would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons personal patriotism by laws so sapiently that remained. In the eternal“ struggle for despotic. The face of the leading peoples existence,' it would be the inferior and less of the existing world is not even set in this favoured race that had prevailed, — and direction — but rather the reverse. The prevailed by virtue not of its qualities but tendencies of the age are three especially; of its faults, by reason not of its stronger and all three run counter to the operation vitality but of its weaker reticence and its of the wholesome law of natural selection.' narrower brain.

We are learning to insist more and more on

the freedom of the individual will, the right Of course it will be urged that the prin- of every one to judge and act for himself

. ciple of natural selection fails thus utterly We are growing daily more foolishly and because our civilisation is imperfect and criminally lenient to every natural propenmisdirected; because our laws are insuffi-sity, less and less inclined to resent, or concient; because our social arrangements are trol, or punish its indulgence. We absounwise; because our moral sense is languid lutely refuse to let the poor, the incapable, or unenlightened. No doubt, if our legis- or the diseased die; we enable or allow lators and rulers were quite sagacious and them, if we do not actually encourage them, quite stern, and our people in all ranks quite to propagate their incapacity, poverty, and wise and good, the beneficent tendencies constitutional disorders. And, lastly, deof nature would continue to operate uncoun- mocracy is every year advancing in power, teracted. No constitutions would be im- and claiming the supreme right to govern paired by insufficient nutriment and none and to guide: and democracy means the by unhealthy excess. No classes would be management and control of social arrangesó undeveloped either in mind or muscle as ments by the least educated classes,,- by to be unfitted for procreating sound and those least trained to foresee or measure vigorous offspring. The sick, the tainted, consequences, – least acquainted with the and the maimed, would be too sensible and fearfully rigid laws of hereditary transmistoo unselfish to dream of marrying and sion, - least habituated to repress desires, handing down to their children the curse of or to forego immediate enjoyment for future diseased or feeble frames ; — or if they were and remote good. not self-controlled, the state would exercise Obviously, no artificial prohibitions or a salutary but unrelenting paternal despot- restraints, no laws imposed from above and ism, and supply the deficiency by vigilant from without, can restore the principle of and timely prohibition. A republic is con- natural selection' to its due supremacy ceivable in which paupers should be forbid- among the human race. No people in our den to propagate; in which all candidates days would endure the necessary interferfor the proud and solemn privilege of con- ence and control; and perhaps a result so tinuing an untainted and perfecting race acquired might not be worth the cost of acshould be subjected to a pass or a competi- quísition. We can only trust to the slow tive examination, and those only should be influences of enlightenment and moral sussuffered to transmit their names and fami- ceptibility, percolating downwards and in lies to future generations who had a pure, time permeating all ranks. We can only vigorous and well-developed constitution to watch and be careful that any other influtransmit; — so that paternity should be the ences we do set in motion shall be such as, right and function exclusively of the elite of where they work at all, may work in the the nation, and humanity be thus enabled to right direction. At present the prospect is march on securely and without drawback to not reassuring. We are progressing fast in its ultimate possibilities of progress. Every many points, no doubt, but the progress is damaged or inferior temperament might be not wholly nor always of the right sort, nor eliminated, and every special and superior without a large per contra. Legislation one be selected and enthroned, — till the and philanthropy are improving the condihuman race, both in its manhood and its tion of the masses, but they are more and womanhood, became one glorious congrega- more losing the guidance and governance tion of saints, sages, and athletes :— till we of the masses. Wealth accumulates above, were all Blondins, all Shakespeares, Peri- and wages rise below; but the cost of livcles', Socrates', Columbuses and Fénelons. ing augments with both operations, till those But no nation - in modern times at least classes the stamina of the nation – which

- has ever yet approached this ideal; no are neither too rich nor too poor to fear a such wisdom or virtue has ever been found fall, find marriage a hazardous adventure, except in isolated individual instances; no and dread the burden of large families. government and no statesman has ever yet Medical science is mitigating suffering, and dared thus to supplement the inadequacy of achieving some success in its warfare against

disease; but at the same time it enables the diseased to live. It controls and sometimes half cures the maladies that spring from profligacy and excess, but in so doing it encourages both, by stepping in between the cause and its consequence, and saving them from their natural and deterring penalties. It reduces the aggregate mortality by sanitary improvements and precautions; but

those whom it saves from dying prematurely it preserves to propagate dismal and imperfect lives. In our complicated modern communities a race is being run between moral and mental enlightenment and the deterioration of the physical constitution through the defeasance of the law of natural selection; and on the issues of that race the destinies of humanity depend.

From Macmillan's Magazine.



MINSTREL and Genius, to whose songs or sighs The round earth modulates her changeful sphere,

That bend'st in shadow from yon western skies, And lean'st, cloud-hid, along the woodlands sere,

Too deep thy tones ear!


too pure-for mortal

[blocks in formation]

This quiet is it Truth, or some fair mask?
Is pain no more? Shall Sleep be lord, not

Yet Nature hears them: without aid of thine Shall sickness cease to afflict and overtask
How sad were her decline!

From thee she learns with just and soft gradation
Her dying hues in death to harmonize;
Through thee her obsequies

A glory wear that conquers desolation.
Through thee she singeth, "Faithless were the


"Breathed o'er a beauty only born to fleet:
"A holy thing and precious is the dying
"Of that whose life was innocent and sweet."
From many a dim retreat

The spent and labouring breath?

Is there among yon farms and fields, this day,
No grey old head that drops? No darkening

Spirits of Pity, lift your hands, and pray —
Each hour, alas, men die!


The love-songs of the Blackbird now are done:
Upon the o'ergrown, loose, red-berried cover
latest of late warblers sings as one
That trolls at random when the feast is over;
From bush to bush the silver cobwebs hover,

Lodged on high-bosomed, echoing, mountain-The


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]




The day whereon man's heart, itself a priest, No more from full-leaved woods that music Descending to that Empire pale wherein swells

Beauty and Sorrow dwell, but pure from Sin, Which in the summer filled the satiate ear :

Holds with God's Church at once its fast and A fostering sweetness still from bosky dells

feast. Murmurs ; but I can hear

Dim woods, they, they alone your vaults should A harsher sound when down, at intervals,

tread, The dry leaf rattling falls.

The sad and saintly Dead ! Dark as those spots which herald swift disease,

Your pathos those alone ungrieved could meet The death-blot marks for death the leaf yet firm:

Who fit them for the Beatific Vision : Beside the leaf down-trodden trails the worm :

The things that as they pass us seem to cheat, In forest depths the haggard, whitening grass

To them would be a music-winged fruition, Repines at youth departed. Half-stripped trees

A cadence sweetest in the soft subsiding: Reveal, as one who says, “Thou too must pass,

Transience to them were dear ; - for theirs the Plainlier each day their quaint anatomies.

abiding Yon Poplar grove is troubled ! Bright and bold Dear as that Pain which clears from fleshly film Babbled his cold leaves in the July breeze

The spirit's eye, matures each spirit-germ, As though above our heads a runnel rolled :

Frost-bound on earth, but at the appointed His mirth is o’er: subdued by old October,

term He counts his lessening wealth, and, sadly so- Mirror of Godhead in the immortal realm.

ber, Tinkles his querulous tablets of wan gold.

Lo there the regal exiles ! - under shades

Deeper than ours, yet in a finer air — Be still, ye sighs of the expiring year!

Climbing, successive, elders, youths, and maids, A sword there is :- ye play but with the The penitential mountain's ebon stair : sheath!

The earth-shadow clips that halo round their Whispers there are more piercing, yet more dear

hair : Than yours, that come to me those boughs be- And as lone outcasts watch a moon that wanes, neath ;

Receding slowly o’er their native plains, And well-remembered footsteps known of old Thus watch they, wistful, something far but fair. Tread soft the mildewed mould.

Serene they stand, and wait, O magic memory of the things that were – Self-exiled by the ever-open gate : Of those whose hands our childish locks ca- Awhile self-exiled from the All-pitying Eyes, resst,

Lest mortal stain should blot their Paradise. Of one so angel-like in tender care,

Silent they pace, ascending high and higher Of one in majesty so Godlike drest

The hills of God, a hand on every heart O phantom fuces painted on the air,

That willing burns, a vase of cleansing fire Of friend or sudden guest ;

Fed by God's love in souls from God apart. I plead in vain :

Each lifted face with thirst of long desire The woods revere, but cannot heal my pain. Is pale ; but o'er it grows a mystic sheen, Ye sheddings from the Yew-tree and the Pine, Because on them God's face, by them unseen, If on your rich and aromatic dust

Is turned, through narrowing darkness hourly I laid my forehead, and my hands put forth nigher. In the last beam that warms the forest floor, No answer to my yearnings would be mine, To me no answer through those branches hoar Would reach in noontide trance, or moony

Sad thoughts, why roam ye thus in your unrest

The world unseen? Why scorn our mortal gust! Her secret Heaven would keep, and mother Is it not kindly, Earth's maternal breast?

bound? Earth

Is it not fair, her head with vine-wreaths Speak from her deep heart, — “Where thou

crowned ? know'st not, trust!”

Farm-yard and barn are heaped with golden

store ;

High piled the sheaves illume the russet plain; That pang is past. Once more my pulses keep Hedges and hedge-row trees are yellowed o'er

A tenor calm, that knows nor grief nor joy ; With waifs and trophies of the labouring wain: Once more I move as one that died in sleep, Why murmur, “ Change is change, when down

And treads, a Spirit, the haunts he trod, a boy, ward ranging ; And sees them like-unlike, and sees beyond : Spring's upward change but pointed to the unThen earthly life comes back, and I despond.

changing?" Ah, life, not life! Dim woods of crimsoned beech, Yet, oh how just your sorrow, if ye knew That swathe the hills in sacerdotal stoles,

The true grief's sanction true! Burn on, burn on ! the year ere long will reach | 'Tis not the thought of parting youth that moves

That day made holy to Departed Souls,





'Tis not alone the pang for friends departed: — With gates of pearl and diamond bastions The Autumnal grief that raises while it proves us sheer.

Wells from a holier source and deeper-hearted! The walls are agate and chalcedony : For this a sadness mingles with our mirth; On jacinth street and jasper para pet For this a bitter mingles with the sweetness; The unwaning light is light of Deity, The throne that shakes not is the Spirit's Not beam of lessening moon or suns that set. right;

That undeciduous forestry of spires The heart and hope of Man are infinite; Lets fall no leaf ! those lights can never range : Heaven is his home, and, exiled here on earth, Saintly fruitions and divine desires Completion most betrays the incompleteness ! Are blended there in rapture without change.

- Man was not made for things that leave us,

For that which goeth and returneth, Heaven is his home. — But hark! the breeze in- For hopes that lift us yet deceive us,

For love that wears a smile yet mourneth; The sunset forests, catching sudden fire, Not for fresh forests from the dead leaves springFlash, swell, and sing, a millioned-organed ing, choir :

The cyclic re-creation which, at best, Roofing the West, rich clouds in glittering fleeces Yields us — betrayal still to promise clinging O’er-arch ethereal spaces and divine

But tremulous shadows of the realm of rest : Of heaven's clear hyaline.

For things immortal Man was made, No dream is this ! Beyond that ra.liance golden God's Image, latest from His hand,

God's Sons I see, His armies bright and strong, Co-heir with Him, Who in Man's flesh arrayed The ensanguined Martyrs here with palms high Holds o'er the worlds the Heavenly-Human holden,

wand: The Virgins there, a lily-lifting throng !

His portion this — sublime The Splendours nearer draw. In choral blending To stand where access none hath Space or Time,

The Prophets' and the Apostles' chant I hear; Above the starry host, the Cherub band, I see the City of the Just descending

To stand — to advance — and after all to stand !





From The Cornhill Magazine.

They were my fathers, the men of yore,

Little they recked of a cruel death; OR, A SOLILOQUY THAT MAY HAVE BEEN DELIV

They would dip their hands in a heretic's gore, ERED IN INDIA, JUNE, 1857.

They stood and burnt for a rule of faith. "The Mahometans would have spared life to any What would I burn for, and whom not spare? of their English prisoners who should consent to profess Mahometanism, by repeating the usual short 1, who had faith in an easy-chair. formula; but only one half-ca-te cared to save him.

V. self in that way." - Extract from a newspaper account of one of the Indian massacres.

Now do I see old tales are true,

Here in the clutch of a savage foe;

Now shall I know what my fathers knew;

Bodily anguish and bitter woe, Oft in the pleasant summer years,

Naked and bound in the hot sun's glare, Reading the tales of days bygone,

Far from my civilized easy-chair. I have mused on the story of human tears,

All that mad unto man has done Massacre, torture, and black despair

Now have I tasted and understood
Reading it all in my easy-chair;

That old-world feeling of mortal hate;
For the Mussulmans round us keen for blood,

They will kill us — they do but wait;
Passionate prayer for a minute's life;

While I I would sell ten lives, at least, Tortured, crying for death as rest;

For one fair stroke at that devilish priest
Husband pleading for child or wife,
Pitiless stroke upon tender breast.

Was it all real as that I lay there

Just in return for the kick he gave, Lazily stretched on my easy-chair?

Bidding me call on the prophet's name;

Even a dog by this may save

Skin from the knife, and soul from the flame; Could I believe in those hard old times

My soul ! if he can let the prophet burn it; Here, in this safe luxurious age ?

But life is sweet if a word may earn it.
Were the horrors invented to season rhymes,
Or truly is man so fierce in his rage?

What could I suffer, and what could I dare? A bullock's death, and at thirty years !
I who was bred to that easy-chair.

Just one phrase, and a man gets off it.


Look at that mongrel clerk in his tears, How shall I cross it? Sail or sink,

Whining aloud the name of the prophet; One thing is sure, I return no more. Only a formula easy to patter,

Shall I find haven, or aye shall I be And, God Almighty, what can it matter? Tossed in the depths of a shoreless sea ?


XVI. “Matter enough,” will my comrade say, They tell fair tales of a far-off land, Praying aloud here close at my side,

Of love rekindled, of forms renewed; “Whether you mourn in despair alway, There may I only touch one hand, Cursed for ever by Christ denied;

Here life's ruin will little be rued; Or whether you suffer a minute's pain

But the hand I have pressed and the voice I have All the reward of Heaven to gain.'


To lose them for ever, and all for, a word !
Not for a moment faltereth he,

Sure of the promise and pardon of sin;

Now do I feel that my heart must break, Thus did the martyrs die, I see,

All for one glimpse of a woman's face; Little to lose and muckle to win;

Swiftly the slumbering memories wake Death means Heaven - he longs to receive it,

Odour and shadow of hour and place; But what shall I do if I don't believe it?

One bright ray through the darkening past

Leaps from the lamp as it brightens last,
Life is pleasant, and friends may be nigh,

Fain would I speak one word and be spared. Showing me suudmer in western land,
Yet I could be silent and cheerfully die

Now as the cool breeze murmureth
If I were only sure God cared;

In leaf and flower— And here I stand If I had Faith, and were only certain

In a plain all bare save the shadow of death, That light is behind that terrible curtain. Leaving my life in its full noonday;

And no one to know why I flung it away!
But what if he listeth nothing at all

Of words a poor wretch in his terror may say, Why? Am I bidding for glory's roll ?
That mighty God who created all ?

I shall be murdered and clean forgot;
Who meant us to live the appointed day, Is it a bargain to save my soul?
Who needs not either to bless or ban,

God, whom I trust in, bargains not.
Weaving the woof of an endless plan.

Yet for the honour of English race,

May I not live or endure disgrace.
He is the Reaper, and binds the sheaf,
Shall not the season its order keep?

I must be gone to the crowd untold
Can it be changed by a man's belief?

Of men by the cause which they served unMillions of harvests still to reap.

known, Will God reward, if I die for a creed,

Who moulder in myriad graves of old. Or will He but pity, and sow more seed ?

Never a story and never a stone

Tells of the martyrs who die like me,

Just for the pride of the old countree.
Surely He pities who made the brain,
When breaks that mirror of memories sweet,

When the hard blow falleth, and never again Ay, but the word, if I could have said it,

Nerve shall quiver nor pulse shall beat. Ay, by no terrors of hell perplext —
Bitter the vision of vanishing joys-

Hard to be silent and get no credit Surely He pities when man destroys.

From man in this world, or reward in the

next. xv.

None to bear witness and reckon cost Here stand I on the ocean's brink,

Of the name that is saved by the life that is lost. Who hath brought news of the further shore ?


« ElőzőTovább »