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We take the instance of Sir Thomas ary," more “ largely human ;' in More.
England “ more moral, more religiIn Mr. Green's treatment of More's ous, more practical in its bearings, history there seems to be portrayed both upon society and politics."'* in brief all the evil which follows Accordingly all these men of the from the adoption of the philosophi- New Learning, from More to Erascal method of historiography. mus, were at one in their general
The philosophical historian must aims, moral, religious, and practical, trace events to their causes, and the which aims the said New Learning actions of men to their motives. He evinced by steadily backingt the must, therefore, to a great extent, cause of the Reformation. What forget the individuality of men to then turned the particular man of manæuvre them like puppets in pla- this body with whom is our present toons. He considers them as spokes concern, against—and so very deof a wheel--members of a party fol- cidedly against-the cause which he lowing its evolutions—and their in- was so prepared to befriend ? Not dividual history as being explicable any weak and antiquated ideas of primarily through it. In More's the truth of one Creed as opposed to case the party in question is that of another, but the extremely un-newthe “New Learning.”
learned character of Luther's reply Given the fact that More and to Henry the Eighth. Fisher were friends of Colet and “ To More especially, with his Erasmus, and that Erasmus was a keener perception of its future effect, stepping-stone to the Reformation, this sudden revival of a purely theoit becomes abundantly clear that the logical and dogmatic spirit, severing Chancellor and the Bishop must have Christendom into warring camps, been some time or other near the and annihilating all hopes of union Reformation too. The drama for and tolerance, was especially hateful. the purposes of the picturesquely The temper which hitherto had philosophical historian must be con- seemed endearing, gentle, and structed on broad lines easily fol- happy,' suddenly gave way.”! So lowed by the eye of the audience, great in fact was the shock that he just as a scene-painter must deal in forgot the New Learning himself. bold strokes. That More while de- “His answer to Luther's attack upon lighting in the new fields of human the King sank to the level of the learning which the “ Renascence” work it answered.”'s Nay, so extra(as Mr. Green calls it) opened for ordinary was the revulsion of his him, still believed as firmly as his feelings at seeing dogma thus survive, forefathers in those sacred truths for that under its influence he went and the divinity of which he wrote and laid his head on the block for the died-is an explanation of facts too sake of dogma. petty, not sufficiently scientific, for Now we are not so much concerned the needs of the modern mind. In- in arguing that such an account is stead of this, we are invited to puerile and ridiculous, as in pointing believe that men of the “ New out that such stuff is the necessary Learning” throughout Europe product of the “philosophical” formed a quasi-homogeneous whole, writing of history. or at least that their minds mancu- Where explanations have to be vred together with the regularity of given of everything they must be a flock of plover. Their principles found, and as they are not generally were common, though local circum- found ready to hand they have to be stances might give various developments to those principles. In Italy
* Short History of the English People, P: 298; the New Learning was more “ liter † P. 315.
# P. 319.
2 P. 316.
made. The manufacture is an inter- great principle of religious toleraesting process, and in these days may tion.” almost claim rank as a fine art. We For our own part we must confess are far from saying that there is to a very uncomfortable qualm always or even generally deliberate within our soul as to the reliance to unfairness on the part of the manu- be placed on the exposition of aufacturer, but we remember Dr. Lin- thorities and documents unknown to gard's phrase about the writer who us when we find this treatment of ro will impose upon his readers and one that we know. To put it broadly, probably upon himself." We find we conceive it to be impossible more a good instance of our meaning in utterly to travesty'More's scope and the materials to support his view of teaching in this celebrated work. his character which Mr. Green brings For if this account is worth anyfrom More's Utopia. .
thing at all it means that Sir Thomas This "wonderful book," Mr. More meant the Utopia to be, as is Green tells us,* “reveals to us the here represented, a picture of a state heart of the New Learning.” In of things which he considers to be the kingdom of “Nowhere” (as he ideal, or at l'east to be far better than rather affectedly translates the title) the state of things in Christendom. the “humorist philosopher" found But reading the work itself, can we realized by "the mere efforts of think that he so meant it? natural human virtue these ends of For in the first place, he himself security, brotherhood, and freedom tells us exactly the opposite. After for which the very institution of hearing the narrative of Raphael the society seemed to have been framed,” traveller, who describes the unknown in contrast to " a world where fifteen island and its inhabitants, the author hundred years of Christian teaching adds :† “ Many things occurred to had produced social injustice, religi- me both concerning the manners and ous intolerance, and political tyr- laws of that people that seemed very anny.”+
absurd, as well in their way of mak“From Christendom More turned ing war as in their notions of religion with a smile to · Nowhere.' In 'No- and divine matters.” And, indeed, where' the aim of legislation is to for an ordinary unphilosophical secure the welfare, social, industrial, reader this piece of information could intellectual, religious, of the com- hardly be needed, seeing that the munity at large.” And amongst chief point in Utopian warfare was these topics, “his treatment of the to bribe subjects to assassinate their religious question " was in a special leaders, and leaders to betray their manner in advance of his age. “The trust, while in religion they are religion of Nowhere was in marked remarkably free, "some of them contrast with the faith of Christen- worshipping the sun, others the moon dom. It rested simply on nature or one of the planets,” and some and reason ... Christianity indeed "such men as have been eminent in had already reached Utopia, but it former times for virtue or glory, not had few priests; religion found its only as ordinary deities, but as the centre rather in the family than in Supreme God.” the congregation. .... More than In fact, the attempt to fasten on a century before William of Orange, More as serious proposals what he More discerned and proclaimed the thus playfully imagines, would land
his character in some very question* Short History of the English People, p. 310. able embarrassments. For to say “Utopus that conquered it." We should think * Short History of the English People, pp. 311, is rightly translated by Mr. Green.
* We quote throughout from Bishop Burnet's I P. 311.
+ Utopia, according to More, is named after King
that the king's name rather than that of the island
nothing of the very extraordinary that can only be administered by preliminaries of Utopian marriage, priests. But they are instructed conand the absolute communism which cerning them, and long most veheis the chief point of their “Com- mently for them.” Unmistakable monwealth,” what should we think enough this might fairly seem. But of the man who chose the profession having thus spoken through the of the law, and submitted to be made mouth of Raphael, and in the terms High Chancellor after making his already quoted, from his own conideal people “have no lawyers among cluding remarks concerning the abthem, for they consider them as a surdity of Utopian views of religion sort of people whose profession it is and things divine, More thus in this to disguise matters and to wrest the prefatory letter to Peter Giles, pre
cludes all possible error as to his But the capital error of Mr. sentiments. He therein expresses Green's account is his mention of anxiety to know something more Christianity. According to that about the latitude and longitude of account More cannot have been a the island. He cannot at present Christian at all, but preferred the let his readers know in what sea it religion of " nature and reason.” lies. " There are some among us," Rather an unsatisfactory account of he says, “ that have a mighty desire a man who died rather than give up to go thither, and in particular, one the Pope.
pious divine is very earnest upon it, In fact, the supposition that any not so much out of a vain curiosity contrast (any religious contrast, at all.... as that he may advance our events) was intended between Chris- religion which is so happily begun tendom and Utopia simply destroys to be planted there, and that he may all the moral which the work was do this regularly he intends to promeant to point. The people he cure a mission from the Pope, and to undertook to depict was a people in be sent thither as their bishop. ... the mere light of reason as opposed He desires it only as the means of to one that possessed revelation. advancing the Christian religion, Forget that point, and the sense of and not for any honor or advantage the work disappears. But neither in that may accrue to himself.” the character of Raphael the traveller Now, finding as we do that the nor in his own does More for a book thus strangely misunderstood is moment allow us to think that he named at the head of the chapter on ever doubted this reason without the “New Learning” amongst the revelation to be comparative dark- authorities for the history about to ness. He makes Raphael say, “ After be given, nay, more, as the “ typical they had heard from me an account book of the Revival,” have we not a of Christianity it is not to be im- right to plead that even in the hands agined how inclined they were to of a scholar such as Mr. Green, the receive it. I shall not determine philosophical system of history is a whether this proceeded from any bad and a dangerous one? We must secret inspiration of God or whether refrain from seeking further examples it was because it seemed so favorable to back our plea; but surely what to the community of goods which is we have given is enough. Not only an opinion so dear to them. .... in the case of deliberate unfairness, Many of them were initiated by but by the very nature of things, baptism. But . .. none of us that and by the weaknesses of our nature, survived were in priest's orders; we the task which our historian undertherefore could only baptize them, takes will never be fulfilled. so that to our great regret they could We believe, as we said at the outnot partake of the other sacraments set, that the demand for histories of
the kind we have described is a bad every inference. So long as people sign for public taste. Such food is flatter themselves that they are studythe food of children, not of men. ing history when they are not supThat student of history does not plied with this, so long as they are profit by his learning who is content content indolently to swallow the to take an author's conclusions with- dicta of a master with closed eyes, out knowing that author's grounds. so long will history be a delusion and There should be chapter and verse a snare. for every assertion, and full data for
This person was Monsieur Morin,
the head of the party, a gentleman On the evening of Sunday, the some fifty years of age. His com3oth of October, in the year 1792, panions were his daughter, Adelaide, a hackney coach conveyed a party a beautiful girl, just turned of nineof four persons, with a small quan- teen; her old bonne, Marguerite, tity of baggage, from Billingsgate more housekeeper than nurse, more Wharf to a distant part of London. family friend than either; and a The weather was wet and cold, and, middle-aged, confidential man-seras the coach slowly labored through vant, whose name was Louis. the foggy, deserted streets, the great Monsieur Morin was no stranger city presented an unusually cheerless in London, and, what was then a aspect. But had it been ten times rare accomplishment, could speak a more dismal, the travellers would little English, enough to enable the have uttered no complaint; for they hackney coachman to understand had arrived, at last, in a place of whither he wished to be driven, and safety, and the sense of security out- to prevent the Jehư from charging weighed, for the moment, every other very much more than double the consideration. The perils of a stormy proper fare, when, the wearisome passage from Dunkirk on board a journey at an end, the vehicle stopped crazy, ill-found smack, had been their at the door of a moderately sized latest discomfort; but the sea-risk house in a respectable portion of the was nothing in their estimation to town. the dangers which they had left be- It appeared that Monsieur Morin hind. Nor can this be wondered at, was expected, servants being in readiwhen it is explained that they were ness, fires burning, and other preprefugees from Paris at a moment arations made for the reception of when, frightful as recent events had himself and family. The trim apbeen, the prospect of the future was pearance of the house, the size and even yet more terrible. Glad enough, disposition of the rooms, rising in then, they were to find themselves in five pairs from basement to attic, a place which was not only a present the scanty hall and narrow staircase, asylum, but, to one of their number, offered a striking contrast to the the haven towards which his hopes home which Adelaide had quitted in had long been directed.
the Rue de Mirabeau, where everything was large, lofty, and en suite. pass on your attention so soon after But if her new abode seemed strange your sad bereavement; had I known to her unaccustomed eyes, it was at of your recent loss I would have deleast free from painful associations, ferred my visit till you were better and, after the scenes she had lately prepared to receive me.” witnessed, any place out of Paris was “It does not matter," replied welcome. The house, in fact, was Richard Devaux. "A day sooner only small by comparison.
or later, when the worst is over, is Early on the morning after his of no consequence. You perceive,” arrival, Monsieur Morin went from he added, pointing to the books behome. Besides the removal of cer- fore him, - that I have already betain effects from the vessel in which gun to distract my thoughts by applihe came from France, he had affairs cation to business.” of importance to transact. The na- “You are right,” returned Monture of his own occupations in Paris sieur Morin. “I, too, find my only had long connected him with a Lon- relief in active pursuits. But for don firm, the founder of which was them my mind would sink altogether, a fellow-countryman, named Devaux, when I contemplate the position of and to his place of business in the my unhappy country.” city Monsieur Morin at once pro- "Are affairs, then, so much worse ceeded. A painful surprise awaited in France? Forgive me, sir, for him. Greatly to his sorrow, he asking the question, but the last few learned that the head of the house weeks have been for me a perfect had died only ten days before, after blank.” a brief illness.
“I can well understand it," said “Mr. Richard Devaux, the only Monsieur Morin, again pressing the son, sir,” whispered the clerk who young man's hand. “Yes,” he regave this information, “is now our sumed, “everything hastens from principal. Our late Mr. Devaux was bad to worse, and this will be the buried - on Saturday, and to-day is case till the very worst arrives." Mr. Richard's first appearance here “The worst?'' repeated Richard since his father's death. But he Devaux, with an inquiring look. takes to it, sir; he takes to it. O “Unless our efforts can prevent yes, sir, he will see you, no doubt. it. The horrors of September have Who shall I say, sir?”
reached your ears?" Richard Devaux was a short, thick “All the world shudders at them. set young man, apparently about Can anything more terrible befall?”. five-and-twenty, with a colorless “Every day the hand of murder cheek, thin lips, and dark, restless strikes down a nobler victim; every eyes. At Monsieur Morin's entrance day witnesses a bolder and bloodier he rose from a table, on which sey- tyranny. All soon will be anarchy. eral folios were lying open, and came The King is already accused before to meet him.
the Convention. That was the nat“Monsieur Morin, of the Rue de ural consequence of the infamous deMirabeau?” he said in a low voice. cree by which royalty was abolished
"The same, sir. The correspond- in France. See, then, what hope we ent of your house, and the old friend have of the future, unless we find it of your father.”
here!" They shook hands, and there was “And is that, sir, your only exsilence between them for a few mo- pectation ? ments, each apparently occupied with “I fear it. Everywhere on the the past. Monsieur Morin was the continent the armies of the Revolufirst to speak.
tion triumph. And this brings me “I grieve, sir,” he said, "to tres- to the object of my present visit.