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ordinate, is the protection of persons and property. As Macaulay put it, Mr. Gladstone's theory was that the propagation of religion still is, or should be, one of the principal ends of government, as it was. for many centuries undoubtedly the theory of all Christian and Mahomedan rulers. Macaulay attacked Mr. Gladstone's position by way of analogy ; declaring, not quite fairly, that all the reasonings given to prove that a governing body should collectively profess uniformity of religion would apply to the case of an army; and he went on to illustrate the disastrous absurdity of enforcing that principle in the conduct of war.

At the battle of Blenheim, he says, the army of Marlborough and Eugène was full of soldiers belonging to antagonistic sects and Churches; and what could have been more ridiculous. than for them to quarrel over heresies instead of uniting to defeat the French ? This was true enough for the eighteenth century, when religious wars had ended in Europe; but there have been many periods, and there are still many countries, in which an army composed of different religious sects could hardly hold together. And it is certain that for ages identity of religious belief has been, and still is in many parts of the world, one of the strongest guarantees of combined action on the battlefield. It has often shown itself far more effective, as a bond of union, than territorial patriotism; it has even surmounted tribal or racial antipathies; and its advantages as a palliative of foreign ascendency have been indisputable. The attitude of religious neutrality is now manifestly and incontestably incumbent on all civilised rulerships over an alien people; it is a principle that is just, right, and politic; but there is nothing in its influence that makes for that kind of assimilation which broadens the base of dominion. Religion and intermarriage are the bonds that amalgamate or isolate social groups all the world over, especially in Asia, and their influence for or against political consolidation has lost very little of its efficiency anywhere. Mr. Pearson went wrong, unfortunately, in affirming that British rule is tending to obliterate the religious differences between Mahomedan and Hindu’in India.

These are, I think, some of the general reasons why the present predicament of the Chinese Government-weak, unwieldy, battered by Japan, and perhaps on the brink of some tremendous disaster-does not yet warrant the conclusion that Pearson's prediction is receiving signal disproof, still less that his general theory as to the profound instability affecting the rulership of races that cannot acclimatise is shaken. It may be that Russia will eventually take from China some territory on the Amur or in Kashgar, and that France will cut off slices from the southern provinces. And those who are attempting to raise the cry of Asia for the Asiatics seem to need reminding that the greatest Asiatic power is Russia, whose dominion has the immense advantage of being an unbroken territory from Petersburg to Vladivostok, subject to no abrupt variation of climate, and with a population that blends and graduates from the European into the Asiatic. Nevertheless, as one does not sell the bear's skin before the beast is slain, so to discuss the possibility of the European inheriting from the Manchu is at least premature; for there is still room for the contingency that from this war may come the regeneration of China, and in that event the European powers who shall have been rending the skirts of her empire might find their tenure of any such acquisitions neither cheap nor comfortable.

At the present moment Russia and France appear to be joining hands with the object of establishing an ascendency over China; and our own diplomatic action points toward a policy of alliance with the Japanese sea power. For such a policy there is much to be said ; yet we must not forget the very large extent to which England is interested in the maintenance of the Chinese Empire, whose frontier runs for several thousand miles with our Asiatic frontier. On the whole, we can never look for a better neighbour than China has been to us-exclusive, uncommunicative, but pacific and incapable of aggression—and the substitution of France or Russia for China on some section of this long border-line would benefit us not at all. It is true that a numerous and well-armed Chinese force just across our Burmese border might not precisely suit us in all respects. But a strong and warlike Celestial Empire would be much more inconvenient to France, and even to Russia ; for probably Russia's views would be best promoted by preserving China, like Persia, to stew in her own juice, and to decay until she can easily be dismembered, or dissolve naturally. It is to be feared, however, that the reformation of China is still so far beyond measurable distance as to be out of the range of effective political discussion, except for the purpose of reminding those whom it may concern that, if this war does prove to have been a turning-point in Chinese history, it is as likely to lead toward revival as to decadence or disintegration.

A. C. LYALL

THE ROMANTIC AND CONTEMPORARY

PLAYS OF THOMAS HEYWOOD

I

The eleven plays already considered in my essay' on Heywood's Historical and Classical Plays make up the two divisions of Heywood's work which with all their great and real merit have least in them of those peculiar qualities most distinctive and representative of his genius: those qualities of which when we think of him we think first, and which on summing up his character as a poet we most naturally associate with his name. As a historical or mythological playwright, working on material derived from classic legends or from English annals, he shows signs now and then, as occasion offers, of the sweettempered manliness, the noble kindliness, which won the heart of Lamb: something too there is in these plays of his pathos, and something of his humour: but if this were all we had of him we should know comparatively little of what we now most prize in him. Of this we find most in the plays dealing with English life in his own day: but there is more of it in his romantic tragicomedies than in his chronicle histories or his legendary compilations and variations on the antique. The famous and delicious burlesque of Beaumont and Fletcher cannot often be forgotten but need not always be remembered in reading The Four Prentices of London. Externally the most extravagant and grotesque of dramatic poems, this eccentric tragicomedy of chivalrous adventure is full of poetic as well as fantastic interest. There is really something of discrimination in the roughly and readily sketched characters of the four crusading brothers: the youngest especially is a lifelike model of restless and reckless gallantry as it appears when incarnate in a hot-headed English boy; unlike even in its likeness to the same type as embodied in a French youngster such as the immortal d'Artagnan. Justice has been done by Lamb, and consequently as well as subsequently by later criticism, to the occasionally fine poetry which breaks out by flashes in this Quixotic romance of the City, with its seriocomic ideal of crusading counter-jumpers: but it has never to my knowledge been observed that in the scene where they

See Nineteenth Century for last April.

toss their pikes so,' which aroused the special enthusiasm of the worthy fellow-citizen whose own prentice was to bear the knightly ensign of the Burning Pestle, Heywood, the future object of Dryden's ignorant and pointless insult, anticipated with absolute exactitude the style of Dryden's own tragic blusterers when most busily bandying tennis balls of ranting rhyme in mutual challenge and reciprocal retort of amæbæan epigram.?

It is a pity that Heywood's civic or professional devotion to the service of the metropolis should ever have been worse employed than in the transfiguration of the idealised prentice: it is a greater pity that we cannot exchange all Heywood's extant masques for any one of the two hundred plays or so now missing in which, as he tells us, he had either an entire hand, or at the least a main finger.' The literary department of a Lord Mayor's show can hardly be considered as belonging to literature, even when a poet's time and trouble were misemployed in compiling the descriptive prose and the declamatory verse contributed to the ceremony. Not indeed that it was a poet who devoted so much toil and goodwill to celebration or elucidation of the laborious projects and objects both by water and land which then distinguished or deformed the sundry triumphs, pageants, and shows on which Messrs. Christmas Brothers and their most ingenious parent were employed in a more honourable capacity than the subordinate function of versifier or showman-an office combining the parts and the duties of the immortal Mrs. Jarley and her laureate Mr. Shum. Lexicographers might pick out of the text some rare if not unique Latinisms or barbarisms such as 'prestigion 'and strage': but except for the purpose of such harmless drudges' and perhaps of an occasional hunter after samples of the bathetic which might have rewarded the attention of Arbuthnot or Pope, the text of these pageants must be as barren and even to them it would presumably be as tedious a subject of study as the lucubrations of the very dullest English moralist or American humourist; a course of reading digestible only by such constitutions as could survive and assimilate a diet of Martin Tupper or Mark Twain. And yet even in the very homeliest doggrel of Heywood's or Shakespeare's time there is something comparatively not contemptible; the English, when not alloyed by fantastic or pedantic experiment, has a simple historic purity and

? Compare this with any similar sample of heroic dialogue in Tyrannio Lore or The Conquest of Granada :

• Rapier and pike, is that thy honoured play?

Look down, ye Gods, this combat to survey.'
• Rapier and pike this combat shall decide:

Gods, angels, men, shall see me tame thy pride.'
*I'll teach thee: thou shalt like my zany be,

And feign to do my cunning after me.' This will remind the reader not so much of the Rehearsal as of Butler's infinitely superior parody in the heroic dialogue of Cat and Puss.

dignity of its own; the dulness is not so dreary as the dulness of mediæval prosers, the commonplace is not so vulgar as the commonplace of more modern scribes.

The Trial of Chivalry is a less extravagant example of homely romantic drama than The Four Prentices of London. We owe to Mr. Bullen the rediscovery of this play, and to Mr. Fleay the determination and verification of its authorship. In style and in spirit it is perfect Heywood : simple and noble in emotion and conception, primitive and straightforward in construction and expression ; inartistic but not ineffectual; humble and facile, but not futile or prosaic. It is a rather more rational and natural piece of work than might have been expected from its author when equipped after the heroic fashion of Mallory or Froissart: its date is more or less indistinctly indicated by occasional rhymes and peculiar conventionalities of diction : and if Heywood in the panoply of a knight-errant may now and then suggest to his reader the figure of Sancho Panza in his master's armour, his pedestrian romance is so genuine, his modest ambition so high-spirited and high-minded, that it would be juster and more critical to compare him with Don Quixote masquerading in the accoutrements of his esquire. Dick Bowyer, whose life and death are mendaciously announced on the catchpenny title-page, and who (like Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol) “does not die,” is a rather rough, thin, and faint sketch of the bluff British soldier of fortune who appears and reappears to better advantage in other plays of Heywood and his fellows. That this must be classed among the earlier if not the earliest of his works we may infer from the primitive simplicity of a stage direction which recalls another in a play printed five years before. In the second scene of the third act of The Trial of Chivalry we read as follows :-'Enter Forester, missing the other taken away, speaks anything, and exit.' In the penultimate scene of the second part of King Edward IV we find this even quainter direction, which has been quoted before now as an instance of the stage conditions or habits of the time :

-Jockie is led to whipping over the stage, speaking some words, but of no importance.'

A further and deeper debt of thanks is due to Mr. Bullen for the recovery of The Captives, or The Lost Recovered, after the lapse of nearly three centuries. The singularly prophetic sub-title of this classic and romantic tragicomedy has been justified at so late a date by the beneficence of chance, in favourable conjunction with the happy devotion and fortunate research of a thorough and a thoroughly able student, as to awaken in all fellow-lovers of dramatic poetry a sense of hopeful wonder with regard to the almost illimitable possibilities of yet further and yet greater treasure to be discovered and recovered from the keeping of dust and damned oblivion.' Meantime we may be heartily thankful for the recovery of an excellent piece of work, written throughout with the easy mastery of serious

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