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We have been taught to neglect it by the atmosphere impregnated with the prob.
tendency of general thought and political lems which that fiction presented in a
change, by the temptation of a cheap stim- solid form; they were prepared to recog-
ulus to attention, and lastly, by the teach- nize them by innumerable bints and allu.
ing of a great genius. The narratives sions; they could not take up a magazine,
which have combined the interest of dra. and hardly a newspaper, without being
matic creation and eloquent preaching, reminded that these were the issues dis-
the works which have been cited from the puted between thinkers; and when they
pulpit and bailed as a new Bible by those found these problems, which to a certain
who wished to discard the old, have been extent were familiar, apparently settled in
modelled more and more on the new rev. an interesting fiction, the fiction, without
erence for physical science. The change losing its own peculiar interest, gained
is strikingly apparent when we compare that of philosophy. All this is true only
George Eliot with George Sand; and one for a generation. We cannot point to
character - which we cannot help fancy- any romance of the past as prefiguring
ing that the great English woman took what “ Daniel Deronda” and “ Middle-
from the great Frenchwoman, and in march may be for the readers of the
which, therefore, we can compare the two twentieth century, because the ideal on
methods of treatment - brings it out very which they are moulded is entirely new.
strikingly. Tito Melema, as the incar. But we may safely predict that when
nate principle of the Renaissance, is the George Eliot's productions come to be
creation of George Eliot; but as the faith. read by our grandchildren, her readers
less, frivolous, luxury-loving admirer of will turn most eagerly to those which en.
Romola, he reminds us of Angiolo, the ter on ground where expression is con.
Venetian singer, who has a similar rela- fessedly incomplete always, rather than to
tion towards Consuelo. But we know those which change of time can rob of a
Tito as a patient in a hospital; Angiolo completeness apparently attempted by
as a personage in a drama. We follow their author. Nothing exhaustive,
the downfall of the perfidious Greek with firmly believe, can ever be perennial.
the interest with which we study a re- It may be objected that when we have
markable case in pathology; while the settled how much detail a writer of fiction
perfidious Venetian is known to us as a had better invent, that does not help to
passing acquaintance is, and leaves us decide how much fact a biographer bad
without any feeling that we have before better reveal. The objection, however
us the complete analysis of his condition. plausible it sound, is a part of the very
We know him, that is, from a literary, not heresy against which our whole polemic
a scientific, point of view.

is directed. The aim of biography is to Well,” it may be objected, “that, so reveal a character. The characier is not far as it goes, is all on the side of the to be invented. But the biographer should scientific ideal of fiction, for George Eli-feel his task just as much one of selection ot's creation is a more powerful one than as the writer of fiction does. Only very George Sand’s.” To the countrymen of rarely will he reveal the character he seeks George Eliot, and at the very time of to reveal by telling everything he knows. publication it certainly is. Beyond this The most popular biography in the lanlimit of time and space we doubt. We guage is an example of just such a fortuhave a profound faith in the conser. nate chance as this. Boswell could not vative influence of pure literature, and bave painted a character that needed se. some distrust of instantaneous impres lective treatment; Johnson could not have siveness. The contrast seems to us for- been so vividly known to us by any one cibly exhibited in the earlier and later who bad aimed at selective treatment. style of George Eliot herself. “Adam Another popular biography – Stanley's Bede" was a study of moral aspects, not “Life of Arnold ” — seems to us to have an analysis of moral conditions; and it carried the principle of selection too far, had not so large an audience as its suc. and to lose interest with its lack of shadcessors had; perhaps it was not read ow. But the most erroneous specimens with the same keen interest as they were, of the kind of biography which embody for the author's power of description and the aim of revealing a character as a dif. creation remained undimmed, and to these ferent endeavor from that of describing a attractions was afterwards added that of thing, seem to us to do more ultimately a kind of mental stimulus peculiarly fat to further true views of mankind than the tering to the ordinary intellect. The read. most elaborate attempts which ignore this ers of

· Daniel Deronda” breathed an | difference, and suppose that what the bi.

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ographer has to do is to empty his wallet longs to the literary spirit, that even here of information. The biographer who for- it seems to us the muse of history degets his kindred to the poet, and enters scends from her pedestal when she would into partnership with the student of phys. approach closely to science; nor should iology, starts from an assumption more we desire a better illustration of this truth false than any that could be put into a than the two historic works of the great narrative form. Only he who creates can man from whose biography we took our fully reveal, and he who remembers that start. The history written in his youth is truth will reveal least inadequately. an original and vivid picture of human

The case in which the scientific ideal is life; the history written in his age is an least hurtful to literature is one in which exhaustive account of the greatness of a the exception proves the rule, for as mem- military nation, which that nation finds ory is a bridge between the regions of itself obliged to study as the best source sense and imagination, so is history be of accurate information, and we feel no tween those of science and literature. I more doubt as to which of these works Here, no doubt, the two ideals must blend. will be best known to posterity, than we And yet so intimate, so indissoluble is the do as to its verdict on the contrast be. connection between the truth of human tween the purport of bis teaching and the life, and that selective feeling which be- disclosures of his biography.

THE ORIGIN OF SILK. - If we put any trust , India, and was at last brought to Europe. The in tradition, says an English journal, there is a soldiers of Crassus, B.C. 56, saw silken standlegend that Tchin, the eldest son of Japhet, ards among the Parthians, and a few years father of the Asiatic race, taught his children later an immense velarium of silk protected the art of preparing silk, as well as the arts of the spectators in the Roman circus from the painting and sculpture. Be this as it may, it rays of the sun. From this time the Romans is certain that about three thousand years were always provided with the beautiful textbefore the Christian era a Chinese book, ures which were the admiration of their the Chou-King, described silken cords, which legions. Yet silk was still the privileged pos. were stretched upon a musical instrument in- session of the rich, and in the time of Aurevented by the emperor Fo-Hi. One of his lian, who flourished in the third century, was successors, Chin Nong, reputed inventor of worth about forty times its present value. the plough, explained to his contemporaries This enormous price, when considered with what beautiful stuffs could be obtained by cul- the fact that there was at that time no cointivation of the mulberry tree, and about the merce between Rome and the Orient, goes far year B.C. 2600 an empress, to whom a grateful towards explaining the great hoarding of treas. posterity assigned a place in a celestial con- ure and jewellery which has since that time stellation, perfected the art of unravelling the gone on in India. There is a dispute between cocoon and weaving. From that time silk tradition and history as to the period when the culture had its principal seat near the northern genuine cocoon was brought from China to portion of the Yellow River, in the province Europe. How was the vigilance of the Ce. of Chan-Tong. There was produced silk for lestials thwarted, since exportation of the silkthe royal household. Yellow was the chosen worm from the flowery kingdom was forbidden color for the emperor, empress, and prince under the severest penalties? One account imperial; violets for the other wives of the states that in A.D. 552 two monks sent to Ko. emperor, blue for distinguished officers, red than by Justinian succeeded in bearing away for those less conspicuous, and black for every their booty concealed in a stalk of bamboo. one else. In the book of rites, Li-Ki, the cer- The legend says that once upon a time, when emonies performed at the harvest are carefully Kothan did not yet possess the precious bomdescribed. Even the empress did not disdain byx, the king of one of the provinces sought to gather the leaves of the mulberry with her and obtained a daughter of the Chinese einown dainty fingers, and watched over the rear. peror in marriage. Before quitting her native ing of the busy toilers of the cocoon. For a land she hid seeds of the mulberry and silk. long time this invaluable industry remained worms' eggs in her hair, where it would escape the exclusive property of the Chinese Empire, the vigilance of the customs officers on the but about the third century before the Chris. frontier. When she reached her new home tian era a military expedition from China bore she planted the seeds of the mulberry in order the results of its civilization to the startled that suitable nourishment might be provided Occident. Silk became known in Persia and l in the leaf for the worms.

Fifth Series, Volume XLIX.

}

No. 2123.- February 28, 1885,

From Beginning,

Vol. CLXIV.

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CONTENTS.
I SECRET PAPE;S OF THE SECOND EMPIRE, . Edinburgh Review,
II. A HOUSE D1;*IDED AGAINST ITSELF. By
Mrs. Oliphant. Part V.,

Chambers' Journal,
III. THE LIFE OF GEORGE ELIOT,

Macmillan's Magazine,
IV. THE New MANAGER. Part II.,

Good Words,
V. COLERIDGE AS A SPIRITUAL THINKER, Fortnightly Review,
VI. LIFE IN A DRUSE VILLAGE. Part II., . Blackwood's Magazine,
VII. MY IRISH CORRESPONDENTS,

Chambers' Journal,

529 533

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ON AN OLD SONG,

POETRY,
5141"DEAR WIFE AND PERFECT FRIEND,” 514

.

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
LITTELL & CO., BOSTON.

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGB will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-ofice money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters wben requested to do so. Drafts, checks and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single Numbers of The LIVING AGE, 18 cents.

ON AN OLD SONG.

And old beliefs grow faint and few LITTLE snatch of ancient song

As knowledge moulds the world anew, What has made thee live so long?

And scatters far and wide the seeds Flying on thy wings of rhyme

Of other hopes and other creeds;

And all in vain we seek to trace
Lightly down the depths of time,

The fortunes of the coming race,
Telling nothing strange or rare,
Scarce a thought or image there,

Some with fear and some with hope,

None can cast its horoscope.
Nothing but the old, old tale
Of a hapless lover's wail;

Vap'rous lamp or rising star,
Offspring of some idle hour,

Many a light is seen afar, W bence has come thy lasting power?

And dim shapeless figurer loom By what turn of rhythm or phrase,

All around us in the glocha – By what subtle, careless grace,

Forces that may rise and reign Can thy music charm our ears

As the old ideals wail-. After full three hundred years?

Landmarks of the human mind, Little song, since thou wert born

One by one are left behind, In the Reformation morn,

And a subtle change is wrought How much great has past away,

In the mould and cast of thought. Shattered or by slow decay!

Modes of reasoning pass away, Stately piles in ruins crumbled,

Types of beauty lose their sway, Lordly houses lost or humbled,

Creeds and causes that have made Thrones and realms in darkness hurled, Many noble lives, must fade; Noble flags forever furled,

And the words that thrilled of old Wisest schemes by statesmen spun,

Now seem hueless, dead, and cold; Time has seen them one by one

Fancy's rainbow tints are flying, Like the leaves of autumn fall

Thoughts, like men, are slowly dying ; A little song outlives them all.

All things perish, and the strongest

Often do not last the longest; There were mighty scholars then

The stately ship is seen no more, With the slow, laborious pen

The fragile skiff attains the shore ; Piling up their works of learning,

And while the great and wise decay, Men of solid, deep discerning,

And all their trophies pass away, Widely famous as they taught

Some sudden thought, some careless rhyme, Systems of connected thought,

Still floats above the wrecks of time. Destined for all future ages.

W. E. H. LECKY. Now the cobweb binds their pages,

Macmillan's Magazine.
All unread their volumes lie
Mouldering so peaceably,
Coffined thoughts of coffined men;
Never more to stir again
In the passion and the strife,
In the fleeting forms of life;
All their force and meaning gone
As the stream of thought flows on.

Art thou weary, little song,
Flying through the world so long?
Canst thou on thy fairy pinions
Cleave the future's dark dominions?
And with music soft and clear
Charm the yet unfashioned ear,
Mingling with the things unborn
When perchance another morn
Great as that which gave thee birth
Dawns upon the changing earth?
It may be so, for all around
With a heavy crashing sound,
Like the ice of polar seas
Melting in the summer breeze,
Signs of change are gathering fast,
Nations breaking with their past.

Dear wife and perfect friend; my household

queen, With watchful care making my home so

dear,
That all my work mere pastime doth ap.

pear,
If but thy fair face in my room be seen,
And the soft voice's music intervene

Like melody itself the brain to clear

Of o'erspun tissue of thought's atmosphere By gracious fancies where God's hand nach

been,
Man cannot rise, or so I think, to heights
Where spirits pure as thine unconscious

move,
Till that white Purity's exceeding lights

The grosser spirit's earthly strain reprove,
And the best angel of Jehovah's fights

Arm us anew with his whole armor - - Love.
Spectator. HERMAN C. MERIVALE.

The pulse of thought is beating quicker,
The lamp of faith begins to flicker,
The ancient reverence decavs
With forins and types of other days;

SECRET PAPERS OF THE SECOND

EMPIRE.

were

From The Edinburgh Review. submitted to the control of the govern

ment of the national defence. After

publication the original documents, careBy a decree published in the Journal fully catalogued, were deposited in the Officiel of the French Republic on Sep national archives. Tember 7, 1870, the minister of the inte

Such is the account, given with all the rior appointed a commission charged with dry precision of an official report, of a the collection, classification, and publica. publication of a more startling nature than tion of the papers and correspondence of often comes within the purview of the histhe imperial family which had been seized torian. Amid the portentous echoes of at the Tuileries on the overthrow of the the time, when the ears of men empire, three days before. The president stunned by such tidings as those of the of this conmission was M. André Laver. capitulation of Sedan, the collapse of the tujon, who, on October 12, addressed a empire, the siege of Paris, and the deathreport to M. Jules Favre, then interim struggle of France, it might well be the minister of the interior, indicating the case that items of what might almost be progress made up to that date by the com- called personal gossip, which in less tem. mission, and suggesting the appointment pestuous times would have rung through of M. Taxile Delord, Laurent.Pichat, and

Europe, would appear dwarfed to undue Ludovic Lalaune, to replace MM. de

proportions by the terrible news of each Kératry, Estancelin, and André Cochut, day. We are not prepared to say that who had been called to the exercise of

any

effort was made by those who were other functions, the first-named of the most compromised by the papers

in

ques. three being made prefect of police. This tion to collect and to destroy the published report, approved and countersigned by copies. But the rarity of the volume — M. Jules Favre, states that on September only one other copy than the one before 24, the first fasciculus of the papers in us having met our eyes, and that on the question had been published; that fascic- table of an ambassador — certainly tends uli, composed each of two octavo leaves, to confirm that not unnatural supposition. had succeeded nearly every other day; At all events it will be, as the commission and that the contents of a volume of five has said, " in the interest of truth” to adhundred pages had been already passed duce a few of the proofs thus unexpect. through the press. Copies of each num-edly furnished of what the second empire ber, as they appeared, had been sent to

cost France. the public prints; and not only had most It is difficult to approach an enquiry of of the documents been republished by the kind without a strong sense of the them in entirety, but counterfeits had been grim humor of the event. The ink will circulated among the public, with which hardly run from the pen without leaving the commission had not regarded it as traces of a certain amount of malice, using any part of their duty to intersere. The the word in its French, and not in its En. commission insist, in a brief preface, that glish, sense. That those very documents the publication of these papers has an which, by reason of their intimately priabsolutely official and impersonal charac. vate nature, should be entrusted to no ter, the work having been undertaken in minister, secretary, or archivist, but kept the sole interest of the truth. The com- in the personal custody of the sovereign mission, according to the preface, did not himself, should be thus collected, kept, judge – it simply drew up an inventory; and at last made public for the special it attempted no polemical work, but im- service and delectation of King Mob, is a partially prepared the materials of history. new incident of the drama of la Répub. The documents, copied under the respon- lique dans les carrosses du Roi.* The sibility of the secretaries to the commis. sion, were examined by the president, and • A similar incident had, however, twice before oc

curred in the course of the French Revolution, when * Papiers et Correspondance de la Famille Im- the mob broke into the Tuileries, and pillaged the périale. Paris: 1870.

private papers of the sovereign. The documents found

66

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