SOME OF THE MAGAZINES.
THE Magazines are, taken altogether, somewhat dull this month, full of fair papers enough, but without anything of the striking interest they have taught us to expect. As a rule, they are devoid of politics, and the absence of any topic of universal interest affects them as much as the journals.
There are so many good papers in the Fortnightly that we hardly know which to notice, more especially as the history of the month, under the title of "Home and Foreign Affairs," is becoming so good as to deserve a notice to itself. It is a most spirited narrative, yet written with careful moderation. Its defect is a certain want of prosiness in its statement of facts, and an absence of dates and of marginal references to the place- where the documents quoted may be seen, which will impair its. permanent value. A very little extra trouble in giving facts, and especially dates, would make it for ordinary readers quite invalu- able. The most readable papers, perhaps, are the conclusion of the account of Dutch Guiana, byMr. G. Palgrave ; "Some Truths about Egypt," by Mr. G. J. Chester; "The Finances of India," by Sir G. Campbell ; and an account of Madame de Maintenon, by J. C. Morison. Mr. Palgrave, after mentioning the difficulty the Negroes of Guiana find in keeping up their numbers—a difficulty which he ascribes chiefly to the sanitary mismanagement of child- ren—boldly advises the European owners of Guiana to organise free African emigration into their colonies. He believes that the prolific negro, inured at once to labour and to malaria, would he a better immigrant than the Indian coolie, would take hi ft women with him, and would not wish to quit his new home. If the 'Colonial Government can discover any method of recon- -effing authority with freedom, so that the negro immigrant may be educated, whether he likes it or not, and compelled by severe taxation to put out his working strength, whether as peasant or as labourer, we should agree with him, and we confess -to some half-belief in the idea hinted at in the following wildly -dreamy, but suggestive sentence :— " Perhaps the time is not come yet ; the very extent of the prospect -suggests its distance. Bat, a little sooner, a little later, not the less surely it will be reached. An African colony, the Arab, has already half peopled the East ; an African law, matured in Egypt, promulgated on the shores of the Red Sea, remodelled and re-promulgated in the -deserts of the same coast, rules over half Asia this day. Already the Lybian Sibyl prepares to turn the next page of her book ; its writing is -the West. A. new creation is wanted here ; and creation of this sort is
work not for the European or his half-cousin the Hindoo, it belongs to the elder races. The Aryan of our day, the Indo-German, can -elaborate, can perfect, he cannot originate; art-trained, art-exhausted, the productive energy of nature is his no longer. Unmodified by science, unpruned by art, the rough off-shoots of the over-teeming African stem are vital with the rude vitality of nature ; like her, they are prolific too."
All that means that the great experiment of free-negro colonisa- tion has not yet been tried, and ought to be tried, before we im- port either the Indian, who always wants to go back again, or the Chinese, who is so excessively difficult to govern on Christian principles.—Mr. Chester's paper on Egypt should be carefully studied by all Englishmen who honestly think that the sub- -stitution of English for Turkish rule in the Delta would be a high-handed or unjust proceeding. Mr. Chester only states what all men familiar with Egypt know, but he states it on the authority of his eyes, and with the force of an aroused moral indignation. He maintains that Turkish rule in Egypt is a curse to the population, that the Pashas have no intention of abolishing -slavery, that the Conscription is carried out in the most brutal manner, that the corvies are most cruel, and that the Khedive is -a thorough Oriental, who taxes his people excessively to keep up -a harem of 900 wives, concubines, and female slaves. The account of the forced labour, which is confirmed by every traveller not 'interested in praising the Khedive, is terribly realistic :— "What takes place is this : Some hundreds of hands are wanted at -one of the Khedive's estates or works. An order is issued. A steamer with soldiers on board is sent up the Nile, towing several huge barges of -iron or wood. It anchors opposite a town or village, and soon hundreds of men, boys, and girls, many of tender age, are seen hurrying and being driven down to the river-bank, clutching such small bags of bread or fragments of rusk as they can collect in haste, and accompanied by their -parents, friends, wives, and children, who rend the air with their shrill screams and lamentations, for they well know that many a dear face will never be seen again. Neither the only sons of widows or of blind and aged parents, nor the fathers of helpless infants are spared. The -despot requires them—the bastinado and the prison are the cost of refusal. The whole crowd aro rapidly swept into the barges, where, without regard to age or sex, they are packed together like herrings in a _barrel. The steamer and the barges then start with their living freight, many of whom will never return to their homes from the distant sugar or cotton estate to which they are conveyed. During the process of their being driven on board and during the voyage no more account is taken of the occupants of the barges than of brute beasts. Arrived at the scene of their labours, an incessant mill-horse grind of toil ensues. There is no Friday rest, no moment's space allowed for recreation. Both sexes labour under the eye of taskmasters armed with sticks, whips, keno- 'bashes, which are freely and needlessly applied to the often naked and at all events only one-shirted backs of those poor 'free' labourers, whom the charity of England has not yet learned to pity, and whose brutal taskmaster-in-chief she has not yet learned to condemn. I have myself seen little, tender, emaciated girls staggering under heavy loads -of earth, who have been lashed each time they ascended the high bank at which they wore at work, and even prodded in the naked breasts with sharp palm-sticks. I have seen them sinking upon the earth, fainting under their loads. No sort of shelter is provided for these un- lortunates, though the nights of an Egyptian winter can be very cold, and a single shirt is their only garment. Many have not even this. On the filthy floor of the sugar factory, or on the bare stubbly ground of the cane-field—where they cease working, there they lie down to take -their scanty rest, and are succeeded on the instant by other gangs awakened to relieve them."
This is how Egypt " prospers " and the Private Estate grows large.—Sir G. Campbell's essay, or rather lecture, on Indian finance deserves careful study, careless and almost slovenly as it is in style, as the mature judgment of a man of immense informa- tion and very few prejudices, either in favour of or against the English system of administering India. His conclusions are that we -cannot greatly diminish our expenditures in India, that we cannot -greatly increase our revenue as now levied, that the Treasury is -not safe, and that we must seek a reserve fund in new taxation. He would have this fall upon the rich,—would, in fact, reimpose the income-tax. We should prefer a tax on the luxurious ; in' other words, taxes on tobacco and betel-nut; but with Sir G. -Campbell's object we cordially agree. At present, we are steadily increasing Indian indebtedness without making the Treasury safe.—Mr. Morison's sketch of Madame de Maintenon is too un- finished for criticism, but he is endeavouring, and so far suc- ceeding in his endeavour, to give his impression of her character as a serenely prudent, worldly-wise, calculating woman, who had some principle, but could make it yield on occasions to self- interest. Her character, so far, is sketched in firm, hard outline, but as yet, Mr. Morison has said too little of the puzzle in her history, the sway she exercised for so many years over Louis XIV. Was her religion part of it, or was it founded only on his confi- dence in her brain, or was he really cowed by an austere and, in many ways, powerful mind ? Was he, in fact, in private a self-
distrusting man, willing to be guided, if only the guidance were never given in such a way as to weaken his authority or wound his amour propre?
The two most readable papers in the Contemporary for this month are Mr. Spedding's on Bacon, and Mr. Brassey's on "The
Naval Strength and Policy of Great Britain," Mr. Grant Duff's
account of the changes in Europe during the last thirty years being rather a politician's aide-miznoire than a connected paper of any
kind. Mr. Spedding commences with a brilliant statement of Mr. Abbott's theory about Bacon,—viz., -OW he was a man so devoted to the pursuit of scientific truth that the ordinary obli- gations of humanity did not weigh on him, that he was servile and avaricious only because Court favour and money were essential to hp higher purposes,—and having in the very statement disposed of the theory, proceeds to inquire into the facts by which he justifies it. He shows that Mr. Abbott relies mainly on Macaulay, and that Macaulay was indulging his taste for antithesis, without much attention to his facts. In regard, for instance, to the charge that Bacon betrayed Essex, Mr. Spedding shows con- clusively that he befriended him as long as he could and as actively as he could, that he joined in prosecuting him only because it was his official duty, and that so far from slandering Essex be drew up, under command from the Council, a simply veracious history of the case. It is not, however, for its knowledge that Mr. Spedding's paper is so attractive, but for its style. It is a bit of reviewing of the best kind, a paper in which his adversary is smashed, and made slightly ridiculous, without being bespattered with abuse or criticism. Mr. Spedding gives his opponent every advantage, and then demonstrates that, on his own showing, he is talking nonsense. Mr. Brassey's paper will help to assure those who believe that the British Fleet must, after all, yield to the fleets of a coalition. He shows that as regards fighting ironclads covered with 7-inch plates—that is, with the only plates which will resist modern artillery—the British Fleet is much more powerful than those of France, Germany, and Russia, all combined. This is acknowledged abroad, and the most experienced French writers on the subject incline in the next naval war to rely on weakening their enemy's commerce, rather than to court defeat in pitched battles. Mr. Brassey, therefore, advises the Admiralty to build the great ironclads somewhat slowly, and devote part of their means to vessels able to pursue and crush 'Alabamas,' to small but swift rams, and to vessels fitted for carrying torpedoes. He produces some curious evidence from the American Admiral Porter in support of his view, and makes a very short and clear paper highly persuasive. Mr. Oxenham finishes his defence of Eternal Punishment, and the Rev. J. Hunt offers a psychological study of "John Henry New- man," which seems to us, even when we agree with it, singularly weak. There is truth in this paragraph, though it is pushed somewhat far, but how is the assertion of that truth an answer to Dr. Newman? Mr. Hunt says :—
"Dr. Newman is one of those men to whom religion has no reality if it does not come in authoritative propositions. It would doubtless be more satisfactory to most persons if this external certainty were given to us. But the question is not what we would like, but what we have. Dr. Hawkins taught Dr. Newman that the Scriptures did not teach doctrine. Instead of inferring from this something of God's way of teaching, he concluded for the necessity of the Church, because its teaching was in the form of dogma. Like the bird who thinks it escapes danger by putting its head in the bush, Dr. Newman fled from facts. He took refuge first in one bush, and when that was blown away he turned to another. Christianity, as preached by Christ and "2-- his apostles, was not a collection of incomprehensible dogmas or unre- vealed mysteries, to be received only on the ground of external authority. The appeal is made to the heart long before it is made to the intellect. The affections are drawn towards persons, and words are uttered which find echoes in the depths of the human soul. The world has gone after Jesus, drawn not by a dogma, but by an irresistible charm which is felt by the common heart of humanity. Nations may be externally converted to the Church by miracles, true or false, but conversion to Christ begins with a sense of sin and a longing after righteousness. Millions of the best Christians have never understood any evidences of Christianity beyond the evidence which they have experienced in themselves."
Dr. Newman would answer, with all Mr. Hunt's strength of con- viction, that the Church rouses and draws the heart also, that it proves its divinity in that very way, among others, and that its power of awakening the heart is no evidence that it is not the depository of the dogmatic truths of Christianity,—a question which must be decided by history, and not by an assumption that because Christ taught in one method, he therefore created no instrument for teaching in another.
The ordinary reader opening Macmillan will turn at once to Mr. Matthew Arnold's lecture delivered at Sion College upon the Church of England. He declares himself a determined friend of the Establishment, not because it teaches religious truth, or even because it expresses in a rough way the national view of religious truth, but because it makes men rather better :— "I regard the Church of England as, in fact, a great national society for the promotion of what is commonly called goodness, and for pro- moting it through the most effectual means possible, the only means which are really and truly effectual for the object—through the means of the Christian religion and of the Bible. This plain practical object is undeniably the object of the Church of England and of the clergy. Our province,' says Butler, whose sayings come the more readily to my mind because I have been very busy with him lately, our province is virtue and religion, life and manners, the science of improving the temper and making the heart better. This is the field assigned us to cultivate ; how much it has lain neglected is indeed astonishing. He -who should End out one rule to assist us in this work, would deserve infinitely better of mankind than all the improvers of other knowledge put together.' This is indeed true religion, true Christianity."
That will sound to the majority of Englishmen very sensible, but is it not—we say it with a sense of awe at using about such a man such words—is it not rather Philistine ? Is the first use of a Church really the same as the first use of a Police-court ? Is
there not another function in every Church worthy of the name
than teaching goodness, namely, teaching that divine wisdom out of -which goodness should spring, and without which man can have no certain test as to what is and is not good? This, how- ever, is but en passant. Mr. Arnold having settled that a national
association for teaching goodness is a good thing, proceeds to ask why all men do not acknowledge that, and finds the reason partly in -the pugnacity which Dissent breeds, and which will gradually die -away; and partly in the fact that the Church, from aristocratic feeling, refuses to try to build up a better and happier society on earth than ours is now. This, he says, the renovation of
this world, through the establishment of God's kingdom in it, -was the original Gospel, and this is what ought to be preached again, if the working-class, upon whose favour the Church depends, is to be attracted to its support.
"It is a contracted and insufficient conception of the Gospel which * lakes into view only the establishment of righteousness, and does not also take into view the establishment of the kingdom. And the establish- ment of the kingdom does imply an immense renovation and trans. 'formation of our actual state of things—that is certain."
That is sound enough, so far as it goes, but somehow there is a smack of earthiness about it. Was it to renovate the earth Christ came, or to preach a kingdom not of the earth, a spiritual life higher than the happiest life that can be produced here? No doubt the renovation of earthly society through religion is a great ideal, but after all, if it were accomplished, what should we have,—a little planet full of pious persons, who want dinner every day, who have perpetually to watch lest they fall into sin or evil, and who are all wearily getting through a little time, under sentence of capital punishment. It seems to us that Christ painted an ideal higher than that, even if be did not mean explicitly to reject that, in his constant assertion, "My kingdom is not of this world." Even a world full of 2latthew Arnolds would be a very poor place, compared with one in which progress might be eternal and the divine truth be actually known.
The Cornhill has little padding of interest this month, beyond a very clear and thoughtful account of Schopenhauer the Pessimist's philosophy, recently stated in our columns, and a short story called "A French 'Cause Célèbre," remarkable at once for its vigour and its sentimentality ; and Blackwood devotes most of its space to somewhat worn topics, Lord Palmerston and Dr. Norman Macleod, and to an amusing satire of Mrs. Crawshay's device for remodelling English households ; and Fraser is for once, what, curiously enough, most English magazines so seldom are, tiresomely scrappy. There is a careful paper on "The Irish Census of 1871," and an extremely curious account of some Sicilian legends, but we have marked nothing for extract except this paragraph, from the article, "On Cruelty," by F. W. Newman, expressing a doubt whether the beasts of prey hurt their victims :— "To be devoured by a wild beast, is to each of us an odious thought; but it does not follow that to be killed by a tiger or by a lion is pecu- liarly painful. On this topic Dr. Livingstone has given us his own valuable experience. A lion leapt on him, seized him by the shoulder, and tossed him in the air as a dog tosses a rat. The tossing caused a delicious delirium, which precluded any sense of pain ; had he then died it would have been a merciful death, but we should not have known that so it was. However, his companions shot the lion, who thereupon dropped his intended victim, and took to flight Dr. Living- stone's life was saved, and he endured much pain in the healing of his wounds, though he had none while in the lion's jaws. The skill with which all rapacious animals kill their quarry has often been noted. Evidently this is no accident ; it pervades nature. The tossing of a rat, or of a man, in the air, might have seemed sportive caprice in the victorious beast, whom we cannot suppose to do it from any design ; but when we learn that it causes the captive to swoon, and benumbs pain, we seem to read a divine mercy beneath the animal instinct. Young lions are said to bungle in their first attempt to seize large game, and to need instruction from their parents ; but to judge by young hounds, there would be no bungling if they did not assail game aisproportioned to them. With great accuracy a young dog bites asunder the fatal artery of a rabbit or leveret ; and it is not without reason that we ascribe to all the carnivore an effective skill in killing, which man with much training rarely equals."
The deer shriek, nevertheless, as the leopard tears them, as witness the records of the Prince of Wales's tour; and all animals, except perhaps the fox and the wild boar, both of which have re- markable courage, seem to suffer agonies of terror when hunted All predatory animals, however, kill quickly, and no animal, we believe, in its senses kills for the sake of killing. The "rogue" elephant does, but he is supposed by physiologists to be mad.