have they ceased to agitate for a reduction to extermination, if possible, of the military forces which undoubtedly at the time saved the colony from very serious disturbances.

Although Victoria, for the reason mentioned, viz. longer erperience of paid members than any other colony, has been shown as an example of the system, it must not be overlooked that all the rest of Australasia—the small colony of Western Australia excepted -is suffering from the paid-member blight, and that until the system is altered it is simply impossible for the colonies to establish themselves on a sound financial basis, or for Australia eventually to become a great nation. As an example of the short-sighted policy of one colony it may be mentioned that rather than allow the seacoast country of the great northern territory which now belongs to South Australia, where all the products grown in Ceylon and the Straits Settlements could be raised in profusion, to be brought into cultivation by the employment of coolies who alone are capable of working in the northern climate, the Labour party in South Australia, 2,000 miles away, prefer that the northern territory should remain a wilderness.

Those who have travelled through the Australian colonies know well what a glorious land it is, and that as yet only the fringe of its resources has been touched, and that if a better political system could be established, confidence in Australian undertakings would be re-established, and English money would be forthcoming in any quantity for investment in a country the equal of which does not exist in any other part of the world, and which contains a people whom, putting professional politicians, professional agitators, and professional unemployed on one side, to know is to remember always with esteem and affection.



THERE is a certain quality of mind, easier to recognise than to define, about which it is difficult to resolve whether it be chiefly innate or the outcome of cultivation. It is that which purges the scholar of pedantry, saves the soldier from ton de garnison and prevents him degenerating into a martinet, preserves the man of affairs from becoming a bore, the couniryman from growing up a bumpkin, the man of the world from hardening into a worldling; indeed, it contributes greatly to fashioning a man of the world in the best sense of that much-misused term. For purpose of analysis and in default of a more precise title this attribute has been termed Intellectual Detachment.

It is the reverse of provincialism, yet sometimes it is met with when least expected in persons whose station has shut them out from that kind of culture which comes from intercourse with all sorts and conditions of men.

An instance in point, though it happened fifteen years ago, has remained bright among pleasant memories, though indeed it may be thought almost too trivial to record. I was carrying on a personal canvas of a county preparatory to my first election to Parliament. arrived on a day at one of the most secluded spots it were possible to find in any civilised country-secluded, but not desolate. A rent in the long line of cliffs which offer an imposing front towards the Irish Channel gives escape at that place to the waters of a streamlet, and affords space for a fertile delta on miniature scale between the rocks and a shred of shingle beach. On this delta, which is worked as a croft, stands a humble thatched cottage. It was a peaceful scene on that calm and bright morning; the spring sunshine was multiplied many fold on the broad expanse of sea stretching away to the undulating outline of the Irish coast, where the cone of Slieve Donnard soars far above all the other mountains of Mourne. The grass in this little nook was of most vivid green, streaked with russet swathes of a bygone summer's bracken, and starred here and there with the earliest primroses. A charming little oasis in that ironbound seaboard, but not without melancholy suggestion in its stillness and remoteness from stir of human life. Doubtless it is often the theatre of impressive turmoil in December gales. Howbeit, , the object of my visit was not scenery, but votes, and the tenant of the little croft was soon forthcoming. I explained my mission in the usual way, but met with a very unusual reception. Never can I forget the contrast between the lowly dwelling, the narrow bounds of the croft, and the lofty sympathy with which my request was met. The farmer, a complete stranger to me, a man apparently between five-and-thirty and forty, with a fine, frank pair of blue eyes, smiled cordially as he took my hand in his grasp. Nothing unusual so far, for hospitality is one of the few virtues with which the most unfriendly critics never refuse to credit Scotsmen, but what followed would have done honour to an accomplished master of amenity.

You want to go into Parliament, sir,' he said ; 'well, it's a fine ambition for a young man. You'll see a great deal, and you'll hear a great deal, and maybe you'll do a great deal. It's a fine thing you're seeking, and I wish you strength and power to make good use of it.'

Now here was a man who must constantly have passed many, many days without intercourse with any individuals except the members of his own family, who had his rent and living to make out of a diminutive angle of the wilderness, and doubtless had to encounter anxiety and hardship at least in proportion to his station, who was able nevertheless to throw himself at once into the purpose of one whom he had never seen before, and, rising out of his material environment as Slieve Donnard towers over his fellow mountains, afford a word of generous encouragement to a stranger bent on a purpose which would seem to be quite apart from his own concerns. Perhaps it was the unexpected element in this little incident that gave it such an enduring place in remembrance ; perhaps it was the encouragement offered to one engaged in an exciting enterprise, for does not every young man believe that, in entering Parliament, he is setting his foot on the avenue to fame? At all events it serves well as an illustration of the grace of detachment.

Robert Burns occupied a station in life corresponding pretty nearly to that of my crofter friend, and it may seem at first sight that intellectual independence of surroundings would be one of the last gifts attributed to Burns, seeing that the scenes and vicissitudes of his own life, or those of his neighbours, form the subject of most of his poems. But, in fact, the poetry of Burns owes much of its power to the very quality under discussion. He celebrated the honest men and bonny lasses of Ayr, and conferred undying lustre on the banks of bonnie Doon and the braes o' Ballochmyle, because he knew them well, and the poet can only sing of what he loves, and love what he knows. But, then, knowledge is something more than common acquaintance, and the right knowledge either arises from, or rexults in, standing aloof and aloft from everyday affairs. It has been said that every man has three selves—the man as he

appears to himself, as he appears to others, and the man as he verily is. It is the same with objects external to the man-each has a triple aspect, and it is the property of genius of the power of Burns's to perceive and present such objects free from any passing mood or private plight of an individual. Every one knows how common the contrary practice is with poets of an inferior order ; how the aspects of nature, the brightness of flowers, the murmur of streams, are enlisted as exponents of human accident and sympathisers with mortal experience. Burns never yielded to this pathetic fallacy. Was he in love ? (and he has left it on record that he never had the least thought or inclination of turning poet till he got once heartily in love, and then rhyme and song were in a manner the spontaneous language of his heart ')—was he in love? Then the wind might roar in the woods of Craigie, or the sun be bright on yonder lea, the scene is described in its true aspect wholly irrespective of his own occupation or condition. Again, when the 'unco tyke lap o'er the dyke' and worried his hoggie,' the kind of weather, as usual, is mentioned, but only to give vividness to the picture, not as if sensible of the misfortune.

The lee-lang night we watched the fauld,

Me and my faithfu' doggie ;
We heard nocht but the roaring linn

Amang the braes sae scroggie. No wind moaned foreboding, no drooping clouds heralded mishap, it needed the sound of a veritable beast of prey to rouse his apprehension:

The tod replied from off the hill,

I trembled for my hoggie.

This is all the more remarkable in one who had had no schooling in poetry, no warning against the pathetic fallacy, which pervaded so much of the verse of his century. Instinctively he struck the right course, and almost the only occasion on which he personified impersonal nature was when he resorted to fable in order to appeal more forcibly to the lord of a beautiful landscape. In the Humble Petition of Bruar Water to the Duke of Athole he confers sensibility on the insensible, and makes the stream say:

Last day I grat wi' spite and teen,

As poet Burns came by,
That, to a bard, I should be seen
Wi' half


channel dry.
A panegyric rhyme, I ween,

Ev'n as I was he shor'd me;
But had I in my glory been,

He, kneeling, wad ador'd me.?

A young sheep before it has parted with its first fleece. 2 The result of this appeal was the planting of that beautiful fir wood which made

This conscience of the right relation of man and nature strengthened his verse when he came to deal with real pathos. Burns had his own grudge against the 'unco guid,' but none knew better than he how amply he had earned their censure. It was on behalf of far others than himself that he was inspired to pen the noble lines at the end of his Address to the Rigidly Righteous :

Then gently scan your brother man,

Still gentler sister woman;
Tho' they may gang a kennin' wrang,

To step aside is human.

Then at the balance let's be mute,

We never can adjust it;
What's done, we partly may compute,

But know not what's resisted.

This power of freeing himself on the instant, and without apparent effort, from self-conscious relation to external circumstance, which is such a salient feature in the poetry of Burns, is the same faculty which enabled my humble friend of the seaside croft to forget his own cares and toils and to enter warmly into the prospects of an enterprise very different from any he could hope to take part in.

If it is true that the higher levels of literature cannot be reached without the habit of mental detachment, it is equally true that it is essential to the production of fine art. The noblest expression of this has been found in representing the perfect ideal of the human form ; to do so, it is necessary to ignore the conventional rules of modesty, and present images of men and women in a state such as considerations of climate, social decorum, and police combine to prohibit to fallen humanity. There are those who are for ever unable to reconcile the life school with their notions of propriety, and shudder at the thought of young ladies painting from the nude. These can never be brought to understand how the mind is trained by artistic discipline to distinguish the nude or undraped from the naked and undressed, and how absolutely the grace of the Venus of Milo, the energy of the Discobulos, and the unconscious dignity of the Adorante prohibit indecent suggestion. Heaven forbid that English maidens should be brought to develop the precocious frankness of Marie Bashkirtseff; nevertheless in her journal that strange girl gives a singular instance of a detached mind, and she enters upon a curious piece of analysis upon this very subject. She has been contemplating her own undraped figure in a mirror, and indulges in speculation upon the source of personal modesty. She is puzzled why, feeling no shyness at letting her eyes rest upon her own nude form, she should be covered with intolerable shame were it exposed to the eyes of others. this glen one of the loveliest spots in Scotland's loveliest county; and it is doleful to record that the autumn gales of 1893, wbich swept with memorable fury over the Tay valley, utterly ruined and laid low the Bruar woodland.

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