal
castle, beside which Stolzenfels, the Empress Augusta’s favorite
residence, would be a mere shooting box. This immense assemblage
of turrets, galleries, roofs, and terraces must have cost at least
£80,000. Has it sprung from coal or from Bessemer steel? It is
situated just below the noble ruin of Drachenfels. Will not the dragon
watching over the Niebelungen treasure in Nifelheim’s den, avenge this
impertinent challenge of modern plutocracy?

All that I see on my way up the Rhine leads me to reflect on the
special characteristics of Prussian administration. The works which
have so marvellously “domesticated” the river as to make it a type of
what Pascal calls “un chemin qui marche,” have taken between thirty and
forty years, and have been carried out continuously, systematically and
scientifically. In her public works, as in her military preparations,
Prussia has succeeded in uniting two qualities which are only too often
lacking—a spirit of consistency, and the love of progress. The desire
to be as near as possible to perfection is apparent in the most minute
details. Not unfrequently consistency, and a too close following of
traditions, leads to routine which rejects innovations. Great strength
is attained, and the chances of success are considerably increased if,
while one aim is kept always in view, the best means to attain it are
selected and applied without delay.

I have remarked, when speaking of parliamentary administration, that a
lack of consistency was one reason of the feebleness of democracies.
This should be guarded against as soon as it becomes apparent, or
inferiority will ensue. A few trifling facts will show that the
Prussians are as great lovers of useful novelties and of practical
improvement as the Americans. On the Rhine, at the ferries the old
ferry-boats have been replaced by little steamers, which are constantly
crossing the river from one side to the other. At the railway stations,
I notice that the trucks for luggage are made of steel, and are lighter
and stronger than any I have seen elsewhere. The system for warming
the railway compartments is also more perfected. Heated pipes run
under the seats of the carriages, and the passengers can regulate the
temperature by turning a needle on a disc from _Kalt_ (cold) to _Warm_
or _vice-versâ_. At the summit of the tower of the Town Hall of Berlin
the different flagstaffs for the flags hoisted on the fête days are
ranged in order. Outside the highest gallery iron rings have been
fitted all round in which to fix the staffs, each of which has a number
corresponding to the same number on the ring it is to fit into. In this
manner both rapidity and regularity are insured. Order and foresight
are safe means to an end.

I intended going to see at Stuttgart a former member of the Austrian
Cabinet, Albert Schüffle, who now devotes all his time to the study of
social questions, and has published some very well-known works—among
others, “Capitalismus und Socialismus,” and “Bau und Leben des Socialen
Körpers” (“Construction and Life of the Social Body”), books which
place him at the extreme left of Professorial Socialism. Unfortunately,
he is at the baths in the Black Forest. But I stop at Würzburg to
meet Ludwig Noiré, a philosopher and philologist, who has deigned
to study political economy. The sight of the socialistic pass to
which democratic tendencies are leading modern society, induces many
philosophers to turn their attention to social questions. This is
the case in France with Jules Simon, Paul Janet, Taine, Renouvier;
in England with Herbert Spencer, William Graham, and even with that
æstheticist of pre-Raphaelite art, Ruskin.

I hold that political economy should go hand in hand with philosophy,
religion, and especially with morality; but as I cannot myself rise
to these elevated spheres of thought, I am only too happy when a
philosopher throws me out a bit of cord by which I may pull myself a
little higher, above our workaday world. Ludwig Noiré has written a
book, which is exactly what I needed in this respect, and which I hope
to be able to speak of at greater length a little later. It is entitled
“Das Werkzeug” (“The Tool”). It shows the truth of Franklin’s saying:
_Man is a tool-making creature_. Noiré says that the origin of tools
dates from the origin of Reason and Language. At the commencement,
as far back as one can conceive, man was forced to act on matter to
obtain food. This action on Nature for the purpose of satisfying wants
is labor. As men were living together in families and in tribes, labor
was carried on in common. A person making a muscular effort very
naturally pronounces certain sounds in connection with the effort he
is making. These sounds, repeated and heard by the entire group, were
after a time understood to signify the action of which they were the
spontaneous accompaniment. Thus was language born from natural activity
in view of supplying imperious needs, and the verb representing the
action preceded all their words. The effort to procure the necessary
and useful develops the reasoning powers, and tools soon became
necessary. Wherever traces of prehistoric men are found, there is also
to be found the flint implement. Thus reason, language, labor, and
implements, all manifestations of an intelligence capable of progress,
appeared almost simultaneously.

Noiré has developed this theory fully in another book, entitled,
“Ursprung der Sprache” (“Origin of Speech”). When it was published, Max
Müller stated in the CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, that, although he
considered this system too exclusive, yet it was far superior to either
the onomatopœia or the interjection theory, and that it was certainly
the best and the most probable one brought forward at present. I can
but bow before this appreciation.

Noiré is a fanatical Kantian, and an enthusiastic admirer of
Schopenhauer. He has succeeded in forming a committee for the purpose
of erecting a statue in honor of the modern Heraclites. The committee,
he says, _must_ be international, for if as a writer Schopenhauer be
German, as a philosopher he belongs to the entire world, and he asked
me to join it. “I am exceedingly flattered by the proposal,” said I;
“but I offer two objections.” In the first place, a humble economist has
not the right to place his name side by side with such as are already
on the list. Secondly, being an incurable disciple of Platonism, I fear
that Schopenhauer did not remain in the Cartesian line of spiritualism.
I feel persuaded that two notions, which, it appears, are at the
present day very old-fashioned—I speak of a belief in God and in the
soul’s immortality—should form the basis of all social science. He who
believes in nothing but matter cannot rise to a notion of what ‘ought
to be’—_i. e._, to an ideal of right and justice. This ideal can only
be conceived as a divine order of things imposing itself morally on
mankind. The ‘Revue Philosophique’ of October, 1882, says, ‘Positive
Science, as understood at the present day, considers not what _should_
be, but only what _is_. It searches merely the formula of facts.
All idea of obligation, or of imperative prohibition, is completely
foreign to its code. Such a creed is a death-stroke to all notion of
duty. I believe that faith in a future life is indispensable for the
accomplishment of good works. Materialism weakens the moral sense, and
naturally leads to general decay.’

“Yes,” replied Noiré, “this is just the problem. How, side by side
with the dire necessities of Nature, or with Divine omnipotence, can
there be place for human personality and liberty? Nobody, neither
Christian nor Naturalist, has yet been able satisfactorily to answer
this. Hence has sprung, on the one hand, the predestination of the
Calvinists and Luther’s _De servo arbitrio_, and, on the other,
determinism and materialism. Kant is the first mortal who fearlessly
studied this problem and studied it satisfactorily. He plunged into
the abyss, like the diver of Schiller, and returned, having vanquished
the monsters he found there, and holding in his hand the golden cup
from which henceforward Humanity may drink the Divine beverage of
Truth. As nothing can be of greater interest to us than the solution of
this problem, so our gratitude, be it ever so considerable, can never
possibly equal the service rendered by this really prodigious effort
of the human mind. Kant has provided us with the only arm which can
combat materialism. It is full time we should make use of it, for this
detestable doctrine is everywhere undermining the foundations of human
society. I venerate the memory of Schopenhauer, because he has inspired
the truths revealed by Kant with more real life and penetrating vigor.
Schopenhauer is not well known in either France or England. Some of
his works have been translated, but no one has really understood him
thoroughly, because to understand a philosopher it is necessary not
only to admire but to be passionately attached to him. ‘The folly of
the Cross’ is an admirable expression.

“Schopenhauer maintains that the will is the great source of all; it
means both personality and liberty. We are here at once planted at
the antipodes of naturalistic determinism. Free intelligence creates
matter. _Spiritus in nobis qui viget, ille facit._ God is the great
ideal. He does not make us move, but moves Himself in us. The more we
appropriate to ourselves this Ideal, the freer we become; we are the
reasonable and conscious authors of our actions, and liberty consists
in this. Schopenhauer’s moral law is precisely that of Christianity—a
law of abnegation, of resignation and asceticism. What Christians call
Charity, he designates as ‘Pity.’ He exhorts his followers to struggle
against self-will; not to let their eyes dwell on the passing delusions
of the outside world, but to seek their soul’s peace by sacrificing all
pursuits and interests which should fix their attentions solely on the
changing scenes of this life. Are not these also the Gospel principles?
Must they be rejected because Buddha also preached them? ‘The sovereign
proof of the truth of my doctrines,’ says Schopenhauer, ‘is the number
of Christian persons who have abandoned all their earthly treasure,
position and riches, and have embraced voluntary poverty, devoting
themselves wholly to the service of the poor and the sick and needy,
undaunted in their work of charity by the most frightful wounds, the
most revolting complaints. Their happiness consists in self-abnegation,
in their indifference to the pleasures of this life, in their living
faith, in the immortality of their being, and in a future of endless
bliss.’

“The chief aim of Kant’s metaphysics,” proceeds Noiré, “is to fix
a limit to the circle that can be embraced by man’s reason. ‘We
resemble,’ he says, ‘fish in a pond, who can see, just to the edge of
the water, the banks that imprison them, but are perfectly ignorant of
all that is beyond.’ Schopenhauer goes farther than Kant. ‘True,’ he
says, ‘we can only see the world from outside, and as a phenomenon,
but there is one little loophole left open to us by which we can get
a peep at substantial realities, and this loophole is each individual
“Myself,” revealed to us as “Will,” which gives us the key to the
“Transcendent.” You say, dear colleague, that you are incurably
Platonic; are you not then aware Schopenhauer constantly refers to
the ‘divine’ Plato, and to the incomparable, the prodigious, _der
erstaunliche_ Kant. His great merit is to have defended idealism
against all the wild beasts which Dante met with in the dark forest,
_nella selva oscura’_ into which he had strayed—materialism and
sensualism, and their worthy offspring selfishness and bestiality.
Nothing can be more false or dangerous than physics without
metaphysics, and yet this truth proclaimed at the present day by
great men merely provokes a laugh. The notion of duty is based on
metaphysics. Nothing in Nature teaches it, and physics are silent on
the subject. Nature is pitiless; brute force triumphs there. The better
armed destroys and devours his less favored brother. Where then is
right and justice? Materialists adopt as their motto the words which
Frenchmen falsely accuse our Chancellor of having uttered, ‘Might is
Right.’ Schopenhauer’s ‘Pity,’ Christian ‘Charity,’ the philosopher’s
and jurist’s ‘Justice,’ are diametrically opposed to instinct and
the voice of Nature, which urge us to sacrifice everything to the
satisfaction of animal appetites. Read the eloquent conclusion of the
book of Lange, ‘Geschichte des Materialismus.’ If materialism be not
vanquished while it is yet time, all the law courts, prisons, bayonets
and grape-shot in the world will not suffice to prevent the downfall of
the social edifice. This pernicious doctrine must be banished from the
brains of learned men, where it now reigns supreme. It has started from
thence, and has gradually obtained a hold on the public mind. It is the
duty of true philosophy to save the world.”

“But,” I replied, “Schopenhauer’s philosophy will never be comprehended
but by a small minority; for myself, I humbly confess I have never read
but fragments translated.”

“It is a pity you have never perused the original,” answered Noiré,
“the style is exceedingly clear and simple. He is one of our best
writers. He has exposed the most abstruse problems in the best possible
terms. No one has more thoroughly justified the truth of what our Jean
Paul said of Plato, Bacon and Leibnitz, the most learned reflection
need not exclude a brilliant setting to show it off in relief, any
more than a learned brain excludes a fine forehead and a fine face.
Unfortunately, M. de Hartmann, who popularized Schopenhauer, has too
frequently rendered his ideas unintelligible by his Hegelian Jargon.
Schopenhauer could not endure Hegelianism. Like an Iconoclast, he
smashed to shivers its idols with a heavy club. He approved of violent
expressions, and indulged in very strong terms. So, for instance, he
liked what he calls _die göttliche Grobheit_, ‘divine coarseness.’
At the same time, he praises elegance and good manners, and even,
strange to say, has translated a little manual on ‘The Way to Behave
in Society,’ ‘El Oraculo Manual,’ published in 1658, by the Jesuit,
Baltasar Gracian. ‘There was a time,’ he writes, ‘when Germany’s three
great sophists, Fichte, Schelling, and especially Hegel, that seller
of senselessness, _der freche unsinnige Schmierer_, that impertinent
scribbler, imagined they would appear learned by becoming obscure. This
shameless humbug succeeded in winning the adulations of the multitude.
He reigned at the Universities, where his style was imitated.
Hegelianism became a religion, and a most intolerant one. Whosoever was
not Hegelian was suspected even by the Prussian State. All these good
gentlemen were in quest of the Absolute, and pretended that they had
found it, and brought it home in their carpet-bags.’

“Kant maintainedthat human reason can only grasp the relative. ‘Error,’
cry in chorus Hegel, Schelling, Jacobi and Schleiermacher, and _tutti
quanti_. ‘The Absolute! Why, I know it intimately; it has no secrets
from me,’ and the different universities became the scenes of
revolutions of the Absolute which stirred all Germany. If it were
proposed to attempt to recall these illustrious maniacs to their
right reason, the question was asked, ‘Do you adequately comprehend
the Absolute?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then hold your tongue; you are a bad Christian
and a dangerous subject. Beware of the stronghold.’ The unfortunate
Beneke was so startled by this treatment that he went mad and drowned
himself. Finally these great authorities quarrelled between themselves.
They informed each other that they knew nothing of the Absolute. A
quarrel on this subject was very often deadly. These battles resemble
the discussion at Toledo between the Rabbi and the Monk in Heine’s
‘Romancero.’ After they had both lengthily discussed and quarrelled,
the king said to the queen: ‘Which of the two do you think is
right?’ ‘I think,’ replied the queen, ‘that they both smell equally
unpleasantly.’

“This nebulous system of the Hegelian Absolute-seekers, reminding
one of _Nephclokokkygia_, ‘the town in the clouds,’ in Aristophanes’
‘Birds,’ has become a proverb with our French neighbors, who
very rightly are fond of clearness. When anything seems to them
unintelligible, they dub it as German metaphysics. Cousin did his best
to clarify all this indigestible stuff, and serve it up in a palatable
form. But in so doing he lost, not his Latin, but his German and his
French. I am sure you never understood that ‘pure Being’ was identical
with ‘no Being.’ Do you recollect Grimm’s story, ‘The Emperor’s Robe?’
A tailor condemned to death promised, in order to obtain his pardon, to
make the Emperor the finest robe ever seen. He stitched, and stitched,
and stitched ceaselessly, and finally announced that the robe was
ready, but that it was invisible to all, save to wise people. All the
servants, officers, and chamberlains of the court came to examine
this work of art with the ministers and high dignitaries, and one
and all pronounced it magnificent. On the coronation day the Emperor
is supposed to put on the costume, and rides through the town in
procession. The streets and windows are crowded; no one will admit that
he has less wisdom than his neighbor, and all repeat; ‘How magnificent!
Was ever anything seen so lovely?’ At last a little child calls out,
‘But the Emperor is naked,’ and it was then admitted that the robe had
never existed, and the tailor was hanged.

“Schopenhauer is the child revealing the misery, or rather the
non-existence of Hegelianism, and his writings were consequently
unappreciated for upwards of thirty years. The first edition of his
most important work found its way to the grocer’s shop and thence
to the rubbish heap. It is our duty to-day to make amends for such
injustice, and to render him the honor which is his due; his pessimism
need not stay you. ‘The world,’ he says, ‘is full of evil, and all
suffer here below. Man’s will is by nature perverse.’ Is not this
doctrine the very essence of Christianity? _Ingemui tomnis creatura._
He maintains that our natural will is selfish and bad, but that, by an
effort over itself, it may become purified and rise above its natural
state to a state of grace, of holiness, of which the Church speaks,
δευτἑρος πλὁυς. This is the deliverance, the Redemption, for which
pious souls long, and it is to be attained by an indifference to and
condemnation of the world and of self. _Spernere mundum, spernere se,
spernere se sperni._”[54]

Before leaving Würzburg I visit the Palace, formerly the residence
of the Prince-Bishops, and also several churches. The Palace, _die
Residenz_, is immense, and seems the more so when one reflects that it
was destined to ornament the chief town of a small bishopric. Built
between the years 1720 and 1744, after the plan of the palace of
Versailles, it is very nearly as large. There is not such another
staircase to be found anywhere. This, and the hall which precedes it,
occupy the entire width of the building and a third of its length, and
the effect is really of imperial magnificence. The trains of crowds
of cassocked prelates and fine ladies could sweep here with ease.
The cut stone balustrades are ornamented with statues. There is a
suite of 350 reception-rooms—all for show, none for use. A certain
number of these were decorated at the time of the French Empire. How
mean the paintings on the ceilings, the pseudo-classic walls, and the
mahogany furniture with brass ornaments, appear when compared to the
apartments completed at the beginning of the eighteenth century, where
the “chicorée” ornamentation exhibits all its seductions. I have never
seen, all over Europe, anything in this style so perfect or better
preserved. The curtains are in material of the period, and the chairs,
sofas, and arm-chairs are covered to match. Each room is of a dominant
color. There is a green one with metallic shades, like the wings of a
Brazilian beetle. The _broché_ silk on the furniture is to correspond.
The effect is magical. In another, splendid Gobelin tapestry, after
Lebrun, represents the triumph and the clemency of Alexander. Another,
again, is all mirrors, even to the door-panels, but groups of flowers
in oil-painting on the glass temper the excessive brilliancy. The
stoves are really marvels of inventive genius and good taste, all
in white and gold Saxony china. The blacksmith’s art never produced
anything finer than the immense wrought-iron gates which enclose the
pleasure-grounds, with their terraces, lawns, grass-plots, fountains,
and rustic retreats. This princely residence, which has been almost
invariably vacant since the suppression of episcopal sovereignty, has
remained perfectly intact. It has been deteriorated neither by popular
insurrections nor by changes in taste. What finished models of the
style of the Regency architects and furniture makers could find here to
copy from!

The contemplation of all these grandeurs suggests two questions to
my mind. Where did these Sovereigns of tiny States find the money to
furnish themselves with splendors and luxuries which Louis XIV. might
have envied? My colleague, George Schanz, Professor of Political
Economy at the University of Würzburg, informs me that these bishops
had scarcely any troops to maintain. “Make,” he says, “builders,
joiners, upholsterers, and carpenters of all our soldiers all over the
land at the present day, and Germany might soon be covered with such
palaces.”

Second question: How could these bishops, disciples of Him “who had
not where to lay His head,” spend the money raised by taxation of the
poor, on pomps and luxury worthy of a Darius or a Heliogabalus? Had
they not read the Gospel condemnation of Dives, and the commentaries
of the Church’s Fathers? Was the Christian doctrine of humility and of
charity, even to voluntary property, only understood in monasteries
and convents? Those grandees of the Church must have been completely
blinded by the mistaken sophism which leads to the belief that
extravagance and waste benefits the working man, the real producer.
This unfortunate error is only too harmful at the present day.

During the eighteenth century the majority of the churches of
Würzburg were completely spoilt by being ornamented in that Louis
XV. style, suited only to the interior of palaces. As Boileau says,
“ce ne sont que festons, ce ne sont qu’astragales,” gothic arches
disappear beneath garlands of flowers, clouds with angel’s draperies
in relief and interlacings of “chicorée,” the whole in plaster and
covered with gilding. The altars are frequently entirely gilt. It is
a perfect profusion of make-believe riches. In the towns the façades
of some houses here and there are finished examples of this florid
architecture. Doubtless the radiance of Versailles magnificence urged
Germany to decorate her monuments and dwellings “à la Française,” even
after the Sun there had set.

From my windows, which look out on to the square before the palace, I
see a battalion of troops march past to exercise. Even the guards at
Berlin could not march more automatically. The legs and the left arm
move exactly together, while the guns are held precisely at the same
angle by each soldier. Their steel barrels form a perfectly straight
line as they glisten in the sunshine. The ranks of soldiers are
absolutely rectilinear. The whole move in a body as if they were
fastened on to a rail. It is perfection. What care and pains must have
been bestowed before such a result could be attained! The Bavarians
have naturally done their very best to equal and even to surpass
the Prussians. They do not choose to be esteemed any longer as mere
beer-drinkers, heavy, and somewhat dense. I wonder if this exceedingly
severe drill, so effective on parade, is of use on a battle-field
of the present day, where it is usual to disperse to attack. I am
not competent to answer this question, but it is certain that rigid
discipline accustoms the soldier to order and obedience; two very
necessary virtues, especially in a democratic age. Obedience is
still more wanted when the iron hand of despotism gives place to the
authority of magistrates and laws. The mission of schools and military
service is to teach this lesson to the citizens of Republics. The more
the chief power loosens its hold, the more should free man bend at once
to the exigencies necessary for the maintenance of order in the State.
If this be not so, anarchy will result, and a return to despotism is
then inevitable, for anarchy cannot be tolerated.

In the evening the sound of bugles is heard. It is the retreat sounding
for the garrison troops. It is a melancholy farewell to the day passing
away, and, religious, like a call to rest, from the night, which is
fast falling. Alas! how sad it is to think that these trumpets thus
harmoniously sounding the curfew will one day give the signal for
battle and bloodshed! Men are still as savage as wild beasts, and with
less motive, for they no longer devour their slaughtered enemy. I am a
member of at least four societies whose object is to preach peace and
recommend arbitration. No one listens to us. Even free nations prefer
to fight. I admit perfectly that when the security or the existence
of a country is at stake, it is impossible to have recourse to
arbitration, although its decisions would be at least as just as those
of violence and chance; but there are cases which I call “Jenkins’s
ears,” since reading Carlyle’s “Frederic the Great.”[55] In such as
these, where the question is one of _amour propre_, of obstinacy, and
frequently, I may say, also, of stupidity, arbitration might often
prevent conflicts.

But if man is still hard on his fellow, he has become more tender
towards animals. He has forbidden their being uselessly tortured. I
take note of a touching example of this. I walk up to the Citadel,
whence there is a splendid view over all Franconia. I cross the bridge
over the Maine. In a street where the quaint pinions of the houses and
gaudy sign-posts over the doors would delight the eye of a painter,
I see a sort of sentry-box, on which is written in large characters,
_Theirschutz-Verein_ (“Society for the Protection of Animals”). A horse
is standing there. Why? To be at the disposal of waggoners with a heavy
load who are going up the slope to the bridge, and thus to prevent them
ill-treating their horses. This seems to me far more ingenious and
efficacious than the infliction of a fine.

Würzburg is not an industrial town. There appears to be no special
reason why the population and the wealth of the city should increase
rapidly, and yet the old town is surrounded with fine new quarters,
fashionable squares, pretty walks and fine wide streets, handsome
houses and villas. Here, as elsewhere, that singular phenomenon of
our age, the immense increase in the number of well-to-do families,
is distinctly apparent. If this continue in the same proportions, the
“masses” of the future will not be composed of those who live on wages
and salaries, but of those living on profit, interest, or revenue.
Revolutions will become impossible, for the established order of things
would have more protectors than assailants. These countless comfortable
residences, these edifices of all kinds which spring up in every
direction, with their luxurious and opulent appointments, all this
wealth and well-being, is the result of the employment of machinery.
Machinery increases production and economizes labor, and as the wages
of labor have not diminished, the number of those who could live
without working has increased.

Würzburg possesses an ancient University. It is a very old
sixteenth-century building, situated in the centre of the town. As they
recently did me the honor to confer on me the degree of _Doctor honoris
causa_, I wished to see the Rector to offer him my thanks, but I had
not the good fortune to meet him. On the Boulevard, special institutes
have been constructed for each separate science, for chemistry,
physics, and physiology. Immense sums have been spent in Germany to add
a number of those separate institutes to the different Universities.
The eminent professor of chemistry at Bonn, M. Kekulé, recently took
me over the building constructed for his branch of science. With
its Greek columns, and its palatial façade, it is considerably more
extensive than the whole of the old University. The subsoil devoted
to experimental and metallurgical chemistry resembles immense works
or foundries. The professor’s apartments are far more sumptuous than
those of the first authorities. Neither the Governor, the Bishop, nor
even the General himself, can boast of anything to be compared with
them. In the drawing-rooms and dancing saloons the whole town might
be assembled. This Institute has cost more than a million francs.
In Germany it is very rightly considered that a professor who has
experiments to make ought to live in the same building where are the
laboratories and lecture-rooms. It is only thus that he is able to
follow analyses which need his supervision, at times even at night.
Comparative anatomy and physiology have also each their palace. Several
professors of natural sciences complain that it is really an excess.
They say they are crushed by the extent and complications of their
appurtenances, and especially by the cares and responsibilities they
involve; nevertheless, if exaggeration there be, it is on the right
side. Bacon’s motto, “Knowledge is Power,” becomes truer every day.
The proper application of science is the chief source of wealth, and,
consequently, of power. Nations, do you wish to be powerful and rich?
Then encourage to the utmost your learned men.

I stop a day _en route_ to revisit Nuremberg, the Pompeii of the
Middle Ages. I will not speak of its many interesting churches,
houses, towers, of the Woolding Chamber, nor of the terrible Iron
Virgin, covered inside with spikes, like Regulus’ barrel, which, in
closing, pierced its victim through and through, and opened to drop
the corpse into the torrent roaring a hundred feet below. Nothing
gives a more vivid idea of the refined cruelty of these dark ages. But
I have no wish to encroach upon Baedeker’s prerogative. A word only
as to what I see before the cathedral. I observe there a small Gothic
monument, which reminds me of the Roman column of Igel, on the Mosel,
near Trèves. It has a niche on each of the four sides, under glass.
In the first niche is a thermometer, in the second an hygrometer, in
the third a barometer, and in the fourth the day’s telegrams from
the observatory, and the meteorological maps. These instruments are
enormous, from four to five feet in height at least, so that the
figures may be large enough to be clearly legible. I have seen similar
monuments in several German towns, and in Switzerland, at Geneva, in
the gardens near the Rhone, at Vevey, close to the landing-stage, and
at Neuchatel, on the promenade near the lake. It would be excellent if
all towns would adopt them. I take every opportunity of urging this.
Their cost is but trifling. A perfectly plain one can be made for £40,
something more elegant might cost £80 or £100; they are a source of
amusement and a means of instructing the people, and a daily lesson in
physics for all classes. The laboring man learns there far better than
he would do at school the practical use of these instruments, which are
most useful for agricultural purposes and for sanitary precautions.

Towards midnight I go on foot to the railway station, to take the
express to Vienna. The old castle throws a black shadow over the town,
the roofs of which seem to whiten in the silvery moonlight. This, I
say to myself, is the birthplace of the Hohenzollern family. What a
change has taken place in its destiny since its name first appeared
in history, in 1170, when Conrad of Hohenzollern was made Burgraaf of
Nuremberg! One of his descendants, Frederick, first Elector, left this
town in 1412 to take possession of Brandenburg, which the spendthrift
Emperor Sigismund had sold him for 400,000 florins of Hungarian
gold. He had already borrowed half this sum from Frederick, who was
as economical as the ant, and had even mortgaged the electorate as
security. Being unable to repay his debt, and in want of more money to
defray the costs of an expedition to Spain, he very willingly yielded
up this inhospitable northern “Mark,” the sands of the “Marquis of
Brandenburg,” which Voltaire so turned into ridicule. The Emperor
could not suppose that from this petty Burgrave would spring a future
wearer of the imperial crown. Economy is a small virtue made up of
small privations, but which makes much of little—_Molti pochi fanno un
assai_—“Mony a pickle maks a mickle,” as the Scotch say. Though far
too often forgotten or ignored by rulers, it is nevertheless even more
necessary for nations than for individuals.

A short June night is soon passed in a sleeping car. I wake up and find
myself in Austria. I perceive it at once from the delicious coffee and
cream which is served me in a glass, by a fair young girl in a pink
print dress and with bare arms. It very nearly equals in quality that
of the _Posthof_ at Carlsbad. We are very soon in view of the Danube,
but the railway does not keep alongside it. Whatever the well-known
waltz, “The Blue Danube,” may say to the contrary, the river is not
blue at all. Its waters are yellow-green, like the Rhine, but how
infinitely more picturesque is the “Donau!” No vineyards, no factories,
and very few steamers. I saw but one, making its way with difficulty
against the rapid current. The hills on either side are covered with
forests and green meadows, and the branches of the willow trees
sweep the water. The farm-houses, very far apart, have a rustic and
mountain-like appearance. There is very little movement, very little
trade; the peasant is still the chief producer of riches. On this
lovely summer morning the sweet repose of this peaceful existence
seduces and penetrates me. How delightful it would be to live quietly
here, near these pine forests, and these beautiful meadows, where
the cattle are at pasture! But on the other side of the river where
there is no railway! There are several reasons for this great contrast
between the Rhine and the Danube. The Rhine flows towards Holland
and England, two markets that have been well established for upwards
of three hundred years, and ready to pay a high price for all the
river brings them. The Danube flows towards the Black Sea, where the
population is exceedingly poor, and can scarcely afford to purchase
what we should call here the necessaries of life. The produce of
Hungary, even live cattle, is taken westward by rail to London. The
transport by water is too long. Secondly, coal, the indispensable fuel
of all modern industry, is cheaper on the Rhine than anywhere else. And
thirdly, the Rhine, ever since the Roman conquest and at the earliest
period of the Middle Ages, has been a centre of civilization, whereas
that portion of the Danube the most valuable for traffic was, until
yesterday, in the hands of the Turks.

At the Amstett Station I purchased the Vienna _Neue Freie Presse_,
which is, I think, with the _Pester Lloyd_, the best edited and the
pleasantest paper to read in the German language. The _Kölnische
Zeitung_ is exceedingly well-informed, and the _Allgemeine Zeitung_
is also as complete and interesting as possible; but it is a terrible
pell-mell of subjects, a dreadful muddle, where, for instance, many
little paragraphs from France or Paris are disseminated haphazard in
the six sheets. I would rather read three _Times’_ than one
_Kölnische_, in spite of the respect with which that paper inspires me.
I have scarcely unfolded my _Neue Freie Presse_ than I find myself in
the very heart of the struggle of nationalities, just as I was sixteen
years previously, only that the strife is no longer, as it then was,
between Magyars and Germans. The Deak dual compromise created a _modus
vivendi_, which is still in force. The dispute is now between Tchecks
and Germans on the one hand, and between Magyars and Croatians on
the other. The Minister Taaffe has decided to dissolve the Bohemian
Parliament and there will be fresh elections. The national and feudal
Tchecks banding together will overthrow the Germans, who will no longer
possess more than a third of the votes in the Diet. The _Freie Presse_
is perfectly disconsolate at this, and foresees the most terrible
disasters in consequence: if not the end of the world, at least the
upset of the monarchy. On account of these warnings, the numbers are
seized by Government order three or four times a month, even although
it be the organ of the Austrian “bourgeoisie.” It is Liberal, but
very moderate, like the _Débats_ and the _Temps_ in France. After two
or three months have elapsed, the numbers seized are returned to the
editor, only fit for the waste-paper basket. These confiscations (for
they are, in fact, nothing more nor less, although effected through the
Administration) are absolutely contrary to the law, as is proved by the
reiterated acquittals. Their constant recurrence reminds one of the
worst periods of the French Empire. Applied to a newspaper that defends
Austrian interests with so much skill as the _Freie Presse_, they are
more than surprising. If my friend, Eugène Pelletan, were aware of this
he would no longer claim for France “liberty as in Austria,” for which
saying he suffered at the time three months’ imprisonment. It is said
that the influence of the Tchecks dictates these confiscations, and
this alone is sufficient to show the violence of the enmity between the
races. The Viennese with whom I travel declare that this enmity is far
less bitter than it was fifteen years ago. At that period, I tell them,
I travelled across the country without meeting a single Austrian.
I met with Magyars, Croatians, Saxons, Tchecks, Tyrolians, Poles,
Ruthenians, Dalmatians, but never with Austrians. The common country
was ignored, the race was all in all. At the present day, my
fellow-travellers tell me this is very much subdued. You will find
plenty of excellent Austrians, they say, to-day amongst the Magyars,
and to-morrow amongst the Tchecks.

The reader will permit a short digression here touching this
nationality question. You meet with it everywhere in the dual Empire.
It is the great preoccupation of the present, and it will be in fact
the chief agent in determining the future of the population of the
banks of the Danube and the Balkan peninsula. You Englishmen cannot
well understand the full force of this feeling which is so strong
in Eastern countries. England is for you your country, for which
you live and for which, if needs, you die. This love of country is
a religion which survives even when all other faith or religion has
ceased to exist. It is the same in France. M. Thiers who, as a rule,
so thoroughly grasped situations, never realized the immense force of
these aspirations of races, which completely rearranged, before his
eyes, the map of Europe on the nationality footing. Cavour and Bismarck
were, however, well aware of this, and knew how to take advantage of
this sentiment, in creating the unity of Italy and of Germany.

One evening, Jules Simon took me to call on M. Thiers, in rue St.
Honoré, who asked me to explain the Flemish movement in Belgium. I did
so, and he seemed to consider the question as most unimportant, quite
childish in fact, and very much behind the age. He was at once both
right and wrong. He was right because true union is one of minds, not
of blood. Christ’s saying is here admirably applicable: “Whosoever
shall do the will of God the same is my brother and sister and mother”
(St. Mark iii. 35).

I grant that mixed nationalities which, without consideration of
diversity of language and race, rest, as in Switzerland, on an identity
of historical reminiscences, of civilization and liberty, are of a
superior order; they are types and forerunners of the final fusion when
all mankind will be but one great family, or rather a federation. But
M. Thiers, being idealistic, like a true son of the French Revolution,
was wrong in not taking into account things as they actually are, and
the exigencies of the transitory situation.

This awakening of nationalities is the inevitable outcome of the
development of democracy, of the press, and of literary culture. An
autocrat may govern twenty different peoples without in the least
troubling himself as to their language or race; but if once assemblies
be introduced, everything is changed. Speech governs. Then what
language is to be spoken? That of the people of course. Will you
educate the young? It must be done in their mother tongue. Is justice
to be administered? You cannot judge a man in a foreign language. You
wish to represent him in Parliament and ask for his votes; the least he
can claim in return is that he may understand what you say. And thus by
degrees the language of the multitude gains ground and is adopted in
Parliament, law-courts, and schools of every degree. In Finland, for
instance, the struggle is between the Swedes, who form the well-to-do
classes and live in the towns on the coast, and the rural population
who are Finns. When visiting the country with the son of the eminent
linguist, Castrén, who died while in Asia seeking out the origin of the
Finn language, I found that the latter was more spoken than Swedish,
even in the suburbs of large towns such as Abö and Helsingfors. All
official inscriptions are in the two languages. The instruction in the
communal schools is almost entirely in the Finn tongue. There are Finn
gymnasiums, and even at the University, lectures in this language.
There is also a national theatre, where I heard “Martha” sung in Finn.
In Gallicia, Polish has completely replaced German; but the Ruthenians
have also put in a claim for their idiom. In Bohemia the Tcheck dialect
triumphs so completely that German is in danger of being wholly cast
aside. At the opening of the Bohemian Diet, the Governor made a speech
in Tcheck and one in German. At Prague a Tcheck University has recently
been opened next to the German one. The clergy, the feudals, and
the population are strongly in favor of this national movement. The
Archbishop of Prague, the Prince of Schwarzenberg, although himself a
German, appoints none but Tcheck priests, even in the North of Bohemia
where Germans dominate.

It is certain that in countries where two races are thus intermingled,
this growing feeling must occasion endless dissensions, and almost
insurmountable difficulties. It is a disadvantage to speak the idiom
of a small number, for it is a cause of isolation. It would certainly
be far better if but three or four languages were spoken in Europe,
and better still if but one were generally adopted; but, until this
acme of unity be attained, every free people called upon to establish
self-government, will claim rights for its mother tongue, and will
try to unite itself with those who speak it, unless the nation be
already fully satisfied with its mixed but historical nationality like
Switzerland and Belgium. Austria and the Balkan peninsula are now
agitated with these claims for the use of the national tongue, and with
aspirations for the formation of States based on the ethnic groups.

As we near Vienna the train runs through the most lovely country. A
succession of small valleys, with little streamlets rippling through
them, and on either side green lawns between the hills covered with
woods, chiefly firs and oaks. One might imagine oneself in Styria or
in Upper Bavaria. Soon, however, houses make their appearance, often
charming châlets buried in creeping plants, “Gloire de Dijon” roses,
or jessamine and clematis. These become more and more frequent, and,
near the suburban stations, there are quite little hamlets of villas. I
know of no capital with such beautiful suburbs, save perhaps Stockholm.
Nothing could be more delightful than Baden, Möoling, Brühl, Schönbrun,
and all those little rustic nooks south of Vienna, on the road to the
Sömering.—_Contemporary Review._



ANCIENT ORGANS OF PUBLIC OPINION.[56]

BY PROF. R. C. JEBB.


During several weeks in the early part of this year, the attention
of the English public was fixed with intense anxiety on the fortunes
of one man, who had undertaken a perilous mission in the service of
his country. When the Egyptian difficulty was at its worst, General
Gordon had started for Khartoum, to aid the Government, by his personal
influence, in the policy of rescuing the garrisons and retiring from
the Soudan. The journey, while it reflected fresh honor on him,
necessarily imposed a grave responsibility on those who had sanctioned
it. Any moment might bring the news of his death. If such news came, it
was generally thought and said, the Ministry would fall. In a country
with the temperament of England, the mere existence of such a belief
set one thinking. A year ago, Gordon’s name, though familiar to the
well-informed classes, would not have acted like a spell on the nation.
But a popular biography of him which had appeared had given occasion
for much writing in the newspapers. A short time had sufficed to make
the broad facts of his career known throughout the length and breadth
of the land. People knew that he had welded a loose Chinese rabble
into an army which saved the reigning dynasty of China; that, alone of
Christians, he is named in the prayers of Mecca; that he does not care
for personal rewards; that he is fearless of death; and that he trusts
in God. To impress these facts on the popular imagination had been the
work of a few weeks; to concentrate the force of popular opinion, if he
had been sacrificed, would have been the work of a few hours. Seldom,
perhaps, has anything illustrated more vividly that great and
distinctive condition of modern existence in free countries,—the
double power wielded by the newspaper press, at once as the ubiquitous
instructor and as the rapid interpreter of a national mind. It
was natural at such a time, for one whose pursuits suggested the
comparison, to look from the modern to the ancient world, and to
attempt some estimate of the interval which separates them in this
striking and important respect. In the ancient civilisations, were
there any agencies which exercised a power analogous in kind, though
not comparable in degree, to that of the modern press? To begin with,
we feel at once that the despotic monarchies of the ancient East will
not detain us long. For them, national opinion normally meant the
opinion of the king. We know the general manner of record which is
found graven on stone, in connection with the images or symbols of
those monarchs. As doctors seem still to differ a good deal about the
precise translation of so many of those texts, it might be rash to
quote any, but this is the sort of style which seems to prevail among
the royal authors: “He came up with chariots. He said that he was my
first cousin. He lied. I impaled him. I am Artakhshatrá. I flayed
his uncles, his brothers, and his cousins. I am the king, the son of
Daryavush. I crucified two thousand of the principal inhabitants. I
am the shining one, the great and the good.” From the monarchical
East, we turn with more curiosity to Greece and Rome. There, at least,
there was a life of public opinion. Apart from institutions, which are
crystallised opinion, were there any living, non-official voices in
which this public opinion could be heard?

The Homeric poems are not only the oldest monuments of Greek
literature, but also the earliest documents of the Greek race. Out of
the twilight of the prehistoric past, a new people, a new type of mind,
are suddenly disclosed in a medium of pellucid clearness. Like Athene
springing adult and full-armed from the head of Zeus, this new race,
when Homer reveals it, has already attained to a mature consciousness
of itself, and is already equipped with the aptitudes which are to
distinguish it throughout its later history. The genius of the Homeric
Greek has essentially the same traits which recur in the ripest age of
the Greek republics,—even as Achilles and Ulysses are personal ideals
which never lost their hold on the nation. This very fact points the
contrast between two aspects of Homeric life—the political, and the
social. In Homeric politics, public opinion has no proper place. The
king, with his council of nobles and elders, can alone originate or
discuss measures. The popular assembly has no active existence. But the
framework of Homeric monarchy contains a social life in which public
opinion is constantly alert. Its activity, indeed, could scarcely be
greater under the freest form of government. And we see that this
activity has its spring in distinctive and permanent attributes of the
Hellenic race. It arises from quickness of perception and readiness of
speech. The Homeric Greek feels keenly, observes shrewdly, and hastens
to communicate his thoughts. An undertone of popular comment pervades
the Homeric poems, and is rendered more impressive by the dramatic form
in which it is usually couched. The average man, who represents public
feeling, is expressed by the Greek indefinite pronoun, τις. “Thus would
a man speak, with a glance at his neighbor,” is the regular Homeric
formula. We hear opinion in the making. This spokesman of popular
sentiment is constantly introduced at critical moments: for the sake
of brevity we may call him by his Greek name _Tis_. When the fight is
raging over the corpse of Patroclus, _Tis_ remarks to his friends that
they will be disgraced for ever if they allow the Trojans to carry
off the body;—better die on the spot. Hector, in proposing a truce
to Ajax, suggests that they should exchange gifts, and imagines what
_Tis_ will say: _Tis_ will approve of it as a graceful courtesy between
chivalrous opponents. Menelaus considers that another hero, Antilochus,
has beaten him in a chariot race by unfair means; but thinks it
necessary to take precautions against _Tis_ imagining that he has
brought this complaint in the hope of prevailing by the influence
of his rank. This is perhaps one of the most remarkable Homeric
compliments to the penetration and to the influence of _Tis_. When the
sounds of music and dancing, as at a marriage feast, are heard in the
house of Odysseus in Ithaca, _Tis_ is listening outside; and he blamed
Penelope for her fancied hardness of heart, “because she had not had
the courage to keep the great house of her gentle lord steadfastly
till he should come home.” _Tis_ is not always the mouthpiece of such
elevated sentiments. With a frank truth to life and nature, Homer
depicts _Tis_ as indulging in an ignoble joy by stabbing the corpse
of his once-dreaded foe, Hector, and remarking that he is safer to
handle now than when he was burning the ships. In the _Odyssey_, when
the maiden Nausicaa is conducting Odysseus to the city of her father
Alcinous, we catch glimpses of a _Tis_ who nearly approaches the
character of Mrs. Grundy, with an element of spiteful gossip added.
The fidelity with which _Tis_ reflects public opinion is further seen
in the circumstance that his solicitude for the rights of man is not
strong enough to counteract his natural disposition to exalt over the
fallen. Thersites was a commoner who presumed to speak his mind among
his betters,—when one of them, Odysseus, dealt him a smart blow on
the back, and caused him to resume his seat in tears. _Tis_ laughed
for joy, saying in effect that it served Thersites right, and that he
probably would not do it again. The Tory sentiment of this passage
makes it appropriate to quote the version of it by the late Lord
Derby:—

    “The Greeks, despite their anger, laughed aloud,
     And one to other said, ‘Good faith, of all
     The many works Ulysses well hath done,
     Wise in the council, foremost in the fight,
     He ne’er hath done a better, than when now
     He makes this scurril babbler hold his peace.
     Methinks his headstrong spirit will not soon
     Lead him again to vilify the kings.’”

Here it might be said that _Tis_ figures as the earliest authentic
example of a being whose existence has sometimes been doubted by
British anthropologists, the Conservative working-man. But, if we would
be just to _Tis_ in his larger Homeric aspects, we must allow that his
sympathies are usually generous, and his utterances often edifying.
As to the feeling with which _Tis_ was regarded, Homer has a word for
it which is hard to translate: he calls it _aidos_. This _aidos_—the
sense of reverence or shame—is always relative to a standard of
public opinion, _i.e._ to the opinion formed by the collective sayings
of _Tis_; as, on the other hand, the listening to an inner voice,
the obedience to what we call a moral sense, is Homerically called
_nemesis_. And just as _Tis_ is sometimes merely the voice of smug
respectability, so _aidos_ is sometimes conventional in a low way. When
Diomedes is going by night to spy out the Trojan camp, several heroes
offer to go with him, but only _one_ can be chosen. Agamemnon tells
him that he must not yield to _aidos_, and take the man of highest
station rather than the man of highest merit: where _aidos_ appears as
in direct conflict with _nemesis_. But more often these two principles
are found acting in harmony,—recommending the same course of conduct
from two different points of view. There is a signal example of this
in the _Odyssey_, which is also noteworthy on another ground, viz.,
as the only episode in the Homeric poems which involves a direct and
formal appeal from established right of might to the corrective agency
of public opinion. The suitors of Penelope have intruded themselves
into the house of her absent lord, and are wasting his substance by
riotous living. Her son Telemachus convenes the men of Ithaca in public
assembly, and calls on them to stop this cruel wrong. He appeals to
_nemesis_, to _aidos_, and to fear of the gods. “Resent it in your
own hearts; and have regard to others, neighboring folk who dwell
around,—and tremble ye at the wrath of the gods.” The appeal fails.
The public opinion exists, but it has not the power, or the courage, to
act.

After the age which gave birth to the great epics, an interval elapses
before we again catch the distinct echoes of a popular voice. Our
Homeric friend _Tis_ is silent. Or, rather, to be more exact, _Tis_
ceases to speak in his old character, as the nameless representative
of the multitude, and begins to speak in a new quality. The individual
mind now commences to express itself in forms of poetry which are
essentially personal, interpreting the belief and feelings of the poet
himself. _Tis_ emerges from the dim crowd, and appears as Tyrtaeus,
summoning the Spartans, in stirring elegy, to hear _his_ counsels; or
as Sappho, uttering _her_ passion in immortal lyrics; or as Pindar,
weaving _his_ thoughts into those magnificent odes which glorify
the heroes and the athletes of Greece. It is a capital distinction
of classical Greek literature that, when its history is viewed as a
whole, we do not find it falling into a series of artificial chapters,
determined by imitation of models which were in fashion at this or that
epoch. Greek literature is original, not derivative; we trace in it the
course of a natural growth; we hear in it the spontaneous utterance of
Greek life from generation to generation. The place of Pindar in this
development has one aspect of peculiar interest. There is a sense in
which he may be said to stand midway between Homeric epos and Athenian
drama.[57] His poetical activity belongs to the years which immediately
preceded and followed the invasions of Greece by the hosts of Persia.
A great danger had drawn the members of the Hellenic family closer
together; a signal deliverance had left them animated by the memory of
deeds which seemed to attest the legends of Agamemnon and Achilles;
warmed by a more vivid faith in those gods who had been present with
them through the time of trial; comforted by a new stability of
freedom; cheered by a sense of Hellenic energies which could expand
securely from the Danube to the Nile, from the Euxine to the Atlantic;
exalted in thought and fancy by the desire to embody their joy and hope
in the most beautiful forms which language and music, marble, ivory,
and gold could furnish for the honor of the gods, and for the delight
of men who, through the heroes, claimed a divine descent. The Greek
mind, stirred to its centre by the victorious efforts which had
repelled the barbarian, could no longer be satisfied by epic narratives
of the past. It longed to see the heroes moving; to hear them speaking;
to throw back upon their world the vivifying light of contemporary
reflection. In a word, the spirit of drama had descended upon Hellas;
and already it breathes in Pindar, the poet of the games. Olympia,
with its temples, its statues, and its living athletes, corresponded
to the essence of Greek drama—action idealised by art and consecrated
by religion. Pindar, the last of the great lyric poets, is the lyric
exponent of an impulse which received mature expression from Aeschylus,
Sophocles, and Euripides.

The community which Athenian drama addressed was precisely in the mood
which best enables a dramatist to exert political and moral force.
There was much in its temper that might remind us of Elizabethan
England; but I would venture to illustrate it here by words borrowed
from the England of a later time. The greatest plea in the English
language for the liberty of the press—or perhaps we should rather
say, for the freedom of the mind—belongs to the close of that year
which saw the hopes of the Parliamentarians, in their struggle with
the Royalists, raised to an assurance of final success by the crushing
defeat of Rupert. An enthusiastic confidence in the large destinies
opening before the English people already fired the mind of the poet
who was to end his days, like Samson

    “Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves,
     Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke.”

Then, in 1644, Milton, thinking of the victory of Marston Moor, was
rather like Aeschylus raising his dramatic paean for the victory
of Salamis; and the glowing language in which he describes the new
alertness of his country’s spirit might fitly be applied to the Athens
for which the great dramatists wrote. “As in a body, when the blood is
fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous not only to vital but to rational
faculties and those in the acutest and the pertest operations of wit
and suttlety, it argues in what good plight and constitution the body
is, so when the cherfulnesse of the people is so sprightly up, as that
it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety
but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of
controversie and new invention, it betok’ns us not degenerated, nor
drooping to a fatall decay, but casting off the old and wrincl’d skin
of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again, entring the
glorious waies of Truth and prosperous vertue destin’d to become great
and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a noble
and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and
shaking her invincible locks. Methinks I see her as an Eagle muing her
mighty youth, and kindling her undazl’d eyes as the full mid-day beam,
purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain it self of
heav’nly radiance.”

In estimating the influence of Athenian drama on public opinion,
we must, first of all, remember the fact which makes the essential
difference between the position of the dramatist—viewed in this
light—and that of the epic poet. The epic poet gave expression to a
mass of popular belief and feeling in an age when they had as yet no
direct organ of utterance. But in the Athens of the dramatists the
popular assembly was the constitutional organ of public opinion. Every
Athenian citizen was, as such, a member of that assembly. The influence
of the Athenian dramatist was thus so far analogous to that of the
modern journalist, that it was brought to bear on men capable of giving
practical effect to their sentiments. A newspaper publishes an article
intended to influence the voters in a parliamentary division, or the
constituents whom they represent. An Athenian dramatist had for his
hearers, in the theatre of Dionysus, many thousands of the men who,
the next day might be called upon to decide a question of policy in
the assembly, or to try, in a law-court, one of those cases in which
the properly legal issues were often involved with considerations of a
social or moral kind. Even Tragedy, in its loftiest and severest form,
might be the instrument, in a skilful hand, of inculcating views or
tendencies which the poet advocated—nay, even of urging or opposing a
particular measure. Thus, in his _Furies_, Aeschylus finds occasion to
encourage his fellow-citizens in their claim to a disputed possession
in the Troad, and utters a powerful protest against the proposal to
curtail the powers of the Areopagus. He becomes, for the moment, the
mouthpiece of a party opposed to such reform. In verses like the
following, every one can recognize a ring as directly political as that
of any leading article or pamphlet. “In this place”—says the Athene of
Aeschylus—that is, on the hill of Ares, the seat of the court menaced
with reform—

    “Awe kin to dread shall stay the citizens
     From sinning in the darkness or the light,
     While their own voices do not change the laws ...
     Between unruliness and rule by one
     I bid my people reverence a mean,
     Not banish all things fearful from the State.
     For, with no fear before him, who is just?
     In such a righteous dread, in such an awe,
     Ye shall possess a bulwark of the land,
     A safeguard of the city, not possess’d
     By Scythia or the places of the south.
     This court, majestic, incorruptible,
     Instant in anger, over those who sleep
     The sleepless watcher of my land, I set.”

Again, there are at least two tragedies of Euripides—the _Heracleidae_
and the _Supplices_—in which the strain of allusion to the politics of
the Peloponnesian War is unmistakable. It is needless to dwell on the
larger sense in which Euripides everywhere makes drama the vehicle of
teachings—political, social, moral—which could nowhere have received
such effective publicity as in the theatre. Nowadays, they would have
been found in the pages of a newspaper or a magazine accepted as the
organ of a party or a school. In the days of Voltaire, journalism, as
free countries now understand it, had no more existence than in the
days of Euripides; and, as a recent historian of French literature
remarks, it has been thought that the tragedies of Voltaire owed their
popularity chiefly to the adroit manner in which the author made them
opportunities for insinuating the popular opinions of the time.[58] We
must not forget that peculiar feature of Greek drama, the Chorus, who
may be regarded as a lineal descendant of the Homeric _Tis_. The
interest of the Chorus, in this connection, does not depend so much on
the maxims that it uttered as on the fact that it constituted a visible
link between the audience and the drama, bringing the average spectator
into easier sympathy with the action, and thereby predisposing him to
seize any significance which it might have for the life of the day. I
have so far dwelt on this aspect of Athenian Tragedy, because we might
be rather apt to regard it as a form of art altogether detached from
contemporary interests, and to overlook the powerful influence—not the
less powerful because usually indirect—which it must undoubtedly have
exercised in expressing and moulding public sentiment.

But we must now turn to that other form of Athenian drama in which
the resemblance to the power of the modern press is much more direct
and striking—that which is known as the Old Comedy of Athens. Mr.
Browning, in his _Apology of Aristophanes_, makes the great comic poet
indicate the narrow limits to the influence of Tragedy on opinion. The
passage is witty; and though, as I venture to think, it considerably
underrates the effect of Tragedy in this direction, at least it well
marks the contrast between the modes in which the two forms of drama
wrought. When we think of the analogy between Aristophanes and the
modern political journalist, one of the first things that strikes
us is the high and earnest view which Aristophanes took of his own
calling. He had gone through every stage of a laborious training
before he presumed to come before the Athenian public. He had seen his
predecessors fail, or fall from favor. So in the _Peace_, he claims
that he has banished the old vulgar tomfoolery from the stage, and
raised his art “like an edifice stately and grand.” He saw clearly the
enormous force which this literary engine, Comedy, might wield. He
resolved that, in his hands, it should be directed to more elevated and
more important aims. Instead of merely continuing the traditions of
scurrilous buffoonery, in which virulent personality was often the only
point, he would bring his wit to bear on larger aspects of politics and
society.

But, while his wit and style had the stamp of bold originality,
Aristophanes is not the champion of original ideas. Rather his position
depends essentially on the fact that he represents a large body of
commonplace public opinion. He represents the great “stupid party,”
to use a name which the English Tories have borne not without pride,
and glories to represent it; the stupid party, who are not wiser than
their forefathers; who fail to understand how the tongue can swear,
and the soul remain unsworn; who sigh for the old days when the plain
seafaring citizen knew only to ask for his barley-cake, and to cry
“pull away;” who believe in the old-fashioned virtues, and worship
the ancient gods. He describes himself as the champion of the people,
doing battle for them, like a second Hercules, against superhuman
monsters. The demagogues, whom he lashes, try to represent him as
slandering the country to foreigners; but he is the country’s best
friend. Athenians are hasty, fickle and vain. He has taught them not
to be gulled by flattery. He has taught them to respect the rights and
redress the wrong of their subjects. The envoys who bring the tribute
from the island long to see him. The King of Persia, he says, asked two
questions about the combatants in the Peloponnesian War. Which side
had the strongest navy? and which side had Aristophanes? Thirlwall,
in his _History of Greece_, denies that Aristophanic Comedy produced
any serious effect. “We have no reason,” he says, “to believe that it
ever turned the course of public affairs, or determined the bias of
the public mind, or even that it considerably affected the credit and
fortunes of an obnoxious individual.” Grote’s opinion is much the same,
except that he is disposed to credit Comedy with a greater influence
on the reputations of particular men. The question is much of the same
nature as might be raised concerning the precise effect of political
writing in newspapers, or of literary reviews. The effect is one which
it is impossible to measure accurately, but which may nevertheless be
both wide and deep.

In the first place, we must dismiss the notion that Comedy could make
no serious impression because the occasion was a sportive festival. The
feelings of Athenians at Comedy were not merely those of a modern
audience at a burlesque or a pantomime. Comedy, like Tragedy, was
still the worship of Dionysus. Precisely in those comedies which most
daringly ridicule the gods—such as the _Birds_ and the _Frogs_—we
find also serious expressions of a religious sense, illustrating what
might be called the principle of compensatory reverence. Again, the
power of the Old Athenian Comedy is not to be gauged by any influence
which it exercised, or sought, over special situations or definite
projects. Indeed, it rarely attempted this. Almost the only extant
instance occurs in the _Frogs_ of Aristophanes, where he urges that
a general amnesty should be granted to all citizens who had been
implicated in the Revolution of the Four Hundred. In such a sense, it
may be granted, Comedy might do little; but its real power operated
in a totally different way. When a large body of people has common
opinions or feelings, these are intensified in each individual by the
demonstration that so many others share them. A public meeting tends
in itself to quicken enthusiasm for a party or a cause, be the oratory
never so flat and the sentiments never so trite. Aristophanes gave the
most brilliant expression to a whole range of thought and feeling with
which thousands of minds were in general sympathy. Can it be doubted
that he contributed powerfully to strengthen the prejudice against
everything that he regarded as dangerous innovation? Or, again, can it
be doubted that he did much to give his fellow-citizens a more vivid
insight into the arts of unscrupulous demagogues? The cajolers of the
people, as depicted in the comedy of the _Knights_, are drawn in strong
colors, but with fine strokes also: while the character of Demus, the
People—their supposed dupe—is drawn with a tact which no satirist
or political journalist has ever surpassed. If I have to stake the
political power of Aristophanes on the evidence of one short passage,
it should be that dialogue in which the Knights deplore the dotage of
Demus, and Demus tells them that, while he seems to doze, he always has
one eye open (vv. 1111-1150).

When a change of Ministry occurs in England, no one would undertake to
say exactly what share in that result is attributable to journalistic
repetition and suggestion—to the cumulative impression wrought on the
public mind, through weeks, months, and years, by the Conservative or
the Liberal press. And he would be a bold man who presumed to say how
little or how much the Old Comedy may have to do with the phenomena
of oligarchic reaction in the latter part of the Peloponnesian War,
or with the stimulation of all those sentiments which have their
record in the death of Socrates. The confused travesty of Socrates in
the _Clouds_ corresponds, in its general features, with the confused
prepossessions of which he was afterwards the victim. In this case,
as in others, Comedy was not the origin, but the organ, of a popular
opinion. It did not create the prepossessions; but it strengthened
them by the simple process of reflecting them in an exaggerated form.
Briefly, Aristophanic Comedy had many of the characteristics of
vehement party journalism, but was directed either against persons,
on the one hand, or against general principles and tendencies on
the other—not against measures. Its most obvious strength lay in
brilliant originality of form; but its political and social effect
depended essentially on its representative value. It was the great
ancient analogue of journalism which seems to lead opinion by skilfully
mirroring it—unsparing in attack, masterly in all the sources of
style, but careful, where positive propositions are concerned, to keep
within the limits of safe and accepted generalities.

Just as the Old Comedy was losing its freedom of utterance, a new
agency began to appear, which invites comparison with journalism of a
calmer and more thoughtful type. Rhetoric, of which we already feel
the presence in Athenian drama, had now become a developed art. Skill
analogous to that of the modern journalist was often required, for
purposes of speaking, by the citizen of a Greek republic.[59] He might
desire to urge his views in a public assembly where the standard of
speaking was high and the audience critical. He might be compelled
to defend his fortunes, or even his life, before a popular jury of
many hundreds, when the result would depend in no small measure on
oratorical dexterity. Already a class of men existed who composed
speeches for private persons to deliver in law-courts. The new art was
naturally enlisted in the service of any party politics. A skilful
writer now felt that there was a way of producing an effect which would
be less transient than that of a speech in the assembly. From the end
of the fifth century B.C. we begin to meet with a species of
composition which may best be described as a political pamphlet.

The paper on the Athenian polity, which has come down under Xenophon’s
name, is an aristocratic manifesto against the democracy, which
might have appeared in an ancient _Quarterly Review_. The paper on
the _Revenues of Athens_, belonging to the middle of the fourth
century B.C., is a similar article in favor of peace and
the commercial interests. Many of the extant pieces of the orator
Isocrates, in the fourth century B.C., though couched in the
form of speeches, were meant to be read, not spoken, and are in reality
highly finished political pamphlets. More, perhaps, than any other
writer of antiquity, Isocrates resembles a journalist who is deeply
impressed with the dignity and responsibility of his calling; who
spares no pains to make his work really good; and who has constantly
before his mind the feeling that his audience is wider, and his power
greater, than if he was actually addressing a public assembly on the
same theme. His articles—as we may fitly call them—are usually
intended to have a definite effect at a particular moment. He wishes
to make Athens and Sparta combine at once in an expedition to Asia. He
wishes to strike in with a telling argument for peace at the moment
when negotiations are pending between Athens and her allies. He desires
to strengthen the hands of the party, at Athens and at Sparta, who
refuse to recognize the restoration of Messene by the power of Thebes.
In this last case, we know that a pamphlet on the other side was
written by the rhetorician Alcidamas. Here then is an example of
literary controversy on contemporary public affairs.

Nor is it merely in regard to the political questions of the day that
Isocrates performs the part of a journalist. He deals also with the
social life of Athens. He expresses the feeling with which men of the
old school observed a deterioration of manners connected, in their
views, with the decay of Conservative elements in the democracy. He
shows us the throngs of needy citizens, eagerly casting lots outside
the law-courts for the privilege of employment as paid jurymen—while
at the same time they are hiring mercenary troops to fight their
battles abroad. He pictures the lavish display which characterized the
festivals of the improvident city—where the amusement of the public
had now become a primary art of statesmanship—when men might be seen
blazing in gold spangled robes, who had been shivering through the
winter in rags. He brings before us the young men of a degenerate
Athens—no longer engaged in vigorous exercises of mind and body, in
hunting or athletics; no longer crossing the market-place with downcast
eyes, or showing marks of deference to their elders—but passing their
hours in the society of gamesters and flute-players, or lazily cooling
their wine in the fountain by the Ilissus. He is, in brief, a voice of
public opinion on all the chief matters which come within the province
of the publicist. In order that such a writer should have an influence
similar to that of a newspaper, it was enough that copies of his
writings should be sufficiently multiplied to leaven the conversation
of the market-place and of private society. Every possessor of a copy
was a centre from which the ideas would reach the members of his
own circle. And there is good evidence that, in the fourth century
B.C., the circulation of popular writings throughout the
Hellenic world was both wide and rapid. The copying industry, in the
Greece of that age, doubtless fell far short of the dimensions to which
the labor of cultivated slaves (the _literati_) afterwards raised it at
Rome—where we hear of Augustus, for instance, confiscating no fewer
than two thousand copies of a single work—the psuedo-Sibylline books.
But it was still amply sufficient to warrant a general comparison,
in the sense just defined, between the influence of such a writer as
Isocrates, and that of a modern journalist.

We have hitherto spoken only of the written rhetoric, in which the
form of a speech was merely a literary fiction, like that adopted—in
imitation of Isocrates—by Milton, when he chose to couch his
_Areopagitica_ in the form of a speech addressed to the Lords and
Commons of England. But in passing, we should note that the actually
spoken rhetoric of antiquity—especially of Greece—bore a certain
analogy to the more elaborate efforts of journalism. This depends on
the fact that ancient usage fully recognised, and generally expected,
careful premeditation; while the speaker, conscious of the demand
for excellence of form, usually aimed at investing his speech with
permanent literary value. Demosthenes and Cicero are both witnesses to
this: Cicero, doubtless, piqued himself on a faculty of extemporising
at need, but probably trusted little to it on great occasions; while
with Demosthenes it was the rule, we are told, never to speak without
preparation. Take the oration delivered by Lysias at the Olympian
festival, where he is exhorting the assembled Greeks to unite against
the common foes of Hellas in Sicily and in Persia. Here the orator
is essentially an organ of patriotic opinion, and his highly-wrought
address is a finished leading-article, for which the author sought the
largest publicity.

In turning from Greece to Rome, we are prepared to find literature
holding a different relation towards public opinion. The Greek
temperament with its quick play of thought and fancy, had an
instinctive craving to make the sympathy of thoughts continually felt
in words, and to accompany action with a running comment of speech. The
Roman, as we find him during Rome’s earlier career of conquest, was
usually content to feel that his action was in conformity with some
principle which he had expressed once for all in an institution or a
statute. His respect for authority, and his moral earnestness—in a
word his political and social gravity—rendered him independent of the
solace which the lively Greek derived from a demonstrated community of
feeling. Rome, strong in arms, severe, persistent, offering to people
after people the choice of submission or subjugation; Rome, the head of
the Latin name, the capital of Italy, the queen of the Mediterranean,
the empress of a pacified, because disarmed, world; Rome, who never
deemed a war done until conquest had been riveted by law which should
be the iron bond of peace,—this idea was the true inspiration of the
Roman; and, as the literature was matured, it was this which added
order to strength, and majesty to order, in the genius of the Roman
tongue. It is especially curious to observe the fate which Comedy
experienced when it first appeared at Rome, and endeavored to assume
something of the political significance which its parent, Greek Comedy,
had possessed at Athens. The poet Naevius appeared just after the
first Punic War. He was a champion of popular liberties against the
domination of the Senate; and, in his plays, he treated some of the
Senatorian chiefs with satire of a quality which, to judge from the
extant specimens, was exceedingly mild. “Who had so quickly ruined the
commonwealth?” was a query put in one of his comedies; and the reply
was, “New speakers came forward—foolish young men.” In another piece,
he alluded to the applauses bestowed on him as proving that he was
a true interpreter of the public mind, and deprecated any great man
interfering with him. A very slave in one of his comedies, he added,
was better off than a Roman citizen nowadays. Contrast these remarks
with the indescribable insults which Aristophanes had boldly heaped on
the Athenian demagogues. Mild as Naevius was, however, he was not mild
enough for the “foolish young men.” Having ventured to observe that the
accession of certain nobles of high office was due to a decree of fate,
he was promptly imprisoned; he was afterwards banished; and he died
in exile. This seems to have been the first and last attempt of Roman
Comedy to serve as an organ of popular opinion. The Roman reverence for
authority was outraged by the idea of a public man being presented in a
comic light on the boards of a theatre. On the other hand, Roman
feeling allowed a public man to be attacked, in speaking or in writing,
with almost any degree of personal violence, provided that the purpose
was seriously moral. Hence the personal criticism of statesmen, which
at Athens had belonged to Comedy, passed at Rome into another kind of
composition. It became an element of Satire.

The name of Satire comes, as is well known, from the _lanx satura_,
the platter filled with first-fruits of various sorts, which was an
annual thank-offering to Ceres and Bacchus. “Satire” meant a medley, or
miscellany, and the first characteristic of Roman satire was that the
author wrote in an easy, familiar way about any and every subject that
was of interest to himself and his readers. As Juvenal says,—

    “Men’s hopes, men’s fear—their fond, their fretful dream—
     Their joys, their fuss—that medley is my theme.”

Politics, literature, philosophy, society—every topic of public or
private concern—belonged to the _Satura_, so long as the treatment was
popular. Among all the forms of Roman literature, Satire stands out
with a twofold distinction. First, it is genuinely national. Next, it
is the only one which has a continuous development, extending from the
vigorous age of the Commonwealth into the second century of the Empire.
Satire is pre-eminently the Roman literary organ of public opinion. The
tone of the Roman satirist is always that of an ordinary Roman citizen,
who is frankly speaking his mind to his fellow-citizens. An easy,
confidential manner in literature—as of one friend unbosoming himself
to another—seems to have been peculiarly congenial to the ancient
Italian taste. We may remember how the poet Ennius introduced into
his epic a picture of the intimate converse between himself and the
Roman general Servilius Geminus—a picture not unworthy of a special
war-correspondent attached to head-quarters. Then Satire profited by
the Italian gift for shrewd portraiture of manners. Take, for instance,
the picture of a coquette, drawn some twenty centuries ago by Naevius:

          “Like one playing at ball in a ring, she tosses about
        from one to another, and is at home with all. To one
        she nods, to another she winks; she makes love to one,
        clings to another.... To one she gives a ring to look
        at, to another blows a kiss; with one she sings, with
        another corresponds by signs.”[60]

The man who first established Satire as an outspoken review of Roman
life was essentially a slashing journalist. This was Lucilius, who
lived in the latter years of the second century B.C. He
attacked the high-born statesmen, who, as he put it, “thought that they
could blunder with impunity, and keep criticism at a distance by their
rank.” On the other hand, he did not spare plebeian offenders. As one
of his successors says, “he bit deep into the town of his day, and
broke his jawtooth on them.” Literature and society also came under his
censures. He lashes the new affectation of Greek manners and speech,
the passion for quibbling rhetoric, the extravagance of the gluttons
and the avarice of the misers. Even the Roman ladies of the time do
not wholly escape. He criticises the variations of their toilettes.
“When she is with _you_, anything is good enough; when visitors are
expected, all the resources of the wardrobe are taxed,” The writings
of this trenchant publicist formed the great standing example of free
speech for later Roman times. Horace eschews politics; indeed, when he
wrote, political criticism had become as futile as it was perilous; but
he is evidently anxious to impress on the Roman public that he is true
to the old tradition of satire by fearlessly lashing folly and vice.
Persius, who died at the age of twenty-eight in the reign of Nero, made
Roman Satire a voice of public opinion in a brave and a pure sense.
Horace had been an accomplished Epicurean, who found his public among
easy-going, cultivated men of the world. Persius spoke chiefly to minds
of a graver cast: he summoned Roman citizens to possess themselves of a
moral and intellectual freedom which no Cæsar could crush, the freedom
given by the Stoic philosophy,—that philosophy which had moulded the
jurisprudence of the Republic, and was now the refuge of thoughtful
minds under the despotism of the Empire. Then we have once more a
slashing publicist in Juvenal, who is national and popular in a broader
sense than Horace or Persius. His fierce indignation is turned against
the alien intruders, the scum of Greece and Asia, who are making Rome a
foreign city, and robbing Roman citizens of their bread. He denounces
the imported vices which are effacing the old Roman character. He is
the last of the Roman satirists, and in much he resembles the first.

It may be noted that each of the three satirists of the Empire—Horace,
Persius, Juvenal—gives us a dialogue between himself and an imaginary
friend, who remonstrates with him for his rashness in imitating
Lucilius, the outspoken satirist of the Republic. Horace, replies,
in effect, “Never mind, _I’m_ not afraid—Augustus will stand by me
as Scipio and Laelius stood by Lucilius;” but, in fact, Horace never
strikes like Lucilius; he keeps us smiling while he probes our faults;
“he gains his entrance, and plays about the heart;” his censures even
when keen, show cautious tact. Persius replies: “You need not read me
if you do not like: but the joke is too good; I _must_ tell some one
that Midas has the ears of an ass.” When Juvenal is warned, we catch
quite a different tone in the answer. After painting the Rome of his
day, he says (I venture to give a version of my own):—

    “Nought worse remains: the men of coming times
     Can but renew our lusts, repeat our crimes.
     Vice holds the dizzy summit: spread thy sail,
     Indignant Muse, and drive before the gale!
     But who shall find, or whence—I hear thee ask—
     An inspiration level with the task?
     Whence that frank courage of an elder Rome,
     When Satire, fearless, sent the arrow home?
    ‘Whom am I bound,’ she then could cry, ‘to spare?
     If high-placed guilt forgive not, do I care?’
     Paint _now_ the prompter of a Nero’s rage—
     The torments of a Christian were thy wage,—
     Pinned to the stake, in blazing pitch to stand,
     Or, on the hook that dragg’d thee, plough the sand....

       *       *       *       *       *

     No danger will attend thee if thou tell
     How to Aeneas warlike Turnus fell;
     No spite resents Achilles’ fateful day,
     Or Hylas, with his urn, the Naiads’ prey;
     But when Lucilius, all his soul afire,
     Bared his good sword and wreak’d his generous ire,
     Flush’d cheeks bewrayed the secrets lock’d within,
     And chill hearts shivered with their conscious sin.
     Hence wrath and tears. Ere trumpets sound, debate:
     Warriors, once armed, repent of war too late.
    ‘Then shall plain speech be tried on those whose clay
     Rests by the Latin or Flaminian Way.’”

He did indeed try the plainest of speech, not only on dead tyrants
and their ministers, but on the society of his own time. The elder
Disraeli remarks that Richard Steele meant the _Tatler_ to deal with
three provinces—manners, letters, and politics; and that, as to
politics, “it remained for the chaster genius of Addison to banish this
disagreeable topic from his elegant pages.” Horace was in this respect
the Addison of Satire under the Empire. In Juvenal, the Italian medley
once more exhibits, though with necessary modifications, the larger and
more vigorous spirit of its early prime. The poetical epistle, which in
Horace is so near to Satire, usually differed from it in having less
of the chatty miscellaneous character, and in being rather applied to
continuous didactic exposition. The prose epistle, which was often
meant for publication even when formally private, also contributed not
only to express, but to mould, public opinion. Epigrams and lampoons
might happen to be vehicles of a general feeling; but they differ from
the forms of literature here considered in being essentially personal,
like the satirical poetry of early Greece.

There is yet another agency, common to Greece and Rome, at which we
must glance—the Oracles. Often, of course, they had a most important
part in directing public opinion at critical moments; but this was
not all. There were occasions on which an oracle became, in a strict
sense, the organ of a political party. Thus the noble Athenian family
of the Alcmaeonidae bribed the Delphian priests to make the oracle an
organ of public opinion in favor of freeing Athens from Peisistratus.
Accordingly, whenever Spartans came to consult the god on any subject
whatever, this topic was always worked into the response. Apollo, in
short, kept up a series of most urgent leading articles; and at last
the Spartans were roused to action. Then, when Cleomenes, one of the
two Spartan kings, wished to have his colleague Demaratus deposed, he
made friends with an influential man at Delphi; the influential man
bribed the priestess; and the oracle declared that Demaratus was not of
the blood royal. In this case, the fraud was found out; the priestess
was deposed; and when Cleomenes died mad, men said that this was the
hand of Apollo. When the Persians were about to invade Greece, the
Delphic oracle took the line of advising the Greeks to submit. The
Athenians sent to ask what they should do, and the oracle said, “Fly
to the ends of the earth.” The Athenians protested that they would not
leave the temple until they got a more comfortable answer. Hereupon an
influential Delphian advised them to assume the garb of suppliants; and
this time Apollo told them to trust to their wooden walls. Herodotus
mentions between seventy and eighty oracles (I believe) of one sort
or another, and less than half of these contain _predictions_. The
predictions usually belong to one of two classes; first, those
obviously founded on secret information or on a shrewd guess; and,
secondly, those in which the oracle had absolutely no ideas on the
subject, and took refuge in vagueness.

Any one who reads the column of Answers to Correspondents in a
prudently conducted journal will recognize the principal types of
oracle. In truth, the Delphic oracle bore a strong resemblance to a
serious newspaper managed by a cautious editorial committee with no
principles in particular. In editing an oracle, it was then, as it
still is, of primary importance not to make bad mistakes. The Delphian
editors were not infallible; but, when a blunder had been made, they
often showed considerable resource. Thus, when Croesus had been utterly
ruined, he begged his conqueror to grant him one luxury—to allow him
to send to Delphi, and ask Apollo whether it was his usual practice to
treat his benefactors in this way. Apollo replied that, in point of
fact, he had done everything he could; he had personally requested
the Fates to put off the affair for a generation; but they would only
grant a delay of three years. Instead of showing annoyance, Croesus
ought to be grateful for having been ruined three years later than he
ought to have been. There are Irish landlords who would see a parable
in these things. Sometimes we can see that Apollo himself is slightly
irritated, as an editor might be by a wrong-headed or impertinent
querist. Some African colonists had been pestering Apollo about their
local troubles and his own former predictions; and the response from
Delphi begins with the sarcastic remark, “I admire your wisdom if you
know Africa better than I do,” The normal tendency of the Delphic
oracle was to discourage rash enterprise, and to inculcate maxims of
orthodox piety and moderation. The people of Cnidos wanted to make
their peninsula an island by digging a canal, but found it very hard
work; and the oracle told them that if Zeus had meant the peninsula
to be an island, he would have made it an island—which reminds one
of some of the arguments against the Channel Tunnel. In one special
direction, however, Delphi gave a real impulse to Hellenic progress.
It was a powerful promoter of colonization: for instance, the first
Greek settlements in Corsica and on the coast of Africa were directly
due to Delphic oracles. We even find the oracle designating individuals
for work abroad; as when it nominated a man of Mantinea to reform the
constitution of Cyrene. In Scotland we are wont to take a keen interest
in everything that bears on colonial careers for young men; and one day
a Greek class had been reading about the Delphic oracle telling some
Thracians to choose as their king the first man who should ask them to
dinner. Miltiades had this privilege, and forthwith got the Thracian
appointment. “Do you think,” a thoughtful student asked, “that there
could have been any collusion?”

A brief mention is due to those Roman publications which, in form,
came nearest to our newspapers—the official gazettes. Julius Caesar,
when consul in 59 B.C., first caused the transactions of the Senate
(_Acta Senatus_) to be regularly published; before his time, there
had been only an occasional publication of its decrees. Augustus
stopped the issue of this Senatorial Gazette, though the minutes
continued to be regularly kept, at first by senators of the Emperor’s
choice, afterwards by a secretary specially appointed. Further,
Julius Caesar instituted a regular official gazette of general news,
the _Acta diurna_, which continued under the Empire. There was an
official editor; the gazette was exhibited daily in public, and copied
by scribes, who sold it to their customers; the original copy was
afterwards laid up in the public archives, where it could be consulted.
This gazette contained announcements or decrees by the Government,
notices relating to the magistrature and the law-courts, and other
matters of public interest; also a register of births, marriages,
and deaths, and occasionally other advertisements concerning private
families. This gazette had a wide circulation. Tacitus, for example,
says that a certain event could not be hidden from the army, because
the legionaries throughout the provinces had read it in the gazette.
But it was simply a bald record of facts; there was no comment. Cicero,
writing from Asia, complains that a private correspondent at Rome has
sent him only such news as appears in a gazette—about matches of
gladiators and adjournment of courts—and has given him no political
intelligence.

The _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1740 contains a short and quaint paper
by Dr. Johnson, in which he transcribes some supposed fragments of a
Roman gazette for the year 168 B.C. These were first published
in 1615, and in 1692 were defended by Dodwell, but are now recognized
as fifteenth-century forgeries. We have no genuine fragments of the
Roman gazettes. None the less, Johnson’s comparison of them with the
English newspapers of 1740 may well suggest a reflection. The Roman
gazette under the Empire did not give the transactions of the Senate,
any more than it admitted political comment. In the newspapers of
Johnson’s time, the parliamentary reports were still very irregular and
imperfect; while criticism of public men was fain to take the disguise,
however thin, of allegory. Thus the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ regaled its
readers, from month to month, with “Proceedings and Debates in the
Senate of Lilliput.” It was when the House of Commons had ceased to
represent the public opinion of the country, that this opinion became
resolved to have an outlet in the press. Parliament having ceased to
discharge its proper function, the press became the popular court
of appeal. The battle for a free press, in the full modern sense,
was fought out between 1764 and 1771—beginning in 1764 with the
persecution of Wilkes for attacking Bute in the _North Briton_, and
ending with the successful resistance, in 1771, to the proclamation
by which the Commons had forbidden the publication of their debates.
Six printers, who had infringed it, were summoned to the bar of the
House; five obeyed; and the messenger of the House was sent to arrest
the sixth. The Lord Mayor of London sent the messenger to prison. The
House of Commons sent the Lord Mayor to the Tower. But he was followed
by cheering crowds. He was released at the next prorogation; and the
day on which he left the Tower marked the end of the last attempt to
silence the press. The next few years saw the beginning of the first
English journals which exercised a great political and social power.
The _Times_ dates from 1788. Thus a period memorable for Americans
has something of analogous significance for their kinsmen in England.
For the English people, also, those years contained a Declaration of
Independence; they brought us a title-deed of freedom greater, perhaps,
than the barons of the thirteenth century extorted from John—the
charter of a complete freedom in the daily utterance of public opinion.

The attempt here has been to indicate some of the partial equivalents
for such an utterance which may be traced in classical literature. A
student of antiquity must always in one sense, resemble the wistful
Florentine who, with Virgil for his guide, explored the threefold realm
beyond the grave. His converse is with the few, the spirits signal for
good or for evil in their time; the shades of the great soldiers pass
before him,—he can scan them closely, and imagine how each bore
himself in the hour of defeat or victory on earth; he can know the
counsels of statesmen, and even share the meditations of their
leisure; the poets and the philosophers are present: but around and
beyond these are the nameless nations of the dead, the multitudes who
passed through the ancient world and left no memorial. With these
dim populations he can hold no direct communion; it is much as if at
times the great movements which agitated them are descried by him as
the surging of a shadowy crowd, or if the accents of their anguish or
triumph are borne from afar as the sound of many waters. So much the
more, those few clear voices which still come from the past are never
more significant than when they interpret the popular mind of their
generation. The modern development of representative institutions
has invested the collective sentiment of communities with power of a
kind to which antiquity can furnish no proper parallel. But this fact
cannot dispense the student of history from listening for the echoes
of the market-place. And such attention cannot fail to quicken our
sense of the inestimable gain which has accrued to modern life through
journalism. It is easy to forget the magnitude of a benefit when its
operation has become regular and familiar. The influence of the press
may sometimes be abused; its tone may sometimes be objectionable.
But take these three things—quickness in seeking and supplying
information,—continual vigilance of comment,—electric sympathy of
social feeling: where in the ancient world do we find these things
as national characteristics, except in so far as they were gifts of
nature to the small community of ancient Athens—gifts to which her
best literature owes so much of its incomparable freshness and of
its imperishable charm? It is mainly due to the agency of the press
that these things are now found throughout the world,—these, which,
in all lands where man has risen above barbarism, are the surest
safeguards of civilization and the ultimate pledges of constitutional
freedom.—_Fortnightly Review._



THREE GLIMPSES OF A NEW ENGLAND VILLAGE.


Does the reader chance to know that bit of England round about
Haslemere, but an hour and a half’s journey from the heart of London,
where three counties meet, and the traveller may see at a glance, from
many a hill-top, the most rich and beautiful parts of Sussex, the
wildest and most picturesque of Surrey and Hampshire? At his feet lies
spread the weald of Sussex, whilst the dark wooded promontories and
long purple ridges of Blackdown, Marley, and Ironhill curve round or
jut out into this broad sea of fertility, and the distant South Downs
close the view with wavy outline and fluted sides, bare of everything
save fine turf, nibbling sheep, and the shadows of the clouds. Turning
round, Surrey culminates, as it were, in Hind Head, with triple
summit—no mere hill, but a miniature mountain in bold individuality of
form. And when he climbs this vantage-ground, Hampshire lies unfolded
before him as well as Surrey; Wolmer Forest—forest no longer, but
brown moorland; ranges of chalk hills, conspicuous among them one with
a white scar on its dark flank, which hides Selborne amid its trees;
solemn distances seen against the sunset sky, clothed with a deep
purple bloom, which haunt the memory like a strain of noble music.

No less beautiful and strikingly similar in general character is
that part of Western Massachusetts wherein stands our New England
village—Northampton—village in size and rural aspect, though the
capital of Hampshire county. But the New England valley has one
advantage over the weald of Sussex in its broad and beautiful river,
with Indian name, Connecticut—Quonnektacut, the long river—which
winds through it. Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom, the Sugar Loaf and the
Pelham range are its Blackdown, Marley, Hind Head, and South Downs.
These hills are a couple of hundred feet or so higher than their
English prototypes, ranging from 1000 to 1300 feet above the sea, and
their old ribs are of harder and more ancient stuff than the chalk and
greensand of the South Downs and Surrey hills; witness the granite or
rather gneiss boulders scattered broadcast over the land, sometimes in
rugged upright masses, looking like some grey ruin, sometimes in small
rounded fragments, bestrewing the uplands like a flock of sheep, and
more rarely the black and still harder blocks of trap. In the museum
at Amherst, just over the river, are preserved slabs with the famous
bird-tracks—colossal footprints two feet long, found in the trias of
this part of the Connecticut valley—all tending to prove that the sun
shone down upon dry land here for some ages whilst the mother-country
was still mostly a waste of waters; and that, geologically speaking,
and so far as these parts at any rate are concerned, New England is
old, and old England new, by comparison. Broad, fertile, level meadows
border the river, and the hills are richly clothed with chestnut,
birch, hemlock (somewhat like the yew in aspect), hickory (a kind of
walnut), beech, oak, etc. It is hard to say whether the likeness or the
unlikeness to an English landscape strikes the traveller more. There
is the all-pervading difference of a dry and brilliant atmosphere,
which modifies both form and color, substituting the sharp-edged and
definite for the vague and rounded in distant objects, and brilliancy
and distinctness of hue for depth and softness. Apart, too, from the
brilliant and searching light, the leaves are absolutely of a lighter
green, and grow in a less dense and solid mass; the foliage looks more
feathery, the tree more spiral. Especially is this so with the American
oak, which has neither the dome-like head, the sturdiness of bough, nor
the dark bluish-green foliage of the English oak. If it be spring-time,
no gorse is to be seen with golden blossom set among matted thorns,
perfuming the sunshine; but everywhere abounding masses of the delicate
pink-clustered, odorless, warlike kalmia, called there laurel, and
growing to the full size of our laurels; and more shyly hidden, the
lovely azalea or swamp-pink, as the country people call it. Instead of
the daisy, the delicate little Housatonia, like Venus’ looking-glass
but growing singly, stars the ground; and for fragrance we must
stoop down and seek the pale pink clusters of the trailing arbutus
or May-flower, which richly reward the seeker. In July we miss
the splendid purpling of the hills with heather blossom; but the
pink spikes of the hardhack abound; gay lilies, lady’s earrings,
blue-fringed gentians, glowing cardinal flowers (_Lobelia cardinalis_),
with slender petals of a deeper crimson than the salvia, and a host
more new friends, or old friends with new ways grown democratic as
befits them, scatter their beauty freely by the wayside and the margins
of the brooks, instead of setting up as exclusives of the garden.

Nor are the differences less marked in the aspect of the cultivated
land. The fertile valley has perhaps a look of greater breadth from
not being intersected with hedges and having few fences of any kind,
one crop growing beside another, and one owner’s beside another’s,
like different beds in a nursery-garden. But the effect of these large
undivided fields is to dwarf the appearance of the crops themselves.
The patches of tall tasselled Indian corn, the white-blossomed
buckwheat, and large-leaved tobacco, look diminutive. No haystacks, no
wheat-ricks are to be seen; only here and there a lonely, prison-like
tobacco barn or drying-house, full of narrow loopholes to let in air
without light. Everything else is housed in the big barn that adjoins
the farmhouse, which stands, not amid its own fields, but on the
outskirts of the nearest town or village. Of wheat little is grown;
of root-crops still less, for sheep-farming is not in favor. Tobacco,
with its large, glossy dark leaves, like those of the mangel-wurzel,
thrives well on the rich alluvial soil of the Connecticut valley; but,
fluctuating as it is in value, exhaustive of the soil, and easily
damaged by weather, the great gains of one year are often more than
counterbalanced by the losses of the next. The Indian corn remains
long upon the ground in autumn after it is cut, to ripen in stooks,
much as beans do with us; and then come to light the pumpkins which
were sown amongst it, and now lie basking and glowing in the sun
like giant oranges. Glowing, too, in the splendid sunshine, are the
apple-orchards, laden with fruit half as large and quite as red
as full-blown peonies. Never, even in the vale of Evesham or
Herefordshire, have I seen any so beautiful.

As to the living creatures—feathered, four legged, or no-legged—there
are some conspicuous differences which it does not take a naturalist
to discover. Ten to one, indeed, if we come upon a rattlesnake; but a
few are still left in snug corners of Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom, as
anxious to avoid us as we them. The lively little chipmunk, diminutive
first cousin to the squirrel, with black stripe along the back, is
sure to make our acquaintance, for his kind seems as multitudinous
as the rabbit with us, and is a worse foe to the farmer, because he
has more audacity and a taste for the kernels of things, instead of
merely the leaves. Strange new sounds greet the ear from katydid
“working her chromatic reed”; from bull-frog with deep low, almost a
roar; from grasshoppers and locusts, whose loud brassy whirr resounds
all through the sunny hours with such persistency it seems at last a
very part of the hot sunshine. The chirp of our grasshoppers is the
mere ghost of a sound in comparison. At night fireflies glance in and
out of the darkness; and, if we remain under the trees, mosquitoes
soon make us unpleasantly aware of their existence. As to the birds,
the flame-colored oriole, the delicately shaped blue-bird, flit by
now and then as flashes of surprise and delight from the south; the
rose-breasted grossbeak has a sweet note; the robin, not round as a
ball and fierce and saucy, but grown tall, and slim, and mild—his
breast not so red, his song not so sweet, his eye not so bright—is
there. He is indeed a robin only in name,—really a species of
thrush. A cheerful twittering, chirping, whistling, the tuning of the
orchestra, a short sweet snatch or two of song I heard; but the steady,
long-sustained outpour of rich melody from throats never weary, the
chorus trilling joyously, with which our woods and hedgerows resound
in spring and early summer, I listened for in vain. Perhaps the
pathlessness of the woods and hills prevented my penetrating to the
secluded haunts of the sweetest singers, such as the hermit-thrush, and
I speak only of New England. Remembering what John Burroughs has said
on the subject, I will not venture to generalize the comparison.


          GLIMPSE THE FIRST.

About two hundred and forty years ago, towards the close of Cromwell’s
life, and thirty-four years after the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers,
the Boston and Plymouth Settlement found itself vigorous enough to
send out offshoots; and having heard from the Dutch settlers of New
York of this rich and well-watered valley discovered by them in 1614,
the General Court appointed John Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke, and Samuel
Chapin of Springfield, settled seventeen years before, to negotiate
with the Indians for that tract of land called Nonotuck, where now
stand six small towns and villages, chief and first built of which was
Northampton. The price paid was a hundred fathoms of wampum (equal
to about £20), ten coats, some small gifts, and the ploughing up of
sixteen acres on the east side of the river. Wampum (Indian for white)
consisted of strings of beads made of white shells and _suckauhock_
black or blue money, of black or purple shells. Both were used for more
purposes than trading with the Indians, coin being scarce. Eight white
and four black beads were worth a penny; and a man as often took out
a string of beads as a purse to pay an innkeeper or a ferryman, or to
balance a trading account.

But Nonotuck was paid for with a good deal besides the wampum and
the ploughing. For a hundred and twenty-four years there was almost
incessant warfare with the Indians. Treacherous ambuscades lay in wait
for the trader on his journey, stealthy dark-skinned assassins for
the solitary husbandman, and not a few of these fertile fields were
watered by the blood of its first tillers. He carried his weapons with
him to his work and to the meeting-house, and expressed his gratitude
for hair-breadth escapes, Puritan fashion, by the pious names he gave
his children. Preserved Clapp, Submit Grout, Comfort Domo, Thankful
Medad, are names that figure in the records of this and the neighboring
villages; where we read also that one Praise-Ever Turner, and his
servant Uzackaby Shakspeare, were killed by the Indians. Within sight
of Northampton it was, just over the river, in the sister settlement
of Hadley,—that beautiful old village, with street eighteen rods
wide, set with a double avenue of superb elms, greensward in the
middle and a road on either side, looking more like the entrance to
a fine park than a village street,—here it was that a “deliverance”
occurred, long believed by the people to have been miraculous. One
Sunday, when nearly the whole scant population was gathered for worship
in the meeting-house, a large body of Indians fell upon them, and,
what with the panic and the want of a leader, all seemed lost, when
a majestic, venerable figure, dressed in a strange rich garb, fully
armed, appeared suddenly in their midst, assumed the command, rallied
their scattered numbers, and led them on to victory; then vanished as
suddenly as he had appeared, no man knew where or whence.[61] No man but
one—Mr. Russell, the minister. This venerable apparition was Goffe,
once a general in Cromwell’s army, and, like Whalley his companion in
exile, one of the judges who condemned Charles to death, now forced,
even in that far land, to hide for his life, since an active quest was
maintained, in obedience to the Home Government for both Goffe and
Whalley. For twelve years did good Mr. Russell shelter them, unknown
to all but his own family. Whalley died in his house; but Goffe
subsequently disappeared, and the rest of his career is unknown.

Altogether the hardy band found ample scope for carrying into practice
the noble maxim of the Pilgrim Fathers rehearsed at Leyden: “All great
and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and
must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courages.” In order
to secure protection from Indians and wolves, the little community
built its dwellings, not each isolated on its own farm-lands, but side
by side, so as to form at once the main street; each house having its
“home lot” or strip of “interval,” as the rich meadow-land stretching
down to the river was called, and its “wood-lot” on the hillside.
Having chosen her “select men to direct all the fundamental affairs
of the town, to prevent anything which they judge shall be of damage,
and to order anything which shall be for the good of the town; to
hear complaints, arbitrate controversies, lay out highways, see to
the scouring of ditches, the killing of wolves, and the training
of children,” Northampton proceeded at once to build herself a
meeting-house “of sawen timber 26 feet long and 18 feet wide,” for the
sum of £14 sterling, to be paid in work or corn. There was no clock in
the settlement; so the worshippers were called together, sometimes by
a large cow-bell, sometimes by drum, and finally by trumpet, for the
blowing of which Jedediah Strong had a salary of eighteen shillings
a year. There was no minister for some years; and more finding in
themselves a vocation for preaching than for listening, or at any rate
for criticising than for meekly imbibing, disputes arose, the General
Court was appealed to, and its decision enforced that the service
should consist, besides praying and singing, of “the reading aloud
of known godly and orthodox books;” and for those who failed to obey
with seemly decorum the summons of Mr. Jedediah Strong’s trumpet,
severe was the chastisement. Joe Leonard and Sam Harmon, for instance,
“who were seen to whip and whisk one another with a stick before the
meeting-house door,” were fined five shillings; and Daniel, “for
idle watching about and not coming to the ordinances of the Lord,”
was adjudged worthy of stripes to the number “of five, _well laid
on_.” In 1672 the town voted that there be some sticks set up in the
“meeting-house, with fit persons placed near, to use them as occasion
shall require, to keep the youth from disorder.” Which staves were
fitted with a hare’s foot at one end and his tail at the other; the
former to give a hard rap to misbehaving boys, the latter a gentle
reminder to sleeping women.

Something besides repression was done, however, for the benefit of
the youth of Northampton. The first school was started in 1663,—the
master to receive £6 a year and his charges for tuition. Bridges were
built and roads made by calling out every man to labor according to his
estate; and those who did not labor paid in grain at the rate
of half-a-crown a-day for exemption. For more than sixty years
Northampton had no doctor, only a “bone-setter”: on the whole, a lucky
circumstance, perhaps, considering what were the remedies then chiefly
in vogue. Sylvester Judd, from whose “History of Hadley,” and also
from Dr. Holland’s “History of Western Massachusetts,” the foregoing
details have been gathered, gives a curious list, taken from medical
prescriptions of the time:—the fat of a wild cat, blood of a goat, of
an ass, of a white pigeon taken from under the wing, the tongue and
lungs of a fox, liver of an eel and of a wolf, horns of a bug (beetle),
teeth of a sea-horse, bone from the heart of a stag, the left foot of a
tortoise, &c.

After the Indian and the French and Indian wars were over, there was
but a short interval of rest before the War of Independence began. The
long rugged battle with the savage and the wilderness had done its
work well in training men for the struggle which was to sunder all
bonds, and convert the colony into a new nation, master of its own
destiny. Northampton was not the scene of any battles; but bore its
part in furnishing some brave and leading men, and money, or money’s
worth, to the army. After the war was over, came a time of depression
and disorganization in public affairs and in trade, which culminated
hereabouts in what is known as Shays’ Rebellion, so named from its
leader; but it was soon quelled, and peace and prosperity settled down
upon Northampton and upon the whole land.


          GLIMPSE THE SECOND.

If we lift a corner of the veil of time at the opening of the present
century, we find our handful of settlers become a population of
4000,—there was no immigration in those days to swell the numbers by
thousands and tens of thousands at a blow,—and possessed of resources
for their social and intellectual welfare pretty much on a par with
those of an English country town at that date of the same size: a
little behind still in material comforts and luxuries, a little ahead
in the amount of mental activity and the spirit of progress generated
partly by more complete self-dependence, by the great and stirring
times men had just passed through, and by hereditary influence from the
parent stock, which was the pick of Old England in these qualities.

The spirit of fellowship thrives where all are fellow-workers. There
comes, it would seem, a happy transition time between the struggles,
privations, isolation of the pioneers, and the wealth, luxury, and
poverty (grim skeleton in the cupboard of advancing prosperity),
when there yet remains a good measure of that sense of neighborship
necessarily developed, when no man is independent of the free help
and good-will of others, no man is born with a silver spoon in his
mouth,—a time, in short, when sociability is and “society” is not,
and those to whom the lines have fallen in pleasant places can stretch
out a friendly hand to the less fortunate without suspicion of
condescension or patronage.

For sample, we will take a single group, the door of whose hospitable
house has been set open for us by the privately printed memoirs of Mrs
Anne Jean Lyman. The inmates are a judge, his wife, and a large family
of children of all ages, for he has been twice married. The judge is
a genuine product of the soil, his family having for at least three
generations back been settled in Northampton. His wife, who is from
the neighborhood of Boston, of Scotch ancestry on one side, and on the
other descended from Anne Hutchinson (the eloquent woman-preacher, who,
banished for heterodoxy from their settlement by the Pilgrim Fathers,
was killed by the Indians in 1643), may be taken as a good but typical
instance of the New England woman of that day—capable, practical,
aspiring, intellectual, friendly above all.

There are no stirring adventures, no record of any achievements of
genius in these memoirs, but the unpretending pages reflect a clear
image of two fine characters, well adjusted to the social conditions
amid which they lived. Both had beauty and dignity of person, warm
sympathies, good brains, abundant energy, and a spirit of hospitality
which made their home the focus where the worth and intellect of
the village were wont to gather and to shine brightest and warmest.
Northampton has now its row of thriving stores, to which the people
from neighboring villages flock on market-days, making a cheerful
bustle. The elms, planted by the pioneers on either side the street,
from the boughs of one of which Jonathan Edwards had preached to the
Indians, now spread a goodly shade. A four-horse stage from Boston,
ninety miles distant, comes in every evening with bugle horn sounding
gaily. The driver is the personal friend of the whole town, for his
tenacious memory never lets slip a single message or commission—save
on one memorable occasion, when he forgot to bring back his wife who
had been visiting in Boston, and so furnished the village with a
long-enduring joke. The social judge, when he hears the horn, takes
his hat and with alert step and cheerful face, glowing in the evening
light, hastens to Warner’s Tavern where the coach draws up, to welcome
the arrivals and bring any friend who may be among them to his own
home—and any stranger too, who seems in ill-health or sorrow, and
not likely to be made comfortable at an inn. When the judge and his
wife go yearly to Boston, a throng of neighbors flock into the library
overnight, where the packing goes on, not only to take an affectionate
leave, but to bring parcels of every size and commissions of every
variety,—a pattern with request to bring back dresses for a family
of five; and “could they go to the orphan asylum and see if a good
child of ten could be bound out till she was eighteen? and if so,
bring her back.” One requests them to call and see a sick mother at
Sudbury, another a sick sister at Ware. Finally, a little boy, with
bundle as large as himself, asks “if this would be too big to carry
to grandmother?” “I’ll carry anything short of a cooking-stove,” says
the kind lady; and wherever the stage stops to change horses, she runs
round to hunt up the sick friend or deliver the parcel.

Here is a picture, in brief, of a day of home-life at a later period
when the children are mostly grown up and the judge has retired from
the Bench. It is the grey dawn of a summer’s day, and the mother is
already up and doing, while the rest of her large family, all but the
husband, are still asleep. Dressed in short skirt and white _sacque_,
she goes with broom and duster to her parlor and dining-room, opens
wide the windows to the sweet morning air and the song of the birds,
and puts all in order. At six o’clock she calls up her two maids, puts
on her morning-dress and white cap, takes the large work-basket that
always stands handy in the corner—for she mends not only for the
family but for the maids and the hired man—and works till breakfast,
when often fifteen or twenty cheerful souls assemble round the table.
After which, with help of children and grandchildren, the dishes are
swiftly washed, the table cleared, and husband and wife are then
wont to take their seat at the front door, that they may greet the
passer-by or send messages to neighbors: she with the work-basket
and the book that always lay handy under the work—some essay, poem,
history, novel (for she is an omnivorous reader, and her letters
intelligently discuss current literary topics)—or with the peas and
beans to shell and string for dinner; he with the newspaper. Among the
passers-by with whom they chat come, at certain seasons of the year,
the judges of the Supreme Court and other notable men,—Baron Renné,
Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Emerson, too, while he was yet a young
unknown Unitarian minister. Seldom does the large family sit down to
dinner without guests, for any one who drops in is asked to stay, or
some wearied-looking passer-by is pressed to step in. In the afternoon
the mother’s chosen seat is at the window of the west parlor looking
towards the hills, and then the young people flock around while she
reads aloud through the long summer afternoons. All must share in
her enjoyment, and often is the wayfarer, some “good neighbor” or
“intellectual starveling,” beckoned in “just to hear this rich passage
we are reading—it won’t take long.” If she finds any with a strong
desire for knowledge, she never rests till the means to supply the want
are found, and more than one youth of promise afterwards fulfilled owed
his first good chance in life to this wise, generous-hearted woman.


          GLIMPSE THE THIRD.

Northampton to-day carries her two hundred and thirty odd years
lightly, and, save for the lofty and venerable elms, looks as young as
the youngest of towns. How, indeed, can anything but the trees ever
look old in America, since the atmosphere does not furnish old Time
with moisture enough to write the record of his flight in grey tones
and weather stains, and lichens, and worn and crumbling edges?
Hawthorne’s “old manse” at Concord was the only ancient-looking house I
saw. Either it had never been painted, or the paint was all worn off,
and so the wooden walls had taken a silver-grey color, and, with its
picturesque situation close to the Concord river and by the side of the
field in which was fought the first battle in the War of Independence,
it well deserves the honor and renown that have settled on it, both
as associated with Emerson’s ancestors, his own early days, and with
Hawthorne’s romance. But in general the yearly fresh coat of paint is a
sort of new birth to the old houses, which makes them indistinguishable
from modern ones, wood being still the material used in country-places
for detached houses. But step inside some one or two of these pretty
modest-looking cottages, under the shade of the Northampton elms, and
you will find the low ceiling, the massive beams, small doors and
windows, corner cupboards, and queer ups and downs along the passages,
which tell that they were put up by hands long since mouldered in the
grave, and make you feel as if you were at home again in some old Essex
village.

Socially, the little town may be regarded as a kind of Cranford—but
Cranford with a difference. There is the same preponderance of maiden
ladies and widows—for what should the men do there? New England
farming is a very slow and unprofitable affair compared with farming
in the West, and there are no manufactures of any importance. There
are the same tea-parties, with a solitary beau in the centre, “like
the one white flower in the middle of a nosegay;” the same modest
goodness, kindliness, refinement, making the best of limited means and
of restricted interests. But even under these conditions the spirit
of enterprise and of public spirit lurks in an American Cranford, and
strikes out boldly in some direction or other. What would Miss Jenkyns
have said to the notion of a college which should embody the most
advanced ideas for giving young women precisely the same educational
opportunities as young men? She would justly have felt that it was
enough to make Dr. Johnson turn in his grave. Yet such a scheme has
been realized by one of the maiden ladies of Northampton or its
immediate neighborhood, in Smith College—a really noble institution;
where, also, the experiment is being tried of housing the students,
not in one large building, but in a cluster of pretty-looking,
moderate-sized homes, standing amid lawn and garden, where they are
allowed, under certain restrictions, to enter into and receive the
society of the village, so that their lives may not be a too monotonous
routine and “grind.”

Another maiden lady has achieved a still more remarkable success,
for she had no wealth of her own to enable her to carry out her
idea—which was, to perfect and to introduce on a large scale the
method, devised in Spain some hundred years ago, developed by Heinicke,
a German, by Bell of Edinburgh, and by his son, in a system of “visible
speech,”—for enabling the deaf and dumb to speak, not with the fingers
but the voice, dumb no longer, and to hear with the eyes, so to speak,
by reading the movements of the lips. Miss Harriet Rogers, who had
never witnessed this method in operation, began by teaching a few
pupils privately till her success induced a generous inhabitant of
Northampton, Mr. Clarke, to come forward with £10,000 to found a Deaf
and Dumb Institution, of which her little school formed the nucleus,
and her unwearied devotion and special gifts the animating soul. Step
into a class-room in one of these cheerful looking houses, surrounded
by gay flower borders and well-kept lawns, standing on a hill just
outside the town,—for here, too, the plan of a group of buildings has
been adopted. About twenty children, boys and girls, are ranged, their
faces eagerly looking towards a lady who stands on a raised platform.
Her presence conveys a sense of that gentle yet resistless power which
springs from a firm will, combined with a rich measure of sympathy and
affection. She raises her hand a little way, and then moves it slowly
along in a horizontal direction. The children open their mouths
and utter a deep sustained tone, a plaintive, minor, wild, yet not
unmusical sound. She raises it a little higher, and again moves it
slowly along. The children immediately raise the pitch of their voices
and sustain a higher tone. Again the voices, following the hand,
sustain a yet higher, almost a shrill note. Then the hand waves up
and down rapidly, and the tones faithfully follow its lead in swift
transition, till they seem lost in a maze of varying inflexions; but
always the voices are obedient to the waving hand. The teacher then
makes a round O with thumb and forefinger, gradually parting them
like the opening of the mouth. This is the sign for crescendo and
diminuendo. The voices begin softly, swell into a great volume of
sound, then die away again, still with those peculiar plaintive tones;
yet much do the children seem to enjoy the exercise, though, to most
of them, remember, the room is all the while soundless as the grave.
They learn to vary the pitch of their voices partly by feeling with
the hand the vibrations of the throat and chest,—quick and in the
throat for high tones, slow and in the chest for low ones—partly by
help of Bell’s written signs, which represent the position peculiar
to each sound of the various organs of speech—throat, tongue, lips,
back of the mouth, &c. This was a class of beginners chiefly learning
to develop and control their hitherto unused voices. Inexhaustible is
the patience, wonderful the tact employed by Miss Rogers and her able
assistants in the far more difficult task of teaching actual speech.
A small percentage of the children will prove too slow and blunt of
perception ever to master it, and will have to be sent where the old
finger alphabet is still the method in use. Some, on the other hand,
will succeed so brilliantly that it will be impossible for a stranger
to detect that they were once deaf-mutes,—that they seize your words
with their eyes, not with their ears, and have never heard the sound of
human speech, though they can speak. And the great bulk will return to
their homes capable of understanding in the main what is going on
around them, and of making themselves intelligible to their friends
without recourse to signs.

Our actual Cranford over the sea, then, has a considerable
advantage over the Cranford of romance, in that her heroines do
not wait for the (in fiction) inevitable, faithful, long-absent,
mysteriously-returning-at-the-right-moment lover to redeem their lives
from triviality, and renew their faded bloom. And, in the present state
of the world’s affairs, what is more needed than the single woman who
succeeds in making her life worth living, honorably independent, and
of value to others? Through such will certainly be given new scope and
impetus to the development of woman generally, and in the long run,
therefore, good results for all.

Among the solid achievements of Northampton must also be mentioned an
excellent free library, with spacious airy reading-room, such as any
city might be proud of. There is also a State lunatic asylum, with
large farm attached, which not only supplies the most restorative
occupation for those of the inmates who are capable of work, but
defrays all the expenses of the institution, with an occasional surplus
for improvements.

If I were asked what, after some years spent in America, impressed me
most unexpectedly, I should say of the people, as of the New England
landscape, So like! yet so different! I speak, of course, not of
superficial differences, but of mental physiognomy and temperament.
Given new conditions of climate, soil, space, with their subtle, slow,
yet deep and sure modifying influences,—new qualities to the pleasures
of life, new qualities to its pains and struggles, new social and
political conditions, new mixing of old races, different antecedents,
the primitive wrestle with nature by a people not primitive
but inheriting the habits and characteristics of advanced
civilization,—and how can there but result the shaping of a new race
out of old world stock, a fresh instrument in the great orchestra of
humanity? Indicate these differences, these traits! says the impatient
reader. They are too subtle for words, like the perfume of flowers, the
flavor of fruit,—too much intermingled with individual qualities also,
at any rate for mere descriptive words, though no doubt in time the
imaginative literature of America will creatively embody them.

One lesson whoever has lived in, not merely travelled through
America, must learn perforce. It is that the swift steamers, bringing
a succession of more or less keen observers, the telegrams and
newspapers, which we fondly imagine annihilate space and make us fully
cognizant of the character and affairs of our far-off kindred are by
no means such wonder-workers. In spite of newspapers, and telegrams,
and travellers, and a common language and ancestry, we are full of
misconceptions about each other. Nay, I found the actual condition of
my own country drift slowly out of intelligible sight after a year or
two’s absence. Even if every word uttered and printed were true, that
which gives them their significance cannot be so transmitted; whilst
the great forces that are shaping and building up a people’s life and
character work silently beneath the surface, so that truly may it be
said of a nation, as of an individual, “The heart knoweth its own
bitterness, and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy.” Save by the
help of vital literature—in that, at last, the souls of the nations
speak to one another.—_Blackwood’s Magazine._



LAST WORDS ABOUT AGNOSTICISM AND THE RELIGION OF HUMANITY.

BY HERBERT SPENCER.


Those who expected from Mr. Harrison an interesting rejoinder to
my reply, will not be disappointed. Those who looked for points
skilfully made, which either are, or seem to be, telling, will be fully
satisfied. Those who sought pleasure from witnessing a display of
literary power, will close his article gratified with the hour they
have spent over it. Those only will be not altogether contented who
supposed that my outspoken criticism of Mr. Harrison’s statements and
views, would excite him to an unusual display of that trenchant style
for which he is famous; since he has, for the most part, continued the
discussion with calmness. After saying thus much it may seem that some
apology is needed for continuing a controversy of which many, if not
most, readers, have by this time become weary. But gladly as I would
leave the matter where it stands, alike to save my own time and others’
attention, there are sundry motives which forbid me. Partly my excuse
must be the profound importance and perennial interest of the questions
raised. Partly I am prompted by the consideration that it is a pity to
cease just when a few more pages will make clear sundry of the issues,
and leave readers in a better position for deciding. Partly it seems
to me wrong to leave grave misunderstandings unrectified. And partly
I am reluctant on personal grounds to pass by some of Mr. Harrison’s
statements unnoticed.

One of these statements, indeed, it would be imperative on me to
notice, since it reflects on me in a serious way. Speaking of the
_Descriptive Sociology_, which contains a large part (though by no
means all) of the evidence used in the _Principles of Sociology_, and
referring to the compilers who, under my superintendence, selected the
materials forming that work, Mr. Harrison says:—

          Of course these intelligent gentlemen had little
        difficulty in clipping from hundreds of books about
        foreign races sentences which seem to support Mr.
        Spencer’s doctrines. The whole proceeding is too much
        like that of a famous lawyer who wrote a law book, and
        then gave it to his pupils to find the “cases” which
        supported his law.

Had Mr. Harrison observed the dates, he would have seen that since
the compilation of the _Descriptive Sociology_ was commenced in
1867 and the writing of the _Principles of Sociology_ in 1874, the
parallel he draws is not altogether applicable: the fact being that the
_Descriptive Sociology_ was commenced seven years in advance for the
purpose (as stated in the preface) of obtaining adequate materials for
generalizations: sundry of which, I may remark in passing, have
been quite at variance with my pre-conceptions.[62] I think that on
consideration, Mr. Harrison will regret having made so grave an
insinuation without very good warrant; and he has no warrant. Charity
would almost lead one to suppose that he was not fully conscious of
its implications when he wrote the above passage; for he practically
cancels them immediately afterwards. He says:—“But of course one
can find in this medley of tables almost any view. And I find facts
which make for my view as often as any other.” How this last statement
consists with the insinuation that what Mr. Harrison calls a “medley”
of tables contains evidence vitiated by special selection of facts, it
is difficult to understand. If the purpose was to justify a foregone
conclusion, how does it happen that there are (according to Mr.
Harrison) as many facts which make against it as there are facts which
make for it?

The question here incidentally raised concerns the primitive religious
idea. Which is the original belief, fetichism or the ghost-theory?
The answer should profoundly interest all who care to understand
the course of human thought; and I shall therefore not apologize for
pursuing the question a little further.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having had them counted, I find that in those four parts of the
_Descriptive Sociology_ which give accounts of the uncivilized races,
there are 697 extracts which refer to the ghost-theory: illustrating
the belief in a wandering double which goes away during sleep, or
fainting, or other form of insensibility, and deserts the body for a
longer period at death,—a double which can enter into and possess
other persons, causing disease, epilepsy, insanity, etc., which
gives rise to ideas of spirits, demons, etc., and which originates
propitiation and worship of ghosts. On the other hand there are 87
extracts which refer to the worship of inanimate objects or belief in
their supernatural powers. Now even did these 87 extracts support
Mr. Harrison’s view, this ratio of 8 to 1 would hardly justify his
statement that the facts “make for my [his] view as often as any
other.” But these 87 extracts do not make for his view. To get proof
that the inanimate objects are worshipped for themselves simply,
instances must be found in which such objects are worshipped among
peoples who have no ghost-theory; for wherever the ghost-theory
exists it comes into play and originates those supernatural powers
which certain objects are supposed to have. When by unrelated tribes
scattered all over the world, we find it held that the souls of the
dead are supposed to haunt the neighboring forests—when we learn
that the Karen thinks “the spirits of the departed dead crowd around
him;”[63] that the Society Islanders imagined spirits “surrounded them
night and day watching every action;”[64] that the Nicobar people
annually compel “all the bad spirits to leave the dwelling;”[65] that
an Arab never throws anything away without asking forgiveness of the
Efrits he may strike;[66] and that the Jews thought it was because of
the multitudes of spirits in synagogues that “the dress of the Rabbins
become so soon old and torn through their rubbing;”[67] when we find the
accompanying belief to be that ghosts or spirits are capable of going
into, and emerging from, solid bodies in general, as well as the bodies
of the quick and the dead; it becomes obvious that the presence of one
of these spirits swarming around, and capable of injuring or benefiting
living persons, becomes a sufficient reason for propitiating an object
it is assumed to have entered: the most trivial peculiarity sufficing
to suggest possession—such possession being, indeed, in some cases
conceived as universal, as by the Eskimo, who think every object is
ruled by “its or his, _inuk_, which word signifies “_man_,”
and also _owner_ or _inhabitant_.”[68] Such being the case, there can
be no proof that the worship of the objects themselves was primordial,
unless it is found to exist where the ghost-theory has not arisen;
and I know no instance showing that it does so. But while those facts
given in the _Descriptive Sociology_ which imply worship of inanimate
objects, or ascription of supernatural powers to them, fail to support
Mr. Harrison’s view, because always accompanied by the ghost-theory,
sundry of them directly negative his view. There is the fact that an
echo is regarded as the voice of the fetich; there is the fact that the
inhabiting spirit of the fetich is supposed to “enjoy the savory smell”
of meat roasted before it; and there is the fact that the fetich is
supposed to die and may be revived. Further, there is the summarized
statement made by Beecham, an observer of fetichism in the region where
it is supposed to be specially exemplified, who says that:—

          The fetiches are believed to be spiritual, intelligent
        beings, who make the remarkable objects of nature their
        residence, or enter occasionally into the images and
        other artificial representations, which have been duly
        consecrated by certain ceremonies.... They believe that
        these fetiches are of both sexes, and that they require
        food.

These statements are perfectly in harmony with the conclusion that
fetichism is a development of the ghost-theory, and altogether
incongruous with the interpretation of fetichism which Mr. Harrison
accepts from Comte.

Already I have named the fact that Dr. Tylor, who has probably read
more books about uncivilized peoples than any Englishman living or
dead, has concluded that fetichism is a form of spirit-worship, and
that (to give quotations relevant to the present issue)

        To class an object as a fetish, demands explicit
        statement that a spirit is considered as embodied in it
        or acting through it or communicating by it.[69]

        ... A further stretch of imagination enables the lower
        races to associate the souls of the dead with mere
        objects.[70]

        ... The spirits which enter or otherwise attach
        themselves to objects may be human souls. Indeed, one of
        the most natural cases of the fetish-theory is when a
        soul inhabits or haunts the relics of its former body.[71]

Here I may add an opinion to like effect which Dr. Tylor quotes from
the late Prof. Waitz, also an erudite anthropologist. He says:—

          “According to his [the negro’s] view, a spirit dwells
        or can dwell in every sensible object, and often a
        very great and mighty one in an insignificant thing.
        This spirit he does not consider as bound fast and
        unchangeably to the corporeal thing it dwells in, but it
        has only its usual or principal abode in it.”[72]

Space permitting I might add evidence furnished by Sir Alfred Lyall,
who, in his valuable papers published in the _Fortnightly Review_
years ago on religion in India, has given the results of observations
made there. Writing to me from the North-West provinces under date
August 1, in reference to the controversy between Mr. Harrison and
myself, he incloses copies of a letter and accompanying memorandum
from the magistrate of Gorakhpur, in verification of the doctrine
that ghost-worship is the “chief source and origin” of religion. Not,
indeed, that I should hope by additional evidences to convince Mr.
Harrison. When I point to the high authority of Dr. Tylor as on the
side of the ghost-theory, Mr. Harrison says—“If Dr. Tylor has finally
adopted it, I am sorry.” And now I suppose that when I cite these
further high authorities on the same side, he will simply say
again “I am sorry,” and continue to believe as before.

In respect of the fetichism distinguishable as nature-worship,
Mr. Harrison relies much on the Chinese. He says:—

          The case of China is decisive. There we have a religion
        of vast antiquity and extent, perfectly clear and well
        ascertained. It rests entirely on worship of Heaven,
        and Earth, and objects of Nature, regarded as organized
        beings, and not as the abode of human spirits.

Had I sought for a case of “a religion of vast antiquity and extent,
perfectly clear and well ascertained,” which illustrates origin from
the ghost-theory, I should have chosen that of China; where the
State-religion continues down to the present day to be an elaborate
ancestor-worship, where each man’s chief thought in life is to secure
the due making of sacrifices to his ghost after death, and where the
failure of a first wife to bear a son who shall make these sacrifices,
is held a legitimate reason for taking a second. But Mr. Harrison
would, I suppose, say that I had selected facts to fit my hypothesis.
I therefore give him, instead, the testimony of a bystander. Count
D’Alviella has published a _brochure_ concerning these questions on
which Mr. Harrison and I disagree.[73] In it he says on page 15:—

        La thèse de M. Harrison, au contraire,—que l’homme
        aurait commencé par l’adoration d’objets matériels
        “franchement regardés comme tels,”—nous paraît
        absolument contraire au raisonnement et à l’observation.
        Il cite, à titre d’exemple, l’antique religion de la
        Chine, “entièrement basée sur la vénération de la Terre,
        du Ciel et des Ancêtres, considérés objectivement et
        non comme la residence d’êtres immatériels.” [This
        sentence is from Mr, Harrison’s first article, not
        from his second.] C’est là jouer de malheur, car, sans
        même insister sur ce que peuvent être des Ancêtres
        “considérés objectivement,” il se trouve précisément que
        la religion de l’ancien empire Chinois est le type le
        plus parfait de l’animisme organise et qu’elle regarde
        même les objets matériels, dont elle fait ses dieux,
        comme la manifestation inséparable, l’enveloppe ou même
        le corps d’esprits invisibles. [Here in a note Count
        D’Alviella refers to authorities, notamment Tiele,
        _Manuel de l’Histoire des Religions_, traduit par M.
        Maurice Vernes, Liv. II, et dans la _Revue de l’Histoire
        des Religions_, la _Religion de l’ancien empire Chinois_
        par M. Julius Happel (t. IV. no. 6).]

Whether Mr. Harrison’s opinion is or is not changed by this array
of counter-opinion, he may at any rate be led somewhat to qualify
his original statement that “Nothing is more certain than that man
everywhere started with a simple lead worship of natural objects.”

I pass now to Mr. Harrison’s endeavor to rebut my assertion that he had
demolished a _simulacrum_ and not the reality.

I pointed out that he had inverted my meaning by representing as
negative that which I regarded as positive. What I have everywhere
referred to as the All-Being, he named the All-Nothingness. What answer
does he make when I show that my position is exactly the reverse of
that alleged? He says that while I am “dealing with transcendental
conceptions, intelligible only to certain trained metaphysicians,” he
is “dealing with religion as it affects the lives of men and women in
the world;” that “to ordinary men and women, an unknowable and
inconceivable Reality is practically an Unreality;” and that thus all
he meant to say was that the “Everlasting Yes” of the “evolutionist,”
“is in effect on the public a mere Everlasting No,” (p. 354). Now
compare these passages in his last article with the following passages
in his first article:—“One would like to know how much of the
Evolutionist’s day is consecrated to seeking the Unknowable in a devout
way, and what the religious exercises might be. How does the man of
science approach the All-Nothingness” (p. 502)? Thus we see that what
was at first represented as the unfitness of the creed considered as
offered to the select is now represented as its unfitness considered as
offered to the masses. What were originally the “Evolutionist” and the
“man of science” are now changed into “ordinary men and women” and “the
public;” and what was originally called the All-Nothingness has become
an “inconceivable Reality.” The statement which was to be justified is
not justified but something else is justified in its stead.

Thus is it, too, with the paragraph in which Mr. Harrison seeks to
disprove my assertion that he had exactly transposed the doctrines
of Dean Mansel and myself, respecting our consciousness of that
which transcends perception. He quotes his original words, which
were “there is a gulf which separates even his all-negative _deity_
from Mr. Spencer’s impersonal, unconscious, unthinkable Energy.” And
he then goes on to say “I was speaking of Mansel’s Theology, not of
his Ontology. I said “_deity_,” not the Absolute.” Very well; now
let us see what this implies. Mansel, as I was perfectly well aware,
supplements his ontological nihilism with a theological realism. That
which in his ontological argument he represents as a mere “negation
of conceivability,” he subsequently re-asserts on grounds of faith,
and clothes with the ordinarily-ascribed divine attributes. Which of
these did I suppose Mr. Harrison meant by “all-negative deity”? I was
compelled to conclude he meant that which in the ontological argument
was said to be a “negation of conceivability.” How could I suppose that
by “all-negative deity” Mr. Harrison meant the deity which Dean Mansel
as a matter of “duty” rehabilitates and worships in his official
capacity as priest. It was a considerable stretch of courage on the
part of Mr. Harrison to call the deity of the established church an
“all-negative deity.” Yet in seeking to escape from the charge of
misrepresenting me he inevitably does this by implication.

In his second article Mr. Harrison does not simply ascribe to me ideas
which are wholly unlike those my words express, but he ascribes to me
ideas I have intentionally excluded. When justifying my use of the
word “proceed,” as the most colorless word I could find to indicate
the relation between the knowable manifestations present to perception
and the Unknowable Reality which transcends perception, I incidentally
mentioned, as showing that I wished to avoid those theological
implications which Mr. Harrison said were suggested, that the words
originally written were “created and sustained;” and that though in the
sense in which I used them the meanings of these words did not exceed
my thought, I had erased them because “the ideas” associated with these
words might mislead. Yet Mr. Harrison speaks of these erased words as
though I had finally adopted them, and saddles me with the ordinary
connotations. If Mr. Harrison defends himself by quoting my words to
the effect that the Inscrutable Existence manifested through phenomena
“stands towards our general conception of things in substantially the
same relation as does the Creative Power asserted by Theology;” then I
point to all my arguments as clearly meaning that when the attributes
and the mode of operation ordinarily ascribed to “that which lies
beyond the sphere of sense” cease to be ascribed, “that which lies
beyond the sphere of sense” will bear the same relation as before to
that which lies within it, in so far that it will occupy the same
relative position in the totality of our consciousness: no assertion
being made concerning the mode of connexion of the one with the other.
Surely when I have deliberately avoided the word “create” to express
the connexion between noumenal cause and the phenomenal effect, because
it might suggest the ordinary idea of a creating power separate from
the created thing, Mr. Harrison was not justified in basing arguments
against me on the assumption that I had used it.

But the course in so many cases pursued by him of fathering upon
me ideas incongruous with those I have expressed, and making me
responsible for the resulting absurdities, is exhibited in the most
extreme degree, by the way in which he has built up for me a system
of beliefs and practices. In his first article occur such passages
as—“seeking the Unknowable in a devout way” (p. 502); can anyone “hope
anything of the Unknowable or find consolation therein?” (p. 503); and
to a grieving mother he represents me as replying to assuage her grief,
“Think on the Unknowable” (p. 503). Similarly in his second article
he writes “to tell them that they are to worship this Unknowable is
equivalent to telling them to worship nothing” (p. 357); “the worship
of the Unknowable is abhorrent to every instinct of genuine religion”
(p. 360); “praying to the Unknowable at home” (p. 376); and having
in these and kindred ways fashioned for me the observances of a
religion which he represents me as “proposing,” he calls it “one of
the most gigantic paradoxes in the history of thought” (p. 355). So
effectually has Mr. Harrison impressed everybody by these expressions
and assertions, that I read in a newspaper—“Mr. Spencer speaks of the
‘absurdities of the Comtean religion,’ but what about his own peculiar
cult?”

Now the whole of this is a fabric framed out of Mr. Harrison’s
imaginations. I have nowhere “proposed” any object of religion.” I have
nowhere suggested that anyone should “worship this Unknowable.” No line
of mine gives ground for inquiring how the Unknowable is to be sought
“in a devout way,” or for asking what are “the religious exercises;”
nor have I suggested that anyone may find “consolation therein.”
Observe the facts. At the close of my article “Religion; a Retrospect
and Prospect,” I pointed out to “those who think that science is
dissipating religious beliefs and sentiments” that whatever of mystery
is taken from the old interpretation is added to the new;” increase
rather than diminution being the result. I said that in perpetually
extending our knowledge of the Universe, concrete science “enlarges
the sphere for religious sentiment;” and that progressing knowledge
is “accompanied by an increasing capacity for wonder.” And in my
second article, in further explanation, I have represented my thesis
to be “that whatever components of this [the religious] sentiment
disappear, there must ever survive those which are appropriate to the
consciousness of a Mystery that cannot be fathomed and a Power that
is omnipresent.” This is the sole thing for which I am responsible.
I have advocated nothing; I have proposed no worship; I have said
nothing about “devotion,” or “prayer,” or “religious exercises,” or
“hope,” or “consolation.” I have simply affirmed the permanence of
certain components in the consciousness which “is concerned with that
which lies beyond the sphere of sense.” If Mr. Harrison says that this
surviving sentiment is inadequate for what he thinks the purposes of
religion, I simply reply—I have said nothing about its adequacy or
inadequacy. The assertion that the emotions of awe and wonder form
but a fragment of religion, leaves me altogether unconcerned: I have
said nothing to the contrary. If Mr. Harrison sees well to describe
the emotions of awe and wonder as “some rags of religious sentiment
surviving” (p. 358), it is not incumbent on me to disprove the fitness
of his expression. I am responsible for nothing whatever beyond the
statement that these emotions will survive. If he shows this conclusion
to be erroneous, then indeed he touches me. This, however, he does not
attempt. Recognizing though he does that this is all I have asserted,
and even exclaiming “is that all!” (p. 358) he nevertheless continues
to father upon me a number of ideas quoted above, which I have neither
expressed nor implied, and asks readers to observe how grotesque is the
fabric formed of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

I enter now on that portion of Mr. Harrison’s last article to which
is specially applicable its title “Agnostic Metaphysics.” In this
he recalls sundry of the insuperable difficulties set forth by Dean
Mansel, in his _Bampton Lectures_, as arising when we attempt to
frame any conception of that which lies beyond the realm of sense.
Accepting, as I did, Hamilton’s general arguments, which Mansel applied
to theological conceptions, I contended in _First Principles_ that
their arguments are valid, only on condition that that which transcends
the relative is regarded not as negative, but as positive; and that
the relative itself becomes unthinkable as such in the absence of a
postulated non-relative. Criticisms on my reasoning allied to those
made by Mr. Harrison, have been made before, and have before been
answered by me. To an able metaphysician, the Rev. James Martineau, I
made a reply which I may be excused here for reproducing, as I cannot
improve upon it:—

          Always implying terms in relation, thought implies that
        both terms shall be more or less defined; and as fast
        as one of them becomes indefinite, the relation also
        becomes indefinite, and thought becomes indistinct. Take
        the case of magnitudes. I think of an inch; I think
        of a foot; and having tolerably-definite ideas of the
        two, I have a tolerably-definite idea of the relation
        between them. I substitute for the foot a mile; and
        being able to represent a mile much less definitely, I
        cannot so definitely think of the relation between an
        inch and a mile—cannot distinguish it in thought from
        the relation between an inch and two miles, as clearly
        as I can distinguish in thought the relation between an
        inch and one foot from the relation between an inch and
        two feet. And now if I endeavor to think of the relation
        between an inch and the 240,000 miles from here to the
        Moon, or the relation between an inch and the 92,000,000
        miles from here to the Sun, I find that while these
        distances, practically inconceivable, have become little
        more than numbers to which I frame no answering ideas,
        so, too, has the relation between an inch and either of
        them become practically inconceivable. Now this partial
        failure in the process of forming thought relations,
        which happens even with finite magnitudes when one of
        them is immense, passes into complete failure when
        one of them cannot be brought within any limits. The
        relation itself becomes unrepresentable at the same
        time that one of its terms becomes unrepresentable.
        Nevertheless, in this case it is to be observed that
        the almost-blank form of relation preserves a certain
        qualitative character. It is still distinguishable as
        belonging to the consciousness of extensions, not to the
        consciousnesses of forces or durations; and in so far
        remains a vaguely-identifiable relation. But now suppose
        we ask what happens when one term of the relation
        has not simply magnitude having no known limits,
        and duration of which neither beginning nor end is
        cognizable, but is also an existence not to be defined?
        In other words, what must happen if one term of the
        relation is not only quantitatively but also
        qualitatively unrepresentable? Clearly in this case
        the relation does not simply cease to be thinkable
        except as a relation of a certain class, but it lapses
        completely. When one of the terms becomes wholly
        unknowable, the law of thought can no longer be
        conformed to; both because one term cannot be present,
        and because relation itself cannot be framed.... In
        brief then, to Mr. Martineau’s objection I reply, that
        the insoluble difficulties he indicates arise here,
        as elsewhere, when thought is applied to that which
        transcends the sphere of thought; and that just as when
        we try to pass beyond phenomenal manifestations to the
        Ultimate Reality manifested, we have to symbolize it
        out of such materials as the phenomenal manifestations
        give us; so we have simultaneously to symbolize the
        connexion between this Ultimate Reality and its
        manifestations, as somehow allied to the connexions
        among the phenomenal manifestations themselves. The
        truth Mr. Martineau’s criticism adumbrates, is that
        the law of thought fails where the elements of thought
        fail; and this is a conclusion quite conformable to
        the general view I defend. Still holding the validity
        of my argument against Hamilton and Mansel, that in
        pursuance of their own principle the Relative is not at
        all thinkable _as such_, unless in contradiction to some
        existence posited, however vaguely, as the other term
        of a relation, conceived however indefinitely; it is
        consistent on my part to hold that in this effort which
        thought inevitably makes to pass beyond its sphere, not
        only does the product of thought become a dim symbol
        of a product, but the process of thought becomes a dim
        symbol of a process; and hence any predicament inferable
        from the law of thought cannot be asserted.[74]

Thus then criticisms like this of Mr. Martineau, often recurring in
one shape or other, and now again made by Mr. Harrison, do not show
the invalidity of my argument, but once more show the imbecility of
human intelligence when brought to bear on the ultimate question.
Phenomenon without noumenon is unthinkable; and yet noumenon cannot
be thought of in the true sense of thinking. We are at once obliged
to be conscious of a reality behind appearance, and yet can neither
bring this consciousness of reality into any shape, nor can bring into
any shape, its connexion with appearance. The forms of our thought,
moulded on experiences of phenomena, as well as the connotations of
our words formed to express the relations of phenomena, involve us in
contradictions when we try to think of that which is beyond phenomena;
and yet the existence of that which is beyond phenomena is a necessary
datum alike of our thoughts and our words. We have no choice but to
accept a formless consciousness of the inscrutable.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot treat with fulness the many remaining issues. To Mr.
Harrison’s statement that it was uncandid in me to implicate him with
the absurdities of the Comtean belief and ritual, notwithstanding his
public utterances, I reply that whereas ten years ago I was led to
think he gave but a qualified adhesion to Comte’s religious doctrine,
such public utterances of his as I have read of late years, fervid
in their eloquence, persuaded me that he had become a much warmer
adherent. On his summary mode of dealing with my criticism of the
Comtean creed some comment is called for. He remarks that there are
“good reasons for declining to discuss with Mr. Spencer the writings
of Comte;” and names, as the first, “that he knows [I know] nothing
whatever about them” (p. 365). Now as Mr. Harrison is fully aware
that thirty years ago I reviewed the English version of those parts
of the Positive Philosophy which treat of Mathematics, Astronomy and
Physics; and as he has referred to the pamphlet in which, ten years
later, I quoted a number of passages from the original to signalize my
grounds of dissent from Comte’s system; I am somewhat surprised by this
statement, and by the still more emphatic statement that to me “the
writings of Comte are, if not the Absolute Unknowable, at any rate the
Absolute Unknown” (p. 365). Doubtless these assertions are effective;
but like many effective assertions they do not sufficiently recognize
the facts. The remaining statements in this division of Mr. Harrison’s
argument, I pass over: not because answers equally adequate with those
I have thus far given do not exist, but because I cannot give them
without entering upon personal questions which I prefer to avoid.

On the closing part of “Agnostic Metaphysics” containing Mr. Harrison’s
own version of the Religion of Humanity, I have at remark, as I find
others remarking, that it amounts, if not to an abandonment of his
original position, still to an entire change of front. Anxious, as he
has professed himself, to retain the “magnificent word, Religion” (p.
504), it now appears that when “the Religion of Humanity” is spoken
of, the usual connotations of the word are to be in a large measure
dropped: to give it these connotations is “to foist in theological
ideas where none are suggested by us” (p. 369). While, in his first
article, one of the objections raised to the “neo-theisms” as well
as “the Unknowable,” was that there is offered “no relation whatever
between worshipper and worshipped” (p. 505) (an objection tacitly
implying that Mr. Harrison’s religion supplies this relation), it now
appears that humanity is not to be worshipped in any ordinary sense;
but that by worship is simply meant “intelligent love and respect
for our human brotherhood,” and that “in plain words, the Religion
of Humanity means recognising your duty to your fellow-man on human
grounds” (p. 369). Certainly this is much less than what I and others
supposed to be included in Mr. Harrison’s version of the Religion of
Humanity. If he preaches nothing more than an ecstatic philanthropy,
few will object; but most will say that his name for it conveyed
to them a much wider meaning. Passing over all this, however, I am
concerned chiefly to point out another extreme misrepresentation made
by Mr. Harrison when discussing my criticism of Comte’s assertion
that “veneration and gratitude” are due to the Great Being Humanity.
After showing why I conceive “veneration and gratitude” are not due
to Humanity, I supposed an opponent to exclaim (putting the passage
within quotation marks) “But surely ‘veneration and gratitude’ are due
somewhere,” since civilized society, with all its products “must be
credited to some agency or other.” [This apostrophe, imagined as coming
from a disciple of Comte, Mr. Harrison, on p. 373, actually represents
as made in my own person!] To this apostrophe I have replied (p. 22)
that “if ‘veneration and gratitude’ are due at all, they are due to
that Ultimate Cause from which Humanity, individually and as a whole,
in common with all other things has proceeded.” Whereupon Mr. Harrison
changes my hypothetical statement into an actual statement. He drops
the “_if_,” and represents me as positively affirming that “veneration
and gratitude” are due somewhere: saying that Mr. Spencer “lavishes
his ‘veneration and gratitude,’ called out by the sum of human
civilization, upon his Unknowable and Inconceivable Postulate” (p.
373). I should have thought that even the most ordinary reader, much
more Mr. Harrison, would have seen that the argument is entirely an
argument _ad hominem_. I deliberately and carefully guarded myself by
the “_if_” against the ascription to me of any opinion, one way or
the other: being perfectly conscious that much is to be said for and
against. The optimist will unhesitatingly affirm that veneration and
gratitude are due; while by the pessimist it will be contended that
they are not due. One who dwells exclusively on what Emerson calls
“the saccharine” principle in things, as illustrated for example in
the adaptation of living beings to their conditions—the becoming
callous to pains that have to be borne, and the acquirement of liking
for labors that are necessary—may think there are good reasons for
veneration and gratitude. Contrariwise, these sentiments may be
thought inappropriate by one who contemplates the fact that there
are some thirty species of parasites which prey upon man, possessing
elaborate appliances for maintaining their hold on or within his body,
and having enormous degrees of fertility proportionate to the small
individual chances their germs have of getting into him and torturing
him. Either view may be supported by masses of evidence; and knowing
this I studiously avoided complicating the issue by taking either
side. As anyone may see who refers back, my sole purpose was that of
showing the absurdity of thinking that “veneration and gratitude” are
due to the product and not to the producer. Yet, Mr. Harrison having
changed my proposition “_if_ they are due, etc.” into the proposition
“they are due, etc.,” laughs over the contradictions in my views which
he deduces, and to which he time after time recurs, commenting on my
“astonishing perversity.”

In this division of Mr. Harrison’s article occur five other cases in
which, after his manner, propositions are made to appear untenable or
ludicrous; though anyone who refers to them as expressed by me will
find them neither the one nor the other. But to show all this would
take much trouble to small purpose. Indeed, I must here close the
discussion, so far as my own desistence enables me. It is a wearisome
and profitless business, this of continually going back on the
record, now to show that the ideas ascribed to me are not the ideas I
expressed, and now to show that the statements my opponent defends are
not the statements he originally made. A controversy always opens side
issues. Each new issue becomes the parent of further ones. The original
questions become obscured in a swarm of collateral questions; and
energies, in my case ill-spared, are wasted to little purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before closing, however, let me again point out that nothing has been
said which calls for change of the views expressed in my first article.

Setting out with the statement that “unlike the ordinary consciousness,
the religious consciousness is concerned with that which lies beyond
the sphere of sense,” I went on to show that the rise of this
consciousness begins among primitive men with the belief in a double
belonging to each individual, which, capable of wandering away from him
during life, becomes his ghost or spirit after death; and that from
this idea of a being eventually distinguished as supernatural, there
develop, in course of time, the ideas of supernatural beings of all
orders up to the highest. Mr. Harrison has alleged that the primitive
religion is not belief in, and propitiation of, the ghost, but is
worship of “physical objects treated frankly as physical objects” (p.
498). That he has disproved the one view and proved the other, no one
will, I think, assert. Contrariwise, he has given occasion for me to
cite weighty authorities against him.

Next it was contended that in the assemblage of supernatural beings
thus originating in each tribe, some, derived from chiefs, were
superior to others; and that, as the compounding and recompounding of
tribes gave origin to societies having social grades and rulers of
different orders, there resulted that conception of a hierarchy of
ghosts or gods which polytheism shows us. Further it was argued that
while, with the growth of civilization and knowledge, the minor
supernatural agents became merged in the major supernatural agent, this
single great supernatural agent, gradually losing the anthropomorphic
attributes at first ascribed, has come in our days to retain but
few of them; and, eventually losing these, will then merge into a
consciousness of an Omnipresent Power to which no attributes can be
ascribed. This proposition has not been contested.

In pursuance of the belief that the religious consciousness naturally
arising, and thus gradually transformed, will not disappear wholly, but
that “however much changed it must continue to exist,” it was argued
that the sentiments which had grown up around the conception of a
personal God, though modified when that conception was modified into
the conception of a Power which cannot be known or conceived, would not
be destroyed. It was held that there would survive, and might even
increase, the sentiments of wonder and awe in presence of a Universe of
which the origin and nature, meaning and destiny, can neither be known
nor imagined; or that, to quote a statement afterwards employed, there
must survive those emotions “which are appropriate to the consciousness
of a Mystery that cannot be fathomed and a Power that is omnipresent.”
This proposition has not been disproved; nor, indeed, has any attempt
been made to disprove it.

Instead of assaults on these propositions to which alone I am
committed, there have been assaults on various propositions
gratuitously attached to them; and then the incongruities evolved have
been represented as incongruities for which I am responsible.

I end by pointing out as I pointed out before, that “while the things I
have said have not been disproved, the things which have been disproved
are things I have not said.”—_Nineteenth Century._



LITERARY NOTICES.


     THE CORRESPONDENCE AND DIARIES OF JOHN WILSON CROKER,
        SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY FROM 1809 TO 1830; A FOUNDER
        AND FOR MANY YEARS A CHIEF CONTRIBUTOR TO THE QUARTERLY
        REVIEW; AND THE POLITICAL, LITERARY OR PERSONAL
        ASSOCIATE OF NEARLY ALL THE LEADING CHARACTERS IN THE
        LIFE OF HIS TIME.
          Edited by Louis J. Jennings. With portrait.
          Two volumes. New York: _Charles Scribner’s Sons_.

John Wilson Croker was one of the most noted men of his day, not
perhaps to the world at large, but to those who knew him in the
important relations he bore to the many distinguished personages
of his era. He knew everybody worth knowing; he was often in the
secret councils of the great; he had an official position of great
confidence; he was a literary man of brilliant ability which he,
however, sometimes used unscrupulously; he was the principal power
in one of the great English reviews, which fifty years ago were
formidable agencies in making and unmaking men and opinions. These
things make his reminiscences highly fascinating. He takes us into the
best company, Wellington, Canning, Lyndhurst, Peel, Lord Ashburton,
Lord Aberdeen, Sir James Graham, Guizot, Metternich, Sir Walter Scott,
Isaac D’Israeli, Lockhart, Madame de Staël and innumerable others of
similar celebrity. It need hardly be said that personal information,
anecdotes and gossip about such people, who filled a large place in
the public eye and mind, are all very fascinating. So we find, on
opening these thick volumes anywhere, a mine of the deepest interest,
and one can hardly go astray in turning over the pages. There can be
no doubt that aside from the personal interest of these reminiscences,
they constitute material of the richest character to the early history
of our century. The only way properly to represent the value of such
a work, is to give extracts from it indicating its quality, and this
we shall propose to do. Among the things to which we shall first call
attention, are the conversations with the Duke of Wellington, taken
down as they occurred. The Iron Duke expressed the following opinion of
his great antagonist, Napoleon, whom it seems he thoroughly despised
as a man, however much he admitted his military genius: “I never was a
believer in him, and I always thought that in the long-run we should
overturn him. He never seemed himself at his ease, and even in the
boldest things he did there was always a mixture of apprehension and
meanness. I used to call him _Jonathan Wild the Great_, and at each
new _coup_ he made I used to cry out ‘Well done, Jonathan,’ to the
great scandal of some of my hearers. But, the truth was, he had no
more care about what was right or wrong, just or unjust, honorable
or dishonorable, than _Jonathan_, though his great abilities, and
the great stakes he played for, threw the knavery into the shade.”
Again, he tells the following of Napoleon: “Buonaparte’s mind was,
in its details, low and ungentlemanlike. I suppose the narrowness of
his early prospects and habits stuck to him; what _we_ understand by
_gentlemanlike_ feelings he knew nothing at all about; I’ll give you a
curious instance.

“I have a beautiful little watch, made by Breguet, at Paris, with a
map of Spain most admirably enamelled on the case. Sir Edward Paget
bought it at Paris, and gave it to me. What do you think the history
of this watch was—at least the history that Breguet told Paget, and
Paget told me? Buonaparte had ordered it as a present to his brother,
the King of Spain, but when he heard of the battle of Vittoria—he was
then at Dresden in the midst of all the preparations and negotiations
of the armistice, and one would think sufficiently busy with other
matters—when he heard of the battle of Vittoria, I say, he remembered
the watch he had ordered for one whom he saw would never be King of
Spain, and with whom he was angry for the loss of the battle, and
he wrote from Dresden to countermand the watch, and if it should be
ready, to forbid its being sent. The best apology one can make for this
strange littleness is, that he was offended with Joseph; but even in
that case, a _gentleman_ would not have taken the moment when the poor
devil had lost his _châteaux en Espagne_, to take away his watch also.”

In a letter to Croker, the duke tells the story of the truth of his
order to the Household troops at Waterloo, “Up, Guards, and at ’em,”
so often quoted as the _mot d’ordre_ of that famous charge which
finally decided the day: “I certainly did not draw my sword. I may have
ordered, and I dare say I did order, the charge of the cavalry, and
pointed out its direction; but I did not charge as a common trooper.

“I have at all times been in the habit of covering as much as possible
the troops exposed to the fire of cannon. I place them behind the top of
the rising ground, and make them sit and lie down, the better to cover
them from the fire.

“After the fire of the enemy’s cannon, the enemy’s troops may have
advanced, or a favorable opportunity of attacking might have arrived.
What I must have said, and possibly did say was, Stand up, Guards! and
then gave the commanding officers the order to attack.

“My common practice in a defensive position was to attack the enemy at
the very moment at which he was about to attack our troops.”

Of Madame De Staël, of whom he saw much in London, he has many
interesting anecdotes. He enlarges on her facial ugliness, redeemed
by an eye of extraordinary brilliancy and meaning, her egotistic
eloquence, her dazzling coruscations of wit, and her mannishness with
a good deal of vigor. On the whole, Croker was not a great admirer
of this brilliant woman, and declares that some of her most pungent
sayings were audacious plagiarisms. He writes: “Moore in his lately
published ‘Life of Sheridan,’ has recorded the laborious care with
which he prepared his _bons-mots_. Madame de Staël condescended to
do the same. The first time I ever saw her was at dinner at Lord
Liverpool’s at Coombe Wood. Sir James Mackintosh was to have been
her guide, and they lost their way, and went to Addiscombe and some
other places by mistake, and when they got at last to Coombe Wood
they were again bewildered, and obliged to get out and walk in the
dark, and through the mire up the road through the wood. They arrived
consequently two hours too late and strange draggled figures, she
exclaiming by way of apology, ‘Coombe par ci, Coombe par là; nous avons
été par tous les Coombes de l’Angleterre.’ During dinner she talked
incessantly but admirably, but several of her apparently spontaneous
_mots_ were borrowed or prepared. For instance, speaking of the
relative states of England and the Continent at that period, the high
notion we had formed of the danger to the world from Buonaparte’s
despotism, and the high opinion the Continent had formed of the riches,
strength, and spirit of England; she insisted that these opinions were
both just, and added with an elegant _élan_, ‘Les étrangers sont la
postérité contemporaine.’ This striking expression I have since found
in the journal of Camille Desmoulins.”

Several very funny stories were told him by Sir Walter Scott, as among
the traditions of Dr. Johnson’s visit to Scotland, and certainly they
well establish the reputation of this great man as a rude and unsocial
bear, except when he chose to be otherwise: “At Glasgow, Johnson had
a meeting with Smith (Adam Smith), which terminated strangely. John
Millar used to report that Smith, obviously much discomposed, came into
a party who were playing at cards. The Doctor’s appearance suspended
the amusement, for as all knew he was to meet Johnson that evening,
every one was curious to hear what had passed. Adam Smith, whose
temper seemed much ruffled, answered only at first, ‘He is a brute!
he is a brute!’ Upon closer examination it appeared that Dr. Johnson
no sooner saw Smith than he brought forward a charge against him for
something in his famous letter on the death of Hume. Smith said he had
vindicated the truth of the statement. ‘And what did the Doctor say?’
was the universal query: ‘Why, he said—he said—’ said Smith, with the
deepest impression of resentment, ‘he said—“_You lie!_”’ ‘And what did
you reply?’ ‘I said, “You are a————!”’ On such terms did these
two great moralists meet and part, and such was the classic dialogue
betwixt them.

“Johnson’s rudeness possibly arose from his retaining till late in life
the habits of a pedagogue, who is a man among boys and a boy among
men, and having the bad taste to think it more striking to leap over
the little differences and courtesies which form the turnpike gates in
society, and which fly open on payment of a trifling tribute. The _auld
Dominie_ hung vilely about him, and was visible whenever he was the
coaxed man of the company—a sad symptom of a _parvenu_. A lady who was
still handsome in the decline of years, and must have been exquisitely
beautiful when she was eighteen, dined in company with Johnson, and was
placed beside him at table with no little awe of her neighbor. He then
always drank lemonade, and the lady of the house desired Miss S——h to
acquaint him there was some on the sideboard. He made no answer except
an indistinct growl. ‘Speak louder, Miss S——h, the Doctor is deaf.’
Another attempt, with as little success. ‘You do not speak loud enough
yet, my dear Miss S——h.’ The lady then ventured to raise her voice as
high as misses of eighteen may venture in the company of old doctors,
and her description of the reply was that she heard an internal
grumbling like Etna before explosion, which rolled up his mouth, and
there formed itself into the distinct words, ‘When I want any, I’ll
ask for it,’ which were the only words she heard him speak during
the day. Even the sirup food of flattery was rudely repelled if not
cooked to his mind. I was told that a gentleman called Pot, or some
such name, was introduced to him as a particular admirer of his. The
Doctor growled and took no further notice. ‘He admires in especial your
“Irene” as the finest tragedy of modern times,’ to which the Doctor
replied, ‘If Pot says so, Pot lies!’ and relapsed into his reverie.”

Croker was in Paris during the days after Waterloo, just subsequent to
the accession of the Bourbon dynasty, and he is full of anecdotes of
the people he met there, among others Talleyrand and Fouché.

“_July 17th._—We dined yesterday at Castlereagh’s with, besides the
Embassy, Talleyrand, Fouché, Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr, and the Baron
de Vitrolles, Lords Cathcart, Clancarty, Stewart, and Clive, and two
ladies, the Princesse de Vaudemont, a fat, ugly old woman, and a
Mademoiselle Chasse, her friend, a pretty young one. At so quiet a
dinner you may judge there was not much interesting conversation, and
accordingly I have not often been at a dinner of which I had less to
tell. The wonder was to find ourselves at table with Fouché, who, to be
sure, looks very like what one would naturally suppose him to be—a sly
old rogue; but I think he seems to feel a passion of which I did not
expect to find him capable; I mean _shame_, for he looks conscious and
embarrassed. He is a man about 5ft. 7in. high, very thin, with a grey
head, cropped and powdered, and a very acute expression of countenance.
Talleyrand, on the other hand, is fattish for a Frenchman; his ankles
are weak and his feet deformed, and he totters about in a strange way.
His face is not at all expressive, except it be of a kind of drunken
stupor; in fact, he looks altogether like an old fuddled, lame, village
schoolmaster, and his voice is deep and hoarse. I should suspect that
at the Congress his most natural employment would be keeping the unruly
boys in order. We dined very late—that is, for Paris, for we were not
at table till half-past six.”

Macaulay hated Croker bitterly, on account of the latter’s severe
critiques on him in _The Quarterly_, and in no way was any love lost
between the two men. This personal quarrel is described in an amusing
way. Croker, by the way, was just as bitterly hated by Disraeli: though
the former had been a highly esteemed friend of Disraeli the elder,
author of the “Curiosities of Literature.” Among the amenities of the
Macaulay squabble we have the following:

          “Macaulay, as it clearly appears from his own letters,
        was irritated beyond measure by Croker; he grew to
        ‘detest’ him. Then he began casting about for some means
        of revenge. This would seem incredible if he had not,
        almost in so many words, revealed the secret. In July,
        1831, he wrote thus: ‘That impudent, leering Croker
        congratulated the House on the proof which I had given
        of my readiness. He was afraid, he said, that I had been
        silent so long on account of the many allusions which
        had been made to Calne. Now that I had risen again he
        hoped that they should hear me often. _See whether I do
        not dust that valet’s jacket for him in the next number
        of the Blue and Yellow._ I _detest him_ more than cold
        boiled veal.’ From that time forth he waited impatiently
        for his opportunity to settle his account with Mr.
        Croker.

          “In the previous month of March he had been looking out
        eagerly for the publication of the ‘Boswell.’ ‘_I will
        certainly review Croker’s “Boswell” when it comes
        out_,’ he wrote to Mr. Napier. He was on the watch for
        it, not with the object of doing justice to the book,
        but of ‘dusting the jacket’ of the author. But as his
        letters had not yet betrayed his malice to the world,
        he gravely began the dusting process by remarking,
        ‘This work has greatly disappointed us.’ What did he
        hope for, when he took it up, but precisely such a
        ‘disappointment?’ ‘Croker,’ he wrote, ‘looks across
        the House of Commons at me with a leer of hatred,
        which I repay with a gracious smile of pity.’ He had
        cultivated his animosity of Croker until it became a
        morbid passion. Yet it is conceivable that he did not
        intend posterity to see him in the picture drawn by his
        own hand, spending his time in the House of Commons
        straining his eyes to see if there was a ‘leer’ on
        Croker’s countenance, and returning it with gracious
        smiles of pity.”

Among the budget of anecdotes so profusely strewn through the book,
the following may be given at random. The following is from a letter
of Lady Ashburton to Croker, and reflects severely on one of the suave
defects of Sir Robert Peel, then recently returned from office: “I
must tell you an anecdote of Sir Bobby. If you read the list of people
congregated to see his pictures, you will have seen there, not only all
the artists, drawing-masters, men of science, but reporters and writers
for journals. Thackeray, who furnishes the wit for ‘Punch,’ told Milnes
that the ex-Minister came up to him and said, with the blandest smile:
‘Mr. Thackeray, I am rejoiced to see you. I have read with delight
_every line_ you ever wrote,’ Thackeray would have been better pleased
if the compliment had not included all his works; so, to turn the
subject, he observed that it must be a great gratification to live
surrounded by such interesting objects of art. Sir R. replied: ‘I can
assure you that it does not afford me the same satisfaction as finding
myself in such society as yours!!!’ This seeking popularity by fulsome
praise will not succeed.”

Here we have a capital French story:

“Old Languet, the celebrated Curé of St. Sulpice, was remarkable and
disagreeable for the importunity with which he solicited subscriptions
for finishing his church, which is not yet finished. One day at supper,
where Cardinal de Fleury was, he happened to say that he had seen his
Eminence’s portrait at some painter’s. The old Cardinal, who was stingy
in private as well as economical in public expenditure, was glad to
raise a laugh at the troublesome old curé, and replied, ‘I dare swear,
then, you asked it (the picture) to subscribe;’ ‘Oh, no, my Lord,’ said
Languet, ‘it was too like!’”

The richness of the following situation could hardly be paralleled:

“Every one knows the story of a gentleman’s asking Lord North who
‘that frightful woman was?’ and his lordship’s answering, that is my
wife. The other, to repair his blunder, said I did not mean _her_,
but that monster next to her. ‘Oh,’ said Lord North, ‘that monster is
my daughter.’ With this story Frederick Robinson, in his usual absent
enthusiastic way, was one day entertaining a lady whom he sat next to
at dinner, and lo! the lady was Lady Charlotte Lindsay—the monster in
question.”

These chance excerpts (and just as good things lie scattered on every
page, so as to make a veritable _embarras des richesses_), indicate the
character of the book, and how amply it will repay, both for pleasure
and instruction, the reader who sits down to peruse it. Few works of
recent times are so compact and meaty in just those qualities which
make a work valuable alike for reference and continuous perusal.


        THE STORY OF MY LIFE. By J. Marion Sims, M.D., L.L.D..
           Edited by his son, H. Marion Sims, M.D.
           New York: _D. Appleton & Co._

The great name of Dr. Marion Sims in gynæcology, or the treatment
of women’s diseases, has never been equalled in the same line in
America, and the story of his life related in language of the plainest
homespun is quite a fascinating record. Dr. Sims has several titles
to fame, which we think will secure the perpetuity of his name in the
annals of surgery and medicine. These are: his treatment and care
of vesico-vaginal fistula, a most loathsome disease, before deemed
incurable; his invention of the speculum; his exposition of the true
pathology and method of treatment of trismus nascentium, or the lockjaw
of infants; and the fact that he was the founder and organizer of “The
Woman’s Hospital, of the State of New York,” the first institution ever
endowed exclusively for the treatment of women’s diseases.

J. Marion Sims was a native of Alabama, and was educated academically
in the Charleston College. His account of his early struggles for
an education (for though born of a well-to-do family, money was not
over plenty in his father’s home), is very entertaining, and the
anecdotes of his juvenile life among a people full of idiosyncracies,
are marked by humor and point. His medical education was completed at
Jefferson College, Philadelphia, an institution which, ranking very
high to-day, had no rival in the country half a century since. It is
to be observed that Dr. Sims has a very graphic and simple method
of telling his story, showing a genuine mastery of the fundamental
idea of good writing, though he is always without pretence, and takes
occasion from time to time to deplore his own faults as a literary
worker. Yet no contributions to medical literature, aside from their
intrinsic value have been more admired than his for their simple, clear
force, and luminous treatment. After practising for several years
as a country doctor, our great embryo surgeon moved to the city of
Montgomery and began to devote himself more exclusively to operative
surgery, the branch in which his talents so palpably ran. It was at
Montgomery that he became specially interested in women’s diseases, and
began to experiment on methods of treating one of the most loathsome
and hitherto incurable diseases, which afflict woman, vesico-vaginal
fistula, a trouble so often produced by childbirth. Dr. Sims practised
on slave women, and turned his house and yard into a veritable
hospital, spending a large part of his income in his enthusiastic
devotion to the great discovery on the track of which he was moving.
At last, he perfected the method of the operation, and made peculiar
instruments for it. What had been impossible, he now performed with
almost unerring certainty, and rarely lost a case. This became
heralded abroad, and the name of Dr. Sims was discussed in New York
and Philadelphia, as one who had made one of the most extraordinary
discoveries in operative surgery.

His own health had been bad for years; and, as a Southern climate did
not agree with him, he went to New York to live in 1852. Though at
first he had a hard struggle, he fought his way with the same rugged
pertinacity which he had previously shown. He was assailed with the
bitterest professional jealousies, but, nothing daunted him, and he
finally succeeded in founding his woman’s hospital, through the help
of the wealthy and generous women of New York. His great discovery was
attempted to be stolen from him by his envious rivals, but he had no
trouble in establishing his right to the glory. He overbore all the
opposition made against him, and settled his own reputation as one of
the greatest surgeons of this or any age. In 1861, when the war broke
out, Dr. Sims, who was strong in his secession sympathies, determined
to take his family to Europe, so bitter was the feeling against him in
New York. He went to Paris, and in a very short time his remarkable and
original method of treating vesico-vaginal fistula, by means of silver
sutures, gave him a European reputation, and honors were showered on
him from all sides. The great surgeons of Europe freely credited him
with the glory of having struck out an entirely new and splendid path
in surgery, and his operations in the leading hospitals of Paris,
London, Brussels and Berlin, were always brilliant ovations, always
attended by the most prominent men in the profession, and a swarm
of enthusiastic students. He also secured a very lucrative private
practice, and performed cures which were heralded as phenomenal in
medical books and journals. At different times he was the physician
of the Empress of the French, of the Queen of England, and of other
royal and distinguished personages. Patients came to him from the most
distant quarters, and though a large portion of his time was given to
hospital practice, his fees were very large and lucrative. His fame
was now established on a secure basis, and the greatest men in Europe
freely acknowledged in Dr. Sims their peer. Though the most seductive
offers were made to him, to settle permanently both in London and
Paris, his heart was among his own countrymen. So at the close of the
war he returned to New York. His most important work thenceforward was
in connection with the Woman’s Hospital, though he treated innumerable
private cases among the wealthy classes. The memoir proper ends with
his Parisian career, and the rest of Dr. Sims’s life is told in the
preface. He died in 1883, and so indomitable was his professional
devotion, that he took notes and memoranda of his own disease up to a
brief period before death. The life of Dr. Sims, while interesting to
the general reader, will be found peculiarly valuable and attractive by
professional men. A large portion of the book is given to a detailed
description of the various steps which he took in experimenting on
vesico-vaginal fistula, and of the difficulties which he so patiently
and at last so triumphantly surmounted. In addition to his professional
greatness, Dr. Sims was greatly beloved for the virtues of his private
life. He was in the latter years a most sincere and devout Christian,
and succeeded in avoiding that taint of scepticism, which so often
shows itself in the medical fraternity.


     OUR GREAT BENEFACTORS. SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THE MEN AND
        WOMEN MOST EMINENT IN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY,
        PHILANTHROPY, ART, ETC.
        Edited by Samuel Adams Drake,
             Author of “New England Legends and Folk-Lore,”
             etc. With Nearly One Hundred Portraits Emblematically
             Embellished.
        Boston: _Roberts Brothers_.

This volume of something over five hundred pages, is very briefly, but
yet truthfully, summed up in its title. The biographies are short and
well written, and the author knows how to be graphic and picturesque
without being in the least diffuse. He has selected the great leading
personages in the arts of peace, who have exemplified human progress
among the English speaking races, and given short sketches of them
in chronological order. Boys will be specially interested in such a
volume, and find in it both amusement and benefit. History has been
defined as “philosophy teaching by example.” If this is the case with
history, it is still more true of biography, for the concrete flesh
and blood facts are brought much nearer home to the imagination than
can be possible in history. The sketches vary from five to fifteen
pages long, and are completely given, omitting no essential fact in the
career, or essential trait in the character of those treated. The book
is beautifully embellished with portraits.


       LIFE OF MARY WOOLSTONECRAFT.
          By Elizabeth Robins Pennell.
          Boston: _Roberts Brothers_.

This last volume in the “Famous Women” Series is one of much interest.
The wife of William Godwin (the author of “Political Justice,” “Caleb
Williams,” “St. Leon,” and other books distinguished in their day)
and the mother of the wife of the poet Shelley, her life was one of
singular intellectual significance and full of pathetic personal
romance. Mary Woolstonecraft was born and bred under conditions which
fostered great mental and moral independence. She chafed under the
restraints of her sex, and was one of the first to embody in her
life and theories that protest against the position of comparative
inequality in her sex, which has of recent years been the battle-cry
of a very considerable body of both men and women. It is only just to
say, however, that very few of her successors have carried the doctrine
of personal rights so far as she did; for it is a fact beyond dispute
that she lived openly as the mistress of two men successively, Gilbert
Imlay an American, and William Godwin. The latter she married only
to legalize the birth of the child which she expected soon to bring
into the world, and whose birth was at the price of the mother’s life.
While her social errors are to be deplored, even those most downright
in condemning such departures from the established order of things,
when they look into all the circumstances of her life are disposed
to palliate them. Certainly it must be admitted that, in spite of
her deviation from that path which society so rigidly and properly
exacts from woman, Mary Woolstonecraft was a person of singularly
noble and pure instincts. We cannot go into the full explanation of
this paradox, and only hope that many will read the full account of
her life, if for no other reason, to find an illustration of the fact
that a sinner may sometimes be as noble and upright as the saint, and
that doctrinarianism in morals as well as in politics, finds many
an exception to the truth of its logic. Mary Woolstonecraft worked
enthusiastically for the elevation of her sex, nor did she ever seek
to enforce as a rule to be followed, that freedom of action which she
conceived to be justified by her own case. The earlier part of her life
was singularly stormy and tragic, and when her lover, Imlay, whom she
looked on as her husband, deserted her, she attempted to commit
suicide. When, at last, she met Godwin, her spirit had recovered from
the shock she had received, she was recognized as an intellectual force
in England, and her society was sought for and valued by many of the
worthiest and most distinguished people in England. Her connection
with Godwin, which was finally consecrated by marriage, was one of
great personal and intellectual happiness. Her labors for the rights
of woman, her fine appeals for national education, and her many
tractates on not a few social, political, and moral questions, are
marked by acuteness, breadth, and eloquence of statement. The author,
Mrs. Pennell, has performed her labor with a nice and discriminating
touch. While she does not pass lightly over the errors of her heroine,
she recognizes what was peculiar in her position, and how a woman of
her views could deliberately act in such a manner without essentially
falling from her high pedestal as a pure woman. The author has given
the world an interesting book not unworthy of the series, and one that
happily illustrates the fact that two and two may make five and not
four, though it would not do for the world to figure out its arithmetic
on this principle.


     PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. By John Stuart Mill.
        Arranged with Critical, Bibliographical and
        Explanatory Notes, and A Sketch of the History of
        Political Economy, by J. Laurence McLaughlin, Ph.D.,
        Ass’t. Professor of Political Economy in Harvard
        University. A Text-Book for Colleges.
        New York: _D. Appleton & Co._

The views of John Stuart Mill, one of the clearest and strongest
thinkers on this and kindred subjects, of our century, on political
economy, have been so often discussed in all manner of forms, from
elaborate disquisitions to newspaper articles, that it is not
needed now to enter into any explanation of the differences which
distinguished him from the rest of his brother philosophers. The object
of the present edition is to add to the body of Mill’s opinion the
results of later thinking, which do not militate against his views;
with such illustrations as fit the Mill system better for American
students, by turning their attention to the facts peculiar to this
country. Mill’s two volumes have been abridged into one, and while
their lucidity is not impaired, the system is put into a much more
compact and readable form, care being taken to avoid technicality and
abstractness. Prof. McLaughlin’s own notes and additions (inserted
into the body of the text in smaller type) are printed in smaller type
so as to be readily distinguished. This compact arrangement of Mill’s
economical philosophy will attract many readers, who were frightened by
the large and complete edition.


     A REVIEW OF THE HOLY BIBLE. CONTAINING THE OLD AND
          NEW TESTAMENTS. By Edward B. Latch.
          Philadelphia: _J. B. Lippincott & Co._

Whether this work will be regarded as throwing any light on the sacred
Scriptures, depends on the credulity of the reader, and his pious
sympathies. After a casual perusal of the work, it is difficult to
see any good end it serves, except so far as all exegetical comment
may be of value. The number of such books is already legion, and
their multiplication is a weariness to the flesh. The comments made
by Mr. Leach, whom we judge by implication to be a layman, are such
as any good orthodox preacher might make from his pulpit or in the
prayer-meeting room. While they are not distinguished by any noticeable
freshness and originality, they are soundly stated, accurate orthodoxy.
We fancy that many a poor pious soul in the depths of country
farm-houses will get spiritual refreshment, and certainly she will not
be likely to find much to clash with her prejudices.


     THE YOUNG FOLKS’ JOSEPHUS. THE ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS
          AND THE JEWISH WARS. Simplified by William Shepard.
          Philadelphia: _J. B. Lippincott & Co._

Every year sees more of that sort of emasculation of standard
historians, annalists and others, adapted to make their matter not
only cleanly, but easily within the childish grasp. While there are
many reasons to deplore the necessity of doing this on the same
principle that one hates to see any noble work mutilated even of its
faults, there is enough advantage to justify it perhaps. The author
has simplified and condensed the history of the Jews by their great
annalist with taste and good judgment, by no means as easy a task as
it looks. We get all the stories of a special interest very neatly
told, properly arranged in chronological order, and put in sufficiently
simple language to meet the intelligence of youngsters. The work
is handsomely illustrated, beautifully printed, and altogether a
creditable piece of typography and binding. It will make a nice holiday
book for reading boys and girls, and we fancy that this is the special
reason for its being.



FOREIGN LITERARY NOTES.


Japanese newspaper enterprise is making rapid progress. It is stated
that no less than three vernacular newspapers published at Tokio and
one at Kobe have sent special correspondents to report the events of
the war in China.

       *       *       *       *       *

From various quarters of the world reports are received of the
operations of the Society for Propagating the French Language, which
receives the full support of the Government and officials of the
Republic. It is doing its work in some places where English would
be expected to be maintained. For the promotion of our language no
effort is made, as an attempt of the Society of St. George met with no
practical result. It is true that the growth of population is adding to
the hundred millions of the English-speaking races, but there are many
regions where the language is neglected.

       *       *       *       *       *

The event in literary circles in Constantinople is the appearance of
the second volume of the history of Turkey by Ahmed Jevdet Pasha. How
many years he has been engaged on this work we do not know, but at
all events a quarter of a century, and as he has been busy in high
office throughout the time his perseverance is the more remarkable. He
was among the first of the Ulema to acquire European languages, which
he did for the express purpose of this work. He has also co-operated
actively in promoting the local school of history.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the last meeting but one of the New Shakspeare Society, Mr. Ewald
Flügel, of Leipsic, read some early eighteenth-century German opinions
on Shakspere which amused his hearers. They were from the works of his
great-grandfather Mencke, a celebrated professor of his day, who was
also the ancestor of Prince Bismarck’s wife. In 1700 Mencke declared
that “Certainly Dryden was the most excellent of English poets; in
every kind of poetry, but especially as a writer of tragedies. In
tragedy he was neither inferior to the French Corneille nor the
English Shakspere; and the latter he the more excelled inasmuch as
he (Dryden) was more versed in literature.” In 1702, Mencke reported
Dryden’s opinion that Shakspere was inferior to Ben Jonson, if not in
genius, yet certainly in art and finish, though Hales thought Shakspere
superior to every poet, then living or dead. In 1725, Mencke quoted
Richard Carew’s opinion (in Camden’s _Remaines_, 1614) that Catullus
had found his equal in Shakspere and Marlowe [Barlovius; Carew’s
“Barlow”]; and in his dictionary, 1733, Mencke gave the following
notice of Shakspere, “William Shakspere, an English dramatist, was born
at Stratford in 1654, was badly educated, and did not understand Latin;
nevertheless, he became a great poet. His genius was comical, but he
could be very serious, too; was excellent in tragedies, and had many
subtle and interesting controversies with Ben Jonson; but no one was
any the better for all these. He died at Stratford in 1616, April 23,
53 years old. His comedies and tragedies—and many did he write—have
been printed together in six parts in 1709 at London, and are very much
appreciated.”

       *       *       *       *       *

There are now in London two societies for philosophical discussion—the
Aristotelian and the Philosophical. The latter society was founded last
winter under the chairmanship of Mr. J. S. Stuart-Glennie. Green’s
_Prolegomena to Ethics_ having been the general subject of discussion
during the year, the chairman brought the first year to a close last
month with a valedictory address on “The Criteria of Truth.” It is
proposed to continue the discussion of this subject in taking up Mr.
Herbert Spencer’s _Psychology_, and beginning with Part VII., “General
Analysis.” The society meets at Dr. Williams’s Library at eight o’clock
on the fourth Thursday of every month from October to July.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. H. C. Maxwell Lyte is now so far advanced with the history of the
University of Oxford, upon which he has been engaged for some years,
that an instalment of it, tracing the growth of the University from the
earliest times to the revival of learning, is likely to be published by
Messrs. Macmillan & Co. early in the coming year. This volume will be
complete in itself, and accordingly provided with an index of its own.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cercle de la Librairie at Paris intends to open an exhibition of
the designs of Gustave Doré for the illustration of books. Many noted
French firms—Hachette, Mame, Jouvet, Hetzel, and Calmann Lévy—will
contribute, and so will _Le Journal pour Rire_, the _Monde Illustré_,
&c. Foreign publishers are also invited to take part.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the opening of the winter season of the Arts Club in Manchester,
Mr. J. H. Nodal stated that more books were written and published
in Manchester than anywhere else in the kingdom, with the exception
of London and Edinburgh, and that he believed that Manchester as a
music-publishing centre came next to London.



MISCELLANY.


HELIGOLAND AS A STRATEGICAL ISLAND.—Regarded from a
_strategical_ point of view, the situation of Heligoland, only a few
miles off from the mouths of the Elbe and Weser rivers, and commanding
the sea entrance to the important trade centres of Bremen and Hamburg,
is of considerable importance. Although any hostile differences between
England and Germany are not very probable, in military circles in
Germany an agitation has been going on for some years to ensure its
possession by that country, as a necessary part of the coast defence
of the empire; and this suggestion has been powerfully supported by
Vice-Admiral Henck in the _German Review_, vol. ii. 1882. It has been
proposed to purchase the island from England, but a great many object
to the cost of the purchase, and the expense of the fortifications.
Some, indeed, go further than the military strategists, and say that
the abolition of the Heligoland Constitution in 1868 was illegitimate,
because it was in violation of old rights and explicit assurances;
destitute of well-grounded justification, because its ostensible
objects could have been more successfully attained by other means;
inadequate, because it failed to secure in any considerable degree
the results which it proposed to seek. It must be here mentioned that
a very good reason against any cession, voluntary or by sale, of the
island to Germany, is the probability of the misconstruction of such an
act by France, who, liable at any moment to a war with that country,
would see in England handing over Heligoland to her possible foe, for
the purpose of being formed into a marine fortress to defend the mouths
of the Elbe and the Weser, or into a naval depôt, an aid to Germany in
defence against that which France possesses, next to England, the most
powerful means of attacking, namely, her preponderance in naval power.
England and Germany are not likely to be embroiled in war, England and
France are too closely connected all over the world to wish to be so.
If Germany and France unfortunately come to blows again, England can
exercise the benevolent neutrality of 1870, and proudly, firmly, but
calmly, remain in possession of her distant island.—_Army and Navy
Magazine._


HOW THE COLDSTREAMS GOT THEIR MOTTO.—The Coldstreams were
raised in the year 1650, in the little town near Berwick-on-Tweed
from whence the regiment takes its name. Their first colonel was the
renowned George Monk (afterwards Duke of Albemarle), a General in the
Parliamentary army and an Admiral of the fleet. It is owing to this
latter fact that a small Union Jack is permitted to be borne on the
Queen’s color of the regiment, a proud distinction enjoyed by no other
corps in the service. In the year 1660 brave Monk and his gallant
Coldstreamers materially assisted in the happy restoration of the
English monarchy, and to perform this patriotic and eminently loyal act
they marched from Berwick-on-Tweed to London, meeting with a warm and
enthusiastic greeting from the inhabitants of the towns and villages
through which they passed. After the Restoration was accomplished the
troops were paraded on Tower Hill for the purpose of taking the oath
of allegiance to the King, and among those present were the three
noble regiments that form the subject of this brief history. Having
grounded their arms in token of submission to the new _régime_, they
were at once commanded to take them up again as the First, Second and
Third Regiments of Foot Guards. The First and Third Regiments obeyed,
but the Coldstreamers stood firm, and their muskets remained upon
the ground. “Why does your regiment hesitate?” inquired the King of
General Monk. “May it please your Majesty,” said the stern old soldier,
“my Coldstreamers are your Majesty’s devoted soldiers, but after the
important service they have rendered your Highness they decline to take
up arms as second to any other regiment in your Majesty’s service!”
“They are right,” said the King, “and they shall be ‘second to none.’
Let them take up their arms as my Coldstream regiment of Foot Guards.”
Monk rode back to his regiment and communicated to it the King’s
decision. It had a magical effect. The arms were instantly raised amid
frantic cries of “Long live the King!” Since this event the motto of
the regiment has been _Nulli Secundus_, which is borne in gold letters
upon its colors beneath the star and garter of the Royal House. There
also appear upon its colors the names of “Lincelles,” “Egypt” (with
the Sphinx), “Talavera,” “Barrosa,” “Peninsula,” “Waterloo,” “Alma,”
“Inkerman,” and “Sevastopol.” In the year 1850 this regiment held its
jubilee banquet to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of its
birth.—_London Society._



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Popular Astronomy, p. 145.

[2] The Observatory, No. 43, p. 613.

[3] Nature, vol. xxv. p. 537.

[4] Silvered glass is considerably more reflective than speculum-metal,
and Mr. Common’s 36-inch mirror can be but slightly inferior in
luminous capacity to the Lick objective. It is, however, devoted almost
exclusively to celestial photography, in which it has done splendid
service. The Paris 4-foot mirror bent under its own weight when placed
in the tube in 1875, and has not since been remounted.

[5] E. Holden, “The Lick Observatory,” Nature, vol. xxv. p. 298.

[6] Monthly Notices, R. Astr. Soc. vol. xiv. p. 133 (1854).

[7] Phil. Trans. vol. cxlviii. p. 455.

[8] Captain Jacob unfortunately died August 16, 1862, when about to
assume the direction of a hill observatory at Poonah.

[9] The height of the mercury at Guajara is 21·7 to 22 inches.

[10] Phil. Trans. vol. cxlviii. p. 477.

[11] We are told that three American observers in the Rocky Mountains,
belonging to the Eclipse Expedition of 1878, easily saw Jupiter’s
satellites night after night with the naked eye. That their discernment
is possible, even under comparatively disadvantageous circumstances
is rendered certain by the well-authenticated instance (related by
Humboldt, “Cosmos,” vol. iii. p. 66, Otte’s trans.) of a tailor named
Schön, who died at Breslau in 1837. This man habitually perceived the
first and third, but never could see the second or fourth Jovian moons.

[12] Sir W. Herschel’s great undertakings, Bessel remarks (“Populäre
Vorlesungen,” p. 15), “were directed rather towards a physical
description of the heavens, than to astronomy proper.”

[13] Am. Jour. of Science, vol. xiii. p. 89.

[14] The characteristic orange line (D_{3}) of this unknown substance,
has recently been identified by Professor Palmieri in the spectrum of
lava from Vesuvius—a highly interesting discovery, if verified.

[15] The Sun, p. 193.

[16] R. D. Cutts, “Bulletin of the Philosophical Society of
Washington,” vol. i. p. 70.

[17] This instrument may be described as an electric balance of the
utmost conceivable delicacy. The principle of its construction is
that the conducting power of metals is diminished by raising their
temperature. Thus, if heat be applied to one only of the wires
forming a circuit in which a galvanometer is included, the movement
of the needle instantly betrays the disturbance of the electrical
equilibrium. The conducting wires or “balance arms” of the bolometer
are platinum strips 1/120th of an inch wide and 1/25000 of an inch
thick, constituting metallic _antennæ_ sensitive to the chill even of
the fine dark lines in the solar spectrum, or to changes of temperature
estimated at 1/100000 of a degree Centigrade.

[18] Defined by the tint of the second hydrogen-line, the bright
reversal of Fraunhofer’s F. The sun would also seem—adopting a medium
estimate—three or four times as brilliant as he now does.

[19] Annales de Chimie et de Physique, t. x. p. 360.

[20] S. P. Langley, “Nature,” vol. xxvi. p. 316.

[21] Sir J. Herschel’s estimate of the “temperature of space” was
239°F.; Pouillet’s 224°F. below zero. Both are almost certainly much
too high. See Taylor, “Bull. Phil. Soc. Washington,” vol. ii. p. 73;
and Croll, “Nature,” vol. xxi, p. 521.

[22] This is true only of the “normal spectrum,” formed by reflection
from a “grating” on the principle of interference. In the spectrum
produced by refraction, the red rays are _huddled together_ by the
distorting effect of the prism through which they are transmitted.

[23] Am. Jour. of Science, vol. xx. p. 36.

[24] Am. Jour. of Science, vol. xx. p. 41.

[25] Report of the Paris Observatory, “Astronomical Register,”
Oct. 1883; and “Observatory,” No. 75.

[26] Hipp. ad Phaenomena, lib. i. cap. xiv.

[27] Cosmos, vol. iii. p. 272 _note_.

[28] Am. Jour. of Science, vol. xx. p. 437.

[29] Nature, vol. xxiii. p. 19.

[30] An expression used by Mr. Warren de la Rue.

[31] Optice, p. 107 (2nd ed. 1719.) “Author’s Monitio”
dated July 16, 1717.

[32] “Der grosse Mann, der edle Pedagog, Der, sich zum Ruhm,
ein Heldenvolk erzogen.”

[33] “Zwar sind sie an das Beste nicht gewöhnt, Allein sie
haben schrecklich viel gelesen.”

[34] “Zwanzig Jahre liess sich gehn
      Und genoss was mir beschieden;
      Eine Reihe völlig schön
      Wie die Zeit der Barmeciden.”
                          —_West. Div._

[35] “Sicherlich es muss das Beste Irgendwo zu finden sein.”

[36] “Dass die Welt, wie sie auch kreise,
      Liebevoll und dankbar sei.”

[37] “Will ich in Kunst und Wissenschaft,
      Wie immer, protestiren.”

[38] “An diese Religion halten wir fest, aber auf eine eigene Weise.”

[39] “Was kann der Mensch im Leben mehr gewinnen,
      Als dass ihm Gott-Natur sich offenbare?”

[40] “Von der Société St. Simonien bitte Dich fern zu halten;” so he
writes to Carlyle.

[41] “Usi Natalizi, Nuziali e Funebri del Popolo Siciliano
descritti da G. Pitrè.”

[42] Edward, second Earl. His father, Robert Harley, first Earl, was
Treasurer under Queen Anne.

[43] The friend and correspondent of Dean Swift, Mrs. Delany, and other
people of note in her day.

[44] This criticism was passed in reference to the comic scenes in
“Henry IV.” and “Henry V.”

[45] A Cornish borough, now disfranchised.

[46] See Eclectic Magazine for December, 1884.

[47] Egypt, No. 1, 1878.

[48] Egypt, No. 9, 1884.

[49] See Egypt, No. 12, p, 132-133.

[50] _Times_, September 12.

[51] See Egypt, No. 12, p. 226.

[52] Egypt, No. 8, 6.

[53] Ibid., No. 12, 169.


[54] I learn that the Committee has now been formed for the purpose of
raising a statue to the memory of Schopenhauer. The following is a list
of members:—Ernest Rénan; Max Müller of Oxford; Brahmane Ragot Rampal
Sing; Von Benningsen, formerly President of the German Reichstag;
Rudolf von Thering, the celebrated Romanist of Göttingen; Gyldea, the
astronomer from Stockholm; Funger, President of the Imperial Court
(Reichsgericht) of Vienna; Wilhelm Gentz of Berlin; Otto Böhtlingk of
the Imperial Academy of Russia; Karl Hillebrand of Florence; Francis
Bowen, Professor at Harvard College in the United States; Professor
Rudolf Leuckart of Leipzig; Hans von Wolzogen of Bayreuth; Professor F.
Zarncke of Leipzig; Ludwig Noiré of Mayence; and Emile de Laveleye of
Liège.

[55] On April 20, 1731, the English vessel _Rebecca_, Captain Jenkins,
is visited by the coast-guards of Havanna, who accuse the captain of
smuggling military goods. They find none on board, but they ill-treat
him by hanging him first to the yard and fastening the cabin boy to his
feet. The rope breaks, however, and they then proceed to cut off one of
his ears, telling him to take it to his king. Jenkins returns to London
and claims vengeance. Pope writes verses about his ear, but England
did not choose to quarrel with Spain just then, and all is apparently
forgotten. Eight years after, some insults offered by the Spaniards
to English vessels brought up again the topic of Jenkins’s ear. He
had preserved it in wadding. The sailors went about London wearing
the inscription “ear for ear” on their hats. The large merchants
and shipowners espoused their cause. William Pitt and the nation in
general desire war with Spain, and Walpole is forced to declare it. The
consequences are but too well-known. Bloodshed all over the world on
land and sea. Jenkins’s ear is indeed avenged. If the English people
were poetical, says Carlyle, this ear would have become a constellation
like Berenice’s crown.

[56] The writer of these pages had the honor of delivering the annual
Oration in the Sanders Theatre of Harvard University, under the
auspices of the Φ. Β. Κ. Society, on June 26, 1884. The following paper
is the substance of the address then spoken, with such modifications as
appeared appropriate to the present form of publication.

[57] In an essay on “Pindar” in the _Journal of Hellenic Studies_
(vol. iii.), from which some points are repeated in this paragraph,
I have worked this out more in detail.

[58] Saintsbury’s _Short History of French Literature_, p. 405.

[59] In the _Attic Orators_, vol. ii. p. 42, I pointed out this analogy.

[60] Professor Sellar’s rendering, _Roman Poets of the Republic_, p. 55.

[61] Sir Walter Scott, Fenimore Cooper, Miss Sedgwick, and Hawthorne in
his story of “The Gray Champion,” have all made use of this striking
incident.

[62] Elsewhere Mr. Harrison contemptuously refers to the _Descriptive
Sociology_ as “a pile of clippings made to order.” While I have been
writing, the original directions to compilers have been found by my
present secretary, Mr. James Bridge; and he has drawn my attention to
one of the “orders.” It says that all works are “to be read not with a
view to any particular class of facts but with a view to all classes of
facts.”

[63] _Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal_, xxiv. part ii., p. 196.

[64] Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_, vol. i. p. 525.

[65] _Journ. As. Soc. of Ben._, xv. pp. 348-49.

[66] Bastian, _Mensch_, ii. 109, 113.

[67] _Supernatural Religion_, 2nd ed., vol. i. p. 12.

[68] Dr. Henry Rink, _Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo_, p. 37.

[69] Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, vol. ii. p. 133.

[70] _Ibid._ p. 139.

[71] _Ibid._ p. 137.

[72] Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, vol. ii. p. 144.

[73] _Harrison contre Spencer sur la Valeur Religieuse de
L’Inconnaissable_, par le C^[te]. Goblet D’Alviella. Paris, Ernest
Leroux.

[74] _Essays_, vol. iii. pp. 293-6.





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