4 NOVEMBER 1882, Page 21


WE hardly remember to have seen a better number of the Nineteenth, Century. To begin with, we have another paper from Dr. Jessopp, this time on " Superstition in Arcady," as full as usual of quaint humour, kindliness, and thorough knowledge of the people of East Anglia. He has, of course, endless stories to tell us of the lingering belief in witchcraft, in charms, and in that form of exorcism by drawing blood which is the origin of most of the cruel attacks on witches ; but we must leave them aside, to extract one of greater interest :— "At Crayton, a parish which, like many another in East Anglia; seems to have burst into fragments, and by the force of some strange explosion to have had its inhabitants driven out into half-a-dozen diminutive hamlets, all of them a mile or so from the church, a new Vicar was appointed some five years ago; he was a good man, but emphatically a townsman, and one of those worthy persons who rarely spoke of (led, though very frequently of Providence.' One of his earliest pastoral visits was a visit of condolence to a small farmer, who had lost his wife and been left desolate and alone. The good Vicar apake such comfort as he could, and more than once in- sisted on the obvious truth that the ordering of Divine Providence' must not be murmured at, end that 'Providence' must needs be sub- mitted to with resignation. The sorrowing farmer listened patiently and silently for some minutes. At last he could refrain no longer, but he opened his mouth and spoke, saying, That's right enef, that es! There ain't no use a gainsayin' on it ; but semhow, that there Old Proridence hey been agin me all along, he hey ! Whoi, last year he mos' spoilt my taters, and the year afore that he kinder did for my tunnips, and now he's been and got hold o' my missus ! But,' he added, with a burst of heroic faith and devout assurance, 'I reckon as there's One ober as'll put a stopper on ha, if 'a go too fur " Dr. Jessopp appears to believe that the speaker looked upon " Pro- vidence" as the Devil, or at least as an Ahriman,whom Ormuszd would defeat ; but we are inclined to question that. It is next to impossible ever to extract or to frame a consistent theory out of popular superstitions, but we would ask Dr. Jessopp to observe carefully whether his peasantry do not in their hearts

believe that the world is entrusted to some great being who very often muddles things, and above whom stands the ultimate Ruler, whom they call habitually not God, but "the Almighty." We should be sure that this was true, but for a doubt whether the poor folk do not intend by " Providence " Destiny, or the general and unintelligible scheme of things, and place their " Almighty " above that. Of their profound belief in angels, as beings actually serving the world, there are many evidences, though,' of course, not so many as of their belief in and recoil from personal devils, who, in the strange loneliness of their labour, of which Dr. Jessopp speaks, they often believe they see. Will Dr. Jessopp pardon us, if we ask him to re-examine his view of the regular East-Anglian address "boy," before he again uses it. He will write it " baw," saying, "0 Jemmy, haw!" and so on.

The word is certainly "hor," and almost as certainly a contraction of "neighbour," the other view, that it is a rough form of "boy," being contradicted by the constant use of "boy," with its usual pronunciation. And will he, just for once, use his extraordinary. power of exciting confidence among the most reticent people in the.world, to ascertain to what extent and to what-degree the

Norfolk people of the fields are Necessitarmns P We once had strong reason for believing that, in the neighbourhood. of Norwich, Necessitarianism as a definite creed had taken the strongest hold of the people, and underlay their Christianity as completely as the same idea underlies both Hindooism and Mahommedanism.—Jews will read with great anger, and other people with great interest, another paper by Mr. Goldwin Smith on their position in the world, which, however, con- tains very few new facts. Mr. Smith evidently believes that a bad time is coming for the Jews, that the world will not long bear

their habit of exploiting all Christian races. He is even in- clined to believe, as we see with some amazement, that the practice of circumcision, the perpetual reminder of tribal dis- tinction, may be prohibited by law. Is it not possible that the battle, if there is one, may go the other way ? Mr. Goldwin Smith should get hold, of the files of the Jewish organs pub- lished in Kcenigsberg between 1878 and 1881, and see what they themselves think on that point. We are told, on good authority, that these papers contain some of the most extra- ordinary dreams of Jewish ascendancy in Europe in the immediate future ever published to the world. Mr. Shaw-Lefevre gives a most interesting, though rather technical account of the great buildings which the Government has in hand for London, making, en peasant, the odd mistake that London is not a manufacturing town, whereas it is by far the greatest manufacturing town in the world ; and Mr. Morley gives his latest view of Trish politics. It is substantially that the Irish people do desire Home rule, and will, sooner or later, get it, unless large measures of local self- government are conceded. We entirely agree in his proposals, but we do not yet despair of reconciliation; and do not believe, as he evidently does, that the Irish can force Home-rule by some form of resistance which shall not, if we understand him, be insurrection. He may be right, but the history of the world is not oil his side. We do not see much in General Roberts's paper on the Army, which is, in the main, a plea for the retention of a few older men among the private soldiers, and for the better pay and management of non-commissioned officers. The latter advice is, we believe, ac- cepted, but the difficulty of following it is in all armies exces- sive. The plain truth of the matter is that a good non-commis- sioned officer is worth, in civil life, double any wages we can give him ; and that unless we can pay him, as we do the commissioned officer, in honour, he will always be difficult to retain. Pensions might do it, but a seasoned serjeaut lives as long as an old woman who has bought an annuity, and the " dead-weight " is the first difficulty of every Exchequer. General Roberts must also remember that when every private is educated, as must shortly be the case, the effect of making promotion to the stripes slow, as must happen if the noncoms. are tempted to remain long, will be by no means entirely beneficial. Lord Ebrington's paper on Irish agriculture is cla]], though instructive. He touches too many subjects and gives too many figures, and will not have half the attention he would have secured, if he had confined himself to proving his maiu suggestion, that owing to bad farm- ing and exhausting farming, holdings in Ireland are worth less than they were twenty years ago. The question of the actual condition of arable land in Ireland needs more investigation than it has received.

Mr. Escott, the new editor of the Fortnightly, has got to- gether a number of most interesting papers, though they do not all quite fulfil the promise of their titles. We should like, for instance, very much to have heard Mr. T. M. Healy's account of the "Irish Parliamentary Party," but he tells us nothing about it. What he does tell us is that, as the Irish want the whole time of Parliament for Irish affairs, English Members, by intruding English questions, are obstructing Irish legisla- tion,—which is a racy bit of impudence, but nothing more. He also tells us that the English have no " loyalty" to expect from the Irish, for "loyalty and self-interest are the same thing;" and that the Union can never be to Irish interest,—which is pre- cisely the point at issue. Ulstermen think it can. He further- more predicts that at the next election, especially with a new suffrage, there will be eighty Parnellites in the Commons, that the Cloture will, therefore, fail, and that the British will be driven either to grant Home-rule or to disfranchise Ireland, which will end in a terrorism that will bring America down upon England. Of course, it is assumed that England will be beaten, and that at last Ireland will be free. We do not see much evidence of statesmanship, or even of ability, in all this, though the article is well worth reading, if only for its tone of concentrated hatred against England and the English, a tone which forces Englishmen to ask two questions,—one, whether they have really justified it ; and another, whether there may not be races, like indivi- duals, who can hate causelessly. It is curious to note that even Mr. Healy tacitly admits that rebellion in Ireland could not succeed without foreign aid. The men of 1848 held a nobler, though possibly a more inaccurate, creed. Sir B. Pure gives us his view of "The Future of Zululand," which is briefly that the civilised Power will ultimately absorb the uncivilised,

whether it likes it or not; and that the proper way to treat South Africa is the Indian way,—that is, to govern all we can directly, and the remainder through Residents. If we do not, the Europeans in Africa will do the work much more harshly, subjugating part of the natives, and driving the rest backward to the Equator. The answer to that is that South Africa must, like every other dependency—India included—have a terminal limit, and that it is convenient to draw the line at the Tugela.. It is no more a necessity for the English to manage Zululand than to manage Afghanistan, and the less either are heard of in the world, the better. The danger of the Colonists becoming anti- English, owing to disgust with English policy towards the natives, is more real ; but Governments must run some risks.

Prophecies on politics are seldom of much value, and it is at least as likely that something or other—possibly, gold—may be discovered in quantities at the Cape, and attract a swarm of settlers, among whom the men of Dutch origin will be lost, just as they were iu New York. Of the two articles on Egypt, we prefer Mr. Wilson's. Sir S. Baker only argues once more for the transfer of the Protectorate of Egypt from the Sultan to the Queen, the Sultan receiving nine millions, in exchange for his tribute; and the administration of the country through a British Governor-General and a nominal Khedive. Annexa- tion would be simpler than that plan, and exactly the same thing. It is Egyptian autonomy, not the Khedive's throne, which the British Government, even if Protector, would endeavour to preserve. Mr. Wilson's paper, though pessimist to excess, brings out in strong colours the dangerous financial position of Egypt, where "half the land of the Della" has passodto foreigners ; and a taxation equal to a pound a head is required merely to pay the interest on loans, only half of which were received ; while none, in Mr. Wilson's judgment,

were spent in any way that could benefit the people. He appears to believe that, with a debt of £5,500,000 a year, a revenue at the utmost of £8,000,000, and a trade of only 220,000,000 in all, the sums drawn from Egypt will ultimately produce collapse, in the shape of the extirpation of the people. He should add that the nominal revenue is not equal to the sums extracted from the villagers by the foreigners, chiefly German Jews, who farm the taxes

in the rural districts. Mr. Wilson believes that a re- duction of taxation by fifty per cent. is the first necessity of Egypt, to enable the people to recover from their exhaustion. Lord Carnarvon gives us an eloquent eulogium upon Lord Falkland as the statesman of morality, and defends his ulti- mate departure from the high ground of moderation into partisanship, by the argument that he had discerned that the Constitution was in danger. That may have been true—nay, was true—but the Constitution might have been defended by an impartial mind as strongly as by a mind avowedly overwhelmed by a sense of coming danger. Lord Carnarvon's peroration on

the blessings we enjoy in England is a fine one, but open to the answer that they are cordially felt only by the rich. It is a little in

the tone of Carlyle, who, having to praise the aristocracy, selected as his subject of his eulogy their "cheery stoicism," a virtue which may belong to them, but is not difficult to practise on 210,000 a year. The sketch of the late Professor F. M. Balfour, by Professor Moseley, is far too technical for magazine readers ; and Mr. Myers's criticism of Natural Religion, though excellent as a criticism, is deficient in interest, though we may quote from it this fine passage :—

"If the belief in a life to come should ever regain as firm posses- sion of men's mind as of old, that belief will surely be held in a nobler fashion. That life will be conceived not as a devotional exer- cise nor as a passive felicity, but as the prolongation of all generous energies, and the unison of all high desires. It may be that till we can thus apprehend it, its glory must be hid from our oyes. Only, perhaps, when men have learnt that virtue is its own reward, may they safely learn also that that reward is eternal."

Is not the belief that the next life will be a "passive felicity" already passing away? It would seem to be, for we recently heard a High-Church clergyman declare that no such idea as

the passive felicity of Heaven had ever been taught in any Christian Church. Every one has already read the paper on the Opposition, "By Two Conservatives ;" and there is an excel- lent account of some aspects of American public life, by Mr. Bryce. It is too eulogistic, Mr. Bryce entirely underrating the value of politics as the only universal school of altruism.

The Contemporary tends to become too exclusively religious. Theology is the study best worth studying, but there are other studies, and the conductors of the Contemporary have, this month, nearly forgott them. Of the nine essays, five are theological, one on "Progress and Poverty," social, and only three on other subjects. Mr. J. Seymour Keay repeats his belief that we are "spoiling the Egyptians," and again demon-

strates, with a mass.of figures and facts, his original thesis, namely,—

"1. That a Debt of about 290,000,000 has been imposed on Egypt, by European speculators, in consideration of which only about £45,500,000 were even nominally received. 2. That all the money received has already been repaid by Egypt, together with interest at 6 per cent. 3. That nevertheless, even under the reduced terms fixed by the Khedive's Law of Liquidation in the year 1880, the people of Egypt have still to pay annually about 8 per cent, interest on the amount of money actually received and repaid, and that this burden has to be borne substantially in perpetuity, as no sinking fund exists for the reduction of the greater part of the debt. 4. That, with the exception of £16,000,000 spent on the Suez Canal, no part of the £45,500,000 above mentioned has been spent in the improvement of the country, the whole of the remainder having been lost or paid away as interest, and that, consequently, the annual abstraction from the country of something like half its revenues, in payment of in- terest, without a return of any kind whatever, is an object diametric- ally opposed to the good of the Egyptian people. 5. That the Euro- pean Control was established solely to carry out the above injurious object."

The only rider needed is that while this was the French object in the Control, the English object in joining them was to pre- vent their obtaining a separate sway, which, among other evil results, would have made the tyranny worse than ever. We cannot feel interested in Professor Max Muller on "the truthful- ness of the Hindoos," the object of which is to show that the authors of the Hindoo Scriptures reverenced truth. We dare say they did, though Munoo declared it meritorious to lie, in order to save a Brahmin; but would the Professor declare that, because Christianity teaches chastity, and Neapolitans are Christians, therefore Neapolitans are chaste P The account of 4' An .Alsa,cian Manchester" and its benevolent institutions, one of the best of which is a public cooking establishment for workmen, is interesting ; and certainly they appear to be needed, if the best workmen earn only 15s. a week, and the master may keep his factory going night and day. Mr. R. S. Gundry relates clearly, though a little dully, the steps which have led the French to take possession of Anuam, and states, what we do not think is generally known, that the remonstrance of the Chinese through the Marquis Tseng, and their very clear hint that they held themselves to be protectors of Annam, induced the French Government to surrender the fortress of Hanoi, and to enter upon what the Debate styles ono politique &bile. The French do not mean to extend their Indo-Chinese Empire at the cost of a war with China. The most interesting papers are, however, the two first, M. Jules Simon's most lucid sketch of the anti-religious character of recent French educational legislation, which he considers, very justly, anti-Liberal ; and the Dean of Shanghai's paper—how ever did Shanghai get a Dean P he must be the only one in Am- on the progress of the British Clergy in the last seventeen years. He declares that in 1864, when he left England, the Evangeli- cal section of the Church was still in the ascendant ; that preaching was much duller, and has, in fact, been wonderfully raised in tone ; that parish work has become far more ardent and more varied ; and that the work done by the Ceremonialists, who sometimes "would make of the Bible a book of sacred etiquette," has been most successful. He doubts, however, if there be not a backwater running under it all, asks if the Ritualists are not driving away the intellectual, and dreads the decay of the Broad-Church spirit in the Clerical Order. The paper, to be useful, should have entered into much more detail, but it is a very suggestive one. Miss Cobbe's "Progressive Judaism" we have noticed elsewhere, and we can only call attention to Canon Farrar's very pleasant and sympathetic memorials of Dean Stanley, _full of anecdotes of his catholicity of thought, his unending kindliness, and his deep devotion to what he deemed true Christianity.

Blacltwoocl is lively this month. Besides "The Ladies Lin- dares," it contains a paper on "False Coin in Sacred Hermen- eutics," which makes us ask if Blackwood also is becoming heretical, and sitting at the feet of Professor Robertson Smith ; a bright sketch of Baghdad, a decayed city, but still containing 150,000 inhabitants, who enjoy at least one luxury unknown else- where in the East,—a perfect freedom from bugs. The dry heat kills them out, and they are replaced by the sandfly, a venomous little insect, who bites the foot, and causes a painful sore. Still, he lets one sleep in peace. "Sketches from the Dutch Seaside" are bright, though thin ; and in "Jewish Tales and Jewish Reform," we come suddenly upon a whole body of new information. So far as we know, no account of the Grand Rabbi of Sadagora, in the Bukovina, a Jewish teacher, reverenced by three millions of his people in Eastern Europe, and known as far as Bokhara, has

ever reached the West. He declares himself to be of the House of David, which, however, expired with the Princes of the Captivity,

and claims some special relation to the Most High. His "oracular responses" are sought for on all hands, and have brought to his family vast wealth, which is lavishly displayed in. his house.

Driving there in a "handsome barouche " belonging to the Rabbi, "with coachman and groom in caftan and curls," the writer was taken to,—

" A large and gorgeously upholstered apartment, where heavy em- broideries, handsome funiture, and costly decorations attested the wealth of the owner, Here I sat and conversed for some time, before the great Rabbi himself made his appearance, preeeded by two lunc-. tionaries, who ushered him in with groat respect, all rising and remain- ing standing, very much as though in the presence of royalty. The trays upon which the refreshments were shortly afterwards served, and the vessels Which contained them, were of solid gold, and the whole establishment was conducted upon a scale of opulence and grandeur for which I was totally unprepared. The Herr Gross Rab- bluer himself was a man with is white beard, apparently between sixty and seventy years of age, who conversed intelligently on the subject of the condition and prospects of the Russian Jews; but as I did not call on him in order to test his powers of divination, my visit did not enlighten me on that point. What I did desire to substantiate was the fact of his influence, and of that I have obtained indisputable evidence. That it is widespread, there is also little doubt. Quite recently I fell in with a Rabbi from Palestine, where he habitually lives. I found that he was conversant with all the incidents of my visit, and he assured me that the influence of the Rabbi of Sadag6ra was as great in Palestine as in Russia, and extended to Bokhara, to which country he was then himself bound."

The Rabbi's personality is not, however, described.

There is little in 3/item/Han, except a curious paper by Mr. Grant Allen, on the pedigree of wheat, which, he says, is a degraded or rather an adapted lily ; and not much in the Corn-

hill, but the conclusion of the vivid monograph on Miss Edge- worth, a mournful essay on the "Decay of Literature," which is more probably only a pause between two outflows; and a paper by Mr. Proctor, showing that when the comet now visible is absorbed in the sun, if it ever is, it will be absorbed piece- meal, and do us no manner of harm. The comet, however, Mr. Proctor admits, will be back with us in a very few months,

possibly before the end of the year ; and if it is back then, in the opinion of Professor Piazzi Smyth, its arrival marks some great event at hand, possibly the beginning of a new dispensation. The Astronomer-Royal for Scotland, indeed, affirms that "nothing so important to mankind has occurred before through eighteen hundred years, at least, of astronomical history,"—which is, to say the least of it, a startling assertion, even if he only means, as he may, that the absorption of a comet in the sun has never been observed before. Some of us will live to see that, but

not, we fear, any now dispensation visible on earth.