« PreviousContinue »
Bank to suspend cash payments for its notes, •which are legal tender, — a step which could hardly be taken except on the very eve of war. We see, moreover, that Austria is hurrying on military preparations in Venetia, which are in the highest degree exciting and irritating to the Italian National feeling. The conscription in Venetia, which has called out the reserve for service in Hungary, practically sweeping numbers of old men as well as young from their country to serve among the Croats and Czechs and Tyrolese in a distant land, is a step which is not only calculated to inflame to the last degree the feeling of Italian patriotism and rage against Austria, but must have been adopted with the full knowledge that it would upset almost the last hope of peace. When to this we add that the language of Prussia towards the minor States, especially towards Saxony, which is the first stage in her line of march, becomes more and more cavalier every day, and that Count Bismark is scarcely the man to lose so great an opportunity for his ambitious plans as a struggle in Venetia must give, even though his were not the hand that is secretly moving the pieces on the Italian end of the chess-board, we must see how poor a hope of peace remains.
We should be loth to say even now that there is absolutely none. So long as the plans of the Emperor of the French are a mystery to us, it may well be that his cuds may require him rather to let Austria feel what she had to fear than actually experience a defeat, and in that case his powerful interference might put a stop to the threatened
collision at the .ast moment. Still, count it as we will, that is but a . bare chance. No one knows better than the French Emperor the difficulty of keeping two high-spirited armies face to face with each other well in j leash, — and he would probably interfere peremptorily at once if he intends to part the combatants at all. Of one thing we may be sure, — that eloquent representations from strict neutrals like ourselves, who neither have nor are likely to have any ini terest whatever of our own in the fate of the war, will have no effect whatever; and the fewer of them our Ministers make, and our Ambassadors are instructed to deliver copies of, the better. Russia or France, either of whom might, and one of whom almost certainly will, mingle in the strife at an earlier or later stage, would be listened to with respect, and perhaps with deference. But we should receive neither, for we have given good advice somewhat too often already, and there is no Continental Power that believes it even possible for us to offer more than good advice on the present occasion. On the whole, we are disposed to think that all the indications are at present indications of war — that France holds the key to the situation, and that she would have used it already to prevent war if she had wished so to do, — and that we, at least, possess no key to the situation at all, and had far better content ourselves with studying the symptoms than in vainly attempting to control, as Lord Malmesbury did so foolishly and so vainly in 1859, the motives of a strife in which we have, and are anxious to have, no concern.
From Blaokwood's Magazine.
BURIDAN'S ASS; OR, LIBERTY AND NECESSITY. •
A NEW BONO.
Aib— " Dear Tom, this brown jug." How pleasant to find we have subjects in store,
* Buridan was a French Schoolman of the fourteenth century, who debated strenuously the question of Free-will, and who used, or had used against him, the Illustration referred to In the text. The expression of " Burldan's Ass " became proverbial; and though Buridan Is now forgotten, the Ass between two bundles of hay is still remembered. See Bayle and Chambers, vo. Buridan.
Where we cut what we like, and can come back
for more I Such a plentiful treat is our friend Stuart
Mill: Mind and Matter came first; now we'll try his
Free-will. Whilo liis views we discuss let us toss off our
gloss, And begin with the story of Buridan's Ass.
Many readers are new to that quadruped's fame,
Or at least may have never yet heard of the name:
But the question's well known — To two bundles of hay,
Equidistantly placed, would he e'er make his
war? I belie ve that he woufd, were he brought to that
pass, And that all would be eaten by Buridan's Ass.
Bnt according to Mill I am here in the wrong;
come to pass, That he'd starve amidst plenty, poor Buridan's Ass I
All effects come from causes — or what we so
call, For Mill don't belie ve in Causation at all:— Some motive precedes, and decides, what we
do, As tho billiard-ball always is ruled by the cue. If Physics and Ethics are in the same class, A mechanical law guides the man and the ass.
If the mind is more moved by the feast that we
see, Than by fear of what next morning's headache
will be; If the sin more attracts than the danger repels, Then the course we shall take — any simpleton
tells. But when force equals force, why, we're in a
morass, And must stick in the mud, like poor Buridan's
If two rival desires at an angle combine.
Objectors to Mill here may show oif their wit:
"Then we ne'er should be punished, whate'er we commit."
"That you shouldn't be punished," says Mill, "I deny,
For the jail or the gallows will motives supply.
When I wish that in speed he should others surpass,
A good cudgel's the motive I use with my ass."
But at least, if Mill's theory squares with the
facts, Neither censure nor praise can be due to our
If we're led by the nose, like a bull with a ring, Then our noblest achievements no credit can
bring. When too fond of our coffers, or bottle, or lass, We need never feel shame, or look down like an
Who butchers his children, or poisons his' Should be pitied, not blamed, though ho forfeits
his life; For he no more could help doing what he has
done, Than the train can hang back when the engine
moves on. We don't mould our own minds, — as some
make their own gas; But the motive and mind make the villain or
Can a pundit like Mill the poor Fallacy use, That we're able to make ourselves good if we
choose? Ay, perhaps, if ice choose; but what causes our
choice? For the Will, if not free, has no vote and no
voice. How he'd elsewhere have trounced such a snake
in the grass, And called him who thus argued a sophist or
Though you do what you can to drive Nature
away, She will ever return till she carries the day. Though you 6eek your first instincts to cure or
to kill, You reveal at each step that they master yoa
still. Even Mill, unawares, feels and speaks like the
mass, And thus lands in a puzzle, like Buridan's Ass.
Mill may rate his own mind at a value so mean,
But he'll never persuade me that Man's a machine.
Some determining power in our bosom bears sway,
And inspires us to choose and direct our own way.
Self-applause, or Remorse, as old scenes we repass,
Make us feel we are Fbee, spite of Mill or the Ass.*
* A good contribution to the controversy on Freewill, with reference to the views of Mill and Hamilton, will be found in Mr. Proctor Alexander's able and entertaining volume;' Mill and Carlyle.'
From The London Review. QUOTATIONS.
If we try to analyze the pleasure which a Latin-grammar quotation produces upon the multitude the result seems to be this, — the auditors are tirkled by the gentle flattery of the speaker, who seems to miplv that they are scholars to whom he may well address a classical allusion, and the fact of the quotation appearing familiar to them confirms them in this pleasing belief. Yet, no doubt, it is preferable, even when we confine ourselves to this narrow sphere of quotations, to give them correctly or not at all. We remember Clive Newcome's distress when the dear old Colonel, in the innocence of his heart, insisted on reminding his friends, in spite of every rule of accidence and concord, "Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes emollunt mores," &c. Yet, if we were disposed to be critical, we might pick holes in cleverer men than Colonel Newcome ever pretended to be, and might express our wonder at the frequent inaccuracy of classical quotations in the more pretentious daily and weekly journals. Even that pure and perfect chrysolite of classicality, the Saturday Review, quoting, we suppose, by memory, from Ovid, writes the following :— "Faciei non omnibus una, Nee diveria tameii, qualis decet esso sororum."
The use of qualis for qualem after decet would have sent a fifth-form boy down one place at least. Again, the refined Pall Mall Gazelle exhibits a deeper ignorance by making scandala magnata the plural of scandalum magnatum, as if "magnatum "was not itself a genitive plural of " magnates." And only last week another paper speaks of spreta injuria, which is simply nonsense, although, of course everybody can see it is a loose recollection of the Virgilian spreta injuria forma;. These, are the dangers to which would-be scholars expose themselves when once they leave the flowery paths of the Latin Grammar. But we are not discouraging quotatations from foreign languages. Far from it. Once be sure of your audience, and you may win golden reputation. There is not the slightest doubt that if you were to conjugate an irregular Greek verb in the pulpit at the right time, it would produce an immense effect, as a quotation from some orthodox father of the Church. For instance, what could sound nobler than this ? — " The single-hearted saint could not entertain such a proposition for an instant. 'No,' he cried, with a gentle but decisive wave of his hand —' katesthio, katedomai,' adding, with a sad smile, his favourite expression, 'katededoka, kalephagon.'" That this is simple nonsense,
and merely the four principal tenses of a Greek verb, is nothing. It is a good, sounding quotation, and with an ordinary audience would be rapturously received from one who was popular. Indeed, we hardly like to think how much of this heedlessness there must be in the pleasure with which some text of familiar sound is hailed by the unlettered part of a congregation, to whom it cannot convey the smallest idea of anything at a all. It may be an exaggeration to represent an old woman saying that she found great support in the comfortable word "Mesopotamia," but the spirit which animated her is really very widely diffused in other old women and young women, and men too. Indeed, so very much in quotations depends upon pleasant sound, that we firmly believe these nonsense verses might be recited at the fireside without being at once detected — just for the reason that we do not always pause to think whether we attach any sense to what we hear. At any rate, here they are: —
"Pis sweet to roam when morning's u'ght
Resounds across the deep;
Hashes the rocks to sleep;
Of a pale and inky hue,
"Tn whit — Tu whit — Tu-whoo I"
When the pearly wing of the wintry trees
Dashes across the glen; When the laughing lights of the moss-grown cliffs.
Haunt tho ethereal fen;
It bathed in crumbling dew,
Not a few persons will cry, "How pretty !" when the words are read fast. They have the true " Mesopotamia" ring about them. It cannot be denied that people who make a point of interlarding their conversation with quotations are an intolerable nuisance. . . .
There is a large class of the community who often wish to make quotations, but are shy of doing so because they cannot remember where the phrase comes from. To them we offer a suggestion to facilitate the introduction of any quotation, whether of their own composition or of any other distinguished author. Even if the author's name be wholly forgotten, what prevepts the quotation being made with such an easy introduction as that with which Mr. Kingsley in "Glaucus" gives his own verse — simply prefacing them with words, " Whereof one sings," and then come the verses. Or sometimes a bolder policy will be successful, and we may safely say, " Of course, none of you have forgotton the poet's beautiful lines," &c, trusting to the conceit of ignorance, which will make your audience accept what they do not know as something they ought to know.
From The London Beview.
Friday, the 6th of April, saw committed to the earth, in the churchyard of Hursley, Hampshire, where he had officiated as minister for nearly thirty years, the mortal remains of the Kev. John Keble, known to his parishioners as a zealous and kind-hearted clergyman, and to the English-speaking world generally as a religious poet of no mean order. It was on the day before Good Friday — viz., on the 29th of March — that he drew his last breath; and, could he have had his choice, one can imagine that he would have selected that very season as the time wherein he was to lay down the burden of his mortality. On the eve of a great Christian observance, he, the singer of Christian observances, and, as a High Churchman, the studious follower of all religious ceremonials, passed away to his rest. Setting aside differences of opinion on specific points, it will be acknowledged on all hands that he had fully earned that rest, having gone through a long life in a manner that largely elicited both reverence and love. Mr. Keble was born as far back as 1792, and was therefore seventyfour years of age when he died. His father was also a clergyman, and so excellent a scholar that he gave his son a sufficiently good education to enable him, ere he was yet quite fifteen, to obtain a scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. This was at the latter end of 1806. Many years later, Keble became one of the leaders at Oxford of what has since been termed the Puseyite or Tractarian party. He was the friend of Dr. Pusey, of Newman, of Hurrell Froude, and of others of the same band of revolutionists in the ceremonial of the Church of England; and he was among the contributors to the famous " Tracts for the Times," which, thirty years ago, set all England in a flame. Unquestionably, whether for good or evil, he helped in no small degree to bias in the new direction many of the enthusiastic voung men of that time; unquestionably, he was a polemical writer of the most extreme kind, equally opposed
to Evangelical teaching, to Dissent, and to those newer ideas in religion which are at this moment agitating the minds and consciences of men, just as Puseyism agitated them in the youthful days of the generation now passing away. He was in heart and soul a dominant Churchman — to that extent a man of narrow views, and to that extent also a man to be guarded against; but, apart from controversial matters, an exemplary pastor and a warm friend. It is a suspicious feature in his theology that, while he had no common grounds of sympathy with Nonconformists, ne spoke " with uncontrollable emotion," according to a correspondent of the Guardian, of Dr. Newman's " Apologia pro Vita Sua." The writer whom we are quoting says he does not think he is expressing himself too strongly in affirming that " he hailed it with. rapture, and he augured that from it would spring the beginning of a peace between the two great Churches of the West, which, said he, 'though I shall not live to see it, you will recognise as God's wonderful mercy towards us.'" The reception of Dr. Pusey's " Eirenicon" by the leading members of the Roman Catholic Church, does not confirm Keble's sanguine anticipations; nor is such a peace desirable on the only terms which the Papacy is ever likely to accept, for it would simply mean the entire submission of the Church of England to that of Rome.
But it is as the poet of " The Christian Year" and the "Lyra Innocentium" that Keble will be most widely and permanently known. Even in these works his High Church views are very apparent; but they are to some extent qualified by the graces of poetry and the fervour of personal devotion. Of the two collections of poetry to which we have referred, the first-named, and the earlier in point of production, is the more famous. It waB originally published in 1827, and has since passed through nearly ninety editions. With the proceeds, Mr. Keble rebuilt his church at Hursley, and, had he been a covetous instead of a conscientious man, he might have made a fortune by his priestly Muse. The character of his poetry may be surmised from his life and opinions. It was gentle, sweet, devotional, and highly cultivated, but wanting in strength, and depth, and somewhat feminine in its excess of emotion and sentiment. It has had, however, an immense influence; has given delight and comfort to many, and will always be remembered with respect as one of the religious utterances of the nineteenth century.
No. 1149. Fourth Series, No. 10. 9 June, 1866.
1. Cant and Connter-cant Mocmillan's Magazine, 643
2. Old Sir Donglaa. Part 5 Mrs. Norton, 648
3. In Captivity — Capt. Cameron to Mr. Longfellow . CornhM Magazine, 659
4. A Quaker Pcpys Temple Bar, 660
5. The Modern Theories concerning the Life of Jesus Contemporary Review, 666
6. Longs and Shorts Punch, 674
7. Erederika Bremer in the U. S. and Cuba Victoria Magazine, 675
8. The Emperor and the War Spectator, 681
9. The Reason for the expected War .... Economist, 683
10. What a Panic is "685
11. The Pleasures of Middle Age . . . . Saturday Review, 687
12. Clergymen "690
13. The Philosophy of Sour Grapes ....'" • 693
14. The Irish Exodus "696
15. The Lady's Mile "698
16. The Pilgrim's Wallet Athenaeum, 701
17 The Book of Rubies Saturday Review, 702
18. Gun-Cotton Athenceum, 704
Ecce Homo; a Survey of the Life and Works of Jesus Christ. Boston: Roberts Brothers. An
Essay on the Cause, Diffusion, Localization, Prevention, and Cure of the Asiatic Cholera and other Epidemics. By William Schmcele, M. D. W. B. Zieber, Philadelphia.
PUBLISHED EVERT SATURDAY BT
LITTELL, SON, & CO. BOSTON.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION.
Price of the First Series, In Cloth, .t'l volumes, 90 dollars.
Third"" 3* " 80"
The Complete work 88 " ZiO"
Any Vil'iTie Bound, 3 dollars; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expense of the publishers.