9 MAY 1885, Page 21


TILE interest of the numerous Magazine papers on the coming war with Russia is a good deal diminished by the announcement that peace has been arranged ; but, nevertheless, some of them are worth reading. The two best are, we think, Sir Lepel Griffin's statement in the Fortnightly of the popular view, and General Green's, in the Nineteenth Century, of the other view, namely, that we ought to hold Quetta strongly, fortify the passes through the Suleiman, and patrol the Indus with heavilyarmed gunboats. The two alternative policies are well described in those two articles, by men who are honestly convinced of their views, and are competent to defend them. General Green's is the more persuasive ; but he forgets too completely the obligations into which we have entered with the ruler of Afghanistan and his people. Apart from this subject, the Fortnightly is by far the most readable magazine this month. "Jonah," by an "English Tory," is, it is tree, not creditable, the writer foaming at the mouth with hatred of Mr. Gladstone ; but "Conservative Organisation," by Mr. G. C. T. Bartley, is a most instructive paper. The writer, not only a Tory, but lately the chief agent of the Tories, is obviously sick of the oligarchic character of' his party, and insists that the Upper House must

be reformed or abolished, that the Land Laws must go, and that the party must consent to obey leaders of ability without reference to birth or standing. He utterly distrusts a reaction produced by Liberal blunders, saying that "this is like trusting to one's own bankruptcy to teach one's wife economy," and de clares that the future Conservative Party will be Democratic, and its organisation must be Democratic too. The difficulty is to see wherein all this differs from Liberalism, a difficulty we feel even in studying Mr. G. N. Curzon's paper on "The Past and Future of Conservatism." What does he want, unless it be the maintenance of the House of Lords, which Liberals do not want ? He answers, resistance to Socialism ; but then he defines Socialism as a demand for "the interference of the Legislature with the object of artificially redistributing wealth and equalising the material condition of all classes in the community." Surely, Liberals arc as much opposed to that form of Socialism as any Tories, or rather more so, for it was the Liberals who passed and the Tories who resisted the New Poor Law, the essential idea of which was that property must be rescued from the ruin impending over it through the idea of the popular right to be maintained without labour. The chaotic condition of Conservative thought is singularly revealed in these papers, all three of which admit the right, or, at least, the ability, of the majority to rule. Mr. G. Lewis sends a paper on "Marriage and Divorce," which, though guarded, is, in fact, a plea for free divorce on the ground of the misery that married women often suffer. He would, as a beginning, grant divorce on the woman's request for actual cruelty, for two years' desertion, for adultery committed by the husband under his own roof, for the condemnation of the husband to penal servitude for five years, and for insanity. We can see no reason whatever why, if desertion is ground of divorce, pauperism is not ; or why, if insanity is a good reason, cancer is not one ; or why, if we accept those reasons, we should not admit incurable dislike to be a better one than either. Mr. Lewis, if he is the lawyer of that name, writes, we doubt not, with many terrible cases of hardship in his mind ; but he forgets entirely that he is not legislating for the cultivated, but for many millions of hard and rather brutal people. What is the value of the marriage-tie among labourers, if two years' desertion can dissolve it P We are not arguing, as if the proposal were seriously made we should do, in favour of marriage as an institution not dependent on human will, but simply calling attention to the obvious fact that such proposals reduce it into a contract dissoluble on any grounds of obvious convenience. If the reformers mean that, they should say so first of all. Mr. Charles Williams, the correspondent of the Daily Chronicle, maintains vehemently that Gordon was lost because the command of the force sent to relieve him fell, after Sir Herbert Stewart's fatal wound, to Sir Charles Wilson, an officer described by him as a man of great intelligence, no military experience, and no administrative nerve. He, it is alleged, loitered for three days from want of resolution, and so lost his opportunity, while he retreated from before Khartoum in his steamers with ill-judged precipitation. There will be a furious paper war about this account, with which Sir C. Wilson is not likely to put up. On the face of it, there appears to have been indecision ; but Sir C. Wilson may have known facts with which Mr. Williams was entirely unacquainted.

It was clever of Mr. Knowles to induce Halim Pasha to write out, in the Nineteenth Century, his views on Egypt and the Sondan,but they do not amount to much. Halim Pasha's main impression is that be could govern Egypt very well indeed, if he were nominated by the Sultan in succession to Tewfik. He would govern in the old way; would lighten the burdens on the Fellaheen to a " reasonable " degree ; would hold the Soudan by a chain of posts along the river, which, like Ismail, be holds to be the only feasible road of entrance ; and he would protect the European transit to Asia. That is all, apparently, that he would do ; but he would do that, he evidently thinks, efficiently. It is possible he would, but his suggestion scarcely meets existing facts ; for he evidently would get rid of any Control, he says nothing about the bondholder, and be proposes no scheme for defending Egypt against the South, his idea apparently being that the moment a good Mahommedan bore rule in Cairo the Sondanese valour would die away. That is sanguine. Mr. Justice Stephen, writing on "Variations in the Punishment of Crime," defends them on the plea that the variations are not greater than the actual disparities in the degrees of offence ; bigamy, for example, ranging from a treacherous rape to a mere breach of law, in which the woman, being cognisant of the facts,

is not really a victim at all. The crime of theft, too, varies exceedingly ; and the Judge points oat, what is too often forgotten, that the value of the thing stolen must be an element in fixing the punishment. Valuable things offer a temptation so strong that, unless they are adequately protected, they will always be stolen. This, we may add, is actually the case with valuable dogs, which, being inadequately protected, can scarcely be retained in London without an amount of care which, besides inflicting great annoyance on the master, distinctly injures the dogs. He has to watch them as if he were a nursemaid, and they are denied their natural exercise. We wish some judge would explain why imprisonment with hard labour is so dreadful a punishment. It is said to be altogether worse than penal servitude ; and Mr. Justice Stephen says "it is sd severe as the law now stands that it ought to be inflicted only under very exceptional circumstances,/' but he does not give the reason why. Does it really involve, as many believe, torture dangerous to the health of ordinary men P Sir Henry Thompson, in his essay on "Diet in relation to Age and Activity," says the aged and the sedentary should diminish their intake, particularly of animal food, the common notion that support is required as activity diminishes being a pure illusion. He denies that indigestion in its true sense is a common failing of humanity, and maintains that the stomach does not fail, but only warns its owner against overloading it. Food is not always good because it is nutritious, and milk in particular as a drink is very often decidedly bad,—a fact, we may add, well known in India, where it is the habitual drink of the rich. Thirst shows a need of fluid, not of nutriment ; and the need is most fully supplied by water, whether pure or flavoured as with tea. As a general rule, Sir Henry declares that our food is three-fourths composed of animal matter, which ought to be only one-fourth of the whole. He maintains that the light feeder is happier than the heavy feeder ; and would evidently, but for the general prejudice, forbid meat altogether to men above middle age. We doubt if the experience of the vegetarian races quite bears him out ; but a scientific protest against heavy feeding must always be beneficial. The effect of such feeding on the mind is, however, exaggerated ; some of the ablest men in all departments of life, and especially in literature, e.g., Dr. Johnson, having been notoriously gross feeders. Mr. J. If. McNaughton tells once more the miserable story of the Red Man, and maintains that the only help for him, as for the negro, is to give him full rights of citizenship. As the " ward " of the Republic he is cheated at every turn, so that last year in Montana four hundred Indians died of starvation, at the Blackfeet Agency from four to six burial-boxes were issued daily to less than 2,500 people, and around Fort Bekknap the Indians only lived by selling their wives and daughters. A feeling in regard to the Red Indians is, however, springing up in the Union almost as strong as that which produced emancipation, and Indian Rights Associations have now been opened in fifteen cities. Mr. Arthur E. Shipley sends a curious paper on "Death," which, he maintains, is not a universal phenomenon in living organisms. Unicellular creatures like the Amceba do not die, but only divide ; and it is probable that death entered the world only with the multicellalar creatures, which are unable, when injured, to restore themselves. Death for them was necessary, because if they had not died they would have lived on maimed, and have stopped the progress of the species. How decay, which is a law of life in trees as well as animals, could occur, yet not end in death, Mr. Shipley does not explain, nor why he assumes that the self-dividing power of the Amceba will go on for ever. Perhaps it will not, any more than the self-dividing power of the vegetables now propagated by cuttings, which seems, though the evidence is imperfect, decidedly to decrease. Mr. BowenJones replies to Lady Catherine Milnes Gaskell's article on "The Farm that Really Pays," on which we commented at the time, by showing that it really does not pay, the Bilston family not earning the wages their persevering labour ought to yield. Such farmers, in fact, make the mistake of saving a labourer on 2s. 6d. a day by giving their own labour, which ought to be worth, if they are as good supervisors as their own bailiffs, 10s. Mr. Bowen-Jones evidently believes that moderately large farms still pay best, and forgets, we think, too much the consequence of incessant thrift and supervision. The large farmer will not waste life on mere "work," and the little farmer will; and will not work for pennies, and the little farmer will. Now that agriculture is a non-paying industry the self suppression of the poor man gives him a heavy advantage. Lady Verney, indeed, in the Contemporary, pushes this idea in a paper on "Little Takes" so far that she seems to imagine that

the peasant with a little rented holding is sure to be happy, while the little freeholder is sure to be the reverse. Why ? Because, she intimates, the little rentpayer does not try to live on his land,

but does also work for wages. Why should not the freeholder also work for wages, as in America we believe he constantly does We do not ourselves care about the theory, holding that if land is made as saleable as Consols it will fall at last into the hands that can use it ; but the assumption that the payment of rent is a good is surely a specimen of the idola tribas. It

may be alleged, and is, that the purchase-money had better be used in working the soil; but surely the peasant may be left to judge of that. His master prefers a freehold infinitely, and why not he ? The truth is that in this matter, as in many mine, caste feeling constantly deflects the judgment, and that landlords can hardly judge of the money-loss which liability to expulsion inflicts on tenants. Sir A. Layard, in his essay on" Our Relations with Turkey," tells us nothing new, only bidding England for her own interest renew the ancient friendliness both with Turkey and Persia,—difficult, if not impracticable, advice. We cannot help Turkey to misgovern Chris tians, which is her ruler's real object; nor can we help Persia to keep up the system of misrule which is destroying her popu lation. Loans are possible in return for temporary military aid, but true friendliness is impossible. Sir R. Temple's paper we have noticed elsewhere. Canon Cook's account of the "Kalewale," the great epic of Finland, will interest many ; but more will turn to Principal Fairbairn's second paper on "Catholicism and Religions Thought" The defect of that paper, in many respects so fine, and especially in its author's mastery of ex

pression, seems to us this. The Principal, seeing that fear of doubt and its consequences is with many minds a reason for submission to authority, assumes too broadly that this is—

in England, at all events—the universal reason for the acceptance of Catholicism. That is not the case. To many minds otherwise strongly favourable to Catholicism, the prodigious—and, so to speak, overwhelming—authority claimed by the Church is the one impassable stumblingblock. They cannot surrender the right of the indi vidual reason as perfectly as she requires. The charm of Catholicism to them is her power of guidance, not her claim to command. They believe in her when they believe, not as the only authority, but as the best depositary of the historic Christianity, which they think must of necessity be the true one, a nonhistoric Christianity being a mere dream. The Principal's argument strikes such men, who constitute probably a majority of English High-Churchmen, as, therefore, covering only a portion of the whole field. It is complete only as against Cardinal Newman, and Cardinal Newman would be the first to say that he drew his reason for the acceptance of Catholicism more from his own mind, and the mind he found among his followers, than from a universal mental tendency. Hundreds have accepted Catholicism without the sense that if they did not accept it their reason would ultimately run away with their faith. This is a fine description of the real place of Protestantism in the world

The Catholic criticises Protestantism as if it were or professed to be a sort of substitute for Catholicism ; but it is not this, and never can become it. They are not simply opposites, but incotn mensurables ; the one represents an organised and finely-articulated hierarchical system, legislative, administrative, administered, able to oomprehend men and nations, and cover the whole life from the cradle to the grave ; but the other denotes only an attitude of mind or the principle that regulates it. Catholicism claims to be a Religion ; Protestantism cannot be truly or justly either described as making or allowed to make any such claim. It is simply the assertion of a right to perform a duty, the right of every man to fufil the holiest and most imperial of his duties, that of knowing and believing the God who made his reason, of worshipping and serving the God who speaks in his conscience. It is significant as the contradiction and antithesis to a system of collectivism, which hindered the clear sense of personal relation and responsibility to God ; but the creation of this sense was the work of God alone, and its realisation in Religion was due to his continued and gracious activity among men. Protestantism is thus only an attempt to make religion possible, to create the conditions that will permit and require the Religion of Christ to become actual. It implies the being of this Religion, bat neither creates it, nor represents it, nor embodies it, only insists on removing whatever binders God and man, or man and the Religion, coming face to face, that it may be realised in and through his spirit. It may be construed to signify the supremacy of reason, and so it does ; but this only means the supremacy of the truth, or, in religions speech, the sovereignty of God." Macmillan is dull this month, the most readable paper being an account of "French Views On English Writers," which is mainly an account of three living critics—M. Scherer, M. Darmestetter, and M. Sarrazin—and is, for its writer, a little thin. In his monthly " Review " Mr. Morley protests strongly against the policy of treating Afghanistan as "a buffer State," and declares not that the Ameer has refused us permission to enter, but that he has warned us that if we do enter his people may attack us, and in particular that if we enter Herat the Heratees will rebel against us and him too. Mr. Morley does not pose as a friend of Russia, but he has evidently a profound conviction of the strength of that Empire, which, he says, cannot be smashed up. That is true, if by Russia he means the Russians; but the Romanoff dynasty is not as strong as the Russian people, and with the Romanoff dynasty might disappear the dangerous section of "the policy of Russia." The Crimean War after all liberated Italy and Germany.