5 OCTOBER 1878, Page 22


WE have elsewhere described the first article in the Fortnightly, the paper on "Imperialism," by Mr. Lowe, a thin though able statement of the two methods of regarding the country from a Minister's point of view ; and the number is full of good essays, none of which, however, quite reach the front rank. Mr. Ralph ,Earle's, on " Mr. Gladstone and the New Equilibrium," is the most brilliant. We hardly agree fully with a paragraph in it, but it is a pleasure to read anything so full of suggestion and of in- eight. It commences with a singular error, an assumption that had we defended Denmark, the Austrian army would have been on the Prussian side, which we know to be inaccurate ; but it is full of flashes of light, especially in regard to the new position in which the rise of Germany has placed Russia, and the necessity of encouraging Mussulman emigration from the continent of Europe. That the trae destiny of the Ottomans is to fill up the splendid and desolated provinces of Persia, thus creating a new barrier between Russia and India on that side, and securing for themselves an ample realm, with no Christians to maltreat, does not, however, strike Mr. Earle. There is a highly thoughtful but rather technical paper by Mr. Romanes, on "The Beginning of Nerves in the Animal Kingdom ;" a criticism of ,Charles Lamb, by Mr. Pater, which seems to us too pale, wanting in a certain enjoyment of its subject, though all the while appre- ciative ; a poor analysis of Dumas, in which his special power of releasing himself from conditions as Asiatic story-tellers do is ;Hissed; and a delightful paper by Mr. F. Harrison, on "The English School of Jurisprudence." In stating that for the lawyer, for the purposes of law, the Sovereign is unlimited, is not Mr. Harrison, however, putting out of sight too com- pletely the limitation enforced by the theocratic idea ? In a Jtfussulman country, it is precisely the lawyer who, even while obeying the Sovereign's decree, would openly declare that, being _opposed to the Koran, he enforced it on the subject only out of submission to force majeure. He would carry it out, no doubt, ,but would declare its illegality. This is not a mere limitation of fact, such as is secured everywhere by the power of insurrection, but a limitation of theory, the Sovereign, though obeyed, not being able to make law, in any sound sense, for the lawyers themselves, but only to compel them to violate law. We take it that on subjects mentioned in the " Cheri" the Sultan's authority, otherwise transcendental, is legally limited, and that supreme sovereignty, in Austin's sense, does not in Turkey reside any- where, not even in the Sultan plus the whole people. AU of them together could decree the doctrine " Caveat emptor," but all of them could not make the lawyers declare that doctrine any- thing but a violent breach of law, the root-principle of contract in the Koran, as expounded, being implied warranty. In other words, there are countries where, even for the lawyer, sovereignty in its judicial meaning does not exist anywhere. The " Chinese Romance," by Sir David Wedderburn, is an effective pic- ture of the Chinese notion of bigamy from the sympathetic side, a notion which he will find curiously confirmed in Mrs. Colin Mackenzie's remarkable account of her experience of the same institution in the Mussulman house in the Punjab where she and her husband found such faithful friends. Mr. A. C. Lyall's poem, the monologue of an old Rajpoot Chief, is a most striking performance. It is not exactly poetry, and yet it brings home to us a true Rajpoot individuality, with its chivalry and its criminality, as no prose could do. It is prose made poetic by an insight which rises to genius of a very considerable order. Will Mr. Lyall let himself pass away from us, wasted on office-work, without the magnum opus on India which probably he alone of living men could give us ?

The most striking paper in the Nineteenth Century, the " Bank- puptcy of India," is dealt with elsewhere ; but Mr. Forbes's account Pf Cyprus, though not very thoughtful, is well worth reading. Re considers Cyprus an unhealthy and ruined island, in which we shall obtain no revenue, and advises us to evacuate it. Re pat put, with great force,

that the Sultan reserved to

everything of value:—" The comprehensiveness of the reserva- tions is sweeping. They include all Mulk land or State land held by private proprietors, all Mirk land or public domain, all Me'vat or waste lands, all Vakouf or ' pious-purpose' lands, all forest lands and forests, and all minerals which underlie land re- served under any of the above categories,—and the minerals of Cyprus, be they what they may, lie almost exclusively in the moun- tain ranges, whose surface almost to an acre is either Mirie or Micat." It is difficult to believe that Sir Austen Layard blundered so grossly, but even if he did, thp Convention is liable to revisions by Treaty more in accordance with common-sense, and should be revised, before a shilling is lent to Turkey. Mr. A. H. Mac- konochie's "plan for the separation of Church and State" will de- light Mr. Miall, for he proposes that the Church when disestablished should be totally disendowed, and even offers the entire tithe as a huge bribe to the landowners to consent to disestablishment ; while Mr. E. D. J. Wilson paints a dreary picture of the evils which the caucus system will produce in England. We agree with him in the main, but he has forgotten to discuss the degree in which the English system of accepting leaders for their birth or wealth will modify the caucus. There is some curious evidence in the history of Lon- don parishes governed by the caucus of the powerless- ness of these committees, when the " gentlemen " choose to step forward and defy them. The American caucuses did no become absolute till the cultivated classes, in disgust and spleen,, had retired from political life. Mr. Leonard Montefiore's " History of Liberty in Germany " is interesting, though deformed by a certain jerkiness, the result of forgetting that the average reader knows nothing of any subject outside his own special one. Mr. Montefiore omits, for instance, the very signi- ficant fact that the dynasts confirmed and approved the deposition of Charles of Brunswick.

The Contemporary is full of good papers, by far the best being Mona. G. Monod's account of "Contemporary Life and Thought in France," which, though a little too brief in its sketches of life, is as regards thought a direct and considerable addition to popular knowledge. Why, by the way, do the publishers give us these articles on such bad paper ? Our copy is scarcely read- able, the ink coming through on each page from the other side. Mr. Gladstone's paper on the " Sixteenth Century and the Nine- teenth" will be the most read, but it will, we think, be more valuable to the student who may hereafter wish to analyse his opinions, than it is now. The fact demonstrated, that the Protestant Church has retained the intellect of the country, while the Romish Church has lost it, even if true—and it is not true of Germany—proves very little, except this,—that scepticism finds Protestantism less annoy- ing than Romanism, which the Abbe Martin would say is a definite testimony to the latter form of belief. It is very curious to observe running all through the paper what, if Mr. Gladstone were a younger man, we should call a deep-seated doubt whether any Church can possibly, qua Church, be a barrier against scepticism ; whether, though a Church may help him, man must not in the last resort rely on his reason to give him faith ; not the High-Anglican view at all. Mr. Henderson's evidence about America as a manufacturing competitor is very curious, and amounts to this, that England is not really weighted in the competition, and she has one advantage,—the existence of so many single manu- facturers. The work in the United States falls to corporations and companies, which, when once prosperous, begin to job, the managers pressing relatives and friends into all good berths. Dr. Elam's is the best exposition of Virchow's views, opposed to Hmckel's, that we have yet seen, and brings out strongly the readiness with which the great German Darwinian treats hypo- thesis as proof ; but we want a little more of Virchow's own words. Principal Tulloch hits out vigorously, not to say bitterly, against " The Dogmatism of Dissent," but with an occasional con- fusion between rhetoric and abuse that weakens his argument. There is nothing dogmatic, though there is much that is unfair, in Mr. Harrison's statement that a clergyman of an Established Church must preach a " Parliamentary Gospel." The main thought of the paper, that the Nonconformist is at least as contemptuous as the Conformist, and that it is rather hard when you are violently disestablished to be told you are set free, is, at all events, true, and not the less true because so vigorously set forth. The only lighter articles in the number are an enthusiastic vindication of Scott, by Miss Wedgwood ; and a paper on " The Amusements of the People," by Mr. Stanley Jevons, which strikes us as rather trite, except in its key-note, that the aristocracy are putting down popular amusement too rapidly. Mr. Jevons's advice to give the

people music may be sound, but where is the evidence that the people wish for it, in place of more objectionable entertainment? Why, in fact, does not the people, if it would like music, sub- scribe its twopences, and have music ?

Macmillan for this month is the best number we have had for a long time. Every one of the articles is readable, and several are of special interest. Mr. Freeman begins a series of " Sketches from Eastern Sicily," and the account he gives of Messina is in his elder and, as many think, his better style. Mr. Minto's researches in Defoe have in- duced him to reproduce Captain Singleton, under the title of

"Through the Dark Continent in 1720." Of course Mr. Minto has to admit that Defoe made geographical blunders of the Shakespearean order, as in the case of the true position of the Victoria Nyanza and the Albert Nyanza. Still it is curious, as he says, that Defoe should have been right about the Congo, when the Dutch, English, and French mapmakers were wrong. We are not inclined, however, to place so much emphasis as Mr.

Mints does upon Defoe's connection with Portuguese traders. Defoe had an enormous amount of common-sense, and it is this fact, perhaps, more than anything else that gives such books as

those which detail the adventures of Carleton and Singleton their startling verisimilitude. In many cases, he anticipated the truth ; his fancies have been justified by discovery. Mr.

Moggridge gives a paper on " Reformed Public-houses." It is well written, but the reform does not come to much more than the Chamberlain scheme, and indeed, it is as doubtful as ever if what an American humourist styles " heartful dodges " for tem- perance reform do not obscure the real issue. Mr. A. J. Evans, in "The Austrians in Bosnia," puts very forcibly

the meaning of the Austrian invasion. He holds strongly that the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy may be ex-

pected sooner or later. The author of " That Lass o' Lowrie's " begins an interesting factory story in " Haworth's." The hero,

who is a self-made manufacturer of the Bounderby type, but with generous instincts, promises to have an interesting career before him. But incomparably the best of the contents of Macmillan is Mr. George Meredith's poem, " Love in the Valley." There are conceits and extravagances in it, as in all Mr. Meredith's work, but these are rarer in his poetry than in his prose. We doubt if any other living English poet could hit off a better representation of girlish nafvete than this :— "Heartless she is as the shadow in the meadows,

Flying to the hills on a blue and breezy noon.

No, she is athirst and drinking up her wonder; Earth to her is young as the slip of the new moon.

Deals she an unkindness, 'Hs but her rapid measure, Even as in a dance ; and her smile can heal no less : Like the swinging May-cloud that pelts the flowers with hail-stones Off a sunny border, she was made to bruise and bless."

As compared with last number, this month's Blackwood is in

point of tone tame in the extreme. Even the two articles "Eastern Prospects " and " The New Routes to India," which are devoted to a defence of the Government, instead of being aggressive, are apologetic. The ablest paper is the first of a series written in a "Battle of Dorking" vein, on "The New Ordeal," which may turn out very unusually good. There are in

the article touches both of that quieter humour and pathos which have succeeded the riot and tears of Christopher North in the pages of Blackwood; and the central idea that science may

develop the art of destruction till nations fight through champions who seem to themselves foredoomed is very striking. There

is a superabundance of verse, and not very good verse. It is evident that Blackwood stands much in need of a suc-

cessor to the late Lord Neaves. Some fresh translations from Heine by Mr. Martin are, however, as usual, notice- able for their grace. A lively summary of the travels and mis-

fortunes of Lithgow, a Scotch traveller in the • seventeenth century, is the only other paper in Blackwood worth noting with commendation.

The Cornhill is exceptionally heavy, but the heavy articles are good. This is especially true of " Colour in Painting,"

and a sketch of Runeberg, the Swedish poet. All lovers of pure literature, and even all genuine patriots, will agree with " E. W. G." that the sooner we have a collection of his post- humous writings, and an exhaustive biography, the better. The most vivacious article is " Literary Coincidences." The collec- tion which the writer gives of plagiarisms unconsciously com- mitted is positively alarming, and will make many a man of letters think that, after all, ignorance of what has been written by workers in the same field with himself is bliss.

The most readable papers in a very good number of the Gentleman's Magazine are a scathing examination of the recent conduct of Sir Austen Layard, by Mr. McColl, and an amusing account of ether-drinking, and other forms of

non-alcoholic intoxication, by Dr. Richardson. It may almost be feared, however, that his experience of the ether- drinkers of the North of Ireland may tempt rather than warn, for on the whole, ether intoxication produces a state of refined if temporary happiness. Mr. Proctor's paper on " Betting and Races," although perhaps too strongly written, is clear and logical. " Table-Talk " is above the average. We regret to see a descent into something like music-hall vulgarity in Mr. Sala's second instalment of " Cupid." There is not even a scintilla of Mr. Sala's characteristic humour in this rambling story.