5 SEPTEMBER 1885, Page 22


TWRRE is nothing very suggestive or nourishing in the magazines this month. Perhaps the most important article is Earl Cowper's, " What is a Moderate Liberal to do P" in the Nineteenth Century, in which the writer, in a temperate and thoughtful paper, decides rather unexpectedly that Whigs must remain in the Liberal Party and endeavour to moderate its action. As they would lose their seats by adopting any other course, the Whigs who are not Peers have not many alterna- tives ; but it is pleasant to find that this also is their own deliberate judgment, as expressed by one of the most moderate of their representative men. We may discuss Lord Cowper's views again, and the reader turns with a hope of finding some- thing new to Mr. C. H. Lepper's account of "Thibet " as it is. He will not be altogether disappointed. Mr. Lepper puts his statements together in a strange disjointed way, as if he were publishing jottings from a traveller's note- book ; but he nevertheless gives many facts of interest. The most important, perhaps, is that the vast table-land, so often considered independent, is strictly a dependency of China, being garrisoned by a Chinese army and governed by three Chinese mandarins who are quite above the Dalai Lama, the latter being restricted to " playing at divinity," and guiding the religious concerns of his own sect, which is not the only one in Thibet, or even the most numerous, though it is the one recognised at Pekin as the State Church. The Thibetans begin to distrust even his religious pretensions, and prophecies are current that the present Lama will be the last, and that a new religion from the East is about to supersede Lamaism. At the same time the Chinese officials are hated as extortioners. Mr. Lepper therefore believes that Chinese rule in Thibet is weak ; but he admits that no insurrection could succeed, and is inclined to prophesy that any movement would end in civil war, each Lamaserai rising against all the others. We suspect the ascendancy of China in Thibet is more strongly based than Mr. Lepper imagines, and that insurrection is only possible if preceded by a new religious movement. It is, however, certain that the Chinese statesmen are morbidly jealous of any intrusion into Thibet; and that it is they, and not the Lamas, who cause all inquisitive travellers to be driven back or murdered. Mr. Grenfell, in "The Enclosure of Commons," wages sturdy war against those who try to protect open spaces, and would even enclose the New Forest, holding that agriculture is far more beneficial then wildness. He entirely sympathises with the great enclosing movement of 1795-1816, and prefers, he says, corn-crops to geese and donkeys. The town of Salisbury, he argues, does not want 60,000 acres for a playground. This is really only a statement of a platitude. Nobody contends that all England or half England should be a heath ; but only that when population grows thick, heaths, forests, and other wildernesses increase in value to the public. Mr. Grenfell expressly admits the value of open spaces to a city ; and the New Forest or Salisbury Plain have just the same value for all England. The depopulation of the Highlands is bad; but if the Highlands were full of people, the re- servation of some large moors and forests would be to them of higher value than their culture. We do not want England turned into a street, or even a highly-regulated park. Lord Ducie gives an interesting account of the sufferings of Don Francisco de Cuellar, Captain of the Spanish galleon San Pedro,' who was wrecked with part of the Armada upon the coast of Ireland. Cuellar calls the people throughout " savages," and it appears that while friendly to the Spaniards as Catholics and enemies of Queen Elizabeth, the Irish of that day could not resist the temptation of plundering and murdering them. The Spaniards had so many donbloons in their clothes that the islanders stripped them stark naked, and turned them adrift to live or die, as chance might dictate. Most died ; but there is mach Spanish blood still in the people of the Western coasts of Ireland. Cuellar, however, at last received protection from some Irish chiefs, who appear to have treated him kindly, though they went in great fear of the English. He escaped at last, and is heard of in Antwerp in 1589. M. Emile de Laveleye draws a striking picture of the progress of " direct government " in the Cantons of Switzerland, by which he means the practice of referring laws passed by the Legislatures back for a mass vote. Every Canton except one (Freiburg) has now adopted this system, and it is found that the people vote eagerly, and that the general effect of the system is Conservative. The average is two rejections for one assent ; but it must be remem- bered that any law smacking of centralisation is rejected at once from Cantonal feeling. M. de Laveleye thinks that all Democracies will adopt the " referendum ;" but we fancy he under-

rates the modesty of the masses. As yet they honestly believe that the representatives they select are wiser than themselves, and would distrust the judgment of direct universal suffrage. The referendum is, however, employed in many States of the American Union to check the tendency to constitutional changes.

The articles which will be first read in the Contemporary are those by Mrs. Fawcett, and Miss Ellice Hopkins on the "Apocalypse of Evil;" but their readers will gain from them little addition to their power of forming a judgment. Mrs.

Fawcett condemns the silent system, because " it takes away one of the safeguards against immorality," and believes that immorality itself is an outcome of the subjection of women,— the latter an opinion which history scarcely justifies. In the worst times of the Roman Empire, when the civilised world was rotten with vice, the Roman ladies possessed nearly every privilege now claimed as Women's Rights, and female sovereigns who were not " under subjection " have rarely been remarkable for virtue. Miss Hopkins also believes in publicity, and seems to think that an improved moral tone is impossible without " the aid of the Press, the pulpit, and the platform." Neither she nor Mrs. Fawcett appear fully aware of the tremendous price that is paid—in this instance, at least— for the unwise use of these agencies, or of the fact that the only two religions which teach purity as a principle—Christianity and Buddhism—were diffused without the help of the first and last. We agree with Miss Hopkins that one reason for the existence of evil may be the struggle it evokes, and the conse- quent strengthening of man's soul ; but she surely, in this passage, pushes her proposition very far :-

" If God has suffered mighty empires and whole kingdoms to be wrecked on this one evil ; if He has made it throughout the old Scriptures the symbol of departure from Himself, and closely asso- ciated monogamic love with monotheistic worship, teaching ns by the history of all ancient idolatries that the race which is impure breeds unclean idols and Phrygian rites ; if Nature attaches each precious- ness to purity in man that the statistics of insurance offices value a young man's life at twenty-five, the very prime of well-regulated manhood, at exactly one-half of what it is worth at fourteen, owing, Dr. Carpenter does not hesitate to say, to the indulgence of the passions in youth; if the tender Father, who site by the deathbed of the little sparrow,' has not thought it too great a price to pay that countless women and children should be sank to hell without a chance in this life, in a degradation that has no name, but which in its very depth measures the height of the sanctity of womanhood ; do we think that all these stupendous issues are for no end and to work out no purpose ?"

Is not that to allege, almost in so many words, that God causes evil as well as suffers it? If he does—which is to us an impos-

sible assertion—the evil-doer may be helping God to work out his purpose, which is either absurd, or is necessitarianism pushed to its last extreme. We regret that Miss Hopkins lends the weight of her well-deserved influence to the theory that it is the rich who are mainly guilty of the horrible crime which it is the im- mediate object to suppress. If she will consult any experienced Judge or Chairman of Quarter Sessions, she will find that there is little distinction between rich and poor in the matter, and that the most guilty of all are the refuse of the population in the rural districts. Mr. C. S. Salmon upholds a policy in West Africa, which seems sensible,—government through native chiefs in receipt of small but regular subsidies ; but it needs local knowledge to understand his argument thoroughly. We do not see what the British Government ie to do except trust its local agents, choosing always the best men it can obtain. This is what it has done, with, it may be admitted, comparatively poor results ; but then the agents have been required to work almost without means. Vernon Lee's " Dialogue on Novels " is admirably written, but its central thought is not new. It is merely this,—that while French and Italian novelists show depravity, or promote depravity by their realistic treatment of certain subjects, English novelists make their stories useless or silly by ignoring the whole of the earthy aide of human nature.

That is often true enough ; but the moment that restraint is withdrawn, the English novelist becomes as noxious as his French rival. Vernon Lee ie right in saying that more liberty is allowed to the poet than to the novelist ; but wrong in the explanation, which is, we think, that the poet is necessarily the more perfect artist, and can therefore be better trusted not to misuse his materials. Habit, however, has some- thing to do with it. Girls pass examinations in Chaucer just as boys pass them in Ovid, though they would be anxiously prohibited from reading the same thoughts in prose. The passage in the dialogue, in which Vernon Lee pleads for the novelist, arguing that he is the real cause of that development of feeling which has separated our instinctive thoughts, especially upon all sexual matters, from the instinctive thoughts of, say, Elizabeth's day, is singularly fine, genuinely eloquent indeed; but is it quite true? We fancy the change is as marked in households where novels have never entered, and extends to subjects on which the novelists do not touch. It is not they who have made of slavery a horror, still less they who have completely changed the cultivated idea of drunkenness. Novelists have, on the whole, favoured drinking, Dickens in particular having an ideal world in his mind full of good-feeling and punch. Professor Rudolf Gneist is most instructive upon " Rural Administration in Prussia," and almost intolerably dull ; while Mr. Healy upon Home-rule, though not dull, is hardly instruc- tive. Does he really believe that Ireland would surrender all voice in the government of the Empire if allowed fall control of her own concerns ? The first thought of her Parliament would be to make of her exclusion a standing grievance justifying a permanent veiled rebellion. The suggestion, however, should be noted, as it is the first of the kind which has come from that side ; as should alsO the further one that complete Home-rule may yet be conceded to Ireland by the Tories.

The first paper in the Fortnightly is a remarkable one. It is written by an American Catholic, Mr. W. H. Hurlbert, and gives an account of a negotiation between Count Cavour and Pio None, conducted through the Senator Pantaleoni, for a reconciliation between Italy and the Papacy. It was very nearly successful, and was based apparently upon some appli-

cation of Count Cavonr's idea—" a free Church in a free State." Unfortunately, Mr. Hurlbert grows indefinite at the most interesting moment, and does not tell us what concessions from the Quirinal would content the Vatican. At least, we can hardly believe that the Papacy would be satisfied with the right to nominate all Bishops without civil interference. How would that meet Leo XIII.'s great point, which is that the Pope at present is in the hands of a foreign Power which might exert such pressure as seriously to

impair his freedom in the exercise of his spiritual functions That statement is quite sound,—for example, the Italian Government might stop all letters to the Vatican,—and it is difficult to see how it could be refuted, except by the grant to the Pope of some independent territory. The paper, however, is full of suggestive information. The Editor writes a kindly loge on Lord Hough- ton, too laudatory perhaps—indeed, as regards his poetry, absurdly laudatory—but appreciative and interesting. We take from it a capital story of Lord Houghton's sbrewdness::— " My laundress," writes a correspondent, "had come to me one day in floods of tears because her little boy of eleven years old, but looking, she said, much younger (being small of stature), had wan- dered off with another little boy of about the same age to a common near London, where they found an old mare grazing. The urchins put a handkerchief in the mouth of the mare to serve for a bridle, got both of them on her back, and triumphantly rode her off, but were committed to Newgate for horse-stealing. My laundress (not wanting in means) took measures for having her child duly defended by counsel, but I thought it creel that the fate of the poor little boy should be resting on the chances of a solemn trial, and I mentioned the matter to Mikes. He instantly gave the right counsel. Tell your laundress to take care that at the trial both the little boys—both, mind—shall appear in nice clean pinafores.' The effect, as my laundress described it to me, was like magic. The two little boys in their nice 'pinafores' appeared in the dock and smilingly gazed round the court. What is the meaning of this P' said the judge, who had read the depositions and now saw the pinafores.'—' A case of horse- stealing, my Lord.'—' Stuff and nonsense !' said the judge with indignation. Horse-stealing indeed ! The boys stole a ride.' Then the 'pinafores' so sagaciously suggested by Mikes had almost an ovation in court, and all who had had to do with the prosecution were made to Buffer by the judge's indignant comment."

There is a fine and slightly fantastic paper on "The Youngest of the Saints,"—General Gordon,—in which "Lucas Malet " tries to reconcile the many anomalies of his character, and depict him as a kind of fanatic King Arthur. She does not succeed very well, to our minds ; but she has this merit, that she faces the facts, and does not deny that Gordon was a fanatic, a fatalist, and a man of war from his youth up. She admits all that, and then argues that being all those things, he was, by reason of, rather than in spite of, them, a saint. She succeeds better in showing that he distinctly touched the imaginations of men, just as the elder saints did, and that something in all the good responded to something in General

Gordon. That something was, we believe, his trust in the direct government of God,—a trust so perfect that it eradicated greed, fear, and doubleness of purpose, and made of him a man of iron, going always straight to his end. Faith of that kind, however, which was equally possessed by Crom- well and Luther, does not of itself make of a man a saint; nor does the pity for all but opponents, which, no doubt, rose in General Gordon—especially in his higher moods—into a passion. The essay is a fine piece of writing ; but the advocatus Diaboli, who must be heard before any one can be canonised, would make mincemeat of a great deal of it.

We prefer to await the next number of Macmillan's Magazine before forming an opinion as to the effect of the reported change of editorship. It is quite possible that the dullness of the number, only broken by a lively description of some West-Indian Islands, may be entirely accidental.

The only political articles in the National Review are Mr. Percy Greg's, on " Some Uses of a Parliamentary Seat "—a fierce diatribe against the late Ministry—and an optimistic sketch of Tory prospects at the next General Election. The writer calcu- lates that the Liberals will lose fifty-four seats, as compared with the election of 1880, in which case, of course, the balance of power would remain with Mr. Parnell. We shall see. There are other, perhaps more experienced, calculators who assert that the Tory Party will return only 150 strong. It is worth the while, however, of the few whom the subject interests to read the Tory calculations.