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“ Depart in peace, then; I haven't made are not, and I belong to the majority. the admission.'
You would have been dreadfully disapBut this was scarcely satisfactory: pointed in me if-if-6 Won't
you just say that it is untrue ?! “No, I should not !” interrupted Brian pleaded Brian.
eagerly. “I know you have faults, like • No; why should I? I don't recognize everybody eise; I could even mention your right to drive me into a corner and some of them.” hold a pistol to my head."
She laughed a little. “Could you ? “ What pistol ? I have nothing to But you don't seem to be very tolerant threaten you with ; for I suppose it can't of them; and, you see, you are ready to matter much to you whether I am able to suspect me of all kinds of iniquity: That go on thinking of you as I have always comes of setting up too high an ideal.” thought or not; but it matters everything “You call it iniquity, then," he cried; to me. I can't go away without any an- "you allow that it would be iniquity. swer at all and calmly hold my judgment That is all I wanted you to say. No, in suspense until I see what will hap- Miss Huntley, I haven't set up too high pen."
an ideal. I don't know that I can explain “Why not? It seems to me that that myself; but in my own mind it is quite would be a very correct and sensible atti- clear that it wasn't really you whom I tude to take up. Why can't you adopt suspected. If this thing had been true it?"
and there was a great deal to make me “ Because I love you!” he burst out think it so -
- the evidence of my own suddenly: “ I have loved you ever since senses, besides what Sir Joseph told me, the first day that we met, I think; though and Stapleford - if it had been true you I have never had any hope, except for a wouldn't have been yourself; you would short time long ago, when I didn't quite have been a deceitful, heartless woman, understand what a great gulf was fixed who, for the sake of vanity or ambition, between us. I understand that perfectly or perhaps of something that she might well now, and besides, my chance would dignify by the name of love, did not hesihave been no better if I had been an im- tate to betray her friend and disgrace portant personage, instead of an insignifi. herself. You' see," he concluded with a cant one. Through all your kindness to sort of laugh, “it couldn't have been you me you have never given me the slightest whom I suspected.” excuse for supposing that you could care Ah,” she said, "you couldn't love a for me in that way. I didn't want to tell woman of that description.” you this; but I thought
“ No, I think not, I hope not. CerHe paused and glanced appealingly at tainly I should be ashamed of myself if I her, but she only made a slight movement did.' of her head, as if inviting him to go on.
" Come !" said Beatrice, rising and “Well, I thought that if you knew the standing over him, with one hand resting truth you would not wish me to have the upon the mantelpiece, “you have paid me misery of doubting you when you could a compliment — for I suppose it is a comremove all my doubts with a word.” pliment to a woman to fall in love with
“But are you sure that I can?” she her, even though that sentiment may be asked in a low voice.
grounded upon an illusion — and the least The room was quite dark now, except that I can do in return is to restore you to for the firelight, and she had drawn her a healthy state of mind. Joseph and Stachair back, so that he could not see her pleford and the evidence of your own face. There was a short interval of si- senses have not misled you; I have done lence, after which she resumed: “I won't and am doing my best to break off the pretend to be surprised at what you have engagement between your brother and told me; I have sometimes thought that Kitty Greenwood. More than that, I beit might be so, although I was not certain. lieve that I have as good as succeeded. I am glad you don't accuse me of having More than that, I am utterly unrepentant, led you on, as Stapleford and others have and I would do it all over again. I hope accused me, and I am sorry if you have that is explicit enough to satisfy you.” ever been made unhappy through me. There was a long pause. Brian also But this is what I think about it: you are had risen to his feet, and was standing dreamy and imaginative ; you would be close to her, but made no reply. sure to take any woman that you fell in At last she asked abruptly, “Well, have love with for a paragon, and women are you nothing to say to me? not paragons. At all events, most of them
“ Nothing either now or at any future But I know, and I don't want you to tell time.'
me. Matilda, you won't throw me over, “ This is to be final, then? If we will you, come what may?" meet again we are to cut one another " Never !” cried Miss Joy emphatically. dead?"
“I don't always understand you, my dear, No; not unless you desire it. I take and I don't always think you in the right; it that you will become my sister-in-law, but, right or wrong, I always love you, and and in that case it would be better that we always shall." should be upon speaking terms, wouldn't Ah, Matilda, that is a very foolish and it?"
immoral kind of friendship. When you “ You foresee everything.
Yes, no think a friend in the wrong you ought to doubt it would be more convenient that pull a long face and straighten your
backwe should remain upon speaking terms, bone and say, “I have been deceived in supposing that you will condescend so far you, but I do not reproach you. Fareas to speak to me. You have been nicely well!' However, I think I like the fooldeceived in me, have you not?”
ish and immoral friends best. Matilda, “I have only myself to blame for that,” what should you say to going up the he replied gravely.
Nile ?" “What magnanimity! I should have “My dear child, would it be safe ? And thought that you would prefer to condemn - and would it fit in with your plans ?” me; that seems to be such a natural and
“I have no plans; and I think we easy process with you. But, after all, one should be sufficiently protected by Mr. readily, pardons a person whom one de Cook and the British army of occupation.
Still, Algiers or Madeira or Cyprus would By way of reply he took up his hat and suit me equally well. We will wait to see bowed.
the result of the general election, Matilda, Good-bye,” she said, ringing the bell. and then we will be off. How glad I shali And so they parted, without shaking be to say good-bye to my friends ! - to hands.
the wise and moral ones, I mean." When Beatrice was left alone she went to her davenport, unlocked it, and took out a photograph, which she had purchased nearly a year before from a Kingscliff artist. It represented Brian Segrave,
From The Fortnightly Review. seated in a very uncomfortable attitude
PASCAL, THE SCEPTIC. upon a sharp rock, behind which was a No book, probably, has had so curious nebulous background, traversed horizon- a literary history as Pascal's “ Pensées,” tally by some white, woolly appearances, and, perhaps for that reason, no book has whích, when you were told of it, you per been so differently interpreted. For more ceived to be the waves of the sea. Hung than a century and a half, from the first upside down they did duty for the clouds edition in 1670 to the celebrated “Rapin a summer sky, and had figured in one port” of Victor Cousin, it was naturally or the other capacity behind the backs of considered to be the literary expression most of the leading inhabitants of Kings of the dominant convictions of Port Roy. cliff. Beatrice gazed steadily at this work al. It was subsequently discovered that of art for several minutes before she it was only the mouthpiece of such medi. tossed it into the fire, and pressed it down ocre thinkers as Etienne Périer and the with the poker among the glowing coals Duc de Roannez, issued, perhaps, under until it was consumed. Then, with lips the authority of Antoine Arnauld and Nicompressed and her chin in the air, she cole. By a curious freak of fortune it left the room and, mounting the staircase, was taken up by Condorcet and Voltaire knocked at Miss Joy's door.
in 1776 and 1778, but it is only since “ Dear old Matilda,” she said on being Cousin first restored the text of the genuadmitted, “I have come to beg your par. ine Pascal, which the Messieurs de Port don. I was cross and rude to you to-day, Royal had mutilated, transposed, and reand I am afraid I distressed you."
written, that such editions as those of Miss Joy jumped up and flung her arms Faugère in 1844 and Havet in 1852 have round the girl's neck. “No, no !” she become possible. And what sort of Pasexclaimed ; " it was I who was too ready cal has the genuine text revealed ? a fato take offence. But, Beatrice dear, I natic, as Voltaire supposed ? or a Catholic, have been so unhappy, so worried !”. as M. l'Abbé Maynard has laboriously
“ Worried about what, you old goose? | undertaken to prove in the two volumes
he issued in 1850? Is he a disguised | le vrai; car, après tout, les hommes, avant Protestant, as M. Vinet and perhaps also Jésus-Christ, ne savoient où ils en étoient, Mr. Charles Beard seem inclined to think, ni s'ils étoient grands ou petits.”
- Toute or was M. Victor Cousin right when he la dignité de l'homme est en la pensée. summarily declared him to be a sceptic? Mais qu'est-ce que cette pensée ? Qu'elle The controversy is by no means yet ex. est sotte!” “Connaisse donc, superbe, tinguished, for Pascal's name is equally quel paradoxe vous êtes à vous-même. cherished by literature and theology, and Humiliez-vous, raison impuissante; taisezit is not often that a man has left behind vous, nature imbecile!” “ La belle chose him two works so diametrically opposed de crier à un homme, qui ne se connoit in spirit and in form as the " Provincial pas, qu'il aille de lui-même à Dieu ! et la Letters and the 6
Thoughts.” If the belle chose de le dire à un homme qui first was one of the earliest and most se connoit !”. "Mon Dieu, que ce sunt perfect achievements of French prose writ- des sots discours ! Dieu auroit-il fait le ing, the second was only a somewhat het- monde pour le damner? demanderoit-il erogeneous mass of disjointed aphorisms; tant de gens si foibles?' etc. Pyrrhowhile the “ Letters derive half their nisme est le remède à ce mal, et rabattra glory from their noble vindication of the cette vanité." The one philosopher whom rights of reason against ecclesiastical dog. Pascal thoroughly knew was Montaigne matism, the “ Thoughts” are the gloomy the sceptic, and though he ventures to record of a mind which was prepared to criticise him here and there, his influence throw overboard every kind of knowledge is visible at every page. And it is not at the bidding of authority, and to retain only thoughts which Pascal borrows from as elements of chief value the three quali- Montaigne, he uses his expressions. Here ties of “pyrrhonien, (géomètre," and is a short list of words and phrases, taken 66 Chrétien soumis." “Il faut avoir," says from Montaigne's vocabulary, which are Pascal, ces trois qualités, pyrrhonien, found in the “ Pensées.” Montaigne had géomètre, Chrétien soumis; et elles s'ac- written, " Le seul moyen que je prends cordent, et se tempèrent, en doutant où il pour rabattre cette frénésie."
Pascal uses faut, en assurant où il faut, en se soumet- the word in the sentence quoted above: tant où il faut."
“Pyrrhonisme rabattra cette vanité.” PasWith the true text of the“ Pensées " be- cal says, “ Les enfants qui s'effrayent du fore us, and with Cousin's report to the visage qu'ils ont barbouillé;" and MonAcademy in our hands, it is difficult to taigne, Les enfants qui s'effrayent de ce overlook the obvious scepticism of Pascal même visage qu'ils ont barbouillé.” “Le
-scepticism, be it understood, in philos- næud de notre condition prend des replis," ophy, not in religion. Sceptic he appears in Pascal, is taken bodily from Monat almost every page, and all the more taigne's “Ce devroit être un noud presavagely sceptic because he thought that nant ses replis.” The expression "avoir this was the only portal to a belief in Rev- des prises” is common to the two writers. elation. He probably had not studied Montaigne had written, “ Si les prises humuch philosophy, certainly not so much as maines étaient assez capables pour saisir either Arnauld or Nicolé, for his talents la vérité ;” and Pascal repeats, "Voyons lay rather in the direction of geometry and si elle a quelques forces et quelques prises science, but he does not hesitate to express capables de saisir la vérité.". Other charhis opinion of all philosophy: “Se moquer acteristic phrases are used by both : for de la philosophie, c'est vraiment philoso- instance, the verb “couvrir” in the sense pher;” such is his decisive phrase. Des- of “conceal ;” “ Gagner sur moi, sur lui,”. cartes, whom Arnauld especially had in- in the sense of “induce; rapporter à,” troduced into Port Royal, he cannot away in the sense of “avoir rapport à ; with. "Je ne puis pardonner à Des- du,” in the sense of “prolonged ;” and cartes."
“ Descartes. Il faut dire en gros, “transi,” in the sense of "transported.” • Cela se fait pas figure et mouvement, car Here, too, is a curious instance.Pascal cela est vrai,' Mais de dire quels, et com- wrote, “Un corps qui nous aggrave et poser la machine, cela est ridicule ; car nous abaisse vers la terre ;” apparently cela est inutile, et incertain, et pénible. quoting Horace : “Corpus animum Et quand cela seroit vrai, nous n'estimons prægravat atque afligit,” but only. dopas que toute la philosophie vaille une ing so in the form in which Montaigne heure de peine." The only true philoso- quotes him :" Corruptibile corpus aggraphy is the negation of all philosophy, and vat animam." But perhaps the most sig. therefore the only true philosophical sys- nificant case is the employment of the tem is Pyrrhonism. " Le pyrrhonisme est I word "abêtir,” in Pascal's celebrated ar
gument of “ taking the odds as to the existence; "the odds," as he says, existence or non-existence of God: “Cela even.” But if the question be one not of vous fera croire et vous abêtira. Mon- reason, but of interest, there was a clear taigne had already said, “Il faut nous preponderance of advantage on the side abestir pour nous assagir.”
of belief. Even if God did not exist, there The argument itself, from which these could be no harm in believing him to exlast words are taken, is so astounding, ist; but if he did exist, how perilous in both in conception and expression, that the future might be disbelief! It might to most religious minds it has appeared make all the difference between happiness little short of profane. Yet it is, after all, and damnation. On the ground of selfperfectly consistent with the attitude of a interest, therefore, as reason was neutral, man who starts with the belief that all it was clearly better to believe. “ Et ainsi human reason and natural understanding notre proposition est dans une force inare, owing to the fall
, incurably diseased finie, quand il y a le fini à hasarder à un and unprofitable. It is certainly rather jeu où il y a pareils hasards de gain que more daring in expression, but also more de perte, et l'infini à gagner. Cela est logical than the language which a Jesuit démonstratif; si les hommes sont capa. or a Calvinist would allow himself, and bles de quelques vérités, celle-là l'est.” the humeur bouillante which his sister "Je le confesse," answers Pascal's imagiJacqueline found in Pascal, explains much nary interlecutor, “je l'avoue; mais enof the passionate, intensity of the phrases. core n'y a-t-il point moyen de voir le If human reason be corrupt at its core, dessous du jeu ? Oui, l'Ecriture. Mais there can be of course no natural theol. j'ai les mains liées et la bouche muette; ogy, and no rational proof of God's exist on me force à parier, et je ne suis pas en
Pascal is very explicit on this liberté ; je suis fais d'une telle sorte que point. “I shall not attempt,” he says, “ to je ne puis croire. Que voulez-vous donc prove by natural reasons either the exist- que je fasse ?” Pascal can only reply ence of God or the immortality of the that he must do as others in the like difti. soul, or anything else of the like charac- culty have done, take sacred water and ter; not only because I should not feel have masses said. “Naturellement même myself capable of finding anything in na- cela vous fera croire et vous abêtira ture whereby to convince hardened athe- mais c'est ce que je crains — et pourquoi ? ists, but also because such knowledge, qu'avez-vous à perdre?” Such is this apwithout Jesus Christ, is useless and ster- palling argument in all its naked appeal to ile. It is remarkable,” he proceeds, “ that expediency. It has often been doubted no canonical author has ever made use of whether all the hermit's excessive anxiety nature to prove God. They must have about his own soul was not a rather coarse been cleverer than the cleverest men who form of selfishness. Here, at all events, have succeeded them, for the latter have a selfish system is reinforced by the approall made this attempt.” “Eh quoi ! ne priate arguments of a more than cool selfdites-vous pas vous-même que le ciel et les love. Meanwhile, however consistent oiseaux prouvent Dieu ? Non. Et votre Pascal's treatment of these questions may religion ne le dit-elle pas ? Non. Car en be with his Jansenism and his devotion to core que cela est vrai en un sens pour Montaigne, there occur obvious difficul. quelques âmes à qui Dieu donne cette ties in comprehending his scheme. If lumière, néanmoins cela est faux à l'égard there is no natural light of reason in men, de la plupart.”. It is perhaps a little as- if all purely human understanding and tonishing that Pascal should have read his virtue are alike vitiated according to the Bible to such little effect. The Psalmist, doctrine of original sin, why write a book at all events, thought that the heavens on Christian evidences at all? Yet that were telling the glory of God, and St. such was the intention of the “ Pensées "is Paul declared in his Epistle to the Ro- open to no doubt. The miracle performed mans, that God had made himself known on Marguerite Périer, Pascal's niece, the by his works since the creation of the so called miracle of the holy thorn, inworld. But Pascal was more versed in spired Pascal with the idea of writing a St. Augustine and Jansen than in the work which should convince the world of Scriptures. To him there was no natural the truth of Christianity. If the world proof of God, for without God's special could not apart from the grace of God, grace man's understanding and will were which was ex hypothesi absent, have any alike incapable. Hence, so far as reason natural understanding, the value of Paswas concerned, there was no greater likeli. cal's “ Pensées would be infinitesimal. hood of God's existence than of his non- | Or again, how could, on Pascal's own
showing, a revelation of God to men be signe pour ceux qui ne goûteront pas ce possible ? “ Parlons suivant les lumières livre.' Huet and La Rochefoucauld, the naturelles. S'il y a un Dieu, il est infi- Jesuits and the egoists, such are Pascal's niment incompréhensible, puisque n'ayant new-found allies. It is not surprising that ni parties ni bornes, il n'a nul rapport à Nicole, the moralist of Port Royal, though nous.” But if God has no relation to men he warmly co-operated in the “ Provincial how can he reveal himself to men ? Either Letters,” could not conceal his dislike for the revelation is a fact, and then God the “ Thoughts,” and that Arnauld, the must have some relation to men's faculties, Port-Royalist philosopher, “ Arnauld, le or else it is not a fact and then the whole grand Arnauld,” as even Boileau describes of Pascal's reconstruction of Christianity him, should have done his best to erase on the foundation of philosophical scepti- from Pascal's posthumous work its scepcism falls to the ground. But it is use- tical tendencies. Speaking of Pascal's less to argue with Pascal in the mood in remarks on justice, which were conceived which he wrote the “ Pensées.” It is more in the spirit of Montaigne, he says in a instructive to see how wide is the inter- letter to M. Périer, “ Pour vous parler val which separates the writer of these franchement, je crois que cet endroit est thoughts from the immortal author of the insoutenable.” A modern reader, who is “Provincial Letters.” Could the aim of not too much blinded by the well-inerited the earlier work be better described than glory of the “ Provincial Letters," finds as the defence of reason against ecclesias- more passages than one which are “insoutical pretensions ? What meant the scath- tenabies." ing ridicule of “le pouvoir prochain" and If Pascal be compared with the other "la grâce suffisante" except to discredit heroes of Port Royal, who were either his that system of authoritative belief which contemporaries or immediate predecessors was supported by the Jesuits? What - St. Cyran, Singlin, Arnauld, Nicole, De doctrine could the advocate of Port Royal Saçi - it will be seen how different from find more damaging to morality than theirs are both his character and his posi“probabilism ”and casuistry? Yet here tion. Singlin and De Saçi were the great is Pascal himself urging arguments of confessors of Port Royal, men whose probabilism, and fighting the battle of sweetness and sincerity made them noble, those very Jesuits on whom he had before but who had towards culture and enlightpoured the righteous vials of his wrath. enment either a neutral or a repellant atti. May a man use his private judgment, and tude. De Saçi and Pascal were indeed decide by the light of the common under- united in one point, a common dislike to standing, whether truth be on this side or Descartes, but were alike in little else, that? No; he must lower the colors of According to De Saçi, Descartes was in reason before authority: “pour nous as- relation to Aristotle as a robber who killed sagir, il faut nous abestir," with a sure another robber and took off his spoils, and confidence that we have, as Pascal says, perhaps it was in some measure due to De “nothing to lose.' There was a Bishop Saçi, whose task it was to teach Pascal of Avranches, one Huet, who adopts the “mépriser les sciences,” that his pupil precise attitude of Pascal, both in his at- wrote, “Je ne puis pardonner à Destack on Cartesianism and in his recom- cartes.” But Pascal, whose early training mendation of scepticism ; but he was the in science distinguished him from these friend of the Jesuits, served them all his clerics, outran them also in dogmatic zeal life, and died in their communion. He and polemical ability: Arnauld and Niwas the author of a “ Censure de la Phi-cole, on the other hand, were men of losophie Cartésienne," and still more of a much broader judgment and tolerant good “ Traité Philosophique de la Foiblesse de sense than the author of the “ Pensées.” l'Esprit Humain,” in which he declares, Both were opposed to him on the capital after the manner of Pascal's “ Le pyrrho- question of signing the formulary, desirnisme c'est le vrai,” that “les sceptiques ing for the sake of peace to acquiesce in sont les seuls qui méritent le nom de phi- the wishes of their ecclesiastical superilosophes.” And Cousin has remarked that ors, while Pascal and his sister Jacqueline while none of the great writers of the were for obstinate refusal. Both Nicole seventeenth century ever mention Pas. and Arnauld, again, were imbued with .cal's " Pensées," a warm recommendation Cartesianism; the Port Royal logic which comes from the school of La Rochefou- they wrote in common being a practical cauld. Madame de Lafayette, who speaks exposition of some of the principles of as the secretary of the author of the Descartes. And in the matter of scepti. " Maximes,” declared, “ C'est méchant cism and the Pyrrhonists they were equally