7 MARCH 1896, Page 20


THE magazines for March are full, like the papers, of Mr. Rhodes and Smith Africa; but we do not know that any of the essays add much to current wisdom. The Marquis of Lorne, in the Nineteenth Century, swears fiercely at the journalists for objecting to Chartered Companies, as "lazy revilers of those who act," "and full of petty scandals and jealousies and cowardice," which is not an amiable or even a gentlemanly description. If every man who abstains from South Africa, yet writes about it, deserves all those epithets, what becomes of the Marquis of Lorne ? His one argument is that Companies overthrow black tyrants, who make a hell upon earth, and of course that is true as a matter of fact; but was it a Company which overthrew Prempeh, or is destiny less ful- filled if the Queen fulfils it instead of Mr. Rhodes? The article is not a good bit of evidence as to the training conferred by a Viceroyalty. Mr. H. A. Bryden, in the same magazine, praises the Boers as the ablest and readiest of volunteer soldiers, but says that with the extinction of game their skill in rifle-shooting will die away, and in another twenty years their strength as a nation of marks- men will have passed. Have not the Swiss, who do not learn by shooting at game, remained a nation of marksmen ? In the Contemporary Review" Afrikander "defends the Chartered Company with all his heart, especially as regards the charge of making unprovoked war upon the Matabele, and pronounces Mr. Rhodes a benefactor of his race for opening up such a magnificent estate to the enterprise of his countrymen. Does anybody doubt Mr. Rhodes's claim in this respect, or question that Clive, who did the same thing, was a very unscrupulous person ? In the same review Mr. Charles Harrison argues that the Government gave powers to the Chartered Company which, as regards part of Rhodesia, they had no power to give, Bechuanaland having been settled by Act of Parliament. The collection of arms and artillery at Mafeking was therefore "unconstitutional," which we think probable, but, in view of larger doubts, not very im- portant. Mr. Harrison, by the way, says the Chartered Company had not the powers of the East India Com- pany, which is quite true, or Dr. Jameson could not be prosecuted except by his Company; but we fancy he limits the powers conferred rather too closely. If the Company could "make ordinances," which he admits, it could do a good deal. Mr. J. Verschoyle defends Mr. Rhodes at the expense of Dr. Jameson, and is satisfied from the imbecility of the latter's proceedings that Mr. Rhodes cannot have sent his lieutenant across the border. Suppose he applies the same argument to Napoleon's invasion of Spain, which great judges think marked by an almost total want of Napoleon's genius, and especially by great folly in the selection of a King. Mr. F. Reginald Statham, in the National Review, hits the Chartered Company as a speculation very hard, alleging that not one ounce of gold has ever been taken out of Matabeleland; but his real object is to prove that "in the

middle of a comparatively poor community was suddenly established a group of capitalists, limited in number, and resolved to use their financial power in furtherance of a scheme to secure absolute control of the whole of the re- sources of the South African continent. And, in order to make the position of this group of capitalists still stronger, care was taken to secure the sympathy and support and co- operation of the most influential financial houses in Europe."

Mr. Statham states his view boldly and well, but rather taxes our credulity when he argues that the German Government, as well as Mr. Kruger, only desired to defeat Mr. Rhodes.

What good could defeating Mr. Rhodes do the German Emperor unless he thereby acquired Rhodesia and the Transvaal ? Is that rather autocratic monarch so very much interested in Republican institutions and freedom ?

Outside this subject, the best-written article in the Nine- teenth Century is Mr. Frederic Harrison's criticism on Matthew Arnold's works. The one which will be most read is Mr. E. S. Purcell's defence of his Life of Cardinal Manning, which, as appears from an inclosed letter, is also warmly praised by Mr. Gladstone, though mainly it will be observed for its

"truthfulness," and for "the generous justice" it does to the Church of England. That opinion does not prove that Mr. Purcell did not misuse his materials in the sense of publish-

ing too much, or that he displayed generosity and justice towards the subject of his memoir.—The newest paper, however, is by Miss Elizabeth Banks, who describes the methods in which American girls' colleges help young women

without money to get education of a high order. One lets them do all serving work without pay, thereby reducing the fees; another assigns to them all profitable labour, such as the typewriting wanted in the College; while the following description is given of the third :—

" In the new University of Chicago, a university which Westerners proudly aver is to be the coming leading educational institution of America, if not of the world, the methods by which the young women students help themselves are as original and interesting as they are various. Those students who take up their residence in the several university houses are not given work in the domestic department, but many young ladies who reside outside of the university earn their board in private families or boarding-houses by rendering a few hours' service in the morning and evening. An employment bureau has been established in the university, through which, for a registration fee of fifty cents, employment of various kinds is found for those who require it. In this way young women are able to obtain positions as teachers in private schools and night schools in the city of Chicago. Others find daily employment in the Chicago newspaper offices and the city libraries. A number of girls living at the university earn their entire board by caring for the children in the various professors' families ; and it may be added that these temporary nurse-girls' find opportunity for study while they are exercising their charges in the parks. In the university post-office, or, as it is called, the 'faculty exchange,' several young women are employed for an hour daily in receiving, sorting, and helping to answer the letters addressed to the pro- fessors, who are nearly two hundred in number. For such work a compensation is given of two-thirds tuition expenses. In the library, young ladies are employed to stamp books for the same compensation per hour. By working in the library four hours daily they are enabled to earn between 300 and 350 dollars during the school year."

We should like, before we form an opinion on that plan, to hear the opinion of a first-class doctor or two not dependent on the University for fees. We should suspect that neurosis was pretty frequent, and in rather dangerous forms. Physical toil is bad enough for girls who are studying hard, but to earn a living by mental toil while studying must be destruc- tive of the brain. Scotch students often do it, but then when they are teaching they are not studying, and they will never have to bear children.—Mr. F. W. Wilson, M.P., sends a

paper on "The Agricultural Position," in which he defends peasant-ownership as a panacea for the present depression.

We partly agrEe with him, though we should prefer small farms to small freeholds until farmers have learned how to combine; but Mr. Wilson has surely an odd idea of evidence. He says :—" From my own small farm this year I turned out

£98 worth of milk, butter, eggs, and poultry, and probably might have sold much more if I had been a real working farmer with wife and children looking after every little chance. Large farms are essential to exhibit the highest developments of scientific agriculture." How much did that amount of produce cost him before it could be sent to market ? It is profit, not produce, that agriculturists want.

The Contemporary Review begins with two articles on Cardinal Manning—one by Principal Fairbairn, depreciatory,

though moderate, and full of comprehension ; the other, by Mr. Aubrey de Vere, penetrated with a feeling of strong friendship. He acknowledges the Cardinal's ambition, but holds that his was a mind in which spirituality was dominant :—

" His happiness was almost wholly of a spiritual order, either directly or indirectly. He had a sleepless faith, and one that so. penetrated all his faculties that it brought the whole of his life into a unity. Some would have said that his nature was not as wide as it was high. It was not wide in the sense of being, like that of a great dramatist, in strong sympathy with many thinga of a very contrasted character, some high and some low ; but it was wide in the sense of seeing the same clear light reflected from many remote objects ; and for him it was not true that only the- low sun makes the colour.'" He was, however, in his friend's judgment, a man with a severe taste, and he held that the two greatest thinkers among mankind were Dante and Thomas Aquinas, the former also- being the greatest poet. Principal Fairbairn thinks the Cardinal full of the idea of duty, but of an intellect essentially narrow and legal. He gives this judgment on the dislike which undoubtedly existed between Newman and Manning :—

" Their tempers were incompatible, their minds dissimilar,.

their characters different; in a word, they were so unlike as to be mutually unintelligible, with a sort of innate capability of inter-despising each other. This was intensified by the simi- larities of their histories, but the dissimilarities of their for- tunes."—Mr. G. W. E. Russell's criticism of George Eliot, though usually accurate, does not impress us greatly, and ho- makes no attempt to explain or even to describe her grand intel- lectual peculiarity, that her mind never flowered except when she had thrown it into one of her own creations. She could talk very priggish stuff herself, and then, as Mrs. Poyser, pour out humour. We had forgotten the following lines, in which she expressed her perpetual sense that human experience was always irreparable :—

" It is a good and soothfast saw ; Half-roasted never will be raw : No dough is dried once more to meal, No crock new-shapen by the wheel ; You can't turn curds to milk again, Nor Now, by wishing, back to Then ; And having tasted stolen honey, You can't buy innocence for money."

That would be for most of us a hard utterance, if we believed it,—which the present writer, at all events, does not.—The remainder of the number is rather heavy, but "Jesus the Demagogue" is worth reading. Its essence is contained in these few lines :—

"If this age is to restore to Jesus the garments of the carpenter stripped from Him by an age of tawdry ecclesiasticism, it will profit nothing if they are to be made the symbol of class divisions and the banner of a materialistic revolution ; if they are not to- express the divinity of labour and the eternal worth of the labourer ; if He is to be exalted as a reviler of the rich rather than the Saviour of all from selfishness."

Dr. E. J. Dillon, in the Fortnightly Review, argues that the keynote of our recent failure to protect the Armenians was the contest among Ambassadors at Constantinople for the possession of influence over the mind of the Sultan. When,.

therefore, the British Ambassador took up the Armenian question and threatened the Sultan with it, they all suspected that Great Britain was striving for supreme influence, and,. therefore, all resisted. They simply could not believe that, as we had neglected the Armenians for fifteen years, we had

all of a sudden been excited to philanthropy. This impres- sion was confirmed by the refusal to publish the Consular Reports, which would have instructed all Europe, but which the British Government held in terrorem over the Sultan's head. Dr. Dillon condemns the Foreign Office because,.

knowing that the use of force was impossible, it excited such high hopes in the Christians of the East. That is a just argument, provided that Lord Salisbury thought it impossible ; but that is not quite certain yet. He does not govern England alone.—Mrs. Frederic Harrison is very clever, and her "Educational Interlude" is charming reading, especially bits like this, in which "the Professor" describes the difference between boys and girls as learners :—" A wise teacher would,. I am convinced, use entirely different methods with each.

Girls cleverise themselves very quickly, they catch up the teacher's likes and dislikes, his tone of mind, nay, his very tricks of expression, and reproduce it all very neatly and carefully written down. The question is to discover if there has been real assimilation. The boys are slower, more un- gracious, apparently duller, but they get a more original grasp of the subject-matter." Her general wish is that education, especially for girls, should wake the mind more, and she relies upon history as a means to that end to a degree which we cannot follow.—Mr. R. P. Jacobus wishes all who seek happiness to assume the attitude of spectators in life. Granted health, wealth, and long life as postulates that is not unwise advice, provided always that the spectator is a hopeless egoist, and not drawn by any impulse towards action. Our own advice would be a little different. Culti- vate the temperament of a spectator and the habits of a man of action, then you can live your life without a perpetual undercurrent of feeling that it is useless.—Mr. G. H. D. Gossip states American feeling on the Venezuelan dispute thus :—

" If England claims territory about which there was no dis- pute between Spain and Holland, from the latter of which powers she derives her title, then her claim must be conceded to be good. But if the territory claimed shall have been the subject of dis- pute between those countries, or if it be within the limits of the territory under Spanish jurisdiction at the time Venezuela became an independent State, then the claim is a proper one for arbitration. The arbitrary assertion by England of jurisdiction over the disputed territory is regarded by Americans as an in- fringement of the Monroe doctrine, which the United States are justified in resenting."

That is brief and clear ; but to justify the American con- tention—from the American point of view we mean—must not the " dispute " have been a reasonable one ? Suppose we claim Maine and keep up the dispute about it for half a century, will the Americans then insist on arbitration ? —Mr. W. J. Corbet maintains that insanity is rapidly increasing, especially in Ireland, and attributes the evil to alcoholic poisoning. He is not, however, one of the raving teetotalers, for he quotes, from the Report of the superin- tendent of the asylum in Parma, the following remarkable passage. The superintendent maintains that "pellagra," a terrible disease produced by habitual under-living, is the tnain cause of insanity in Italy :—

" Within the last few years," he says, 'owing to this cause, maniacal and melancholic insanity has increased, and the numbers of patients suffering from general paralysis has almost doubled. It may be observed that pellagra is a disease indigenous to hot 42,mniries, and is common amongst the peasants in Italy, Spain,

.:tnd the South of France Malaria is a contributory cause of the disease, whicla is also tenaciously hereditary."

The editor evidently admires a translation which he publishes of Emile erhaeren's poem, "The Silence." He may be entirely

right for what we know, for there are fine lines in it ; but after reading it twice with real care, we have not the most shadowy conception of its meaning. That is our fault, doubtless, as well as our misfortune ; but should not a poem be intelligible to an ordinary critic ?

A writer easily recognised, but who eigns himself "Balance of Power," contends in the National Review that Great Britain cannot just now form a great alliance, and that her duty therefore is to arm and wait ; but he adds that the ultimate arrangement, when England is cooler and Germany less irritating, must be with the Triple Alliance. Events will probably not allow us to wait in that calm way; but even if they did, we question if that would be the ultimate out- come. The Powers whose friendship would be most valuable to us are France and Russia, and though we entirely admit that their friendship is hard to gain, we do not despair on certain terms not opposed to our real in- terests of securing it. Meanwhile, we entirely agree that our policy just now is to wait and arm, and only trust that our "second line of defence" will not be too completely for- gotten. We should like to see two applications for every vacant bed in barracks.—Mies Kingsley, in a paper oddly -described as "The Development of Dodos "—query, is the extinct bird meant or Mr. Benson's heroine ?—fiercely attacks the Protestant missionary system in West Africa. She says it produces a race of hypocritical rascals, who all along the coast disgrace the profession of Christianity. The Catholic missions are, she says, much more successful. Miss Kings- ley strengthens her assertions by denying any prejudice against missionaries personally, "they are often superbly noble-minded men and women," and we dare say many of her assertions are true. So, we doubt not, similar assertions would have been true about many of Augustine's converts among the Saxons. The largest instance of negro conversion we know of is that of the negroes in the Southern States. That was practically effected under the worst conditions, and the great body of the converts are still very doubtful characters; but to say that the negroes of the Union are as low as the negroes of the West Coast of Africa would be to talk non- sense. We have not much hope of negroes as a race, but Christianity raises them a little in the scale.—Mr. B. Hol- land's paper, which he calls "The Conversion of Manning," is really a long interrogation. What he says is the "drawing power" of the Catholic Church, which has influenced so many and such different minds, from those of the white savages who invaded Rome up to that of Cardinal Newman ? He makes no definite reply, though, judging from this paper alone, we should suppose him inclined to suspect that the central forces of the system are nearer than any other forces to the true mind of Christ. He seems to think that much would be gained by an answer to his question ; but can it ever be answered ? In other words, is the "drawing power," so far as it exists, ever the same for any two people P—Mr. G. Livesey's account of his experiment in profit-sharing among the employes of the South Metropolitan Gas Com- pany is exceedingly interesting. It has enabled the Company to beat the Unions, and so to arrange that in a year or two every workman in their employ will be a shareholder, and it will be advisable to apply to Parliament for powers to create workmen-directors. It needs, however, another paper, in which Mr. Livesey should explain why his scheme attracts workmen, as it evidently does. We in our ignorance do not see wherein it differs from other profit-sharing schemes, yet it evidently " suits " workmen a great deal better.

Black-wood for March, besides "The Uncrowned King," has at least three most readable papers,—a story, half-historical, we suppose, half-fictitious, called "The Heirs of Kellie; " an account of the poet-statesman, the Emir Osama, who was for many years Saladin's confidential friend, and whose auto- biography was recently discovered by M. Hartwig Derenbourg among the Arabic manuscripts in the Escurial; and a most amusing list of " blunders " perpetrated in examinations, probably collected by some inspector of education. Our own taste leads us towards the story of the Emir, who, after a life of war and excitement, died nearly a hundred years old of melancholy, because, as he thought, a forgotten man ; but to the regular reader of magazines the list of blunders will be worth the price of Blackwood. All we should like is a little more certainty that the blunder was never improved in its recorder's memory. Did this, for instance, actually occur ?—

" A little boy in the course of his reading lesson came to the word 'widow,' and called it 'window,' a word more familiar to him. The teacher, who was acting as examiner, corrected the blunder, and then, wishing to improve the occasion, put the question, What is the difference between " widow " and "window P"' The boy's answer began, You can see through a window, but—' and then stopped. The amusement plainly visible on the teacher's face prevented this miniature Sam Weller from completing the contrast."