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Title: Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art, February, 1885
Author: Various
Language: English
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[Illustration]



ECLECTIC MAGAZINE OF FOREIGN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.


New Series.       }      FEBRUARY, 1885.      {Old Series complete
Vol. XLI., No. 2. }                           {in 63 vols.



A FAITHLESS WORLD.


BY FRANCES POWER COBBE.

A little somnolence seems to have overtaken religious controversy
of late. We are either weary of it or have grown so tolerant of our
differences that we find it scarcely worth while to discuss them. By
dint of rubbing against each other in the pages of the Reviews, in the
clubs, and at dinner parties, the sharp angles of our opinions have
been smoothed down. Ideas remain in a fluid state in this temperate
season of sentiment, and do not, as in old days, crystallize into
sects. We have become almost as conciliatory respecting our views as
the Chinese whom Huc describes as carrying courtesy so far as to praise
the religion of their neighbors and depreciate their own. “You, honored
sir,” they were wont to say, “are of the noble and lofty religion of
Confucius. I am of the poor and insignificant religion of Lao-tze.”
Only now and then some fierce controversialist, hailing usually from
India or the colonies where London amenities seem not yet to have
penetrated, startles us by the desperate earnestness wherewith he
disproves what we had almost forgotten that anybody seriously believes.

As a result of the general “laissez _croire_” of our day, it has come
to pass that a question has been mooted which, to our fathers, would
have seemed preposterous: “Is it of any consequence what we believe,
or whether we believe anything? Suppose that by-and-by we all arrive
at the conclusion that Religion has been altogether a mistake, and
renounce with one accord the ideas of God and Heaven, having (as M.
Comte assures us) outgrown the theological stage of human progress;
what then? Will it make any serious difference to anybody?”

Hitherto, thinkers of Mr. Bradlaugh’s type have sung pæans of welcome
for the expected golden years of Atheism, when “faiths and empires” will

                            “Gleam
    Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.”

Christians and Theists of all schools, on the other hand, have
naturally deprecated with horror and dread such a cataclysm of faith
as sure to prove a veritable Ragnarok of universal ruin. In either
case it has been taken for granted that the change from a world of
little faith, like that in which we live, to a world wholly destitute
of faith, would be immensely great and far-reaching; and that at the
downfall of religion not only would the thrones and temples of the
earth, but every homestead in every land, be shaken to its foundation.
It is certainly a step beyond any yet taken in the direction of
scepticism to question this conclusion, and maintain that such a
revolution would be of trivial import, since things would go on with
mankind almost as well without a God as with one.

The man who, with characteristic downrightness, has blurted out most
openly this last doubt of all—the doubt whether doubt be an evil—is,
as my readers will have recognized, Mr. Justice Stephen. In the
concluding pages of one of his sledge-hammerings on the heads of his
adversaries, in the _Nineteenth Century_ for last June, he rung the
changes upon the idea (with some reservations, to be presently noted)
as follows:—

        “If human life is in the course of being fully
      described by science, I do not see what materials
      there are for any religion, or, indeed, what would be
      the use of one, or why it is wanted. We can get on
      very well without one, for though the view of life
      which science is opening to us gives us nothing to
      worship, it gives us an infinite number of things to
      enjoy.... The world seems to me a very good world,
      if it would only last. It is full of pleasant people
      and curious things, and I think that most men find
      no great difficulty in turning their minds away
      from its transient character. Love, friendship,
      ambition, science, literature, art, politics,
      commerce, professions, trades, and a thousand other
      matters, will go equally well, as far as I can see,
      whether there is, or is not, a God or a future
      state.”—_Nineteenth Century_, No. 88, p. 917.

Had these noteworthy words been written by an obscure individual, small
weight would have attached to them. We might have observed on reading
them that the—not wise—person who three thousand years ago “said in
his heart, there is no God,” had in the interval plucked up courage
to say in the magazines that it does not signify whether there be one
or not. But the dictum comes to us from a gentleman who happens to
be the very antithesis of the object of Solomon’s detestation, a man
of distinguished ability and unsullied character, of great knowledge
of the world (as revealed to successful lawyers), of almost abnormal
clear-headedness; and lastly, strangest anomaly of all! who is the
representative of a family in which the tenderest and purest type of
Protestant piety has long been hereditary. It is the last utterance
of the devout “Clapham School,” of Venn, Stephen, Hannah More and
Wilberforce, which we hear saying: “I think we could do very well
without religion.”

As it is a widely received idea just now that the Evolution theory is
destined to coil about religion till it strangle it, and as it has
become the practice with the scientific party to talk of religion as
politicians twenty years ago talked of Turkey, as a Sick Man destined
to a speedy dissolution, it seems every way desirable that we should
pay the opinion of Sir James Stephen on this head that careful
attention to which, indeed, everything from his pen has a claim. Those
amongst us who have held that Religion is of priceless value should
bring their prepossessions in its favor to the bar of sober judgment,
and fairly face this novel view of it as neither precious Truth nor
yet disastrous Error, but as an unimportant matter of opinion which
Science may be left to settle without anxiety as to the issue. We ought
to bring our Treasure to assay, and satisfy ourselves once for all
whether it be really pure gold or only a fairy substitute for gold, to
be transformed some day into a handful of autumn leaves and scattered
to the winds.

To estimate the part played by Religion in the past history of the
human race would be a gigantic undertaking immeasurably above my
ambition.[1] A very much simpler inquiry is that which I propose
to pursue: namely, one into the chief consequences which might be
anticipated to follow the downfall of such Religion, as at present
prevails in civilized Europe and America. When these consequences have
been, however imperfectly, set in array we shall be in a position to
form some opinion whether we “can do very well without religion.” Let
me premise:—

1. That by the word Religion I mean definite faith in a Living and
Righteous God; and, as a corollary therefrom, in the survival of the
human soul after death. In other words, I mean by “religion” that
nucleus of simple Theism which is common to every form of natural
religion, of Christianity and Judaism; and, of course, in a measure
also to remoter creeds, which will not be included in the present
purview. Further, I do _not_ mean Positivism, or Agnosticism, or
Buddhism, exoteric or esoteric; or the recognition of the “Unknown
and Unknowable,” or of a “Power not ourselves which makes for
righteousness.” These may, or may not, be fitly termed “religions;” but
it is not the results of their triumph or extinction which we are here
concerned to estimate. I shall even permit myself generally to refer to
all such phases of non-belief as involve denial of the dogmas of Theism
above-stated as “Atheism;” not from discourtesy, but because it would
be impossible at every point to distinguish them, and because, for the
purposes of the present argument, they are tantamount to Atheism.

2. That I absolve myself from weighing against the advantages of
Religion the evils which have followed its manifold corruptions. Those
evils, in the case even of the Christian religion, I recognize to have
been so great, so hideous, that during their prevalence it might have
been plausibly—though even then, I think, not truly—contended that
they out-balanced its benefits. But the days of the worst distortions
of Christianity have long gone by. The Christianity of our day tends,
as it appears to me, more and more to resume the character of the
_Religion of Christ_, _i.e._, the religion which Christ believed and
lived; and to reject that other and very different religion which
men have taught in Christ’s name. As this deep and silent but vast
change comes over the spirit of the Christianity of modern Europe, it
becomes better and better qualified to meet fearlessly the challenge,
“Should we do well without religion in its Christian shape?” But it is
not my task here to analyze the results of any one type of religion,
Christian, Jewish, or simply Theistic; but only to register those of
_Religion itself_, as I have defined it above, namely, faith in God and
in immortality.

I confess, at starting on this inquiry, that the problem “Is religion
of use, or can we do as well without it?” seems to me almost as
grotesque as the old story of the woman who said that we owe vast
obligation to the Moon, which affords us light on dark nights,
whereas we are under no such debt to the Sun, who only shines by day,
_when there is always light_. Religion has been to us so diffused a
light that it is quite possible to forget how we came by the general
illumination, save when now and then it has blazed out with special
brightness. On the other hand, all the moon-like things which are
proposed to us as substitutes for Religion,—friendship, science,
art, commerce, and politics,—have a very limited area wherein they
shine at all, and leave the darkness around much as they found it.
It is the special and unique character of Religion to deal with the
whole of human nature _all_ our pleasures and pains and duties and
affections and hopes and fears, here and hereafter. It offers to the
Intellect an explanation of the universe (true or false we need not
now consider); and, pointing to Heaven, it responds to the most eager
of its questions. It offers to the Conscience a law claiming authority
to regulate every act and every word. And it offers to the Heart an
absolutely love-worthy Being as the object of its adoration. Whether
these immense offers of Religion are all genuine, or all accepted by us
individually, they are quite unmatched by anything which science, or
art, or politics, or commerce, or even friendship, has to bestow. The
relation of religion to us is not one-sided like theirs, but universal,
ubiquitous; not moon-like, appearing at intervals, but sun-like,
forming the source, seen or unseen, of all our light and heat, even
of the warmth of our household fires. Strong or weak as may be its
influence on us as individuals, it is the greatest thing with which
we have to do, from the cradle to the grave. And this holds good
whether we give ourselves up to it or reject it. It is the one great
acceptance, or “_il gran rifiuto_.” Nothing equally great can come in
our way again.

In an estimate of the consequences which would follow a general
rejection of religion, we are bound to take into view the two classes
of men—those who are devout and those who are not so—who would, of
course, be diversely affected by such a revolution of opinion. As
regards the first, every one will concede that the loss of so important
a factor in their lives would alter those lives radically. As regards
the second, after noting the orderly and estimable conduct of many
of them, the observer might, _per contra_, not unfairly surmise that
they would continue to act just as they do at present were religion
universally exploded. But ere such a conclusion could be legitimately
drawn from the meritorious lives of non-religious men in the present
order of society, we should be allowed (it is a familiar remark) to
see the behavior of a whole nation of Atheists. Our contemporaries are
no more fair samples of the outcome of Atheism than a little party
of English youths who had lived for a few years in Central Africa
would be samples of Negroes. It would take several thousand years to
make a full-blooded Atheist out of the scion of forty generations of
Christians. Our whole mental constitutions have been built up on food
of religious ideas. A man on a mountain top, might as well resolve
not to breathe the ozone in the air, as to live in the intellectual
atmosphere of England and inhale no Christianity.

As, then, it is impossible to forecast what would be the consequences
of universal Atheism hereafter by observing the conduct of individual
Atheists to-day, all that can be done is to study bit by bit the
changes which must take place should this planet ever become, as is
threatened, a _Faithless World_. In pursuing this line of inquiry it
will be well to remember that every ill result of loss of faith and
hope which we may now observe will be _cumulative_ as a larger and
yet larger number of persons, and at last the whole community, reject
religion together. Atheists have been hitherto like children playing
at the mouth of a cavern of unknown depth. They have run in and out,
and explored it a little way, but always within sight of the daylight
outside, where have stood their parents and friends calling on them to
return. Not till the way back to the sunshine has been lost will the
darkness of that cave be fully revealed.

I shall now register very briefly the more obvious and tangible changes
which would follow the downfall of religion in Europe and America, and
then devote my available space to a rather closer examination of those
which are less manifest; the drying up of those hidden rills which now
irrigate the whole subsoil of our civilization.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first visible change in the Faithless World, of course, would be
the suppression of Public and Private Worship and of Preaching; the
secularization or destruction everywhere of Cathedrals, Churches, and
Chapels; and the extinction of the Clerical Profession. A considerable
_hiatus_ would undoubtedly be thus made in the present order of things.
Public Worship and Preaching, however much weariness of the flesh
has proverbially attended them, have, to say the least, done much to
calm, to purify, and to elevate the minds of millions; nor does it
seem that any multiplication of scientific Lectures or Penny Readings
would form a substitute for them. The effacement from each landscape
of the towers and spires of the churches would be a somewhat painful
symbol of the simultaneous disappearance from human life of heavenly
hope and aspiration. The extinction of the Ministry of Religion, though
it would be hailed even now by many as a great reformation, would be
found practically, I apprehend, to reduce by many perceptible degrees
the common moral level; and to suppress many highly-aimed activities
with which we could ill dispense. The severity of the strictures always
passed on the faults of clergymen testifies to the general expectation,
not wholly disappointed, that they should exhibit a loftier standard
of life than other men; and the hortative and philanthropic work
accomplished by the forty or fifty thousand ministers of the various
sects and churches in England alone, must form, after all deductions,
a sum of beneficence which it would sorely tax any conceivable secular
organization to replace in the interests of public morality.

Probably the Seventh Day Rest would survive every other religious
institution in virtue of its popularity among the working classes, soon
to be everywhere masters of legislation. The failure of the Tenth Day
holiday in the first French Revolution would also forestall any further
experiments in varying the hebdomadal interval so marvellously adapted
to our mental and physical constitution. As, however, all religious
meaning of the day would be lost, and all church-going stopped,
nothing would hinder the employment of its hours from morning to night
as Easter Monday and Whit Monday are now employed by the millions in
our great cities. The nation would, therefore, enjoy the somewhat
doubtful privilege of keeping fifty-six Bank Holidays instead of four
in the year. Judicial and official oaths of all sorts, and Marriage
and Burial rites, would, of course, be entirely abolished. A gentleman
pronouncing the _Oraison Funèbre_ outside the crematorium would replace
the old white-robed parson telling the mourners;—

            “Beneath the churchyard tree,
    In solemn tones, and yet not sad,
    Of what man is, what man shall be.”

Another change more important than any of these, in Protestant
countries, would be the reduction of the Bible to the rank of an
historical and literary curiosity. Nothing (as we all recognize) but
the supreme religious importance attached to the Hebrew Scriptures
could have forced any book into the unique position which the Bible
has now held for three centuries in English and Scottish education.
Even that held by the Koran throughout Islam is far less remarkable,
inasmuch as the latter (immeasurably inferior though it be) is the
supreme work of the national literature, whereas we have adopted the
literature of an alien race. All the golden fruit which the English
intellect has borne from Shakespeare downwards may be said to have
grown on this priceless Semitic graft upon the Aryan stem.

But as nothing but its religious interest, over and above its
historical and poetical value, could have given the Bible its present
place amongst us, so the rejection of religion must quickly lower its
popularity by a hundred degrees. Notwithstanding anything which the
Matthew Arnolds of the future may plead on behalf of its glorious
poetry and mines of wisdom, the youth of the future “Faithless World”
will spare very little time from their scientific studies to read a
book brimming over with religious sentiments which to them will be
nauseous. Could everything else remain unchanged after the extinction
of religion in England, it seems to me that the unravelling of this
Syrian thread from the very tissue of our minds will altogether alter
their texture.

Whether the above obvious and tangible results of a general
relinquishment of religion would all be _disadvantageous_ may,
possibly, be an open question. That they would be _trifling_, and that
things would go on much as they have done after they had taken place,
seems to me, I confess, altogether incredible.

I now turn to those less obvious consequences of the expected downfall
of religion which would take place silently.

The first of these would be the _belittling_ of life. Religion has been
to us hitherto (to rank it at its lowest), like a great mountain in
a beautiful land. When the clouds descend and hide the mountain, the
grandeur of the scene is gone. A stranger entering that land at such
a time will commend the sweetness of the vales and woods; but those
who know it best will say, “Ichabod!—The glory has departed.” To do
justice to the eminent man whose opinion concerning the practical
unimportance of religion I am endeavoring to combat, he has seen
clearly and frankly avowed this ennobling influence of religion, and,
as a corollary, would, I presume, admit the _minifying_ consequences of
its general abandonment.[2] If the window which Religion opens out
on the infinite expanse of God and Heaven, immeasurably enlarges and
lightens our abode of clay, the walling of it up cannot fail to narrow
and darken it beyond all telling. Human nature, ever pulled two ways
by downward and by aspiring tendencies, cannot afford to lose all the
aid which religious ideas offer to its upward flight. Only when they
disappear will men perceive how the two thoughts—of this world as
_God’s world_, and of ourselves as Immortal beings,—have, between
them, lighted up in rainbow hues the dull plains of earth. When they
fade away, all things, Nature, Art, Duty, Love, and Death, will seem to
grow grey and cold. Everything which casts a glamour over life will be
gone.

Even from the point of view of Art (of which in these days perhaps too
much is made), life will lose _poetry_ if it lose religion. Nothing
ever stirs our sympathies like it, or like a glimpse into the inner
self of our brother man, as affected by repentance, hope, and prayer.
The great genius, of George Eliot revealed this to her; and, Agnostic
as she was, she rarely failed to strike this resonant string of human
nature, as in “Adam Bede,” “Silas Marner,” and “Janet’s Repentance.”
French novelists who have no knowledge of it, and who describe the
death of a man as they might do that of an ox, while they galvanize our
imaginations, rarely touch the outer hem of our sympathies. Religion
in its old anthropomorphic forms was the great inspirer of sculpture,
painting, poetry, science, and almost the creator of architecture.
Phidias, Dante, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Milton, Handel, and the
builders of the Egyptian temples and mediæval cathedrals, were all
filled with the religious spirit, nor can we imagine what they would
have been without it. In the purer modern types of religion, while
music and architecture would still remain in its direct service, we
should expect painting and sculpture to be less immediately concerned
with it than in old days, because unable to touch such purely spiritual
ideas. But the elevation, aspiration, and reverence which have their
root in religion must continue to inspire those arts likewise, or
they will fall into triviality on one side (as there seems danger in
England), or into obscene materialism on the other, as is already
annually exemplified on the walls of the Paris _Salon_.

Again, it will not merely belittle life, it will _carnalize_ it to
take Religion out of it. The lump without the leaven will be grosser
and heavier than we have dreamed. Civilization, as we all know, bore
under Imperial Rome, and may assume again any day, the hateful type in
which luxury and cruelty, art and sensuality, go hand in hand. That it
ever changed its character and has come to mean with us refinement,
self-restraint, chivalry, and freedom from the coarser vices, is surely
due to the fact that it has grown up _pari passu_ with Christianity.
In truth it needs no argument to prove that, as the bestial tendencies
in us have scarcely been kept down while we believed ourselves to be
immortal souls, they will have it still more their own way when we feel
assured we are only mortal bodies.

And the life thus belittled and carnalized will be a more cowardly
life than men have been wont to lead while they had a Providence over
them and a heaven waiting for them. Already, I fear, we may see some
signs of this new poltroonery of reflective prudence, which holds that
death is the greatest of all evils, and disease the next greatest;
and teaches men to prefer a “whole skin” to honor and patriotism, and
health to duty. Writing of this Hygeiolatry elsewhere, I have remarked
that it has almost come to be accepted as a canon of morals that any
practice which, in the opinion of experts, conduces to bodily health,
or tends to the cure of disease, becomes _ipso facto_ lawful; and
that there are signs apparent that this principle is bearing fruit,
and that men and women are beginning to be systematically selfish and
self-indulgent where their health is concerned, in modes not hitherto
witnessed. In public life it is notorious that whenever a Bill comes
before Parliament concerning itself with sanitary matters there is
exhibited by many of the speakers, and by the journalists who discuss
it, a readiness to trample on personal and parental rights in a way
forming a new feature in English legislation, and well deserving of
the rebuke it has received from Mr. Herbert Spencer. As to military
courage, I fear it will also wane amongst us, as it seemed to have
waned amongst the French atheistic soldiery at Metz and Sedan. Great as
are the evils of war, those of a peace only maintained by the nations
because it had become no longer possible to raise troops who would
stand fire, would be immeasurably worse.

From the general results on the community, I now pass to consider those
on the life of the individual which may be expected to follow the
collapse of Religion.

Mr. Mallock in his “New Republic,” made the original and droll remark
that even Vice would lose much of its savor were there no longer any
morality against which it might sin. As Morality will probably not
expire—though its vigor must be considerably reduced—by the demise
of its Siamese twin, Religion, it would seem that Vice need not fear,
even in such a contingency, the entire loss of the pleasures of
disobedience. Nevertheless (to speak seriously), it is pretty certain
that the temperature of all moral sentiments will fall so considerably
when the sun of religion ceases to warm them that not a few will perish
of cold. The “Faithless World” will pass through a moral Glacial
Period, wherein much of our present fauna and flora will disappear.
What, for example, can become, in that frigid epoch of godlessness,
of _Aspiration_, the sacred passion, the _ambition sainte_ to become
perfect and holy, which has stirred at one time or other in the breast
of every son of God; the longing to attain the crowning heights of
truth, goodness, and purity? This is surely not a sentiment which can
live without faith in a Divine Perfection, existing somewhere in the
universe, and an Immortal Life wherein the infinite progress may be
carried on. Even the man whose opinions on the general unimportance of
religion I am venturing to question in these pages, admits frankly
enough that it is not the heroic or saintly character which will be
cultivated after the extinction of faith. Among the changes which he
anticipates, one will be that “the respectable man of the world, the
_lukewarm, nominal Christian_, who believed as much of his creed as
happened to suit him, and _led an easy life_, will turn out to have
been right after all,” Precisely so. The _easy life_ will be the ideal
life in the “Faithless World;” and the life of Aspiration, the life
which is a prayer, will be lived no more. And the “lukewarm” men of the
world, in their “easy lives,” will be all the easier and more lukewarm
for leading them thenceforth unrebuked by any higher example.

Again, Repentance as well as aspiration will disappear under the
snows of atheism. I have written before on this subject in this
REVIEW,[3] and will now briefly say that Mr. Darwin’s almost
ludicrously false definition of Repentance is an illustration of
the inability of the modern scientific mind to comprehend spiritual
phenomena; much less to be the subject of them. In his _Descent of
Man_, this great thinker and most amiable man describes Repentance
as a natural return, after the satisfaction of selfish passions, to
“the instinct of sympathy and good will to his fellows which is still
present and ever in some degree active” in a man’s mind.... “And then,
a sense of dissatisfaction will inevitably be felt” (_Descent of Man_,
p. 90). Thus even on the showing of the great philosopher of evolution
himself, Repentance (or rather the “dissatisfaction” he confounds with
that awful convulsion of the soul) is only to be looked for under
the very exceptional circumstances of men in whom the “instinct of
sympathy and good will to their fellows” is ever present, and moreover
_reasserts itself after they have injured them_—in flat opposition to
ordinary human experience as noted by Tacitus, _Humani generis proprium
est odisse quem læseris_.

The results of the real spiritual phenomenon of Repentance (not Mr.
Darwin’s child’s-play) are so profound and far-reaching that it cannot
but happen that striking them out of human experience will leave
life more shallow. No soul will survive with the deeper and riper
character which comes out of that ordeal. As Hawthorne illustrated it
in his exquisite parable of _Transformation_, men, till they become
conscious of sin, are morally little more than animals. Out of hearts
ploughed by contrition spring flowers fairer than ever grow on the
hard ground of unbroken self-content. There bloom in them Sympathy
and Charity for other erring mortals; and Patience under suffering
which is acknowledged to be merited; and lastly, sweetest blossom of
all! tender Gratitude for earthly and heavenly blessings felt to be
free gifts of Divine love. Not a little, perhaps, of the prevalent
disease of pessimism is owing to the fact that these flowers of
charity, patience, and thankfulness are becoming more and more rare as
cultivated men cease to feel what old theologians used to call “the
exceeding sinfulness of sin;” or to pass through any vivid experiences
of penitence and restoration. As a necessary consequence they never
see the true proportions of good and evil, joy and grief, sin and
retribution. They weigh jealously human Pain; they never place human
Guilt in the opposite scale. There is little chance that any man will
ever feel how sinful is sin, who has not seen it in the white light of
the holiness of God.

The abrogation of Public Worship was mentioned above as one of the
visible consequences of the general rejection of religion. To it must
here be added a still direr and deeper loss, that of the use of Private
Prayer—whether for spiritual or other good, either on behalf of
ourselves or of others; all Confession, all Thanksgiving, in one word
all effort at communion of the finite spirit with the Infinite. This is
not the place in which this subject can be treated as it would require
to be were the full consequences of such a cessation of the highest
function of our nature to be defined. It may be enough now to say that
the Positivists in their fantastic device of addresses to the _grand
être_ of Humanity as a substitute for real prayer to the Living God,
have themselves testified to the smaller—the subjective—part of the
value of the practice. Alas for our poor human race if ever the day
should arrive when to Him who now “heareth prayer,” flesh shall no
longer come!

With Aspiration, Repentance, and Prayer renounced and forgotten, and
the inner life made as “easy” as the outward, we may next inquire
whether in the “Faithless World” the relations between man and man
will either remain what they have been, improve or deteriorate? I have
heard a secularist lecturer argue that the love of God has been a
great hindrance to the love of man; and I believe it is the universal
opinion of Agnostics and Comtists that the “enthusiasm of Humanity”
will flourish and form the crowning glory of the future after religion
is dead. It is obvious, indeed, that the social virtues are rapidly
eclipsing in public opinion those which are personal and religious; and
if Philanthropy is not to be enthroned in the “Faithless World,” there
is no chance for Veracity, Piety, or Purity.

But, not to go over ground which I have traversed already in this
REVIEW, it will be enough now to remark that Mr. Justice
Stephen, with his usual perspicacity, has found out that there is here
a “rift within the lute,” and frankly tells us that we must not expect
to see Christian Charity after the departure of Christianity. He thinks
that temperance, fortitude, benevolence, and justice will always be
honored and rewarded, but—

        “If a purely human morality takes the place of
      Christian morals, self-command and self-denial, force
      of character shown in postponing the present to the
      future (_qy._, selfish prudence?) will take the place
      of self-sacrifice as an object of admiration. Love,
      friendship, good-nature, kindness, carried to the
      height of sincere and devoted affection will always
      be the chief pleasures of life, whether Christianity
      is true or false; but Christian charity is not the
      same as any of these or of all of them put together,
      and I think, if Christian theology were exploded,
      Christian charity would not survive it.”

Even if the same sentiment of charity were kept alive in a “Faithless
World,” I do not think its ministrations would be continued on the same
lines as hitherto. The more kind-hearted an atheist may be (and many
have the kindest of hearts) the less, I fancy, he could endure to go
about as a comforter among the wretched and dying, bringing with him
only such cold consolation as may be afforded by the doctrine of the
“Survival of the Fittest.” Every one who has tried to lighten the
sorrows of this sad world, or to reclaim the criminal and the vicious,
knows how immense is the advantage of being able to speak of God’s love
and pity, and of a life where the bereaved shall be reunited to their
beloved ones. It would break, I should think, a compassionate atheist’s
heart to go from one to another death-bed in cottage or workhouse or
hospital, meet the yearning looks of the dying, and watch the anguish
of wife or husband or mother, and be unable honestly to say: “This is
not the end. There is Heaven in store.” But Mr. Justice Stephen speaks,
I apprehend, of another reason than this why Christian charity must
not be expected to survive Christianity. The truth is (though he does
not say it) that the charity of Science is not merely _different_ from
the charity of Religion; it is an _opposite_ thing altogether. Its
softest word is _Væ Victis_. Christianity (and like it I should hope
every possible form of future religion) says, “The strong ought to bear
the burdens of the weak. Blessed are the merciful, the unselfish, the
tender-hearted, the humble-minded.” Science says, “The supreme law of
Nature is the Survival of the Fittest; and that law, applied to human
morals, means the remorseless crushing down of the unfit. The strong
and the gifted shall inherit the earth, and the weak and simple go
to the wall. Blessed are the merciless, for they shall obtain useful
knowledge. Blessed are the self-asserting, for theirs is the kingdom of
this world, and there is no world after it.”

These Morals of Evolution are beginning gradually to make their way,
and to be stated (of course in veiled and modest language) frequently
by those priests of science, the physiologists. Should they ever obtain
general acceptance, and Darwinian morality take the place of the Sermon
on the Mount, the old _droit du plus fort_ of barbarous ages will be
revived with more deliberate oppression, and the last state of our
civilization will be worse than the first.

Behind all these changes of public and general concern, lies the
deepest change of all for each man’s own heart. We are told that in
a “Faithless World” we may interest ourselves in friendship, and
politics, and commerce, and literature, science, and art, and that “a
man who cannot occupy every waking moment of a long life with some or
other of these things must be either very unfortunate in regard to his
health, or circumstances, or else must be a poor creature.”

But it is not necessary to be either unfortunate oneself or a very
“poor creature” to feel that the wrongs and agonies of this world of
pain are absolutely intolerable unless we can be assured that they will
be righted hereafter; that “there is a God who judgeth the earth,” and
that all the oppressed and miserable of our race, aye, and even the
tortured brutes, are beheld by Him. It is, I think, on the contrary,
to be a “poor creature” to be able to satisfy the hunger of the soul
after justice, the yearning of the heart for mercy, with such pursuits
as money-getting, and scientific research, and the writing of clever
books, and painting of pretty pictures. Not that which is “poorest” in
us, but that which is richest and noblest, refuses to “occupy every
moment of a long life” with our own ambitions and amusements, or to
shut out deliberately from our minds the “Riddle of the painful Earth.”
A curse would be on us in our “lordly pleasure-house” were we to do it.

Even if it be possible to enjoy our own good fortune regardless of
the woes of others, is it not rather a pitiful wreck and remnant of
merely selfish happiness which it is proposed to leave to us? “The
world,” we are told, “is full of pleasant people and curious things,”
and “most men find no difficulty in _turning their minds away_ from
its transient character.” Even our enjoyment of “pleasant people and
curious things” must be held, then, on the condition of reducing
ourselves—philosophers that we are, or shall be—to the humble level
of the hares and rabbits!—

      “Regardless of their doom the little victims play.”

Surely the happiness of any creature, deserving to be called Rational,
depends on the circumstance whether he can look on Good as “the final
goal of ill,” or believe Ill to be the final goal of any good he has
obtained or hopes for;—whether he walk on a firm, even if it be a
thorny road, or tread on thin, albeit glittering ice, destined ere long
to break beneath his feet? The faith that there is an ORDER
tending everywhere to good, and that JUSTICE sooner or later
will be done to all,—this, almost universal, faith to which the
whole literature of the world bears testimony, seems to me no less
indispensable for our selfish happiness than it is for any unselfish
satisfaction in the aspect of human life at large. If it be finally
baulked, and we are compelled to relinquish it for ever at the bidding
of science, existence alike on our own account and that of others will
become unendurable.

In all I have said hitherto, I have confined myself to discussing the
probable results of the downfall of religion on men in general, and
have not attempted to define what they would be to those who have been
fervently religious; and who we must suppose (on the hypothesis of
such a revolution) to be forcibly driven by scientific arguments out
of their faith in God and the life to come. To such persons (and there
are, alas! many already who think they have been so driven, and to whom
the sad result is therefore the same) the loss must needs be like that
of the darkening of the sun. Of all human sorrows the bitterest is to
discover that we have misplaced our love; labored and suffered in vain;
thrown away our heart’s devotion. All this, and much more, must it be
to _lose God_. Among those who have endured it there are, of course, as
we all know, many who have reconciled themselves to the loss, and some
tell us they are the happier. Yet, I think to the very last hour of
life there must remain in every heart which has once _loved_ God (not
merely believed in or feared Him) an infinite regret if it can love Him
no more; and the universe, were it crowded with a million friends, must
seem empty when that Friend is gone.

As to human Love and Friendship, to which we are often bidden to turn
as the best substitutes for religion, I feel persuaded that, above all
other things they must deteriorate in a “Faithless World.” To apples
of Sodom must all their sweetness turn, from the hour in which men
recognize their transitory nature. The warmer and more tender and
reverential the affection, the more intolerable must become the idea of
eternal separation; and the more beautiful and admirable the character
of our friend, the more maddening the belief that in a few years, or
days, he will vanish into nothingness. Sooner than endure the agony
of these thoughts, I feel sure that men will check themselves from
entering into the purer and holier relations of the heart. Affection,
predestined to be cast adrift, will throw out no more anchors, but
will float on every wave of passion or caprice. The day in which it
becomes impossible for men to vow that they will love _for ever_ will
almost be the last in which they will love nobly and purely at all.

But if these things hold good as regard the prosperous and healthy, and
those still in the noon of life, what is to be said of the prospects
in the “Faithless World,” of the diseased, the poverty-stricken, the
bereaved, the aged? There is no need to strain our eyes to look into
the dark corners of the earth. We all know (though while we ourselves
stand in the sunshine we do not often _feel_) what hundreds of
thousands of our fellow-mortals are enduring at all times, in the way
of bodily and mental anguish. When these overtake us, or when Old Age
creeps on, and

    “First our pleasures die, and then
    Our hopes, and then our fears,”

is it possible to suppose it will make “little difference” what we
believe as to the existence of some loving Power in whose arms our
feebleness may find support; or of another life wherein our winter may
be turned once more to spring? If we live long enough, the day must
come to each of us when we shall find our chief interest in our daily
newspaper most often in the obituary columns, till, one after another
nearly all the friends of our youth and prime have “gone over to the
majority,” and we begin to live in a world peopled with spectres. Our
talk with those who travel still beside us is continually referring to
the dead, and our very jests end in a sigh for the sweet old laughter
which we shall never hear again. If in these solemn years we yet have
faith in God and Immortality, and as we recall one dear one after
another,—father, mother, brother, friend,—we can say to ourselves,
“They are all gone into the world of light; they are all safe and
rejoicing in the smile of God;” then our grief is only mourning; it
is not despair. Our sad hearts are cheered and softened, not turned
to stone by the memories of the dead. Let us, however, on the other
hand, be driven by our new guide, Science, to abandon this faith and
the hope of eternal reunion, then, indeed, must our old age be utterly,
utterly desolate. O! the mockery of saying that it would make “no great
difference!”

We have been told that in the event of the fall of religion, “life
would remain in most particulars and to most people much what it
is at present.” It appears to me, on the contrary, that there is
actually _nothing_ in life which would be left unchanged after such a
catastrophe.

       *       *       *       *       *

But I have only conjured up the nightmare of a “Faithless World.”
GOD LIVES; and in His light we shall see light.—_Contemporary
Review._



FOOD AND FEEDING.


When a man and a bear meet together casually in an American forest,
it makes a great deal of difference, to the two parties concerned at
least, whether the bear eats the man or the man eats the bear. We
haven’t the slightest difficulty in deciding afterwards which of the
two, in each particular case, has been the eater, and which the eaten.
Here, we say, is the grizzly that ate the man; or, here is the man
that smoked and dined off the hams of the grizzly. Basing our opinion
upon such familiar and well-known instances, we are apt to take it for
granted far too readily that between eating and being eaten, between
the active and the passive voice of the verb _edo_, there exists
necessarily a profound and impassable native antithesis. To swallow an
oyster is, in our own personal histories, so very different a thing
from being swallowed by a shark that we can hardly realise at first
the underlying fundamental identity of eating with mere coalescence.
And yet, at the very outset of the art of feeding, when the nascent
animal first began to indulge in this very essential animal practice,
one may fairly say that no practical difference as yet existed between
the creature that ate and the creature that was eaten. After the man
and the bear had finished their little meal, if one may be frankly
metaphorical, it was impossible to decide whether the remaining being
was the man or the bear, or which of the two had swallowed the other.
The dinner having been purely mutual, the resulting animal represented
both the litigants equally; just as, in cannibal New Zealand, the chief
who ate up his brother chief was held naturally to inherit the goods
and chattels of the vanquished and absorbed rival, whom he had thus
literally and physically incorporated.

A jelly-speck, floating about at his ease in a drop of stagnant water
under the field of a microscope, collides accidentally with another
jelly-speck who happens to be travelling in the opposite direction
across the same miniature ocean. What thereupon occurs? One jelly-speck
rolls itself gradually into the other, so that, instead of two,
there is now one: and the united body proceeds to float away quite
unconcernedly, without waiting to trouble itself for a second with
the profound metaphysical question, which half of it is the original
personality, and which half the devoured and digested. In these minute
and very simple animals there is absolutely no division of labor
between part and part; every bit of the jelly-like mass is alike head
and foot and mouth and stomach. The jelly-speck has no permanent limbs,
but it keeps putting forth vague arms and legs every now and then from
one side or the other; and with these temporary and ever-dissolving
members it crawls along merrily through its tiny drop of stagnant
water. If two of the legs or arms happen to knock up casually against
one another, they coalesce at once, just like two drops of water on
a window-pane, or two strings of treacle slowly spreading along the
surface of a plate. When the jelly-speck meets any edible thing—a
bit of dead plant, a wee creature like itself, a microscopic egg—it
proceeds to fold its own substance slimily around it, making, as
it were, a temporary mouth for the purpose of swallowing it, and a
temporary stomach for the purpose of quietly digesting and assimilating
it afterwards. Thus what at one moment is a foot may at the next moment
become a mouth, and at the moment after that again a rudimentary
stomach. The animal has no skin and no body, no outside and no inside,
no distinction of parts or members, no individuality, no identity.
Roll it up into one with another of its kind, and it couldn’t tell you
itself a minute afterwards which of the two it had really been a minute
before. The question of personal identity is here considerably mixed.

But as soon as we get to rather larger creatures of the same type,
the antithesis between the eater and the eaten begins to assume
a more definite character. The big jelly-bag approaches a good
many smaller jelly-bags, microscopic plants, and other appropriate
foodstuffs, and, surrounding them rapidly with its crawling arms,
envelops them in its own substance, which closes behind them and
gradually digests them. Everybody knows, by name at least, that
revolutionary and evolutionary hero, the amœba—the terror of
theologians, the pet of professors, and the insufferable bore of
the general reader. Well, this parlous and subversive little animal
consists of a comparatively large mass of soft jelly, pushing forth
slender lobes, like threads or fingers, from its own substance, and
gliding about, by means of these tiny legs, over water-plants and
other submerged surfaces. But though it can literally turn itself
inside out, like a glove, it still has some faint beginnings of a
mouth and stomach, for it generally takes in food and absorbs water
through a particular part of its surface, where the slimy mass of its
body is thinnest. Thus the amœba may be said really to eat and drink,
though quite devoid of any special organs for eating or drinking.

The particular point to which I wish to draw attention here, however,
is this: that even the very simplest and most primitive animals do
discriminate somehow between what is eatable and what isn’t. The
amœba has no eyes, no nose, no mouth, no tongue, no nerves of taste,
no special means of discrimination of any kind; and yet, so long as it
meets only grains of sand or bits of shell, it makes no effort in any
way to swallow them; but the moment it comes across a bit of material
fit for its food, it begins at once to spread its clammy fingers around
the nutritious morsel. The fact is, every part of the amœba’s body
apparently possesses, in a very vague form, the first beginnings of
those senses which in us are specialised and confined to a single spot.
And it is because of the light which the amœba thus incidentally
casts upon the nature of the specialised senses in higher animals that
I have ventured once more to drag out of the private life of his native
pond that already too notorious and obtrusive rhizopod.

With us lordly human beings, at the extreme opposite end in the scale
of being from the microscopic jelly-specks, the art of feeding and the
mechanism which provides for it have both reached a very high state of
advanced perfection. We have slowly evolved a tongue and palate on the
one hand, and French cooks and _pâté de foie gras_ on the other. But
while everybody knows practically how things taste to us, and which
things respectively we like and dislike, comparatively few people ever
recognize that the sense of taste is not merely intended as a source of
gratification, but serves a useful purpose in our bodily economy, in
informing us what we ought to eat and what to refuse. Paradoxical as it
may sound at first to most people, nice things are, in the main, things
that are good for us, and nasty things are poisonous or otherwise
injurious. That we often practically find the exact contrary the case
(alas!) is due, not to the provisions of nature, but to the artificial
surroundings in which we live, and to the cunning way in which we
flavor up unwholesome food, so as to deceive and cajole the natural
palate. Yet, after all, it is a pleasant gospel that what we like is
really good for us, and, when we have made some small allowances for
artificial conditions, it is in the main a true one also.

The sense of taste, which in the lowest animals is diffused equally
over the whole frame, is in ourselves and other higher creatures
concentrated in a special part of the body, namely the mouth, where the
food about to be swallowed is chewed and otherwise prepared beforehand
for the work of digestion. Now it is, of course, quite clear that
some sort of supervision must be exercised by the body over the kind
of food that is going to be put into it. Common experience teaches
us that prussic acid and pure opium are undesirable food stuffs in
large quantities; that raw spirits, petroleum, and red lead should be
sparingly partaken of by the judicious feeder; and that even green
fruit, the bitter end of cucumber, and the berries of deadly nightshade
are unsatisfactory articles of diet when continuously persisted in.
If, at the very outset of our digestive apparatus, we hadn’t a sort of
automatic premonitory adviser upon the kinds of food we ought or ought
not to indulge in, we should naturally commit considerable imprudences
in the way of eating and drinking—even more than we do at present.
Natural selection has therefore provided us with a fairly efficient
guide in this respect in the sense of taste, which is placed at the
very threshold, as it were, of our digestive mechanism. It is the duty
of taste to warn us against uneatable things, and to recommend to our
favorable attention eatable and wholesome ones; and, on the whole,
in spite of small occasional remissness, it performs its duty with
creditable success.

Taste, however, is not equally distributed over the whole surface of
the tongue alike. There are three distinct regions or tracts, each
of which has to perform its own special office and function. The tip
of the tongue is concerned mainly with pungent and acrid tastes; the
middle portion is sensitive chiefly to sweets and bitters; while the
back or lower portion confines itself almost entirely to the flavors of
roast meats, butter, oils, and other rich or fatty substances. There
are very good reasons for this subdivision of faculties in the tongue,
the object being, as it were, to make each piece of food undergo three
separate examinations (like “smalls,” “mods,” and “greats” at Oxford),
which must be successively passed before it is admitted into full
participation in the human economy. The first examination, as we shall
shortly see, gets rid at once of substances which would be actively
and immediately destructive to the very tissues of the mouth and body;
the second discriminates between poisonous and chemically harmless
foodstuffs; and the third merely decides the minor question whether
the particular food is likely to prove then and there wholesome or
indigestible to the particular person. The sense of taste proceeds,
in fact, upon the principle of gradual selection and elimination;
it refuses first what is positively destructive, next what is more
remotely deleterious, and finally what is only undesirable or
over-luscious.

When we want to assure ourselves, by means of taste, about an unknown
object—say a lump of some white stuff, which may be crystal, or glass,
or alum, or borax, or quartz, or rocksalt—we put the tip of the tongue
against it gingerly. If it begins to burn us, we draw it away more or
less rapidly, with an accompaniment in language strictly dependent
upon our personal habits and manners. The test we thus occasionally
apply, even in the civilised adult state, to unknown bodies is one that
is being applied every day and all day long by children and savages.
Unsophisticated humanity is constantly putting everything it sees up to
its mouth in a frank spirit of experimental inquiry as to its gustatory
properties. In civilised life, we find everything ready labelled and
assorted for us; we comparatively seldom require to roll the contents
of a suspicious bottle (in very small quantities) doubtfully upon the
tongue in order to discover whether it is pale sherry or Chili vinegar,
Dublin stout or mushroom ketchup. But in the savage state, from which,
geologically and biologically speaking, we have only just emerged,
bottles and labels do not exist. Primitive man, therefore, in his sweet
simplicity, has only two modes open before him for deciding whether the
things he finds are or are not strictly edible. The first thing he does
is to sniff at them, and smell being, as Mr. Herbert Spencer has well
put it, an anticipatory taste, generally gives him some idea of what
the thing is likely to prove. The second thing he does is to pop
it into his mouth, and proceed practically to examine its further
characteristics.

Strictly speaking with the tip of the tongue one can’t really taste at
all. If you put a small drop of honey or of oil of bitter almonds on
that part of the mouth, you will find (no doubt to your great surprise)
that it produces no effect of any sort; you only taste it when it
begins slowly to diffuse itself, and reaches the true tasting region
in the middle distance. But if you put a little cayenne or mustard
on the same part, you will find that it bites you immediately—the
experiment should be tried sparingly—while, if you put it lower down
in the mouth you will swallow it almost without noticing the pungency
of the stimulant. The reason is, that the tip of the tongue is supplied
only with nerves which are really nerves of touch, not nerves of taste
proper; they belong to a totally different main branch, and they go
to a different centre in the brain, together with the very similar
threads which supply the nerves of smell for mustard and pepper. That
is why the smell and taste of these pungent substances are so much
alike, as everybody must have noticed; a good sniff at a mustard-pot
producing almost the same irritating effects as an incautious mouthful.
As a rule, we don’t accurately distinguish, it is true, between these
different regions of taste in the mouth in ordinary life; but that is
because we usually roll our food about instinctively, without paying
much attention to the particular part affected by it. Indeed, when one
is trying deliberate experiments in the subject, in order to test the
varying sensitiveness of the different parts to different substances,
it is necessary to keep the tongue quite dry, in order to isolate the
thing you are experimenting with, and prevent its spreading to all
parts of the mouth together. In actual practice this result is obtained
in a rather ludicrous manner—by blowing upon the tongue, between each
experiment, with a pair of bellows. To such undignified expedients does
the pursuit of science lead the ardent modern psychologist. These
domestic rivals of Dr. Forbes Winslow, the servants, who behold the
enthusiastic investigator alternately drying his tongue in this
ridiculous fashion, as if he were a blacksmith’s fire, and then
squeezing out a single drop of essence of pepper, vinegar, or beef-tea
from a glass syringe upon the dry surface, not unnaturally arrive at
the conclusion that master has gone stark mad, and that, in their
private opinion, it’s the microscope and the skeleton as has done it.

Above all things, we don’t want to be flayed alive. So the kinds of
tastes discriminated by the tip of the tongue are the pungent, like
pepper, cayenne, and mustard; the astringent, like borax and alum;
the alkaline, like soda and potash; the acid, like vinegar and green
fruit; and the saline, like salt and ammonia. Almost all the bodies
likely to give rise to such tastes (or, more correctly, sensations
of touch in the tongue) are obviously unwholesome and destructive
in their character, at least when taken in large quantities. Nobody
wishes to drink nitric acid by the quart. The first business of this
part of the tongue is, therefore, to warn us emphatically against
caustic substances and corrosive acids—against vitriol and kerosene,
spirits of wine and ether, capsicums and burning leaves or roots,
such as those of the common English lords-and-ladies. Things of this
sort are immediately destructive to the very tissues of the tongue
and palate; if taken incautiously in too large doses, they burn the
skin off the roof of the mouth; and when swallowed they play havoc,
of course, with our internal arrangements. It is highly advisable,
therefore, to have an immediate warning of these extremely dangerous
substances, at the very outset of our feeding apparatus.

This kind of taste hardly differs from touch or burning. The
sensibility of the tip of the tongue is only a very slight modification
of the sensibility possessed by the skin generally, and especially by
the inner folds over all delicate parts of the body. We all know that
common caustic burns us wherever it touches; and it burns the tongue,
only in a somewhat more marked manner. Nitric or sulphuric acid attacks
the fingers each after its own kind. A mustard plaster makes us tingle
almost immediately; and the action of mustard on the tongue hardly
differs, except in being more instantaneous and more discriminative.
Cantharides work in just the same way. If you cut a red pepper in
two and rub it on your neck it will sting you just as it does when
put into soup (this experiment, however, is best tried upon one’s
younger brother; if made personally, it hardly repays the trouble and
annoyance). Even vinegar and other acids, rubbed into the skin, are
followed by a slight tingling; while the effect of brandy, applied,
say, to the arms, is gently stimulating and pleasurable, somewhat
in the same way as when normally swallowed in conjunction with the
habitual seltzer. In short, most things which give rise to distinct
tastes when applied to the tip of the tongue, give rise to fainter
sensations when applied to the skin generally. And one hardly needs
to be reminded that pepper or vinegar placed (accidentally as a rule)
on the inner surface of the eyelids produces a very distinct and
unpleasant smart.

The fact is, the liability to be chemically affected by pungent or
acid bodies is common to every part of the skin; but it is least felt
where the tough outer skin is thickest, and most felt where that skin
is thinnest, and the nerves are most plentifully distributed near the
surface. A mustard plaster would probably fail to draw at all on one’s
heel or the palm of one’s hand; while it is decidedly painful on one’s
neck or chest; and a mere speck of mustard inside the eyelid gives one
positive torture for hours together. Now the tip of the tongue is just
a part of one’s body specially set aside for this very object, provided
with an extremely thin skin, and supplied with an immense number of
nerves, on purpose so as to be easily affected by all such pungent,
alkaline, or spirituous substances. Sir Wilfrid Lawson would probably
conclude that it was deliberately designed by Providence to warn us
against a wicked indulgence in the brandy and seltzer aforesaid.

At first sight it might seem as though there were hardly enough of such
pungent and fiery things in existence to make it worth while for us to
be provided with a special mechanism for guarding against them. That is
true enough, no doubt, as regards our modern civilized life; though,
even now, it is perhaps just as well that our children should have an
internal monitor (other than conscience) to dissuade them immediately
from indiscriminate indulgence in photographic chemicals, the contents
of stray medicine bottles, and the best dried West India chilies. But
in an earlier period of progress, and especially in tropical countries
(where the Darwinians have now decided the human race made its first
_début_ upon this or any other stage), things were very different
indeed. Pungent and poisonous plants and fruits abounded on every
side. We have all of us in our youth been taken in by some too cruelly
waggish companion, who insisted upon making us eat the bright, glossy
leaves of the common English arum, which without look pretty and juicy
enough, but within are full of the concentrated essence of pungency
and profanity. Well, there are hundreds of such plants, even in cold
climates, to tempt the eyes and poison the veins of unsuspecting cattle
or childish humanity. There is buttercup, so horribly acrid that cows
carefully avoid it in their closest cropped pastures; and yet your cow
is not usually a too dainty animal. There is aconite, the deadly poison
with which Dr. Lamson removed his troublesome relatives. There is
baneberry, whose very name sufficiently describes its dangerous nature.
There are horseradish, and stinging rocket, and biting wall-pepper,
and still smarter water-pepper, and wormwood, and nightshade, and
spurge, and hemlock, and half a dozen equally unpleasant weeds. All of
these have acquired their pungent and poisonous properties, just as
nettles have acquired their sting, and thistles their thorns, in order
to prevent animals from browsing upon them and destroying them. And
the animals in turn have acquired a very delicate sense of pungency
on purpose to warn them beforehand of the existence of such dangerous
and undesirable qualities in the plants which they might otherwise be
tempted incautiously to swallow.

In tropical woods, where our “hairy quadrumanous ancestor” (Darwinian
for the primæval monkey, from whom we are presumably descended) used
playfully to disport himself, as yet unconscious of his glorious
destiny as the remote progenitor of Shakespeare, Milton, and the late
Mr. Peace—in tropical woods, such acid or pungent fruits and plants
are particularly common, and correspondingly annoying. The fact is, our
primitive forefather and all the other monkeys are, or were, confirmed
fruit-eaters. But to guard against their depredations a vast number
of tropical fruits and nuts have acquired disagreeable or fiery rinds
and shells, which suffice to deter the bold aggressor. It may not be
nice to get your tongue burnt with a root or fruit, but it is at least
a great deal better than getting poisoned; and, roughly speaking,
pungency in external nature exactly answers to the rough gaudy labels
which some chemists paste on bottles containing poisons. It means to
say, “This fruit or leaf, if you eat it in any quantities, will kill
you.” That is the true explanation of capsicums, pimento, colocynth,
croton oil, the upas tree, and the vast majority of bitter, acrid,
or fiery fruits and leaves. If we had to pick up our own livelihood,
as our naked ancestors had to do, from roots, seeds, and berries,
we should far more readily appreciate this simple truth. We should
know that a great many more plants than we now suspect are bitter or
pungent, and therefore poisonous. Even in England we are familiar
enough with such defences as those possessed by the outer rind of the
walnut; but the tropical cashewnut has a rind so intensely acrid that
it blisters the lips and fingers instantaneously, in the same way
as cantharides would do. I believe that on the whole, taking nature
throughout, more fruits and nuts are poisonous, or intensely bitter, or
very fiery, than are sweet, luscious, and edible.

“But,” says that fidgety person, the hypothetical objector (whom one
always sets up for the express purpose of promptly knocking him down
again), “if it be the business of the forepart of the tongue to warn us
against pungent and acrid substances, how comes it that we purposely
use such things as mustard, pepper, curry-powder, and vinegar?” Well,
in themselves all these things are, strictly speaking, bad for us;
but in small quantities they act as agreeable stimulants; and we take
care in preparing most of them to get rid of the most objectionable
properties. Moreover, we use them, not as foods, but merely as
condiments. One drop of oil of capsicum is enough to kill a man, if
taken undiluted; but in actual practice we buy it in such a very
diluted form that comparatively little harm arises from using it.
Still, very young children dislike all these violent stimulants, even
in small quantities; they won’t touch mustard, pepper, or vinegar, and
they recoil at once from wine or spirits. It is only by slow degrees
that we learn these unnatural tastes, as our nerves get blunted and
our palates jaded; and we all know that the old Indian who can eat
nothing but dry curries, devilled biscuits, anchovy paste, pepper-pot,
mulligatawny soup, Worcestershire sauce, preserved ginger, hot pickles,
fiery sherry, and neat cognac, is also a person with no digestion, a
fragmentary liver, and very little chance of getting himself accepted
by any safe and solvent insurance office. Throughout, the warning
in itself is a useful one; it is we who foolishly and persistently
disregard it. Alcohol, for example, tells us at once that it is bad
for us; yet we manage so to dress it up with flavoring matters and
dilute it with water that we overlook the fiery character of the spirit
itself. But that alcohol is in itself a bad thing (when freely indulged
in) has been so abundantly demonstrated in the history of mankind that
it hardly needs any further proof.

The middle region of the tongue is the part with which we experience
sensations of taste proper—that is to say, of sweetness and
bitterness. In a healthy, natural state all sweet things are pleasant
to us, and all bitters (even if combined with sherry) unpleasant. The
reason for this is easy enough to understand. It carries us back at
once into those primæval tropical forests where our “hairy ancestor”
used to diet himself upon the fruits of the earth in due season.
Now, almost all edible fruits, roots, and tubers contain sugar; and
therefore the presence of sugar is, in the wild condition, as good a
rough test of whether anything is good to eat as one could easily find.
In fact, the argument cuts both ways: edible fruits are sweet because
they are intended for man and other animals to eat; and man and other
animals have a tongue pleasurably affected by sugar because sugary
things in nature are for them in the highest degree edible. Our early
progenitors formed their taste upon oranges, mangoes, bananas, and
grapes; upon sweet potatoes, sugar-cane, dates, and wild-honey. There
is scarcely anything fitted for human food in the vegetable world (and
our earliest ancestors were most undoubted vegetarians), which does
not contain sugar in considerable quantities. In temperate climates
(where man is but a recent intruder), we have taken, it is true, to
regarding wheaten bread as the staff of life; but in our native tropics
enormous populations still live almost exclusively upon plantains,
bananas, breadfruit, yams, sweet potatoes, dates, cocoanuts, melons,
cassava, pineapples, and figs. Our nerves have been adapted to the
circumstances of our early life as a race in tropical forests; and we
still retain a marked liking for sweets of every sort. Not content with
our strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, apples, pears,
cherries, plums, and other northern fruits, we ransack the world for
dates, figs, raisins, and oranges. Indeed, in spite of our acquired
meat-eating propensities, it may be fairly said that fruits and seeds
(including wheat, rice, peas, beans, and other grains and pulse) still
form by far the most important element in the foodstuffs of human
populations generally.

But besides the natural sweets, we have also taken to producing
artificial ones. Has any housewife ever realised the alarming condition
of cookery in the benighted generations before the invention of sugar?
It is really almost too appalling to think about. So many things that
we now look upon as all but necessaries—cakes, puddings, made dishes,
confectionery, preserves, sweet biscuits, jellies, cooked fruits,
tarts, and so forth—were then practically quite impossible. Fancy
attempting nowadays to live a single day without sugar; no tea, no
coffee, no jam, no pudding, no cake, no sweets, no hot toddy before one
goes to bed; the bare idea of it is too terrible. And yet that was
really the abject condition of all the civilised world up to the middle
ages. Horace’s punch was sugarless and lemonless; the gentle Virgil
never tasted the congenial cup of afternoon tea; and Socrates went from
his cradle to his grave without ever knowing the flavor of peppermint
bull’s eyes. How the children managed to spend their Saturday _as_, or
their weekly _obolus_, is a profound mystery. To be sure, people had
honey; but honey is rare, dear, and scanty; it can never have filled
one quarter the place that sugar fills in our modern affections. Try
for a moment to realise drinking honey with one’s whiskey-and-water,
or doing the year’s preserving with a pot of best Narbonne, and you
get at once a common measure of the difference between the two as
practical sweeteners. Nowadays, we get sugar from cane and beetroot in
abundance, while sugar-maples and palm-trees of various sorts afford
a considerable supply to remoter countries. But the childhood of the
little Greeks and Romans must have been absolutely unlighted by a
single ray of joy from chocolate creams or Everton toffee.

The consequence of this excessive production of sweets in modern times
is, of course, that we have begun to distrust the indications afforded
us by the sense of taste in this particular as to the wholesomeness
of various objects. We can mix sugar with anything we like, whether
it had sugar in it to begin with or otherwise; and by sweetening and
flavoring we can give a false palatableness to even the worst and most
indigestible rubbish, such as plaster-of-Paris, largely sold under the
name of sugared almonds to the ingenuous youth of two hemispheres.
But in untouched nature the test rarely or never fails. As long as
fruits are unripe and unfit for human food, they are green and sour;
as soon as they ripen they become soft and sweet, and usually acquire
some bright color as a sort of advertisement of their edibility. In
the main, bar the accidents of civilisation, whatever is sweet is good
to eat—nay more, is meant to be eaten; it is only our own perverse
folly that makes us sometimes think all nice things bad for us, and all
wholesome things nasty. In a state of nature, the exact opposite is
really the case. One may observe, too, that children, who are literally
young savages in more senses than one, stand nearer to the primitive
feeling in this respect than grown-up people. They unaffectedly like
sweets; adults, who have grown more accustomed to the artificial meat
diet, don’t as a rule, care much for puddings, cakes, and made dishes.
(May I venture parenthetically to add, any appearance to the contrary
notwithstanding, that I am not a vegetarian, and that I am far from
desiring to bring down upon my devoted head the imprecation pronounced
against the rash person who would rob a poor man of his beer. It is
quite possible to believe that vegetarianism was the starting-point of
the race, without wishing to consider it also as the goal; just as it
is quite possible to regard clothes as purely artificial products of
civilization, without desiring personally to return to the charming
simplicity of the Garden of Eden.)

Bitter things in nature at large, on the contrary, are almost
invariably poisonous. Strychnia, for example, is intensely bitter,
and it is well known that life cannot be supported on strychnia alone
for more than a few hours. Again, colocynth and aloes are far from
being wholesome food stuffs, for a continuance; and the bitter end of
cucumber does not conduce to the highest standard of good living. The
bitter matter in decaying apples is highly injurious when swallowed,
which it isn’t likely to be by anybody who ever tastes it. Wormwood and
walnut-shells contain other bitter and poisonous principles; absinthe,
which is made from one of them, is a favorite slow poison with the
fashionable young men of Paris, who wish to escape prematurely from “Le
monde où l’on s’ennuie.” But prussic acid is the commonest component in
all natural bitters, being found in bitter almonds, apple pippins, the
kernels of mango-stones, and many other seeds and fruits. Indeed, one
may say roughly that the object of nature generally is to prevent the
actual seeds of edible fruits from being eaten and digested; and for
this purpose, while she stores the pulp with sweet juices, she encloses
the seed itself in hard stony coverings, and makes it nasty with bitter
essences. Eat an orange pip, and you will promptly observe how
effectual is this arrangement. As a rule, the outer rind of nuts is
bitter, and the inner kernel of edible fruits. The tongue thus warns us
immediately against bitter things, as being poisonous, and prevents us,
automatically, from swallowing them.

“But how is it,” asks our objector again, “that so many poisons are
tasteless, or even, like sugar of lead, pleasant to the palate?”
The answer is (you see, we knock him down again, as usual) because
these poisons are themselves for the most part artificial products;
they do not occur in a state of nature, at least in man’s ordinary
surroundings. Almost every poisonous thing that we are really liable to
meet with in the wild state we are warned against at once by the sense
of taste; but of course it would be absurd to suppose that natural
selection could have produced a mode of warning us against poisons
which have never before occurred in human experience. One might just
as well expect that it should have rendered us dynamite-proof, or have
given us a skin like the hide of a rhinoceros to protect us against the
future contingency of the invention of rifles.

Sweets and bitters are really almost the only tastes proper, almost
the only ones discriminated by this central and truly gustatory
region of the tongue and palate. Most so-called flavorings will be
found on strict examination to be nothing more than mixtures with
these of certain smells or else of pungent, salty, or alkaline
matters, distinguished as such by the tip of the tongue. For instance,
paradoxical as it sounds to say so, cinnamon has really no taste at
all, but only a smell. Nobody will ever believe this on first hearing,
but nothing on earth is easier than to put it to the test. Take a small
piece of cinnamon, hold your nose tightly, rather high up, between
the thumb and finger, and begin chewing it. You will find that it is
absolutely tasteless; you are merely chewing a perfectly insipid bit
of bark. Then let go your nose, and you will find immediately that it
“tastes” strongly, though in reality it is only the perfume from it
that you now permit to rise into the smelling-chamber in the nose. So,
again, cloves have only a pungent taste and a peculiar smell, and the
same is the case more or less with almost all distinctive flavorings.
When you come to find of what they are made up, they consist generally
of sweets or bitters, intermixed with certain ethereal perfumes, or
with pungent or acid tastes, or with both or several such together.
In this way, a comparatively small number of original elements,
variously combined, suffice to make up the whole enormous mass of
recognisably different tastes and flavors.

The third and lowest part of the tongue and throat is the seat of
those peculiar tastes to which Professor Bain, the great authority
upon this important philosophical subject, has given the names of
relishes and disgusts. It is here, chiefly, that we taste animal food,
fats, butters, oils, and the richer class of vegetables and made
dishes. If we like them, we experience a sensation which may be called
a relish, and which induces one to keep rolling the morsel farther
down the throat, till it passes at last beyond the region of our
voluntary control. If we don’t like them, we get the sensation which
may be called a disgust, and which is very different from the mere
unpleasantness of excessively pungent or bitter things. It is far less
of an intellectual and far more of a physical and emotional feeling. We
say, and say rightly, of such things that we find it hard to swallow
them; a something within us (of a very tangible nature) seems to rise
up bodily and protest against them. As a very good example of this
experience, take one’s first attempt to swallow cod-liver oil. Other
things may be unpleasant or unpalatable, but things of this class are
in the strictest sense nasty and disgusting.

The fact is, the lower part of the tongue is supplied with nerves in
close sympathy with the digestion. If the food which has been passed by
the two previous examiners is found here to be simple and digestible,
it is permitted to go on unchallenged; if it is found to be too rich,
too bilious, or too indigestible, a protest is promptly entered against
it, and if we are wise we will immediately desist from eating any more
of it. It is here that the impartial tribunal of nature pronounces
definitely against roast goose, mince pies, _pâté de foie gras_, sally
lunn, muffins and crumpets, and creamy puddings. It is here, too, that
the slightest taint in meat, milk, or butter is immediately detected;
that rancid pastry from the pastrycook’s is ruthlessly exposed, and
that the wiles of the fishmonger are set at naught by the judicious
palate. It is the special duty, in fact, of this last examiner to
discover, not whether food is positively destructive, not whether it is
poisonous or deleterious in nature, but merely whether it is then and
there digestible or undesirable.

As our state of health varies greatly from time to time, however, so
do the warnings of this last sympathetic adviser change and flicker.
Sweet things are always sweet, and bitter things always bitter; vinegar
is always sour, and ginger always hot in the mouth, too, whatever our
state of health or feeling; but our taste for roast loin of mutton,
high game, salmon cutlets, and Gorgonzola cheese varies immensely
from time to time, with the passing condition of our health and
digestion. In illness, and especially in sea-sickness, one gets the
taste carried to the extreme: you may eat grapes or suck an orange in
the chops of the Channel, but you do not feel warmly attached to the
steward who offers you a basin of greasy ox-tail, or consoles you with
promises of ham sandwiches in half a minute. Under those too painful
conditions it is the very light, fresh, and stimulating things that
one can most easily swallow—champagne, soda-water, strawberries,
peaches, not lobster salad, sardines on toast, green Chartreuse, or hot
brandy-and-water. On the other hand, in robust health, and when hungry
with exercise, you can eat fat pork with relish on a Scotch hillside,
or dine off fresh salmon three days running without inconvenience. Even
a Spanish stew, with plenty of garlic in it, and floating in olive
oil, tastes positively delicious after a day’s mountaineering in the
Pyrenees.

The healthy popular belief, still surviving in spite of cookery, that
our likes and dislikes are the best guide to what is good for us, finds
its justification in this fact, that whatever is relished will prove on
the average wholesome, and whatever rouses disgust will prove on the
whole indigestible. Nothing can be more wrong, for example, than to
make children eat fat when they don’t want it. A healthy child likes
fat, and eats as much of it as he can get. If a child shows signs of
disgust at fat, that proves that it is of a bilious temperament, and it
ought never to be forced into eating it against its will. Most of us
are bilious in after life just because we were compelled to eat rich
food in childhood, which we felt instinctively was unsuitable for us.
We might still be indulging with impunity in thick turtle, canvas-back
ducks, devilled white-bait, meringues, and Nesselrode puddings, if we
hadn’t been so persistently overdosed in our earlier years with things
that we didn’t want and knew were indigestible.

Of course, in our existing modern cookery, very few simple and
uncompounded tastes are still left to us; everything is so mixed up
together that only by an effort of deliberate experiment can one
discover what are the special effects of special tastes upon the tongue
and palate. Salt is mixed with almost everything we eat—_sal sapit
omnia_—and pepper or cayenne is nearly equally common. Butter is put
into the peas, which have been previously adulterated by being boiled
with mint; and cucumber is unknown except in conjunction with oil
and vinegar. This makes it comparatively difficult for us to realise
the distinctness of the elements which go to make up most tastes as
we actually experience them. Moreover, a great many eatable objects
have hardly any taste of their own, properly speaking, but only a
feeling of softness or hardness, or glutinousness in the mouth, mainly
observed in the act of chewing them. For example, plain boiled rice is
almost wholly insipid; but even in its plainest form salt has usually
been boiled with it, and in practice we generally eat it with sugar,
preserves, curry, or some other strongly flavored condiment. Again,
plain boiled tapioca and sago (in water) are as nearly tasteless as
anything can be; they merely yield a feeling of gumminess; but milk, in
which they are oftenest cooked, gives them a relish (in the sense here
restricted), and sugar, eggs, cinnamon, or nutmeg are usually added
by way of flavoring. Even turbot has hardly any taste proper, except
in the glutinous skin, which has a faint relish; the epicure values
it rather because of its softness, its delicacy, and its light flesh.
Gelatine by itself is merely very swallowable, we must mix sugar, wine,
lemon-juice, and other flavorings in order to make it into good jelly.
Salt, spices, essences, vanilla, vinegar, pickles, capers, ketchups,
sauces, chutneys, lime-juice, curry, and all the rest are just our
civilised expedients for adding the pleasure of pungency and acidity
to naturally insipid foods, by stimulating the nerves of touch in the
tongue, just as sugar is our tribute to the pure gustatory sense, and
oil, butter, bacon, lard, and the various fats used in frying to the
sense of relish which forms the last element in our compound taste.
A boiled sole is all very well when one is just convalescent, but in
robust health we demand the delights of egg and bread-crumb, which are,
after all only the vehicle for the appetising grease. Plain boiled
macaroni may pass muster in the unsophisticated nursery, but in the
pampered dining-room it requires the aid of toasted parmesan. Good
modern cookery is the practical result of centuries of experience in
this direction; the final flower of ages of evolution, devoted to the
equalisation of flavors in all human food. Think of the generations of
fruitless experiment that must have passed before mankind discovered
that mint sauce (itself a cunning compound of vinegar and sugar) ought
to be eaten with leg of lamb, that roast goose required a corrective in
the shape of apple, and that while a pre-established harmony existed
between salmon and lobster, oysters were ordained beforehand by nature
as the proper, accompaniment of boiled cod. Whenever I reflect upon
such things, I become at once a good Positivist, and offer up praise
in my own private chapel to the Spirit of Humanity which has slowly
perfected these profound rules of good living.—_Cornhill Magazine._



BYGONE CELEBRITIES AND LITERARY RECOLLECTIONS.

BY CHARLES MACKAY, LL.D.


III.

NAPOLEON III.—LORD WILLIAM PITT LENNOX.—ARCHBISHOP WHATELY.


It was during the unsettled times that preceded the great French
Revolution of 1848—I think it was in January of that year—that one
of Mr. Rogers’s breakfasts was attended by Prince Louis Napoleon
Buonaparte, afterwards Napoleon III.; Dr. Whately, the Protestant
Archbishop of Dublin; Lord William Pitt Lennox, the son of the Duke
of Richmond (who distinguished himself at the battle of Waterloo, and
died many years afterwards as Governor-General of Canada); and myself.
I was previously acquainted with all these gentlemen, and had met
the Prince a few days previously at the house of Mr. John MacGregor,
formerly Secretary of the Board of Trade, and member of Parliament for
Glasgow. The Prince, who was then forty years of age, had long been a
resident in London as an exile, spoke English exceedingly well, had
thoroughly studied the working of the British constitution, and had
learned to respect and apparently to love the English people. He was
very taciturn and undemonstrative; his dull grey eyes seemed to have
little speculation in them, and to have been given to him, if such
an expression may be used, to look inwards upon himself rather than
outwards upon the world. They brightened up at rare intervals when
anything was said that particularly interested him. On this occasion
the talk of the breakfast table turned a good deal upon French politics
and the probability, more or less imminent, of a revolutionary outbreak
in Paris, consequent upon the unwise opposition of Louis Philippe
and his too obsequious minister, M. Guizot, to the question of the
extension of the franchise and the reform of the French Parliament.
As I had within a fortnight or three weeks returned from Paris, where
I had associated with some leading liberal politicians, among others
with Béranger the poet and the Abbé de Lamennais, my opinion upon the
situation was asked, I think, by Mr. Rogers, and whether I thought
the agitation would subside. “Not,” I said, “unless the King yields.”
“He won’t yield, I think,” said the Prince; “he does not understand
the seriousness of the case.” I told the Prince that Béranger, who
knew the temper and sympathised with the opinions of the people, had
predicted the establishment of a Republic, consequent upon the downfall
of the monarchy, within less than a twelvemonth. Lamennais did not
give the King so long a lease of power, but foresaw revolution within
six months. The Prince remarked that “if there were barricades in the
streets of Paris, such as those by which his way to the throne was won
in 1830, the King would not give orders to disperse the mob by force
of arms.” “Why do you think so?” asked Mr. Rogers. “The King is a weak
man, a merciful man. He does not like bloodshed. I often think he was
a fool not to have had me shot after the affair of Strasburg. Had our
cases been reversed I know that I would have had him shot without
mercy,” I thought little of this remark at the time, but in after
years, when the exiled Prince became the powerful emperor, my mind
often reverted to this conversation, and I thought that if King Louis
Philippe had done what the Prince considered he ought to have done—and
as he would have been fully justified by law, civil and military, as
well as by state policy, in doing—the whole course of European history
would have been changed. Personally, the Prince was highly esteemed by
all who knew him. Stern as a politician, and in pursuit of the great
object of his ambition, as in the famous _coup d’état_ of 1851 by
which he raised himself at a bound from the comparatively humble and
uncertain chair of a President to the most conspicuous imperial throne
in the world—he was, in private life, of a singularly amiable temper.
He never forgot in his prosperity the friends or even the acquaintances
of his adversity; never ceased to remember any benefit that had been
conferred upon him, and not only to be grateful for it, but to show
his gratitude by acts of kindness and generosity, if the kindness or
generosity could be of benefit to the fortunes of the persons on whom
it was bestowed. When he sought the hand in marriage of a Princess of
the House of Austria, and the honor was declined for the occult and
unwhispered reason that he was a parvenu and an upstart, and that his
throne was at the mercy of a revolution (and what throne is not?), he
married for pure love and affection a noble lady of inferior rank, and
raised her to a throne which she filled for many years with more grace
and splendor than any contemporary sovereign born in the purple of
royalty had ever exhibited, Queen Victoria alone excepted.

The Prince thoroughly understood the character of the French people.
Napoleon I. had called the English a nation of shopkeepers. Napoleon
III. knew that the French were entitled in a far greater degree than
the English to that depreciatory epithet. He knew that in their hearts
they did not care so much for liberty and fraternity as they did for
“equality,”—that what they wanted in the first place was peace, so
that trade and industry might have a chance to prosper; and secondly,
that France as a nation might be the predominant power in Europe. For
the first reason, they required a master who would maintain order; for
the second reason, they idolised the name of the first Napoleon. These
two things were patent to the mind of Napoleon III., and formed the
keystone of his domestic and foreign policy.

When London, about three months after the breakfast at Mr. Rogers’, was
threatened, on April 10, 1848, by an insurrectionary mob of Chartists,
under the guidance of a half-crazy Irishman, named Feargus O’Connor,
who afterwards died in a lunatic asylum, the Prince volunteered to act
as a special constable, for the preservation of the peace, in common
with many thousands of respectable professional men, merchants, and
tradesmen. I met him in Trafalgar Square, armed with the truncheon
of a policeman. On this occasion, the Duke of Wellington, then
commander-in-chief of the British army, had taken the precaution to
station the military in sufficient numbers at all the chief strategical
points of the metropolis ready, though concealed from the notice of
the multitude, to act on an emergency. Happily their services were not
required. The sovereign was popular; the upper and middle classes were
unanimous; a large section of the laboring classes had no sympathy with
Chartism, and the display of the civic force, with bludgeons and staves
only, without firearms of any kind, was quite sufficient to overawe the
rioters. I stopped for a minute to exchange greetings with the Prince,
and said I did not think from all that I had heard that the Chartists
would resort to violence, and that their march through the streets
would be orderly. The Prince was of the same opinion, and passed upon
his beat among other police special constables in front of the National
Gallery.

As Lord William Lennox was of the breakfast party, I took the
opportunity to ask him a question with regard to a disputed point.
I had lately visited Brussels, the city in which I had passed my
school-boy days, and which was consequently endeared to my mind by
many youthful associations. The mother of Lord William, the beautiful
Duchess of Richmond, had given a great ball on the night preceding the
battle of Waterloo, in June, 1815, at which Lord William, then in his
sixteenth year, was present. Every lover of poetry will remember the
splendid description of this ball and of the subsequent battle which
occurs in the third canto of Byron’s “Childe Harold.” The passage is
unsurpassed in any language for the vigor, the picturesqueness, and the
magnificence of its thought and diction, and in its relation to one of
the most stupendous events in modern history.

    There was a sound of revelry by night,
      And Belgium’s capital had gather’d then
    Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
      The lamps shone o’er fair women and brave men;
      A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
    Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
      Soft eyes look’d love to eyes which spake again,
    And all went merry as a marriage bell;
    But hush! hark: a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.

It has been generally asserted and believed that the ball was given
by the duchess in the grand hall of the stately Hôtel de Ville in the
Grande Place, and when in Brussels I heard the assertion repeated by
many people, though denied by others. One old citizen, who remembered
the battle well, affirmed it to have been at the Hôtel de Ville, which
he saw brilliantly lighted up for the occasion, and passed among the
crowd of equipages that filled the Grande Place, when setting down
and taking up the ladies who graced the assembly with their presence.
Another equally old and trustworthy inhabitant declared that to his
personal knowledge the ball was given in the “Palais d’Aes,” a large
building that adjoins the palace of the King of the Belgians, and is
now used as a barrack; while a third affirmed it to have been held
in the handsome hotel, adjoining the Chamber of Deputies, which was
formerly occupied by Sir Charles Bagot, the British Ambassador to
Brussels and the Hague in 1830. Thinking there could be no better
authority than one who was present on the occasion, one, moreover,
who was so nearly allied to the giver of the entertainment, I asked
Lord William to decide the point. He replied at once that all these
assertions were unfounded. His father, the Duke, took a large house
in a back street, called the “Rue de la Blanchisserie” (street of the
laundry), abutting on the boulevard, opposite the present Botanic
Garden, and that the ball took place in the not extraordinarily
spacious drawing-room of that mansion. He said, moreover, that the
lines—

    Within the window’d niche of that high hall
    Sat Brunswick’s fated chieftain,

conveyed an idea of magnitude which the so-called “high hall” did not
in reality possess.

Archbishop Whately here said: “If we may be permitted without breach of
good manners to speak of Waterloo in the presence of Prince Napoleon,
I may remark that the correction of the very minor error just made
by Lord William, though exceedingly interesting is not of great
importance. Though contradicted again and again, the report still
circulates, and is still believed, that the Duke of Wellington was
surprised on the eve of the battle of Waterloo by the rapid march of
the emperor, and was thus taken at a disadvantage.”

“I never believed the report,” said the Prince, “though I have my own
views about the battle. I visited Waterloo in the winter of 1832, with
what feelings you may imagine.”

“The truth as regards the alleged surprise,” said the Archbishop,
“appears to be, as Lord Byron explained in a note to the passage in
‘Childe Harold,’ that the Duke had received intelligence of Napoleon’s
march, and at first had the idea of requesting the Duchess of Richmond
to countermand the ball; but, on reflection, considered it desirable
that the people of Brussels should be kept in ignorance of the course
of events. He, therefore, desired the duchess to let the ball proceed,
and gave commands to all the general officers who had been invited
to appear at it, each taking care to quit the room at ten o’clock
quietly, and without giving any notification, except to each of the
under officers, to join their respective divisions _en route_. There is
no doubt that many of the subalterns who were not in the secret were
surprised at the suddenness of the order.”

“I heard, when I visited the field of Waterloo less than a month ago,”
I said, “that many of the officers joined the march in their dancing
shoes, so little time was left for them to obey orders.”

“It has been proved to the satisfaction of every real inquirer into
the facts,” said Mr. Rogers, “that as far as the duke himself and
his superior officers were concerned, there was no surprise in the
matter. You know the daring young lady, who presumed on her beauty to
be forgiven for her impertinence, who asked the Duke point-blank at an
evening party whether he had not been surprised at Waterloo. ‘Certainly
not!’ he replied ‘but I am now.’”

“A proper rebuke,” said Lord William, “I hope the lady felt it.”

Byron, in the beautiful stanzas to which allusion has been made,
describes the wood of Soignes, erroneously called Soignies, in the
environs of Brussels, a portion of the great Forest of Ardennes:

    And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
      Dewy with Nature’s tear-drops as they pass.
    Grieving, if aught inanimate e’er grieves,
      Over the unreturning brave.

In a note to this passage he speaks of Ardennes as famous in
Boiardo’s “Orlando,” as immortal in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”
Whatever may have been the case with Boiardo, it is all but certain
that Shakespeare’s “Arden” was not the Ardennes near Brussels,
but the forest of Arden, in Warwickshire, near his native town of
Stratford-on-Avon. He frequented this “Arden” in his youth, perhaps in
chasing the wild deer of Sir Thomas Lucy, perhaps in love-rambles with
Anne Hathaway. Portions of this English forest still remain, containing
in a now enclosed park—the property of a private gentleman—some
venerable oak trees, one of which as I roughly measured it with my
walking-stick is upwards of thirty feet in circumference within a yard
of the ground. This tree, with several others still standing, must
have been old in the days of Shakespeare; and in the shadow of which
he himself may have reclined in the happy days ere he went to London
in search of fame and fortune. “Arden,” spelled Ardennes in French,
is a purely Celtic word, meaning the high forest, from _Ard_, high,
and _Airdean_, heights. The English district is still called “Arden,”
and the small town of Henley, within its boundaries, is described as
Henley-in-Arden to distinguish it from the many other Henleys that
exist in England.

Lord William Lennox married the once celebrated cantatrice, Miss Wood,
from whom he was divorced. He was a somewhat voluminous author of
third-rate novels, and a frequent contributor to the periodical press.
He died in 1880, in his eighty-first year.

Dr. Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, was the author of a very able
treatise on Logic and Rhetoric, long the text-book of the schools;
and also of a once famous _jeu d’esprit_ entitled “Historic Doubts
concerning Napoleon Buonaparte,” in which he proved irrefragably by
false logic likely to convince idle and unthinking readers, that
no such person as Napoleon Buonaparte ever did exist or could have
existed. In this clever little work he ridiculed, under the guise of
seeming impartiality and critical acumen, the many attempts that had
been made, especially by French writers of the school of Voltaire, to
prove that Jesus Christ was a purely imaginary character, as much a
myth as the gods of Grecian and Roman mythology. Mr. Greville, in his
“Memoirs of the Courts of George III., George IV., and William IV.,”
records that he met Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, at a dinner-party,
and describes him “as a very ordinary man in appearance and
conversation, with something pretentious in his talk, and as telling
stories without point.” Nevertheless he admitted him to be “a very able
man.” My opinion of the Archbishop was far more favorable. The first
thing that struck me with regard to him was the clear precision of
his reasoning, as befitted a man who had written with such undoubted
authority on Logic and Rhetoric, and the second his rare tolerance for
all conscientious differences of opinion on religious matters. Two
years previously I had sat next to him on the platform of the inaugural
meeting held by the members of The Athenæum at Manchester in support of
that institution. Several bishops had been invited, and had signified
their intention to be present, but all of them except Dr. Whately had
withdrawn as soon as it was publicly announced that Mr. George Dawson,
a popular lecturer and Unitarian preacher of advanced opinions, was
to address the audience. Mr. Dawson, who was at the time a very young
man, spoke with considerable eloquence and power, and impressed the
audience favorably, the Archbishop included. “I think,” said Dr.
Whately, turning to me at the conclusion of the speech, “that my
reverend brethren would have taken no harm from being present to-night,
and more than one of them, whom I could name, would be all the better
if they could preach with as much power and spirit, as this boy has
displayed in his speech.” On another occasion, when I was in Dublin in
1849. I heard that several ultra-orthodox Protestant clergymen in the
city had been heard to express regret that Dr. Whately was so lax in
his religious belief, and set so bad an example to his clergy. I asked
in what manner, and was told in reply that he had publicly spoken of
Dr. Daniel Murray, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, then in his
81st year, as “a good man, a very good man,” adding the hope that he
himself should be found worthy to meet Murray in Heaven.

This large-minded prelate died in 1863, in his seventy-seventh year.


IV.

THE REV. HENRY HART MILMAN—THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE—THOMAS MILLER.

It was in the summer of 1844, a few days after the interment in
Westminster Abbey of Thomas Campbell, the poet, author of the
“Pleasures of Hope” and many other celebrated poems, that I received
an invitation to breakfast with Samuel Rogers, to meet the Rev. Dr.
Milman, the officiating clergyman on that solemn occasion. There were
two other guests besides myself; the Rev. Alexander Dyce, well known
as a commentator on Shakespeare, and Mr. Thomas Miller—originally a
basket-maker—who had acquired considerable reputation as a poet and
novelist and a hard-working man of letters.

Dr. Milman was at the time rector of St. Margaret’s—the little church
that stands close to Westminster Abbey and interferes greatly with the
view of that noble cathedral. He was afterwards Dean of St. Paul’s, and
was known to fame as the author of the successful tragedy of “Fazio,”
of many poetical volumes of no great merit, and of a “History of the
Jews” and a “History of Christianity,” both of which still retain their
reputation.

The conversation turned principally on the funeral of the poet, at
which both Mr. Dyce and myself had been present. The pall-bearers were
among the most distinguished men of the time, for their rank, their
talent, and their high literary and political positions. They included
Sir Robert Peel, Lord Brougham, Lord Campbell, the Duke of Argyll,
the Earl of Strangford, and the Duke of Buccleuch, the last named the
generous nobleman—noble in nature as well as in rank—who had offered,
when a lad in his teens, to pay the debts of his illustrious namesake,
Sir Walter Scott, when the great novelist had fallen upon evil days
in the full flush of his fame and popularity. A long procession of
authors, sculptors, artists, and other distinguished men followed the
coffin to the grave. Many Polish exiles were conspicuous among them. As
Dr. Milman pronounced the affecting words of the burial service, “ashes
to ashes, dust to dust,” a Polish gentleman made his way through the
ranks of mourners, and drawing a handful of earth from a little basket
which he carried, exclaimed in a clear voice, “This is Polish earth for
the tomb of the friend of Poland,” and sprinkled it upon the coffin.
This dramatic incident recalled to my mind, as it no doubt did to that
of other spectators, Campbell’s unwearied exertions in the cause of
Poland, and of the indignant lines in the “Pleasures of Hope,”

    Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
    And Freedom shriek’d when Kosciusko fell.

Mr. Rogers, reminded, perhaps, of a grievance by the presence at the
breakfast table of Dr. Milman, seemed to brood over an injustice that
he thought had been done him with reference to the late poet. When
Campbell, under the pressure of some pecuniary difficulty, complained
of the scanty rewards of literature, and especially of poetry, Mr.
Rogers was reported to have recommended him to endeavor to procure
employment as a clerk. This was thought to be very unfeeling; but
on this occasion Mr. Rogers explained to the whole company that he
had been misunderstood, and that he had not meant any unkindness. “I
myself,” he said, “was a clerk in my early days, and never had to
depend upon poetry for my bread; and I only suggested that in Mr.
Campbell’s ‘case,’ and in that of every other literary man, it would be
much better if the writing of poetry were an amusement only and not a
business.”

“No doubt,” said Mr. Dyce, “but men of genius are not always the
masters of their own youth, and cannot invariably choose their careers
or make choice of a profession which requires means and time to qualify
for it. You, for instance, Mr. Rogers, when a clerk, were clerk to your
father, and qualified yourself under his auspices for partnership in,
or succession to the management of, his prosperous bank. Mr. Campbell
had no such chances.”

“It is a large question,” said Dr. Milman. “The love of literature in
a man of genius, rich or poor—especially if poor, is an all-absorbing
passion; and shapes his life, regret it as we may. Literature has
rewards more pleasant than those of money, pleasant though money
undoubtedly is. If money were to be the ‘be-all’ and ‘end-all’ of life,
it would be better to be a rich cheesemonger or butcher than a poor
author. But no high-spirited, intelligent, and ambitious youth could be
of this opinion and shape his life by it. Sensitive youths drift into
poetry, as prosaic and adventurous youths drift into the army or the
navy.”

“The more’s the pity,” replied Mr. Rogers, “as by drifting into poetry
they too often drift into poverty and misery. I trust, however, you
will all understand that the idle and the malevolent gossips did, and
do me, gross unjustice when they say that I recommended Campbell to
accept a clerkship rather than continue to rely upon poetry. I never
thought of doing so. I merely expressed a general wish that every man
of genius, not born to wealth, should have a profession to rely upon
for his daily bread.”

“A wish that all men would agree in,” said Mr. Dyce, “and that after
all had no particular or exclusive reference to Mr. Campbell. He did
not find the literature which he adorned utterly unprofitable. He
made money by his poetry and by his literary labor generally, besides
gaining a pension of three hundred pounds per annum on the Civil List,
and the society of all the most eminent men of his time, which he could
not have done as a cheesemonger or a butcher, however successful he
might have become in these pursuits.”

“These are all truisms,” said Mr. Rogers, somewhat sharply, as if
annoyed. “What I complain of is that the world, the very ill-natured
world, should have spread abroad the ridiculous story that I
recommended Mr. Campbell, in his declining years, to apply for a
clerkship.”

“I think no one believes that you did so,” said Dr. Milman, “or that
you could have done so. Your sympathy with men of letters is well known
and has been proved too often, not by mere words only, but by generous
deeds, for such a story to obtain credence.”

“Falsehoods,” replied Mr. Rogers, still with a tone of bitterness,
“are not cripples. They run fast, and have more legs than a centipede.
I saw it stated in print the other day that I depreciate Shakespeare
and think him to have been over-rated. I know of no other foundation
for the libel than that I once quoted the opinion expressed of him by
Ben Jonson, his dearest friend and greatest admirer. Though Ben Jonson
called Shakespeare ‘the Swan of Avon,’

                          Soul of the age,
    The applause, delight, and wonder of the stage,

and affirmed that:

    He was not for an age, but for all Time,

he did not hesitate to express the wish, in answer to one who boasted
that Shakespeare had never blotted a line, ‘would to Heaven he had
blotted a thousand.’ Ben Jonson saw the spots on the glorious face of
the sun of Shakespeare’s genius, and was not accused of desecrating his
memory because he did so; but because _I_ quoted that very saying and
approved of it, I have been accused of an act of treason against the
majesty of the great poet. Surely my offence was no greater than that
of Ben Jonson! If there were treason in the thought, it was treason
that I shared with him who had said he loved Shakespeare with as much
love as was possible to feel on this side of idolatry.”

“I think,” remarked Dr. Milman, “that such apparently malevolent
repetitions of a person’s remarks are the results of careless ignorance
or easy-going stupidity, rather than of positive ill-nature or a wilful
perversion of the truth.”

“It is very curious,” said Mr. Dyce, “how very few people can repeat
correctly what they hear, and that nine people out of ten cannot repeat
a joke without missing the point or the spirit of it.”

“And what a widely prevalent tendency there is to exaggerate,
especially in numbers. If some people see a hundred of anything, they
commonly represent the hundred as a thousand and the thousand as ten
thousand.”

“Not alone in numbers,” interposed Mr. Rogers, “but in anything. If I
quoted Ben Jonson’s remark in relation to Shakespeare once only, the
rumor spreads that I quoted it frequently; and so the gossip passes
from mouth to mouth with continual accretion. Perhaps I shall go down
to posterity as an habitual reviler and depreciator of Shakespeare.”

“Perhaps you won’t go down to posterity at all,” said Mr. Dyce,
good-naturedly.

“Perhaps not,” replied Mr. Rogers, “but if my name should happen to
reach that uncertain destination I trust I may be remembered, as Ben
Jonson is, as a true lover of Shakespeare. But great as Shakespeare is,
I don’t think that our admiration should ever be allowed to degenerate
into slavish adoration. We ought neither to make a god of him nor a
fetish. And I ask you, Mr. Dyce, as a diligent student of his works and
an industrious commentator upon them, whether you do not think that
very many passages in them are unworthy of his genius. If Homer nods,
why not Shakespeare?”

“I grant all that,” replied Mr. Dyce, “nay more! I assert that many of
the plays attributed to him were not written by him at all. And more
even than that. Several of his plays were published surreptitiously,
and without his consent, and never received his final corrections or
any revision whatever. The faults and obscurities that are discoverable
even in the masterpieces of his genius, were not due to him at all,
but to ignorant and piratical booksellers, who gave them to the world
without his authority, and traded upon his name. Some also must be
attributed to the shorthand writers who took down the dialogue as
repeated by the actors on the stage. It is curious to reflect how
indifferent Shakespeare was to his dramatic fame. He never seems to
have cared for his plays at all, and to have looked at them, to use the
slang of the artists of our days, as mere ‘_pot-boilers_,’ compositions
that brought him in money, and enabled him to pay his way, but in which
he took no personal pride whatever.”

“His heart was in his two early poems—‘Venus and Adonis,’ and the
‘Rape of Lucrece,’” said Dr. Milman, “the only compositions, it should
be observed, that were ever published by his authority, and to which he
appended his name. His sonnets, which some people admire so much—an
admiration in which I do not share—were published surreptitiously,
without his consent, and probably more than one-half of them were not
written by him. Some of them are undoubtedly by Marlowe, and some by
authors of far inferior ability. Shakespeare’s name was popular at the
time; there was no law of copyright, and booksellers did almost what
they pleased with the names and works of celebrated men; and what seems
extraordinary in our day, the celebrated men made no complaint—most
probably because there was no redress to be obtained for them if they
had done so. The real law of copyright only dates from the eighth
year of the reign of Queen Anne, 1710, or nearly a century after
Shakespeare’s death.”

“But authors in those early days, even in the absence of a well-defined
law of copyright,” said Mr. Miller, “received payment for their works;
witness the receipt of John Milton for five pounds on account of
‘Paradise Lost’—now in the possession of our host—and which we have
all seen.”

“But that was long after the death of Shakespeare,” said Mr. Dyce, “and
it does not appear that Shakespeare ever received a shilling for the
copyright of any of his works. Perhaps he received gratuities from the
Earls of Southampton and Pembroke, and the other rich young men about
town, for whom it is supposed that he wrote many of his sonnets. That
he also must have received considerable sums for his representation of
his plays at the Globe Theatre is evident from the well-ascertained
fact that he retired from theatrical business with a competent fortune
and lived the life for some years of a prosperous country gentleman.”

As it has been asserted in my presence by an eminent literary
man, within a month of the present writing, that Samuel Rogers
systematically depreciated Shakespeare, and that he was above all
things a cynic, I think it right, in justice to his memory, to repeat
the conversation above recorded. Though it took place nearly forty
years ago, I wrote down the heads of it in my notebook on the very
day when it occurred; and by reperusal of it I have refreshed my memory
so as to be certain of its accuracy. Mr. Rogers doubtless said very
pungent and apparently ill-natured things in his time; no professed
wit, such as he was, can always, or indeed very often, refrain from
shooting a barbed dart either to raise a laugh and to strengthen an
argument, or to dispense with one; but there was no malevolence in the
heart, though there might appear to be some on the tongue, of Samuel
Rogers. To love literature, and to excel in poetical composition, were
unfailing passports to his regard, his esteem, and if necessary, his
purse. One of the guests of the morning on which these conversations
took place, and who bore his part in them, was a grateful recipient
and witness of his beneficence. Thomas Miller, who began life as a
journeyman basket-maker, working for small daily wages in the fens
of Lincolnshire, excited the notice of his neighbors by his poetical
genius, or it may have been only talent, and by their praises of his
compositions, filled his mind with the desire to try his literary
fortune in the larger sphere of London. He listened to the promptings
of his ambition, came to the metropolis, launched his little skiff on
the wide ocean of literary life, and by dint of hard work, indomitable
perseverance, unfailing hope, and incessant struggles, managed to earn
a modest subsistence. He speedily found that poetry failed to put money
in his purse, and prudently resorted to prose. When prose in the shape
of original work—principally fiction—just enabled him to live from
day to day, he took refuge in the daily drudgery of reviewing in the
_Literary Gazette_, then edited by Mr. Jerdan, a very bad paymaster.
He had not been long in London before he made the acquaintance or Mr.
Rogers, and after a period of more or less intimacy, received from that
gentleman the good, though old, and as it often happens, the unwelcome
advice that he should cease to rely wholly upon literature for his
daily bread. As poor Miller could not return to basket-making—except
as an employer of other basket-makers, for which he had not sufficient,
or indeed any, capital—and as, moreover, he had no love for any
pursuits but those of literature, he resolved, if he could manage it,
to establish himself as a bookseller and publisher. Mr. Rogers, to
whom he confided his wish, approved of it, and generously aided him to
accomplish it, by the advance without security of the money required
for the purpose. The basket-maker carried on the business for a few
years with but slight success, and once informed me that he had made
more money by the sale of note paper, of sealing-wax, of ink, and of
red-tape, than he had made by the sale of his own works, or those of
anybody else.

Mr. Rogers established another poet in the bookselling and publishing
business, but with far greater success than attended his efforts in the
case of the basket-maker. Mr. Edward Moxon, a clerk or shopman in the
employ of Messrs. Longman, who wrote in his early manhood a little book
of sonnets that attracted the notice of Mr. Rogers, to whom they had
been sent by the author with a modest letter, became by the pecuniary
aid and constant patronage of the “Bard of Memory,” one of the most
eminent publishers of the time. He was known to fame as “the Poet’s
publisher,” and issued the works not only of Mr. Rogers himself, but
of Campbell, Wordsworth, Southey, Savage, Landor, Coleridge, and many
other poetical celebrities. He also published the works of Ben Jonson,
Marlowe, Beaumont and Fletcher, Peele, and other noted dramatists of
the Elizabethan era.

The friendly assistance, delicately and liberally administered in the
hour of need, by Samuel Rogers to the illustrious Richard Brinsley
Sheridan is fully recorded in the life of the latter by Thomas Moore;
that which was administered, though under less pressing circumstances,
to Thomas Campbell, has found a sympathetic historian in Dr. William
Beattie. Rogers, in spite of the baseless libel concerning Shakespeare,
had not a particle of literary envy in his composition. His dislike
to Lord Byron was not literary but personal, and is adequately
explained—and almost justified—by the gross and unprovoked attacks
which Byron directed against him.—_Gentleman’s Magazine._



AN ACTOR IN THE REBELLION OF 1798.


BY LETITIA McCLINTOCK.

In a tiny hovel on the mountain-side just above the romantic glens
of Banagher, in the wildest part of the country Londonderry, lives
Paddy O’Heany, aged a hundred and three years. Paddy is an intelligent
old man who must have enjoyed his existence thoroughly, and taken a
vivid interest in the stirring scenes of his early life. No clod of
the valley is he even now, not like many old people who cannot be
aroused to any enthusiasm about either past or present events. Being
in quest of an actor in the terrible scenes of ’98, and having tried
several very old people without result, we hoped to find in Paddy a
story-teller.

“Paddy,” said our friend Mrs. S----, “is the oldest inhabitant in the
parish; he was a youth of nineteen at the time of the Rebellion, and
can relate graphic tales of adventures in which he took part. One of
them, the history of Jack McSparron, will make your blood run cold;
but there, I’ll say no more; you shall judge for yourself. Paddy was
one of the United Irishmen; has been, it is said, a Ribbonman and a
Fenian since then, and is now, in all probability, a Land Leaguer. At
any rate, his sympathies are with the Land League, so that you must be
careful what you say if you want him to talk; but I need not give you
any hints, you will know how to draw him out.”

Looking down from Paddy’s cottage door upon the richly wooded glens of
Banagher, the traveller is struck by the extent and beauty of the view.
Below lies a ruined church, a little to its right the glens—four dark
lines of wood branching off from a common meetingpoint, and running
up the mountain in different directions, and to the left the quaint
country town of Dungiven. Above the town rises the majestic mountain
range of Benbraddagh; while yet farther to the left, and like pale,
smoke-tinted phantoms, are the hills of Magilligan, and the shadowy
coast-line. This was the view we saw from Paddy’s low doorway, and with
a little reluctance we turned away from contemplating it, to enter the
smoky cabin.

Paddy was a fine old man with thick, grizzled hair, a better-formed
profile than many of his class, and a hale, hearty voice. He was
totally blind, but his keen face was so full of intelligence that it
was easy to forget that he could not see. His daughter, herself a very
old woman, moved his arm-chair near the door, and we sat beside him
facing the scene above described. The turf smoke, of which the kitchen
was full, blew past us to find its outlet at the door. A turf stack was
built against the end of the dresser just behind Paddy’s chair. A calf
was walled off by a little rampart of boards from the rest of the room,
and the cock and hens had already flown to their roost directly above
our heads. The atmosphere and neighborhood might have been objected to
by squeamish people, but in the pursuit of knowledge what will not one
dare?

The old woman stood behind her fathers chair ready to jog his memory if
necessary. A present of tobacco, tea, and sugar touched the patriarch’s
heart; he was quite willing to take the desired journey into the
regions of the past.

“Do I mind the time o’ the Uniting? Is that what the lady wants to
know? Ay, bravely I mind it. I mind it far better nor things that
happened yesterday. I was ane o’ the United Men mysel’, an’ I was sent
wi’ a big wheen o’ the boys to keep the pass on the White Mountain when
the army was expected from Derry to destroy us. I had my pike, an’ the
maist part o’ the boys had guns.”

“Were you not afraid to meet the soldiers?”

“Feared? Was I feared? Troth an’ faix I was, sorely feared; but it wad
ha’ been as much as your life was worth to let on that you were feared.
I mind us leaning against the heather, an’ the big rocks an’ mountains
rising up all roun’ us, an’ the cold night an’ the darkness comin’ on,
an’ feen a word was spoke amang us, for we be to keep the pass.”

“Well?”

“Weel, at long an’ at last, Jack McSparron came running back (he was
put to watch); ‘an’,’ says he, ‘the army’s comin’ now; there’s the
tramp o’ the horses,’ says he. Wi’ that we to the listening, an’ we all
heered the tramp o’ the cavalry; an’ the company o’ the United Men just
melted away like snow off a ditch. Jack an’ one or two others tried to
keep us thegether, but it couldna be done; the boys was too feared. I
ran wi’ the rest, an’ I never stopped till I was in my father’s house
sittin’ into the chimney-corner aback o’ my mother. After that there
was soldiers passing we’er door nearly every day, an’ they said they
were marching to burn Maghera to the ground.”

“Why was Maghera to be burned to the ground?”

“I dinna rightly know, but I think the United Men was strong in it. But
counter-orders came that it was na to be destroyed, an’ then the army
came back to Dungiven.”

“Were you acquainted with Jack McSparron?”

“Is it Jack McSparron that was flogged in Dungiven Street? Ay, I mind
that weel.”

His withered hands clutched the arms of his chair as he bent forward,
with his sightless eyes fixed, and the fire of eagerness in his keen
face. He was gone upon a journey into the distant past, and a scene of
horror passed before his mental vision.

“Those times were worse nor these,” he said; “there were murders, too,
in parts o’ the country, but there was another way o’ working then. I
told you that the army came over frae England, an’ they took up the men
that was for the Uniting, an’ there was short work wi’ _them_. Ay, ay,
I mind the day Jack was flogged in Dungiven Street because he wouldna
tell the names o’ the men that was banded wi’ him. One o’ them was a
meeting minister, it was said; an’ there was farmers an’ laboring men,
too. For the whole country about Dungiven was strong for the United
Irishmen as they called them. I was wi’ them mysel’, but I was never
took.”

“There were some Presbyterians among them?”

“Eh?” and his hand went up to his ear.

“The lady’s axin’ if there wasn’t Presbyterians wi’ the United Men,
father,” said his daughter.

“Troth, was there, ma’am! it was allowed that there was ministers an’
farmers an’ shopkeepers o’ them. Jack was a Presbyterian himsel’.”

“How was he taken prisoner?”

“I dinna just mind, but I think it was at a meeting they had at a house
in Feeny. The alarm was given that the soldiers was coming, and all
fled an’ got away but Jack. He was a fine boy of nineteen years of age,
the support o’ his mother. He was stiff in his turn, too, far stiffer
nor I could ha’ been, for he swore he’d die afore he’d tell upon his
comrades. Ay, he was stiffer nor me.”

“True for you, father,” laughed the old woman, leaning over Paddy’s
chair; “you’d ha’ told sooner nor be scourged.”

We recalled Paddy’s naïve history of his flight from the pass on the
White Mountain and mentally agreed with her. Paddy, however, was an
Irishman pure, while Jack McSparron was descended from the Scottish
Covenanters, and had inherited from them the fortitude of an Ephraim
MacBriar.

“Go on, Paddy; your story is most interesting.”

The old man smiled, but he was hardly thinking of his visitors, the
picture brought back by memory so engrossed him.

“Jack wouldna’ gie the names o’ his comrades, an’ he was sentenced to
be flogged till he would tell. I mind Niel Sweenie, that was a comrade
boy o’ mine, an’ me went to Dungiven to see the flogging. We seen
Jack in a cart an’ his mother wi’ him, an’ all the way along the road
she was laying her commands upon him to die before he’d betray his
comrades. The army was marching all round the cart, an’ people frae
all the farmhouses an’ cottierhouses was following. Then we got into
Dungiven. I mind the crowds that was looking on, an’ me an’ Niel among
them.

“Jack got so many lashes, an’ then they’d stop an’ the officer would ax
him if he would tell now, an’ the old woman would call out, ‘Dinna give
in, Jack. Die like a man, my son. Think o’ the curses o’ the widows an’
orphans that wad follow you;’ an’ the poor boy would make answer, ‘Ay,
mother, I’ll die before I tell.’”

“Dear, dear, but that mother was the hard-hearted woman!” interrupted
Paddy’s daughter, glancing at her grandson, who happened to pass the
door at that moment with a creel of turf on his back.

Paddy did not heed her interruption; he was embarked on the full tide
of recollection—the horrible scene lived again before him. “They gave
him a great many lashes,” he continued; “I dinna mind how many hundred
it was, an’ each time they stopped he was asked if he would tell, an’
his mother still bid him die like a man, an’ his answer was still the
same. At long an’ at last the officer called out ‘Stop! would you kill
a game bird?’ an’ he was took down an’ put in the guard-room for the
night.

“Niel an’ me was invited in to tak’ a look at him, an’ we seen him
lying on his face on a table wi’ an ointment shirt on that the soldiers
had thrown over him. The officers gave orders that the whole country
was to see him if they liked. I think they wanted to scare the United
Men.

“He was to be took to Limavady the next day for the sentence to be
carried out there, so the whole country took a holiday again to see the
rear o’ the flogging. Jack an’ his mother was in the cart, an’ the army
marchin’ wi’ them, an’ me an’ Niel an’ a crowd o’ neighbors following
along the road to Limavady.

“The mother called out to us, ‘I’m going wi’ his living funeral,’ says
she; ‘but I’ll gie him the same advice I did yesterday,’ says she.

“When we reached Limavady he was tied up, an’ we were watching for the
lash to fall, when there was a great shout an’ we seen a man galloping
up the street as hard as his horse could go, waving something white
over his head. It was a pardon come from Dublin for Jack McSparron.”

“I am glad the pardon came, for he was an heroic youth, rebel though he
was.”

“Ay,” cried the old man, “_he_ wouldna’ be an informer. There’s few o’
his sort left in Ireland now, more’s the pity—more’s the pity!”

The fire in his voice told us plainly where his sympathies really were.
Not, certainly, with murdered landlords, bailiffs, or non-land-league
farmers!

“Did Jack live to be an old man?”

“Ay, did he. He died it’ll be sixteen year past next Candlemas. There’s
a daughter o’ his married on a farmer not very far from this. The
McSparrons in this parish is all proud o’ being his friends. When ane
o’ them shows himsel’ a gude comrade or neighbor, the people says, ‘Ay,
he’s o’ the blood of Jack McSparron.’”


TRAGEDIES AT MAGHERA.

Mrs. Majilton was in a state of much excitement one day in the summer
of ’98 because parties of soldiers were passing her house one after
another. Her house was close to the high-road, half-way between Feeny
and Dungiven, and stood in a comfortable little farmyard. She was a
Church Protestant, dreadfully afraid of the rebels, and consequently
very glad to see the red-coats in the country. They had been
marching past her house all morning, and she had stood at the door
with the baby in her arms, wishing them “God speed.”

The men had exchanged a cheerful greeting with her now and then, and as
they went by she caught some of their conversation; the word Maghera
was repeated over and over again. They were marching to Maghera; no
time must be lost; they could not delay for refreshment or rest. The
day wore on, and a party of stragglers stopped at her door, young lads,
mere recruits, who had lagged behind the main body, not being able to
endure the hardships of their forced march from Londonderry as well as
the older men. Their sergeant, a bronzed veteran, asked the good woman
to give them a drink of water, for the love of God.

“I have sworn at the poor fellows till I’m hoarse, ma’am; but they’re
giving up, and I must let them rest a minute.”

Mrs. Majilton ran to lay the baby in its cradle; then she opened the
barrel, filled a large bowl half full of oatmeal, poured water upon it,
and handed it to the men, who sat down in the yard, and passed the bowl
from one to another.

“That’s both meat and drink,” said they, gratefully.

“Our orders are to hurry on to Maghera without stopping, for we’ve got
to burn it to the ground,” said the sergeant.

“God bless me, sir, what’s occurring at Maghera?”

She knew that Maghera was a country town farther off than Dungiven.
Some of her neighbors had been there, but she had never travelled so
far herself. The sergeant told her that news had reached Derry that the
rebels were in force at Maghera, and were murdering all who refused to
join them. There were few newspapers in those days, and no penny post;
rumor spread and perhaps exaggerated the evil tidings. It was said that
a young girl combing her hair beside her hearth had been shot dead by
a party of men who came to look for her father. They looked in at the
window, saw her, and murdered her out of revenge because her father had
escaped them. “And now,” concluded the sergeant, “our orders are that
Maghera is to be destroyed.”

Mrs. Majilton, who knew her Bible well, remembered the fate of Sodom
and Gomorrah, and of Nineveh—that wicked city; and she thought the
soldiers were the Lord’s instruments to execute His judgment upon
Maghera.

When the party of recruits got as far as Dungiven they found that
counter-orders had come—Maghera was _not_ to be burnt after all; but
sufficient troops to quiet the country were to be sent on, while the
remainder halted at Dungiven. We shall accompany two of the soldiers
who pressed forward. As they neared the town, scenes of desolation
met them on every hand—deserted houses, smouldering thatch, burnt
stackyards. They were told that the rebels had taken to the mountains
when they heard the troops were coming. The men separated; some
explored one road, some another, hoping to inclose the enemy in a net.

As Privates John Buckley and Tom Green advanced up one of these
mountain roads they were appalled by the terrible loneliness of the
place. Here a farmhouse stood empty, its door hanging off the hinges;
there were blackened circles where stacks of corn had been; again they
saw a cottage with a smouldering thatch, and no sign of life near,
excepting a starved cat that prowled about the door.

The rebels had clearly passed that way; those were the marks they
had left behind them. At length, where the lane seemed about to lose
itself in a mountain pass, they came to a cottage whose door stood
open. It looked like a comfortable small farmer’s homestead: a pretty
garden, gay with common flowers, was at one side of the house; there
were laburnums and lilacs just out of blossom; red and white roses in
full blossom; tall orange lilies with bursting buds; rows of peas and
beans and plots of cabbages. The whole place had a civilized air, and
reminded the Englishmen of their own homes. The pretty green railing
and rustic gate; the orderly stackyard and offices, gave an impression
of neatness, taste, and comfort unusual in that country.

The men went into the kitchen of the farmhouse. There was no fire upon
the hearth. The turf had burnt to ashes under a great black pot of
potatoes that hung upon the crook, and two children sat disconsolately
leaning against each other beside the cold hearth.

Buckley explored the “room,” and Green the loft; there was no trace
of human being to be found; the children were the only inmates of the
place.

The eldest child, a little girl of about four years old, with pretty
blue eyes and curly hair, looked up curiously, but did not move. Her
tiny brother was too languid to raise his head from her shoulder.

“Are you alone in the house?” asked Green.

“Ay,” replied the child.

“Where are your father and mother?”

“They are sleeping in the garden; they ha’ been there this good wee
while,” answered the little one, fixing her serious eyes upon them.
“Come, an’ I’ll show you where they are.”

She got up, gave her hand confidingly to the man, and led him to the
garden, the other soldier following; and behind the cabbages they found
a man and woman lying in a heap, stiff and cold, having evidently been
piked to death.

“Come back to the house, my little dear,” cried Green, drawing the poor
innocent away from the cruel sight. Her little brother still sat where
they had left him, leaning his sick head against the wall. He was very
faint and weak.

“Have you nothing to eat?” asked the men.

“My mammy has bread an’ butter in the kist, but she has the key in her
pocket,” replied the little girl. They broke open the chest and found
the food; but they had arrived too late to save the boy: he died in
Buckley’s arms before they reached Maghera. Green carried the girl
and presented her to his company. Each soldier subscribed toward her
maintenance, and she grew up among them, the pet and plaything of all.
She accompanied the regiment to England at the close of the rebellion,
and nothing further was known of her by her old neighbors.


MICKY O’DONNEL’S WAKE.

Wildest of all the wild Donegal coast is the region lying between
Fannet Lighthouse and Knockalla Fort. There are impassable bogs and
mountain fastnesses which strangers cannot explore, but that are safe
resorts for illicit distillers, the blue wreaths of smoke from whose
stills may be seen curling against a dark background. In the years ’97
and ’98 these fastnesses were favorite haunts of the United Irishmen.

Fannet had a particularly bad name in those unsettled times. The Church
Protestants were, of course, loyal, but they formed only a handful of
the population; and the Presbyterians were, many of them, banded with
the rebels. The Fannet landlords raised a company of yeomen, consisting
of the Protestants aforesaid, and placed themselves at their head.

Help was at hand. Lord Cavan was sent over from England in command of
soldiers; Knockalla Fort was garrisoned; and the yeomanry were called
up to receive their arms and ammunition.

“You needna be giving the like of us arms, my lord,” said old Anthony
Gallagher, “for the Catholics will take them from us.”

Lord Cavan was amused at the fellow’s outspokenness, and replied that
he had come over to make Fannet so quiet that not one of the rebels
would venture so much as to speak. The yeomen got their guns and
bayonets, and the soldiers were ready to support them. Lord Cavan, a
stern and fierce soldier, kept his word; he quieted Fannet so that the
Catholics did not dare to speak. The Protestants had been reduced to an
abject state of terror before his arrival by the horrible murder of Dr.
Hamilton their rector, a zealous magistrate, who was followed to the
house of a neighboring clergyman and shot. He went to spend the night
with a brother-rector at some distance from Fannet, and the rectory was
surrounded by United Irishmen, who clamored that the Doctor should be
given up to them.

“Those are Fannet men; I know their voices,” said he. The door was soon
burst open; the attacking party rushed in, found the family in the
garrets, and dragged their captive downstairs. He clung with both hands
to the banisters, and one of the women servants took a candle and held
the flame to his fingers till he was forced to let go his hold. He was
taken to the lawn and his brains were blown out.

This atrocity had determined the Government to send troops to Fannet.

It was soon after this that Anthony Gallagher and the troop he served
in were at Kerrykeel fair and were attacked by a party of the rebels.
The yeomen were commanded to draw their bayonets and beat them off, and
all the United Men retreated and got away except a man called Micky
O’Donnel from Ballywhoriskey, at the Bottom of Fannet. He was found
dead on the street, pierced through the heart. Lord Cavan rode up at
that moment, followed by men from the Fort. “Take that corpse with you,
boys,” said he, “an’ hang it in chains from the walls of Knockalla
Fort. It will be a warning to the rest of the villains.” Anthony and
two soldiers were left in charge of the corpse, but the villagers
assembling in force, there was a rescue, and Micky O’Donnel was carried
off before the yeomen got back, attracted by the noise of shouting, to
protect their comrades. Lord Cavan was in a rage when he heard what had
happened, and swore a round oath that that corpse should yet hang in
chains from Knockalla Fort as a warning to the rest of Fannet; and he
despatched a party to recover it.

It was known that Micky O’Donnel belonged to the Bottom of Fannet, so
the party set out along the banks of Mulroy, where they fell in with
the yeomen, and all went on together. But every house along the road
was empty, and there were no men at work in the fields; it was like a
country of the dead.

Along the wild Atlantic shore; among the bent-covered sand hills;
up to the miserable row of hovels called the town of Shanna, went
the soldiers; but still not a human being was to be seen. The whole
population had taken to the mountains.

At length they reached the last cabin in the village of Ballywhoriskey,
and there they discovered the dead man laid out on the wretched bed,
with two tallow candles burning at his head.

“Feen a crathur” (we quote the words of Anton Gallagher, our informant,
son of the Anthony who was present at the scene)—“feen a crathur was
in the house but the corpse on the bed an’ two ould women waking it.
The women cried an’ lamented, an’ went on their knees to the officer
to lave the poor corpse where it was to get Christian burial; an’ the
gentleman thought it a pity o’ them, an’ left the wake wantin’ Micky
after all. It was my father tould me the story.”

“Have you got your father’s gun and bayonet?”

“Ay, ma’am, in troth I have! If you ladyship honors me wi’ a visit
you’ll see them hanging up over the chimney. I wouldna part wi’ them
for goold. There’s many a winter’s night the Catholics coming home
frae the market will stop at we’er door an’ cry, “King William’s men,
come out!” an’ then it’s all the mother an’ me can do to keep the
boys from taking down their grandfather’s gun, an’ going out to meet
them.”—_Belgravia._



SAMUEL JOHNSON


BY EDMUND GOSSE.

It is exactly one hundred years ago since Dr. Johnson wrote his last
letter to Lucy Porter, in which he announced to her that he was very
ill, and that he desired her prayers. Less than a fortnight later,
on the 13th of December, 1784, he was dead. All through the year his
condition had given his friends more than anxiety. The winter of 1783
had been marked by collapse of the constitution; to the ceaseless
misery of his skin was now added an asthma that would not suffer him to
recline in bed, a dropsy that made his legs and feet useless through
half of the weary day. It is somewhat marvellous that he got through
this terrible winter, the sufferings of which are painfully recorded in
his sad correspondence. It is difficult to understand why, just when
he wanted companionship most, his friends seem all to have happened to
desert him. Of the quaint group of invalids in mind and body to whom
his house had been a hospital, all were gone except Mrs. Desmoulins,
who was bedridden; and we may believe that their wrangling company had
never been so distasteful to himself as to his friends. Boswell and
Mrs. Thrale, as we know, had more or less valid reasons for absence,
and Boswell, at least, was solicitous in inquiry. We must, however,
from whatever cause, think of Johnson, who dreaded solitude, as now
almost always alone, mortified by spiritual pains no less acute than
his physical ones, torturing his wretched nights with Baxter’s _Call
to the Unconverted_, and with laborious and repeated diagnosis of his
own bodily symptoms. It is strange to think that, although he was the
leading man of letters in England, and the centre of a whole society,
his absence from the meetings of his associates seems scarcely to have
been noticed. It was not until in February he was relieved that he
allowed himself to speak of the danger he had passed through. Then he
confessed his terror to Lucy Porter, in the famous words, “Pray for me;
death, my dear, is very dreadful; let us think nothing worth our care
but how to prepare for it;” and asked Boswell to consult the venerable
physician, Sir Alexander Dick, as to the best way of avoiding a relapse.

Boswell felt it a duty to apply not to Dick only, but to various
leading doctors. In doing so he reminded them, with his extraordinary
foppishness, of “the elegant compliment” which Johnson had paid to
their profession in his _Life of Garth_, the poet-physician. The
doctors, with one accord, and thinking without doubt far more of
Johnson himself than of Garth, clustered around him with their advice
and their prescriptions, and the great man certainly received for the
brief remainder of his days such alleviation as syrup of poppies and
vinegar of squills could give him. Mrs. Boswell, encouraged by a more
favorable account of his health, invited him down to Auchinlech in
March. He could not venture to accept, but he was pleased to be asked,
and recovered so much of his wonted fire as to fancy, in a freak of
strange inconsistency, that he would amuse himself by decorating his
London study with the heads of “the fathers of _Scottish_ literature.”
To Langton, who—as Johnson justly thought, with unaccountable
“circumduction”—had made inquiries about his old friend through
Lord Portmore, he expressed a hope of panting on to ninety, and said
that “God, who has so wonderfully restored me, can preserve me in
all seasons.” It is very pathetic to follow the old man through the
desolate and wearisome months: nor can we easily understand, from any
of the records we possess, why he was allowed to be so much alone.
On Easter Monday, after recording without petulance that his great
hope of being able to go out on the preceding day had been doomed to
disappointment, he goes on to say, “I want every comfort. My life is
very solitary and very cheerless.... I am very weak, and have not
passed the door since the 13th of December.”

Bright weather came in May, and Johnson went to Islington for a
change of air. Boswell came back to town, and the sage was able to go
to dinner-parties day after day, without at first exasperating his
symptoms. In June he went to Oxford, on the famous occasion when he
told the people in the coach that “Demptster’s sister had endeavored
to teach him knotting, but that he had made no progress;” and at
Oxford, as we know, he talked copiously, and with all his old vivacity.
No doubt, though Boswell does not like to confess it, the constant
dissipation, intellectual and mildly social, of those two summer months
was mischievous to the frail revival of his health. At the dinner
of the Literary Club, June 22, every one noticed how ill he looked.
Perhaps the true cause of this was a secret chagrin which we can now
appreciate, the final apostasy of Mrs. Thrale from his friendship. At
all events, Reynolds and Boswell were sufficiently frightened to set
their heads together for the purpose of getting their old friend off
to Italy. We are divided between satisfaction that the inevitable end
did not reach the old man sociable in the midst of strange faces and
foreign voices, and bewildered indignation at the still mysterious
cabal which wrecked so amiable an enterprise. If Lord Thurlow was
shifty, however, other friends were generous. Dr. Brocklesbury, the
physician, pressed Johnson to become his guest that he might the
more carefully attend upon him. From Ashbourne, whither he had been
prevailed upon to go, he kept this last-mentioned friend well posted in
the sad fluctuations of his health, and we see him gradually settling
down again into wretchedness. His mind recurred constantly to the
approaching terror. To Dr. Burney he writes in August, “I struggle
hard for life. I take physic and take air; my friend’s chariot is
always ready. We have run this morning twenty-four miles, and could run
forty-eight more. _But who can run the race with death?_” Reflections
of this class fill all his letters of that autumn; and in October he
sums up his condition in saying to Heberden that “the summer has passed
without giving him any strength.” It is strange that still no one
seemed to notice what is plain to us in every line of his
correspondence, that Johnson was dying. With himself, however, the
thought of death was always present; and even in discussing with Miss
Seward so frivolous a theme as the antics of a learned pig, Johnson
was suddenly solemnized by recollecting that the pig had owed its
life to its education. One hardly knows whether to smile or to sigh
at the quaint and suggestive peroration: “The pig, then, has no cause
to complain; protracted existence is a good recompense for very
considerable degrees of torture.” To protract existence was now all
Johnson’s thought, and he set his powerful will to aid him in the
struggle. His only hopes were those which his strength of will supplied
him with. “I will be conquered,” he said, “I will not capitulate.”

It was not till he reached London in November that he consented to
capitulate. The terror of death was now upon him, indeed. “Love me as
well as you can,” he wrote to Boswell; “teach the young ones to love
me.” On the 8th of November he closed the diary of his symptoms—his
_ægri ephemeris_—now become worse than useless. His suffering,
dejection, and restless weakness left his brain, however, unclouded,
and less than a week before the end he corrected an error in a line
from Juvenal which Dr. Brocklesbury had carelessly recited. The
chronicle of the rapid final decline is given with great simplicity and
force by Hoole in that narrative of the last three weeks of the life of
Dr. Johnson which he contributed to the _European Magazine_ in 1799,
and which Mr. Napier has reprinted in one of the many appendices to his
invaluable edition. At last, exactly a year after his original attack
of asthma, the end came at seven o’clock in the evening of Monday, the
13th of December.

Devoid, as it is, of all the elements of external romance, there is
perhaps no record of the extinction of genius which attracts more
universal interest than this death of Samuel Johnson. So much of
frivolity or so much of cant attends most of us even to the tomb, that
the frank terror, expressed through a long life by this otherwise most
manly and courageous person, has possessed a great fascination for
posterity. The haunting insincerity of verse, particularly of
eighteenth-century verse, had extracted even from Johnson, in the pages
of _The Vanity of Human Wishes_, the usual rose-colored commonplace
about death being “Kind Nature’s signal for retreat;” but he completely
cleared his own mind of cant, even though a little clung about his
singing robes. Boswell has given us an extraordinary instance of his
habitual and dismal apprehensions in the celebrated conversation
in 1769, which started with a discussion of David Hume’s supposed
indifference to the idea of death. Not less familiar are the passionate
asseverations with which Johnson startled Mrs. Knowles and Miss
Seward in 1778 by repeating again and again that to exist in pain is
better, far better, than to cease to exist altogether. These and other
revelations of Johnson’s conversation have perhaps led us to exaggerate
his habitual terror. There are, at least, instances to be drawn from
less hackneyed sources which display his attitude towards eternity less
painfully. Of these perhaps the most remarkable is that recorded in the
_Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_, when, on a calm Sunday afternoon,
sailing from Ramsay to Skye, Johnson delivered himself of a little
homily. The text was a passage from _The Cypress Grove_ of Drummond
of Hawthornden, which Boswell had happened to quote. Drummond had
said that a man should leave life as cheerfully as a visitor who has
examined an antiquary’s cabinet sees the curtain drawn again, and makes
way to admit fresh pilgrims to the show. Johnson stripped the conceit
to the skin, as he was in the habit of doing:—

        “Yes, sir, if he is sure he is to be well after
      he goes out of it. But if he is to grow blind after
      he goes out of the show-room, and never to see
      anything again, or if he does not know whither he is
      to go next, a man will not go cheerfully out of a
      show-room. No wise man will be contented to die if he
      thinks he is to go into a state of punishment. Nay,
      no wise man will be contented to die, if he thinks he
      is to fall into annihilation, for however unhappy any
      man’s existence may be, he would rather have it than
      not exist at all. No; there is no rational principle
      by which a man can die contented, but a trust in the
      mercy of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ.”

The baldness of this statement, the resolute contempt of the author
of it for the mere dress and ornament of language, throw not a little
light upon the reason why, after the lapse of a hundred years, we still
listen with so quick an interest and so personal an affection to all
that is recorded of Johnson’s speech. The age in which we live cannot
be entirely given up to priggishness and the dry rot of sentiment, so
long as any considerable company in it are wont to hang upon Johnson’s
lips, without being offended by his jocular brutality, his strenuous
piety, or his unflinching enmity to affectation. Of course a class
still exists, perhaps it never was more numerous than it now is, whose
nerves and lungs can endure the strong light and tonic air of Johnson’s
vigorous genius, and who rejoice to think that no one ever tamed their
tiger-cat. To these such an anniversary as the present, not needed to
remind them of one who is almost as real to them as any of their own
relations, is yet valuable as giving them a landmark from which they
may look back and judge the effect that distance has upon the apparent
and relative size of such a figure. This can be the only excuse, in a
brief note such as this must be, for dealing with facts and personages
which are the absolute commonplaces of literary history. We may know
our Boswell by heart, and be prepared to pass a searching examination
in _Rasselas_ and in the _Rambler_, and yet be ready to listen for
a moment with surprise to the voice which reminds us that a century has
passed away since the great pontiff of literature died.

How then does the noble and familiar figure strike us in looking
backward from the year 1884? In “constant repercussion from one coxcomb
to another,” have the sounds which he continued to make through a
career of stormy talk ceased to preserve all their value and importance
for us? How does he affect our critical vision now that we observe in
relief against him such later talker-seers as Coleridge, De Quincey,
and Carlyle? To these questions it is temperament more than literary
acumen which will suggest the replies; and the present writer has no
intention at this particular moment of attempting to forestall the
general opinion of the age. His only object in putting forth this brief
note is to lay stress on the curious importance of temperament in
dealing with what seems like a purely literary difficulty. The
personality of all other English writers, in prose and verse, even of
Pope, even of De Quincey, must eventually yield in interest to the
qualities of their writing. In Dr. Johnson alone the writings yield to
the personality, and in spite of the wonder of foreign critics such as
M. Taine, he remains, and will remain, although practically unread, one
of the most potent of English men of letters.

Must we not admit now, at the close of a century, that it is
practically impossible to read him? Among the lesser men that
surrounded him, there are many who have outstripped him in literary
vitality. In verse he lags far behind Gray and Collins, Churchill
and Chatterton; nay, if the _Wanderer_ were by Johnson and _London_
by Savage, the former would possess more readers than the latter
now attracts. In prose, who shall venture to say that Johnson is
the equal of Fielding, Smollett, Hume, Goldsmith, Gibbon, or Burke?
We know that he is far less entertaining, far less versatile and
brilliant, than any one of these. The _Discourses_ of his direct
disciple Reynolds are more often read, and with more pleasure, than
those essays of _The Rambler_ from which their style was taken. As a
dramatist, as a novelist, Johnson ranks below _Douglas_ Home, below
the inventor of _Peter Wilkins_. For years he labored upon what was
not literature at all, for other years on literature which the world
has been obliged, against its will, to allow to disappear. When all
is winnowed away which has become, in itself, interesting only to
scholars, there remains _The Vanity of Human Wishes_, a gnomic poem
of tedious morality, singularly feeble in the second joint of almost
every recurring distich; _Rasselas_, a _conte_ in the French taste,
insufferable in its lumbering machinery and pedantic ethics; the _Lives
of the Poets_, in which prejudice, ignorance, and taste combine to
irritate the connoisseur and bewilder the student. Such, with obvious
exaggeration, and with wilful suppression of exceptional facts, the
surviving literary labors of Johnson may be broadly described to be.
The paradox is that a Johnsonian may admit all that, and yet hold to it
that his hero is the principal Englishman of letters throughout the
rich second half of the eighteenth century. In this Johnson is unique.
Coleridge, for instance, was much more than a writer of readable
works in prose and verse; but let an age arrive in which the _Ancient
Mariner_, _Christabel_, and the _Biographia Literaria_ are no longer
read or admired, and Coleridge will scarcely be able, on the score
of his personality alone, to retain his lofty position among men of
letters. Yet this is what Johnson promises to succeed in continuing
to do. No one will ever say again, with Byron, that the _Lives of the
Poets_ is “the finest critical work extant,” but that does not make
Johnson ever so little a less commanding figure to us than he was to
Byron.

Let us consider for one moment the case of the unfortunate tragedy
of _Irene_. There are very few of us who are capable of placing our
hands upon our bosoms in the open sight of heaven and swearing that we
have ever read it quite through. The _Mourning Bride_ still counts its
admirers, and even _Cato_, but not _Irene_. Who among the staunchest
and strongest Johnsonians can tell what hero it was that confessed, and
upon what occasion,

    “I thought (forgive me, fair!) the noblest aim,
    The strongest effort of a female soul
    Was but to choose the graces of the day.”

without peeping furtively at the text? Nevertheless _Irene_ lives
and always will live in the memory of men. But while other dramas
exist on the strength of their dramatic qualities, this of Johnson’s
lives on the personal qualities of the author himself. It is not
the blank, blank verse, nor the heroine’s reflections regarding the
mind of the Divine Being, nor the thrilling Turkish fable, nor the
snip-snap dialogue about prodigies between Leontius and Demetrius,
that preserves the memory of this tragedy. It is the anecdote of how
Walmsley asked, melted by the sorrows of Irene, “How can you possibly
contrive to plunge her into deeper calamity?” and how Johnson answered,
with a reference to his friend’s office, “Sir, I can put her into the
spiritual court!” It is the eagerness which George III. expressed to
possess the original MS. of the play. It is the monstrous folly which
made Cave suppose that the Royal Society would be a likely body to
purchase the copyright of it. It is the screams of the audience at
Drury Lane when they saw Mrs. Pritchard with the bowstring round her
neck. It is the garb in which Johnson insisted on dressing to look on
at the performance, in a scarlet waistcoat, and with a gold-laced hat
on his head. It is the tragedian’s unparalleled frankness about the
white silk stockings. These are the things which we recall when _Irene_
is mentioned, and if the play had been performed in dumb show, if it
had been a ballet, an opera, or a farce, its place in literary history
would be just where it is, no higher and no lower. Such is the curious
fate which attends all Johnson’s works, the most interesting of them is
not so interesting as the stories which cluster around its authorship.

This personal interest which we all feel in the sayings and doings of
Johnson is founded so firmly on his broad humanity that we need not
have the slightest fear of its cessation or diminution. The habits of
thought and expression which were in vogue in the eighteenth century
may repeat themselves, as some of us expect, in the twentieth, or our
children may become more captious, more violent, more ungraceful in
their tastes than we are ourselves. The close of the preface to the
_Dictionary_ may cease to seem pathetic, or may win more tributes of
tears than ever. The reputation of Johnson does not stand or fall by
the appetite of modern readers for the _Life of Savage_ or even for
the _Letter to Lord Chesterfield_. It depends on the impossibility of
human beings ever ceasing to watch with curiosity “the very pulse of
the machine” when it is displayed as Johnson displayed it through the
fortunate indiscretions of his friends, and when it is on the whole so
manly, wholesome, brave, honest, and tender as it was in his. There
will always be readers and admirers of what Johnson wrote. Let us
welcome them; but let us not imagine that Johnson, as a great figure
in letters, depends upon their suffrages. The mighty Samuel Johnson,
the anniversary of whose death both hemispheres of the English-speaking
race will solemnise on the 13th of this month, is not the author
of this or that laborious contribution to prose or verse, but the
convulsive invalid who “see-sawed” over the Grotius, the courageous old
Londoner who trusted his bones among the stormy Hebrides, the autocrat
of the Literary Club, the lover of all the company of blue-stockings,
the unequalled talker, the sweet and formidable friend, the truculent
boon-companion, the child-like Christian, who, for all his ghostly
terrors, contrived at last “to die contented, trusting in the mercy of
God, through the merits of Jesus Christ.” If the completed century
finds us with any change at all of our feelings regarding him, it
is surely merely this, that the passage of time is steadily making
his faults seem more superficial and accidental, and his merits more
striking, more essential, more pathetical and pleasing.—_Fortnightly
Review._



THE DEMOCRATIC VICTORY IN AMERICA.


BY WILLIAM HENRY HURLBURT.

The United States being, and having been from the outset of their
history, a Democratic Republic, it may well puzzle a European reader
to understand why American “Republicans” should bewail a “Democratic”
triumph, or American “Democrats” exult in the overthrow of a
“Republican” party.

Yet it may not be impertinent to suggest that in no country are
the names of political parties or factions commonly selected by a
committee of philologists with an eye to making the national politics
intelligible. What notions of English history are conveyed by the mere
names of “Whig” and “Tory” or even of “Liberal” and “Conservative” to
a person unfamiliar with the political history of England? What light
is thrown on the history of Byzantium by talking of the “Blues” and the
“Greens,” or on the history of Florence by casual references to the
“Bianchi” and the “Neri”?

When one asks for the origin of such names, history is apt to give him
no better answer than that of the small African child who was invited
by a sympathetic lady to explain how she came to have six toes on one
of her feet—“they growed so!”

This is so emphatically true of American political parties that my
readers must pardon me if I take them back to the “beginnings of
things” for an accurate perspective of the recent Presidential election
in the United States, and of its significance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The existing Constitution of the American Union was adopted in 1789 by
the citizens of thirteen new-born Republics who had grown up to manhood
in the then anomalous condition of subjects of the British Crown
enjoying all the privileges and immunities of local self-government
in thirteen distinct and independent colonies which differed among
themselves in origin, in social traditions and habits, and in religion,
almost as widely as Wales differs from Ireland, or Ireland from
Scotland. These colonies had co-operated from time to time with the
mother country for the common defence against a common enemy, colonial
France. And they had been united under a temporary political bond in
the great revolutionary war of 1776, by a common spirit of resistance
to that Parliamentary despotism, tempered by corruption, which after
the English Revolution of 1688 and the establishment of the House of
Hanover assumed to itself the place originally held by the British
Crown in the allegiance of these stalwart “Home-Rulers” beyond the
Atlantic.

At the peace of Versailles in 1783 Great Britain found herself
compelled to recognize the independence of all and of each of these
colonies, which thenceforth took their places in the family of nations
as separate and sovereign states. They were recognized in this
capacity not in block, but severally and individually, each by its
own territorial designation; and from the moment of such recognition
each of them felt that it was absolutely free, and “of right ought to
be free,” saving so far as it had bound itself to the then existing
confederacy of 1778, to adopt any form of government which might suit
the humor of its citizens, and to form any alliances advantageous to
its own interests. The States were, indeed, at that moment bound
together for certain specified purposes by a federal compact formed
during the war in 1778; but this compact sate so lightly upon them
that it was not only impossible to compel the several States into an
exact fulfilment of confederate obligations, but very difficult even
to induce them to get themselves properly represented under it for
legislative and executive purposes at the then federal capital of
Annapolis in Maryland. A striking illustration of this is given in a
private letter, now in my possession, written by Thomas Jefferson of
Virginia, the author of the Declaration of Independence of 1776, and
eventually the founder of that great Democratic party under the Union
of 1789, which now once more, after a quarter of a century of extra
constitutional experiments in government, has been commissioned by
the voters of the United States, in the election to the Presidency
of Governor Cleveland of New York, to restore in all its parts, and
re-establish on its original and enduring foundations, the sway of the
Federal Constitution of 1789. Writing from Annapolis to a friend in
Virginia in regard to the negotiations at Paris which had secured the
recognition of American Independence, Mr. Jefferson, in December 1783,
complains bitterly of the indifference of the States to this momentous
event. Under the ninth article of the then existing confederate compact
of 1778, the assent of nine States represented in the Congress at
Annapolis assembled was necessary to the ratification of any treaty
with a foreign power. The time fixed for the ratification by Congress
of the Treaty of Versailles was rapidly running out at the date of the
letter to which I refer, and the Congress had been long in session.
“We had yesterday, for the first time, seven States,” exclaims Mr.
Jefferson; and he goes on to express his concern lest the necessary
quorum of nine States should not be assembled before the expiration of
the term fixed for ratification in the treaty by which, after seven
years of an exhausting war, their independence was to be established!

I dwell on this point in order to emphasise the truth, vital to any
intelligent appreciation of the great change now impending in the
administration of public affairs in the United States, that the
commonwealths by which the American Union was established were,
from the first, in the opinion of their inhabitants, sufficient
each unto itself; and this because each of these commonwealths was
indeed a well-organised body politic, the members of which had long
managed their domestic affairs under one or another form of chartered
authority, after their own fashion; and, for the protection within
their own borders of life and of property, had adjusted to their
several situations and necessities the maxims and principles of English
liberty defined and guarded by law. These States were the creators,
not the creatures of that “more perfect Union” which (the Confederacy
of 1778 failing) was finally formed by them after all its features had
been discussed, debated, and redebated, not only in a Convention of the
States assembled for that purpose in 1787, but in the several States
subsequently, with a fulness, vigor of thought, and intelligence which,
in the opinion of others than my own countrymen, make the volumes of
Elliott’s _Debates on the Constitution_ the most valuable treasury of
constitutional politics in existence.

The framers of the American Constitution of 1789 were no rude
uninstructed settlers, summoned from the axe and the plough to
improvise an orderly government. The traditions of the older States
went back to the struggle between the prerogative and the taxpayers
of England under the Stuart kings. Virginia, the “Old Dominion” of
Elizabeth and the Restoration, with her Established Church, her College
of William and Mary, and her legends of the Cavaliers, was in no
hurry to believe that her consequence could be much enhanced by any
merger of her sovereignty in that of a federal union with Charles the
Second’s Crown colony of Rhode Island, and with the gallant little
community which keeps green on the banks of the Delaware the memory
of the self-sacrificing and heroic Thomas West. The colonial story
of the great central State of New York had made its sturdy people
familiar with those ideas of federated liberty on which the fabric
of Netherlandish independence had been founded. The curious in such
matters have found an indication of the extent to which the spirit of
the Netherlands influenced the framers of the new American republic
in the fact that when the style and title to be taken by the American
President were under consideration, Washington inclined to the notion
that the Chief Magistrate should be addressed and known as “His High
Mightiness.”

Nor were the citizens of the youngest of the colonies disposed to put
the control of their persons and their purses unreservedly into the
hands of any imperial central authority.

After the Constitution of 1789 (to take the date from the day, April
30, 1789, on which Washington was inaugurated at New York as the
first President of the United States) had been definitely adopted by
eleven States, the two States of North Carolina and Rhode Island still
withholding their ratification of the instrument, remained as foreign
powers outside of the Union, the former until the 21st of November
1789, and the latter until the 29th of May 1790.

A notable date this last!

Never was a great compact more opportunely framed and ratified!

Almost upon the morrow of these final adhesions to the “more perfect
Union,” the storm of the French Revolution broke upon the world,
bringing with it great international convulsions which affected every
nerve and fibre of the social, political, and industrial life of
America, and tested to the utmost every seam and joint in the fabric
of the new American Republic. The excesses of Jacobinism in France
strengthened the doubts and fears of many excellent persons in America
who had small faith in the capacity of the people for self-government
on a grand scale, and who accepted the Constitution of 1789 not as a
final and trustworthy frame of polity, but because, while they thought
it, to use the language of one of the ablest of their number, “frail
and worthless in itself,” they hoped to see it lead up to the eventual
establishment of some such “splendid central government” as in our own
times Mr. Seward, the true founder of the “Republican” party which has
just been defeated in the United States, used to dream of and did his
best to build up.

The influence of these doubts and fears upon the politics of the new
American Republic was fortunately met and countered by the genius and
the faith of a group of great American statesmen, the friends and
associates of Thomas Jefferson; and the fundamental divergence between
the controlling ideas of the two great parties which now occupy the
field of American politics goes back to this closing decade of the
eighteenth century. When the existing Constitution was first submitted
by the Convention of 1787 to the people and to the States, those who,
with Alexander Hamilton of New York, and James Madison of Virginia,
advocated its adoption were called “Federalists”, and those who, with
Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, and Patrick Henry of Virginia, opposed
it as threatening the rights and sovereignty of the States, were
called Anti-Federalists. After its adoption the latter party took the
name of “Strict Constructionists,” their object being to bind down
the administration of the new system to the closest and most rigid
interpretation of the powers conferred by the States upon the Federal
Government; while their opponents were styled “Broad Constructionists.”
Both parties happily had such confidence in the patriotism and wisdom
of Washington that he came into power as first President by a unanimous
vote, and selected his first cabinet from the leaders of both the great
parties which had contended over the adoption and the construction of
the new Constitution. At the first session of the first Congress, in
1789, ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted, embodying a
Bill of Rights to secure the liberties of the citizens of the several
States, and explicitly reserving to the several States “respectively”
or to the people, “all the powers not delegated to the United States by
the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States.” These amendments
Thomas Jefferson counselled the friends of Home Rule and State Rights
to accept as an adequate guarantee of both. His wise advice was taken,
and the great political party which was formed under the Constitution
took, at his suggestion, the name of the “Republican Party.” The name
was appropriate enough to that party which held each State of the new
Union to be indeed an independent “Republic,” and regarded the
“Federal” Government as the agent and protector of the “Republican”
independence of each State.

It gathered to itself a kind of passion, too, in the popular heart from
the then very general conviction that the leaders, at least, of the
“Federalist” party secretly desired to see these “Republics” disappear
into some form of centralised monarchy.

As the French Revolution grew more portentous and interesting, and its
agents busied themselves with efforts to draw America into the European
contest as an ally, or rather as a dependency, of Republican France,
the political antagonism of the “Federalists” and the “Republicans”
grew dangerously high and hot. Men wore French or English Cockades in
the streets of New York and Philadelphia. A distinguished public man
of Massachusetts once told me that his earliest recollection of any
political event took him back to a day on which a friend of his father,
who was a leading Federalist of Massachusetts, met him in the streets
coming home from school, and, giving him a bright Spanish dollar, said,
“Now, Jack, run as fast as you can to your father’s court, and tell him
from me that Robert Spear’s head has been cut off, and he must give you
just such another dollar!” News came at long intervals then from Europe
to America, and the tidings of the fall of Robespierre had that morning
reached Boston.

Under the stress of these emotions the “Republicans” took to denouncing
the “Federalists” as “Monocrats” and “Anglomen,” and the “Federalists”
retorted by reviling their opponents as “Jacobins” and “Democrats.”

The “Federalist” party held its own during the two Presidencies of
Washington, and elected John Adams to succeed the “Father of his
country” in 1796. Under the Presidency of Mr. Adams the “Federalists”
lost their heads, and the “Republicans” in the year 1800 took
possession of power under the first Presidency of Thomas Jefferson.
They had for some time been known commonly as “Democratic Republicans,”
and in the ninth Congress which met under the second Presidency of
Jefferson in 1805 they boldly took the name of “Democrats,” in the
spirit of good Bishop Willegis, who put the wagoner’s wheel into
his coat-of-arms, and like the “Gueux,” the “Huguenots,” and the
“Roundheads,” extracting “glory out of bitterness.”

From that time to this the “Democratic” party has continued to be
what Jefferson made it, the party of “Home Rule” as opposed to
centralisation, and of a strict construction of the organic law
by which the provisions and the limitations of Federal power are
sanctioned and defined, as against that plausible paternalism under
cover of which, in the language of a great living leader of the
Democratic party, Senator Bayard of Delaware, “the general government
assumes guardianship and protection over the business of the private
citizen, and functions of control over matters of domestic and local
interest.”

       *       *       *       *       *

If I have enabled my readers to estimate aright the vital importance
attached by the people of the several States in the formation of
the Constitution to the recognition of the rights and the reserved
sovereignty of the States, they will not be surprised to learn that
when Thomas Jefferson established the Democratic party upon this
recognition as its fundamental principle he secured for the Democratic
party such a profound and permanent hold upon the confidence and the
affections of the American people as can never be shaken while the
Union remains what it was meant to be. For forty years after his first
Presidency, no combinations succeeded in wresting from the Democrats
the control of the executive authority. The only apparent exception to
this statement confirms it. In the Presidential election of 1824, the
electoral ticket of General Jackson, the leading Democratic candidate,
received a considerable majority of the votes of the people; but as
there were four candidates in the field, and General Jackson did
not secure a majority of the votes of all the electoral colleges,
the choice of a President went, under the Constitution, into the
lower House of Congress, in which the members vote for a President
not individually as representing the people, but by delegations as
representing the sovereign States. John Quincy Adams secured a majority
of the delegations; but such was the popular indignation that in the
next House of Representatives President Adams found himself confronted
by an overwhelming opposition; and at the end of his term of office
General Jackson was made President by a majority of more than two
to one against him. Jackson was twice elected, and transmitted his
power to his Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren of New York, in the
election of 1836. Between the years 1840 and 1860 the predominance of
the Democratic party was but twice disturbed. In 1840 the Democratic
President Van Buren, being a candidate for re-election, was defeated
after a very severe struggle by General Harrison, the candidate of a
conglomerate party which, for lack of a better, had taken the name
of the “Whig” party, and which represented in a general way the
Anti-Democratic classes of the country, and more particularly the
banking interests and the Protectionists, of whom more hereafter. The
real and brilliant leader of this party, Henry Clay of Kentucky, had
been deprived of the presidential nomination through the machinations
of a nominating device unknown to the Constitution, called a
“Presidential Convention;” and though the Whig candidate secured a
great majority in the electoral colleges, thanks to the skill with
which his managers played upon the financial distress of the country
caused by a great business panic in 1837, yet when he unexpectedly
died at the end of a single short month after his inauguration, the
Vice-President elected with him and who succeeded him, Mr. Tyler
of Virginia, originally a Democrat, was found to be opposed to the
rechartering of a United States Bank; and a bill passed by both Houses
for that purpose, which had been indeed the main purpose of the leading
Whigs in promoting the election of Harrison and Tyler, was twice vetoed
by him. This was the first lesson given to the American people of the
potential importance of the Vice-Presidency in case of the death or
disability of the President. Curiously enough, the same lesson, which
has been repeated several times since, has, in every instance, with one
exception, followed upon the election of a President by Anti-Democratic
votes.

Henry Clay, who was enthusiastically nominated and supported by the
“Whig” party for the Presidency at the close of President Tyler’s
administration in 1844, was defeated by the Democratic nominee, Mr.
Polk of Tennessee, under whom the annexation of the magnificent
Republic of Texas to the United States was consummated, with its
inevitable corollary of a war with Mexico, that republic refusing to
acknowledge the right of the people of Texas to sever their connection
with the Mexican States. This war led immediately to the cession
by Mexico to the United States of New Mexico, California, and the
Northern Pacific coast of the old Spanish dominions in North America,
and ultimately to the settlement of the boundary lines on the Pacific
between the dominions of Great Britain and the United States. At the
close of President Polk’s administration, the “Whigs,” who had been
disheartened and “demoralised” by the defeat of their “magnetic”
leader, Henry Clay, in 1844, made a second effort to capture executive
power. The occasion was offered to them by a schism in the Democratic
party, which had begun on personal grounds when Ex-President Van Buren,
who desired a renomination, was set aside in 1844 for Mr. Polk, and
which was intensified on broader issues by the determination of many
Northern Democrats not to permit the extension of slavery into the vast
and splendid territories acquired under President Polk.

It is far from being true, as I shall presently show, that the
“Republican” party, so called, of our own times, which has just been
defeated under Mr. Blaine, originated the political action in the
United States which finally led to the extinction of slavery as an act
of war by President Lincoln. The “Republican” party of our own times,
deriving its origin from the “Federalists” of the last century, through
the “Whigs” of 1840, has been recently and not unfairly described by
Mr. John Bright as the “party of Protection and Monopoly.” This is so
far true that it represents those tendencies to a plausible paternalism
in government, and to a consolidation of the Federal power at the
expense of Home Rule and State sovereignty, which found expression
in Federalism at the beginning of our history; which threatened the
secession of New England and the establishment of an “Eastern Empire”
when Louisiana was purchased from France under President Jefferson;
which waged the “war of the banks” against President Jackson; and which
founded the “Whig” party of Henry Clay upon the doctrine that the
Federal Government might lawfully and constitutionally levy taxes upon
the consumers of imported goods for the express purpose of enhancing
the profits of domestic manufacturers.

Governor Wright, a Democratic predecessor of Governor Cleveland in
the executive chair of the “Empire State,” who had supported the
renomination of Ex-President Van Buren in 1844, led, until his sudden
and lamented death in 1847, the opposition of Northern sentiment, after
the annexation of Texas, to any extension of slavery beyond the limits
assigned to it by the famous “Missouri Compromise” of 1820. The Whig
forerunners of Mr. Blaine were discreetly silent on the subject, and
the question was thrown into the arena of political discussion and
agitation by a Democratic Member of Congress from Pennsylvania, Mr.
Wilmot, who, during the boundary negotiations with Mexico, introduced
and moved the adoption of a “proviso,” that “no part of the territory
to be acquired should be open to the introduction of slavery.”

This “proviso” was obviously unnecessary to the exclusion of slavery
from any “part of the territory to be acquired,” for negro slavery
had been long before abolished in New Mexico and in California under
Mexican law; and the Democratic party of the United States had laid it
down as a cardinal principle of Democratic policy, involved indeed, as
many Democrats thought, in the principle of Home Rule, that there was
“no power in Congress to legislate upon slavery in the Territories.”
The introduction of the “proviso” therefore led, and could lead, solely
to an immediately sterile, but eventually most dangerous, inflammation
of the public mind on the question of the relations of slavery, as an
institution already existing within the Union, to the politics of the
country. The “proviso” was defeated in Congress; but the discussion had
aroused the abolitionists of the North on the one hand, and the extreme
pro-slavery men at the South on the other side, into loud and angry
debate; and the opportunity of “forcing an issue” was seized by Mr.
Calhoun of South Carolina, a man of the highest character and of keen
intellect, who honestly believed that the South must be sooner or later
driven in self-defence to withdraw from the Union, and who had brought
his State and himself in 1832, on the question of the right of a State
to “nullify” a Federal law, within striking distance of the executive
authority wielded by the iron hand of President Jackson.

Mr. Calhoun introduced into the Senate, on the 19th of February, 1847,
a series of resolutions denying the right of Congress to pass any law
which would have the effect of preventing any citizen of a slave State
from carrying slaves as his property into any territory. No vote was
taken on these resolutions, but they served Mr. Calhoun’s purpose of
awakening public sentiment at the South to the threatening attitude of
the anti-slavery sentiment at the North.

The “Whigs,” with whom Mr. Lincoln then acted, profited adroitly by
this excitement in both sections. They avoided the subject of slavery
altogether, and nominated for the Presidency in 1848 General Taylor,
a slaveholder of Louisiana, who had won a wide and well-deserved
popularity as a military commander in the Mexican war, and a man
of “moderate” views on all subjects. With him they associated
Mr. Fillmore, a respectable citizen of New York. The friends of
Ex-President Van Buren united in that State with the anti-slavery men
in an independent nomination of Ex-President Van Buren and Mr. Charles
Francis Adams, as the candidates of a new third party which took the
name of the “Free Soil” party. This party declared that Congress had
no right to interfere with slavery in the States in which it already
existed; that it was the duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in the
Territories; and that Congress had a constitutional right to abolish
slavery in the Federal district of Columbia, which is the seat of the
Federal Government. The result of all this was the election of Taylor
and Fillmore, who received 163 votes in the electoral colleges against
127 cast for Cass and Butler, the Democratic candidates, and a popular
plurality over those candidates of less than 150,000 in a total of
somewhat less than 3,000,000 votes.

But the “Whig” triumph was short-lived. The gold discoveries in
California gave such a sudden and tremendous impetus to the settlement
of the new Pacific empire of the Union as “forced the hand” of the new
Administration; and General Taylor dying in July 1849, while Congress
and the country were hotly contending over the social and political
organization of that new empire, his successor, Mr. Fillmore, with
Daniel Webster as his Secretary of State, threw the weight of the
Administration against the anti-slavery agitation and in favor of what
were called the “Compromise Measures” of 1850. These measures admitted
California without extending to the Pacific the boundary line between
free and slave territory fixed by the “Missouri Compromise” of 1820,
and left slavery untouched in the Federal district. Of course such a
compromise neither quieted the alarms of the slaveholding South nor
satisfied the aggressive abolitionists of the North. But the country
accepted it, and at the next Presidential election, in 1852, the
Democratic candidate, General Pierce of New Hampshire, was elected by
an overwhelming majority, carrying four of the New England States,
the great Middle States of New York and Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan,
Indiana, and Illinois at the West, all the Southern States, excepting
Kentucky and Tennessee, and the new State on the Pacific, California.
He received 254 electoral votes against 42 thrown for his Whig
antagonist, General Scott, who had led the armies of the Union to their
crowning victories in Mexico, and who had been a conspicuous military
personage in the United States ever since the second war of 1812 with
Great Britain.

There could scarcely have been a more decisive proof than this election
gave that the Democratic party of the United States is really the
permanent and enduring “party of the people,” without distinction of
sections; for the tremendous victory won by General Pierce was
distinctly due to the general, though, as it proved, the mistaken,
impression of the masses of the people, that the irritating question
of slavery in its Federal relations had been taken out of the arena
of politics by the “Compromise Measures” of 1850. This was so clear
that the opponents of the Democratic party, representing the shattered
elements of the Whig party and the friends, as Mr. Bright would say,
of “Protection and Monopoly,” changed front suddenly and concentrated
all their efforts on a revival and extension of the anti-slavery
agitation, as being the only program which offered them a hope of
breaking down again, even for a time, the ascendency of Democratic
principles. In this effort they were naturally seconded not only by the
Northern abolitionists, but by the extreme partisans of slavery at the
South. The value of slave property had been enormously increased by
the sudden development of trade and manufactures all over the world,
and especially in Great Britain and the United States, which resulted
from the gold discoveries in California and Australia, and from the
adoption, first in the United States under a great Democratic Secretary
of the Treasury, Robert J. Walker, in 1846, of a liberal tariff, and
then, in Great Britain, of what is not perhaps with perfect accuracy
called the “Free Trade” policy of Mr. Bright and Mr. Cobden. One
might almost say that the cotton manufacturers of Lancashire and New
England fell into a conspiracy to delude the slaveholders of the South
into those dreams of a vast slaveholding empire surrounding the Gulf
of Mexico, which began, at the period of which I now write, to shake
the foundations of the Union by fascinating the minds of grasping and
ambitious men in that part of the United States.

In February, 1853, before the inauguration of President Pierce,
a Democratic Senator, Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, who had been an
unsuccessful candidate for the Presidential nomination in the preceding
year, took the occasion presented by a bill for organizing a new
Western Territory, Nebraska (which included the two now existing States
of Nebraska and of Kansas), to propose a repeal of the old “Missouri
Compromise,” to which I have more than once alluded. By this measure—a
“Federalist,” not a Democratic measure—adopted in 1820, it was
provided that slavery should never be carried into any Territory north
of the fixed line of 36° 30´ north latitude. I have already mentioned
that Congress refused to extend this line to the Pacific during the
discussions which attended the admission of California in 1850; and
I am sure that no one who knew Senator Douglas will differ from me
now, when I say that he undoubtedly hoped by urging the repeal of the
Missouri Compromise, which was voted by Congress the 25th of May,
1854, to get the whole question whether slavery should or should not
be introduced into new Territories, and so into the new States of the
Union, relegated from the domain of Congressional action into that
of “popular sovereignty.” It was not the purpose either of the small
minority at the South who desired disunion as the first step towards
the founding of a “semi-tropical empire,” or of the more considerable
minority at the North who preferred the risk of disunion to the
toleration of slavery under the American flag, that this question
should be taken out of the domain of Congressional action, and the
expectations of Senator Douglas were disappointed. The repeal of the
“Missouri Compromise” simply turned Kansas into a battle-ground. It led
rapidly up to a succession of armed conflicts within that Territory
between organised bands of Northern and of Southern “emigrants,” which
set fire to the popular passions in both sections of the country,
“swamped” the attempt of a section of the now disbanding “Whig” party
to capture power by organising the prejudices of race and of religion
into a secret political order of “Native Americans” or “Know-nothings,”
and gave vitality and success to the more serious and sustained efforts
of a much larger section of the “Whigs,” who devoted themselves to
founding a new party which should combine the permanent objects “of
Protection and Monopoly” with the temporary and immediate object of
restricting slavery within the limits of the then existing slave
States. Thanks to this section of the “Whigs,” the modern “Republican
Party” was formed in 1854, which, after precipitating the country
into civil war by the election of President Lincoln (against whom it
revolted, as I shall show, when he had carried through to victory the
terrible task it imposed upon him), after retarding the pacification
of the Union for years by its policy of military “reconstruction” at
the South, and after inflicting upon the taxpayers of the United States
burdens undreamed of by the original “Whigs” in their most extravagant
days of “paternalism,” has now finally come to the ground under the
candidacy of two of its most thoroughly representative leaders, Mr.
Blaine and General Logan.

The chief spirit of the new “Republican” party was Ex-Governor
Seward, the leader of the Whigs of New York, a consummate politician,
“honest himself,” as one of his special friends said of him, “but
indifferent to honesty in others,” who labored with uncommon skill
and adroitness for six years to build the new organisation up into
Presidential proportions, only to experience the common fate of such
party leaders in the United States, and to find himself set aside by
his own Republican Convention of 1860, at Chicago, in favor of the then
relatively obscure Western candidate Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.

The old name “Republican” used by the party of Jefferson was taken by
the new party for the express purpose of dissimulating, as far as might
be, its “Whig” parentage, and of thus recommending it to the widespread
and growing anti-slavery element among the Democrats of the North
and West. The Whig origin and tendencies of the new party, however,
clearly appeared in the demand made in its first platform of 1856 for
“appropriations by Congress for the improvement of rivers and harbors.”
It selected as its first Presidential candidate in 1856 Colonel John
C. Fremont of California, an officer of the army who had married the
daughter of an eminent Democratic senator, Mr. Benton of Missouri, and
who had acquired a kind of romantic popular prestige as “the Pathfinder
of the Rocky Mountains” by an expedition across the continent. With him
was associated as Vice-Presidential candidate a man of more political
weight and force, Mr. Dayton, a Whig leader, of New Jersey, who
afterwards rendered the country distinguished services as Minister
to France under President Lincoln. Mr. Buchanan of Pennsylvania was
nominated by the Democrats to succeed President Pierce in 1856. In the
“platform” then adopted the Democratic party met the “Protectionist”
tendency of the new “Republican” organisation by declaring “that
justice and sound policy forbid the Federal Government to foster one
branch of industry to the detriment of another;” denounced the attempt
of the Whig “Know-Nothings” to organise a crusade against Catholics
and citizens of alien birth; and in the matter of slavery reaffirmed
“the compromise of 1850,” and committed itself to “the determined
conservation of the Union and the non-interference of Congress with
slavery in the territories or the district of Columbia.”

The new “Republican party” in its “platform” of 1856, let me here
observe, raised no question touching slavery where slavery then
existed, but pronounced it to be “both the right and the imperative
duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of
barbarism, polygamy and slavery;” this latter attack on the Mormons
being a bid for votes at the West and an appeal to the religious
prejudices of the East.

A third remnant of the old “Whigs,” meeting in Baltimore in September
1856, appealed to the country to beware of “geographical parties,”
adopted the nomination made by the Whig “Know-Nothings” of Ex-President
Fillmore, and asserted that in Kansas “civil war” was “raging,” and
that the Union was “in peril.” The contest was conducted by the
Republicans at the North very much on the lines on which the first
Whig victory of 1840 had been won—by the organisation, that is, of
“Pathfinder Clubs” and processions, with brass bands, bonfires, and all
the paraphernalia of “politics by picnic,” and a large popular vote was
cast for the Republican candidate. But Mr. Buchanan, nevertheless had a
majority of nearly 500,000 votes over Colonel Fremont at the polls in a
total vote of about three millions, and he was elected President by
174 votes in the Electoral College, eight votes being cast by Maryland
for Mr. Fillmore, and 114 votes being cast for Colonel Fremont, if the
five votes of Wisconsin were properly included in that number—a very
grave question as to that point being raised by the undisputed fact
that the electoral votes of Wisconsin, which, under an obviously wise
precept of the Constitution, ought to have been cast on the same day
with the electoral votes of all the other States of the Union (December
3, 1856), were not cast until the next day (December 4) because the
electors were prevented by a snowstorm from reaching the capital of the
State in season to comply with the behest of the organic law.

Events moved rapidly after the election of President Buchanan. In spite
of a great financial panic in 1857, the commerce of the United States,
under the salutary régime established by Democratic Secretaries of the
Treasury, advanced beyond all former precedent. The net imports of the
United States increased from 298,261,364 dollars in 1856, the year of
Mr. Buchanan’s election, to 335,233,232 dollars in 1860, the last year
of his administration, and the exports from 310,586,330 dollars in 1856
to 373,189,274 dollars in 1860. The sea going tonnage of the Union
ran up to that of Great Britain;[4] and never had the country been so
prosperous as during this period of Democratic ascendancy and relative
fiscal freedom.

But while the managers of the new sectional Republican party worked
night and day to develop and consolidate their voting power at the
North and West, and availed themselves skilfully of every exciting
incident in the history of the day to fan the passions of the people
into flame, a sharp conflict was raging within the Democratic ranks
between the Administration and the followers of Senator Douglas,
which the leaders of the disunion movement at the South carefully and
skilfully fomented, and which culminated in an open secession from the
Democratic National Convention at Charleston in April 1860.

The Convention was adjourned to meet at Baltimore in June. There
a second secession of Southern delegates occurred, followed by
the nomination for the Presidency of Senator Douglas. A few days
later the seceders, meeting in a Convention of their own, nominated
Vice-President Breckenridge of Kentucky. In the meantime on the 9th
of May a convention of “moderate men” of all shades of opinion had
assembled in Baltimore, and nominated two eminent members of the
disbanded Whig party, Mr. Bell of Tennessee and Mr. Edward Everett
of Massachusetts, for the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency; while
the now confident Republicans, gathered in Convention at Chicago on
the 16th of May, had selected not Ex-Governor Seward of New York, but
Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, as their candidate.

Of course, with such a prospect of success before them as the
Democratic disorganisation offered, the managers of this Convention
of the Republicans adroitly threw all questions but the “burning
questions” of the hour as far as possible into the background of
their operations. But while they declared themselves in favor of the
preservation of “the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States,
and the union of the States,” they did not forget to record their
desire for such an “adjustment” of the “duties on imports” as “should
encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole
country,” under which rather vague phraseology lay concealed the
purpose of organising a new tariff for protection—a purpose which was
carried into effect by the Republicans at Washington as soon as the
subsequent secession from Congress of the Southern members made it
practicable.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the first election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860, and
his inauguration in March, 1861, we come upon a sudden and complete
“solution of continuity” in the political history of the United States.
Of the total popular vote of the country, amounting to 4,680,193,
thrown on the 4th of November, 1860, Mr. Lincoln received but 1,866,452,
being thus left in a popular minority of no fewer than _two million,
two hundred and thirteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty-one votes_!
It is impossible in the face of these figures to doubt that if the
tremendous issue of peace and war between the two great sections of
the Union, which really lay hidden in the ballot-boxes of the Union on
that November day, had been never so dimly perceived by the American
people, the verdict of the nation would have made an end that day of
the new “Republican,” party. But neither Mr. Lincoln himself, nor
Mr. Seward, nor any considerable number of the Republican voters of
the North and the West believed, or could be made to believe, in the
reality of this issue. It came upon them all and upon the country at
last, after all the agitation and all the warnings of years, like “a
thief in the night,” and coming upon the country it suspended for four
long and dismal years the normal action of the constitution, and the
normal development therefore of public opinion through the channels of
constitutional politics.

It is juggling with phrases to say that from the 5th of March, 1861,
to the 15th of April, 1865, Mr. Lincoln was, in any true sense of
the words, a President of the United States with a political party
at his back. He was to all intents and purposes a war dictator of
the Northern and Western States, maintaining with all the resources
of those sections of the country the fabric of the American Union
against the armed and persistent efforts of thirteen sovereign States
banded together in a confederacy to make an end of its authority and
its existence so far as concerned its relations with them and with
their inhabitants. To this colossal task Mr. Lincoln brought, as I
think the most impartial critics of his administration in my own
party now admit, most rare and remarkable gifts of character and of
mind. It has been not uncommon among those who, since his death, have
constituted themselves the special eulogists of this extraordinary man,
to represent him as struggling from the first, not merely against the
enormous difficulties arrayed in his path by the energy, and wealth,
and determination of the seceding Confederacy, but against the ill-will
and infidelity to his trust of the Democratic President whom Mr.
Lincoln was elected by the North and the West to succeed. This is not
the place for any vindication in this point of President Buchanan.
He has had no lack of critics within the ranks of my own party. But
no man who was present during that fateful winter of 1860-61 in
Washington, and who was really conversant with men and things there,
will need to be told that but for President Buchanan’s fidelity to his
constitutional oath, and to the behest of the party which elected him
in 1856 to “uphold the Union,” the Civil War would probably have begun
in Washington itself before Mr. Lincoln set foot within the capital.

On the day of Mr. Lincoln’s inauguration, a day never to be forgotten
by any American who witnessed the scene, it was the presence by the
side of Mr. Lincoln of his great Northern Democratic rival, Senator
Douglas, which more than all the bayonets of the troops assembled
for the protection of Washington by General Scott, under orders from
President Buchanan, convinced the most intelligent of the Southern men
that the Union was not to be dissolved like snow in the sunbeams, and
gave all the weight of the Democratic masses of the North and West to
the new President’s deliberate declaration that the forts and property
of the United States would be “held and occupied” by all the power of
the unseceded States.

The one member of Mr. Lincoln’s Cabinet who from the beginning foresaw
the gravity of the impending contest, and who put the whole pressure
of his personal influence upon the new President almost to the extent
of compelling him into asserting his authority by force of arms, was
not the Whig who had organised the “Republican” party, Mr. Seward,
It was Mr. Montgomery Blair, a “Democrat” by training, the son of
the confidential adviser of President Jackson and the brother of a
Democratic general in the Union armies who was afterwards nominated
for the Vice-Presidency on the same ticket with Governor Seymour of
New York in 1868 by the Democratic party. Mr. Montgomery Blair himself
left Mr. Lincoln’s Cabinet in July 1864, escaped the war made by the
“Republican” party under Sumner and Stevens upon the friends of
President Lincoln, after the assassination of the President by a
melodramatic madman, and became a trusty ally of Governor Tilden of New
York, the Democratic candidate who was elected to the Presidency of the
United States in 1876 by a popular majority of nearly 300,000 votes in
a total poll of a little over 8,000,000, and by a majority of one vote
in the electoral colleges, only to be defrauded of his office by the
audacious tampering of a cabal of Republican office-holders with the
votes of three Southern States.

It is not my purpose, and it would swell this paper beyond all
reasonable limits, to sketch here, even in outline, the political
annals of the quarter of a century which stretches now between the
election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the election of Governor
Cleveland in 1884. I may assume my readers to have a general knowledge
of the main features of this period of American history. No intelligent
man can be familiar even with the distorted and partial presentation
of those features which has hitherto passed current on both sides of
the Atlantic, without asking himself what the magic virtue can be which
has carried the great Democratic party of the United States steadily
onward through so many years of exclusion from executive power and such
storms of systematic obloquy, enabling it amid the passions of a fierce
sectional conflict to retain such a popular support throughout the
North and West as has persistently threatened the tenure of the Federal
authority by its all-powerful and never over-scrupulous opponents,
giving it again and again control of the popular branch of the Federal
Congress, and commanding for it, as soon as the restoration of the
Union became in truth an accomplished fact, an unquestioned majority of
the suffrages of the American people.

My object has been to indicate the true answer to this question by
setting forth the foundations on which the Democratic party of the
United States was planted by its great leaders in the very dawn of our
national history.

No man ever learned by practical experience of the responsibilities of
power to appreciate the solidity of these foundations more thoroughly
than President Lincoln. A “Whig” by his early political affiliations
and an active and successful politician in times of high party
excitement, President Lincoln was not a partisan by temperament,
and nothing is more certain than that he came during his practical
war-dictatorship to very sound conclusions as to the essentially
ephemeral character of the political organisation which had lifted
him into that trying and dangerous post. He had no respect at all for
professional “philanthropists,” and not much for loudly “philanthropic”
politicians. The abolitionist agitators of the North instinctively
disliked and distrusted him. The ablest of their number, Mr. Wendell
Phillips, sneered at him as being not “honest exactly, but Kentucky
honest.” It was no confidence in President Lincoln, but the political
necessity of the moment, which compelled the extreme Anti-Democratic
leaders of the Republican party to acquiesce in his renomination in
November 1864, with a Democratic ex-Senator from the South, Andrew
Johnson of Tennessee, as his associate on the Presidential ticket.
Of this fact President Lincoln himself was well aware. Nor was he
blind to the popular and political significance of that Presidential
election of 1864. In spite of all that could be done by an army of
Federal office-holders larger than the armed force which Mr. Seward
at the outset of the civil war had imagined would be adequate to
“suppress the rebellion;” in spite of the combined influence of the
“Republican” local governments in the Northern and Western States;
in spite of military force brought to bear openly upon the polls in
regions undisturbed by war; in spite of the overshadowing fact that
the issues of the great civil war were still being fought out in the
field, the Democratic party of the North and West confronted the
Republican President at the polls in November 1864 with a popular vote
of nearly two millions out of four millions cast in those sections of
the Republic! The exact figures show that General M’Clellan, whose
popularity with the Democratic party was based upon his fame as the
creator of the Union army of the Potomac and upon his expressed loyalty
to the principles of the Constitution as the Democratic party holds
them, received, in November 1864, 1,802,237 votes in the North and
West, or within a few thousands of the 1,866,452 votes which were cast
for Mr. Lincoln himself in November 1860!

President Lincoln had shrewd sense enough to see that as the
maintenance of the authority of the Union had only been made possible
to him by the unswerving determination of the Northern and Western
Democratic party that the authority of the Union should be maintained
under the Constitution, so the restoration of peace within the Union
could only be achieved by accepting the Democratic construction of
the position and the rights of all the States in the Union under the
Constitution, of the seceded as well as of the unseceded States; and he
had patriotism enough to resolve that peace should be restored within
the Union, no matter what became of the ephemeral “Republican” party
which had been called into existence and carried into power chiefly by
the force of the sectional passions which had found final expression in
the civil war. He had gone beyond the Constitution under the war power
in abolishing slavery, and he knew that in abolishing slavery he had
abolished the vital impulse to which the “Republican” party owed its
existence. He knew too that the extreme “Republican” partisans by whom
he was surrounded knew this as well as he, and he was thoroughly aware
that there were among them men like Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania,
who were prepared and determined if possible to keep the sectional
passions which slavery had evoked alive and burning after slavery
itself should have disappeared, and to organise for themselves a new
lease of power at the expense of the peace of the country and of the
happiness and prosperity of millions of their fellow-countrymen.

At the beginning of the war President Lincoln had met the challenge
thrown down to him by the Confederate War Department on the lines
indicated by a great Democratic jurist, the late Judge Black of
Pennsylvania, in his “Opinion upon the Powers of the President,”
prepared at the request of President Buchanan, in whose Cabinet Judge
Black had successively held the posts of Attorney-General and of
Secretary of State.

        If one of the States (wrote Judge Black) should
      declare her independence, your action cannot depend
      upon the rightfulness of the cause upon which such
      declaration is based. Whether the retirement of a
      State from the Union be the exercise of a right
      reserved in the Constitution, or a revolutionary
      movement, it is certain that you have not in either
      case the authority to recognise her independence or
      to absolve her from her Federal obligations. Congress
      or the other States in Convention assembled must take
      such measures as may be necessary and proper. In
      such an event I can see no course for you but to go
      straight onward in the path which you have hitherto
      trodden—that is, execute the laws to the extent
      of the defensive means placed in your hands, and
      act generally upon the assumption that the present
      constitutional relations between the States and the
      Federal Government continue to exist until a new
      order of things shall be established either by law or
      by force.

The seceding States attempted to establish “a new order of things
by force,” and maintained that attempt for four years with such
resolution, pertinacity, and courage as more than once brought them
within what an eminent English statesman would perhaps call such a
“measurable distance” of success as may well explain the conviction
expressed in England at one period of the struggle, that Jefferson
Davis had “established a nation.”

Upon the failure of the Confederate experiment, President Lincoln, in
spite of the bitter and threatening hostility to him of a number of
the most conspicuous leaders of the Republican party in and out of
Congress, wisely and consistently determined to adhere to the position
involved in Judge Black’s opinion that the constitutional relations
between the States and the Federal Government could not be and had
not been shaken by the contest. After the Confederate Government had
abandoned Richmond, he visited that capital as President of the United
States, and in words made pathetic and historical by the deplorable
and senseless crime which was so soon to shock the country and the
civilised world, proclaimed his intention to administer the Government
“with malice towards none, with charity for all.” In his last public
speech, delivered on the 11th of April, 1865, two days only before his
assassination, he spoke of the seceded States as already restored to
their places in the Union, and said of them in his quaint and homely
fashion that, “finding themselves safely at home, it would be
utterly immaterial whether they had been abroad.” Mr. Gideon Welles
of Connecticut, to whom the portfolio of the Navy had been given
by President Lincoln in his first Cabinet, as a representative of
the Democratic wing of the then newly-organized “Republican” party,
tells us that at a Cabinet meeting held on the last day of President
Lincoln’s life, April 13, 1865, the President urged all the members of
the Cabinet to exert their influence to get all the State Governments
of the lately seceded States of the South “going again before the
annual meeting of Congress in December.” This meant, of course, that
President Lincoln intended and expected the lately seceded States to
send to Washington their proper and constitutional quota of senators
and representatives freely elected under the local franchise in each of
those States. His purpose was to secure the ratification by the seceded
States of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishing
slavery formally, and then to accept them as in all respects States
within the Union. In the Emancipation Proclamation of the 22nd of
September, 1862, which President Lincoln had issued avowedly as a war
measure, he had taken pains to declare that his object in prosecuting
the war as “Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy” of the United
States, was, had been, and would be, “practically to restore the
constitutional relation between the United States and each of the
States and the people thereof in which that relation was or might be
suspended.”

This was not at all the object of the unscrupulous and reckless leaders
who took command of the “Republican” party upon the death of President
Lincoln, and under whom Mr. Blaine first made a figure upon the field
of Federal politics.

A clear line will be drawn by the historian between the war
administration of the President who upheld the Union and the dismal
epoch of Southern reconstruction which followed—an epoch of
unconstitutional Congressional despotism, mitigated only from time
to time by the personal authority of General Grant. The story of the
relations of General Grant as President of the United States with the
party which found itself compelled to take advantage of his unbounded
popularity as the surest means of retaining its grasp upon authority at
Washington will one day constitute a most interesting and instructive
chapter in the history of government, but it lies outside the scope
of this paper. That General Grant would gladly have co-operated with
President Lincoln in carrying out his plan of re-establishing the
Union on Democratic and constitutional lines may be inferred not only
from the fact which he has stated, that the only vote he ever cast
before the civil war was for a Democratic President, but from the more
significant fact that he was so fully convinced of the readiness of
the Southern States to accept the results of the civil war in good
faith, that, immediately after the accession of President Johnson in
1865, he urged upon the President the importance of throwing a combined
army of Union and of Confederate soldiers into Mexico for the purpose
of expelling the French under Bazaine, and compelling Maximilian to
abandon the hopeless attempt to found an empire in the land of the
Montezumas which eventually cost that gallant but unfortunate prince
his life. President Johnson eagerly adopted General Grant’s suggestion,
but the Secretary of State Mr. Seward, opposed it, and Mr. Seward’s
objection was fatal. “It cost Maximilian his life,” General Grant
tells us, “and gave Napoleon the Third five more years of power in
France.” He might have added that it cost the people of the Southern
States ten years of the most odious and corrupting mal-administration
recorded in modern history—mal-administration which, but for the solid
political capacity and the traditional common sense and patriotism of
the Americans of the Southern States, must have reduced the fairest
portion of the North American continent to a social and industrial
chaos without precedent in the annals of modern civilisation.

The evil influences of that dark epoch extended themselves in all
directions North and South, cropping out in organised official
peculations, in shameless political dishonesty, in reckless
speculation, in monstrous lobbying, and in incredible excesses of
public extravagance, based upon such a system of inordinate and
unconstitutional taxation as no American in his senses could have been
brought, before the outbreak of the civil war, to believe would ever
for a moment be tolerated by the American people.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was to make an end of all this that the people of the United States
in 1876 elected one Democratic Governor of New York to the Presidency.
Defeated then of their will by the Republican agents of reconstruction,
the people of the United States had now at last in 1884 compelled
their voice to be heard and to be respected. With the inauguration
of Governor Cleveland in March 1885, the Federal Government of the
United States will be once more organised upon the enduring Democratic
foundations of respect for Home Rule at the South and at the North, in
the East and in the West, and of a strict limitation of the functions
of the Federal Government to the powers granted and prescribed to it by
the Constitution.

If I have done anything like justice in this necessarily hasty sketch
to the origin and development of the Democratic party of the United
States, my readers will not need to be told that its advent to power at
this time opens a new and most important chapter in the annals of the
American Republic. It involves much, very much more than the transfer
of executive power from one to another set of administrative officers.

It closes definitely an era of such political disease and corruption in
the United States as I have preferred rather to indicate than to dwell
upon here. Work of that sort, in my judgment, may as well be confined
to the domestic laundry. Quite enough of it has been done for the
edification of mankind at large by certain of my countrymen who have
hitherto found it more convenient to bewail the political profligacy of
those to whom “respectable Republicans” chose to surrender the control
of the Republican party after the murder of President Lincoln “cried
havoc and let slip the dogs of faction” than to co-operate resolutely
with the great Democratic party in making the Union once more solid,
and settling it upon its only possible foundations—Home Rule and a
strict construction of the Constitution.

It is easy to draw dramatic pictures of the demoralisation of American
politics; but there is more significance surely for thoughtful men
in the returns, which show that the candidacy of Mr. Blaine and Mr.
Logan has cut down the plurality of the Republican party in “moral”
Massachusetts from more than fifty thousand to ten thousand votes; in
Illinois, from over forty thousand to fifteen thousand; in Michigan,
from more than fifty thousand to barely two thousand; in Ohio,
from more than thirty thousand to eleven thousand. It has made the
Democratic Governor of New York President by an electoral majority of
37 votes and a popular plurality of about 400,000 votes. Less is to be
learned of the deep and lasting currents of popular thought and feeling
in the United States from an elaborate study of the absurd abominations
of Republican “Reconstruction” at the South than from the handwriting
of fire on the polling-places of the Empire State which illuminated the
Belshazzar’s Feast of Mr. Blaine’s “millionaires” on the eve of the
Presidential Election of 1884!

       *       *       *       *       *

In a certain sense, President Cleveland will occupy a position
not unlike that of President Lincoln at the outset of his first
Presidency. But the task of the Democratic chief magistrate who goes
to Washington with a great historical party at his back, to restore
the well-understood metes and bounds of the Federal authority over
thirty-eight free and independent States will be a less troublesome
and in its immediate results ought to be an infinitely more benign
and grateful task, than that of the reluctant war dictator who found
himself, against all his expectations, driven by angry sections, with
a mixed and undisciplined mob of placemen, of monopolists, and of
philanthropists behind him, into cutting with the sword the Gordian
knot of slavery, at the risk of severing with it forever the golden
bands of the Union, and those “mystic chords of memory” of which he
spoke with such a wistful pathos in his inaugural address. Some points
of resemblance may be found, too, between the personal histories of
Lincoln and of Cleveland. Like Mr. Lincoln, Governor Cleveland comes
of an old American stock. His family name smacks of Yorkshire, and his
direct ancestors established themselves in Massachusetts nearly two
hundred years ago. One of the family, a Cambridge man, and a clergyman
of the Anglican Church, died at Philadelphia under the roof of his
friend Benjamin Franklin twenty years before the American Revolution.
Another, who sat in the Legislature of Connecticut, and who was a
minister of the Independents, is remembered as an early advocate in
that “land of steady habits” of the abolition of African slavery, and
this at a time when the worthy citizens of Massachusetts thought it
expedient to keep the Bay State clear of negro blood by ordaining in
their organic law that any African “not a subject of our faithful ally
the Emperor of Morocco” who ventured twice across the Massachusetts
border should be on each occasion whipped, imprisoned and sent away,
and that if this did not restrain his ardor, he should upon his third
advent be so dealt with as to put an effectual stop to his travels.

Richard Cleveland, a grandson of the Connecticut abolitionist, married
the daughter of an Irish bookseller in Philadelphia, Miss Neale,
and was the father of the new President of the United States. He
was settled as a Presbyterian minister in the New Jersey village of
Caldwell, and there on the 18th of March, 1838, Grover Cleveland was
born. His father left New Jersey when he was but a child, and went in
the service of the religious body to which he belonged to live in New
York. The circumstances of the family were much better, I need not say,
than those amid which the youth of Lincoln, the son of an emigrant
Virginian, was passed in the wilds of Kentucky and Southern Illinois.
But Grover Cleveland, like Lincoln, was early thrown upon his own
resources. When he was a lad of sixteen his father died, and he was
left to conquer for himself the education he was determined to have,
and to make his own way in the world with such small help as a brother
and an uncle could afford him, both of them battling with life, and
both of them counting, not in vain, upon the young student’s aid in the
maintenance of his widowed mother and her young family.

His twenty-first year found the future President admitted to the Bar
in Buffalo, the chief city of Western New York. He distinguished
himself from the outset of his professional career by his indomitable
industry and his devotion to duty. These qualities soon secured for
him the honorable but laborious post of Assistant District Attorney.
He was not blinded by the glamor and glitter of the “great Civil War”
to the rascalities of Reconstruction, but adopted the Democratic
faith in politics, though living in a strongly Republican city. In
1870 he was elected Sheriff of Buffalo, and twelve years afterwards,
having returned meanwhile to a successful practice at the Bar, the
best citizens of Buffalo of all parties rallied to his support as the
Democratic candidate for the Mayoralty, in a contest which curiously
prefigured, on a smaller arena, the Presidential campaign of 1884.
The taxpayers of Buffalo had been systematically plundered by a
Republican “municipal ring,” just as the taxpayers of New York many
years ago were plundered by the Democratic municipal ring of Tweed
and Sweeney, of which so much and such unscrupulous use has been made
by Republican writers and speakers to vilify the Democratic party.
It has not usually occurred to these ingenious party trumpeters to
insist upon the fact that the “Tweed ring” was broken and that its
members were brought to chastisement mainly through the persistent
efforts of two distinguished Democrats.

One of these was the late Charles O’Conor, in his time the acknowledged
leader of the American Bar, and a Democratic candidate for the
Presidency in opposition to the headlong and absurd nomination of
Horace Greeley, a life-long Whig Protectionist, into which a Democratic
Convention allowed itself to be cajoled, despite the manly protest of
such true Democratic leaders as Senator Bayard at Baltimore in 1872.
The other was Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, whose services against the Tweed
ring led first to his election by the Democratic party as Governor of
New York in 1874, and then to his election as President of the United
States in 1876, the year of the great electoral fraud.

The task which these distinguished Democrats assumed in New York Mr.
Cleveland took up in Buffalo, and carried through with such impartial
energy and courage that before the expiration of the first year of his
term of office as Mayor, he was invited by the Democrats of New York to
enter upon the larger stewardship of the State executive. He had been
chosen mayor of Buffalo in 1881, by a majority of 3,500 votes. He was
chosen Governor of New York in 1882 by a majority of nearly 200,000 in
a total poll of 893,000 votes. His opponent was Mr. Folger, a leading
Republican, who had sat with distinction on the bench of the highest
State Tribunal in New York, and who died the other day as Secretary
of the Treasury in the Cabinet of President Arthur; and it is an open
secret that the tremendous overthrow of the Republican candidate was
partially due to the machinations of the friends of Mr. Blaine who had
been dropped for cause from the Cabinet of President Arthur with some
emphasis in December of the preceding year. It was the calculation
of Mr. Blaine that the defeat of the President’s candidate in the
President’s own State of New York in 1882 would materially damage
Mr. Arthur’s chances and strengthen his own of securing a Republican
Presidential nomination at Chicago in 1884. It was a good calculation,
but whether the retrospect of the gubernatorial campaign of 1882 in New
York is as gratifying now to Mr. Blaine as it was two years ago may
perhaps be doubted.

As Governor of New York, Mr. Cleveland has shown himself what he was
as Mayor of Buffalo—rigidly honest, indefatigable, simple in his
personal tastes and habits, disdainful of the silly state, and the
petty parade of official importance into which too many public servants
of the United States have suffered themselves to be seduced during the
reign of King Mammon at Washington. It has been his custom to walk
every morning from the Executive Mansion to the Governor’s Rooms in the
Capitol at Albany, and to spend the day there, incessantly occupied,
but always visible to those who have had any real occasion to see
him. It will be a wholesome thing to see the Presidential office once
more administered in this unostentatious fashion. Mr. Cleveland may
be called a representative of the Young Democracy, since he will go
into the White House a bachelor, like the last Democratic President,
Mr. Buchanan, but a young bachelor, the youngest President indeed yet
elected. In his fidelity to the traditions of Jefferson, who rode up
to the Capitol on horseback to be inaugurated, “hitched his horse to
a post,” took the oath and went about his business, Mr. Cleveland
will be supported by the new Vice-President—ex-Governor Hendricks
of Indiana, who represents the stanch and experienced Democratic
leaders who have borne the brunt of the intense political warfare
of the last quarter of a century with unwavering courage and signal
ability. As a representative in Congress, as a senator of the United
States, as Governor of the great Western State of Indiana, and as the
Democratic candidate for the Vice-Presidency on the same ticket with
Governor Tilden in 1876, Mr. Hendricks has linked his name with the
best traditions, and drawn to himself the general confidence of his
party. On the 6th of February, 1869, what is called a “concurrent
resolution” (which may be passed without requiring the assent of the
President) was introduced into the Senate under the “Reconstruction”
legislation of 1868, directing the President of the Senate to deal in
a particular manner with the vote of Georgia as “a State lately in
rebellion” and to allow that electoral vote to be alluded to only if
the counting or omitting to count it would not effect the decision of
the election in favor of either candidate. The candidates were General
Grant and Governor Seymour of New York. Mr. Hendricks, then a Senator
from Indiana, sustained with memorable force and conviction the right
of Georgia to her proper and unqualified voice in the election. One
Republican Senator alone voted against the “concurrent resolution,”
and that Senator, Mr. Trumbull of Illinois, is now a recognised leader
of the Democratic party in the State which gave Abraham Lincoln to the
Presidency. At the second election of Grant—Horace Greeley having
died immediately after the choice of the electors—most of the votes
given against General Grant were given to Mr. Hendricks; and in the
Democratic Convention of 1876 Mr. Hendricks who was the second choice
of a majority of the Convention after Governor Tilden, was eventually
nominated, almost against his will, for the Vice-Presidency. He is
a man of fine presence and dignified manners, who will preside with
ability and tact over that Upper House of the national Legislature
which stands as the fortress of Home Rule and State Rights, founded
upon the ideal constituency of State sovereignty, and set more safely
beyond the reach of the gusts of popular passion than the hereditary
principle in Europe.

The first duty of the President Elect will be the selection of his
Cabinet officers. Under the American system these officers do not sit
in Congress, and, with the exception of the Secretary of the Treasury,
they are simply agents of the Executive. But it is customary to select
them from the most prominent and influential men of the party, and
with reference to the party strength in different sections of the
country. To recite the names of the men, any one of whom would be
accepted by public opinion in the United States as a fitting Cabinet
Minister of the new President, would really be almost to call the
roll of the Democratic Senators, now thirty-six in number out of a
Senate of Seventy-six members, and of the Democratic Chairmen of
Committees in the House, which as newly elected will be Democratic by
a majority of between thirty and forty votes. The names of Mr. Bayard
of Delaware, the leading candidate after Governor Cleveland at Chicago;
Mr. Thurman of Ohio, long the leading Democratic, with Senator Edmunds
as the Republican, “law lord” of the Senate, and the author of an Act
enforcing upon the great Pacific railway corporations their obligations
to the Government, which it has been left for a Democratic Executive to
carry into effect; General McClellan; Mr. Pendleton of Ohio, to whom
the country chiefly owes whatever measure of reasonable Civil Service
reform it enjoys; Mr. McDonald of Indiana, Mr. Lamar of Mississippi,
Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Kernan of New York, Mr. Garland of Arkansas, Mr.
Beck of Kentucky, Mr. Palmer of Illinois, have been already discussed
in the open councils of the party, and intelligent Americans of all
opinions will admit that a Cabinet framed of such materials would
deserve and command universal confidence. There are many other active
and experienced party men whom it might be troublesome to replace in
one or the other House of Congress, but there need be no fear that the
new President will be at a loss to find able counsellors to aid him in
discharging his great trust.

The policy of the new Administration is involved and indicated in the
traditions of the party. In our foreign relations the United States
under a Democratic President will ask nothing of Europe except a
cordial maintenance of treaties, an extension of commercial relations
under equitable conditions, a full recognition of the accepted rules of
international law, a sedulous exemption everywhere of the persons and
property of American citizens from unnecessary annoyance by arbitrary
power. The State Department under President Cleveland may be expected
to be administered, not in the swash-bucklering and speculative fashion
which the Republican supporters of Mr. Blaine extolled during the late
canvass as brilliant and enterprising, but in the self-respecting,
self-contained, and dignified spirit which controlled our foreign
relations under ex-Governor Marcy of New York thirty years ago, and
which so honorably distinguished the administration of the same
department under ex-Governor Fish of New York from that of sundry other
high officers of State in the time of President Grant.

Upon the Treasury Department will fall the responsibility of dealing
wisely and firmly with the most important domestic issue inherent in
the resumption of executive power by the party of the Constitution.
This can hardly be more authoritatively stated than it was a fortnight
ago by the Vice-President Elect, Mr. Hendricks, in a speech delivered
by him to the people at Indianapolis after the election:—

        The watchword of the party in this contest,
      as in the contest of eight years ago, has been
      reform—executive, administrative, and revenue
      reform; an honest construction of the laws, and
      an honest administration of them. The revenue
      now collected exceeds the wants of an economical
      administration by $85,000,000. Because of this the
      Democrats say: “Let there be revenue reform; let
      that reform consist in part in the reduction of
      taxation.” Is it not patent to every man that there
      ought to be a reform here? The Democratic party
      this year came before the country with a clear
      and straightforward statement of the reform they
      intended to accomplish. In the national platform they
      declared that reform they would have. It was, first,
      that the taxation shall not exceed the wants of the
      Government economically administered; second, that
      taxation shall be for public purposes alone, and not
      for private gain or advantage; third, that in the
      adjustment care shall be taken to neither hurt labor
      nor harm capital; and fourth, that taxation shall
      be heaviest on articles of luxury and lightest on
      articles of necessity.

For now a quarter of a century the “Party of Protection and Monopoly”
has persistently transgressed the limits set to the Federal authority
by the Constitution, and used the earnings of labor and of capital,
in the form of excessive taxes, to fertilise and fatten private
enterprises.

This must stop. And when this stops, the manufacturers of England and
of Europe may make up their minds to meet the competing exports of the
United States in all those markets of the world from which American
exports have been excluded by American legislation ever since the
Whig-Republicans of 1861 laid their grasp upon our fiscal policy. It
cannot stop too soon. The official returns of the exports of the United
States show that during the fiscal year which ended on the 30th of June
1884, the exports of domestic merchandise from the United States to
all parts of the world fell off in value $79,258,780, as compared with
the exports for the year ending the 30th of June, 1883. Our exports of
machinery fell off nearly a million dollars; of general manufactures of
iron and steel more than a million and a quarter of dollars. There was
a good deal of gunpowder burned in the year 1883-4, but the value of
our exports of it fell off a quarter of a million of dollars. The value
of our exports of flax and hemp fell from $547,111 in 1882-3 to $67,725
in 1883-4; our exports of agricultural implements declined during the
last year more than a million of dollars in value; our exports of
cotton goods, colored and uncolored, more than twelve hundred thousand
dollars. Clearly Protection does not develop the manufactures of the
United States. It “protects” the manufacturers (which is quite a
different thing) against and at the expense of the consumers of the
United States, and gives point to the Duke of Somerset’s assertion that
“in no country has the power of capital been more invidiously exerted”
than in the United States. If our foreign manufacturing friends had any
money to spend on American politics, they would have done well to throw
it into one pool with the contributions of Mr. Blaine’s two hundred
millionaires!

Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist Secretary of the Treasury under
Washington, was the first apostle of Protection in America, but
in approaching the subject he “walked delicately,” like Agag. The
Americans of 1789 established absolute free trade between all the
sovereign States of the new Republic; nay more, during the negotiations
for peace at Versailles in 1783, the American Commissioners offered
Great Britain absolute free trade between the new States “and all
parts of the British dominions, saving only the rights of the British
chartered companies.” David Hartley, the philosophic writer on “Man,”
one of the British Commissioners, had wisdom enough to see the immense
importance of this offer, and urged the British Government to close
with it. Lord Shelburne, I believe, agreed with him. But the king
peremptorily refused to entertain a proposition which, had it been
accepted, must have changed the whole subsequent course of the history
of the two countries.

Down to 1809 no import duties were levied in the United States except
for purposes of revenue only. High rates of duty were levied in 1816
after the war of 1812, not for “protection,” but in order to meet the
exigencies of a most dangerous financial situation. In 1824, Henry
Clay, backed by New England and the middle States, carried through a
tariff to “protect American industry.” This was followed up by the
tariff of 1828, known as the “Bill of Abominations.” But the Democratic
sense of the country clearly saw that as the power to levy protective
taxes must be derived from the revenue power it is of necessity
incidental, and that as the incident cannot go beyond that to which it
is incidental, Congress cannot constitutionally levy duties avowedly
for Protection; and the Democratic party has never since departed, and
never can depart, from this doctrine in its party action. In 1833,
under President Jackson, “Protection” went down with Nullification. In
1846, under President Polk, the liberal Democratic tariff of Secretary
Walker was framed, under which our exports increased from $99,299,766
in 1845, to $196,689,718 in 1851, and our net imports from $101,907,734
to $194,526,639. In 1856, under Democratic rule, our net imports
were $298,261,364, in specie value, and our exports $310,586,330.
In that year the Democratic Convention declared “the time has come
for the people of the United States to declare themselves in favor
of progressive free trade throughout the world.” Under Republican
Protection, despite the development of the population, our net imports
fell from $572,080,919 in 1874, to $455,407,836 in 1876, and our
exports from $704,463,120 (mixed values, gold and inflated currency)
to $655,463,969; and in 1876 the Democratic Convention declared, “We
demand that all Custom House taxation shall be only for revenue.” Of
course trade can never be said to be free excepting where, as in the
internal commerce of the United States, no tax is levied on trade; and
therefore so long as any revenue is raised by duties it is absurd, as
Senator Sherman said in discussing the tariff question in 1867, to
talk of a “free trade tariff.” But it cannot be denied that under the
Democratic Revenue Tariff of 1846 a revenue of at least $140,000,000
would easily now be raised, and Senator Sherman, in the speech to
which I refer, admitted that “the wit of man could not possibly frame
a tariff” which should produce that sum “without amply protecting our
domestic industry.” If this happens as an incident to raising such a
revenue, American manufacturers will do well to be thankful for it. Had
the monopolists succeeded in getting Mr. Blaine into the White House
to thwart legislative reform of tariff taxation for four years more, a
worse thing would have overtaken them. For it is unquestionable that
a spirit of resistance to protective monopolies is moving through the
country, and especially through that nursery of empire, the great
North-West, which will not much longer be denied. The Democratic
Convention at Chicago wisely took note of this when it made Mr. Vilas
of Wisconsin, one of the most eloquent and popular of North-Western
Democrats, permanent chairman of the body; and Mr. Vilas has stated
the purposes and the convictions of the North-West with plainness of
speech:—

        The tariff (he says) is a form of slavery not
      less hateful because the whip is not exposed. No
      free people can or will bear it. There is but one
      course. The plan of protective robbery must be
      utterly eradicated from every law for taxation. With
      unflinching steadfastness, but moderately, without
      destructive haste or violence, the firm demand of
      freedom must be persistently pressed, until every
      dollar levied in the name of Government goes to the
      Treasury, and the vast millions now extorted for a
      class are left in the pockets of the people who earn
      the money. Resolute to defend the sacred rights of
      property, we must be resolute to redress the flagrant
      wrongs of property.

These are strong words. But they are only the echo from the land
of the Great Lakes in 1884 of the liberal principles embodied by
Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and sanctioned
by the Constitution of the United States in 1789. Those principles
are the life of the Democratic party. The Democratic party can only
be opposed by opposing those principles. It can only be crushed
by crushing them; and it is their inextinguishable vitality which
guarantees the permanence of our indissoluble Union of indestructible
States.—_Nineteenth Century._



RONSARD: ON THE CHOICE OF HIS TOMB.


“_Antres, et vous fontaines._”

BY J. P. M.

    Ye caverns, and ye founts
    That from these rocky mounts
    Well forth, and fall below
                With glassy flow;

    Ye forests, and ye waves
    Whose stream these meadows laves;
    Ye banks and copses gay,
                Hear ye my lay.

    When Heaven and my last sun
    Shall tell my race is run,
    Snatched from the dwelling bright
                Of common light;

    No marble chiselled be,
    That boastfulness may see
    A grander pomp illume
                My lowly tomb.

    But may, in marble’s stead,
    Some tree with shading head
    Uplift its leafy screen,
                For ever green.

    And from me, grant, O Earth!
    An ivy plant its birth,
    In close embraces bound
                My body round:

    And may enwreathing vine
    To deck my tomb entwine,
    That all around be made
                A trellised shade.

    Thither shall swains, each year,
    On my feast-day draw near,
    With lowing herds in view,—
                A rustic crew;

    Who, hailing first the light
    With Eucharistic rite,
    Addressing thus the Isle,[5]
                Shall sing, the while:—

    “_How splendid is thy fame,
   O tomb, to own the name
   Of one, who fills with verse
                The Universe!_

    _“Who never burned with fire
    Of envious desire
    For glorious Fate affords
                To mighty lords;_

    “_Nor ever taught the use
    Of love-compelling juice;
    Nor ancient magic art
                Did e’er impart;_

    “_But gave our meads to see
    The Sister Graces three
    Dance o’er the swarded plains
                To his sweet strains._

    “_Because he made his lyre
    Such soft accords respire,
    As filled us and our place
                With his own grace._

    “_May gentle manna fall,
    For ever, on his pall;
    And dews, exhaled in May,
                At close of day._

    “_Be turf, and murmuring wave,
    The fence around his grave:
    Wave, ever flowing seen—
                Turf, ever green._

    “_And we, whose hearts so well
    His noble fame can tell,
    As unto Pan, will bear
                Honors, each year._”

    So will that choir strike up;
    Pouring from many a cup
    A lamb’s devoted blood,
                With milky flood,

    O’er me, who then shall be
    Of that High City free,
    Where happy souls possess
                Their blissfulness.

    Hail hurtles not, nor there
    Fall snow, in that mild air;
    Nor thunder-stroke o’erwhelms
                Those hallowed realms:

    But evermore is seen
    To reign, unfading green;
    And, ever blossoming,
                The lovely Spring.

    Nor there do they endure
    The lusts that kings allure
    Their ruined neighbors’ State
                To dominate:

    Like brothers they abide;
    And, though on earth they died,
    Pursue the tasks they set
                While living yet.

    There, there, Alcæus’ lyre
    I’ll hear, of wrathful fire;
    And Sappho’s chords, which fall
                Sweeter than all.

    How those blest souls, whose ear
    Shall strains so chanted hear,
    In gladness must abound
                At that sweet sound;

    When Sisyphus the shock
    Forgetteth, of his rock;
    And Tantalus by thirst
                Is no more curst!

    The sole delicious Lyre
    Fulfils the heart’s desire;
    And charms, with joy intense,
                The listening sense.
                               —_Blackwood’s Magazine._



WÜRZBURG AND VIENNA: SCRAPS FROM A DIARY.


BY EMILE DE LAVELEYE.


II.

I arrive at Vienna at 10 o’clock and alight at the “Münsch” hotel,
a very old-established one, and very preferable, in my opinion, to
those gigantic and sumptuous “Ring” establishments where one is a mere
number. I find awaiting me a letter from the Baron de Neumann, my
colleague of the University of Vienna, and a member of the _Institut de
Droit International_. He informs me that the Minister Taaffe will await
me at 11 o’clock, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. de Kálnoky,
at 3 P. M. It is always well to make the acquaintance of
Ministers when visiting foreign countries. It is the means of obtaining
the key to doors generally closed, to consulting documents otherwise
inaccessible, and to getting out of prison if by mistake you happen to
be one day thrown therein.

The Home Office is a sombre-looking palace, situated in the
Judenplatz, a dark and narrow street in old Vienna; the apartments
are spacious, correct but bare; the furniture severe, simple but
pure eighteenth century style. It resembles the abode of an ancient
family who must live carefully to keep out of debt. How different to
the Government Offices in Paris, where luxury is displayed everywhere
in gilt panellings, Lyons velvets, painted ceilings and magnificent
staircases—as, for instance, at the Financial and Foreign Offices. I
prefer the simplicity of the official buildings of Vienna and Berlin.
The State ought not to set an example of prodigality. The Comte Taaffe
is in evening dress, as he is going to a conference with the Emperor.
He, nevertheless, receives my letter of introduction from one of
his cousins most amiably, and also the little note I bring him from
my friend Neumann, who was his professor of public law. The present
policy of the Prime Minister, which gives satisfaction to the Tscheks
and irritates the Germans so much, is not unjustifiable. He reasons
thus:—What is the best means to ensure the comfort and contentment of
several persons living together in the same house? Is it not to leave
them perfectly free to regulate their lives just as they think well?
Force them to live all in the same way to take their meals and amuse
themselves together, and they will be certain, very shortly, to quarrel
and separate. How is it that the Italians of the Canton of Tesino never
think of uniting with Italy? Because they are perfectly satisfied
to belong to Switzerland. Remember that Austria’s motto is _Viribus
unitis_. True union would be born of general contentment. The sure way
to satisfy all is to sacrifice the rights of none. “Yes,” I said, “if
unity could be made to spring from liberty and autonomy it would be
indestructible.”

Count Taaffe has long been in favor of federalism. Under the
Taaffe-Potoçki Ministry, in 1869, he had sketched a plan of reforms
with the object of extending the sway of provincial governments.[6] In
some articles in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, in 1868-9 I tried to show
that this was the best solution of the question. Count Taaffe is still
young; he was born in 1833, Feb. 24. He is descended from an Irish
family and is a peer of that country, with the title of Viscount Taaffe
of Correw and Baron of Ballymote; but his ancestors left their home and
lost their Irish estates on account of their attachment to the Stuarts.
They took service, then, under the Dukes of Lorraine, and one of them
distinguished himself at the siege of Vienna in 1683. Count Edward,
the present Minister, was born at Prague. His father was President of
the Supreme Court of Justice. He himself commenced his career in the
Hungarian Administration under the Baron Bach, who, seeing his great
aptitudes and his perseverance, procured him rapid advancement. Taaffe
became successively Vice-Governor of Bohemia, Governor of Salzburg,
and finally Governor of Upper Austria. Called to the Ministry of the
Interior in 1867, he signed the famous “Ausgleich” of December 21,
which forms the basis of the present Dual Empire. After the fall of the
Ministry, he was appointed Governor of the Tyrol, and held that post to
general satisfaction for a space of seven years. On his return to power
he again took up the portfolio of the Interior, and was also appointed
President of the Council. He continued to pursue his federalist policy,
but with more success than in 1869. The concessions he makes to the
Tscheks are a subject of both grief and wonder in Vienna. It is said
that he does it to secure their votes for the revision of the law of
primary education in favor of reactionary clericalism. Those who are
of this opinion must forget that he has clearly shown his leaning to
federalism for more than sixteen years.

What is more astonishing is the contradiction between Austria’s home
and foreign policy. At home the Slav movement is encouraged. All is
conceded to it, with the exception of the re-establishment of the
realm of St. Wenceslas, the road to which is, however, being prepared.
Abroad, on the contrary, and especially beyond the Danube, this
movement is opposed and suppressed as much as possible, even at the
risk of dangerously increasing Russia’s influence and popularity. This
contradiction may be explained after this wise. The “Common” Ministry
of the Empire is entirely independent of the Ministry of Cis-Leithania.
This “Common” Ministry, presided over by the Chancellor, is composed
of three Ministers—viz., those of Foreign Affairs, Finances, and War;
it alone settles foreign policy, and the Hungarian element is dominant
here. Count Taaffe’s principal residence is at Ellisham in Bohemia.
“Bailli” of the Order of Malta, he possesses the Golden Fleece. He is,
in fact, in every respect, an important personage. In 1860 he married
the Countess Irma de Czaky of Keresztszegk, by whom he has had a son
and five daughters. He has, thus, one foot in Bohemia and the other in
Hungary. All unanimously admit his extraordinary aptitudes, his
indefatigable energy, and his clever administration; but in Vienna they
complain that he is too aristocratic, and has too great a weakness for
the clergy. Probably a statue as high as the Hradsin Cathedral will
be raised in his honor at Prague, if he persuades the Emperor to be
crowned there.

At three o’clock I proceeded to see Count Kálnoky at the Foreign Office
in the Ballplatz. It is very well situated, near to the Imperial
residence, in a wide street, and in sight of the Ring. Large reception
rooms, solemn-looking and cold; gilded chairs and white and gold
panellings, red curtains, polished floorings, and no carpets. On the
walls, portraits of the Imperial family. While waiting to be announced,
I think of Metternich. It was here he resided. In 1812 Austria decided
the fall of Napoleon. Now, again, she holds in her hands the destinies
of Europe; for the balance changes as she moves towards the north,
the east, or the west; and I am about to see the Minister who directs
her foreign policy. I expected to find myself in the presence of an
imposing-looking person, with white hair, and very stiff; so I was
agreeably surprised on being most affably received by a man of about
forty, dressed in a brown morning suit, with a blue cravat. An open
and very pleasing expression, and eyes brimming over with wit. All
the Kálnoky family have this particularity, it appears. He possesses
the quiet, refined, yet simple and modest distinction of manner of an
English nobleman. Like many Austrians of the upper class, he speaks
French like a Parisian. I think this is due to their speaking six or
seven languages equally well, so that the particular accent of each
becomes neutralized. The English and the Germans, even when they know
French thoroughly, have still a foreign accent when speaking it; not
so the Austrians. Count Kálnoky asks what are my plans for my journey.
When he hears that I intend studying the question of the Eastern
railways, he says:

“That is our great preoccupation at the present moment. In the West
they pretend that we are anxious for conquest. This is absurd. It
would be very difficult for us to make any which would satisfy the two
parties in the Empire, and it is in fact greatly to our interest that
peace should be maintained. But we are dreaming of different sorts of
conquests, which, as an economist, you can but approve. I speak of
conquests we are desirous of making for our industries, trade, and
civilization. For this to be possible, we want railways in Servia,
Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Macedonia; and, above all, a connection with the
Ottoman lines. Engineers and diplomatists are already at work, and
will soon succeed, I hope. I do not think any one will complain or
throw blame on us when a Pullman car takes him comfortably from Paris
to Constantinople in three days. We are working for the benefit of the
Western world.”

It has been said that speech was given to diplomatists to conceal
their thoughts. I believe, though, that when Austrian statesmen deny
any ideas of conquest and annexation in the East, they are expressing
the true intentions of the Imperial Government. The late Chancellor de
Haymerlé expressed similar opinions when I saw him in Rome in 1879, and
in a letter which I received from him shortly before his death. Baron
Haymerlé was better acquainted with the East and the Balkan Peninsula
than any one. He had lived there many years, first as dragoman of the
Austrian Embassy, and afterwards as a Government envoy, and he was a
perfect master of all the different languages of the East.

The present Chancellor, Count Kálnoky, of Körospatak, is of Hungarian
origin, as his name indicates; but he was born at Littowitz, in
Moravia, December 29, 1832. Most of his landed estates are in that
province, amongst others Prödlitz, Ottaslawitz and Szabatta. He has
several brothers, and a very lovely sister who has been twice married,
first to Count Jean Waldstein, the widower of a Zichy, who was already
62 years of age, and, secondly, to the Duke of Sabran. Chancellor
Kálnoky’s career has been very extraordinary. He left the army in 1879,
with the grade of Colonel, and took up diplomacy. He obtained a post
at Copenhagen, where he appeared destined to play a very insignificant
part in political affairs. Shortly after, however, he was appointed to
St. Petersburg, the most important of all diplomatic posts, and, on
the death of Haymerlé, he was called to Vienna as Foreign Minister,
and thus in three years he advanced from the position of a cavalry
officer, brilliant and elegant it is true, but with no political
influence, to be the arbiter of the destinies of the Austrian Empire,
and consequently of those of Europe. How may this marvellously rapid
advancement, reminding one of the tales of the Grand Viziers in the
“Arabian Nights,” be accounted for? It is generally considered to
be due to Andrassy’s friendship. But the real truth is very little
known. Count Kálnoky is even cleverer as a writer than as speaker.
His despatches from foreign Courts were really finished models. The
Emperor, a most indefatigable and conscientious worker, reads all the
despatches from the Ambassadors, and was much struck with those from
St. Petersburg, noting Kálnoky as destined to fill high functions
in the State. At St. Petersburg he charmed every one by his wit and
amiability, and in spite of the distrust felt for his country became
_persona grata_ at the Court there. When he became Chancellor, the
Emperor gave him the rank of Major-General.

It was thought in the beginning that his friendship for Russia might
lead him to come to terms with that Power, and perhaps also with
France, and to break off the alliance with Germany; but Kálnoky does
not forget that he is Hungarian and the friend of Andrassy, and that
the pivot of Hungarian policy, since 1866, has been a close alliance
with Berlin. In the summer of 1883 the German papers more than once
expressed vague doubts as to Austria’s fidelity, and public opinion at
Vienna, and more especially as Pesth, was rather astir on the subject.
Kálnoky’s visit to Gastein, where the Emperor Wilhelm showed him
every mark of affection, and his interview with M. de Bismarck, where
everything was satisfactorily explained, completely silenced these
rumors. At the present, the young Minister’s position is exceedingly
secure. He enjoys the Emperor’s full confidence, and, apparently, that
of the nation also, for, in the last session of the Trans-and
Cis-Leithanian Delegations he was acclaimed by all parties, even by
the Tscheks who are just now dominant in Cis-Leithania. Count Kálnoky
is hitherto unmarried, which fact, it is said, renders Vienna mothers
despairing and husbands uneasy.

I pass my evenings at the Salm-Lichtensteins’. I had already the
pleasure of making the acquaintance of the Altgräfin in Florence,
and I am very glad to have an opportunity of meeting her husband, a
member of Parliament very deeply interested in the Tscheko-German
question. He belongs to the Austrian Liberal party, and severely
blames Taaffe’s policy, and the alliance that the Feudal party,
and especially members of his own and of his wife’s families, have
concluded with the ultra-Tscheks. “Their aim is,” he says, “to obtain
the same situation for Bohemia as for Hungary. The Emperor would go to
Prague to receive the crown of St. Wenceslas. An autonomous government
would be re-established in Bohemia under the direction of a Diet,
as in Hungary. The Empire would become triune instead of dual. Save
for questions common to all, the three States would be independent
of each other, united only in the person of the Sovereign. Such an
arrangement answered admirably in the Middle Ages, when it was usual;
but at the present day, when we are surrounded on all sides by great
united Powers, as France, Russia, Prussia and Italy, it is senseless
to advocate it. I admit of federation for small neutral States like
Switzerland, or for a large country embracing an entire Continent,
like the United States; but I consider that for Austria, situated, as
she is, in the heart of Europe, exposed on all sides to complications
and to the greed and envyings of her many neighbors, it would be
absolute perdition. My good friends of the Feudal party, supported by
the clergy, hope that when autonomy is established in Bohemia, and the
country is completely withdrawn from the influence of the Liberals of
the Central Parliament, they themselves will be the masters there, and
the former order of things will be reset on foot. I think they make a
very great mistake. I believe that when the Tscheks have attained the
end they have in view, they will turn against their present allies.
They are at heart all democrats, varying in shade from pale pink to
bright scarlet; but all will band together against the aristocracy and
the clergy, and will make common cause with the German population of
our towns, who are almost all Liberals. The country inhabitants would
also in a great measure join them, and thus the aristocracy and the
clergy would be inevitably vanquished. If necessary the ultra-Tscheks
would call up the memories of John Huss and of Ziska, to ensure the
triumph of their party.

“Strange to say,” he continues, “the majority of the old families
heading the national movement in Bohemia are of German origin, and
do not even speak the language they wish to be made official. The
Hapsburg dynasty, our capital, our civilization, the initiative and
persistent perseverance to which Austria owes its creation—are not
all these Germanic? In Hungary, German, the language of our Emperor,
is forbidden; it is excluded also in Gallicia, in Croatia, and will
soon be so also in Carinthia, in Transylvania, and in Bohemia. The
present policy is perilous in every respect. It is deeply wounding to
the German element, which is nothing less than the enlightened classes,
commerce, money—the power, in fact, of modern times. If autonomy
is established in Bohemia, it will deliver over the clergy and the
aristocracy to the Tschek democrats and Hussites.”

“All that you say,” I answer, “is perfectly clear. I can offer but
one objection, which is: that from time to time in the affairs of
humanity certain irresistible currents are to be met with. They are so
irresistible that nothing subdues them, and any impediment in their way
merely serves to increase their force. The nationality movement is one
of these. See what a prodigious reawakening! One might almost compare
it to the resurrection of the dead. Idioms buried hitherto in darkness
spring forth into light and glory. What was the German language in the
eighteenth century, when Frederick boasted that he ignored it, and
prided himself on writing French as perfectly as Voltaire? True, it was
Luther’s language; yet it was not spoken by the upper and educated
classes. Forty years ago, what was the Hungarian tongue? The despised
dialect of the pastors of the Puzta. German was the only language
spoken in good society and in Government offices, and, at the Diet,
Latin. At the present day the Magyar dialect is the language of the
press, of the parliament, of the theatre, of science, of academies,
of the university, of poetry, and of fiction; henceforth the
recognized and exclusive official language, it is imposed even upon
the inhabitants of Croatia or Transylvania, who have no wish for it.
Tschek is gradually securing for itself the same place in Bohemia as
Magyar had attained in Hungary. A similar phenomenon is taking place
in Croatia, the dialect there, formerly merely a popular _patois_, now
possesses a university at Agram, poets and philologists, a national
press, and a theatre. The Servian tongue, which is merely Croatian
written in Cyrillic characters, has become the official, literary,
parliamentary, and scientific language of Servia. It is in precisely
the same position as its elder brothers, French and German, in their
respective countries. It is the same for the Bulgarian idiom in
Bulgaria and Roumelia, for the Romanian in Romania, for Polish in
Galicia, for Finn in Finland, and soon also in Flanders, where, as
elsewhere, the literary reawakening precedes political claims. With a
constitutional government, the nationality party is sure to triumph,
because there is a constant struggle between the political opponents
as to which shall make the most concessions in order to secure votes
for themselves. This has been also the case in Ireland. Tell me, do
you think it possible that any Government would be able to suppress so
deeply grounded, so universal a movement, whose root is in the very
heart of long-enslaved races, and which must fatally develop as what
is called modern civilization progresses? What is to be done, then, to
quell this irresistible pressing forward of races all claiming their
place in the sunshine? Centralize and compress them, as Schmerlíng and
Bach tried to do? It is too late for that now. The only thing is to
make compromises with these divers nationalities, as Count Taaffe is
trying to do, being careful, at the same time, to protect the rights
of the minority.

“But,” answers the Altgraf, “in Bohemia we Germans are in a minority,
the Tscheks could crush us mercilessly·”

The following day I called on M. de V., an influential Conservative
member of Parliament. He appears to me even more distressed than
Count Salm.

“An Austrian of the old school, a sincere black and yellow, I am,
and even, says M. de V., what you call in your extraordinary Liberal
jargon, a Reactionist. My attachment to the Imperial family is
absolute, as being the common centre of all parties in the State.
I am attached to Count Taaffe, because he is the representative of
Conservative principles; but I deplore his federalistic policy, which,
if pursued, will certainly lead to the disintegration of the Empire.
My audacity even goes so far as to declare that Metternich was a
clever man. Our good friends, the Italians, reproached him with having
said that Italy is a mere geographical expression. But of our empire,
which he made so powerful, and, on the whole, so happy, not even that
will be left, if this system of chopping it into pieces be followed
much longer. It will become a kaleidoscope instead of a State, a mere
collection of dissolving views. Do you recollect Dante’s lines?

    ‘Quivi sospiri, pianti ed alti guai
    Risonavan per l’aer senza stelle.
    Diverse lingue, orribile favelle,
    Parole di dolore, accenti d’ira,
    Voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle.’

“This is the state of things that is being prepared for us. You would
hardly, perhaps, believe that this mania is now so violently raging
that the Germans in Bohemia, dreading the future power of the Tscheks,
have requested autonomy for that portion of the country where they are
in a majority. On the other hand the Tscheks would never suffer the
division of their realm of St. Wenceslas, so this is another cause of
quarrel. This struggle of races is but a return to barbarous ages. You
are a Belgian and I an Austrian; could we not therefore agree to manage
a business or direct an institution together?” “Of course,” I
reply. “When a certain degree of culture is attained, the important
point is conformity of feeling rather than a common language, but
at the outset, language is the means of arriving at intellectual
culture. The motto of one of our Flemish societies affirms this
most energetically: _De taal is het volk_ (‘Language is everything
for a people’). In my opinion, reason and virtue are the important
points, but without language and letters there can be no progress in
civilization.”

I take note of a curious little incident, which shows how exceedingly
bitter this animosity of races has become. The Tscheks of Vienna, who
number about 30,000 requested a grant from the town council to assist
them to found a school, where the instruction would be given in their
language. The Rector of the University of that city spoke in favor
of this request at the meeting of the council. The students of the
Tschek University of Prague, apprised of this, forwarded him a vote
of thanks; but in what language? Not in Tschek, the Rector would not
have understood a word; nor in German the language of the oppressors;
in French, as being a foreign idiom and neutral everywhere. The
vote—certainly very justifiable—of the Rector in favor of a Tschek
school in Vienna, was so highly disapproved of by his colleagues that
he was forced to resign his post.

I go next to see Baron von Neumann, one of the pillars of our Institute
of International Law. Besides his vast legal knowledge he possesses
the precious faculty of speaking all European languages with equal
facility, and has also at his disposal a treasure of quotations
from the most varied literature. In the different towns in which
the Institute has met, he has replied to the authorities appointed
to receive us in their own language, and generally as fluently as a
native. Baron Neumann takes me to the University of which he is one
of the chief ornaments. It is situated quite near the Cathedral,
and is a very ancient building, which will shortly be abandoned for
the sumptuous edifice in course of construction on the Ring. I am
introduced to Professor Lorenz von Stein, author of the best work that
has ever been written on Socialism, “Der Socialismus in Frankreich,”
and also several works on public law and political economy, which are
very highly considered in Germany. I am also very pleased to make the
acquaintance of my youthful colleague M. Schleinitz, who has just
published an important work on the development of landed property.
Baron Neumann transmits me a letter from Baron Kállay, the Financial
Minister, appointing an interview with me before I leave; but I see
first M. de Serres, the director of the Austrian railways, who will be
able to give me some details as to the connection between the Hungarian
and Servian and the Ottoman lines: a question of the very first
importance for the future of the East, and which I have promised myself
to study.

The Austrian Railway Companies’ offices are in a palace on the Place
Schwarzenberg, the finest part of the Ring. Their interior arrangements
are quite in keeping with the outside appearance. Immense white marble
staircases, spacious and comfortable offices, and the furniture in
the reception-rooms all velvet and gold. What a contrast between this
modern luxury and the simplicity of the Ministerial offices! It is
the symbol of a serious economic revolution. Industry takes priority
of politics. M. de Serres spreads out a map of the railway system on
the table. “See,” he says, “this is the direct line from Pesth to
Belgrade; it crosses the Danube at Peterwardein and the Save at Semlin;
it was necessary therefore to construct two immense bridges, the
piles of which have been constructed by the Fives-Lille Company. The
Belgrade-Nisch section will be very soon inaugurated. At Nisch there
will be a bifurcation of two lines, one continues to Sofia and the
other, branching off, joins the Salonica-Nitrovitza branch at Uskub or
at Varosch. The line is to run along the Upper Morava by Lescovatz and
Vraina. The latter town can then be easily connected with Varosch on
the Salonica line, the distance between these two places being quite
trifling. This branch line, which will be quickly terminated, is of
capital importance. It will be the nearest route to Athens, and even to
Egypt and the extreme East; and will ultimately, in all probability,
beat not only Marseilles but Brindisi. The other section of the line,
from Nisch to Sofia and Constantinople, presents great difficulties.
In the first place, the Pass through which the Nischava flows before
reaching Pirot is so wild, narrow, and savage, as to challenge the
skill of our engineers. Then, after leaving Pirot, the line must rise
over some of the last heights of the Balkans to reach the plain of
Sofia; the rocks here, too, are very bad. Beyond, on the high plateau,
there will be no difficulty, and a line was half completed by the
Turks ten years ago, between Sofia and Sarambay (the terminus of their
system); fifteen or sixteen months would suffice to finish it. To be
brief, this year we shall be able to go by rail all through Servia
as far as Nisch. A year later, if no time be lost, we shall reach
Salonica, and, two years afterwards, Constantinople.”

I thanked M. de Serres for all these interesting details. “The
completion of these lines,” I said, “will be an event of capital
interest for the Eastern world. It will be the signal for an economic
transformation far otherwise important than political combinations, and
will hasten the accomplishment of an inevitable result—the development
and the supremacy of the dominant races. Your Austrian railways and
Hungary will be the first to benefit, but very soon the whole of Europe
will share the advantages which will accrue from the civilization of
the Balkan peninsula.”

I call after this on Baron Kállay. I am very pleased to have an
opportunity of seeing him, for I am told on all sides that he is
one of the most distinguished statesmen of the empire. He is a pure
Magyar, descended from one of Arpad’s companions, who came to Hungary
towards the close of the ninth century. They must have been a careful
and thrifty family, for they have been successful in retaining their
fortune, an excellent precedent for a Financial Minister! When quite
young, Kállay displayed an extraordinary taste for learning, and he was
anxious to know everything; he worked very hard at the Slav and Eastern
languages, and translated Stuart Mill’s “Liberty” into Magyar, and for
his literary labor he obtained the honor of being nominated a member of
the Hungarian Academy.

Having failed to be elected deputy in 1866, he was appointed
Consul-General at Belgrade, which post he held for eight years. This
period was not lost to science, for he spent it in collecting matter
for a history of Servia. In 1874 he was elected deputy in the Hungarian
Diet and took his place on the Conservative benches, now the Moderate
Left. He started a newspaper, the _Kelet Nepe_ (The People of the
East), in which he depicted the part Hungary ought to play in Eastern
Europe.

It will be remembered that when the Turko-Prussian war broke out,
followed by the occupation of Bosnia in 1876, the Magyars were most
vehement in their manifestations of sympathy with the Turks, and
the opposition was most violent in attacking the occupation. The
Hungarians were so bitterly hostile to this movement, because they
thought it would be productive of an increase in the number of the Slav
inhabitants in the Empire. Even the Government party was so convinced
of the unpopularity of Andrassy’s policy that they durst not openly
support it. Just at this time, Kállay took upon himself to defend it
in the House. He told his party that it was senseless to favor the
Turkish cause. He proved clearly that the occupation of Bosnia was a
necessity, even from a Hungarian point of view; because this State
forms a corner separating Servia from Montenegro, and thus being in the
hands of Austria-Hungary, prevents the formation of an important Slave
State which might exercise an irresistible attraction on the Croatians,
who are of the same race and speak the same language. He explained
his favorite projects, and spoke of the commercial and civilizing
mission of Hungary in the East. This attitude of a man who knew the
Balkan peninsula by heart and had deeply studied all the questions
referring to it, was most irritating to many members of his party, who
continued for some little time Turcophile; but the speech produced a
profound impression on the nation in general, and public opinion was
considerably modified. Baron Kállay was designated by Count Andrassy as
the Austrian representative in the Commission on Roumelian affairs, and,
on his return to Vienna, he was appointed chief of a section in the
Foreign Office. He published his history of Servia in Hungarian; it has
since been translated into German and Servian, and, even at Belgrade,
it was admitted to be the best that exists. He also published, about
this time, an important pamphlet in German and Hungarian, on the
aspirations of Russia in the East during the past three centuries.
Under the Chancellor Haymerlé he became Secretary of State, and his
authority increased rapidly. Count Szlavy, formerly Hungarian Minister,
a very capable man, but with little acquaintance with the countries
beyond the Danube, was then Financial Minister; and, as such, was the
sole administrator of Bosnia. The occupation was a total failure. It
entailed immense expense, the taxes were not paid into the exchequer,
it was said that the money was detained by the Government officials
as during the reign of the Turks, and both the Trans-Leithanian and
Cis-Leithanian Parliaments showed signs of discontent. Szlavy resigned
his post. The Emperor very rightly thinks an immense deal of Bosnia. It
is his hobby, his special interest. During his reign Venetian Lombardy
has been lost, and his kingdom, consequently, diminished. Bosnia is a
compensation for this, and possesses the great advantage of adjoining
Croatia, so that it could easily be absorbed into the empire; whereas,
with the Italian provinces, this was totally impossible. The Emperor
then looked around him for the man capable of setting Bosnian affairs
in order, and at once selected Kállay, who was appointed to replace
Szlavy.

The first act of the new Minister was personally to visit the occupied
province of which he speaks all the varied dialects, and to converse
with the Catholics, Orthodox and Mahommedans there. He thus succeeded
in reassuring Turkish landholders, in encouraging the peasantry to
patience, in reforming abuses and turning the thieves out of the
temple. Expenses became at once reduced and the deficit diminished, but
the undertaking might well be compared to the cleansing of the Augean
stables. Baron Kállay employed great tact and consideration, coupled
with relentless firmness. To be able to set a clock in thorough order
it is necessary to be perfectly acquainted with its mechanism. Last
year he was warned that a tiny cloud was appearing in Montenegro. A
fresh insurrection was dreaded. He started at once to ascertain the
exact position of affairs for himself, and he took his wife with
him to give his visit a non-official character. Lady Kállay is as
intelligent as she is beautiful, and as courageous as intelligent;
this latter is indeed a family quality: Countess Bethlen, she is
descended from the hero of Transylvania, Bethlen Gabor. Their journey
through Bosnia would form the subject of a poem. While on his way from
ovation to ovation, he succeeded in stamping out the lighted wick
which was about to set fire to the powder. Since then, it appears,
matters there have continued to improve; at all events, the deficit
has disappeared, the Emperor is delighted, and every one tells me
that if Austria succeed in retaining Bosnia she will certainly owe
it to Kállay, and that a most important _rôle_ is assuredly reserved
for him in the future administration of the empire. He believes in a
great destiny for Hungary, but he is by no means an ultra-Magyar. He
is prudent, thoughtful, and is well aware of the quagmires by the way.
His Eastern experience is of great service to him. I call on him at his
offices, in a little narrow street and on the second floor. The wooden
staircase is dark and narrow. I cannot help comparing it in my mind to
the magnificent palace of the Railway Company, and I must confess my
preference for this. I am astonished to find him so young; he is but
forty-three years old. The old empire used to be governed by old men,
but this is no longer the case. Youth has now the upper hand, and is
responsible, doubtless, for the present firm and decisive policy of
Austria-Hungary. The Hungarians hold the reins, and their blood has
preserved the ardor and decision of youthful people. It seemed to me
that I breathed in Austria an air of revival.

Baron Kállay spoke to me first of the Zadrugas, the family communities
which existed everywhere in India, as has so well been shown by Sir
Henry Maine. “Since you published your book on Primitive Property”
(which was, he says, at the time perfectly accurate), “many changes
have taken place—the patriarchal family living on its collective and
unalienable domain is rapidly disappearing. I regret this quite as much
as you can do, but what can be done?”

Speaking of Bosnia, “We are blamed,” he says, “for not having yet
settled the agrarian question there, but Ireland is sufficient proof
of the difficulties to be met with in solving such problems. In Bosnia
these are further complicated by the conflict between the Mussulman
and our Western laws. One must be on the spot and study these vexed
questions there, fully to realize the hindrances to be met with at
every step. For instance, the Turkish law constitutes the State the
owner of all forests, and I am especially desirous of retaining rights
on these for the purpose of preserving them; on the other hand, in
accordance with a Slav custom, the villagers claim certain rights on
the forests. If they merely cut the wood they needed for household
purposes, only slight harm would be done; but they ruthlessly cut
down trees, and then turn in their goats to eat and destroy the young
shoots, so that there is never any chance of the old trees being
replaced. These wretched animals are the plague of the country.
Wherever they manage to penetrate, nothing is to be found but brushwood.

“As the preservation of these woods is of the first necessity in so
mountainous a region we intend to pass a law to this end, but the
difficulty will be to enforce it. It would almost necessitate an army
of keepers and constant struggles in every direction. What is really
lacking in this fine country so favored by Nature is a _gentry_ who
would set an example of agricultural progress, as in Hungary. I will
give you an example in proof of this. As a boy I remember that a very
heavy old-fashioned plough was used on our land. In 1848, compulsory
labor was abolished, wages increased, and we had to cultivate
ourselves. We at once sent for the most perfected American iron
ploughs, and at the present day these alone are employed even by the
peasants. Austria has a great mission to fulfil in Bosnia, which will
in all probability benefit general Europe even more than ourselves. She
must, by civilizing the country, justify her occupation of it.”

“For myself,” I replied, “I have always maintained, in opposition to
my friends the English Liberals, that the annexation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina to Dalmatia was a necessity, and I fully explained this at
a period when the question was not at all under discussion,[7] but the
essential point of all is the making of a railway and roads to connect
the interior with the ports on the coast. The Serayevo-Mortar line is
absolutely a necessity.”

“I am quite of your opinion,” answers Baron Kállay, “_ma i danari_, all
cannot be done in a day. We have but just completed the Brod-Serayevo
line, which takes passengers in a day from Vienna to the centre of
Bosnia. It is one of the first boons conferred by the occupation, and
its consequences will be almost measureless.”

I refer to a speech he has recently pronounced at the Academy of Pesth.
In it he develops his favorite subject, the great mission Hungary is
destined to fulfil in the future; being connected with the East through
the Magyars and with the West through her ideas and institutions, she
must be a link between the Eastern and Western worlds. This theory
provoked a complete overflow of attacks against Magyar pride from all
the German and Slav papers. “These Hungarians,” they said, “imagine
themselves to be the centre of the universe and their Hungaria, the
entire world, _Ungarischer Globus_. Let them return to their steppes,
these Asiatics, these Tartars, these first cousins of the Turks.” In
the midst of all this vehemence, I am reminded of a little quotation
from a book of Count Zays, which most accurately paints the ardent
patriotism of the Hungarians at once, their honor and strength, but
which develops a spirit of domination and makes them detested by other
races. The quotation is as follows: “The Magyar loves his country and
his nationality better than humanity, better than liberty, better than
himself, better even than God and his eternal salvation.” Kállay’s high
intelligence prevents his falling into this exaggerated Chauvinism.
“No one understood me,” he says, “and no one chose to understand. I
was not talking politics. I had no desire to do so in our Academy at
a scientific and literary meeting. I simply announced an undeniable
fact. Situated at the point of junction of a series of different races
and for the very reason that we speak a non-Indo-Germanic idiom—call
it even Asiatic, if you will—we are compelled to be acquainted with
all the languages of Western Europe. Our institutions, our educational
systems, belong to the Western world. At the same time, by some
mysterious connection with our blood, Eastern dialects are very easily
accessible and comprehensible to us. I have over and over again
remarked that I can grasp much more clearly the meaning of an Eastern
manuscript or document by translating it into Magyar, than if I read a
German or English translation of it.”

The “Ring,” and how this splendid boulevard has been made, is certainly
a question worthy of an economist’s inquiries. What changes since 1846!
At that period, from the heights of the old ramparts that had sustained
the famous siege of 1683, one could obtain a panorama of the entire
city, with its extensive faubourgs separated from the centre by a
dusty esplanade where the Hungarian regiments, with their tight blue
trousers, drilled every evening. The Volksgarten, where Strauss played
his waltzes, and the Grecian temple with Canova’s statue, have been
left intact; but a boulevard twice as wide as those in Paris runs along
the entire length; ample space has been reserved for the erection
of public monuments and the remainder of the land sold at enormous
prices. The State and the town have constructed public edifices vying
with each other in magnificence; two splendid theatres, a town hall,
which will certainly cost fifty million francs; a palace for the
university, two museums, and a House of Parliament for the Reichsrath.
All around the Ring in addition to the buildings just mentioned, are
Archdukes’ palaces, immense hotels, and private residences, which,
from their grand proportions and the richness of their decorations,
are monuments themselves. I know of nothing comparable to the Ring in
any other capital. Where did Austria find the necessary funds for all
these constructions? The State and the town made a most successful
speculation: the price paid to them for the ground on the esplanade
almost covered all their expenses, but the purchasers of that ground
and the constructions placed upon it—who paid for all that? The
hundreds of millions of francs represented by this land and by the
public buildings and private dwellings on it, all that must spring from
the savings of the country. This affords a clear proof that in spite of
the unfortunate wars, the loss of Venetian Lombardy and the Krach of
1873, in spite also of home difficulties and the persistent deficit,
continuing from year to year, Austria has become much wealthier.
The State is a beggar, but the nation has accumulated capital which
expands itself in all these splendors of the Ring. As on the banks of
the Rhine, all this is due to machinery. As man can with his new and
powerful tools procure nourishment and clothing for a less sum, he can
devote a larger portion of his revenue and labor to his board, his
pleasures, to art and various institutions.

All that I succeeded in ascertaining in Vienna with respect to the
present situation of Bosnia served to confirm the views I already
entertained as to that country. The interests of civilization, and
especially those of the Southern Slavs, command our approval of this
occupation. We arrive at this conclusion by an argument which appears
to me irrefutable. Was it, yes or no, of importance that Bosnia should
be freed from the Turkish yoke? No friend of humanity in general and of
the Slavs can answer this question otherwise than in the affirmative.
Who then is to carry out this freedom? Russia is not to be thought of.
The forming of Bosnia into an independent State would be still worse,
for it would be simply delivering up the rayas without the slightest
defence to the Mussulman Begs. The most tempting plan seemed to be to
unite it to Servia, but in that case Bosnia would have been separated
from its neighbor Dalmatia, and the Servian Government would have
been compelled to undertake the difficult task of keeping its ancient
enemies, the Mussulman Bosniacs, in check. The only other solution was
the present one. Austria-Hungary can neither Magyarize nor Germanize
Bosnia. She brings it safety, order, education and roads; or, in
other words, the elements of modern civilization. Is not this all the
Slavophils can possibly desire? Thus will be formed a new nation,
which will grow up side by side with Croatia and Dalmatia, fortifying
these two countries as it develops, and serving at the same time as a
connecting link between them.—_Contemporary Review._



ENGLISHMEN AND FOREIGNERS.


There has always been in the minds of those who have amused themselves
with speculating upon the ultimate destiny of mankind a dim belief that
a good time is coming, when wars shall cease, distinctions of race fade
away, frontiers be abolished, and all nations, kindreds, and languages
be united in the great family of humanity, ruled by “the Parliament
of Man, the Federation of the World.” I should not care to be the
president of that assembly. But indeed there seems little likelihood
that the Millennium will begin yet awhile, or that we, as Englishmen,
shall have any immediate cause to regret our geographical position. As
matters stand at present, isolation has its obvious advantages, and,
judging by analogy, we should neither feel more friendly towards our
neighbors nor understand them better if we could shake hands with them
across an imaginary line, instead of bowing politely to them from the
other side of the waves which Britannia rules.

_Comprendre c’est pardonner._ Perhaps so; but we are a very long way
from understanding one another as yet. The simple beauty of Free
Trade is not recognised; standing armies have increased; potential
armies include whole nations, and ingenious persons continue to busy
themselves in devising machines for the wiping out of the largest
possible number of their fellow-creatures in the briefest possible
space of time. In short, it may safely be prophesied that the dawn of
universal peace will be deferred until there shall be a common consent
to keep the ninth commandment, which is as much as to say that we shall
none of us live to see the Greek Kalends.

But we are progressing towards the goal, some sanguine people affirm.
The movement of the earth, which is spinning through space at the
rate of over a thousand miles a minute, is imperceptible to the atoms
that crawl upon its surface; the movements of society are hardly to
be detected by its component parts, which vanish and are replaced
continually. What we do know is that we ourselves are bustling about
much more frequently and rapidly than our forefathers did. We have all
become more or less of rolling stones; and the moss of ignorance and
prejudice is being rubbed off us day by day. It seems natural to assume
that this must be so; but, as a matter of fact, is it so? Do Mr. Cook’s
excursionists obtain the smallest insight into the habits and character
of Continental nations? and do the more ambitious ladies and gentlemen
who would scorn to be “personally conducted” anywhere, and who hastily
survey mankind from China to Peru every year, bring back with them
any notion of what a Chinaman or a Peruvian is like beyond such
as might have been gathered from photographs purchased in Regent
Street? Steam power has enabled us to see many races of men, but it
has made it infinitely more difficult for us to know them. There is,
or there formerly was, in use among the Genevese a queer kind of
carriage, surrounded on three sides by leathern curtains, in which
the occupant sits as in a wagonette, contemplating only that portion
of the landscape which directly faces him; and it is narrated that
an Englishman once hired one of these conveyances, and, after making
the complete circuit of Lake Leman, inquired innocently where it
was. The modern English traveller labors under a somewhat similar
disadvantage. He spends his holidays abroad. He rubs elbows with the
natives in the streets; he gazes at the outside of their houses and at
their closed doors; but he has his back turned to them, as it were,
the whole time; he is among them, but he is not of them. They are not
interested in him. Nor is he ambitious of making their acquaintance. It
is not upon them that he depends for society. When his doctor orders
him to go south for the winter he has no change to dread or hope for,
except a change of scene and climate. Wherever he may go he will
be tolerably sure to find a more than sufficient assemblage of his
fellow-countrymen, an English club, a rubber of whist in the afternoon
if he wishes for it, lawn-tennis grounds innumerable, possibly even a
pack of hounds; and he will be invited to dinners and balls, at which
he may perchance from time to time meet a stray foreigner or two, just
as he might in London.

With this state of things the generality of us are very well contented.
We no longer think, as Lord Chesterfield did, that “it is of much more
consequence to know the _mores multorum hominum_ than the _urbes_;” and
the instructions issued by that shrewd old gentleman to his son, when
the latter was completing his education in foreign parts, are simply
amazing to fathers who live in the latter part of the nineteenth
century. “I hope,” says he, “that you will employ the evenings in the
best company in Rome. Go to whatever assemblies or _spectacles_ people
of fashion go to. Endeavor to outshine those who shine there the most;
get the _garbo_, the _gentilezza_, the _leggiadria_ of the Italians....
Of all things I beg of you not to herd with your countrymen, but to be
always either with the Romans or with the foreign ministers residing
at Rome,” and so forth. Fancy advising a young man of the present day
to “get the _garbo_ of the Italians,” and imagining that he would, or
could, do any such thing!

Lord Chesterfield, no doubt, was able to procure admission for
his son into “the best company” at Rome and elsewhere; but in the
præ-railway era most European capitals were very hospitably disposed
towards persons of less distinction. Provided that these were decent
sort of folks, and that they were received by their ministers,
no further questions were asked, and every facility was afforded
them for acquiring the _garbo_ of the Italians and whatever other
distinctive attributes the French or Germans may have been supposed
to possess. It is probable that they did not take much advantage of
these opportunities, for the English are not naturally imitative; but
at all events they learnt something about the manners and customs
of their entertainers. Most of us have seen letters written by our
grandfathers—possibly even by our fathers—which testify, with that
old-fashioned fulness of style which cheap postage has killed, what
a much more amusing experience travel was then than it is now. The
writers had all kinds of small adventures, incidents, and impressions
to recount; they jogged leisurely along the highroads of Europe in
their heavy travelling carriages, keeping their eyes open as they went;
when they reached a famous city they did not set to work to calculate
in how few days the sights of that city could be seen and done with,
but hired for themselves a house or an _appartement_, prepared for a
long stay, and presented their letters of introduction. Of course they
were in a small minority. Half a century ago it was not everybody who
had time enough or money enough to leave home for an indefinite period.
But, as far as the promotion of universal brotherhood is concerned,
the knowledge of the few may perhaps be as useful as the superficial
familiarity of the many.

As a means to the above end increased facility of locomotion seems to
have failed. Some time-honored superstitions have, it is true, been
swept away thereby; we no longer imagine that frogs form the staple
article of a Frenchman’s diet, while the French, on their other side,
do not now accuse us of selling our wives at Smithfield, although their
belief that we prefer raw to cooked meat appears to be ineradicable.
Yet there are very few Englishmen—so few that one might venture to
make a list of them—who can be said to be at home in French society
or to be capable of following the drift of French opinion. This last,
it must be confessed, is not an easy feat, and indeed can hardly
be accomplished by anything short of a prolonged residence in the
country. Foreigners naturally form their opinion of a nation as much
from reading as from personal observation, and probably there is no
people so ill-represented by its press as the French. Any one who
should read for a year the “Times,” the “Daily News,” the “Standard,”
and “Punch,” to say nothing of the weekly reviews, would be able, at
the end of that time, to pronounce a fairly accurate judgment upon
English politics and English habits of thought. Can it be supposed
that, after a twelvemonth’s patient study of the “Journal des Débats,”
the “République Française,” the “Figaro,” and the “Vie Parisienne,” the
inquiring stranger would be in an equally favorable position as regards
our neighbors across the water? English novels, again, may be said to
mirror English life faithfully, upon the whole, but if a man should
base his estimate of French society upon a study of the best French
novelists he would arrive at a conclusion almost grotesquely unlike the
truth.

For the French novelist, for all his so-called realism, takes neither
his characters nor his scenes from everyday life, his contention being
that, were he to do so, he would produce a work so insufferably dull
that no one would buy it. Writing, not as we do _virginibus puerisque_,
but for readers who like the dots to be placed upon the i’s, he sets
before them a succession of pictures from life, drawn often with great
power and insight into human nature, nearly always with scrupulous
exactitude of detail, and asserts—what cannot be denied—that they are
true pictures. It is a pity that they are usually unpleasant pictures,
and that they are liable to be misinterpreted by readers who adopt
the too common course of arguing from the particular to the general.
There is no occasion to dispute the accuracy of the scenes portrayed
in such books as “Le Nabab” or “Les Rois en Exil,” or to doubt that
the author could, if he chose, point to the living or dead originals
of his chief characters and declare that he has maligned none of them;
but when we find him, year after year dwelling and insisting upon what
is most ignoble in his fellow-creatures, we are surely entitled to
accuse him of a _suppressio veri_ and a _suggestio falsi_. With the
single exception of “Tartarin de Tarascon,” which is a burlesque, I do
not remember one of M. Daudet’s books, from “Fromont Jeune et Risler
Aîné,” down to “Sapho,” his last and infinitely his worst production,
which does not leave behind it a profound impression of sadness.
“C’est la faute de la vie, qui dicte,” he said once, in answer to this
reproach, as though life had but one side, or as though the literal
truthfulness of a photograph conveyed all that there is to be seen in a
landscape. But indeed some people, as we know, have the misfortune to
be color-blind, and to them, no doubt, the outlines of the world must
seem to be filled in rather with shade than with light. One may pay
a willing homage to M. Daudet’s genius and yet suspect that life, if
he had chosen to listen, might have dictated to him different stories
from those which he has published, and one may question whether his
sons will be much the better for reading “Sapho” even “quand ils auront
vingt ans.”

The subject of French fiction, its tendencies and its influences,
is too long a one to be more than glanced at here. The wit, the
brilliancy, the charm of style of About, Octave Feuillet, Cherbuliez,
Jules Clarétie, and others of less repute are familiar to most educated
men. Not all of them are such pessimists as M. Daudet; yet those who
know what _ordinary_ French life is will find only a faint reflection
of it in the novels of the above-named writers, unless it be here and
there in the pages of the first. It is always best to avoid making
statements which, from their very nature, are not susceptible of proof;
but, after associating pretty constantly with French people for a
matter of twenty years, I will take upon me to say that I doubt very
much whether the marriage-vow is broken more frequently in France than
elsewhere. That weary old tale of conjugal infidelity, which appears
to be as essential to the French novelist as the more legitimate love
affair and marriage at the end of the third volume are to his British
confrère, might, I believe, be told with as much or as little truth of
other countries. There is an old story of an artist who sent a sketch
of some Indian scene to one of the illustrated papers, and afterwards
complained that it had been tampered with before publication, a group
of palms having been introduced into the background, whereas those
trees were unknown in the region which he had depicted. “That is very
possible, Mr.----,” replied the editor; “but let me tell you that the
public expects palms in an Oriental landscape, and _will have them_.”
Not being a publisher, I am not in a position to affirm that the French
public expects, and will have, a breach of the seventh commandment in
its novels; but there is every reason to infer that such is the opinion
of French authors.

Of course it may be urged that, in literature as in forms of
government, people commonly get what they deserve, and that a public
which demands the kind of nutriment alluded to must be an unhealthy
and immoral sort of public. It should, however, be borne in mind that
there is a much larger portion of the French than of the English public
which never reads novels at all. Whether the immense sale commanded by
such works as “L’Assommoir” and “Nana” is or is not a sign of national
decadence is a question which will not be too hastily answered by any
one who remembers the various phases through which literature has
passed in other lands, but none need hesitate to say that the effect
produced by them upon outside opinion of France and the French has
been eminently unfavorable. It is not with impunity that a nation can
delight, or seem to delight, in the contemplation of foulness. France,
“ce pays de gens aimables, doux, honnêtes, droits, gais, superficiels,
pleins de bon cœur,” to quote M. Renan, who knows his countrymen
well and does not always flatter them, is becoming more and more
regarded as a sink of iniquity, and those who watch the development of
her manners, as illustrated by some of her most popular novelists, are
beginning to ask themselves whether any good can come out of Nazareth.
In England more especially this feeling is gaining ground. If we are
little, or not at all, better acquainted with the French people than
we were fifty years ago, we are a good deal better acquainted with
the French language. We read all the new French books, particularly
the new French novels (sometimes we have to keep them under lock and
key, and peruse them stealthily after the other members of the family
have gone to bed), and it is hardly surprising that we should take
our neighbors at what appears to be their own valuation. Englishmen,
sober, reticent—a trifle Pharisaical, it may be—cannot pardon writers
who take pleasure in stripping poor human nature of its last shred
of dignity and exhibiting it to the world under its most revolting
aspects. These things are true, the naturalistic school of novel
writers say. What then? we may return. Most people know that hideous
forms of vice exist; but most people think it is safer and wiser not
to talk about them. As for those who do not know, for what conceivable
reason should they be told? And so the Englishman, when he takes his
walk through the streets of Paris, feels that he would just as soon
have nothing to do with the unclean persons who, as he presumes inhabit
that city.

The truth is that there has never been any real sympathy between these
two nations, so nearly united in geographical position and by some
political ties and so widely separated in all other respects. Perhaps
our one and only point of resemblance is our common inability to
adapt ourselves to ways that are not our ways. A Frenchman, wherever he
goes, is always a Frenchman, and an Englishman is always an Englishman.
In this particular the Americans have the advantage of us. With their
keenness of observation, their restless curiosity, their desire to
pick out and appropriate whatever seems to them best in foreign lands,
the Americans have fewer prejudices and fewer antipathies than we who
live in the Old World. Their extreme sensitiveness does not often
take the form of self-consciousness; they readily pick up the tone of
the society that they frequent, and, although they are not as a rule,
first-rate linguists, they soon acquire enough knowledge of a language
to enable them to converse easily with the inhabitants of the country
in which they are sojourning. Moreover, they are less prone than we
are to save themselves trouble by accepting other people’s views, and,
whatever their opinion may be worth, are generally able at least to
give grounds for holding it.

In the case of our kinsmen on the other side of the Atlantic we have
of late years unquestionably made a great advance towards mutual
understanding, and, it may be added, friendship. Possibly we are none
the worse friends for having disliked one another very cordially not
so long ago. There is a prevalent impression in this country that the
quarrel was one-sided, that the Americans were irritated (excusably
perhaps) by our recognition of the Confederate States as belligerents,
as well as by the general sympathy that was felt in England for the
Southern cause, and that we really never said half such unpleasant
things about them as they did about us. But if they expressed their
aversion more loudly than we did it is not so certain that ours was
any less deep; and in our present liberal and enlightened mood we can
afford to admit that most of us had but a poor opinion of our cousins,
from a social point of view, twenty years back. I happened, towards the
close of the civil war, to be in a German city much frequented both
by English and Americans, who could hardly be induced to speak to one
another. The British chaplain of the place—remembering, I suppose,
that the Americans who attended his services contributed something
towards the defrayal of the expenses connected therewith—took it into
his head one Sunday to pray for the President of the United States,
a custom which has since become universal among mixed congregations
on the Continent. In those days it was an innovation, and an English
gentleman who was present marked his disapproval of it by thumping his
stick on the floor and saying aloud, “I thought this was an English
church!” after which he picked up his hat and walked out. It is only
fair to his compatriots to add that in the very pretty quarrel which
ensued they declined to support him: but I doubt whether it was so much
with his sentiments that they were displeased as with his disregard for
religious propriety. How the affair ended I do not know. Let us hope
that bloodshed was averted, and that the irate Briton was brought to
see that there could be no great harm in paying the same compliment to
the President of the United States as we are accustomed to pay to Jews,
Turks, infidels, and heretics. Squabbles of this kind are, happily,
now rare. The “Alabama” claims were settled long ago; Americans in
large numbers visit our shores every year, and are to be met with
pretty frequently in London society, where they are kind enough to
say that they have a lovely time; some are almost domiciled among us,
and have recorded in print their intimate acquaintance with our mode
of life in London and in the country. Perhaps their criticisms were a
trifle too subtle for us just at first, but now that the subtlety has
been discovered and proclaimed we quite delight in it. We, for our
parts, think no more of crossing the Atlantic than we used to think
of crossing the Channel; we partake of the boundless hospitality that
awaits us on the other side, and do not fail to let our entertainers
know how pleased we are with them before we re-embark. We used to add
a kindly expression of surprise at finding them so agreeable, but we
don’t do this any more now. If the perennial interchange of civilities
is sometimes broken by a stage aside we pretend not to hear it, and it
may safely be asserted that we have as much real affection for one
another as commonly subsists between collaterals. That, of course, is
saying no more than that we shall probably continue to be friends until
a cause for dispute arises; but more than this cannot, surely, be said
of any two nations upon the earth’s surface, and, fortunately, there is
little prospect of a difference between England and America which may
not be peaceably settled.

Since the war of 1870 our eyes have been turned towards Germany
with the interest and admiration which success must ever command.
Our military system has been remodelled upon the German system; we
have crowned our soldiers with a helmet somewhat resembling the
_Pickelhaube_, which is, I believe, found to be quite as inconvenient
as that celebrated head gear, and which is certainly several degrees
more unsightly. Also we have a high respect for Prince Bismarck,
considering him as the greatest statesman of the age, and drinking in
eagerly the reports of his utterances vouchsafed to us by Dr. Busch
and others. I have not, however, observed as yet any sign that we—as
represented by our Government—are inclined to display flattery in its
sincerest form by adopting the Chancellor’s decisive method of dealing
with any little difficulties that may arise.

In point of consanguinity the people whom he has succeeded in uniting
into a nation are not a long way removed from us; in times past they
have frequently been our allies; they have, moreover, given us our
reigning dynasty. Perhaps, upon the whole we get on better with them
than with any other continental race. Many English families repair to
Germany for educational purposes, are received at the smaller courts,
visited by the high-nobly born _Herrschaft_ with whom they are brought
into contact, and thus gain some idea of German ways. It has been said
that a sailor is the best of good fellows anywhere except on board
his own ship, when he is apt to become—well, not quite so good a
fellow. The contrary rule would appear to apply to the German, who is a
kindly, pleasant, person at home, but whose demeanor when abroad leaves
something to be desired. We have all met him in Italy or Switzerland,
and we are all aware that his manners, like Mr. Pumblechook’s, “is
given to blusterous.” We have suffered from the loud, harsh voice with
which Nature has afflicted him, as well as from his deep distrust of
fresh air and his unceremonious method of making his way to the front
at railway stations. But in their own country the Germans show to
much greater advantage. They are well-disposed towards strangers; not
a few of them have the sporting pro-civilities which are a passport
to the British heart; they are easily pleased, and are, in the main,
amiable, unassuming people. It is much to their credit that their sober
heads were never turned by victories which would assuredly have sent a
neighboring nation half crazy. Of course there are Germans and Germans,
and the inhabitants of the State which holds the chief rank in the
Empire have never been renowned for prepossessing manners or for an
excess of modesty. Even they, however, have a good deal of the innocent
unsuspiciousness which is one of the charms of the Teutonic character.
Not long ago I chanced to be speaking to a Prussian gentleman about
the ill-feeling which existed at that time between his country and
Russia, and which seemed likely enough to culminate in an outbreak of
hostilities. He assured me that the ill-feeling was entirely on the
Russian side.

“We have nothing against them,” he declared, “and we want nothing
from them; but they are angry with us, and that is easily explained.
They cannot get on without us; they are obliged to employ our people
everywhere instead of their own, and they are furious because they have
to acknowledge the superiority of the German intellect.”

I remarked that the superiority of the German intellect was manifest;
whereupon he shrugged his shoulders quickly, and snorted in the
well-known Prussian fashion, as who should say, “Could any one be such
a fool as to doubt it?”

I went on to observe that in philosophy, science, and music Germany led
mankind. He agreed with me, and added, “Also in the art of war.”

“The Germans,” I proceeded, “are the best-educated people in the
world;” and he replied, “No doubt.”

“And they are the pleasantest company.”

“Certainly,” answered he, “that is so.”

“And what adds so much to the attractiveness of their conversation,” I
continued, “is their delicate wit and keen perception of irony.”

I confess that after I had made this outrageous speech I shook in my
shoes and looked down at my plate. I ought never to have said it, and
indeed I would not have said it if he had not led me on until it became
irresistible. But there was no occasion for alarm. When I raised my
eyes to my neighbor’s face I found it irradiated with smiles. He laid
his hand on my arm quite affectionately.

“What you say is perfectly true,” he cried; “but do you know you are
the very first stranger I have ever met who has had the sense to
discover it?”

And then he explained to me that the Germans were absurdly considered
by Frenchmen and other superficial observers to be a rather dull-witted
and heavy race.

Now I really do not see how any one is to help liking a nation so
happily self-complacent. The Prussians are said to be arrogant and
overbearing; but I don’t think they are so, unless they are rubbed the
wrong way; and what pleasure is there in rubbing people the wrong way?
When Victor Hugo announces that France is supreme among nations, when
he invites us to worship the light that emanates from the holy city of
Paris, and hints that we might do well to worship also the proclaimer
of that light, we are half shocked and half incredulous. The bombast
seems too exaggerated to be sincere; it has the air of challenging and
expecting contradiction. We find it impossible to believe that any
sane man can really mean much of what this great poet tells us that he
means. French vanity—and Victor Hugo, whether at his highest or at his
lowest, is always essentially French—is not amusing. It is the kind of
vanity which is painful to witness, and which cannot but be degrading
to those who allow themselves to give way to it. But in the placid
North German self-approval there is a child-like element, which is not
unpleasing nor even wholly undignified. It may provoke a smile; but
the smile is a friendly one. These excellent stout professors and
bearded warriors who are so thoroughly pleased with themselves, and
who never suspect that anybody can be laughing at them, command our
sympathies—perhaps because John Bull himself is not quite a stranger
to the sensations that they experience.

Yet, when all is said and done, John Bull remains John Bull. German
philosophy, French wit, American acuteness, the “_garbo_ of the
Italians”—these things are not for him, nor is he specially desirous
of assimilating them. He is as God made him, and has an impression that
worse types have been created. At the bottom of his heart—though he no
longer speaks it out as freely as of yore—there still lurks the old
contempt for “foreigners.” As I have already made so bold as to say, I
do not think that the hustle and bustle of the present age have brought
him any clearer comprehension of these foreigners than his forefathers
possessed, or that the advent of the universal republic has been at all
hastened by the rise of democracy and the triumph of steam. Certainly
all men are human, and all dogs are dogs; but you will not convert a
bulldog into a setter by taking him out shooting, nor a mastiff into
a spaniel by keeping them in one kennel. It is doubtless well that
those who own a large number of dogs should encourage familiarity among
them, and restrain them from delighting to bark and bite, and it might
also be a good thing to induce them, if possible, to recognise each
others respective utilities. But they never do recognise these. On the
contrary, they contemplate one another’s performances with the deepest
disdain, and if we could see into the workings of their canine minds
we should very likely discover that each is perfectly satisfied with
himself, and as convinced that his breed is superior to all others as
Victor Hugo is that Paris is the light of the world.

Recent inventions have dealt some heavy blows at time and space, but
have not as yet done much towards abolishing national distinctions of
character. One result of them, as melancholy as it is inevitable, is
the slow vanishing of the picturesque. The period of general dead-level
has set in; old customs have fallen into abeyance and old costumes are
being laid aside. The “Ranz des Vaches” no longer echoes among the
Swiss mountains; the Spanish _sombrero_ has been discarded in favor
of a chimney-pot hat; the Hungarian nobles reserve their magnificent
frippery for rare state occasions, and the black coat, deemed so
significant a sign of the times by Alfred de Musset, is everywhere
replacing the gay clothing of a less material era. But, for all that,
mastiffs are mastiffs and spaniels spaniels. Democracy claims to be
cosmopolitan: perhaps some of us may live long enough to see what
the boast is worth. If it be permitted to ground a prophecy upon the
lessons of history, we may say that co-operation is possible only so
long as interests are identical, and that the mainspring of all human
collective action is, and will be, nothing more or less than that
selfishness which, as Lord Beaconsfield once told us, is another word
for patriotism.—_Cornhill Magazine._



FRENCH DUELLING.


BY H. R. HAWEIS.

One of the liveliest little duels we have lately heard of is that which
took place in October between the journalist M. Rochefort and Captain
Fournier. It appears that the gallant captain felt himself aggrieved by
some free expressions in the “Intransigeant,” challenged the editor,
and both belligerents went out with swords, whereupon Rochefort pinked
Fournier, Fournier slashed Rochefort, both lost a teaspoonful or so of
blood, and honor appears to have been satisfied.

In the eyes of the average Briton there is always something absurd
about a duel. He either thinks of the duel in “The Rivals,” as it
is occasionally witnessed at Toole’s theatre, or of Mark Twain’s
incomparable “affair” with M. Gambetta; but it seldom occurs to any one
in this country to think of a duel as being honorable to either party,
or capable of really meeting the requirements of two gentlemen who may
happen to have a difference of opinion.

The Englishman kicks his rival in Pall Mall, canes him in Piccadilly,
or pulls his nose and calls him a liar at his club. He is then had up
for assault and battery, his grievance is well aired in public, he is
consoled by the sympathy of an enlarged circle of friends, pays a small
fine, and leaves the court “without a stain upon his character.” If, on
the other hand, his rival is in the right, the damages are heavy, and
his friends say, “Pity he lost his temper and made a fool of himself,”
and there the matter ends. In either case outraged justice or wounded
honor is attended to at the moderate cost of a few sovereigns, a bloody
nose, or a smashed hat.

We think on the whole it is highly creditable to England that this
should be so. The abolition of duelling by public opinion is a distinct
move up in the scale of civilisation.

Perhaps we forget how very recent that “move up” is.

When it ceased to be the fashion to wear swords in the last century,
pistols were substituted for these personal encounters. This made
duelling far less amusing, more dangerous, and proportionally less
popular. The duel in England received practically its _coup de grâce_
with the new Articles of War of 1844, which discredited the practice
in the army by offering gentlemen facilities for public explanation,
apology, or arbitration in the presence of their commanding officer.
But previous to this “the duel of satisfaction” had assumed the most
preposterous forms. Parties agreed to draw lots for pistols and to
fight, the one with a loaded, the other with an unloaded weapon.

This affair of honor (?) was always at short distances and
“point-blank,” and the loser was usually killed. Another plan was to go
into a dark room together and commence firing. There is a beautiful and
pathetic story told of two men, the one a “kind” man and the other a
“timid” man, who found themselves unhappily bound to fight, and chose
the dark-room duel. The kind man had to fire first, and, not wishing to
hurt his adversary, groped his way to the chimney-piece and, placing
the muzzle of his pistol straight up the chimney, pulled the trigger,
when, to his consternation, with a frightful yell down came his
adversary the “timid” man, who had selected that fatal hiding-place.

Another grotesque form was the “medical duel,” one swallowing a pill
made of bread, the other swallowing one made of poison. When matters
had reached this point, public opinion not unnaturally took a turn
for the better, and resolved to stand by the old obsolete law against
duelling, whilst enacting new bye-laws for the army, which of course
reacted powerfully, with a sort of professional authority, upon the
practice of bellicose civilians.

The duel was originally a mere trial of _might_, like our prize fight;
it was so used by armies and nations, as in the case of David and
Goliath, or as when Charles V. challenged Charlemagne to single combat.
But in mediæval times it got to be also used as a test of _right_,
the feeling of a judicial trial by ordeal entering into the struggle
between two persons, each claiming right on his side.

The judicial trial by ordeal was abandoned in the reign of Elizabeth,
but the practice of private duelling has survived in spite of adverse
legislation, and is exceedingly popular in France down to the present
day. The law of civilised nations has, however, always been dead
against it. In 1599 the parliament of Paris went so far as to declare
every duellist a rebel to his majesty; nevertheless, in the first
eighteen years of Henri Quatre’s reign no fewer than 4,000 gentlemen
are said to have perished in duels, and Henri himself remarked, when
Creyin challenged Don Philip of Savoy, “If I had not been the king I
would have been your second.” Our ambassador, Lord Herbert, at the
court of Louis XIII., wrote home that he hardly ever met a French
gentleman of repute who had not either killed his man or meant to do
so! and this in spite of laws so severe that the two greatest duellists
of the age, the Count de Boutteville and the Marquis de Beuron, were
both beheaded, being taken _in flagrante delicto_.

Louis XIV. published another severe edict in 1679, and had the courage
to enforce it. The practice was checked for a time, but it received
a new impulse after the close of the Napoleonic wars. The dulness of
Louis Philippe’s reign and the dissoluteness of Louis Napoleon’s both
fostered duelling. The present “opportunist” Republic bids fair to
outbid both. You can hardly take up a French newspaper without reading
an account of various duels. Like the suicides in Paris, and the
railway assaults in England, duels form a regular and much appreciated
item of French daily news.

It is difficult to think of M. de Girardin’s shooting dead poor
Armand Carell—the most brilliant young journalist in France—without
impatience and disgust, or to read of M. Rochefort’s exploit the other
day without a smile.

The shaking hands in the most cordial way with M. Rochefort, the
compliments on his swordsmanship, what time the blood flowed from an
ugly wound, inflicted by him as he was mopping his own neck, are all so
many little French points (of honor?) which we are sure his challenger,
Captain Fournier, was delighted to see noticed in the papers. No doubt
every billiard-room and café in Paris gloated over the details, and the
heroes, Rochefort and Fournier, were duly fêted and dined together as
soon as their respective wounds were sufficiently healed.

Meanwhile John Bull reads the tale and grunts out loud, “The whole
thing is a brutal farce and the ‘principals’ are no better than a
couple of asses.”

Now, admitting that there are some affronts which the law cannot and
does not take cognisance of, in these days such affronts are very few.
That terrible avenger, public opinion, is in this nineteenth century a
hundred-handed and a hundredfold more free, powerful, and active than
it used to be, before the printing-press, and, I may add, railways,
telegraphs, and daily newspapers. But of all cases to which duelling,
by the utmost stretch of honorable license, could be applied—a mere
press attack is perhaps the least excusable.

Here are the French extolling the freedom of the English press by
imitating—or trying to imitate—English independence and the right
to speak and act and scribble _sans gêne_—and it turns out that an
honorable member in the Senate cannot lose his temper, or a journalist
write a smart article, without being immediately requested to fight.
“Risum teneatis, amici!” and this is the people who think themselves
fit for liberty, let alone equality and fraternity! (save the mark!)

The old town clerk at Ephesus in attempting to compose a dispute of a
rather more serious character some eighteen hundred years ago, between
a certain Jew and a Greek tradesman, spoke some very good sense when he
appealed to both disputants thus: “If Demetrius have a matter against
any man the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one
another.”

Next time M. Rochefort pokes fun at Captain Fournier in the
“Intransigeant,” we advise the captain, instead of pinking that witty
but scurrilous person, to try the law of libel. If he wins he will
get money in his purse, which is better than an ugly gash in his
side; if he loses he will go home to consider his ways and perchance
amend them, under the stimulus of a just public rebuke—a sadder and
perhaps a _wiser_ man: that, indeed, both he and Rochefort might easily
be.—_Belgravia._



JOHN WYCLIFFE: HIS LIFE AND WORK.


The quincentenary of the death of John Wycliffe occurring on the 31st
day of this month (December 1884), invites us to review the work
with which the name of Wycliffe is associated and identified. “John
Wycliffe,” says Dean Hook, “may be justly accounted one of the greatest
men that our country has produced. He is one of the very few who have
left the impress of their minds, not only on their own age, but on all
time,”[8] He is also one of the few who are known to us only in their
work, and by their work. For it may be said that, apart from Wycliffe’s
work, we know nothing of the man. His work is his memorial: in it he
lives.

Wycliffe’s work may be viewed in its relation to the
University—Oxford; to the Crown—the national independence; to the
hierarchy—the clergy; and to the laity—the people. According to this
method of survey and review, Wycliffe appears successively in history
as a student and scholastic disputant; as a politician and patriot;
as a theologian and reformer; and as a Christian evangelist and
preacher of grace, righteousness, and truth. These successive phases
of Wycliffe’s work correspond with the events of his life; and they
indicate the progress of the great work to which Wycliffe had dedicated
his powers. This, again, implies that it was only step by step—little
by little—that Wycliffe’s views assumed that form in which they were
developed and expressed in the later years of his life.

It is impossible to determine either the date of Wycliffe’s first
admission to Oxford or the college in which he first studied. Of his
early life at the university, as of his earlier life at home, we know
nothing. According to the statements of some of his biographers,
Wycliffe was born in the year 1324, in the hamlet of Spreswell, near
old Richmond, in Yorkshire. In 1340, he went to Oxford, and was one
of the first commoners received into Queen’s college—an institution
opened that year for the first time. After a short attendance in
Queen’s, he joined himself to Merton, and became a fellow of that
famous College. The historian Fuller says that Wycliffe was a graduate
of Merton, but he makes no mention of his having been at an earlier
time connected with Queen’s College. “We can give no account,” he
says, “of Wycliffe’s parentage, birthplace, or infancy; only we find an
ancient family of the Wycliffes in the bishopric of Durham,[9] since by
match united to the Brackenburies, persons of prime quality in those
parts. As for this our Wycliffe, history at the very first meets
with him a man, and full grown, yea, graduate of Merton College in
Oxford.”[10] Of the six Oxford colleges of that time, Merton had
acquired for itself a splendid and well-deserved reputation. “And,
indeed, malice itself cannot deny that this college, or little
university, rather, doth equal, if not exceed, any one foundation in
Christendom, for the famous men bred therein.”[11] Roger Bacon (1280),
_Doctor Mirabilis_; John Duns Scotus (1308), _Doctor Subtilis_; Walter
Burley (1337), _Doctor Approbatus_; William of Ocham (1347), _Doctor
Singularis_ or _Pater Nominalium_; and Thomas Bradwardine (1350),
_Doctor Profundus_,—were all bred in Merton College. John Wycliffe
seems to have early entertained and cherished the ambition to add
his name to the number of those renowned doctors who as students had
preceded him in Merton College. If this was his ambition, he attained
to the object of his desire when, by his contemporaries, he was
recognised as _Doctor Evangelicus_. It would appear that, at an early
period in his life, he had, after much deliberation, made choice of
the Bible or the Gospel as his great theme. To be a “Biblicist,” or
Bible student and interpreter, was not considered a high or honorable
distinction by the schoolmen—the men of “culture” of that age.
But to think for himself and to choose for himself was a notable
characteristic of the young Yorkshireman, John Wycliffe. In making his
choice and in linking himself indissolubly to the Word and “cause of
God,”[12] he seems to have been much influenced by the example and by
the teaching of Bradwardine. But he made it his aim to be a proficient,
and, if possible, a master in all attainable science and learning.
That he had been a thorough student of the Trivium and Quadrivium is
proved by his works, for they all bear the impress of the disciplined
scholastic and the skilful dialectician. In all respects he was a
worthy successor of the distinguished band of men who had been his
predecessors in Merton. The writings of Wycliffe show that he had
studied very carefully the works of Roger Bacon, of Duns Scotus, and of
William of Ocham. But the same writings show that he had early learned
to call no man master—for while he accepts much from Duns Scotus, he
also accepts much from William of Ocham. Truth seems to have been the
object of his early, eager, and constant pursuit.

The first notable and formal recognition of Wycliffe’s eminence within
the university, is found in his appointment to be Warden or Master
of Balliol. In this honorable office he continued only for a few
years—1360-1362. From Balliol he received nomination to the rectorship
of the parish of Fylingham, in Lincolnshire. Soon after his appointment
to a pastoral cure, he resigned his position as Master of Balliol.
Wycliffe’s connection with the diocese of Lincoln, through his being
rector of Fylingham, seems to have had an important influence on the
progressive development of his ecclesiastical and religious life. A
former Bishop of Lincoln—1235-1254—Grossetête (Greathead), was spoken
of by Roger Bacon as “the only man living” in that age “who was in
possession of all the sciences.” The writings of this great and good
bishop are continually quoted or referred to by Wycliffe.

A most significant testimony to the standing influence and reputation
of Wycliffe in the university was given in 1365 by Simon Islip,
Archbishop of Canterbury, who appointed him Warden of Canterbury Hall.
In the Archbishop’s letter of institution, Wycliffe is described, “as
one in whose fidelity, circumspection, and prudence his Grace very
much confided, and on whom he had fixed his eyes on account of the
honesty of his life, his laudable conversation, and his knowledge of
letters.” The significance and worth of this testimony can hardly
be overestimated. It is all the more significant because of the
circumstances in which it was given, and the nomination to which it
was designed to give effect. In founding Canterbury Hall, Islip had
appointed Woodhull—a monk of Canterbury—to be Warden. With him three
other monks and eight secular scholars were associated in the
government of the hall. After a trial of four years of this mixed
administration, finding that it did not work well, more particularly
because of the jealousies, contentions, and collisions between the
monks and the secular associates, Islip, in the exercise of a right
which he had reserved to himself, displaced the Warden and the
three other monks, and appointed Wycliffe in the place of Woodhull;
and three secular priests, Selby, Middleworth, and Benger, to be
associates or fellows in the room of the three monks. This action
on the part of the Archbishop gave great offence to the monks of
Christ Church and to the whole order of the Friars. It was regarded
as virtually and in effect an act by which the Archbishop of
Canterbury gave the weight of his high position and great authority
to those who in Oxford were the resolute and strenuous opponents
of the mendicant friars. Consequences that could not have been
foreseen by any concerned in this action flowed from it. For not
long after Wycliffe’s appointment to the Wardenship of Canterbury
Hall, Archbishop Islip died on the 26th April 1366, and was succeeded
in November by Simon Langham, who had been monk, prior, and abbot
of Westminster. By this Archbishop, Wycliffe and the three secular
priests who had been so recently appointed to govern Canterbury
Hall were removed. Woodhull and his associates were reinstated in
the position from which they had been expelled by Islip, and, in
violation of the founder’s will, the eight secular scholars were
ejected. The hall thus became virtually a monastic institution.
Wycliffe’s appeal to the papal court at Avignon was of no avail.
After a protracted process and long delay, the Pope gave judgment
against him in 1370. We cannot better conclude this chapter in
Wycliffe’s life than by quoting the words of Godwin. They will
prepare us for what comes next in the order of events:—

        “From Canterbury College, which his predecessor had
      founded, he (Langham) sequestered the fruits of the
      benefice of Pageham, and otherwise molested the
      scholars there, intending to displace them all and to
      put in monks, which in the end he brought to pass.
      John Wycliffe was one of them that were so displaced,
      and had withstood the Archbishop in this business
      with might and main. By the Pope’s favor and the
      Archbishop’s power, the monks overbore Wycliffe and
      his fellows. If, then, Wycliffe were angry with Pope,
      Archbishop, monks, and all, you cannot marvel.”[13]

Nothwithstanding the very reasonable remark of Godwin that we need
not wonder much if Wycliffe, considering the treatment which he had
received at the hands of the Pope, the Archbishop, and the monks,
should be angry against them all, there is no proof or evidence
whatever in support of the allegation of his adversaries, that his
antagonism to the friars and his attitude towards the Pope proceeded
from irritated feeling, discontent, and disappointed ambition. On
the contrary, the absence of all such feelings is one of the most
remarkable and characteristic distinctions of his numerous writings.

Wycliffe’s nomination by Islip to the Wardenship of Canterbury Hall
is dated the 9th of December 1365. In that year Pope Urban V. revived
and urged a claim against Edward III. which had been in abeyance for
thirty-three years. This was the demand that Edward should pay the
feudal tribute or annual fee which for the crown of England he owed to
Urban the Fifth of that name, exercising the functions of Bishop of
Rome in the place of the papal captivity at Avignon. The Servant of
servants at Avignon—moved by that necessity which knows no law, or by
an equally lawless covetousness and ambition—demanded of Edward III.
of England payment of the feudal tribute-money alleged to be due by
that monarch to the Holy See. The demand of the Pope was for payment
of the sum of a thousand marks annually due, and for payment of the
arrears that had accumulated for thirty-three years, or since Edward,
ceasing to be a minor, had exercised his sovereign rights as monarch
of England. This papal claim was accompanied with an intimation to
the King of England that, in case of his failing to comply with the
pontifical demand, he should appear to answer for his non-fulfilment of
this duty in the presence of his feudal lord and sovereign, the Pope
of Rome, at Avignon. It is difficult to say whether the arrogance or
the folly of Pope Urban V., in reviving and urging this claim at this
time was the greater of the two. Edward III., even in his decrepitude,
and in the midst of the reverses which marked his declining years, was
not likely to crouch, like John, under the ignominious burden laid
on him in the time of his adversity by the Papacy. The Pope’s claim
proved the occasion of uniting the King and the nation in a common
assertion and vindication of the national independence, and of the
inalienable rights and prerogatives of the English Crown. It was the
occasion of Wycliffe’s first public appearance as the champion of
the royal supremacy and national independence against the usurpation
and arrogance of the Court of Rome. The papal claim was submitted by
Edward to the Parliament which met at Westminster in May 1366. After
deliberation, the answer of the Parliament—the Lords and Commons of
England—to the demand of the Pope, concluded with these weighty and
well-measured words:—

        “Forasmuch as neither King John nor any other king
      could bring this realm and kingdom in such thraldom
      and subjection but by common consent of Parliament,
      the which was not done; therefore, that which he did
      was against his oath at his coronation, besides many
      other causes. If, therefore, the Pope should attempt
      anything against the King, by process or other
      matters in deed, the King, with all his subjects,
      should with all their force and power resist the
      same.”[14]

At the time when this resolution was come to, Wycliffe was Warden
of Canterbury Hall. At this time, also, he stood in some very
special relation to the King, as the King’s private secretary or
chaplain—“Peculiaris Regis Clericus.” And his argument—“Determinatio
de Dominio”—in vindication of the Crown and the national independence,
consists mainly of a statement skilfully compiled by him out of what,
according to the report which he had heard, had been spoken by the
secular lords in a certain meeting of council—“Quam audivi in quodam
consilio a Dominis secularibus esse datam.” Soon after the decision
of Parliament to repudiate the Pope’s claim, a monastic and anonymous
doctor, writing in support of the papal demand, challenged Wycliffe
by name—singling him out from all others—to refute, if he could,
the argument urged by him on the part of the Pope; and to vindicate,
if he could, the action of the English Parliament in refusing to pay
the feudal tribute demanded by Urban the Fifth. Wycliffe showed no
hesitation in accepting the challenge of this anonymous doctor. And it
must be confessed that he conducts his argument with consummate skill,
moderation, and ability. His challenger had laid down the position that
“every dominion granted on condition, comes to an end on the failure of
that condition. But our lord the Pope gifted our king with the kingdom
of England, on condition that England should pay so much annually to
the Roman See. Now this condition in process of time has not been
fulfilled, and the King, in consequence, has lost long ago all rightful
dominion in England.” Wycliffe’s answer is, briefly, that England’s
monarch is King of England, and has dominion there, not by the grace of
the Pope, but by the grace of God. Two other positions were maintained
by this polemical monk—namely, that the “civil power may not under
any circumstances deprive ecclesiastics of their lands, goods or
revenues; and that in no case can it be lawful for an ecclesiastic to
be compelled to appear before a secular judge.” Against these claims
of exemption and immunity, Wycliffe urges with irresistible force the
argument, that as the King is under God supreme in his kingdom, all
causes, whether relating to persons or to property, must be under his
dominion, and subject to his jurisdiction. Wycliffe, in beginning
his reply, says: “Inasmuch as I am the King’s own clerk, I the more
willingly undertake the office of defending and counselling _that the
King exercises his just rule in the realm of England when he refuses to
pay tribute to the Roman Pontiff_.” Wycliffe constructs his argument
out of what, as reported to him, had been spoken at a conference or
council of the barons or the lords temporal of the realm. It is not
Wycliffe but the noblemen of England who refute the monk and repudiate
the Pope’s illegitimate and arrogant demand. An abstract of the
speeches of seven of the barons met in council is so given as to be an
exhaustive and unanswerable argument against the papal claims, “Our
ancestors,” said the first lord, “won this realm, and held it against
all foes by the sword. Julius Cæsar exacted tribute by force; but force
gives no perpetual right. Let the Pope come and take it by force; I
am ready to stand up and resist him.” The second lord thus reasoned:
“The Pope is incapable of such feudal supremacy. He should follow the
example of Christ, who refused all civil dominion; the foxes have
holes, and the birds of the air their nests, but He had not where to
lay His head. Let us rigidly hold the Pope to his spiritual duties,
boldly oppose all his claims to civil power.” In support of this the
third lord said: “The Pope calls himself the Servant of the servants of
the Most High: his only claim to tribute from this realm is for some
service done; but what is his service to this realm? Not spiritual
edification, but draining away money to enrich himself and his Court,
showing favor and counsel to our enemies.” To this the fourth lord
added: “The Pope claims to be the suzerain of all estates held by the
Church; these estates, held on mortmain, amount to one-third of the
realm. There cannot be two suzerains; the Pope, therefore, for these
estates is the King’s vassal; he has not done homage for them; he may
have incurred forfeiture.” The fifth argument is more subtle: “If the
Pope demands this money as the price of King John’s absolution, it is
flagrant simony; it is an irreligious act to say, ‘I will absolve you
on payment of a certain annual tribute.’ But the King pays not this
tax; it is wrung from the poor of the realm: to exact it is an act of
avarice rather than salutary punishment. If the Pope be lord of the
realm, he may at any time declare it forfeited, and grant away the
forfeiture.” Following up this view of the case, the sixth lord says:
“If the realm be the Pope’s, what right had he to alienate it? He has
fraudulently sold it for a fifth part of its value. Moreover, Christ
alone is the suzerain; the Pope being fallible, yea, peccable, may be
in mortal sin. _It is better as of old to hold the realm immediately of
Christ._” The seventh lord concluded the argument by a bold denial of
the right of King John to surrender or give way the sovereignty of the
realm: “He could not grant away the sovereignty of England; the whole
thing—the deed, the seals, the signatures—is an absolute nullity.”[15]

It cannot now be known how far Wycliffe’s conduct in connection
with the claim for the payment of the feudal tribute influenced the
papal decision in his appeal; but that decision was given after the
publication of Wycliffe’s treatise, “De Dominio.” And there can be no
doubt that from May 1366, Wycliffe was marked at Avignon as a dangerous
man. To be nearer to Oxford he exchanged, in 1368, the rectory of
Fylingham for that of Ludgershall in Buckinghamshire, and he became
Doctor in Divinity about the year 1370. The ability, prudence, and
courage with which Wycliffe had vindicated the action of the Parliament
and of the Crown against the papal claim, as asserted and defended
by the anonymous monk, recommended him as singularly qualified to be
one of the Royal Commissioners appointed in 1374 to meet with the
papal Nuncios at Bruges, to negotiate a settlement of the questions in
dispute between England and the Papacy. In this Commission the name
of Wycliffe holds the second place, being inserted immediately after
that of the Bishop of Bangor. The negotiations terminated in a sort of
compromise, according to which it was concluded “that for the future
the Pope should desist from making use of _reservations of benefices_,
and that the King should no more confer benefices by his writ _Quare
impedit_.” Although this was but a very partial and unsatisfactory
settlement of the matters in dispute, yet the part taken by Wycliffe in
the negotiations at Bruges appears to have met with the approbation of
the King and his advisers. For in November 1375, he was presented by
the King to the prebend of Aust, in the Collegiate Church of Westbury,
in the diocese of Worcester. He had previously, in April 1374, received
from the Crown, in the exercise of the patronage that devolved on it
during the minority of Lord Henry Ferrars, nomination to the rectory of
Lutterworth, and had resigned his charge of Ludgershall.

In the same year in which the treaty was concluded (1376), a most
elaborate and detailed indictment against the usurpations and exactions
of the Papacy and its minions was submitted to Parliament, and after
being considered, was passed in the form of a petition to the King,
craving that measures of effective redress and remedy should be
taken against the notorious and intolerable evils complained of. The
Parliament which presented this complaint and petition to the King so
commended itself to the people of England that it received the singular
designation of “The Good Parliament.” Although the royal answer to
the petition was far from being satisfactory or encouraging, yet the
Parliament that met in January 1377 presented another petition to the
King, craving that the statutes against _Provisions_ passed at former
times should be put into effective operation, and that measures should
be taken against certain cardinals who had violated those statutes,
and against those who in England collected the papal revenues, and by
so doing oppressed and impoverished the English people. So vividly do
the propositions of these two Parliaments express and represent the
ideas and opinions of Wycliffe, that Dr. Lechler concludes that he was
a member of both of these Parliaments. But there is no necessity for
this inferential assumption. Wycliffe’s doctrines respecting the kingly
sovereignty and national independence, and his sentiments regarding
the intolerable abuses of the papal officials, were by this time the
doctrines and the sentiments of not a few among the lords and commons
of England. And without being himself a member of Parliament, Wycliffe
had ample opportunity and means for using his influence to stimulate,
direct, and guide those who in the National Assembly gave voice to the
complaint and claim of the English people as against the usurpation
and exactions of the Papacy. To this sort of influence on the part of
Wycliffe, as also to the weight attached to his judgment in a case
involving a knowledge of canon and civil law, significant testimony
was borne by the action of the first Parliament of Richard II., which
met at Westminster on the 13th of October 1377. By this Parliament the
question was referred to the judgment of Dr. Wycliffe, “Whether the
kingdom of England, on an imminent necessity of its own defence may
lawfully detain the treasure of the kingdom, that it be not carried
out of the land, although the lord Pope required its being carried
out on the pain of censures, and by virtue of the obedience due to
him?” As might be expected, Wycliffe answered that it was lawful, and
demonstrated this by the law of Christ, urging at the same time the
common maxim of divines, that alms are not required to be given but to
those who are in need, and by those who have more than they need. “By
which,” says Lewis, “it appears that Dr. Wycliffe’s opinion was, that
Peter-pence paid to the Pope were not a _just due_, but only an _alms_,
or charitable gift”[16]

The action of the English Parliament referring this question to the
judgment of Wycliffe, is all the more interesting and significant
if respect be had to the time and circumstances in which Wycliffe’s
opinion was required by Parliament. It was not only after the death
of Edward III., which occurred on the 21st of June 1377, but also
after the almost tragical though picturesque incident in Wycliffe’s
life, when, accompanied and protected by the Duke of Lancaster and
Lord Henry Percy, he appeared in the Ladye Chapel of St. Paul’s
Cathedral on the 19th of February in the same year, to answer for
himself and his doctrines before a convention of ecclesiastics,
presided over by Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by
Courtenay, the Bishop of London. It was, also, after no fewer than
five papal bulls, dated at Rome on the 22d of May, had been sent forth
against Wycliffe. These things give great significancy to the action
of Richard II.‘s first Parliament, when for its guidance it desired to
have the opinion of Wycliffe respecting the lawfulness of refusing to
comply with certain papal exactions.

The position and influence of Wycliffe, his standing in the University
and among the representatives and leaders of the people, may be judged
of by the elaborate and complicated measures taken against him. One
of the Pope‘s missives was addressed to the King, another to the
University of Oxford and no fewer than three to the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the Bishop of London. These documents were accompanied
by a schedule or syllabus of nineteen articles which had been reported
to the Pontiff, “erroneous, false, contrary to the faith, and
threatening to subvert and weaken the estate of the whole Church,” said
to be held and taught by Wycliffe. Acting on these instructions, and
proceeding in the business with the greatest wariness, the Archbishop
summoned Wycliffe to appear before a synod to be held in the chapel
at Lambeth early in the year 1378.[17] On this occasion the Duke of
Lancaster and Lord Percy were not with him to protect him, but he
received effective though tumultuous and boisterous help from the
citizens, who might be heard by the bishops shouting such sentences
as, “The Pope‘s briefs ought to have no effect in the realm without
the King‘s consent;” “Every man is master in his own house.” But even
more effective help than that of the angry citizens was at hand. “In
comes a gentleman and courtier, one Lewis Clifford, on the very day of
examination, commanding them not to proceed to any definitive sentence
against the said Wycliffe.” “Never before were the bishops served with
such a _prohibition_; all agreed the messenger durst not be so stout
with such a _mandamus_ in his mouth, but because backed with the power
of the prince that employed him. The bishops, struck with a panic-fear,
proceeded no further”[18]—or as a contemporary historian (Walsingham)
says: “Their speech became soft as oil; and with such fear were they
struck, that they seemed to be as a man that heareth not, and in whose
mouth are no reproofs.” Wycliffe passed as safely out of Lambert Chapel
as on a former occasion he had passed out of the Ladye Chapel of St.
Paul‘s. Not long after the sudden conclusion of this Lambeth synod,
intimation of the Pope‘s death, on the 27th March 1378, was received in
England. This so arrested the process against Wycliffe, that no further
action was taken under the five elaborate bulls of Pope Gregory XI.
A new chapter in the life and work of Wycliffe begins with the great
papal schism of 1378.

Till recently it was supposed that Wycliffe had early assumed the
attitude towards the friars which had been taken by Richard Fitzralph,
who, after he had been Chancellor of Oxford in 1333, and Archbishop of
Armagh in 1347, died at Avignon in 1359. This supposition now appears
to be historically without ground; and Dr. Lechler‘s researches tend
to show that Wycliffe‘s controversy with the friars belonged not to
the earlier but to the later period of his life. This view agrees with
all that we know of the method according to which Wycliffe conducted
and developed his great argument against the Papacy. Wycliffe‘s study
of the papal claims, pretensions, usurpations, and exactions, led him
to investigate the grounds and foundations not only of the political,
but also of the ecclesiastical and spiritual, power and authority of
the Popedom. In his reply in 1366 to the anonymous monk champion of the
Papacy, he had represented or reported, with manifest approbation, the
statement of one of the secular lords, declaring that the Pope was a
man and peccable (_peccabilis_), and that he might be in mortal sin,
and liable to what that involves. After he had taken his degree of
Doctor in Divinity in 1370 or 1371, he expounded and vindicated from
the Scriptures the doctrines which, by his long study of the Divine
Word, he had been led to receive as articles of faith founded on the
written Word of God. These views, derived directly and immediately from
Holy Scripture, he illustrated by quotations from the early
fathers—more particularly from the writings of Ambrose, Jerome,
Augustine, and Gregory, the four fathers of the Latin Church. From the
time when he became Doctor in Divinity, “he began,” says a contemporary
opponent, “to scatter forth his blasphemies.” And as we know, it was
after his return from Bruges in 1376 that he began to speak of the
Pope not merely as peccable—fallible, and liable to sin—but as
“Antichrist, the proud, worldly priest of Rome.”

It has been said that the language of Wycliffe in his tract entitled
“De Papa Romana et Schisma Papae” was too strong, too vehement and
sweeping; and that his work was, in tendency and effect, destructive
rather than constructive. So far is it from being true that his
language is that of passion, or of vehemence proceeding from passion,
that, on the contrary, it is the language of a reflective, circumspect,
and keen-eyed observer of the evils and abuses of the papal system,
which he contrasted with the primitive and apostolic model of the
Church. When compared with the language of some other assailants
of the Papacy, Wycliffe‘s fiercest invectives are but the calm,
measured, and temperate declaration of truth and reality, spoken by
one who so loved the truth, and was so earnest in his endeavors for
the reformation of the Church and the morals of the clergy, that he
avowed himself willing, if need be, to lay down his life, if by so
doing he could promote the attainment of this end. If the portraiture
of the Papacy and of the papal dignitaries, officials, and underlings,
given by Petrarch, in his “Letters to a Father,” be compared with the
statements of Wycliffe, we shall be constrained to say that the Oxford
professor uses the language of reserve characteristic of the well-bred
and well-disciplined Englishman who means to give practical effect
to his words, as distinguished from the language used by Petrarch,
who neither intended, nor had the courage, to add deeds to his words.
Historically, Wycliffe‘s work appears to have been more destructive
than constructive. But this was not because Wycliffe set himself to
root out, to pull down, and to destroy, without, at the same time
setting himself to build and to plant. The reason why Wycliffe‘s work
appears historically defective or incomplete as a constructive work
is that, by the malice, ingenuity, and power of his adversaries,
his work in planting and in building—that is to say, his work as
constructive—was to the utmost impeded, pulled down, or rooted up.
“And,” says Milton, “had it not been the obstinate perverseness of
our prelates against the divine and admirable spirit of Wycliffe,
to suppress him as a schismatic and innovator, perhaps neither the
Bohemian Huss and Jerome, no, nor the name of Luther or of Calvin, had
been ever known; the glory of reforming all our neighbors had been
completely ours.”[19]

       *       *       *       *       *

The last six years of Wycliffe‘s life—1378-1384—were packed full
with work. For in these years, besides developing and expounding his
ideas of the Church, the Papacy, and the hierarchy, and prosecuting
his controversy with the mendicant friars, he trained and sent forth
evangelists, “poor priests” to preach the Gospel in all places of the
land; he expounded and taught the doctrine of Scripture concerning
the Eucharist or the “real presence” in relation to the bread and
the wine in the sacrament of the Lord‘s Supper; he professed and
taught theology in Oxford; he preached and discharged the duties of
an evangelical pastor in Lutterworth; and with the assistance of a
few fellow-laborers, who entered into his purpose and shared with him
in the desire for the evangelisation of the people of England, he
translated the Scriptures out of the Latin Vulgate into the English
tongue. “His life,” and more especially this part of it, “shows that
his religious views were progressive. His ideal was the restoration
of the pure moral and religious supremacy to religion. This was
the secret, the vital principle, of his anti-sacerdotalism; of his
pertinacious enmity to the whole hierarchical system of his day.”[20]
Hence as his views of truth became deeper, wider, and more fixed,
instead of attacking Popes and prelates, he assailed the Papacy and
the hierarchy; and instead of attacking friars, he attacked mendicancy
itself—denouncing it in common with the Papacy as contrary to
the doctrines of the Word of God, and inconsistent with the order
instituted by Christ within the Church, which is the house of God,—the
pillar and ground of the truth.

When Wycliffe appeared to answer for himself before the Pope‘s
delegates at Lambeth, in 1378, he is said to have presented a written
statement explanatory of the articles charged against him. The first
sentence of that documentary confession is: “First of all, I publicly
protest, as I have often done at other times, that I will and purpose
from the bottom of my heart, by the grace of God, to be a sincere
Christian, and, as long as I have breath, to profess and defend the law
of Christ so far as I am able.”[21]

A document of a somewhat similar kind, called by Wycliffe “A Sort of
Answer to the Bull sent to the University,” was presented by him to
Parliament.

It is as a true and sincere Christian, and as a faithful and laborious
Christian pastor and evangelist, that Wycliffe appears before us in the
closing period of his truly heroic life. The written word of God is now
to him the supreme, perfect and sufficient rule of faith and morals:
it is what, in his protestation, he calls “the law of Christ.” The
watchword of his life—the standard test, rule, directory, and measure
of faith and duty—is the Word of God written. His appeal is, first and
last, to that Word—“To the law and to the testimony; if men speak not
according to that Word, there is no light in them;” they are but blind
guides of the blind. He had evidently made progress in his study of the
writings of Augustine, and had so profited by the study that he is bold
to say that “The dictum of Augustine is not infallible, seeing that
Augustine himself was liable to err”—“Locus a testimonio Augustini non
est infallibilis, cum Augustinus sit errabilis.” The Bible is a charter
written by God; it is God‘s gift to us: “Carta a Deo scripta et
nobis donata per quam vindicabimus regnum Dei.” This is what a
pre-eminently illustrious poet denotes by the words—“Thy gift, Thy
tables.” “The law of Christ is the _medulla_ of the laws of the
Church.” “Every useful law of holy mother Church is taught, either
explicitly or implicitly, in Scripture.” It is impossible that the
dictum or deed of any Christian should become, or be held to be, of
authority equal to Scripture. He is a _mixtim theologus_—a motley or
medley theologian—who adds traditions to the written Word. He is
_theologus purus_ who adheres to the Scripture. “Spiritual rulers
are bound to use the sincere Word of God, without any admixture in
their rule or administration. To be ignorant of the Scriptures is to
be ignorant of Christ.” “The whole of Scripture is one word of God.”
“The whole of the law of Christ is one perfect word proceeding from
the mouth of God.” “It is impious to mutilate or pervert Scripture,
or to wrest from it a perverse meaning.” The true preachers are _Viri
evangelici_, _Doctores evangelici_. Ignorance of Holy Scripture, or
the absence of faith in the written Word of God, is, he says, “beyond
doubt, the chief cause of the existing state of things.” Therefore
it was his great business, in life or by death, to make known to
his fellow-countrymen the will of God revealed in the Scriptures of
Truth. The highest service to which man may attain on earth is to
preach the law of God. This is the special duty of the priests, in
order that they may produce children of God—this being the end for
which Christ espoused to Himself the Church.”

Next to the exclusive supremacy of Scripture, the truth which is set
forth with perhaps the most marked prominency in the teaching of
Wycliffe, is the truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ as the one
Mediator between God and man. Christ is not only revealed in the Word;
he is Himself the Mediating Word—the way, and the truth, and the life.
And what Wycliffe says of the Apostle Paul, that he lifts the banner of
his Captain, in that he glories only in the cross of Christ, admits, as
Dr. Lechler remarks, of being justly applied to Wycliffe himself;
for his text is the evangel, and his theme is Christ. Like Luther
afterwards, Wycliffe lived through the truth which he proclaimed.
In his case the order was, first the Word, then Christ. In Luther‘s
it was, first the Word, then justification by faith. The German‘s
experience implied the logical order of the Englishman‘s experience.
For the logic of this faith is the Word of grace, the Christ of grace,
the righteousness of grace. Luther‘s work implies, develops, and
completes the work of Wycliffe, so that it holds true that the one
without the other is not made perfect.

In the year 1380, after recovery from a severe illness, Wycliffe
published a tract in which he formulated his charges against the
friars under fifty distinct heads, accusing them of fifty heresies;
and many more, as he said, if their tenets and practices be searched
out. “Friars,” says he, towards the conclusion of this tract, “are the
cause, beginning, and maintaining of perturbation in Christendom, and
of all the evils of this world; nor shall these errors be removed until
friars be brought to the freedom of the Gospel and the clean religion
of Jesus Christ.”

Wycliffe did not indulge in mere denunciation. His invectives were
with a view to the work of reformation. Accordingly, at the time when
he published the fifty charges against the friars he was actively
training, organising, and sending out agents—“poor priests” to
instruct the people in the knowledge of the Gospel, and by so doing
undo the works of the friars, and promote evangelical religion and
social virtue. At first these itinerant preachers were employed in
some places, as in the immense diocese of Lincoln, under episcopal
sanction.[22] But so effectively and extensively did they propagate
the evangelical doctrines of Wycliffe, that in Archbishop Courtenay‘s
mandate to the Bishop of London in 1382, they are denounced as
“unauthorised itinerant preachers, who set forth erroneous, yea,
heretical, assertions in public sermons, not only in churches, but also
in public squares, and other profane places; and who do this under
the guise of great holiness, but without having obtained any
episcopal or papal authorisation.” It was against Wycliffe‘s
“poor priests” or itinerant preachers that the first royal
proclamation in 1382 (statute it cannot be called), at the instance
of Courtenay, for the punishment of heresy in England, was issued.
The unprecedented measures taken against the “poor priests” bear
most significant testimony to the effect produced by their teachings
throughout the kingdom. It would be interesting to know how far,
if at all, Wesley‘s idea of itinerant preachers was founded on, or
proceeded from, the idea and the experiment of Wycliffe. At any rate,
these poor priests were not organised, nor was their action modelled,
according to any of the guilds, fraternities, or orders that had been
formed or that had been in operation before the time of Wycliffe. The
idea was truly original, and “the simplicity of the institution was
itself a stroke of consummate genius.”[23]

Having acted out his own principles that the student who would attain
to the knowledge of the meaning of Scripture must cultivate humility
of disposition and holiness of life, putting away from him all
prejudicate opinions, and all merely curious and speculative theories
and casuistical principles of interpretation, Wycliffe opened and
studied the Bible with the desire simply to know and to do the will of
God. It is no wonder if, with these sentiments, Wycliffe in his later
years, when engaged continually in reading, studying, expounding, and
translating the Scriptures, should come to perceive the contrariety of
the papal or mediæval doctrine concerning the Eucharist to the doctrine
of Scripture.

Wycliffe‘s views respecting transubstantiation having undergone
a great change between the years 1378 and 1381, he felt bound in
conscience to make known what he now came to believe to be the
true doctrine concerning the Eucharist. For, as he says in the
“Trialogus,” “I maintain that among all the heresies which have ever
appeared in the Church, there was never one which was more cunningly
smuggled in by hypocrites than this, or which in more ways deceives
the people; for it plunders the people, leads them astray into
idolatry, denies the teaching of Scripture, and by this unbelief
provokes the Truth Himself often-times to anger.”[24] In accordance
with all this, Wycliffe in the spring of 1381 published twelve
short theses or conclusions respecting the Eucharist and against
transubstantiation.”[25]

All Oxford was moved by these conclusions. By the unanimous judgment of
a court called and presided over by William de Bertram, the Chancellor,
they were declared to be contradictory to the orthodox doctrine of
the Church, and as such were prohibited from being set forth and
defended in the university, on pain of suspension from every function
of teaching, of the greater excommunication, and of imprisonment. By
the same mandate all members of the university were prohibited, on pain
of the greater excommunication, from being present at the delivery
of these theses in the university. When this mandate was served on
Wycliffe, he was in the act of expounding the doctrine of Scripture
concerning the Lord‘s Supper. The condemnation of his doctrine came
upon him as a surprise; but he is reported to have said that neither
the Chancellor nor any of his assessors could refute his arguments or
alter his convictions. Subsequently he appealed from the Chancellor to
the King. In the meantime, finding himself “tongue-tied by authority,”
he wrote a treatise on this subject in Latin,[26] and also a tract in
English entitled “The Wicket,” for the use of the people. Wycliffe‘s
doctrinal system may be said to have attained to its completeness when,
rejecting the idea of transubstantiation, he accepted those simple
and Scriptural views of the Eucharist which, apart from papalism or
medievalism, have in all ages prevailed within the Catholic Church—
that is, within the society or congregation of believers in Christ,
irrespectively of name, place, time, ceremony, or circumstance. While
this is so, “it is impossible,” as Dr. Lechler truly says, “not to be
impressed with the intellectual labor, the conscientiousness, and the
force of will, all equally extraordinary, which Wycliffe applied to the
solution of this problem. His attack on the dogma of transubstantiation
was so concentrated, and delivered (with so much force and skill) from
so many sides, that the scholastic conception was shaken to its very
foundations.”[27] He anticipated in his argument against the medieval
dogma, and in favor of the primitive and catholic faith concerning the
Eucharist, the views of the greatest and best of the Reformers, leaving
to them little more to do than to gather up, expound, develop, and
apply his principles.

Soon after the proceedings which we have noted were taken against
Wycliffe, the country was threatened with anarchy by what is known as
the Wat Tyler and Jack Straw insurrection. It is enough to say that
Wycliffe had nothing whatever to do with the exciting of that reckless
uprising. All his studies, meditations, and labors were designed to
promote righteousness and peace, truth and goodwill, order and liberty,
in England and all over the earth.

In the tract, “A Short Rule of Life, for each man in general, for
priests and lords and laborers in special, How each shall be saved in
his degree,” addressing the “laborer,” he says:—

        “If thou art a _laborer_, live in meekness, and
      truly and willingly, so thy lord or thy master, if he
      be a heathen man, by thy meekness, willing and true
      service, may not have to grudge against thee, nor
      slander thy God, nor thy Christian profession, but
      rather be stirred to come to Christianity, and serve
      not Christian lords with grudgings, not only in their
      presence, but truly and willingly, and in absence;
      not only for worldly dread, or worldly reward, but
      for dread of conscience, and for reward in heaven.
      For God that putteth thee in such service knoweth
      what state is best for thee, and will reward thee
      more than all earthly lords may if thou dost it truly
      and willingly for His ordinance. And in all things
      beware of grudging against God and His visitation in
      great labor, in long or great sickness, and other
      adversities. And beware of wrath, of cursing, of
      speaking evil, of banning man or beast, and ever keep
      patience, meekness, and charity, both to God and man.”

As we cannot afford space to give what is said to “lords,” whom he
counsels to

      “live a rightful life in their own persons, both in
      respect to God and man, keeping the commandments of
      God, doing the works of mercy, ruling well their
      five senses, and doing reason, and equity, and good
      conscience to all men,”—

we merely give here his concluding words:—

        “And thus each man in the three states ought to life,
      to save himself, and to help others; and thus should
      life, rest, peace, and love, be among Christian men,
      and they be saved, and heathen men soon converted,
      and God magnified greatly in all nations and sects
      that now despise Him and His law, because of the
      false living of wicked Christian men.”

These are not the sentiments or utterances of a man in fellowship with
John Ball, Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, or any other such demagogues, rebels,
or sowers of sedition.

The truth, as stated by Milman,[28] is, that this spasm or “outburst”
of “thralled discontent” was but a violent symptom of the evils
which it was the aim and design of Wycliffe to uproot and remove, by
disseminating and inculcating everywhere the principles and precepts
of the Gospel. Writing in defence of the “poor priests” or evangelists
whom he had trained and sent out, Wycliffe says:—

        “These poor priests destroien most, by God‘s
      law, rebelty of servants agenst lords, and charge
      servants to be sujet, though lords be tyrants. For
      St Peter teacheth us, Be ye servants suget to lords
      in all manner of dread, not only to good lords, and
      bonoure, but also to tyrants, or such as drawen from
      God’s school. For, as St. Paul sieth, each man oweth
      to be suget to higher potestates, that is, to men of
      high power, for there is no power but of God, and
      so he that agen stondeth power, stondeth agenst the
      ordinance of God, but they that agenstond engetten
      to themselves damnation. And therefore Paul biddeth
      that we be suget to princes by need, and not only
      for wrath but also for conscience, and therefore we
      paien tributes to princes, for they ben ministers of
      God.” But “some men that ben out of charity slandren
      ‘poor priests’ with this error, that servants or
      tenants may lawfully withhold rent and service fro
      their lords, when lords be openly wicked in their
      living;” and “they maken these false lesings upon
      ‘poor priests’ to make lords to hate them, and not to
      meyntane truth of God’s law that they teachen openly
      for worship of God, and profit of the realm, and
      stabling the King’s power in destroying of sin.”[29]

Among the victims of the rage of the rabble in the Wat Tyler
insurrection was Simon Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury. “He
was,” says Godwin, “a man admirably wise and well spoken.” But “though
he were very wise, learned, eloquent, liberal, merciful and for his
age and place reverend, yet might it not deliver him from the rage
of this beast with many heads—the multitude—than which being, once
incensed, there is no brute beast more cruel, more outrageous, more
unreasonable.”[30]

William Courtenay, Bishop of London, succeeded Sudbury as Archbishop
of Canterbury. Courtenay, a high-tempered, haughty, and resolute man,
lost no time in bringing the powers of his new and high position to
bear against the doctrines and adherents of Wycliffe. His pall from
Rome having been delivered to him at Croydon on the 6th of May 1382,
he summoned a synod to meet in the Grey Friars (mendicants) in London,
on the 17th of May, to deliberate and determine on the measures to be
taken for the suppression of certain stranger and dangerous opinions
“widely prevalent among the nobility and commons of the realm.” During
the sittings of this synod a great and terrible earthquake shook the
place of meeting and the whole city. Many of the high dignitaries
and learned doctors assembled, interpreting this event as a protest
from heaven against the proceedings of the council, would fain have
adjourned the meeting and its business. But the Archbishop, with ready
wit, interpreting the omen to suit his own purpose, said, “the earth
was throwing off its noxious vapors, that the Church might appear in
her perfect purity,” With these words Courtenay allayed the fears of
the more timid members of the synod, and the business went forward.
Of four and twenty articles extracted from Wycliffe’s writings, ten
were condemned as heretical, and the other fourteen were judged
erroneous. It is unnecessary to say that among the articles condemned
as heretical were the doctrines of Wycliffe concerning the Eucharist,
and more particularly his denial of transubstantiation. Among the
condemned tenets there are some which Wycliffe never held or affirmed
in the sense put upon them by the “Earthquake Council.” Some of the
determinations of this synod were so framed as to imply or insinuate
that Wycliffe was implicated in the insurrection of the previous year,
and that he was an enemy to temporal as well as to the ecclesiastical
authority—in other words, that he was a traitor as well as heretic. An
imposing procession, and a sermon by a Carmelite friar, served to give
solemnity and publicity, pomp and circumstance, to the decrees of the
synod.

Dr. Peter Stokes, a Carmelite preacher, furnished with the Archbishop’s
mandate and other artillery, was sent to bombard Oxford or to take it
by storm. But neither the scholars nor the Chancellor (Rigge) were
disposed to surrender the university without a struggle in defence
of its rights and liberties. The reception given to Dr. Stokes was
not at all satisfactory or assuring to the mind of the Archbishop of
Canterbury, who indignantly gave expression to his sorrow and his
anger in the words: “Is, then, the University of Oxford such a fautor
of heresy that Catholic truths cannot be asserted within her walls?”
Assuming to himself the ominous title of “Inquisitor of heretical
pravity within his whole province of Canterbury,” he proceeded to
deal with Oxford as if it were nothing more than one of the outlying
parishes of his episcopal province. The chancellor and several members
of the university were summoned to appear before him and to purge
themselves of the suspicion of heresy. But Chancellors like Rigge,
although courteous, are not readily compliant with what seems to invade
the privileges and prerogatives of their office. If Chancellor Rigge,
after his return to Oxford from London, gave formal effect to the
injunctions of the Archbishop, by intimating to Nicolas Hereford and
Philip Repington that he was under the necessity of suspending them
from all their functions as members of the university, he promptly
resented the insolence of Henry Cromp, who in a public lecture had
applied the epithet “Lollards” to those who maintained the views of
Wycliffe, by suspending him from all university functions.[31] Against
this sentence Cromp sought and found refuge in an appeal to Courtenay
and to the Privy Council. Hereford, Repington, and John Aston were
summoned to appear before the Archbishop. Aston was declared to be
a teacher of heresy, and he afterwards recanted. Repington also
recanted after a time, and was promoted to great honors in the Church.
Hereford, having gone to Rome to plead his case before the Pope, was
there imprisoned; but it would seem that some time afterwards he
managed to escape from prison, for in 1387 he is mentioned as the
leading itinerant preacher of the Lollards. Thus within a few months
after Courtenay entered on the discharge of the functions of his high
office, he had greatly intimidated the adherents and fellow-laborers
of Wycliffe in the university. But opinion rooted in conviction is
not easily suppressed. While the more prominent representatives of
Wycliffe’s adherents were either driven out of the country or coerced
into submission, and to the recantation of opinions which they had held
and taught, Wycliffe himself stood firm and erect amidst the tempest
that raged around. As if in calm defiance of the Archbishop and his
commissaries, he indited a petition to the King and the Parliament,
in which he craves their assent to the main articles contained in his
writings, and proved by authority—the Word of God—and reason to be
the Christian faith; he prays that all persons now bound by vows of
religion may have liberty to accept and follow the more perfect law of
Christ; that tithes be bestowed according to their proper use, for the
maintenance of the poor; that Christ’s own doctrine concerning the
Eucharist be publicly taught; that neither the King nor the kingdom
obey any See or prelate further than their obedience be grounded on
Scripture; that no money be sent out of the realm to the Court of Rome
or of Avignon, unless proved by Scripture to be due; that no Cardinal
or foreigner hold preferment in England; that if a bishop or curate
be notoriously guilty of contempt of God, the King should confiscate
his temporalities; that no bishop or curate should be enslaved to
secular office; and that no one should be imprisoned on account of
excommunication.[32]

This is Wycliffe’s petition of right to the King and to the Parliament
of England. We know nothing exactly like this document in the history
of the past five hundred years. In one or two of the claims set forth
in it, the document which bears to it the greatest resemblance is an
anonymous petition addressed to King James in 1609, being “An Humble
Supplication for Toleration and Liberty to enjoy and observe the
Ordinances of Christ Jesus, in the administration of His Churches in
lieu of human Constitutions.” But compared with Wycliffe’s petition,
that other is narrow and restricted in its range. This of Wycliffe is,
like his work, for all time. In it he seems to have gathered up the
principles that governed his life, and to have expressed them so that
this document may be regarded as a summary of principles, a sort of
Enchiridion for the use of the statesmen and people of England.

It is more than doubtful whether Wycliffe appeared before the
Archbishop at Oxford in 1382; and it is certain that no recantation
ever proceeded from his lips or pen. In the absence of any adequate
reason hitherto assigned for Wycliffe’s immunity or personal safety in
a time so perilous, may the reason have been that, silenced in Oxford
by the decree of the preceding year, Wycliffe left the university, and,
retiring to his rectory of Lutterworth, enjoyed there the protection
of the Bishop of Lincoln, John Bokingham? Within the very extensive
diocese of Lincoln, we know that for a time Wycliffe’s “poor priests”
enjoyed the episcopal protection. Is it too much to suppose that John
Bokingham, who protected and gave episcopal sanction to Wycliffe’s
preachers, extended his protection to Wycliffe himself? This “John
Bokingham if this were the Bishop of Lincoln accounted of some very
unlearned, was a doctor of divinity of Oxford, a great learned man in
scholastical divinity, as divers works of his still extant may testify,
and for my part, I think this bishop to be the man. The year 1397, the
Pope bearing him some grudge, translated him perforce from Lincolne
unto Lichfield, a bishopric not half so good. For curst heart he would
not take it, but, as though he had rather have no bread than half a
loaf, forsook both, and became a monk at Canterbury. He was one of
the first founders of the bridge at Rochester.”[33] Our conjecture if
probable or true to fact, would explain not a little that has hitherto
perplexed the biographers of Wycliffe.

But apart from this conjecture and all similar guesses and suggestions,
perhaps the real cause of Wycliffe’s safety was the regard cherished
for him by many of the nobility and leaders of the people, and the
esteem in which he was held by the King’s mother—“the fair maid of
Kent”—whose message, conveyed by Sir Lewis Clifford, brought the
proceedings of the Lambeth Synod to an abrupt termination. Nor must the
protecting influence of Richard’s wife, the Queen—Ann of Bohemia—be
ignored. For in his book “Of the Three-fold Love” Wycliffe says: “It
is possible that the noble Queen of England, the sister of Cæsar, may
have and use the Gospel written in three languages—Bohemian, German,
and Latin. But to hereticate her on that account would be Luciferian
folly.” But after all the circumstances of the case have been
considered, we may say with Fuller: “In my mind it amounted to little
less than a miracle, that during this storm on his disciples, Wycliffe
their master should live in quiet. Strange that he was not drowned
in so strong a stream as ran against him, whose safety under God’s
providence is not so much to be ascribed to his own strength in
swimming as to such as held him up by the chin—the greatness of his
noble supporters.”[34] It would appear as if King Richard himself must
be reckoned one at least among Wycliffe’s “noble supporters.” This
seems to be implied in what appears to be a reference to himself,
made in one of his last-written treatises, the “Frivolous Citations,”
being the citations addressed by the Popes to those who were offensive
to them. In that remarkable treatise the arguments in favor of papal
citations are shown to be untenable and sophistical, and the assumption
of temporal power by the Pope, as exercised in the citation of those
not subject to his jurisdiction, is shown to be unjustifiable. From all
this the conclusion is, that the Church should return to primitive and
apostolic simplicity—the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ without
the Pope and his statutes. In the fourth chapter he maintains that
three things warrant any one cited to refuse obedience to the citation:
necessary business, illness, and the prohibition of the sovereign
of the realm: “Primum est gravis necessitas, quæ videtur maxima in
custodia Christi ovium, ne a lupis rapacibus lanientur. Secundum est
infirmitas corporis, propter quam deficit citato dispositio data a
domino ad taliter laborandum. Et tertium est preceptio regia, quando
rex precepit, sicut debet, suo legio, ne taliter extra suam provinciam
superflue evagetur. Et omnes istæ tres causæ vel aliqua earum in
qualibet citatione hujusmodi sunt reperte, et specialiter cum rex
regum prohibeat taliter evagari.” All this he applies to his own case,
in language implying that he had been cited to appear to answer for
himself before the Pope: “Et sic dicit, quidam debilis et claudus
citatus ad hanc curiam, quod prohibitio regia impedit ipsum ire, quia,
rex regum necessitat et vult efficaciter, quod non vagat. Dicit etiam
quod domi oportet ipsum eligere Pontificam Iesum Christum, quod est
gravis necessitas eo, quod cum ejus omissione vel negligentia non
potest Romanus Pontifex vel aliquis angelus dispensare.”[35] The words
seem to imply not only that he was cited to appear before the Pope,
but that in declining to obey the papal summons, he could plead bodily
infirmity, the will of the King of kings, and also the prohibition of
the only earthly sovereign to whom he owed a subject’s duty. Shirley,
writing in 1858, says—“From his retreat at Lutterworth they summoned
him before the papal court. The citation did not reach him till
1384.”[36] If so, then his tract “De Citationibus Frivolis” was one of
the last of the many writings that proceeded from his pen.

Before we make the briefest possible reference to the last and greatest
work of Wycliffe—his translation of the Bible—we may here allude to
the marvellous productiveness of the mind of this great Englishman of
the fourteenth century. In this respect, as in other characteristics
of his genius, there is only one other name in English literature that
is entitled to take rank and place beside John Wycliffe, and that is
the name of William Shakespeare. Chaucer and Langland and Gower, the
contemporaries of Wycliffe, wrote much, and wrote so as not only to
prove the previously unknown capabilities of the half-formed English
language for giving expression to every variety of poetical conception,
but these illustrious poets also so wrote as to be the forerunners and
the leaders of those who, since the time when the English mind was set
free by the Reformation, have marched, and continue to march, as the
poets of England in splendid equipage in their proud procession through
the ages. But the intellectual and literary productiveness of Chaucer
and Langland and Gower comes far short of the truly extraordinary
productiveness of the genius of Wycliffe. Nothing but ignorance of what
Wycliffe did for the highest forms of thought in the University, for
the dignity and independence of the State, for truth and freedom in
the Church, and for virtue and godliness among the English people, and
through them among all the nations of the world, can account for the
indifference to the name and memory of Wycliffe, which prevails not in
Oxford alone, but throughout the country:—

      “To the memory of one of the greatest of Englishmen,
      his country has been singularly and painfully
      ungrateful. On most of us the dim image looks down,
      like the portrait of the first of a long line of
      kings, without personality or expression. He is the
      first of the Reformers. To some he is the watchword
      of a theological controversy, invoked most loudly
      by those whom he would most have condemned. Of his
      works, the greatest, ‘one of the most thoughtful of
      the middle ages,’ has twice been printed abroad, in
      England never.[37] Of his original English works,
      nothing beyond one or two tracts has seen the light.
      If considered only as the father of English prose,
      the great Reformer might claim more reverential
      treatment at our hands. It is not by his translation
      of the Bible, remarkable as that work is, that
      Wycliffe can be judged as a writer. It is in his
      original tracts that the exquisite pathos, the keen
      delicate irony, the manly passion of his short
      nervous sentences, fairly overmasters the weakness
      of the unformed language, and gives us English which
      cannot be read without a feeling of its beauty to
      this hour.”[38]

The mind of Wycliffe was constitutionally of large capacity—strong,
many-sided, intense. The strength and the luminousness of his
understanding, operating through an emotional nature of great
tranquillity and depth, found for themselves unimpeded expression in
the force and energy of a self-determining and resolute will. His
deliberations, not his passions, prompted, directed, and controlled
his actions. Hence the decisiveness of his conclusions; hence also
the heroic pertinacity with which he adhered to his convictions, and,
whether amidst compliments or curses, prosecuted his work. For to him
personally, _dominion_ signified the lordship of the intellect over the
emotions, the sovereignty of conscience over the intellect, and the
monarchy of God over all. The “possessioner” of rich and varied mental
endowments, he put forth all to use. For in all the departments
of learning and science, John Wycliffe was second to none whose
names adorn the annals of Oxford University and are the glory of
England. Wycliffe’s works, when known in Oxford and in this country
will not only vindicate what we have said, but will show that if
his constitutional abilities were singularly great, his industry
was indefatigable, and his studious course splendidly progressive.
“Proscribed and neglected as he afterwards became, there was a time
when Wycliffe was the most popular writer in Europe.”[39] Contact with
his mind through his works, seems to have had a remarkably infectious
influence on the men of his time and on the following generation. Hence
the unexampled measures taken not by William Courtenay alone, but by
successive Popes and by the Council of Constance (1415), to suppress
the heresies of Wycliffe. This influence of contact with his spirit in
his writings, shows itself very notably in the case of the able and
critical historian, Milman. Milman’s own mind was of great capacity
and force. But the vigor and enthusiasm of that mind seem to reveal
themselves more in the chapter on Wycliffe than in any other section of
his great work. There is an unusual glow—one might say fervor—as of
sympathetic appreciation, in the greater part of that chapter.[40]

Shirley’s statement that “Wycliffe is a very voluminous, a proscribed,
and a neglected writer,” is verified by the catalogue which Shirley
himself, at the cost of considerable labor scattered over a period of
some ten or twelve years, compiled, and published in 1865. By compiling
and publishing this catalogue, Professor Shirley rendered great service
not only to the memory of Wycliffe but also to English literature.
Bale, Bishop of Ossory (1563), the author of many most valuable but now
little appreciated, because little known, works, in his “Summarium,”[41]
first published in 1547, gives a list of 242 of Wycliffe’s writings,
with their titles. Lewis, in 1820, by some modifications and additions
of Bale’s list, extends the number to 284. A catalogue was also
prefixed by Baber to his reprint of Wycliffe’s New Testament (Purvey’s
amended edition) in 1810. And Dr. Vaughan (who has got but scrimp
justice at the hands of some), in his “Life and Opinions of Wycliffe,”
1828 and 1831, and in his “John de Wycliffe: a Monograph,” 1853, gave
catalogues which had the effect of setting a few others to work in
the endeavor to determine with certainty the number of the genuine
writings left by Wycliffe. This work was undertaken and prosecuted
with no little labor and critical ability by Professor Shirley; but
death at an early time arrested the progress of the work which he had
projected—the editing and publishing of “Select Works of Wycliffe.”
Men die, but the work dies not. To the third volume of “Select English
Works of John Wycliffe,” 1871, edited by Thomas Arnold, there is
prefixed a “List of MSS. of the Miscellaneous Works,” and a “Complete
Catalogue of the English Works ascribed to Wycliffe, based on that
prepared by Dr. Shirley, but including a detailed comparison with
the list of Bale and Lewis”[42] Of Dr. Lechler’s services in this as
in every other respect we do not speak: they are inestimable. The
example set by him, and by Dr. Buddensieg of Dresden, and Dr. Loserth
of Czernowitz, ought to stimulate Englishmen, and more especially the
graduates, fellows, and doctors of Oxford, to vindicate the University
against the charge so justly and repeatedly made against it, of having
treated with indifference and neglect the name and memory of one of her
most illustrious sons. It is anything but creditable to Oxford that
German scholars and princes should do the work which ought to be done
by Englishmen—and of all Englishmen by the men of Oxford. Do these
learned men know that in English literature there is a short treatise
bearing the title “The Dead Man’s Right?”[43] It is time that they
should study it, and give to it such effect as only the men of Oxford
can give, in relation to the memory of the man who asserted and
maintained, in perilous and most hazardous times, the rights of Oxford
University against those who would reduce that noble institution, that
renowned seat of learning, to the level of one of the outhouses of the
Vatican Palace or of the Pope’s privy chamber, at Avignon or at Rome.

From the lists or catalogues of Wycliffe’s works, it is evident that
his writing was like his mind—steadily, splendidly progressive. To
the earlier period of his life belong the works on logic, psychology,
metaphysics, and generally what may be called his philosophical
writings. To the second period of his life belong his applied
philosophy in the form of his treatises on politico-ecclesiastical
questions. To the third period belong his works on scientific theology;
and to the fourth and concluding period belong his works on applied
theology, or practical and pastoral divinity.

“The earliest work to which, so far as I know, a tolerably exact date
can be assigned, is the fragment “De dominio,” printed by Lewis, and
which belongs to the year 1366 or 1367. We may confidently place the
whole of the philosophical works, properly so called, before this date.
About the year 1367 was published the “De Dominio Divino,” preluding to
the great “Summa Theologiæ,”—the first book of which, “De Mandatis,”
appears to have been written in 1369; the seventh, the “De Ecclesia,”
in 1378; the remainder at uncertain intervals during the next five
years. The “Trialogus” and its supplement belong probably to the last
year of the Reformer’s life.”[44]

In a letter of Archbishop Arundel, addressed to Pope John XXIII. in
1412, it is said of Wycliffe that, “In order to fulfil the measure of
his wickedness, he _invented_ the translation of the Bible into the
mother tongue.” Of this, the great and crowning work of Wycliffe’s
life, Knighton says:—

        “Christ delivered his Gospel to the clergy and
      doctors of the Church, but this Master John Wycliffe
      translated it out of Latin into English, and thus
      laid it out more open to the laity, and to women who
      could read, than it had formerly been to the most
      learned of the clergy, even to those of them that had
      the best understanding. In this way the Gospel-pearl
      is cast abroad, and trodden under foot of swine, and
      that which was before precious both to clergy and
      laity, is rendered, as it were, to the common jest
      of both. The jewel of the Church is turned into the
      sport of the people, and what had hitherto been the
      choice gift of the clergy and of divines, is made for
      ever common to the laity.”[45]

It was for this very end that the “Word of God written” might be
forever common to the people, as accessible to them as to the most
privileged orders, that Wycliffe seems at an early time in his life to
have entertained the great idea and formed the purpose of giving to his
countrymen a version of Holy Scripture in the English language. For,
although we cannot here enter into details, it would appear from the
careful, learned, and elaborate preface to the magnificent edition of
Wycliffe’s Bible by Forshall and Madden,[46] that the progressiveness
characteristic of Wycliffe’s views and work was apparent in the
translation of the Bible. With all deference to the opinions of those
who believe that man’s works spring full-formed from the human brain,
like Minerva from the head of Jupiter, there is reason for believing
that so early as 1356, or about that time, Wycliffe began his work
of translating the Scriptures, and that, with many interruptions or
intermissions, he continued to prosecute his great enterprise till
he had the joyful satisfaction of seeing the translation of the New
Testament completed in 1380. The idea had grown in his mind, and the
work grew under his hand. He could now put a copy of the Evangel into
the hands of each evangelist whom he sent forth. Up to this time he
could but furnish his poor preachers with short treatises and detached
portions of Scripture. But now he could give them the whole of the New
Testament in the language of the people of England. It was a great
gift, and it was eagerly desired by multitudes who had been perishing
for lack of knowledge. And but for the opposition of the hierarchy, the
book and the evangelist might now have had free course in England. The
work of translating the Old Testament was being prosecuted by Nicolas
Hereford, when he was cited to appear before the Archbishop. Two
MS. copies of Hereford’s translation in the Bodleian Library
“end abruptly in the book of Baruch, breaking off in the middle of a
sentence.[47] It may thence be inferred that the writer was suddenly
stopped in the execution of his work; nor is it unreasonable to
conjecture, further, that the cause of the interruption was the summons
which Hereford received to appear before the synod in 1382.”

        “The translation itself affords proof that it was
      completed by a different hand, and not improbably by
      Wycliffe himself. Hereford translates very literally,
      and is usually careful to render the same Latin words
      or phrases in an uniform manner. He never introduces
      textual glosses. The style subsequent to Bar. iii.
      20 is entirely different. It is more easy, no longer
      keeps to the order of the Latin, takes greater
      freedom in the choice of words, and frequently admits
      textual glosses. In the course of the first complete
      chapter the new translator inserts no less than
      nine such glosses. He does not admit prologues. The
      translation of this last part of the Old Testament
      corresponds with that of the New Testament, not only
      in the general style, but also in the rendering of
      particular words.”[48]

Wycliffe’s work was really done when the whole Bible was published in
the English language. And although he set himself to improve, correct,
and amend his own and Hereford’s translation, yet he could now, as at
no previous time, say, “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace.”
Not long after this he died in peace at Lutterworth, in Leicestershire,
on the 31st of December 1384. And notwithstanding the ridicule of
all who snarl at Mr. Foxe for counting him a martyr in his calendar,
he really lived a martyr’s life, and died a martyr’s death: he lived
and died a faithful witness of the truth. If he was not in spirit a
martyr, there never was a martyr in the history of the Church; and if
his persecutors were not in spirit tyrants whose purpose was to add
Wycliffe’s name to the roll of martyrs, there never were those who
persecuted the saints unto bonds, imprisonment, and death. What else
means the decree of the Council of Constance in 1415, which not only
cursed his memory, as that of one dying an obstinate heretic, but
ordered his body (with this charitable caution, “if it may be discerned
from the bodies of other faithful people”), to be taken out of the
ground and thrown far off from any Christian burial? In obedience to
this decree—being, as Godwin says, required by the Council of Sena so
to do[49]—Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, Diocesan of Lutterworth
in 1428, sent officers to ungrave the body of Wycliffe. To Lutterworth
they come, take what was left out of the grave, and burning it, cast
the ashes into the Swift, a neighboring brook running hard by. “Thus
hath this brook conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn
into the narrow seas, and these into the main ocean. And thus the ashes
of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all
the world over.”[50]

With Fuller’s graphic record of the action of the servants of Bishop
Fleming of Lincoln we might conclude our review of the work of this
truly great and good man; but we cannot conclude without saying that
the decree of the Constance Council and the action of the Lincoln
bishop reveal at the same time the power of Wycliffe’s doctrines and
the impotence of the papal opposition to Wycliffe and to Lollardism.
Truth dies not: it may be burned, but, like the sacred bush on the
hillside of Horeb, it is not consumed. It may fall in the street; it
may be trodden under foot of men; it may be put into the grave; but
it is not dead,—it lives, rises again, and is free. The bonds only
are consumed; and the grave-clothes and the napkin only are left in
the sepulchre. The word itself liveth and abideth forever. It has in
it not only an eternal vitality, but also a seminal virtue. It is the
seed of the kingdom of God. Some of the books of Wycliffe were put
into the hands of John Hus in the University of Prague. Of Hus it may
be said that, like the prophet, he ate the books given to him. He so
appropriated them, not in the spirit only, but also in the letter,
that the doctrines, and even the verbal expressions, of Wycliffe, were
reproduced and proclaimed by him in Bohemia. This is demonstrated by
Dr. Loserth in his recent work, “Wycliffe and Hus.”[51]

The story of the Gospel in Bohemia is really a record of the work
of Wycliffe in a foreign land, where he was regarded as little less
than “a fifth evangelist.” The heresies of Wycliffe, condemned by the
Council of Constance, were the Gospel for which John Hus and Jerome of
Prague died the death of martyrs. But not only so.

        “When I studied at Erfurth,” says Martin Luther,
      “I found in the library of the convent a book
      entitled the ‘Sermons of John Hus.’ I had a great
      curiosity to know what doctrines that arch-heretic
      had propagated. My astonishment at the reading of
      them was incredible. I could not comprehend for what
      cause they burnt so great a man, who explained the
      Scriptures with so much gravity and skill. But as the
      very name of Hus was held in so great abomination,
      that I imagined the sky would fall and the sun be
      darkened if I made honorable mention of him, I shut
      the book with no little indignation. This, however,
      was my comfort, that he had written this perhaps
      before he fell into heresy, for I had not yet heard
      what passed at the Council of Constance.”[52]

Germany through Luther owes much to John Wycliffe. Germany acknowledges
the obligation, and through Lechler, Buddensieg, Loserth, and others,
it is offering its tribute of gratitude to the memory of the earliest
of the Reformers. For, although the fact is ignored by many, the
Reformation was but the exposition and developed application of
the doctrines of John Wycliffe. It was Shakespeare who said of the
great Lollard chief of England—Sir John Oldcastle, the good Lord
Cobham—“Oldcastle died a martyr!”[53] But it is one of the most coldly
severe and critical of historians who says:—

        “No revolution has ever been more gradually prepared
      than that which separated almost one-half of Europe
      from the communion of the Roman See; nor were Luther
      and Zwingle any more than occasional instruments of
      that change, which, had they never existed, would
      at no great distance of time have been effected
      under the names of some other Reformers. At the
      beginning of the sixteenth century, the learned
      doubtfully and with caution, the ignorant with zeal
      and eagerness, were tending to depart from the faith
      and rites which authority prescribed. But probably
      not even Germany were so far advanced on this course
      as England. Almost a hundred and fifty years before
      Luther, nearly the same doctrines as he taught had
      been maintained by Wycliffe, whose disciples, usually
      called Lollards, lasted as a numerous though obscure
      and proscribed sect, till, aided by the confluence
      of foreign streams, they swelled into the Protestant
      Church of England. We hear indeed little of them
      during some part of the fifteenth century; for they
      generally shunned persecution, and it is chiefly
      through records of persecution that we learn the
      existence of heretics. But immediately before the
      name of Luther was known, they seem to have become
      more numerous; since several persons were burned for
      heresy, and others abjured their errors, in the first
      years of Henry VIII.’s reign.”[54]

Corresponding with what is stated by Hallam, is the fact that John Knox
begins his history of the Reformation in Scotland by giving, in what
he calls “Historiæ Initium,” a chapter on the history of Lollardism in
Scotland:—

        “In the scrolls of Glasgow is found mention of
      one whose name is not expressed, that, in the year
      of God 1422, was burnt for heresy; but what were
      his opinions, or by what order he was condemned,
      it appears not evidently. But our chronicles make
      mention that in the days of King James the First,
      about the year of God 1431, was deprehended in the
      University of St. Andrews, one Paul Craw, a Bohemian,
      who was accused of heresy before such as then were
      called Doctors of Theology. His accusation consisted
      principally that he followed _John Hus and Wycliffe
      in the opinion of the Sacrament_, who denied that the
      substance of bread and wine were changed by virtue
      of any words, or that confession should be made to
      priests, or yet prayers to saints departed.... He was
      condemned to the fire, in the whilk he was consumed,
      in the said city of Saint Andrews, about the time
      aforewritten.”

Proceeding with his narrative, Knox gives a picturesque description
of what occurred in Court, when no fewer than thirty persons were
summoned in 1494 by Robert Blackburn, Archbishop of Glasgow, to appear
before the King and his great council. “These,” he says, “were called
the Lollards of Kyle. They were accused of the articles following, as
we have received them forth of the register of Glasgow.” Among the
thirty-four articles charged against them are many of the doctrines so
ably expounded and maintained by Wycliffe. “By these articles, which
God of His merciful providence caused the enemies of His truth to keep
in their registers, may appear how mercifully God hath looked upon this
realm, retaining within it some spunk of His light even in the time of
greatest darkness.” The Lollards of Kyle, partly through the clemency
of the King, and partly by their own bold and ready-witted answers, so
dashed the bishop and his band out of countenance, that the greatest
part of the accusation was turned to laughter. For thirty years after
that memorable exhibition there was “almost no question for matters of
religion” till young Patrick Hamilton of gentle blood and of heroic
spirit, appeared on the scene in 1527. “With him,” says Knox, “our
history doth begin.”[55]

“No friendly hand,” says Dr. Shirley, “has left us any even the
slightest memorial of the life and death of the great Reformer. A
spare, frail, emaciated frame, a quick temper, a conversation ‘most
innocent,’ the charm of every rank—such are the scanty but significant
fragments we glean of the personal portraiture of one who possessed, as
few ever did, the qualities which give men power over their fellows.
His enemies ascribed it to the magic of an ascetic habit; the fact
remains engraven on every line of his life.[56] His bitterest enemies
cannot refrain from involuntary tributes of admiration extorted
from them by the singular and unsullied excellence of the man whose
doctrines and doings as a reformer they detested. Like the “amiable
and famous Edward, by-named, not of his color, but of his dreaded acts
in battle, the Black Prince,”[57] Wycliffe was in nothing black save
in his dreaded doctrines and works of reformation. Apart from these,
“all tongues—the voice of souls”—awarded him the praise due to lofty
genius, exemplary virtue, and personal godliness. His heretical deeds
were the occasion of all the obloquy heaped upon his name and memory:—

    “In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds,
     And thence this slander, as I think, proceeds.”

If we cannot as yet cherish the hope that, besides erecting in Oxford
some visible monument to the memory of Wycliffe, the University
should, as an example to Cambridge and to the Scottish universities,
institute a Wycliffe Lectureship for the exposition of the works of
the great Reformer, it is surely not too much to expect that Oxford
should give all possible countenance and support to the project for the
printing and the publication of Wycliffe’s unprinted and unpublished
writings. This, in the meantime, is perhaps the best tribute that can
be offered to the memory of Wycliffe. For, as Dr. Shirley said, some
nineteen years ago, “The Latin works of Wycliffe are, both historically
and theologically, by far the most important; from these alone can
Wycliffe’s theological position be understood: and it is not, perhaps,
too much to say, that no writings so important for the history of
doctrine are still buried in manuscript.”[58] These neglected, unknown,
and hitherto inaccessible works, are being printed under competent
editorship by “The Wycliffe Society.”—They have more than a mere
theological interest. They are important in their relation to the
thought which developed itself in the reformation of religion, in the
revival of learning, and in the assertion, maintenance, and defence of
constitutional liberty in England.

For from the relation of his work to the University, to the
independence of the nation and the sovereignty of the Crown, to the
Church and to the people of England, a manifold interest must for
ever belong to the name, the life, and the work of John Wycliffe.
Corresponding with all this is the manifold obligation of the
University, the Crown, the Church, and the people of England. For
Wycliffe was the first of those self-denying and fearless men to whom
we are chiefly indebted for the overthrow of superstition, ignorance,
and despotism, and for all the privileges and blessings, political and
religious, which we enjoy. He was the first of those who cheerfully
hazarded their lives that they might achieve their purpose, which was
nothing less than the felicity of millions unborn—a felicity which
could only proceed from the knowledge and possession of the truth.
He is one of those “who boldly attacked the system of error and
corruption, though fortified by popular credulity, and who, having
forced the stronghold of superstition, and penetrated the recesses
of its temple, tore aside the veil that concealed the monstrous idol
which the world had so long ignorantly worshipped, dissolved the
spell by which the human mind was bound, and restored it to liberty!
How criminal must those be who, sitting at ease under the vines and
fig-trees planted by the labors and watered with the blood of those
patriots, discover their disesteem of the invaluable privileges
which they inherit, or their ignorance of the expense at which they
were purchased, by the most unworthy treatment of those to whom they
owe them, misrepresent their actions, calumniate their motives, and
load their memories with every species of abuse!”[59] While we look to
the men of Oxford for a thorough though tardy and late vindication
of Wycliffe’s name and services to the University and to learning,
we expect from the people of England a more effective and permanent
memorial of Wycliffe and his work than can be raised by any number of
scholars or members of the University. Wycliffe lived for God and for
the people. He taught the English people how to use the English tongue
for the expression of truth, liberty, and religion. He was the first to
give to the people of England the Bible in the English language. What a
gift was this! He was in this the pioneer of Tyndale, of Coverdale, and
of all those who have lived and labored for the diffusion of the Word
of God among their fellow-men. The British and Foreign Bible Society is
really Wycliffe’s monument. His Bible, as translated from the Vulgate,
was itself an assertion of that independence for which Wycliffe lived
and died. To him may be applied the words of Milton—

    “Servant of God, well done! well hast thou fought
    The better fight; who single hast maintained
    Against revolted multitudes the cause
    Of truth; in word mightier than they in arms:
    And for the testimony of truth hast borne
    Universal reproach, far worse to bear
    Than violence; for it was all thy care
    To stand approv’d in sight of God, though worlds
    Judged thee perverse.”[60]
                                —_Blackwood’s Magazine._



CURIOSITIES OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND.


Considering the world-wide reputation of the Bank of England, it is
remarkable how little is generally known as to its internal working.
Standing in the very heart of the largest city in the world—a central
landmark of the great metropolis—even the busy Londoners around it
have, as a rule, only the vaguest possible knowledge of what goes on
within its walls. In truth, its functions are so many, its staff so
enormous, and their duties so varied, that many even of those who have
spent their lives in its service will tell you that, beyond their own
immediate departments, they know but little of its inner life. Its mere
history, as recorded by Mr. Francis, fills two octavo volumes. It will
be readily understood, therefore, that it would be idle to attempt
anything like a complete description of it within the compass of a
magazine article. There are, however, many points about the Bank and
it’s working which are extremely curious and interesting, and some of
these we propose briefly to describe.

The Bank of England originated in the brain of William Paterson, a
Scotchman—better known, perhaps, as the organiser and leader of
the ill-fated Darien expedition. It commenced business in 1694, its
charter—which was in the first instance granted for eleven years
only—bearing date the 27th July of that year. This charter has been
from time to time renewed, the last renewal having taken place in
1844. The original capital of the Bank was but one million two hundred
thousand pounds, and it carried on its business in a single room in
Mercer’s Hall, with a staff of fifty-four clerks. From so small a
beginning has grown the present gigantic establishment, which covers
nearly three acres, and employs in town and country nearly nine hundred
officials. Upon the latest renewal of its charter, the Bank was divided
into two distinct departments, the Issue and the Banking. In addition
to these, the Bank has the management of the national debt. The books
of the various government funds are here kept; here all transfers are
made, and here all dividends are paid.

In the Banking department is transacted the ordinary business of
bankers. Here other banks keep their “reserve,” and hence draw their
supplies as they require them. The Issue department is intrusted
with the circulation of the notes of the Bank, which is regulated as
follows. The Bank in 1844 was a creditor of the government to the
extent of rather over eleven million pounds, and to this amount and
four million pounds beyond, for which there is in other ways sufficient
security, the Bank is allowed to issue notes without having gold in
reserve to meet them. Beyond these fifteen million pounds, every note
issued represents gold actually in the coffers of the Bank. The total
value of the notes in the hands of the public at one time averages
about twenty-five million pounds. To these must be added other notes
to a very large amount in the hands of the Banking department, which
deposits the bulk of its reserve of gold in the Issue department,
accepting notes in exchange.

All Bank of England notes are printed in the Bank itself. Six
printing-presses are in constant operation, the same machine printing
first the particulars of value, signature, &c., and then the number
of the note in consecutive order. The paper used is of very peculiar
texture, being at once thin, tough, and crisp; and the combination of
these qualities, together with the peculiarities of the watermark,
which is distributed over the whole surface of the paper, forms one
of the principal guarantees against imitation. The paper, which is
manufactured exclusively at one particular mill, is made in oblong
slips, allowing just enough space for the printing of two notes side by
side. The edges of the paper are left untrimmed, but, after printing,
the two notes are divided by a straight cut between them. This accounts
for the fact, which many of our readers will doubtless have noticed,
that only one edge of a Bank-note is smooth, the other three being
comparatively ragged. The printing-presses are so constructed as to
register each note printed, so that the machine itself indicates
automatically how many notes have passed through it. The average
production of notes is fifty thousand a day, and about the same number
are presented in the same time for payment.

No note is ever issued a second time. When once it finds its way back
to the Bank to be exchanged for coin, it is immediately cancelled; and
the reader will probably be surprised to hear that the average life
of a Bank-note, or the time during which it is in actual circulation,
is not more than five or six days. The returned notes, averaging, as
we have stated, about fifty thousand a day, and representing, one day
with another, about one million pounds in value, are brought into what
is known as the Accountant’s Sorting Office. Here they are examined by
inspectors, who reject any which may be found to be counterfeit. In
such a case, the paying-in bank is debited with the amount. The notes
come in from various banks in parcels, each parcel accompanied by a
memorandum stating the number and amount of the notes contained in it.
This memorandum is marked with a certain number, and then each note in
the parcel is stamped to correspond, the stamping-machine automatically
registering how many are stamped, and consequently drawing immediate
attention to any deficiency in the number of notes as compared with
that stated in the memorandum. This done, the notes are sorted
according to number and date, and after being defaced by punching out
the letters indicating value, and tearing off the corner bearing the
signature, are passed on to the “Bank note Library,” where they are
packed in boxes, and preserved for possible future reference during
a period of five years. There are one hundred and twenty clerks
employed in this one department; and so perfect is the system of
registration, that if the number of a returned note be known, the head
of this department, by referring to his books, can ascertain in a few
minutes the date when and the banker through whom it was presented;
and if within the period of five years, can produce the note itself
for inspection. As to the “number” of a Bank-note, by the way, there
is sometimes a little misconception, many people imagining that by
quoting the bare figures on the face of a note they have done all that
is requisite for its identification. This is not the case. Bank-notes
are not numbered consecutively _ad infinitum_, but in series of one
to one hundred thousand, the different series being distinguished as
between themselves by the date, which appears in full in the body of
the note, and is further indicated, to the initiated, by the letter and
numerals prefixed to the actual number. Thus 25/0 90758 on the face of
a note indicates that the note in question is No. 90758 of the series
printed on May 21, 1883, which date appears in full in the body of
the note, 69/N in like manner indicates that the note forms part of a
series printed on February 19, 1883. In “taking the number” of a note,
therefore, either this prefix or the full date, as stated in the body
of the note, should always be included.

The “Library” of cancelled notes—not to be confounded with the Bank
Library proper—is situated in the Bank vaults, and we are indebted to
the courtesy of the Bank-note Librarian for the following curious and
interesting statistics respecting his stock. The stock of paid notes
for five years—the period during which, as before stated, the notes
are preserved for reference—is about seventy-seven million seven
hundred and forty-five thousand in number. They fill thirteen thousand
four hundred boxes, about eighteen inches long, ten wide, and nine
deep. If the notes could be placed in a pile one upon another, they
would reach to a height of five and two-third miles. Joined end to end
they would form a ribbon twelve thousand four hundred and fifty-five
miles long, or half way round the globe; if laid so as to form a
carpet, they would very nearly cover Hyde Park. Their original value is
somewhat over seventeen hundred and fifty millions, and their weight
is about ninety-one tons. The immense extent of space necessary to
accommodate such a mass in the Bank vaults may be imagined. The place,
with its piles on piles of boxes reaching far away into dim distance,
looks like some gigantic wine-cellar or bonded warehouse.

As each day adds, as we have seen, about fifty thousand notes to the
number, it is necessary to find some means of destroying those which
have passed their allotted term of preservation. This is done by fire,
about four hundred thousand notes being burnt at one time, in a furnace
specially constructed for that purpose. Formerly, from some peculiarity
in the ink with which the notes were printed, the cremated notes burnt
into a solid blue clinker; but the composition of the ink has been
altered, and the paper now burns to a fine gray ash. The fumes of the
burning paper are extremely dense and pungent; and to prevent any
nuisance arising from this cause, the process of cremation is carried
out at dead of night, when the city is comparatively deserted. Further,
in order to mitigate the density of the fumes, they are made to ascend
through a shower of falling water, the chimney shaft being fitted with
a special shower-bath arrangement for this purpose.

Passing away from the necropolis of dead and buried notes, we visit the
Treasury, whence they originally issued. This is a quiet-looking room,
scarcely more imposing in appearance than the butler’s pantry in a
West-end mansion, but the modest-looking cupboards with which its walls
are lined, are gorged with hidden treasure. The possible value of the
contents of this room may be imagined from the fact that a million
of money, in notes of one thousand pounds, forms a packet only three
inches thick. The writer has had the privilege of holding such a
parcel in his hand, and for a quarter of a minute imagining himself a
millionaire—with an income of over thirty thousand per annum for life!
The same amount might occupy even less space than the above, for Mr.
Francis tells a story of a lost note for thirty thousand pounds, which,
turning up after the lapse of many years, was paid by the Bank _twice
over_! We are informed that notes of even a higher value than this have
on occasion been printed, but the highest denomination now issued is
one thousand pounds.

In this department is kept a portion of the Bank’s stock of golden
coin, in bags of one thousand pounds each. This amount does not require
a very large bag for its accommodation, but its weight is considerable,
amounting to two hundred and fifty-eight ounces twenty pennyweights, so
that a million in gold would weigh some tons. In another room of this
department—the Weighing Office—are seen the machines for detecting
light coin. These machines are marvels of ingenious mechanism. Three or
four hundred sovereigns are laid in a long brass scoop or semi-tube, of
such a diameter as to admit them comfortably, and self-regulating to
such an incline that the coins gradually slide down by their own weight
on to one plate of a little balance placed at its lower extremity.
Across the face of this plate two little bolts make alternate thrusts,
one to the right, one to the left, but at slightly different levels.
If the coin be of full weight, the balance is held in equipoise, and
the right-hand bolt making its thrust, pushes it off the plate and down
an adjacent tube into the receptacle for full-weight coin. If, on the
other hand, the coin is ever so little “light,” the balance naturally
rises with it. The right-hand bolt makes its thrust as before, but this
time passes harmlessly _beneath_ the coin. Then comes the thrust of
the left-hand bolt, which, as we have said, is fixed at a fractionally
higher level, and pushes the coin down a tube on the opposite side,
through which it falls into the light-coin receptacle. The coins thus
condemned are afterwards dropped into another machine, which defaces
them by a cut half-way across their diameter, at the rate of two
hundred a minute. The weighing machines, of which there are sixteen,
are actuated by a small atmospheric engine in one corner of the room,
the only manual assistance required being to keep them supplied with
coins. It is said that sixty thousand sovereigns and half-sovereigns
can be weighed here in a single day. The weighing-machine in question
is the invention of Mr. Cotton, a former governor of the Bank,
and among scientific men is regarded as one of the most striking
achievements of practical mechanics.

In the Bullion department we find another weighing-machine of a
different character, but in its way equally remarkable. It is the
first of its kind, having been designed specially for the Bank by Mr.
James Murdoch Napier, by whom it has been patented. It is used for the
purpose of weighing bullion, which is purchased in this department.
Gold is brought in in bars of about eight inches long, three wide, and
one inch thick. A bar of gold of these dimensions will weigh about two
hundred ounces, and is worth, if pure, about eight hundred pounds.
Each bar when brought in is accompanied by a memorandum of its weight.
The question of quality is determined by the process of assaying; the
weight is checked by means of the weighing-machine we have referred to.
This takes the form of an extremely massive pair of scales, working
on a beam of immense strength and solidity, and is based, so as to
be absolutely rigid, on a solid bed of concrete. The whole stands
about six feet high by three wide, and is inclosed in an air-tight
plate-glass case, a sash in which is raised when it is desired to use
the machine. The two sides of the scale are each kept permanently
loaded, the one with a single weight of three hundred and sixty ounces,
the other with a number of weights of various sizes to the same amount.
When it is desired to test the weight of a bar of gold, weights to the
amount stated in the corresponding memorandum, _less half an ounce_,
are removed from the latter scale, and the bar of gold substituted in
their place. Up to this point the beam of the scale is kept perfectly
horizontal, being maintained in that position by a mechanical break;
but now a stud is pressed, and by means of delicate machinery, actuated
by water-power, the beam is released. If the weight of the bar has been
correctly stated in the memorandum, the scale which holds it should be
exactly half an ounce in excess. This or any less excess of weight over
the three hundred and sixty ounces in the opposite scale is instantly
registered by the machine, a pointer travelling round a dial until it
indicates the proper amount. The function of the machine, however, is
limited to weighing half an ounce only. If the discrepancy between the
two scales as loaded is greater than this, or if on the other hand the
bar of gold is more than half an ounce less than the amount stated in
the memorandum, an electric bell rings by way of warning, the pointer
travels right round the dial, and returns to zero. So delicate is the
adjustment, that the weight of half a penny postage stamp—somewhat
less than half a grain—will set the hand in motion and be recorded on
the dial.

The stock of gold in the bullion vault varies from one to three million
pounds stirling. The bars are laid side by side on small flat trucks or
barrows carrying one hundred bars each. In a glass case in this vault
is seen a portion of the war indemnity paid by King Coffee of Ashantee,
consisting of gold ornaments, a little short of standard fineness.

One of the first reflections that strike an outsider permitted to
inspect the repository of so much treasure is, “Can all this wealth
be safe?” These heaps of precious metal, these piles of still more
precious notes, are handled by the officials in such an easy-going,
matter-of-course way, that one would almost fancy a few thousand would
scarcely be missed; and that a dishonest person had only to walk in
and help himself to as many sovereigns or hundred pound notes as his
pockets could accommodate. Such, however, is very far from being the
case. The safeguards against robbery, either by force or fraud, are
many and elaborate. At night the Bank is guarded at all accessible
points by an ample military force, which would no doubt give a good
account of any intruder rash enough to attempt to gain an entrance.
In the event of attack from without, there are sliding galleries which
can be thrust out from the roof, and which would enable a body of
sharpshooters to rake the streets in all directions.

Few people are aware that the Bank of England contains within its walls
a graveyard, but such is nevertheless the fact. The Gordon riots in
1780, during which the Bank was attacked by a mob, called attention to
the necessity for strengthening its defences. Competent authorities
advised that an adjoining church, rejoicing in the appropriate name of
St. Christopher-le-Stocks, was in a military sense a source of danger,
and accordingly an Act of Parliament was passed to enable the directors
to purchase the church and its appurtenances. The old churchyard,
tastefully laid out, now forms what is known as the Bank “garden,” the
handsome “Court Room” or “Bank Parlor” abutting on one of its sides.
There is a magnificent lime-tree, one of the largest in London, in
the centre of the garden, and tradition states that under this tree
a former clerk of the Bank, _eight feet high_, lies buried. With
this last, though not least of the curiosities of the Bank, we must
bring the present article to a close. We had intended briefly to
have referred to sundry eventful pages of its history; but these we
are compelled, by considerations of space, to reserve for a future
paper.—_Chambers’s Journal._



THE RYE HOUSE PLOT.


BY ALEXANDER CHARLES EWALD.

Towards the close of the autumn of 1682, the discontent which the
domestic and foreign policy of the “Merry Monarch” had excited among
his subjects at last began to assume a tangible and aggressive form.
The aim of our second Charles was nothing less than to overthrow the
English constitution, to render himself free of parliamentary control,
to bias English justice, to make his lieges slaves, and to attain his
disloyal ends, if need be, by the aid of France, whose pensioner he
was. Nor had he been at this time unsuccessful in his object. In spite
of the hostility of the country party—as the opponents of the court
were styled—the Duke of York was not debarred from succession to the
throne; for, thanks to the eloquence of the brilliant Halifax, the
Exclusion Bill had been rejected. The law had also been turned into
a most potent engine of oppression by causing it to interpret, not
justice, but the wishes of the King; only such judges were appointed
as would prove obedient to the royal will, and only such juries were
summoned as might be trusted to carry out the royal behests. The
Anglican clergy rallied round the throne, and everywhere taught the
doctrine of passive obedience and the heinousness of resistance to
the divine right of kings. A secret treaty with Louis of France had
rendered Charles, by its pecuniary clauses, entirely independent of
his subjects. The disaffection of London had been crushed by its Lord
Mayor being converted to the policy of the court, and by the nomination
of the sheriffs, not at Guildhall, but at Whitehall—an interference
which made every corporation in the kingdom tremble for its stability.
For the last ten years the leaders of the country party had waged
war to the knife against this organised despotism on the part of the
monarch, yet all opposition had proved unavailing. The unscrupulous and
vindictive Shaftesbury,—

    In friendship false, implacable in hate,
    Resolved to ruin or to rule the State,

had led the attack, and endeavored in vain to stir up the nation
against its sovereign; then, mortified at the failure of his efforts,
had withdrawn to the Continent, and there perished a victim to
disappointed revenge and dissatisfied ambition. The amiable Lord
William Russell had, in his place in Parliament, openly opposed the
court, and warned the country of the dangers that would ensue should
the arbitrary government of Charles be longer tolerated. Algernon
Sydney, Essex, and Hampden had followed suit; but their teaching
and invective had been delivered to no purpose; the power and the
bribes of the throne, acting upon the natural servility of man, had
been too puissant and convincing not to be effectual in crushing all
resistance. Victory, therefore, at present rested with the King, not
with his opponents.

And now it was that this disaffection, which had so long been futile
in its efforts at revolt, began to trouble the minds of men of a far
different character from the recognised chiefs of the country party. At
that time there were certain desperadoes haunting the taverns of the
east of London, who, after much secret council and drinking together,
had come to the conclusion that the simplest solution of the national
difficulty was to murder the King and his brother, the Duke of York,
and then—but not till then—the throne being vacant, to consider
what form of constitution should be adopted. The leader of the band
was one whose name will live as long as the great satire of Dryden is
remembered. Anglican priest, Dissenting divine, political agitator,
spy informer, as mischievous as he was treacherous, Robert Ferguson
belonged to that class which every conspiracy seems to enroll; foremost
in advice, last in action, brave when there is no danger, but the first
to fly and purchase safety by a base and compromising confession. On
this occasion he was the treasurer of the conspirators,—

    Judas that keeps the rebels’ pension-purse;
    Judas that pays the treason-writer’s fee;
    Judas that well deserves his namesake’s tree.

The rest of the crew call for no special mention. Among the more
prominent we find Josiah Keeling, a citizen and salter of London,
who was deep in the counsels of the plotters, and who repaid their
confidence by informing the Government, at the first sign of peril, of
what had been discussed and planned; Colonel Walcot, an old officer
of Cromwell; Colonel Romsey, a soldier of fortune who had fought with
distinction in Portugal; Sir Thomas Armstrong, “a debauched atheistical
bravo;” Robert West, a barrister in good practice; Thomas Shepherd, a
wine merchant; Richard Rumbald, an old officer in Cromwell’s army, but
at this time a maltster; Richard Goodenough, who had been under-sheriff
of London; John Ayloffe, a lawyer, the very man who, on one occasion,
to show how complete was the vassalage of England to France, had placed
a wooden shoe in the chair of the Speaker of the House of Commons; and
Ford, Lord Grey of Wark, who had brought himself conspicuously before
the public by debauching his wife’s sister. Added to this list were
barristers, soldiers of fortune, bankrupt traders, and the men who,
having nothing to lose and everything to gain, look upon agitation and
conspiracy as a form of industry likely to lead to solid advantages.
Such was the reckless band which met to “amend the constitution,”
and “restore our Protestantism,” during the quiet hours of many an
autumn evening, in the parlors of the Sun Tavern “behind the Royal
Exchange,” the Horseshoe Tavern “on Tower Hill,” the Mitre Tavern
“within Aldgate,” the Salutation “in Lombard Street,” the Dolphin
“behind Bartholomew Lane,” and in other well-known hostels. The only
two toasts permitted at the gatherings were “To the man who first draws
his sword in defence of the Protestant religion against Popery and
slavery,” and “To the confusion of the two brothers at Whitehall.” In
order to prevent their conversation being overheard by any inquisitive
stranger, the conspirators adopted a peculiar language which they
alone could understand. A blunderbuss was a “swan’s quill,” a musket
“a goose-quill,” pistols “crow-quills,” powder and bullets, “ink and
sand;” Charles was either “the churchwarden at Whitehall,” or “a
blackbird;” whilst James, Duke of York, was “a goldfinch.” The object
of these meetings was at last decided upon; it was resolved that the
King and his brother should be assassinated, or, in the slang employed
by the plotters, “a deed of bargain and sale should be executed to bar
both him in possession and him in remainder.”[61]

This resolution carried, the next question which came up for settlement
was how the design should be accomplished. Much discussion ensued, but
after frequent deliberations a scheme of action was drawn up. It was
known that the King, on his return from racing at Newmarket, would
have to pass the farm of Richard Rumbald, called the Rye House. This
farm was situated in a prettily timbered part of Hertfordshire, about
eighteen miles from London, and derived its name from the Rye, a large
meadow adjoining the holding. Close to this paddock ran the by-road
from Bishop’s Stortford to Hoddesdon, which was constantly used by
Charles and his brother when they drove to or from Newmarket. Thus the
royal couple, on such occasions, would fall within easy pistol-shot of
any assailant secreted within the farm. The Rye House, from the nature
of its situation, also seemed to favor conspiracy. It was an old strong
building, standing alone, and encompassed with a moat; towards the
garden it was surrounded by high walls “so that twenty men might easily
defend it for some time against five hundred.” From a lofty tower in
the house an extensive view was commanded; “hence all who go or come
may be seen both ways for more than a mile’s distance.” In approaching
the farm, when driving from Newmarket to London, it was necessary to
cross a narrow causeway, at the end of which was a toll-gate; “which
having entered, you go through a yard and a little field, and at the
end of that, through another gate, you pass into a narrow lane, where
two coaches could not go abreast.” On the left hand of this lane was
a thick hedge, whilst on the right stood a low, long building used
for corn chambers and stables, with several doors and windows looking
into the road. “When you are past the long building you go by the moat
and the garden wall: that is very strong, and has divers holes in it,
through which a great many men might shoot.” Along by the moat and
wall the road continued to the river Ware, which had to be crossed by
a bridge; a little lower down another bridge, spanning the New River,
had to be traversed; “in both which passes a few men may oppose great
numbers.” Behind the long building was an outer courtyard, into which a
considerable body of horse and foot could be drawn up unperceived from
the road, “whence they might easily issue out at the same time into
each end of the narrow lane.”[62]

The Rye House, affording such excellent opportunities, was accordingly
fixed upon as the rendezvous for “those who were to be actors in the
fact.” Arms and ammunition, covered with oysters, were to be taken
up the river Ware by watermen in the secret of the conspiracy, and
landed at the farm; men were to ride down from London at night in small
detachments, so as to escape observation, and then hide themselves in
the outbuildings around the holding; the servants of the farm, on the
day appointed for the “taking off” of the King and his brother, were to
be sent out of the way and despatched to market; whilst the anything
but hen-pecked maltster promised, when the critical moment came, “to
lock Mrs. Rumbald upstairs.”[63] So far all was satisfactorily arranged
as to the assembling of the conspirators. The next question that had
to be determined was as to the execution of the infamous design. This
was soon arranged. The plotters had ascertained the exact hour the
King and the Duke of York were to quit Newmarket; a brief calculation
was sufficient for them therefore to arrive at the hour when the royal
coach would be driven past the road running under the windows of the
Rye House; still, to make matters more sure, a couple of watchers
were to be stationed in the tower of the farm, and give the signal
when the quarry was in view. Upon the approach of the coach with its
attendant equerries, the men especially selected for the immediate work
of assassination were to steal out of their cover and hide themselves
behind the wall which ran along the road; the wall was to be provided
with convenient loopholes, and the conspirators were to stand with
their muskets ready. “When his Majesty’s coach should come over
against the wall, three or four of those behind it were to shoot at the
postilion and the horses; if the horses should not drop then, there
were to be two men with an empty cart in the lane near the place, who
in the habit of laborers should run the cart athwart the lane and so
stop the horses. Besides those that were to shoot the postilion and
the horses, there were several appointed to shoot into the coach where
his Majesty was to be, and others to shoot at the guards that should
be attending the coach.” The fell work accomplished, the farm with
its outbuildings was to be at once vacated, the conspirators were to
jump into their saddles, and make their way to London by the Hackney
Marshes as fast as their horses could lay to the ground. If this plan
was adopted, it was hoped “they might get to London as soon as the news
could.”[64]

Still the murder of Charles and his brother was only the beginning
of the end. The death of the King was to be the signal for a general
rising. The city and suburbs were to be divided into twenty districts,
with a captain and eight lieutenants at the head of each district;
the men to be armed and ready at an hour’s notice for any raid that
might be commanded. The sum of twenty thousand pounds, which had been
subscribed by the disaffected, was to be distributed among the captains
to expend as they thought best. The night before the return of the King
from Newmarket, a body composed of two thousand men, drawn from these
several districts, were to be secreted in empty houses, “as near the
several gates of the city and other convenient posts as could be; the
men were to be got into those houses and acquainted with the plot to
take off the King at Rye House; such as refused should be clapt into
the cellars, and the rest sally out at the most convenient hour, and
seize and shut up the gates.[65]

The moment the revolt had broken out the different captains were to
muster their men and march them to the several places of rendezvous
fixed upon; some were to be stationed in St. James’s Square, others
in Covent Garden, others again in Southwark, Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
and the Royal Exchange, whilst those named at Moorfields were to
take possession of the arms in the Artillery Ground. A large body
of cavalry was, at the same time, to be on the alert and scour the
streets, so as to prevent the King’s party from embodying or the Horse
Guards from doing their duty. The bridges over the Thames were to be
secured, and fagots taken into the narrow streets around Eastcheap for
purposes of conflagration, if necessary.[66] All these measures appeared
comparatively easy of execution to the conspirators; one detail in
the enterprise, however, seems greatly to have perplexed them. As
long as the Tower was in the hands of the King’s guards, any rise in
the city might prove a failure. To obtain possession of the Tower was
therefore one of the most prominent features in the discussions held at
the various hostels which the conspirators frequented. Some suggested
that fagots should be heaped about the gates of the building at dead
of night, and then set on fire; others that it should be bombarded
from the Thames; whilst a third proposed that men should be lodged
in Thames Street, and secretly fall upon the guard. “Several ways,”
witnesses Robert West,[67] “were proposed to surprise and take the Tower
of London. One was to send ten or twelve men armed with pistols, pocket
daggers and pocket blunderbusses into the Tower under the pretence of
seeing the armory; another number should go to see the lions, who, by
reason of their not going into the inner gate, were not to have their
swords taken from them, that the persons who went to see the armory
should return into the tavern just within the gate, and there eat and
drink till the time for the attempt was come, that some persons should
come in a mourning coach, or some gentleman’s coach to be borrowed for
this occasion under pretence of making a visit to some of the lords in
the Tower; and just within the gate some of the persons issuing out of
the tavern should kill one of the horses and overturn the coach, so
as the gate could not be shut; and the rest of the persons within and
those who went to see the lions should set upon the guards, that upon a
signal of the coach driving down a party of men (lodged in empty houses
near the Tower) should be ready to rush out, and upon the noise of the
first shot immediately run down to the gate and break in; this way, if
at all put in execution, was to be in the daytime about two o’clock,
because after dinner the officers are usually dispersed or engaged in
drinking, and the soldiers loitering from their arms.”

Another suggestion was “that several men should enter actions against
one another in St. Catherine’s Court, held for the Tower liberty within
the Tower, and that at the court day, at which time great liberty
is allowed to all persons to come in, a party of men should go as
plaintiffs and defendants, and witnesses who should come in under
pretence of curiosity, and being seconded by certain stout fellows
working as laborers in the Tower, should attempt the surprise.”[68]
It would, however, appear that all these proposals, after full
consideration, were deemed impracticable, for we learn that no definite
decision was arrived at, but the capture of the Tower was left to the
chapter of accidents. The first step, said the plotters, was to begin
the revolt; then events, at present unforeseen, would spring up and
favor the development of the insurrection. “Only let the football be
dropped,” said one, “and there would be plenty to give it a kick.”[69]

The King and his brother shot down, and the city in the hands of the
conspirators, punishment was then swiftly to overtake those who had
favored the past policy of Charles. The late Lord Mayor of London,
who had specially shown himself the creature of the court in willing
to yield the charter of the corporation, was to be killed. A similar
fate was to befall the existing Lord Mayor, also guilty of the same
subservience; with this addition, that after death “his skin should
be flayed off and stuffed and hung up in Guildhall, as one who had
betrayed the rights and privileges of the city.” The office of chief
magistrate of the city thus vacant, it was to be filled by one Alderman
Cornish; should he refuse to accept the dignity, he was to be “knocked
on the head.” Certain members of the corporation, who “had behaved
themselves like trimmers, and neglected to repeal several by-laws,”
were to be forced to appear publicly and admit the fact: in the event
of their declining to be thus humiliated, they also were to be “knocked
on the head.” The civic authorities chastened by this process of
correction applied to the cranium, the bench was next to fall under
the ire of the plotters. All such judges as had been guilty of passing
arbitrary judgments, and of identifying the law with the royal will,
were to be brought to trial, “and their skins stuffed and hung up in
Westminster Hall.” Then came the turn of the ecclesiastics; in the
vicious hour of mob rule the Church is always one of the first and
greatest sufferers. On this occasion “bishops, deans, and chapters were
to be wholly laid aside,” their lands confiscated, and such sums as it
was the custom to apply to educational purposes were to be appropriated
“to public uses in ease of the people from taxes.” Men who had made
themselves unpopular during the late Parliament as greedy pensioners
of the Crown were to be “brought to trial and death, and their skins
stuffed and then hung up in the Parliament House as betrayers of the
people and of the trust.” It was also thought “convenient” that certain
Ministers of State, such as my Lord Halifax, and my Lord Hyde, should
be “taken off.” To complete the programme, should funds be lacking, a
raid was to be made upon the city magnates, for, said these advocates
of communism, “there was money and plate enough among the bankers and
goldsmiths.” This scheme of revenge and spoliation was to be rigidly
carried out; and those to whom it was entrusted were to fulfil it as
they would “obey the commandments.”[70]

The insurrection once an accomplished fact, and the prerogative of the
Crown, with all its attendant evils, overthrown, the reforms which had
inspired the movement were immediately to be put in force. The House
of Commons was no longer to be the creature of the throne, but of the
nation. The people were to meet annually at a certain time to choose
members of Parliament “without any writ or particular direction to do
so.” The Parliament thus chosen was to assemble for a stated time;
nor was it to be dissolved, prorogued, or adjourned except by its own
consent. Parliament was to consist of an upper and lower House; but
“only such nobility should be hereditary as were assisting in this
design; the rest should only be for life, and upon their death the
House of Lords should be supplied from time to time with new ones
out of the House of Commons.” To Parliament should be entrusted “the
nomination, if not the election, of all judges, sheriffs, justices of
the peace, and other greater or lesser offices, civil or military.”
Acts passed by both Houses of Parliament should be a perpetual law,
without any necessity for the sanction of the Crown. A council
selected from the Lords and Commons were to act as the advisers of the
sovereign. The militia were to be in the hands of the people. Every
county was to choose its own sheriffs. Parliament was to be held once
a year, and to sit as long as it had anything to do. All peers who had
acted contrary to the interest of the people were to be degraded. In
matters of religion complete toleration was to be accorded to everyone.
England was to be a free port, and all foreigners who willed it should
be naturalized. Finally, the only imports to be levied were the excise
and land taxes.[71]

The example set by London in rising against the despotism of the Crown
was to be followed by the rest of the country. The Earl of Argyll
agreed first for thirty thousand, then for ten thousand pounds, “to
stir the Scots,” who were hotly in favor of revolt, “though they had
nothing but their claws to fight with rather than endure what they
did.” In the west of England, Bristol, Taunton, and Exeter were full
of agents of the disaffected; whilst in the north, Chester, York, and
Newcastle were ready at a moment’s notice to act in union with London.
In the south, Portsmouth was the only town as yet which had voted
in favor of the plot. The east of England was quiet. It was agreed
that upon the death of Charles his illegitimate son, the Duke of
Monmouth, should be crowned king, but owing to the jealousy of the
council appointed to curb the prerogative, and to the measures of the
reformers, it was said that the royal bastard would be more a “Duke of
Venice” than an English monarch.[72]

Whilst these schemes were being fashioned within the parlors of the
“Dolphin,” the “Rising Sun,” and the rest of the City taverns, a
very different order of men were at the same time deliberating how
to pull the nation out of the slough of despotism into which it had
been plunged. Upon the death of Shaftesbury, who had been during
the last years of his life the most prominent of the foes of the
court, especially of the Duke of York, and the most potent among the
disaffected in the city of London, the leaders of the Whig party,
aware of the danger which menaced them from “froward sheriffs, willing
juries, mercenary judges, and bold witnesses,” determined not to let
the cause which Shaftesbury had advocated fall to the ground. They
held frequent meetings at different places of rendezvous, and formed
themselves into a select committee, which was known by the name of
the “Council of Six.” The members of this council were the Duke of
Monmouth, who was intriguing for the crown, Lord Essex, Algernon
Sydney, Lord William Russell, Lord Howard, and young Hampden, the
grandson of the opponent of ship-money. What the deliberations of this
council were it is now difficult to ascertain, owing to the prejudiced
sources from which information had to be derived; the official accounts
of the plot, drawn up at the request of the King by Ford, Lord Grey,
and by Sprat, the servile Bishop of Rochester, are not to be implicitly
believed in; nor is the evidence of the witnesses produced by the Crown
at the trials of Sydney and Russell a whit more trustworthy. There can
be no doubt, however, that consultations were frequently held among
the Six as to the best course to pursue for resisting a Government
which aimed at nothing less than arbitrary power. If we are to credit
the men who sold their testimony to the Crown, and the men who
purchased life by turning King’s evidence, the aim of the Council was
to organise an insurrection all over the country, and with the help
of the discontented Presbyterians in Scotland to put an end to the
tyranny of Charles and his Popish brother. What was the exact extent
of their designs we know not, but in all probability the statement by
Lady William Russell is not far from the truth. “There was,” said her
ladyship, “much talk about a general rising, but it only amounted to
loose discourse, or at most embryos that never came to anything.”

Nor have we, though the testimony is partial, much reason to doubt the
assertion. Considering the condition of England at that time, and the
conflicting views of the Six who constituted the council, it would have
been difficult for any decided and unanimous scheme of action to have
been prepared. Though the conduct of Charles had caused much discontent
and distress, yet the nation at large felt itself powerless to oppose
the evil. The Whigs were in a minority, whilst the Royalists were a
most formidable party, in whose hands were all the military and naval
resources of the kingdom. To levy war upon the Merry Monarch, as had
forty years before been levied upon his father, was a scheme which bore
failure on its very face, and could not have been seriously entertained
by keen and cautious men like Russell or Sydney. The Six in all
probability contented themselves with merely forming estimates of the
strength of their followers, and with knitting together a confederacy
which absolute necessity might call into action. We must also remember
that the members of the Council were not in such harmony with each
other as to render it probable that they had fixed upon any distinct
plan of rebellion. Monmouth was in favor of a monarchy with himself
as monarch. Algernon Sydney had no other object before him but the
realisation of his cherished idea of a republic, and frankly declared
that it was indifferent to him whether James Duke of York or James Duke
of Monmouth was on the throne. Essex was very much the same way of
thinking as Sydney. Russell and Hampden wished for the exclusion of
the Duke of York, as a Papist, from the throne, the redress of certain
grievances, and the return of the Constitution within its ancient
lines; whilst Howard, the falsest and most mercenary of men, was
ready to vote for any change of government which could be harmlessly
effected, and by which his own interests would not be forgotten. Many
years after the execution of her husband, Lady William Russell said,
with reference to these men and the measures they proposed, that she
was convinced it was but talk, “and ’tis possible that talk going so
far as to consider if a remedy to suppress evils might be sought, how
it could be found.”

To return to the Rye House plotters. We are told by those given to
speculation and organisation that in all calculations a large allowance
should be made for that which upsets most plans—the unforeseen. On
this occasion the conspirators were so sanguine of their scheme as
never to imagine it might be put to nought by pure accident. The farm
had been engaged, the men instructed, the necessary hiding-places
prepared, and all things were ready for the murderous deed. Suddenly
the unforeseen occurred, and all the careful measures of the would-be
regicides were rendered abortive. Owing to his house having caught
fire, Charles was obliged to leave Newmarket eight days earlier than
he had intended, and thus, thanks to this happy conflagration, passed
unscathed by the Rye House, then completely deserted; his Majesty was
comfortably ensconced at Whitehall, toying with his mistresses and
sorting their bonbons, whilst his enemies, unconscious of his escape,
were congratulating themselves that in another week their work would be
done, and their victim fall an easy prey to their designs.

And now the result ensued which invariably attends upon treason which
has failed and which fears detection. It was an age when plots were
freely concocted against the Crown and those in supreme authority, yet,
often as conspiracies were entered into, there were always witnesses
ready to come forward and swear away the lives of their former
accomplices, to divulge what they had pledged themselves to keep
secret, and if need be to follow in every detail the example of the
biggest scoundrel of the seventeenth century, Doctor Titus Oates of
Salamanca. Among the minor persons engaged in the Rye House plot
was, as we have said, Josiah Keeling; he was now fearful of the fate
which might befall him should the authorities at Whitehall get wind
of the past deliberations, and accordingly with that prudence which
characterised him he was determined to be first in the field to make
a clean breast of all that had been planned and suggested. First he
went to Lord Dartmouth, of the Privy Council, and told his tale, and
then was referred by that statesman to his colleague, Mr. Secretary
Jenkins. Jenkins took down the deposition of the man, but said that
unless the evidence was supported by another witness, no investigation
of the matter could be proceeded with. Keeling was, however, equal to
the occasion, and induced his brother John, a turner in Blackfriars,
to corroborate his statements. The plot now authenticated by the two
requisite witnesses, the Secretary of State thought it his duty to
communicate the affair to the rest of the advisers of the Crown. It
appears, however, that a few days after his confession the conscience
of the younger brother, John Keeling, pricked him, and he secretly
availed himself of the first opportunity to inform Richard Goodenough
that the plot had been discovered by the Government, and advised all
who had been engaged in it to fly beyond sea.

This news coming to the ears of Colonel Romsey and Robert West, who
were bosom friends, the two, unconscious of the revelations of the
Keelings, thought it now prudent to save their own skins by informing
ministers of all that had occurred, and, indeed, to make their story
the more palatable to the Government, of a little more than had
occurred. Accordingly they wended their way to Whitehall, and there
told how the house at Rye had been offered them by Rumbald, the
maltster; how at this house forty men well armed and mounted, commanded
in two divisions by Romsey and Walcot, were to assemble; and how on the
return of the King from Newmarket, Romsey with his division was to stop
the coach, and murder Charles and his brother, whilst Walcot was to
busy himself in engaging with the guards. So far the narrative of the
informers tallied with the confessions of the Keelings. But Romsey
and West, aware how hateful Lord William Russell, Algernon Sydney,
and the rest of the cabal were to the Government, by their open
opposition to the home and foreign policy of the court, essayed to
give the impression that the Council of Six were also implicated in
the detestable designs of the Rye House plotters.[73] When unscrupulous
men in supreme power are anxious to gratify their animosity, any
evidence calculated to bring foes within reach is acceptable. The hints
of Romsey and West were sufficient for the purpose, and orders were
instantly issued by the Secretaries of State for the arrest of the
Six. The first victim was Lord William, who was at once taken before
the council for examination; but as he denied all the charges brought
against him, he was forthwith sent to the Tower. Algernon Sydney next
followed. He had been seized whilst at his lodgings, and all his papers
sealed and secured by a messenger. Once before the council, he answered
a few questions, “respectfully and without deceit,” but his examination
was brief, for on his refusal to reply to certain queries put to him,
he also was despatched to the Tower. Monmouth, having received timely
warning, had placed the North Sea between him and the court. Ford, Lord
Grey, had been brought before the council, had been examined and sent
to the Tower, but managing to bribe his guards, had escaped. Lord Essex
and Hampden were imprisoned: shortly after his confinement, Essex, who
was subject to constitutional melancholy, committed suicide by cutting
his throat. Lord Howard was still at large, protesting that there was
no plot, and that he had never heard of any. Orders were, however,
issued for his arrest, and when the officers came to his house, they
found him secreted up the chimney in one of his rooms. As Keeling had
informed against the Rye House plotters, so Lord Howard now informed
against the Six. Weeping at the fact that he was a prisoner, he
promised to reveal all; his revelations were considered so satisfactory
that within a few days after their being taken down by the council,
both Lord William Russell and Algernon Sydney were put upon their trial
for high treason.

Russell was the first to stand at the bar. It appears that one evening
he had been present at the house of Thomas Shepherd in Abchurch Lane,
where the Rye House conspirators were occasionally in the habit of
meeting and discussing their plans. He had gone thither to taste
some wine. “It was the greatest accident in the world I was there,”
said Russell at his trial, “and when I saw that company was there I
would have been gone again. I came there to speak with Mr. Shepherd,
for I was just come to town.” His excuse was raised in vain. Romsey,
Shepherd, and Howard were playing into the hands of the Crown, and
each did his best by hard swearing and false testimony to make the
prisoner’s conviction certain. The gallant colonel asserted that he had
seen his lordship at the house of Shepherd, where discourse was being
held by the cabal of conspirators as to surprising the King’s guards
and creating an insurrection throughout the country. Thomas Shepherd
next followed, and gave very much the same evidence as Romsey—that
his house in Abchurch Lane was let as a place of rendezvous for the
disaffected; that the substance of the discourse of those who met
there was how to surprise the guards and organise a rising; that two
meetings were held at his house, and that he believed the prisoner
attended both, but that he was certainly at the meeting when they
talked of seizing the guards. Then Lord Howard was called as a witness.
He said that he was one of the Six, and had attended the meetings at
the house of Shepherd; at such meetings it had been agreed to begin
the insurrection in the country before raising the city, and there had
also been some talk of dealing with the discontented Scotch; at these
deliberations no question was put or vote collected, and he of course
concluded by the presence of Lord William that the prisoner gave his
consent like the rest to the designs of the cabal.

In his defence Russell denied that he ever had any intention against
the life of the King; he was ignorant of the proceedings of the Rye
House plotters, and his mixing with the conspirators on the sole
occasion he had visited Shepherd at Abchurch Lane was purely due to
accident. He had gone thither about some wine. He did not admit that
he had listened to any talk as to the possibility of creating an
insurrection; but even had he made such an admission, talk of that
nature could not be construed into treason, for by a special statute
(the old statute of treasons) passed in the reign of Edward III.,
“a design to levy war is not treason;” besides, such talk had not
been acted upon; they had met to consult, but they acted nothing in
pursuance of that consulting. The attorney-general held a different
view, and asserted it had often been determined that to prepare forces
to fight against the King was a design within the statute of Edward
III. to kill the King. The presiding judge, as a creature of the court,
was, of course, of the same opinion; he summed up the evidence, deeming
it unfavorable to the prisoner; and the jury, basing their verdict upon
the tone of the bench, brought in a sentence of guilty of high treason.
In spite of every effort that affection could inspire and interest
advocate, Lord William Russell ended his days on the scaffold. “That
which is most certain in the affair is,” writes Charles James Fox in
his history of James II., “that Russell had committed no overt act
indicating the imagining the King’s death even according to the most
strained construction of the statute of Edward III.; much less was
any such act legally proved against him; and the conspiring to levy
war was not treason, except by a recent statute of Charles II., the
prosecutions upon which were expressly limited to a certain time which
in these cases had elapsed; so that it is impossible not to assent to
the opinion of those who have ever stigmatised the condemnation and
execution of Russell as a most flagrant violation of law and justice.”

The same measure was now meted out to Algernon Sydney as had been
dealt to Russell. In the eyes of the bench, conspiring to levy war and
conspiring against the King’s life were considered one and the same
thing. It was in vain that Sydney asserted that he had not conspired
to the death of the King, that he had not levied war, and that he had
not written anything to stir up the people against the King. It was
in vain that even the Rye House plotters had to confess they knew
nothing of him, and had never seen him at the different meetings.
Canting Nadab, however—as Dryden, in his immortal satire, calls Lord
Howard—was there, ready to swear away a colleague’s life or do any
other dirty trick provided his own skin and estate were not forfeited
for past misdeeds; his evidence was the chief trump card on which the
court relied to score the game. Accordingly his lordship began his
testimony by relating what had passed at the meetings of the Six, as
to the best means for defending the public interest from invasion,
and the advisability of the rising breaking out first in the country
instead of in the city. He also stated that it was the special province
of Algernon Sydney to deal with the malcontent Scots, and had carried
out this task through the agency of one Aaron Smith, who had gone north
and been provided with funds for the purpose. This assertion, though
Howard candidly said he only spoke from hearsay, was deemed sufficient
by the advisers of the Crown to place Sydney’s head in jeopardy. As
the law, however, demanded that in all trials for high treason there
should be _two_ witnesses against the prisoner before sentence could
be passed, and as no other witness had the baseness to act the part so
well played by Lord Howard, it was necessary for the court to resort
to some expedient which would sufficiently answer its purpose of
convicting Sydney. The Court was equal to the emergency. Search was
made among Sydney’s papers, and it was discovered that he had written
a treatise—his famous discourse on Government—which particularly
discussed the paramount authority of the people and the legality of
resisting an oppressive Government. A few isolated passages of the work
were read here and there, the extracts given were garbled, and, thanks
to the coloring of the prosecution, the case against the prisoner
looked black indeed. Entering upon his defence, Sydney, like Russell,
denied that he had ever conspired to the death of Charles; nor was he a
friend of Monmouth, with whom he had spoken but three times in his
life: he objected to the evidence of Howard, which was based upon
hearsay, but if such testimony were true, he was but one witness,
and the law required two. As for regarding a mangled portion of his
treatise as a second witness, it was iniquitous. “Should a man,” he
cried, “be indicted for treason for scraps of papers, innocent in
themselves, but when pieced and patched with Lord Howard’s story,
made a contrivance to kill the King? Let them not pick out extracts,
but read the work as a whole. If they took Scripture to pieces, they
could make all the penmen of the Scripture blasphemous. They might
accuse David of saying there is no God; the evangelists of saying that
Christ was a blasphemer and seducer, and of the apostles that they
were drunk.” Then he ended by denying that he had any connection with
the malcontents in Scotland. “I have not sent myself,” he said, “nor
written a letter into Scotland ever since 1659; nor do I know one man
in Scotland to whom I can write, or from whom I ever received one.”
He refuted the charges brought against him in vain. The notorious
Jeffries was now the presiding judge, and never was summing up from the
bench more culpably partial or more flagrantly at variance with the
clauses of the judicial oath. “I look upon the meetings of the Six,”
said Jeffries to the jury, “and the meetings of the Rye House plotters
as having one and the same end in view; I place implicit faith in the
evidence of Howard; I deny that it is necessary that there shall be
two witnesses to convict a prisoner of high treason; and as for the
treatise of Sydney, I declare it is sufficient to condemn the author as
being guilty of compassing and imagining the death of the King.” Upon
the jury retiring to consider their verdict, Jeffries sternly informed
them that he had explained the law, and that they were bound to accept
his interpretation of it. Thus left without any option in the matter,
the jury returned at the end of half an hour into court, and brought
in a verdict of guilty. After a brief confinement. Algernon Sydney was
beheaded on Tower Hill, Dec. 7, 1683.

Thus ended one of the most iniquitous and unjust trials that the annals
of justice ever had to record. “The proceedings in the case of Algernon
Sydney,” writes Fox, “were most detestable. The production of papers
containing speculative opinions upon government and liberty, written
long before, and perhaps never intended to be published, together
with the use made of those papers in considering them as a substitute
for the second witness to the overt act, exhibited such a compound of
wickedness and nonsense as is hardly to be paralleled in the history
of judicial tyranny. But the validity of pretences was little attended
to at that time in the case of a person whom the court had devoted
to destruction; and upon evidence such as has been stated was this
great and excellent man condemned to die.” Upon the accession of “the
Deliverer” to the throne, an Act was passed annulling and making void
the attainder of Algernon Sydney on account of its having been obtained
“without sufficient legal evidence of any treason committed by him,”
and “by a partial and unjust construction of the statute declaring
what was his treason.” The fate of the Rye House conspirators was very
various. Some fled never to return, and were outlawed like Ferguson
and Goodenough; others confessed, and were pardoned like Romsey;
whilst a third offered in vain to purchase life by turning informers,
as was the case with Walcot and Armstrong. Two years later those who
had been outlawed, and were living in exile, again tried their hand at
insurrection by aiding Monmouth in his revolt.—_Gentleman’s Magazine._



MR. ARNOLD’S LAY SERMON.


Mr. Arnold’s lay sermon to “the sacrificed classes” at Whitechapel
contrasts doubly with the pulpit sermons which we too often hear. It
is real where these sermons are unreal, and frankly unreal where these
sermons are real. It does honestly warn the people to whom it was
addressed, of the special danger to which “the sacrificed classes” are
exposed, whenever they in their turn get the upper-hand, the danger of
simply turning the tables on the great possessing and aspiring classes.
“If the sacrificed classes,” he said, “under the influence of hatred,
cupidity, desire of change, destroy, in order to possess and enjoy in
their turn, their work, too, will be idolatrous, and the old work will
continue to stand for the present, or at any rate their new work will
not take its place.” It must be work done in a new spirit, not in the
spirit of hatred or cupidity, or eagerness to enjoy and appropriate
the privileges of others, which can alone stand the test of time and
judgment. So far, Mr. Arnold was much more real than too many of our
clerical preachers. He warned his hearers against a temptation which
he knew would be stirring constantly in their hearts, and not against
abstract temptations which he had no reason to think would have any
special significance to any of his audience.

On the other hand, if he were more real in what was addressed to his
particular audience than pulpit-preachers often are, he resorted once
more, with his usual hardened indifference to the meaning of words
and the principles of true literature, to that practice of debasing
the coinage of religious language, and using great sayings in a new
and washed-out sense of his own, of which pulpit-preachers are seldom
guilty. This practice of Mr. Arnold’s is the only great set-off against
the brilliant services he has rendered to English literature, but
it is one which we should not find it easy to condemn too strongly.
Every one knows how, in various books of his, Mr. Arnold has tried
to “verify” the teaching of the Bible, while depriving the name of
God of all personal meaning; to verify the Gospel of Christ, while
denying that Christ had any message to us from a world beyond our own;
and even,—wildest enterprise of all,—so to rationalise the strictly
theological language of St. John as to rob it of all its theological
significance. Well, we do not charge this offence on Mr. Arnold as in
any sense whatever an attempt to play fast-and-loose with words; for he
has again and again confessed to all the world, with the explicitness
and vigor which are natural to him, the precise drift of his
enterprise. But we do charge it on Mr. Arnold as in the highest
possible sense a great literary misdemeanor, that he has lent his
high authority to the attempt to give to a great literature a pallid,
faded, and artificial complexion, though, with his view of it, his
duty obviously was to declare boldly that that literature teaches
what is, in his opinion, false and superstitious, and deserves our
admiration only as representing a singularly grand, though obsolete,
stage in man’s development. Mr. Arnold is as frank and honest as the
day. But frank and honest as he is, his authority is not the less lent
to a non-natural rendering of Scripture infinitely more intolerable
than that non-natural interpretation of the Thirty-nine Articles
which once brought down the wrath of the world of Protestants on the
author of “Tract 90.” In this Whitechapel lecture Mr. Arnold tells his
hearers that in the “preternatural and miraculous aspect” which the
popular Christianity assumes Christianity is not solid or verifiable,
but that there is another aspect of Christianity which is solid and
verifiable, which aspect of it makes no appeal to a preternatural
[_i. e._, supernatural] world at all. Then he goes on, after eulogising
Mr. Watts’s pictures,—of one of which a great mosaic has been set up
in Whitechapel as a memorial of Mr. Barnett’s noble work there,—to
remark that good as it is to bring home to “the less refined classes”
the significance of Art and Beauty, it is none the less true that
“whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again,” and to suggest,
of course, by implication, that there is a living water springing up to
everlasting life, of which he who drinks shall never thirst. Then he
proceeds thus:—

        “No doubt the social sympathies, the feeling for
      Beauty, the pleasure of Art, if left merely by
      themselves, if untouched by what is the deepest
      thing in human life—religion—are apt to become
      ineffectual and superficial. The art which Mr.
      Barnett has done his best to make known to the
      people here, the art of men like Mr. Watts, the art
      manifested in works such as that which has just now
      been unveiled upon the walls of St. Jude’s Church,
      has a deep and powerful connection with religion. You
      have seen the mosaic, and have read, perhaps, the
      scroll which is attached to it. There is the
      figure of Time, a strong young man, full of hope,
      energy, daring, and adventure, moving on to take
      possession of life; and opposite to him there is
      that beautiful figure of Death, representing the
      breakings-off, the cuttings short, the baffling
      disappointments, the heart-piercing separations from
      which the fullest life and the most fiery energy
      cannot exempt us. Look at that strong and bold young
      man, that mournful figure must go hand in hand with
      him for ever. And those two figures, let us admit if
      you like, belong to Art. But who is that third figure
      whose scale weighs deserts, and who carries a sword
      of fire? We are told again by the text printed on the
      scroll, ‘The Eternal [the scroll, however, has ‘the
      Lord’] is a God of Judgment; blessed are they that
      wait for him.’ It is the figure of Judgment, and that
      figure, I say, belongs to religion. The text which
      explains the figure is taken from one of the Hebrew
      Prophets; but an even more striking text is furnished
      us from that saying of the Founder of Christianity
      when he was about to leave the world, and to leave
      behind him his Disciples, who, so long as he lived,
      had him always to cling to, and to do all their
      thinking for them. He told them that when he was gone
      they should find a new source of thought and feeling
      opening itself within them, and that this new source
      of thought and feeling should be a comforter to them,
      and that it should convince, he said, the world of
      many things. Amongst other things, he said, it should
      convince the world that Judgment comes, and that the
      Prince of this world is judged. That is a text which
      we shall do well to lay to heart, considering it with
      and alongside that text from the Prophet. More and
      more it is becoming manifest that the Prince of this
      world is really judged, that that Prince who is the
      perpetual ideal of selfishly possessing and enjoying,
      and of the worlds fashioned under the inspiration of
      this ideal, is judged. One world and another have
      gone to pieces because they were fashioned under the
      inspiration of this ideal, and that is a consoling
      and edifying thought.”

Now, when we know, as Mr. Arnold wishes us all to know, that to him
“the Eternal” means nothing more than that “stream of tendency,
not ourselves, which makes for righteousness,” that “Judgment”
means nothing but the ultimate defeat which may await those who set
themselves against this stream of tendency, if the stream of tendency
be really as potent and as lasting as the Jews believed God to be, we
do not think that the consoling character of this text will be keenly
felt by impartial minds. Further, we should remember that according to
Mr. Arnold, when Christ told his disciples that the Comforter should
“reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of
sin because they believed not on me, of righteousness because I go
to the Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment because the prince
of this world is judged,” we should understand this as importing,
to those at least who agree with Mr. Arnold, only that, for some
unknown reason, a new wave of feeling would follow Christ’s death,
which would give mankind a new sense of their unworthiness, a new
vision of Christ’s holiness, and a new confidence in the power of that
“stream of tendency, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness,”
in which Christ’s own personality would then be merged; and further,
that this powerful stream of tendency would probably sweep away all
institutions not tending to righteousness but opposing an obstacle
to that tendency. Well, all we can say is that, in watering-down in
this way the language of the Bible, Mr. Arnold, if he is doing nothing
else, is doing what lies in his power to extinguish the distinctive
significance of a great literature. The whole power of that literature
depends from beginning to end on the faith in a Divine Being who holds
the universe in his hand, whose will nothing can resist, who inspires
the good, who punishes the evil, who judges kingdoms as he judges the
hearts of men, and whose mind manifested in Christ promised to Christ’s
disciples that which his power alone availed to fulfil. To substitute
for a faith such as this, a belief—to our minds the wildest in the
world, and the least verifiable—that “a stream of tendency” effects
all that the prophets ascribed to God, or, at least so much of it as
ever will be effected at all, and that Christ, by virtue merely of his
complete identification with this stream of tendency, is accomplishing
posthumously, without help from either Father, Son, or Spirit, all that
he could have expected to accomplish through the personal agency of
God, is to extract the kernel from the shell, and to ask us to accept
the empty husk for the living grain. We are not reproaching Mr. Arnold
for his scepticism. We are reproaching him as a literary man for trying
to give currency in a debased form to language of which the whole power
depends on its being used honestly in the original sense. “The Eternal”
means one thing when it means the everlasting and supreme thought
and will and life; it is an expression utterly blank and dead when
it means nothing but a select “stream of tendency” which is assumed,
for no particular reason, to be constant, permanent, and victorious.
“Living water” means one thing when it means the living stream of God’s
influence; it has no salvation in it at all when it means only that
which is the purest of the many tendencies in human life. The shadow
of judgment means one thing when it is cast by the will of the supreme
righteousness; it has no solemnity in it when it expresses only the
sanguine anticipation of human virtue. There is no reason on earth
why Mr. Arnold should not water-down the teaching of the Bible to his
own view of its residual meaning; but then, in the name of sincere
literature, let him find his own language for it, and not dress up
this feeble and superficial hopefulness of the nineteenth century in
words which are undoubtedly stamped with an ardor and a peace for
which his teaching can give us no sort of justification. “Solidity and
verification,” indeed! Never was there a doctrine with less bottom in
it and less pretence of verification than his; but be that as it may,
he must know, as well as we know, that his doctrine is as different
from the doctrine of the Bible as the shadow is different from the
substance. Has Mr. Arnold lately read Dr. Newman’s great Oxford sermon
on “Unreal Words”? If not, we wish he would refer to it again, and
remember the warning addressed to those who “use great words and
imitate the sentences of others,” and who “fancy that those whom they
imitate had as little meaning as themselves,” or “perhaps contrive to
think that they themselves have a meaning adequate to their words.” It
is to us impossible to believe that Mr. Arnold should have indulged
such an illusion. He knows too well the difference between the great
faith which spoke in prophet and apostle, and the feeble faith which
absorbs a drop or two of grateful moisture from a “stream of tendency”
on the banks of which it weakly lingers. Mr. Arnold is really putting
Literature,—of which he is so great a master,—to shame, when he
travesties the language of the prophets, and the evangelists, and of
our Lord himself, by using it to express the dwarfed convictions and
withered hopes of modern rationalists who love to repeat the great
words of the Bible, after they have given up the strong meaning of them
as fanatical superstitions. Mr. Arnold’s readings of Scriptures are the
spiritual _assignats_ of English faith.—_Spectator._



AUTHORS AS SUPPRESSORS OF THEIR BOOKS.


BY W. H. OLDING, LL.B.

Alike in the annals of forgery—State forgery of “real” evidence—and
in the annals of the British drama, “The Golden Rump” has a history
very well known. It was a farce, the representation of which was
made the excuse for the passing of the Act whereunder the licensing
of theatrical performances was established. At the same time it
was a farce which those in power had directly induced its author
to compose. That there was no one to imagine or tolerate a play
sufficiently rampant to justify the proposal to fetter, which Party
Government imagined it well to execute—that this was believed,
becomes a testimony to the potency of customary self-regulation. Now
conversely, and carrying the analogy to all branches of literature, it
may be asserted that the suppression of books by authors themselves
is likely to be comparatively frequent just in those countries in
which the State does not much concern itself with suppression by its
authority. If this analogy have force it must, to Englishmen, be
peculiarly gratifying—though the elements of restraint have prevailed
in our history to an extent far beyond general belief—at a time when
Dr. Reusch’s excellent Index of books prohibited by the authority of
Pope, Archbishop, or Continental University is extracting from the
competent critics of all countries the homage which untiring assiduity,
monumental learning, and rich moderation compel.

However, into the measurement of this comparative frequency, _causes_
essentially enter. These, in England, as in other realms, have
abounded. Now, of all the motives which have led authors to consign
their compositions to the flames, one of the most frequent, if one of
the least seductive, has been the ridicule and elaborate discouragement
with which parents have received the knowledge of their offspring’s
first essays. The feeling which prompts this is not one to be
altogether blamed: it has its partial justification even in
the distaste with which the recipient children lay open their
treasure-house to those who in days of feebleness have guarded
them. For there is, as Tom Tulliver felt, a “family repulsion which
spoils the most sacred relations of our lives,” and which is only
broken down by some community of art levelling with the sense of a
universality wherein all distinction of discipleship is lost, or else
by dire circumstance shattering into shapelessness beyond disguise.
This, perhaps, rather than quicker sensitiveness, is why it is that
young Mozart met response, but the little Burney girl did not. Only
to Susanna, her sister, would Fanny breathe her secret, and anxious
was she because her mother gained sufficient inkling to induce her
periodically to tell the evils of a scribbling turn of mind. But, as
with Petrarch centuries before, some time in her fifteenth year the
promptings of obedience gained the day. “She resolved,” says Charlotte,
her niece and editor, “to make an auto da fé of all her manuscripts,
and, if possible, to throw away her pen. Seizing, therefore, an
opportunity when Dr. and Mrs. Burney were from home, she made over to
a bonfire in a paved play-court the whole stock of her compositions,
while faithful Susanna stood by, weeping at the conflagration. Among
the works thus immolated was one tale of considerable length, the
‘History of Caroline Evelyn,’ the mother of ‘Evelina.’”

As if further to justify the halting or rebuking posture which at first
is apt to prove provocative of indignation, remarkable diffidence in
maturer life has pushed its way into sight where early publications have
been due to parental sympathy. The historian of Greece, Connop
Thirlwall, Bishop of St. David’s, was taught Latin at the age of
three: at four could “read Greek with an ease and fluency which
astonished all who heard him,” and at seven began the composition
of didactic homilies. Now to this precocity was allied a taste for
verse, especially as shown in Dryden and in Pope; and the result was
the issue of a work, edited and prefaced by the father, entitled
“Primitiæ: or Essays and Poems on Various Subjects, Religious, Moral
and Entertaining; by Connop Thirlwall, eleven years of age.” But not
only did these effusions lead to no riper verse, but it is understood
the Bishop disliked the little book, and by no means enjoyed seeing
copies of it. That he went to the length of Thomas Lovell Beddoes we
are not prepared to say. _He_, when a freshman at Oxford, first owned
himself an author by sending to the press the “Improvisatore.” “Of this
little memento of his weakness, as he used to consider it,” says his
biographer, “Beddoes soon became thoroughly ashamed, and long before he
left Oxford he suppressed the traces of its existence, carrying the war
of extermination into the bookshelves of his acquaintance, where, as he
chuckled to record, it was his wont to leave intact its externals (some
gay binding perhaps of his own selection), but thoroughly eviscerated,
every copy on which he could lay his hands.”

Gymnasiarch as well as poet, it was natural that Pehr Henrik Ling,
the Swede, should do whatever he did with energy. Still, the burning
of eleven volumes by the time the age of twenty-one was reached must
be allowed to show as much vigor and striving after excellence in
the language of the gods as in what has been humorously termed “the
language of nudges.” Indeed, the author of the epic “Asar” does not
seem to have thrown any work into general circulation until he arrived
at thirty, and then only on the pressure offered by some friends,
without his knowledge, having got up a subscription for the publication
of one of his poems, when, says he, “I could not honorably refuse.” Yet
there must have been much of interest in these now perished volumes,
for not only had their author, early as school-days, experienced
something of the bitterness of life—of a political life, which was
shared by the people—in being driven from Wexio because he would not
betray innocent youngsters who had been comrades, but in the wandering
outcast career which for some years following he had strange and drear
experience, which, acting on a nature poetic and passionate, can hardly
but have expressed itself now in soothing verse, now in melancholy,
but ever in rich and true. It could at least be wished, if but for the
purpose of forwarding that life-resulting interchange of matter which
men of science assure us ceaselessly proceeds, that some of those who
compose under feeble inspiration, or under inspiration which has lost
its fire with lapse of time and change of circumstance, and which,
though a spiritless yeast, tempts to use as a ferment, would be as
little sparing in their sacrifices, so that it should not be held up as
a thing for boast, as we perceive it of late to have been in the case
of the Rev. Dr. Tiffany, that some five hundred pages of _sermons_ have
been delivered to the irrevocable pyre.

There is the semblance of a common motive inducing men to destroy their
early work, and give over the labor of their hands to consumption
on approach of death. But in the latter case there is usually more
concentration and intensity of purpose. The purpose unquestionably may
have this added intensity merely in meanness; but there is also scope
for more valorous self-judgment. The argument is clearly seized by
Dugald Stewart thus:—

        It is but seldom that a philosopher who has been
      occupied from his youth with moral or political
      inquiries succeeds completely to his wish in
      stating to others the grounds upon which his own
      opinions are founded; and hence it is that the
      known principles of an individual who has approved
      to the public his candor, his liberality, and his
      judgment, are entitled to a weight and an authority
      independent of the evidence which he is able,
      upon any particular occasion, to produce in their
      support. A secret consciousness of this circumstance,
      and an apprehension that by not doing justice to
      an important argument the progress of truth may
      be rather retarded than advanced, have probably
      induced many authors to withhold from the world the
      unfinished results of their most valuable labors,
      and to content themselves with giving the general
      sanction of their suffrages to truths which they
      regarded as peculiarly interesting to the human race.

This finely balanced observation—kind, penetrating, lacking warmth,
that it may appear more general, more forcible—was made apropos of
Adam Smith. It appears from a letter to Hume that as early as 1773
Smith, who died in 1790, had determined that the bulk of the literary
papers about him should never be published. And he would in after-life
seem carefully to have separated, as he esteemed it worthy or not,
whatever work he did. Among the papers destined to destruction one
may guess—for though Smith, to the end a slow composer, had the
habit of dictating to a secretary as he paced his room, the contents
of his portfolios were not certainly known to any—were the lectures
on rhetoric which he read at Edinburgh in 1748, and those on natural
religion and jurisprudence which formed part of his course at Glasgow.
But his anxiety to blot out the trace of even these, which he was too
conscientious not at one time to have deemed sound, so increased as his
last painful illness drew the threads of life out of his willing hand,
that Dr. Hutton says he not only entreated the friends to whom he had
entrusted the disposal of his MSS., to destroy them with some small
specified exceptions, in the event of his death; but at the last could
not rest satisfied till he learnt that the volumes were in ashes; and
to that state, to his marked relief, they were accordingly reduced some
few days before his death.

This anxiety of Smith’s, who had justly confidence in his executors,
has frequently been entertained very reasonably indeed with regard
to reminiscences, the spicy character of which often requires the
publication to be long posthumous, but tempts the graceless to make
it not so. Rochefoucauld’s “Mémoires,” which have, however, more of
the chronicle and less of the journal than is generally relished, were
certainly delayed, as the event turned out, long enough after his
death, in appearing in any tolerable form. But it had been like not to
be so. While he was still living he found that at the shop of Widow
Barthelin, relict of a printer of Rouen, his work had been secretly
put to press by the orders of the Comte de Brienne. The Count had
furtively made a copy from the manuscript borrowed from Arnaud
d’Andilly, to whom Rochefoucauld had submitted it for the purposes of
correction—“Particulièrement pour la pureté de la langue.” Measures
as furtive were necessary to recover it. The Duke accordingly pounced
on the printer, gave Widow Barthelin twenty-five pistoles, carried
off the whole of the edition, and stored it in a garret of the Hôtel
de Liancourt at Paris. We doubt if it is generally known that this
edition, wherein the widow had shown few signs of care, was entitled,
“Relation des guerres civiles de France, depuis août 1649 jusqu’à
la fin de 1652.” In curious contrast is the fact that sometimes a
relative destroys what the author has shown no vigilant scrupulousness
in suppressing. It was perhaps esteemed by the “very devout lady of
the family of St. John,” who was mother to the notable Rochester, on
whose death Bishop Burnet has so improvingly written, that the final
scenes of her son made it unsuitable that any of his papers should be
kept—especially the history of the intrigues of the court of Charles
II. reported by Bolingbroke to have been written by him in a series of
letters to his friend Henry Saville.

Nor let it be supposed that this would have been so adverse to the
desires of Rochester himself. The late James Thompson, author of the
“City of Dreadful Night,” destroyed before his death all that he had
written previous to 1857, though he has been very virulent against a
sample king who of malice prepense with gross ingratitude thus treated
the donor of a priceless if imaginary gift:—

    A writer brought him truth;
    And first he imprisoned the youth;
    And then he bestowed a free pyre
    That the works might have plenty of fire,
    And also to cure the pain
    Of the headache called thought in the brain.

Pierius Valerianus tells us that Antonius Marosticus, when held in high
esteem and loved of all men, enjoying the dainties of life at the court
of some Cardinal, and dallying with existence which he had rooted hopes
would henceforth be peaceful, was carried off within three days by
a sudden epidemic. The doleful deed, Pierius says, was made more
distressful by the fact that sanitary considerations required the
cremation of all the dead man’s books with the dead man’s body. How far
the sense of tragedy may lie in this melancholy incident, the death
of Shelley helps one to appreciate. His corpse was washed ashore near
the Via Reggio, four miles from that of his friend Williams, which lay
close to the tower of Migliarino, at the Bocca Lericcio. The attitude
was memorable. His right hand was clasped in his heart. Bent back and
thrust away, as if in haste, was in a side pocket the last volume
of the poet Keats. It had been lent by Leigh Hunt, who had told the
borrower to keep it till he should return it by his own hands. This
impossible, and Hunt refusing to receive it through others, it was
burnt with the body amid frankincense and myrrh.

It was fit that the pathetic in death should spring from a cause so
troublous in life. Again and again was Shelley wounded by the forced
suppression of his work. Doubtless merit is not extreme in the two-act
tragedy of “Œdipus Tyrannus, or Swellfoot the Tyrant.” But its fate was
as subtle and sure as that of Œdipus himself. Written abroad, it was
transmitted to England, printed and published anonymously, and stifled
at the very dawn of its existence by the “Society for the Suppression
of Vice,” who threatened a prosecution upon it, if not immediately
withdrawn. The friend who had taken the pains of bringing it out did
not deem it worth the cost, to pocket and nerve, of a contest, and it
was laid aside—only to be revived in Mrs. Shelley’s second edition.
It is said, indeed, that but seven copies are extant, one of which
Mr. Buxton Forman, the industrious and intelligent editor to whom the
best students of Shelley feel themselves the most beholden, secured,
by search through the vast stores of Mr. Lacy, the dramatic publisher
of the Strand—one of the very last plays in the very last boxes—a
mere paper pamphlet, devoid of a wrapper, carried away at the cost of a
six-pence, proving to be the treasure. And far was the Œdipus from
being the sole cause of trouble in respect of the works of its author.
Posthumous Poems of Shelley were suppressed on the application of Sir
Timothy, his father. The Posthumous Letters, which excellent forgers
had contrived to manufacture from articles written after the decease
of the poet, exercising an amount of ingenuity described as “most
extraordinary,” and receiving the reward of the labor of their hands
from Sir Percy Shelley, or from Mr. Moxon, were called in on the
discovery of the fraud. “Laon and Cythna” was cancelled to make way for
the “Revolt of Islam.” “Queen Mab,” which had been written when Shelley
was eighteen, though completed only when in his twenty-first year, was
surreptitiously published while its author was in Italy—copies having
been distributed among his friends—and though adjudged by the Court
of Chancery, from which an injunction was sought for restraint of this
irregular edition, to be disentitled to privilege on the futile score
of an immorality shocking to the British constitution, it and its notes
were, so late as 1840, the subject of prosecutions and convictions to
all who openly, being men of fair fame, ventured to publish it, as Mr.
Moxon experienced.

The poets, indeed, of Shelley’s time were peculiarly unfortunate. It
is a sound enough deduction of law that what is evil—is filthy, or
blasphemous, or scandalous—cannot be for the benefit of the public
to learn of, nor therefore an object of the law, which is built on
the needs of society, to extend its protection to—a protection which
has in view the advantages of private individuals only as members of
society. But in this refusal of the active bestowment of privilege
the guardian of public morals in an individual man, in no sense a
representative of his country—a judge of the old Court of Chancery.
Now in active suppression, in punishment for enticing the public to
things contaminating and none the less subtle because presented in
intellectual form, there is indeed the benefit of the presence of a
judge, but the issue is with a jury. And the unfortunate interval,
or breach, through which public morals are so roughly assailable is
measured (usually at least) by the _sum_ of the differences
between a publication disentitled to privilege or worthy of punishment,
and the judgment of an individual or the opinion of the country. In
this vast moral interval, to say nothing of the interval of time
which rapidity in administration, on the one hand, and slowness in
administration on the other, scarcely ever fail to involve, there is an
enticement to the indifferent part of the population, or to that bold
and heroic part which dares to set up its private and painfully honest
judgment against the judgment of a Chancery judge—to trade upon the
bruited knowledge of a suspected well of evil, unchecked by unpalatable
astringency in consumption of the draught. With the narrowness of men
like Lords Eldon and Ellenborough, and the rebellious attitude held by
a nation consciously approaching to the dawn of an age of a freedom
of thought greater because more nobly and wit-wisely sanctioned, this
breach was disastrously great, and beckoned the way to a flood of
mischances directly or affectively extensive.

Now, a highly curious result of the working of these doctrines was
seen in cases in which—not as with Shelley, nor as with Byron, who
vainly sought in February 1822 to suppress the edition of “Cain” which
the pirate, Benbow, had printed, and who in the same year saw his
“Vision” first refused by the publishers of the Row, then given to
John Hunt, then placed by John and his brother in the first number of
the _Liberal_, and then made the subject of a true bill returned by a
Middlesex grand jury on an indictment preferred by the “Constitutional
Association”—in cases in which, I say, the authors, from change of
opinion, were opposed to any publication of their earlier works. The
most prominent instance of this occurs, of course, in the “Wat Tyler”
of Laureate Southey. In the height of his pantisocratic schemes, and
full of Socialist feelings, Southey had written this dramatic poem,
and placed the manuscript in the hands of his brother-in-law, Robert
Lovell; he took it to Mr. Ridgway, the London publisher. When Southey
visited the Metropolis shortly afterwards, the year was 1794, Mr.
Ridgway was in Newgate. Thither Southey went, and either found
incarcerated in the same apartment with his publisher, or took with
him, the Rev. Mr. Winterbottom, a dissenting minister. It was agreed
that “Wat Tyler” should be published anonymously. The piece, however,
appears to have been forgotten, and wholly to have escaped the memory
of both publisher and Southey. But it had crept—so Cottle, Hone, and
Browne may best be reconciled—into the hands of Mr. Winterbottom,
who taking it with him, when years had passed, while on a visit to
friends at Worcester, beguiled some dull hour by reading the piece for
the amusement of the company, who were well pleased to pamper their
dislike to Southey by chuckling at his _ratting_ in political opinions.
But generosity clearly demanded that this pleasant spirit of carping
should have a sphere extended far beyond a Worcestershire company. So
thought two of the guests, who, obtaining the manuscript, with great
devotion sacrificed the long hours of night by transcribing it, being
careful the while to preserve the privacy which attends the most highly
charitable actions. Through their hands the transcription reached the
publisher, and no sooner had his edition appeared than Southey became
naturally anxious to lay the ghost of his former beliefs. For that
purpose, with the advice of his friends, he applied for an injunction.
Lord Eldon refused to grant it, on the plea that “a person cannot
recover damages upon a work which in its nature is calculated to do
injury to the public.” The decision of the Court encouraged the vendors
to redouble their efforts, and not fewer than 60,000 copies are said
to have been sold during the excitement the case created. As for poor
Southey, he defended himself as best he could in the _Courier_, and
underwent the further suspense of seeing a prosecution urged against
him by turbulent spirits in the legislature—Lord Brougham first, and
Mr. William Smith after. The ridicule was all the more increased by the
fact that Southey had recently published in the _Quarterly Review_ an
article in most striking contrast. And it is noticeable that in _his_
American _Quarterly Review_ Dr. Orestes A. Brownson printed opinions
destructive of his early views, which had also been in sympathy with
Socialistic and transcendental movements, as well as with Unitarianism,
and threw cold water upon, and indeed endeavored in his own country
altogether to suppress, the work by which in this country he is best
known, “Charles Elwood; or, the Infidel Converted.”

Certainly few authors have had better justification for a change of
opinion than Adrian Beverland. In a work quite unfit for general
reading, which purported to be issued “Eleutheropoli, in Horto
Hesperidum, typis Adami, Evæ, Terræ filii, 1678,” he had maintained
with nasty nicety that view of original sin which Henri Corneille
Agrippa in his “Declamatio de originali Peccato” had nearly as
undisguisedly maintained before him. For this performance he was cast
into prison at Leyden, and would have fared badly enough had he not
found means of escape. His work, however, was sufficiently thought
of to provoke from Leonard Ryssenius a “justa detestatio libelli
sceleratissimi,” just as a previous work had called from Allard
Uchtman a “Vox clamantis in deserto, ad sacrorum ministros, adversus
Beverlandum.” Passing these by, Beverland himself was contented to
write stinging libels against the Leyden magistrates and professors,
and then to flee to London, where he engaged himself principally
in collecting odious pictures. But after a time came a measure of
repentance, and though no excessive purity can be claimed for an
“Admonition” published by Bateman, of London, in 1697, yet the preface
or “advertisement” does certainly contain a strong condemnation of his
“Peccatum originale.” Fifteen years after, he died in a state of deep
poverty, a madman—impressed with the horrible idea that he was pursued
by two hundred men allied by oath to slay him.

A state more interesting that either stanch advocacy or loud
condemnation of a position once relied on is that of hesitation. It
is one peculiarly unlikely to express itself, because the tendency of
hesitation is to refrain; or if expressing itself to arrest attention,
because subtile or feeble qualifications refer their interest to the
themes they hedge and do not centre in themselves. But when a mind
throws itself with force into a posture of racked doubt, and bids
us be aware that the struggle, not the issue, is of utter worth, or
when with yet greater fervor of expectancy a revelation, we know not
whence, we know not whither, is awaited with every nerve full-strained,
the world more surely than by either other mood becomes a gallery
rocked with hearkening spectators. I think there is something of this
earnest hesitation in a career it is not difficult, at this distance
of time, to futilize—Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s. There is a very
human weakness in his self-debate upon the publication of the “De
Veritate,” but there is a very human need—and, moreover, a need made
personal (as are all needs), though founded in philanthropy. Truly the
more sacred experience is—unless it can reach to that intensity and
presentness which thrills all who stand enclosed in the thin line of
its horizon—the more clearly it is desecrated by the common tread, and
seems a thing to mock at. So is it with the scene which Herbert himself
describes.

        Being thus doubtful in my chamber, one fair day in
      the summer, my casement being open towards the sun,
      the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took
      my work, “De Veritate,” in my hand, and kneeling on
      my knees, devoutly said these words: “O Thou eternal
      God, Author of the light which now shines upon me,
      and Giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech
      Thee, give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall
      suppress it.” I had no sooner spoken these words,
      but a loud, though yet gentle noise, came from
      heaven (for it was like nothing on earth), which did
      so comfort and cheer me, that I took my petition
      as granted, and that I had the sign I demanded;
      whereupon also I resolved to print my book.

An aspect of mind combining both resolution and diffidence, which has
lead to the obliteration of literary work, is reliance on a friend’s
counsel. An amusing example of this is related in the ecclesiastical
history of Nicephorus Callistus concerning Marsilius Ficinus. This
gentleman had translated Plato into Latin, and came to his learned
friend Musurus Candiotus to know his opinion of it. Candiotus, after
perusing some few leaves, perceived that it would not satisfy the
expectation of the learned, and was even of opinion that it was so
slubbered over as to resemble the original (as Cicero the younger did
his father) in nothing but in name. He accordingly took up a sponge,
dipped it in an ink-pot, and blotted out the first page. This done,
he turns to Ficinus. “Thou seest,” quoth he “how I have corrected the
first page; if thou wilt, I will correct the rest in like sort.” Now
Ficinus was fully as mild in temper as slender in scholarship. “No
reason,” says he, “that Plato should be disgraced through my default;
refine away.” And according to his words was it done.

It would appear from Scaliger that even had not Ficinus commenced his
out-sponged work afresh, literature would not have lamentably lost.
Far, indeed, would this have been from true, had the influence of a
friend prevailed to wipe from among the works of Gray “The Progress of
Poetry,” and “The Bard.” I will not deny of its setting the sentence in
which Walpole communicates the likelihood of such a fate.

        One quality I may safely arrogate to myself: I am
      not _afraid to praise_. Many are such timid judges
      of composition, that they hesitate to wait for the
      public opinion. Show them a manuscript, though they
      highly approve it in their hearts, they are afraid to
      commit themselves by speaking out. Several excellent
      works have perished from this cause; a writer of
      real talents being often a mere sensitive plant with
      regard to his own productions. Some cavils of Mason
      (how inferior a poet and judge!) had almost induced
      Gray to destroy his two beautiful and sublime odes.
      We should not only praise, but hasten to praise.

In modern days the function of Mason is more generally filled by
adverse public critics. The case of the late Edward Fitzgerald, who
by an unfavorable review was induced to withdraw from circulation his
“Six Dramas of Calderon,” and probably altogether to withhold from the
public his rendering of “La Vida es Sueño,” and “El Mágico Prodigioso,”
is until the present unhappily in point.

More melancholy still are those episodes of literary history which
present the wearied author consigning with forced smile and show of
acquiescence—“coactus volo”—the products of his craft to an untimely
end. English history does not lack its instances of these heroic
souls in motley, these Herculeses with their distaffs. There is John
Selden, and there is Reginald Pecock: let us bare the mishaps of these
representatives.

In the time of James I., the clergy were pleased to advance to
the utmost the doctrine of the divine right of tithes—a divinity
entailed in a pedigree of patriarchal ages, Jewish priesthood, and
Christian priesthood. Upon so venerable a claim so cogently revived,
lawyers yet looked with jealousy. For they saw in every claim by
divine right, where royal and sub-royal patrons were unconcerned, a
limitation of human rights, with their correlative human duties very
apt to be regulated by positive law. Selden, partaking of the legal
spirit—coincident this once with the historic—produced his “History
of Tithes,” a plain narrative, margented with copious authorities,
which established abundantly the duty of paying tenths—but established
on the distasteful ground of human authority. James, who patronised
divinity partly to show the ardor with which he in his one turn could
venerate, partly for the reflected strength wherewith it encircled
himself, partly from conceit and cowardice, and partly from better
motives, summoned the author to appear before him in December 1618, at
his palace at Theobalds. Introduced by Ben Jonson and Edward Hayward,
Selden maintained the test of two conferences at Theobalds, and one at
Whitehall with the monarch in person; but this in nowise prevented his
being called, on January 28, 1618, before seven members of the High
Commission Court in whose presence he was induced to make and sign this
declaration.

        My good Lords, I most humbly acknowledge the error
      which I have committed in publishing “The History of
      Tithes,” and especially in that I have at all, by
      showing any interpretation of Holy Scriptures, by
      meddling with councils, fathers, or canons, or by
      what else soever occurs in it, offered any occasion
      of argument against any right of maintenance, _jure
      divino_, of the minister of the Gospel; beseeching
      your Lordships to receive this ingenuous and
      humble acknowledgment, together with the unfeigned
      protestation of my grief, for that through it I have
      so incurred both his Majesty’s and your Lordships’
      displeasure conceived against me in behalf of the
      Church of England.

Beside this forced submission, the authority which had exacted it
prohibited the book. Further, Selden was forbidden to publish anything
in his own defence, while public invitation—pluckily used—was given
to any who should choose to attack either him or his history with all
the virulence of pocket and party polemics. Nor was this all, but
Selden stooped at the bidding of the king to uphold opinions, no doubt
on three small points, which he had seemed to impugn in his greater
work. It is pleasant to add that he circulated among his friends in
manuscript answers to the attacks which were published against him.

The fall of Pecock was more abject, and less relieved. About 1449 he
had written—not printed, of course—“The Repressor.” He had in design
to defend the clergy from the aspersions, as he conceived them, of
the “Bible-man” or Lollards. With this view he vindicated the use of
images, the going on pilgrimages, and the retention of the various
ranks of the hierarchy in their full directive authority. In 1450 he
remained in sufficient esteem—though indeed his treatise was not much
circulated for four or five years—to be transferred to the see of
Chichester. From that time, however, his good fortune deserted him.
The Duke of York conceived it well to cover his strides towards the
crown, with the redress of grievances; and the disgrace of Pecock’s
patrons, the Duke of Suffolk and the Bishop of Norwich, together with
the personal dislike the king contracted towards him, made Chichester
a safe object of attack. While all things were thus working for the
good man’s evil, the council met at Westminster in the autumn of 1457,
whence by general acclamation Pecock was expelled. He was cited to
appear before Archbishop Bourchier on November 11, and the character of
his offence became more definitised. He had held cheap the authority
of the old doctors, he had denied that the Apostles’ Creed was made
by the Apostles, and at the same time he had magnified the office of
reason—rather than singly of the Scriptures, or rather than singly
of the Church—as an ultimate test. Accordingly, to this citation he
appeared, armed with nine of his books, into which it must be confessed
were introduced some newly conceived passages and some erasures. A
committee of Bishops, to whom the matter was then referred, reported
adversely; and after further disputation the archbishop offered Pecock
his choice of making a public abjuration of his errors, or of being
first degraded, and then delivered over to the secular arm “as the
food of fire, and fuel for the burning.” He chose the abjuration: a
preliminary confession was forthwith made, a written confession was
added at Lambeth on the 3rd of December, and on the next day, Sunday,
arrayed in his episcopal habit, in the presence of 20,000 persons,
he knelt at the feet of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of
London, Rochester, Durham, and of his “own pure and free will, and
without any man’s coercion or dread,” made his recantation. In this
he had declared that he presumed of his own natural wit to prefer the
judgment of reason before the Testaments and the authority of the
Church; had published many perilous doctrines and books containing
enumerated heresies; and now considered himself grievously to have
sinned and wickedly to have deceived the people of God, but returned to
the unity of the mother Holy Church and renounced both the rehearsed
heresies and all other “spices,” or kinds of heresy, and exhorted all
men not to trust in his books, neither to keep or read them in any
wise, but to bring them in haste to the Primate or his agents; in
that he publicly assented that his books should be deputed unto the
fire, and openly be burnt as an example and terror to all others. The
recantation ended, a fire was kindled at the Cross. With his own hands
Pecock delivered three folios and eleven quartos of his own composition
to the executioner, who took and threw them in the flames, while the
Bishop exclaimed aloud “My pride and presumption have brought upon me
these troubles and these reproaches.” Little could he then think that
in some future day England would, at public cost, republish the chief
of the books his own lips had condemned.

But the punishment of Pecock did not end here. It was perhaps not much
to him that the University of Oxford (which has consistently shown a
spirit of illiberality, or at least a burning disposition, throughout
its eras almost down to the present age) should in solemn procession,
its Chancellor at its head, march to a place where four roads met—the
Quatre-voix or Carfax—and there burn to ashes every copy of his works
on which hands could be laid. But, deprived of his bishopric, it was
necessary that directions should be given for his personal fare. These
came to the Abbot of Thorney, to whose Cambridgeshire Abbey the cleric
was sent. He was to live for ever in one closed chamber, so contrived
that he might hear Mass; to be attended by one sad man to make his
bed; to be forbidden all books but a breviary, a mass-book, a psalter,
a legend, and a Bible; to be refused any thing to write with or on;
but to be allowed a sufficiency of food and fire. And in this dolorous
state there is all reason to suppose his closing days were spent.[74]

It is recorded of St. Briccius, that when a boy he saw the devil behind
the altar, noting the misdemeanors of people on a piece of parchment.
This seems to have stirred in him a desire for parchment that he in
turn might write; but so firmly did the devil by his teeth stick to
the stolen goods, that on the achievement of mastery by his juvenile
but saintly competitor, the horny, wicked head was knocked against
the wall, at which painful juncture St. Martin, ever valorous, so
conjured the devil that he caused him _willy nilly_ to blot out what
he had written. What then, one wonders, was the devil’s code of which
the people’s acts were breaches. What his diabolic, though discarded
standard? The prescience of St. Briccius or St. Martin would doubtless
be required to tell. But it is plain he too is fabled as possessed
with desire to bend the will of men in obedience to some crystallized
tradition, some extraneous rule. And yet, what is this principle of
tradition, this authority-binding, which in this form and that defeats
equally Fanny Burney or Gray, Shelley, Southey, or Selden? It is
something which, no matter what its ineptness to the circumstances
of the present, cannot yield; which is made up of the circumstances
of the past, and has in its whole as much as in every shred the
inevitability of the past, which pushes by informed private judgment
and reason—perhaps on the wiser plea that, ourselves a product of
the past, the accumulated and sifted wisdom of that past, the residue
of eclecticism on eclecticism, must be most appropriate to guide; or
else perhaps on the more foolish, that makes a creed osseous in one
infinitely remote exercise of one man’s inspired thoughts. As if, in
the latter alternative, the very strength was not the very weakness of
the argument which reduces after all everything to single and perhaps
sullied private judgment; and as if in the former the very strength was
not again the very weakness of the argument which cuts off arbitrarily
as the last point of systematized knowledge (more often not at the
last) its own method of history. For does it not result that if it
be truly said, there is nothing new under the sun, there must in all
cases be selection, and if selection be thus the real principle of
action, why is some portion of accessible knowledge, some portion
even of _received_ knowledge, to be cast without the bounds of usable
materials, as though to prohibit us too perchance, from strengthening
that uniformity or preponderance in independent selections to which
tradition owes its strength? Thirlwall may act as Pecock, and Beddoes
as Fitzgerald—but both the virtue of action and the virtue of
restraint are lost.

Herodotus, if we may believe Blakesley and Professor Sayce, though the
“Father of History,” by no means illustrates tradition at its best.
Different, however, would it be, could we make up our minds, backed
by the later authority of Canon Rawlinson to side in this perennial
contest with Henri Estienne. This scholar in preparing an edition
of that ancient traveller took occasion to maintain that his author
was the reporter of things fabulous to an extent far less than was
generally supposed. Hearing that of this defence, which was written
in Latin, it was proposed to make a translation into French, he
determined, as an old critic says, to become now a _traditore_, as he
had formerly early been a _traduttore_, and to render his own work.
But if this was his original purpose, he immediately lost sight of it.
He took up, in fact, his argument thus:—From the unlikelihood of an
event it is unreasonable to conclude against it: Herodotus may have
reported things true, in presenting unlikely tales, otherwise, we must
banish a prodigious amount of incontestable but absurd matter, though
much of this character has occurred of late, especially in popery, as I
proceed to instance in anecdotes which objectors may style apocryphal,
fables they will call malicious, and chronicles they are certain to
brand as scandalous. Now, this was clearly of intolerable bearing.
And according to Tollius, its upshot was that Estienne was burnt in
effigy at Paris; though, having fled to the mountains of Auvergne,
and being in the thick of winter, he was enabled to chuckle at his
joke that he never was so cold as when he was being burnt, a joke the
authenticity of which late commentators might perhaps have less readily
impeached had they remembered that Antonio de Dominis had used it, as
he too for writing an unappreciated book was consumed in effigy at
Rome, while he lay shivering with the cold of a November at sea and a
fugitive’s fears at heart. Certain it is that at Geneva Estienne met
with repulse. For the archives of that state show that late in 1566, on
his first applying for a license to expose for sale his “Apologie pour
Herodote,” he was directed to amend “certains feulletz où il y a des
propos vilains et parlans trop évidemment des princes en mal” and that
after these amendments were duly made he deliberately encouraged the
suppression of his work, by taking advantage of an imperfect piratical
edition, appearing at Lyons, to add without license the famous
“Avertissement” with its tables or indexes, which drew down upon him
imprisonment, followed quickly by enlargement coupled with conspicuous
deprivation of the Eucharist on one occasion—if that be the meaning of
“pour punition, privé de la cène, pour une fois.”

With consequences more radical, but with either far more boldness or
far less wit, Camille Desmoulins upwards of two centuries after courted
the suppression, not indeed of a book, but of life. It was full four
years since he had learnt that the parliament of Toulouse had hurried
to the flames his “La Libre France,” when entering the Jacobin Club,
just two days after the publication of the fifth number of his _Vieux
Cordelier_, he heard the question being for the third time put, whether
he should be expelled. His presence quelling in no measure the rising
anger, Robespierre, desirous to stay the wrath of the Jacobins by
sacrificing the work to save the author, spoke. “Camille,” said he with
dryness, and that air of patronage which the simulation of a tempered
passion carries, “is a spoilt child; he had a good disposition; bad
company has led him astray.” “We must,” urged he, concluding, “deal
vigorously with these numbers, which even Brissot would not have dared
to acknowledge, but we must keep Desmoulins among us. I demand, for
example’s sake, that these numbers be burnt before this society.” But
with what surprise did the echo of this speech, proceeding clearly,
and accompanied with indignant flash of eye, greet him—“Bravo,
Robespierre; but I will answer with Rousseau, _To burn is not to
answer_.” Strange retort! Had pride so dulled perception, or surprise
with one stroke slain confidence in all? No wonder that not less the
change of time than the terms, the very measuredness of the answering
words bidding Camille learn that he was treated with indulgence, and
disclosing that his mode of justification would be held to show that
the worst import of his writings was designed, left in him a sense
that his present non-expulsion, even the restoration of the title of
“Cordelier,” had no security. The lull _was_ false, Desmoulins was lost.

Concession to honest criticism was received with not more tact by
Richelieu than by Desmoulins. It is true that in the Cardinal’s case
the upshot, perilous as it seemed to one of the grand supports of
dramatic literature, was merely ludicrous—but it may also be true that
that was because the appeal was indeed through the intellect, but to
the passive, not the active powers of man. The Cardinal was dramatist,
and had carried politics into comedy by making the characters called
France, Spain, or names of other States develop the fortunes of
“Europe.” Anxious to get the countenance of the Academy, which his
energies had lately organized, he sent the piece to them, that any
errors in the rules of the style or poetry might be corrected. The
Academy fulfilled their task, criticising so severely that scarcely a
line was left unaltered. The Cardinal—but I may as well adopt the tale
as Noël d’Argonne tells it.

        The Cardinal, to whom it was brought back in this
      condition, was so enraged, that he tore it on the
      spot, and threw it in pieces into the hearth. This
      was in summer, and fortunately there was no fire in
      the hearth. The Cardinal went to bed; but he felt
      the tenderness of a father for his dear Europe; he
      regretted having used it so cruelly; and calling up
      his secretary, he ordered him to collect with care
      the papers from the chimney, and to go and look
      whether he could find any paste in the house—adding
      that in all probability he would find some starch
      with the women who took charge of his linen. The
      secretary went to their apartment; and having found
      what he wanted, he spent the greater part of the
      night with the Cardinal in trying to paste together
      the dismembered comedy. Next morning he had it
      recopied in his presence, and changed almost every
      one of the corrections of the Academy, affecting,
      at the same time, to retain a few of the least
      important. He sent it back to them the same day by
      Boisrobert, and told them they would perceive how
      much he had profited by their criticisms; but as
      all men were liable to err, he had not thought it
      necessary to follow them implicitly. The Academy, who
      had learned the vexation of the Cardinal, took care
      not to retouch the piece, and returned it to him with
      their unanimous approbation.

It seems a pity that after so much care and tenderness the play should
have been produced along with “The Cid,” and that the audience, less
manageable than the Academy, on the announcement that “Europe” would be
repeated the next day, murmured their wish for Corneille’s piece. But
the influence he sought to throw upon the fortunes of the Cid there can
be no need to recount to Englishmen. Only it is clear that Richelieu
was more like Cicero than Virgil, the former of whom indeed affected
to be desirous of burning some productions, but was easily diverted by
pleasant flattery; but the latter of whom, after having bestowed the
labor of twelve years on his immortal poem, was genuinely conscious of
imperfections which so few beside himself could have perceived, that
in his last moments he ordered it to be committed to the flames, a
fate evaded only by disregard of his solemn testamentary injunction.
It is equally clear that Richelieu had not the plea of neglect and
undeserved disfavor felt in its extreme by William Collins. For his
odes, first published in 1747, crept slowly into notice, were spoken
of indifferently by his acquaintance Dr. Johnson, and met with feeble
praise from Gray. The while the author was sensible of their beauty,
and so deeply felt the coldness with which they were received, that
he obtained from his publisher the unsold copies and burnt them with
his own hand. “If then his highly finished productions brought back
but disappointment,” hypothesises Mr. Thomas Miller, “how thankful he
must have felt that he had not committed himself further by sending
into the world such works as his own fine taste condemned! We believe
that when he had completed his ”Ode on the Passions,” he knew he had
produced a poem which ought to live forever, for we cannot conceive
that the mind which erected so imperishable a fabric could have a doubt
of its durability.” Alas! an immortality which sees no origin _in
præsenti_—how burdensome it is to bear.[75]

It was the conviction of “Messieurs de Port Royal” that in the denial
of self was a tower of moral strength; and in this denial of self
they included a true abnegation of the glories of authorship. “If
any work for God were well done,” said St. Cyran, “it was the Divine
Grace which had effectually co-operated to its performance, and the
human instrument was nothing, and less than nothing.” With this there
was not one of his colleagues unwilling practically to show that he
agreed—Pascal least of all. What greater instance of literary modesty
can be alleged than the destruction by him of his treatise on geometry,
upon his learning that Arnauld had prepared the volume given to the
world in 1667 as “Elements” of that subject and his seeing its fitness
for the Port Royal schools? With most it would be much easier to apply
the system of Naugerius, who loving Catullus, but hating Martial, set
apart one day that every year he might sacrifice by fire a copy of the
works of one epigrammatist to the manes of the other. It is only fair
to add that Naugerius, who died while on an embassy to Francis I. in
1529, destroyed shortly before his death a history of his native city,
Venice, carried forward from 1486, which he had himself compiled, and
submitted to the same effective purging a considerable proportion of
his own poetic compositions.

At this point I conclude. I perceive indeed that there remains
scattered through literature unused material of interest, and even
that motives to self-suppression of several entire classes have been
here unexemplified. But of this we might feel confident, that the more
and more this subject were opened up, personal as it appears to the
authors themselves, the more and more would one be struck with the duty
of the State, and no less than of the State of professed critics and
of friends of the hearth, not only not to discourage the expressions
of genius if even somewhat errant, but where there is the true
appeal—then, as Walpole says, to _hasten to praise_.—_Gentleman’s
Magazine._



HOW SHOULD WE DRESS?

THE NEW GERMAN THEORIES ON CLOTHING.


BY DORA DE BLAQUIÈRE.

Some allusion has already been made to the medical theories respecting
clothing that have emanated recently from a celebrated German
professor, Dr. Gustav Jaeger, of the Royal Polytechnic School at
Stuttgart. His investigations into the subject commenced in the year
1872, and appeared to have been fairly exhaustive in the way of
scientific experiment and personal experience, with the result that
Dr. Jaeger considers he has discovered that the health of the world in
general is much prejudiced by the materials, as well as the forms, in
general use. In Germany his views seem to have met with very extensive
acceptance; they have revolutionised the trade of Stuttgart, where Dr.
Jaeger practises his profession; and many of the leading men—such as
Count von Moltke and others—have adopted his clothing; and it seems
probable that his principles will be applied to the German army, with
the view of promoting the health of the troops. In Italy the first
physicians have declared in favor of it, and so universally does the
demand appear to have arisen on the Continent, that the present writer
found Dr. Jaeger’s garments commonly exposed for sale in Switzerland,
at Berne, Lucerne, and Vevey, and other smaller towns.

The stall for Dr. Jaeger’s clothing has formed an attraction at the
“Healtheries” this season, and, by the formation of a limited company,
who have opened a depôt in Fore Street for its sale, those who desire
to look into the subject, and form their own opinions, will be able to
do so in England.

Dr. Jaeger’s reform is not a difficult one, and consists of the
fundamental doctrine that, as we are animals, we should wear
animal clothing. The physical “reasons why” are—first, that their
non-conducting qualities are a guarantee that the temperature of the
body shall be in a great measure preserved, while on the other hand the
shape and arrangement of their constituent hairs provide for the escape
of moisture by capillary attraction; and their adaptation to both these
ends is greater than that of any vegetable fabric.

In England we have for many years acted instinctively on these
conditions, and we have adopted woollen, in the shape of flannel, for
use in cricket, boating, tennis, and in any athletic exercises likely
to cause profuse perspiration, as being the safest covering to ensure
us against cold and the sudden and dangerous chills which are likely to
follow overheating in a climate like ours. Our action has been the
result of observation and experience, which, however, according to Dr.
Jaeger, might have been carried still further and applied more widely
still. For this profuse perspiration is simply an intensification of
the daily action of the skin, which only ceases with life itself. If
this action be imperfect or repressed, fat and water accumulate in
the tissues, lowering their powers, and the flesh, which should feel
elastic and firm, is flabby, causing many disorders in the general
economy of the body.

Besides water and fat, the skin excretes carbonic acid, and the
different decomposed products of fat—such as lactic, formic, and
butyric acids—to which the sour odor of perspiration is due. Much
carbonic acid is dissolved in the perspiration, and escapes with it.
Thus, it is not difficult to see that the kind of covering which acts
as the best conductor of moisture and its impurities, and at the same
time is a bad conductor of heat, and prevents its escape, is that which
we must adopt as the healthiest and the cleanest.

The power of absorption by vegetable life, of the poisonous emanations
from animal life, is well known, and this process is not limited,
it would appear, to living plants, but is continued by vegetable
fibres—such as linen and cotton—with this difference, that the
living plant assimilates these emanations and the dead fibre does
not, but exhales them again when wetted or warmed. Thus our clothes,
in consequence of their vegetable character, attract and retain these
noxious principles which should by rights be immediately thrown off.
Animal materials, such as wool, are made by nature—according to Dr.
Jaeger—to protect animal life, and will neither attract noxious
emanations nor prevent their evaporation from the body. This is shown,
he observes, by the sense of smell and by the unpleasantness noticed in
cotton and linen underclothing, linings, and apparel which have been
long worn.

There are many people to whom these considerations have a vital and
especial interest. Certain skins perspire much more freely than others.
This peculiarity occurs in persons of rheumatic and consumptive
tendencies, even when quite free from actual disease. Women in middle
age, also, and all in whom the circulatory system is weakened from any
cause, have this tendency. But the people to whom, in addition, the
Jaeger system appeals the most are certainly those who are corpulent,
or show any tendency to become so. And as this point will probably
interest many readers, I will give a brief notice of what Dr. Jaeger
says on the subject.

To be in what we English people call “good condition” there must be a
correct proportion of the most important bodily constituents—viz.,
albumen, fat, and water. The first is the foundation of nerve, muscle,
blood, etc., and in fact sustains the existence of the body. Relatively
to albumen, water and fat may be viewed as auxiliaries, although they
are indispensable in themselves. A proper condition of body requires
that these three constituents shall be present in certain proportions,
while the richer the body is in albumen the sounder it will be, and
the fitter for work. On the other hand, any excess of fat or water
will lessen its energies, and its power of repelling the action of
influences likely to promote disease.

Of the evils of the increase of fat most people who suffer from it are
only too conscious. But besides the more visible ones, they are usually
poor-blooded, and consequently lacking in vital energy, while the fat
diminishes the necessary space for the circulation of the blood and the
respiratory organs. The first of these evils shows itself in flushing
of the face when the circulation is quickened by exertion, and in the
difficulty felt in the return of the blood from the lower parts of the
body to the heart, which causes lassitude in the legs, and a tendency
to varicose veins; while, if the circulation of water in the system
be also impeded, dropsical swellings in the legs will ensue. The
limitation of space due to fat hinders also the free play of the lungs,
and the obese are disabled from exceptional exertion which necessitates
fuller breathing than usual.

Thus every one wishing to preserve health and working capacity, must
keep strict watch on the deposit of fat going on in the body; and all
such symptoms must be taken as evincing a wrong system of living;
and in order to stay its further accumulation and get rid of what is
superfluous, recourse must be had to augmented action of the skin.

The increased percentage of water and fat in the system renders it also
more liable to disease, more sensitive to cold, and disposed to chest
affections in the winter. In addition, the working powers of the mind
are sensibly lessened. Dr. Jaeger has discovered that their presence
in excess can be tested by the specific gravity and the rapidity of
the nervous action: and he has constructed an air-tight chamber where
experiments may be conducted on the former, and a stop-watch tests the
rapidity of the latter.

Not less interesting is Dr. Jaeger’s theory of the source of the
emotions, which he places in the albumen in the bodily tissues,
emanating in the form of subtile essences, which are opposed to each
other in the effect they produce, and which may be distinguished
as “salutary” and “noxious.” As a rule, the sanitary principle is
fragrant, the noxious tainted and offensive. The odor may be most
readily perceived in the hair of the head, and is more evident in the
adult than the child. If the subject of the test be in a cheerful mood,
the scent will be agreeable and sweet; but if sorrowful, depressed, or
in pain, the scent will be disagreeable. This odor may be noticed in
the anguish of fever, under the influence of terror, and exhales from
the mouth and nose, and, as Dr. Jaeger has proved by experiment, from
the brain as well.

These things Dr. Jaeger considers that the experience of many readers
will confirm, and that they have great practical importance in
connection with his system. The German names given to these odorous
substances are _Lust und Unlust Stoffe_, substances of pleasure and
dislike. The former are thought by the Doctor to be the healing powers
of the body, which heighten all the vital actions and its powers of
resistance against contagion of all kinds. Sheep’s wool in particular
attracts these substances of pleasure, while the plant fibre favors
the accumulation of the substances of dislike, with all their evil
consequences. This last fact, which the German scientific medical world
considers Dr. Jaeger has proved, is supposed to be of the greatest
importance, as showing how to raise the resistibility of the human body
against contagious disease. The observations made extend to diphtheria,
cholera, typhus, smallpox, measles, whooping-cough, and influenza.

I have endeavored thus far to divest the subject, as far as possible,
of scientific matter, so that the principle may be easily understood by
those who have made no previous study of these or any kindred subjects,
relating to the hygiene and sanitary management of the body. I will now
turn to the more practical considerations of the materials and shapes
of the clothing recommended.

Dr. Jaeger advocates the use of nothing but wool, both for clothing and
also for the bed and bedding. No half-measures will answer; even the
linings of coats and dresses must be of wool, and men’s collars, and
even women’s stay-laces, must be of the same. The material which, after
much consideration, he has selected, is what is called “stockingette
web,” which is merely woollen yarn woven in an elastic manner, like
jerseys and stockings, and the woollen and merino under-shirts and
drawers, now in common use. The somewhat clumsy name “stockingette”
owes its origin to the fact that there was no technical name for that
kind of elastic weaving which is applied to stockings, and which was
called into existence as a “piece” material by the fashion of wearing
jerseys, three or four years ago. Dr. Jaeger considers this weaving
porous and supple and more durable than flannel; while they feel more
comfortable on the skin, and areless liable to shrink than flannel,
when in the hands of the washerwomen.

No admixture of vegetable fibre should be admitted, and the practice
of wearing a woollen shirt under a cotton or linen one, Dr. Jaeger
considers enervating and weakening. Clothing should fit quite tightly
to the skin, so as to allow of the least possible movement of air
between it and the body; the second great rule being that it should
be twice as thick along the middle line of the trunk, from the neck
downwards, as at the sides or back. Another point for consideration
is the number of garments to be worn one over the other. On this
question Dr. Jaeger is of opinion that the clothing for men and boys
should simply consist of a woollen shirt, woollen socks or stockings,
cloth trousers fitting as closely as may be, and a cloth coat. The
coat sleeves and linings should be of woollen, and these, as well as
the trouser legs, when the latter do not fit tightly, must be closed
against upward draughts by webbings sewn into them, and fitting tightly
round the arms and ankles. No drawers are required, no waistcoat, and
no overcoat; not even in the winter time, except when driving. Men’s
coats must fit tightly up to the neck, and compactly to the figure,
and all others must be laid aside as unsanitary. The coat must also be
double-breasted, and like all the rest of the materials recommended,
must be undyed, of the natural color, or treated with uninjurious
fast dyes. The same rule applies to the trousers, which must fasten so
as to continue the middle line of extra warmth. This rule has special
application to those who desire to melt away superfluous fat, or those
who are subject to disorders of the stomach or digestive organs.

The feet are to be covered with woollen socks, with a special division
for each toe; or else one for the great toe, while the upper part of
the boot must be of felt, and the lower part of felt or porous leather;
the boot being kept thoroughly porous, so that the feet may be as
cleanly and pure as the hands. The usual starched linen collar is
substituted by one made of unstiffened white cashmere, or one of the
wool in its natural hue. These collars can be obtained in every shape
and style, stand up and turn-downs, and they are considered as the most
comfortable that could possibly be devised, as well as preventions of
throat disorders. The hat should be of felt, and no linings of leather
nor linen are admissible. Instead of these a strip of felt should
be used, or else the hat should be quite without lining, like a
Turkish fez. The shellac used in stiffening hats is said to have an
injurious effect, and those who are bald or threatened with baldness,
or those who suffer from headaches, are especially advised to try the
unstiffened sanitary hat and its woollen lining.

The clothing recommended for women is not very different, so far
as shirts and drawers are concerned, to that advised for men. The
night-dresses are the same, except a slight trimming of lace at the
neck. The union, or “combination” garment, a pair of woollen stays,
a petticoat of knitted undyed wool, and another, if desired of woven
stockingette, constitute all the clothing needed, in addition to
the outward dress, made of pure wool also, high to the neck, and
having a double lining over the chest, as advised in the case of
men. The lace collars for use are also of woollen yak lace, and the
pocket-handkerchief is of fine cashmere, either white or of a handsome
dark red. This last, Dr. Jaeger declares, is a very effective agent in
the cure of the colds and catarrhs of winter.

Against such “cherished finery” as silk dresses, white starched
petticoats, linen stays, cotton and silk stockings, and white or
colored cotton starched dresses, Dr. Jaeger protests; and says he
fears he shall be considered a disturber of the peace of households,
when he remembers the delight women take in interminable washings and
starchings. But he takes courage, seeing that his own wife has not only
become used to the new order of things, but declares she would not
willingly revert to the _statu quo ante_, and that women, if possible,
need the advantages offered by woollen clothing more than men.

The last of Dr. Jaeger’s plans I shall consider is the substitution of
woollen materials for linen and cotton in our beds. The bed itself must
be free from vegetable fibre, the mattress filled with hair or wool,
and the covering of both should be woollen; for this reason feathers of
course cannot be used, although they are all an animal substance. The
linen or cotton sheets are replaced by sheets made of the finest white
cashmere, or, if preferred, by woollen blankets or camel-hair rugs; and
a special form of dress, having a hood, is given, to enable the wearer
to sleep with the window open without fear of taking cold. This last
he regards as an important part of the sanitary rules of his system.
The covering meant for travellers to sleep in has also a hood, and
the skirt is long enough to contain two square pockets for the feet.
Covered in this way, the traveller may defy damp beds, and all the
general discomfort of foreign hotels.

In reward for our adoption of his “normal” system of clothing, Dr.
Jaeger promises us—not indeed complete immunity from disease, but
health equal to the animal creation that spend their lives in an
artificial state. We shall have flesh thoroughly hardened, and
tendencies to corpulence will be reduced. In a word, the physical and
mental working powers will show a great and general improvement, the
nervous action will be accelerated, and the body will have resumed its
“normal,” or true condition.

Of course, so thorough an innovation so completely in contradiction
to received ideas, to vast trade interests, and to the opinions of
the world in general, will be much discussed and strenuously opposed.
Dr. Jaeger says that he has been reproached with “riding an excellent
theory to death;” but his only ruling principle through life has been
to “examine everything, and retain the best;” and this is the principle
we recommend the public to apply in the honest testing of his new
system.—_Good Words._



THE MAN IN BLUE.


BY R. DAVEY.

I am a professor of music, and was born so long ago as the last
century, at Salsberg, in Germany. My father was a merchant of that
city; _fanatico per la musica_, as the Italians say, music mad. Knowing
that each of his children would inherit a fair fortune, he permitted us
to somewhat neglect our other studies, so that we might dedicate more
time to his beloved science. My two sisters played remarkably well on
the spinet, and sang finely. Karl, my only brother, was the flautist
of the family, and I devoted myself to the violin. At sixteen years of
age I believed myself an adept on this difficult instrument. My violin
was my constant companion. Nothing gave me more pleasure than to take
my dear “Fortunato,” for so I called it, into the woods, and there, by
the murmuring brook, beneath the rustling trees, improvise new airs and
vary old ones, to my heart’s content.

So greatly did my father delight in displaying the talents of his
children, that he organized every Thursday afternoon an amateur
concert, at which at least a quarter of the town assisted—to listen
to, admire, or criticise, about as much music as could possibly be
crowded into a three hours’ performance. One fine Thursday afternoon
in autumn, just as the first of our pieces was concluded, a very
singular-looking individual entered the concert-room. He was as thin
and pale as an unearthly apparition, and entirely dressed in shabby
garments of light blue corduroy. His well-worn knee-breeches were
blue, his jacket was blue, his vest was blue, and the huge cravat that
fastened his great flapping shirt-collar was also blue. His face was
the most melancholy in expression it is possible to imagine. He had a
big, hooked nose, thin lantern jaws, and the only redeeming feature
which he possessed, his dark and intelligent eyes, were hidden by a
pair of goggle spectacles. His hair was bright red and uncut, and his
beard seemed as if it had never been trimmed since it first began to
grow.

He did not attempt to apologize for his intrusion into our company,
but without looking to the right or to the left made straight for
a vacant seat, and taking it, prepared to listen to the music with
marked attention. It was my turn to play, but I was so confused, so
utterly by the appearance of this strange personage, that when I
struck my violin with the bow my hand trembled so much that I could
not produce a sound. I tried again and again, and was about to give
it up in despair when the Man in Blue rose from his seat and came
directly to me. “Young man,” said he, “you have a more difficult
instrument there than you think; hand it to me, I will play in your
stead.” I mechanically gave him “Fortunato.” Presently he began.
Never in all my life had I before heard such playing. The instrument
seemed to have within its wooden frame a divine soul, capable of
expressing every possible emotion—joy, grief, passionate agony, and
triumphant jubilee. We were all amazed and delighted, and at the
termination of his concerto such a burst of enthusiastic applause
greeted the singular performer that he seemed quite overcome and
confused. However, he bowed his acknowledgments, though in the most
grotesque fashion.

It happened that we were on the eve of a grand annual musical festival,
at which some of the greatest musicians of Germany had declared their
intention of being present. My father, naturally concluding that our
guest was some celebrated maestro, who had arrived incognito, hastened
to thank him for the favor he had conferred upon us, and also to offer
him the hospitality of his house during his stay in our town. The Man
in Blue at first refused, then hesitated, and finally accepted my
father’s pressing invitation.

For one week we surrounded him with every attention, and he, by his
gentle manners and genius, soon won our affection and respect. But all
our attempts to find out who he was and whence he came proved vain; he
took no notice of our discreet hints, and not one of us dared to ask
the question point-blank. He set himself to work to teach me a great
many things about the violin of which I was previously ignorant, and to
this curious man I owe many of my greatest triumphs. “My son,” he would
say, “love music; music is the food of the soul—the only possession we
have on earth which we shall retain in Heaven.”

If a stranger happened to pay us a visit, our new friend would
immediately take refuge in the garden. He liked to be alone with Karl,
myself, and his violin. One day a merchant named Krebbs arrived on
business which he had to transact with my father, and as he entered he
stumbled against the Man in Blue, who was making good his escape. The
poor violinist, on perceiving merchant Krebbs, became as pale as death,
tottered to a seat in the garden, and covered with confusion, hid his
face in his hands.

“Well, I am sure,” said Krebbs to my father, “you are an odd man to
take in that creature. Why, I thought he was in prison, or drowned, or
run over.”

“You know him then?” asked my father, with ill-disguised curiosity.

“Know him—of course I do. Why, his name is Bèze; he is a carpenter
by trade. But, bless you, he’s as mad as a March hare. Some time
ago our church-organ was struck by lightning. Bèze came forward at
once, and proposed to mend it, provided the parish furnished him the
materials. As he was known for a good musician and a clever workman,
our curé granted his request. To work went he; night and day he labored
for at least six weeks. At last the organ was mended, Bèze struck a
chord or so, and it appeared better than ever. The day arrived for
the first public hearing of the renovated instrument; the mayor—all
the village, in short, was present; and Bèze himself did not fail to
appear, attired as usual in blue. Blue is his color. He made some vow
or other, years ago, to the Virgin, never to wear any other but her
colors—blue and white. I tell you he is crazy. But to return to the
organ. When our old organist began to play upon it, not a sound would
it produce—except when he pulled the new stop out. Off went the organ,
_whoo whee_, and then it set to squeaking and whistling like mad. The
girls began to laugh, the mayor to swear, and the curé grew furious.
Bèze is a fool—Bèze is an idiot—he has ruined the organ! cried every
one, and soon amid the derision of the congregation, your friend left
the church. Strange to say, since that day we have never again seen the
creature; but our organ is completely spoilt, and remains dumb.”

Thus spoke merchant Krebbs. I would hear no more, but hurried out to
console my poor friend. I found him beneath an apple-tree, sitting
all forlorn, his face turned towards the sinking sun. “Ah! my young
friend,” he said, “do you see yon little cloud which obscures the
splendor of the sun? So the words of a foolish man may tarnish the fame
of a genius.”

“But,” I replied, “see, the little cloud has vanished already, and the
light of the sun is but the brighter for the contrast.”

He smiled. “The cloud that hangs over my tarnished name will have to
pass away soon, or it will be too late. That organ which I constructed
has a soul within it. All my life I have labored to know how to lodge
my ideal of music within the compass of a single instrument. I have
done this. The soul is there. But I know not how to play upon the
organ, and they, in their blind rage, will not allow me to explain to
them. Oh, if I could, before I die, but find Sebastian Bach! He would
call to life the soul of music that lies sleeping in my organ, and
prove to the world that Bèze is neither mad nor an impostor.”

My father took no notice of what merchant Krebbs had said, and when he
joined us in the garden he entreated Bèze to play for him in the open
air. The Man in Blue played for us a number of national and simple
melodies in such a pathetic manner that several times I saw tears in
my father’s eyes; at last he said, as the musician finished, “Friend,
though your organ is a failure, your violin is truly heavenly. Stay
with me yet a while.”

“My organ is not a failure; it is the triumph of my life.”

“But no one can play on it.”

“One day some one will, and then——”

“Well, we will say no more about it. Come, the supper is ready.” And he
led the way in.

The next morning the Man in Blue was gone. We were sorry for his
disappearance; but soon forgot all about it in our anxiety over the
festival which was near at hand. Glück had promised to come, and we
were anxious to know with whom he would stay. Then Bach arrived, and
soon came Graun—illustrious Graun—whose nobility of mind inspired his
lovely melodies, and with him those inseparable geniuses, Fürch and
Hass. And Hamburg sent us Gasman and Teliman. Those who have never even
heard the name of these great composers are yet familiar with their
melodies. Many of the popular tunes now so much admired I have heard in
my youth fresh from the minds of their original composers, free from
the twirls and shakes clumsily added to them to disguise their true
origin.

These illustrious persons were as simple and unostentatious in manners
as it is possible to be. They assembled in the Hall of St. Cecilia, and
I had the privilege of assisting at their rehearsals. I often passed
hours listening to their long discourses on harmony, on keys, scales,
and chords. One night Glück played, for the first time, a portion of
his “Iphigenia;” and on another, Bach enchanted us by a performance of
his delightful preludes. Bach, somehow or other, took a fancy to me. He
had observed the marked attention with which I listened to the remarks
of the different composers, and to their music. He asked me my name,
and who my father was; and I in answer, growing bold, not only related
all that concerned myself, but also the story of my Friend in Blue.

“An organ that no one can play upon!” exclaimed this great composer;
“well, that is singular.”

“But I am sure you can.”

“Why?”

“Because I am certain that the man that made the organ is a great
musician, although he cannot play upon it himself. He plays upon the
violin.”

“As well as I do?” asked Graun.

I hesitated, and hung my head: I did not dare say “yes,” and yet I
would not say “no”.

“Speak up, my boy; say the truth always, and shame the devil.”

“He plays better than you, sir, I think; but then he plays out in the
woods, and music sounds better there than in a close room.”

“True, it does.”

“My masters,” said I at last, after some hesitation, “will any one of
you, in your charity, try the organ—the village is not distant—and
thus justify the poor man?”

“I will myself,” answered Bach, “on Sunday. But say nothing about it to
any one. Only to your friend, if you can find him, in order to induce
him to be present in the church on that morning.”

With heartfelt thanks I gave the illustrious composer my promise to
obey in every particular his injunctions.

On leaving the St. Cecilia Hall that evening (it was Friday) almost the
first person I met was, to my surprise, the Man in Blue. Hidden in the
courtyard of the Hall, he had been listening to the music, and was in
a state of nervous enthusiasm which quite alarmed me. I hesitated to
inform him what Bach intended to do, but at last I did so; he received
the news in a manner that I little expected. He made no demonstration
of joy, but followed me in silence until we were in a lonely part of
the town—a little square in the centre of which grew three or four old
trees. Here he paused, and sinking on his knees, prayed earnestly. The
moon shone down upon his uplifted face, and it seemed almost beautiful,
so great was the expression it bore of devotion and intellect. When he
had finished his prayer he embraced me in silence, and we parted.

Sunday arrived, and at an early hour I started for the church of the
village. As I traversed the little field in front of it, I beheld
advancing from the opposite side several of the professors, and
amongst them Bach. By-and-by, as it got noised about that some of the
celebrities were in the church, it filled to excess. Presently, Bach
mounted the organ-loft. How my heart beat! Mass began. At the “Kyrie,”
for the first time, the instrument gave forth sounds, but sounds of
such heavenly sweetness that the congregation was thrilled as if by the
music of the angels. As the Mass advanced the more marvellous became
the harmony. The “Agnus” was so plaintive that I saw tears in the eyes
of Glück, who stood by me; and the “Sanctus” sounded so triumphantly
that it required but little imagination to believe that the cherubim
and seraphim were present singing their jubilant song of praise:

“Holy, holy, is the Lord God of Sabaoth.”

And the Man in Blue, where was he?

By the altar, with his face turned towards his organ. His whole
countenance was radiant, his eyes were bright, and a look ecstatic and
serene passed over his features. But how ethereal he looked!

When Mass was over the congregation passed round the porch to see the
great composers. “Long live Bach!” “Hail to Glück!” they cried as they
recognized these popular men.

But Bach held aloof. “Lead me,” he said, “to that man of genius who has
so wonderfully improved the king of instruments.”

“Master,” I answered, “he is in the church.” And we re-entered the
sacred edifice together, followed by Graun. I led them to the Man in
Blue. But what a change had come over him! The pallor of death was on
his brow; he had sunk back on a bench, and when he perceived us vainly
strove to rise. “Ah! excuse me, my masters. I receive you very badly;
but I am not well—the joy has killed me. I am dying, gentlemen, of
joy.”

They raised him between them. I ran for the priest, and to the doors,
which I shut to prevent the entrance of any intruders.

“Master, whilst I confess, play to me,” he said to Bach.

Bach, seeing that mortal aid was useless, left us, and went up to
the organ. Solemnly he played. He played, as he afterwards said, as
he never played before or since. The priest arrived, and Graun and I
knelt down whilst the Man in Blue received the last Sacraments. This
pious act accomplished, we went nearer to him. He took my hand, and
Graun rested the head of Bèze upon his breast. Solemnly the music stole
through the silent church; solemnly the sunlight streamed through the
stained windows, and the Angel of Death stood within the temple of God.

“I am very happy,” murmured the dying man, “since Bach plays to me on
my organ, and Graun permits me to rest upon his bosom.”

To me he said, “God bless thee, my child—tell them I was not mad, nor
an impostor. My organ had a soul.”

Graun stooped and kissed his pale brow, and with an exquisite look of
gratitude the Man in Blue died, and the Angel of Death winged his way
to heaven, bearing the poor carpenter’s soul to God.—_Merry England._



LITERARY NOTICES.


      TRUE, AND OTHER STORIES. By George Parsons Lathrop.
        New York: _Funk & Wagnalls_.

      NOBLE BLOOD. A Novel. By Julian Hawthorne,
        author of “Sebastian Strome,” “Garth,” “Bressant,” etc.
        New York: _D. Appleton & Co._

      PRINCE SARONI’S WIFE AND THE PEARL-SHELL NECKLACE.
        By Julian Hawthorne. New York: _Funk & Wagnalls_.

      DR. GRATTAN. A Novel. By William A. Hammond,
        author of “Lal.” New York: _D. Appleton & Co._

      THE OLD-FASHIONED FAIRY BOOK. By Mrs. Burton Harrison.
        Illustrated by Rosina Emmet.
        New York: _Charles Scribner’s Sons_.

      KATHERINE. A Novel. By Susa B. Vance.
        Philadelphia: _J. B. Lippincott & Co._

      WHITE FEATHERS. By G. I. Cervus.
        Philadelphia: _J. B. Lippincott & Co._

Mr. Lathrop, whose little collection of stories heads this list of
recent fiction, is a young American author who is well and favorably
known as a writer of subtlety and penetration in the delineation
of character, as well as marked by a notable picturesqueness of
presentation. The volume before us, though by no means representative
of his best, has much of his characteristic quality, both on its
serious and comic sides. “True” is a tale of North Carolina life, the
scene being laid, for the most part, near Pamlico Sound. It has the
merit of being thoroughly an American story, though the basis for the
plot is laid in the separation of two English lovers in the early days
of American colonization, the lady going with her father to the new
world, her lover being at the last moment forced to remain in England,
never again to rejoin his sweetheart. From this separation and the
chance meeting, after two hundred years, of a descendant of the young
Englishman with representatives of his sweetheart’s line, Mr. Lathrop
weaves a tale of uncommon interest, and of much dramatic power. He
has struck perhaps the richest vein of romance that American history
affords, and the literary skill, and yet simplicity, with which he
improves his opportunity, are worthy of high commendation. The other
stories in the volume, “Major Barrington’s Marriage,” “Bad Peppers,”
“The Three Bridges,” and “In Each Other’s Shoes,” are good, each in its
own way, and afford a pleasant variety of excellent reading.

Mr. Julian Hawthorne’s story of “Noble Blood” is a pleasant yet subtile
and quaint story, the scene of which is laid in Ireland. A young artist
becomes acquainted with a very beautiful woman whose ambition is to
link her own with noble blood. The hero of the story, who loves his new
friend, who, though of Irish birth and family, is descended from an
Italian merchant, discovers through a singular chain of circumstances
that the lady is the descendant of the noblest blood in Venice, her
so-called merchant forefather having been a great Venetian noble, who
was compelled to fly from his own land to escape the consequences of an
act of mad revenge. This strange revelation satisfies Miss Cadogna’s
desire for noble blood, and she contents herself with her plain lover.
Out of this simple yet quaint and dramatic material Mr. Hawthorne has
woven a singularly interesting little romance, in which the graver
elements are touched up by little flashes and strokes of humor. It is
a piece of good literary work and will add to the author’s reputation,
though it is by no means up to the author’s best level.

As good as the foregoing novel is there is much stronger and subtler
work in “Prince Saroni’s Wife” and the “Pearl-Shell Necklace,” two
short stories that well illustrate Mr. Hawthorne’s peculiar power.
Each is of a tragical cast, and the latter especially has at times a
dramatic intensity that becomes almost painful. Mr. Hawthorne, as did
his father, embodies his most tragical conceptions in such simple and
direct language, that the spell wrought upon the reader does not pass
with the reading, but remains long after the book has been laid aside.
There is a psychological value, too, in Mr. Hawthorne’s work, which
rewards a close study of his characters. One feels that he is not a
mere story-teller, but, as well, an acute analyzer and a close student
of human nature in some of its most perplexing phases. “Prince Saroni’s
Wife” is the tale of an Italian prince, and “The Pearl-Shell Necklace”
is a story of American life. Both of them are well worth the reading,
and told with a clear-cut strength and directness which mark the writer
as a literary artist as well as a man of genius.

Dr. Hammond’s second novel, “Dr. Grattan,” is not equal to his first
in power, freshness, and dramatic sense, qualities which partly
redeemed the crudeness and extravagance of the latter book. “Lal” was
in many ways a notable work, and though the work of a prentice hand
in the art of novel-writing, had plenty of strength and vigor in it.
In “Dr. Grattan” one must confess to a feeling of disappointment, as
the story is a trifle dull, and none of the characters have any of the
_vraisemblance_ of flesh and blood, except a few of the village loafers
and loungers, who haunt the village store of the Adirondack town, where
the scene of the story is placed. Dr. Grattan, the hero of the book, is
a middle aged country physician, who has one fair daughter, and who is
pictured to us as a noble specimen of a man, in his physical, mental,
and moral attributes. Mr. Lamar and his daughter Louise are personages
of a singular cast. The father is a monomaniac, though a gentleman and
a millionaire, and the daughter a superb and glorious woman, endowed
with all the noblest qualities of her sex. The main animus of the book
is apparently to show that a middle-aged country physician may have a
justifiable taste for novel-writing, to while away the intervals of
medical practice; and that he, if well-preserved and good-looking, even
if encumbered with a pretty daughter herself marriageable, may win the
superb and glorious woman before mentioned for a second wife. Both of
these points the author establishes to his own satisfaction. There is
enough material to make a very good story, but we do not think Dr.
Hammond handles it with as much skill and deftness as might be woven
into it. The style is slipshod and careless, and such as one might
fancy would be the instinctive method of an author who had rattled off
the matter at race-horse speed very much as a woman would reel off a
skein of worsted. One or two unpleasant faults are specially noticeable
in a minor way. One among them may be mentioned as a disposition to
sneer at novelists, who, whatever their faults of conception as to the
function of the novelist, rank deservedly high as master-artists in
style and finish of method. The questionable taste of such criticism,
under the circumstances, is very much such as would call forth
condemnation for Howells or James if they had the audacity to practice
medicine to the infinite peril of their fellow-beings, and then
satirize a skilful and experienced physician whose ability was widely
recognized. _Ne sutor ultra crepidem_, or, if he will insist, let not
the shoemaker use his last to measure the art of Apelles or Praxiteles.

Mrs. Burton Harrison’s “Old-Fashioned Fairy Book” is a collection
of fresh and charming fairy stories and middle-age myths happily
adapted to the taste and comprehension of young people. This lady has
discovered in the various examples of literary work, she has given the
public, fine artistic taste and facility. The present little volume
is a charming present for lads and lassies, and the stories told are
not such as the youngster finds in the ordinary book of fairy stories.
They are derived from out-of-the way sources, and though some of them
are rather grim for young people, they are on the whole sufficiently
healthy and cheerful for their purpose. The chief recommendation of
these selections is that they do not belong to the class of hackneyed
and conventional tales mostly utilized for fairy book-making. The
illustrations by Miss Rosina Emmet are spirited; graceful and
appropriate.

The last two novels mentioned in our list may be dismissed with a few
words as belonging to the eminently proper and virtuous school of
fiction, which demands that there shall be a certain fixed proportion
of such haranguing as would be ordinarily heard in a Sunday-school,
whatever other elements may be introduced to meet the tastes of the
novel-reading class. The excellent moral advice so freely scattered
throughout these novels we cordially commend as worthy to be pondered
and inwardly digested, but probably the average novel-reader would wish
for it in a different place. Yet there are novels and novels, just as
there are people and people, and it may be that there is a public for
just such productions as the above. It is with unqualified pleasure
that we commend these two volumes, “White Feathers” and “Katherine,” as
quite gorgeous specimens of bookbinding and cover designing in a cheap
fashion.

      EGYPT AND BABYLON. FROM SACRED AND PROFANE SOURCES.
        By George Rawlinson, M.A.,
        Camden Professor of Ancient History, Oxford.
        New York: _Charles Scribner’s Sons_.

This contribution to ancient history is a useful companion to Prof.
Sayce’s “Ancient Empires of the East,” recently published by the same
house. It is the work of one of the most noted of English scholars, and
he has brought all the latest researches to bear on the study of the
two great empires of Egypt and Babylonia, with whom the Jewish people
had most to do. The method of Prof. Rawlinson is to make the Biblical
references to these two mighty nations the text or foundation of his
studies; and then to turn on the somewhat obscure and contradictory
accounts of the Sacred Records the fulness of light brought out of
archæological and linguistic research. The result is very happy, and
the Biblical student of the Old Testament will find in this book a
guide of the greatest value in clearly grasping the accounts of the
Biblical writers.


      THE HUNDRED GREATEST MEN:
        PORTRAITS OF THE HUNDRED GREATEST MEN IN HISTORY,
        REPRODUCED FROM FINE AND RARE STEEL-ENGRAVINGS,
        WITH GENERAL INTRODUCTION BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON;
        AND TO BOOK I. BY MATTHEW ARNOLD; TO BOOK II. BY H.
        TAINE; TO BOOK III. BY PROF. MAX MÜLLER AND ERNEST
        RENAN; TO BOOK IV. BY PRESIDENT NOAH PORTER; TO
        BOOK V. BY VERY REV. DEAN STANLEY; TO BOOK VI. BY
        PROF. H. HELMHOLTZ; TO BOOK VII. BY J. A. FROUDE;
        AND TO BOOK VIII. BY PROF. JOHN FISKE.
        New York: _D. Appleton & Co._

The editor of this collection of pen portraits of the hundred
greatest men, informs us that the project is one side of an attempt
to view the history of the world as natural history. In this way he
conceives biography as the physiology of history just as archæology
is its anatomy. With this thought in mind Dr. William Wood has been
for fifteen years a collector of engraved portraits and antiquities
regarding them as historic documents. Out of this mass of material
he has given us the illustrations of the book, which consist of the
portraits of the great men, the primates of their race, while to
illustrate the portraits we have short, and, it need hardly be said,
meagre accounts of the men themselves, with a brief tabulation of
their work, and a condensed estimate of their place in the world’s
progress. The principal literary value of the book, we think, is to
be found in the prefaces or introductions to each department, with
the general introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. All of these are
written in a scholarly and able style, and will be read with as much
or even more interest than the biographical sketches themselves.
After all, we fancy the value of the work to most readers will be
accepted as pertaining to the portraits, which are reproduced in
a very artistic manner from old and rare engravings. These are of
great interest. In the biographical statements nothing but the barest
outline, not quite as much, in fact, as may be found in our best
cyclopædias, is attempted. The book is very handsomely printed and
manufactured, and is one of the best specimens of book-making which
we have recently seen.


      EVE’S DAUGHTERS; OR, COMMON-SENSE FOR MAID, WIFE AND MOTHER.
        By Marian Harland, author of “Common-Sense in the Household.”
        New York: _Charles Scribner’s Sons_.

The author of this book is widely known, and her words respected in a
line of subjects peculiarly affecting the interests of her own sex. In
the new volume under notice she talks familiarly to her sex about those
matters where women need sound counsel more than elsewhere. It is in
the relations of wife and mother that her advice is the most urgent and
important. At a time when there is growing up among women of the better
class such a cruelly perverse view of the duties and responsibility of
their own sex, especially in relation to marriage and child-bearing,
the words of a wise, earnest and thoughtful woman are peculiarly
needed. Miss Harland speaks plainly, yet delicately, on such subjects,
and if her injunctions could be widely heeded the world would be better
off. It is a work to be specially and cordially recommended to young
women everywhere.


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

The author of this book, for we suppose he can be called an author who
rearranges and classifies the text of the Bible with a view to bringing
out better the inner meaning and purpose of the text, we are led to
judge is not a theologian by profession. But this does not commend his
work any the less. The unprofessional enthusiast, believing either that
he has some inner illumination, or convinced that he is working on the
lines of a finer and higher logic than is given to other men, is well
justified in encroaching on a field which by ordinary consent is given
up to professional scholars. Mr. Latch is evidently profoundly sure
that he has found esoteric meanings in the great Biblical cryptogram,
which reveal themselves clearly once the clew is given. The clew in
this case is a study of the Bible, taking the interpretations of St.
Paul as a starting-point and assuming a number of bases, according to
which these interpretations are classed. The whole attempt is curious
and interesting, and is likely to prove edifying to students of the
Sacred Scriptures. Mr. Latch works out a curious historic psychology in
the sacred records, and his comments and glosses are highly ingenious
if not convincing. Of one thing we are sure. The author is convinced
that his mission is to make the purpose of the Bible clearer, more
consecutive and conclusive for the theology worked out of it by that
great codifier and lawgiver of Christian theology, St. Paul. This
modern coadjutor of the great apostle is saturated with the Pauline
theology, and yet some of his views are fresh and original, though
never at variance with those of his master, from whom he drinks at
the fountainhead. The quaint and ingenious interpretations which we
find scattered through these pages will repay reading, even when we
think his glosses forced and eccentric. To find a man in this age of
the world, after the raging of eighteen hundred years of exhaustive
religious and dogmatic controversy, who fancies that he has something
new and startling to say on the problems propounded in the Bible, is a
refreshing fact which should not go without brief comment.


      THE ELEMENTS OF MORAL SCIENCE, THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL.
        By Noah Porter, D.D., LL.D., President of Yale College.
        New York: _Charles Scribner’s Sons_.

The remarkable President of Yale College, whose name is treasured
up in the hearts of thousands of the alumni of Yale as one of the
wisest, most genial, and lovable of the many distinguished instructors
associated with the history of the college, gives us in this study of
ethics the ripe and mellowed fruit of his thought and work. For many
years President Porter was the professor of mental and moral philosophy
before he assumed the headship of the college. The substance of the
book before us was originally given in the shape of lectures before
the senior classes. We are told that the book is not designed for
a scientific treatise, but to meet the wants of those students and
readers who, though somewhat mature in their philosophical thinking and
disciplined in their mental habits, still require expanded definitions
and abundant illustrations involving more or less of repetition.
Dr. Porter has in his own line of investigation great clearness of
statement, and the power, perhaps growing out of the needs of the
class-room, of familiarizing and simplifying abstruse reasonings.
We find this strikingly illustrated in the book before us. It is
masterly in its lucidity of reasoning, and in its applications often so
practical as to make us feel that the object of the author is not
merely to lay bare the scientific theory of ethics, but to bring
its principles home to the heart and sympathy of his readers. As a
dialectical exposition the cut-and-dried philosopher who revels in the
abstract formulas of Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and others may find
occasion to criticise Dr. Porter’s methods. But to the general reader
the speculations of Dr. Porter will prove none the less interesting
because he brings them down to the sympathies and interests of men.



FOREIGN LITERARY NOTES.


Dr. Stratmann, the compiler of the excellent “Dictionary of the Old
English Language,” has died at Cologne at the age of sixty-two.


The engagement is announced of Mr. G. E. Buckle, the editor of the
_Times_, to Miss Alice Payn, the third daughter of the distinguished
novelist and editor of the _Cornhill Magazine_.


There is the unusual number of three vacancies at this moment in the
ranks of the French “Immortals.” Two of the seats, however, are as
good as filled by M. Joseph Bertrand and M. Victor Duruy. For the
third there are several candidates, of whom M. Ludovic Halévy is first
favorite. It was believed that M. Alphonse Daudet was standing, but he
has authorized the _Figaro_ to say that he never has offered himself,
and never will offer himself to the Academy.


A new novel by Georg Ebers, upon which he has been at work for two
years, is to be published at Christmas. The subject is taken from the
last struggles of Paganism against Christendom, and the scene is laid
in Egypt.


The new and enlarged edition (the third) of Hermann Grimm’s “Essays,”
includes articles on Lord Byron and Leigh Hunt, Frederick the Great and
Macaulay, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Henrik Ibsen’s “Vildanden” to which all Scandinavia has been looking
forward for months past, proves on the whole a disappointment to his
admirers. It is a five-act social satire, full of strong scenes and
pregnant sayings, and containing at least two masterly characters; but
there is no shirking the fact that as a drama it is ill-digested and
formless. Nor is the apologue of “The Wild Duck,” from which it takes
its name, by any means so luminous or of such general application as
is commonly the case with this great satirist’s inventions. It will
certainly not add to the fame of the author of “A Doll’s House” and
“Ghosts.” Björnsen, too, in his new novel, “Det Flager,” is not at his
best. It is an earnest and well-meant protest against false delicacy
in education; but unfortunately it proves its author to be distinctly
deficient in true delicacy. The youngest of the three great Norwegian
poets, Alexander Kielland, has not yet issued his promised novel
“Fortuna,” but it is to be hoped that he may redeem the credit of a
season which has as yet proved by no means the _annus mirabilis_ that
was anticipated.



MISCELLANY.


WOMEN AS CASHIERS.—The movement in favor of employing women
in all kinds of work that was formerly done by men only is one that
should be carried on with caution; for women and girls have sometimes
been put into situations for which their sex is unfit—the Government
clerkships in America for instance—and the result has been a reaction
against their employment in capacities where they are really useful.
But of all the posts to which women’s aptitudes are the least open to
question, that of cashier must be cited first. Women are excellent
money-keepers. While male cashiers form a grievously large percentage
among the prisoners brought to trial for embezzlement, women and girls
being seldom exposed to the same temptations as men in the matter of
dissipation, betting, gambling, or speculation, have very rarely been
known to misappropriate moneys entrusted to them. An honest woman
is very honest; “an honest man is too often,” as Lord Palmerston
bitterly said, “one who has never been tempted.” A man once applied
to an Italian banker for a cashiership, and was asked to state his
qualifications. “I have been ten years in prison,” he said, “and so
shall not mind being locked up in a room by myself, and having my
pockets searched when I go out and come in.” The banker admired his
impudence, took him at his word and used to say that he made a splendid
cashier. We are not affirming that antecedents like this rogue’s are
required to fit a man for a post of trust; but we do maintain that it
is very difficult to find a thoroughly trustworthy male cashier, even
among applicants provided with a mass of testimonials; whereas careful,
honest, and well-educated women, in whom full confidence can be placed,
exist in great numbers.—_Graphic._

THE HOUSE OF LORDS: CAN IT BE REFORMED?—We look to a second
Chamber to improve the work of the first, not simply to foil it. We
do not expect to have to do the work over again, as has been the case
with nearly every measure submitted to the ordeal of passing the House
of Lords. Why is this? How comes it to happen with a House in which,
without doubt, there are men of acknowledged capacity—men fully coming
up to the idea of what an assembly of notables should be—there is this
constantly recurring, mischievous meddling? How is it that beneficent
legislation has almost invariably had to be wrung from them, and that
an inordinate waste of time, coupled with an utterly unnecessary and
irritating friction, has been the result? An answer to these questions
is to be found in the fact that the members of the House of Lords feel
themselves entitled to legislate according to their own sweet will, and
without reference to the wishes or wants of the people of this country.
They look upon all political and social questions from the point of
view of their own order—an order which at the best must be regarded
as exclusive and privileged. This tendency is a perfectly natural one,
and they are to be no more blamed for exhibiting it than any other
class, whether rich or poor, professional or commercial, for looking at
matters from their own point of view. We must condemn the system which
not only enables the Lords to do this, but gives effect to their views
by according to them privileges for which practically the country gets
no return. We have no right to expect a Peer to place himself outside
his surroundings: we have a right to demand that the needs of the many
shall be preferred to the interests of the few. Observe the tendency
of those interests, and note one result, at least, which is in itself
productive of ill. The tendency among the Peers towards the principles
of Conservatism increases every year. Even Peers who in the House of
Commons were apparently sound Liberals rarely maintained their strictly
Liberal attitude; and where the original possessor of the title proves
true to his early faith, it is rarely that his successor walks in
his steps. The consequence is that the Conservative majority in the
House of Lords has for many years gone on steadily increasing, and the
addition of fresh recruits does little to stem the tide; one result
of which is that a Liberal Ministry comes into power very heavily
handicapped; it has this hostile majority always to contend with,
and has to shape its measures, not so much with an eye to the wants
of the people, as to the possibility of mollifying this majority. It
further throws the burden of legislative work on the House of Commons
unduly, because a Liberal Ministry knows full well that it will
require the force of a large majority in the Lower House to induce
the Upper House even to consider its measures. Much of the difficulty
experienced in the House of Commons, by the Government as well as by
private Members, in getting their measures passed, is due to that
House being overworked; the reason of this being that the other House
does not get its fair share of work, owing to its attitude towards
all Liberal legislation. I am far from saying that Conservatives, or
Conservative Peers, have no sympathy with their fellow-countrymen.
But their feeling towards the masses is that of desiring to act for
them rather than of wishing to get them to act for themselves; in
other words they show a tendency to maintain the power of beneficial
legislation in their own hands, and not to entrust it to those who are
likely to feel its effects the most. It is this want of confidence
rather than a lack of sympathy which is so unfortunate. It makes the
Peers anxious to retain power in their own interests; and thus their
action in the House of Lords is taken without the slightest sense of
responsibility, or without the slightest pretence of representing the
views and wishes of the people at large. What, then, is the remedy for
all this? Clearly, to make the second Chamber truly a representative
one—representative of the great interests of the people, of the State,
of the empire.—_British Quarterly._


A REVOLVING LIBRARY.—The idea of applying the principle of
revolution to simplify religious duties seems to have originated in the
feeling that since only the learned could acquire merit by continually
reciting portions of Buddha’s works, the ignorant and hard working were
rather unfairly weighted in life’s heavenward race. Thus it came to be
accounted sufficient that a man should turn over each of the numerous
rolled manuscripts containing the precious precepts, and considering
the multitude of these voluminous writings, the substitution of this
simple process must have been very consolatory. Max Müller has told us
how the original documents of the Buddhist canon were first found
in the monasteries of Nepaul, and soon afterwards further documents
were discovered in Thibet and Mongolia, the Thibetan canon consisting
of two collections, together comprising 333 volumes folio. Another
collection of the Wisdom of Buddha was brought from Ceylon, covering
14,000 palm leaves, and written partly in Singalese and partly in
Burmese characters. Nice light reading! From turning over these
manuscripts by hand, to the simple process of arranging them in a huge
cylindrical bookcase, and turning that bodily, was a very simple and
ingenious transition; and _thus the first circulating library came into
existence_!—_Contemporary Review._


A CHILD’S METAPHORS.—The early use of names by children
seems to illustrate the play of fancy almost as much as the activity
of thought. In sooth, have not thought and imagination this in common,
that they both combine elements of experience in new ways, and both
trace out the similarities of things? The poet’s simile is not so
far removed from the scientific discoverer’s new idea. Goethe the
poet readily became Goethe the morphologist, detecting analogies in
structures which to the common eye were utterly unlike. The sweet
attractiveness of baby-speech is due in no small measure to its highly
pictorial and metaphorical character. Like the primitive language
of the race, that of the child is continually used as a vehicle for
poetical comparison. The child and the poet have this in common, that
their minds are not fettered by all the associations and habits of
mind which lead us prosaic persons to separate things by absolutely
insuperable barriers. In their case imagination darts swiftly, like
a dragon-fly, from object to object, ever discovering beneath a
surface-dissimilarity some unobtrusive likeness. A child is apt to
puzzle its elders by these swift movements of its mind. It requires a
certain poetic element in a parent to follow the lead of the daring
child-fancy, and it is probable that many a fine perception of analogy
by children has been quite thrown away on the dull and prejudiced minds
of their seniors. To give an example of this metaphorical use of words
by the child: C. when eighteen months old was one day watching his
sister as she dipped her crust into her tea. He was evidently surprised
by the rare sight, and after looking a moment or two, exclaimed “Ba!”
(bath), laughing with delight, and trying, as was his wont when deeply
interested in a spectacle, to push his mother’s face round so that
she too might admire it. The boy delighted in such figurative use of
words, now employing them as genuine similes, as when he said of a dog
panting after a run, “Dat bow-wow like puff-puff” and of the first real
ship he saw sailing, “Dat ship go majory daw” (_i.e._ like marjory-daw
in the nursery rhyme). Like many a poet he has had his recurring or
standing metaphors. Thus, as we have seen, “ship” was the figurative
expression for all objects having a pyramidal form. A pretty example
of his love of metaphor was his habit of calling the needle in a small
compass of his father’s “bir” (bird). It needs a baby-mind to detect
the faint resemblance to the bird form and the bird movement here. The
same tendency of the child-mind to view things metaphorically or by
the aid of analogies to what is already familiar, shows itself in the
habit of personifying natural objects. It has been said by a living
philosopher that children do not attribute life, thought, and purpose
to inanimate things; but observation of their use of words is, I think,
decidedly against this view. C. had a way from a very early date of
looking at natural objects as though by their actions they specially
aimed at affecting his well-being. Thus he would show all the signs of
kingly displeasure when his serenity of mind was disturbed by noises.
When, for example, he was taken to the seaside (about when twenty
months old), he greatly disappointed his parent, expectant of childish
wonder in his eyes by merely muttering “Water make noise.” Again, he
happened one day in the last week of his second year to be in the
garden with his father while it was thundering. On hearing the sound he
said with an evident tone of annoyance, “Tonna mâ Ninghi noi,” _i.e._
thunder makes noise for C., and he instantly added, “Notty tonna!”
(naughty thunder). He was falling into that habit of mind against
which philosophers have often warned us, making man the measure of
the universe. The idea that the solemn roar of thunder was specially
designed to disturb the peace of mind of so diminutive a person seems
no doubt absurd enough; yet how many of us are altogether free from
the same narrow, vain, egoistic way of looking out into the vast and
boundless cosmos?—_English Illustrated Magazine._

HAS ENGLAND A SCHOOL OF MUSICAL COMPOSITION?—We suppose the
question must be answered in the affirmative; but with the knowledgment
that the insularity of England reduces the idea to a minimum. Our
insular position is a natural obstacle to the complete development
of our music. We pursue music with all activity, but that of itself
is but the physique, as it were, of vitality. It is an evident truth
that, besides that the artistic and intellectual development of this
great human art necessitates a wide area for its growth, its vital or
emotional being demands a more southern country than England. Central
Europe is the seat of music’s history. Our aspirations, intelligent
activity, and association with the Continent, lead to our reflecting
the workmanship of southern art in our serious compositions; this is
not a struggle, as that to find vitality, but an achievement. This
stage of imitation greatly characterizes modern English music effort.
Even Arthur Sullivan, our modern land Dibdin, shows the intellectual
side of his genius in imitation. The great mass of our modern melody
is too conscious of structure to be true, too sentimental to be real.
These are relative descriptions, but the whole condition of English
music is relative. The musical faculty—the spontaneous creation of
music is national—is natural, yet is not equally developed. Individual
instances of its truthful, vital, genuine (whatever expression
signifies relationship to southern developments) existence in our
history are so rare and isolated, that we might surely wonder how
they came to be, and the influence of their example on us has had
proportionately small consequences. But the typical English activity
and work—which is quite another thing—goes on. We may certainly
allow a national style of English Church music in the past, but must
remember that religion was its _raison d’être_—a wider development of
music was absent. Thus, in asking ourselves if we have or have not a
school of English music—taking “school” to mean the mould of music’s
expression determined by the circumstances and men of the time—we must
acknowledge that, though we doubtless have something of the sort, it is
only in the slightest degree perceptible.—_Musical Opinion._


BOOTY IN WAR.—Charles, as soon as he had finished conquering
Lorraine, gathered his host at Besançon, and marched to Granson on the
Neuchâtel Lake. Here a garrison of 500 Swiss was betrayed to him; he
hanged or drowned every man of them, including the monks who came as
chaplains. Justly enraged, the Federation gathered its whole strength,
and with 24,000 men fell upon Charles unawares and defeated him
utterly. The booty was something fabulous; Burgundy, taking taxes from
all the rich Netherland towns, was then the richest Power in Europe.
The spoil was valued at a quarter of a million. You may calculate what
that would be worth now. The big diamonds—one is now in the Pope’s
tiara, another was long the glory of the French regalia—were among
the valuables. The Duke’s throne was valued at 11,000 gulden; all his
plate, his silver bedstead, his wonderfully illuminated prayer-book,
were taken, besides 1,000,000 gulden in his treasure chest, 10,000
horses, and a proportionate quantity of all kinds of stores. No wonder
the Swiss never recovered Granson; there were long and bitter quarrels
about the division of the booty, and the coming in of so much wealth
amongst a simple people demoralised them sadly, and led the way to
their becoming the chief mercenaries of Europe.—_Good Words._


SIR HENRY BESSEMER.—Among his early contrivances may be
noted a method by which basso-relievos were copied on cardboard, and
also a machine for producing bronze-dust at a low price. Knowing well
the inefficiency of the Patent Laws, Bessemer was careful to conduct
his operations as secretly as possible, and the manufacture of gold
bronze powder is still invested with much of the mystery of mediæval
alchemy. After inventing a system for improving the Government stamps
on deeds and other documents, so as to render forgery impossible,
saving the country several millions (for which he received no reward
or acknowledgment whatever from the Government), he submitted to the
authorities at Woolwich a novel form of projectile. On its rejection
in England he exhibited it to the emperors of France and Austria, who
acknowledged its value, and gave the inventor every assistance for its
improvement. It was incidentally remarked, however, that some stronger
metal than any then in use would be necessary for the construction of
the guns, to enable them to resist so heavy a charge. It is said that
this remark first led Bessemer to turn his attention to the improvement
of the method of smelting iron. He established and maintained at his
own expense a foundry in the north of London, where he continued for
several years to expend nearly the whole of his private fortune. At
length, in 1856, at the Cheltenham meeting of the British Association,
the scientific world was startled, and almost a panic created at
Birmingham, by the announcement of the discovery of the process, since
known as the Bessemer process, which was to effect a revolution in
the metal industry. The invention, however, remained incomplete till
the year 1859, when it first began to be adopted by the Sheffield and
Birmingham manufacturers. Recent improvements—more particularly the
Gilchrist-Thomas process—have since greatly increased its value and
removed, or at least diminished, its earlier defects. Bessemer steel
is now used for every purpose in “hardware,” and has almost entirely
supplanted wrought iron. For rails it has proved invaluable. Then its
extreme tenacity and toughness render it most suitable for the purposes
of ship-building and boiler construction. It has been adopted by Krupp
in Prussia, and Elpstrand in Sweden, for the manufacture of their
celebrated ordnance; and even Sir William Armstrong, in designing his
coiled steel guns, resorted to the Bessemer metal. Mr. W. D. Allen,
of Sheffield, who was the first to adopt the process practically and
commercially, declared recently that he had made every conceivable
article with the metal, from an intermediate crank shaft to a corkscrew
or table-knife. In 1878 a Commission of the Admiralty adopted Bessemer
steel as the most serviceable material for anchors. The inventions of
Sir Henry Bessemer are embodied in no less than 114 patents, and the
drawings of these alone, all from his own pencil, fill seven volumes.
Some of these refer to the casting of printing types, and various
improvements in the management of a type foundry; to railway brakes; to
the improved manufacture of glass; the silvering of glass; to improved
apparatus in sugar refining; and to producing ornamental surfaces on
leather and textile fabrics. In 1875 he invented the _Bessemer_ saloon
steamer for preventing sea-sickness. A company was formed, he himself
subscribing £25,000 towards the capital, but unfortunately it failed.
The institute of Civil Engineers was the first body to recognise
the merits of Mr. Bessemer’s work, and in 1858 conferred upon him
the Telford gold medal. The interposition of the British Government
prevented him receiving from the Emperor Napoleon III. the Grand Cross
of the Legion of Honor. From the Emperor of Austria he received the
Cross of a Knight Commander of Francis Joseph. In 1871, he was elected
President of the Iron and Steel Institute, and in the following year
was awarded the Albert Gold Medal by the Society of Arts. In 1879 he
was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a few months afterwards
was knighted at Windsor.—_Science._


Transcriber’s Notes:
  Underscores “_” before and after a word or phrase indicate _italics_
    in the original text.
  The carat character “^” is used to designate 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:

[1] The best summary of the benefits which the Christian religion has
historically wrought for mankind is, I think, to be found in that
eloquent book “Gesta Christi,” by the great American philanthropist,
Mr. Charles Brace.

The author has made no attempt to delineate the shadowy side of the
glowing picture, the evils of superstition and persecution wherewith
men have marred those benefits.

[2] He says: “The leading doctrines of theology are noble and
glorious;” and he acknowledges that people who were able to accept them
are “ennobled by their creed.” They are “carried above and beyond the
petty side of life; and if the virtue of propositions depended, not
upon the evidence by which they may be supported, but their intrinsic
beauty and utility, they might vindicate their creed against all
others” (p. 917). To some of us the notion of “noble and glorious”
_fictions_ is difficult to accept. The highest thought of our poor
minds, whatever it be, has surely _as such_ some presumption in favor
of its truth.

[3] “Agnostic Morality,” CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, June, 1883.

[4] British tonnage increased from 4,272,962 in 1850 to 5,710,968 in
1860; American tonnage from 3,485,266 in 1850 to 5,297,177 in 1860.
On the 30th of June, 1883, twenty years after the civil war, American
tonnage stood at 4,235,487!

[5] “The poet doubtless here refers to his Priory of St.
Cosme-en-l’Isle; of which, Duperron, in his funeral oration on Ronsard,
has said: ‘This Priory is placed in a very agreeable situation on the
banks of the river Loire, surrounded by thickets, streams, and all
the natural beauties which embellish Touraine, of which it is, as it
were, the eye and the charm.’ Ronsard, in fact, returned thither to
die.”—Sainte-Beuve, ‘Poésie Française au XVI^e. Siècle’ (Paris, 1869),
p. 307.

[6] I give a brief sketch of this in my book, “La Prusse et l’Autriche
depuis Sadowa,” vol. i., p. 265.

[7] “It is absolutely necessary for Dalmatia to become connected
with Bosnia. As a Montenegrin guide one day remarked to Miss Muir
Mackenzie, ‘Dalmatia without Bosnia, is like a face without a head,
and Bosnia without Dalmatia is a head without a face.’ There being no
communication between the Dalmatian ports and the inland villages,
the former with their fine names are but unimportant little towns
stripped of all their former splendor. For instance, Ragusa, formerly
an independent Republic, has a population of 6,000 inhabitants; Zara
9,000; Zebeniko 6,000; and Cattaro, situated in the most lovely bay in
Europe, and with a natural basin sufficiently spacious to accommodate
the navy of all Europe, has but 2,078 inhabitants. In several of
these impoverished cities, beggars have taken up their abode in the
ancient palaces of the princes of commerce, and the lion of St. Mark
overlooks these buildings falling into ruins. This coast, which has
the misfortune to adjoin a Turkish province, will never regain its
former position until good roads and railways have been constructed
between its splendid ports and the fertile inland territory, whose
productiveness is at present essentially hampered by the vilest
imaginable administration.”—_La Prusse et l’Autriche depuis Sadowa_,
ii. p. 151. 1868.

[8] Lives of the Archbishops, iii, 76.

[9] Camden’s Britannia.

[10] Church History, Book IV. I.

[11] Ibid., Book III. century xiii.

[12] Causa Dei—the title of Bradwardine’s great work.

[13] A Catalogue of the Bishops of England, by Francis Godwin, now
Bishop of Landaff: 1615.

[14] Cotton’s Abridgment of Records, p. 102, quoted by Lewis, in his
Life of Wycliffe, p. 19.

[15] See Milman’s Latin Christianity, Book XIII. chap. vi, and the
document itself as given in the Appendix (No. 30) to the Life of
Wycliffe, by Lewis.

[16] See Lewis’s Life of Wycliffe, p. 55, and Foxe’s Acts and
Monuments, vol. i. p. 584.

[17] The date of this meeting has not been determined with certainty.

[18] Fuller‘s Church History, Book IV. cent. xiv.

[19] Milton‘s Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.

[20] Milman‘s Latin Christianity, Book XIII. chap. iv.

[21] See the Document itself in Lewis‘s Life of Wycliffe, pp. 59-67.

[22] Shirley‘s Introduction to Fasciculi Zizaniorum, p. 49.

[23] Wycliffe‘s Place in History, by Professor Burrows, p. 101.

[24] Trialogus, iv. cap. ii., Oxford, p. 248.

[25] See these as given by Lewis—Conclusiones J. Wiclefi de Sacramento
Altaris, Appendix No. 19, p. 318, ed. 1820.

[26] Confessio Magistri Johannes Wycclyff. See Appendix No. 21 in
Lewis. Of this confession the concluding words are—“Credo, quod
finaliter veritas vincet eos.”

[27] Lechler‘s John Wycliffe and his Precursors, vol. ii. p. 193.

[28] Latin Christianity, Book XIII. chap. vi.

[29] “How Servants and Lords shall keep their degrees.” See Lewis, pp.
224, 225.

[30] Godwin’s Catalogue of the Bishops of England, 1615.

[31] Cromp became some time after this a zealous preacher of the
doctrines maintained by Wycliffe.

[32] See Milman. See also the Petition itself in Select English Works
of John Wycliffe, vol. iii. edited by Thomas Arnold.

[33] Godwin’s Catalogue of the Bishops of England.

[34] Fuller’s Church History, Book IV. cent. xiv.

[35] Wycliffe’s Latin Works, edited for the Wycliffe Society by Dr.
Buddensieg, vol. ii. pp. 555, 556.

[36] Introduction to Fasc. Zizan., p. 44.

[37] In so far as the printing of this work is concerned, the reproach
of England was wiped off by the Clarendon Press in 1869; but it was a
German, Dr. Lechler, who edited this great work, the “Trialogus.”

[38] Shirley, Introduction to Fasc. Zizan., p. 47.

[39] Shirley’s Catalogue of the Original Works of John Wycliffe.
Preface, p. 6, Oxford: 1865.

[40] Milman’s Latin Christianity, Book XIII. chap. vi.

[41] Illustrium Majoris Britanniæ Scriptorum Summarium in Quasdam
Centurias Divisum.

[42] Select English Works of John Wycliffe. Introduction, vol. iii.

[43] This is the first of “the most rare and refined works” that
collectively make ‘The Phœnix Nest,’ published in 1593. Reprinted in
vol. ii. of ‘Heliconia,’ edited by T. Park, 1815. The preface bears a
marked resemblance to the famous epilogue to 2 Henry IV.

[44] Shirley: Preface to a Catalogue of the Original Works of John
Wycliffe. The “Trialogus” must have been written, some have it, between
1382 and 1384. This is shown by Vaughan and Lechler.

[45] Knighton, quoted by Dr. Buddensieg.

[46] The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, with the
Apocryphal Books, in the earliest English versions, made from the Latin
Vulgate, by John Wycliffe and his followers. Edited by the Rev. Josiah
Forshall and Sir Frederick Madden. In four volumes. Oxford—at the
University Press: 1850.

[47] Bar. iii. 20. The last words are “in place of them. The young...”
rendered in the Geneva version—“Other men are come up in their steads.
When they were young they saw the light.”

[48] Forshall and Madden’s edition of Wycliffe’s Bible. Preface,
pp. 17, 18.

[49] Godwin’s Catalogue of the Bishops of England.

[50] Fuller, Book IV. cent. xv.

[51] Wycliffe and Hus. From the German of Dr. Johann Loserth, Professor
of History at the University of Czernowitz. 1884.

[52] Luther’s Preface to the Letters of Hus.

[53] See Epilogue to Henry IV. Part II.

[54] Hallam’s Constitutional History of England, chap. ii. 57, 58,
6th ed.

[55] Knox’s History of the Reformation in Scotland, being volume first
of his Works, collected and edited by David Laing. Edinburgh, 1846.

[56] Shirley’s Introduction to Fasc. Zizan., pp. 45, 46.

[57] Speed’s Chronicle, p. 672—ed. 1632.

[58] Preface to A Catalogue of the Original Works of John Wycliffe:
1865.

[59] M’Crie’s Life of John Knox, Period I.

[60] Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI.

[61] _A True Account of the Rye House Plot_, by Thomas Sprat, Bishop of
Rochester, 1685.

[62] _State papers, Charles II._, June 1683—“A Particular Account of
the Situation of the Rye House.”

[63] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Robert West of the Middle
Temple. A special collection among the State Papers. It may be
remembered that when this collection was examined an original treatise
of Milton was discovered among the documents—a find which led to
Macaulay’s essay on Milton.

[64] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Josiah Keeling and Robert West.

[65] Ibid.

[66] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Josiah Keeling and Robert West.

[67] Ibid.

[68] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Josiah Keeling and Robert West.

[69] Ibid. Examination of Thomas Shepherd.

[70] Rye House Papers. Examination of Robert West and Josiah Keeling.

[71] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Robert West and Zachary Bourn.

[72] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Lord Howard, Alexander Gordon,
and Robert West.

[73] _Rye House Papers._ Examination of Col. Romsey and Robert West.

[74] He was in fact a “recluse” in the ancient and proper sense of
the term. For in the Bishop’s time it still remained customary, after
an imposing ceremony, literally to seal and shut up by the hands of
a bishop those—men or women—who elected to be recluses, in a small
chamber built for the purpose close to the wall of some church with
an opening inwards that the immured tenant might hear the service and
receive necessary subsistence. We are told, for example, by St. Foix
that Agnes de Rochier, the beautiful daughter of a rich tradesman,
commenced such a life at the church of St. Opportune, in Paris, on the
5th of October, 1403, and though then of only eighteen years, lived in
this hermetic state till the ripe enough age of eighty.

[75] It was observed by Scott of Amwell, a critic of the verbal school,
but not without his soundness, and junior to Collins by nine years,
that the Oriental Eclogues, which appeared in 1742, were “always
possessed of considerable reputation,” till Johnson “having hinted
that Collins, once in conversation with a friend, happened to term
them his _Irish_ Eclogues, those who form opinions not from their own
reason or their own feelings, but from the hints of others,” caught the
hint and circulated it. “That Collins,” he adds, “ever supposed his
eclogues destitute of merit there is no reason to believe; but it is
very probable, when his judgment was improved by experience, he might
discover and be hurt by their faults, among which may possibly be found
some few instances of inconsistence or absurdity.”





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