Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art, February 1885 by Various



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



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._


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._





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.



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._



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.”


“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.’”


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.


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._



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 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._


“_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._




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._


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._



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._


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._


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._



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 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._



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._




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._



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.”


“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._


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 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.


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.


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.


[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.”