Yes, it was probably amid the sunny | tionate good-fellowship. Nature and life meadows of May and June, when the are not to him a scientific study whereof streams are fresh and full of insect life, to evolve systems or creeds. I will not," that the sweet and dignified intercourse of says Richard Jefferies, "permit myself to Sir Henry Wotton and Izaac Walton first be taken captive by observing physical - ripened into friendship. phenomena, as many evidently are. There is hardly a book which to-day intense concentration of the mind on mefetches more money at a sale or in a book-chanical effects appears often to render it seller's catalogue-if happily it is still to be found there-than an original edition of Walton's works. Years have, perhaps, given a mellowness and additional charm to the "Compleat Angler;" but the motive of its interest and delights is implanted deep in an Englishman's nature. The excitement of sport spent amid the incomparable charms of English scenery and English sunshine is as delicious today as in the days of Merry England. Richard Jefferies had just the same love of sport, and sport enjoyed in the open air, as a medium for the study of nature and natural life as had Izaac Walton. Can anything be more delightful than his humorous sketches of, and initiation into, the craft and mysteries of poaching? In the "Amateur Poacher" he tells us that game is started more by scent than by sight, and mentions how the breath and odor of sheep or cows have enabled him to approach rabbits or pheasants feeding. Again, if we turn to a delightful book one of his later ones, called "Red Deer," which is, perhaps, not so well known as "The Gamekeeper at Home," or "Wild Life in a Southern County"- he gives us a most picturesque and truthful description of the wild sport of stag-hunting amid those glorious wildernesses of oak coppice and heather which compose "red deer land."


Nor has Richard Jefferies failed to realize the charm of character which belongs to those who live in remote parts of the country. "Men," he says, 66 are not so sharply defined in isolation as in localities nearer civilization; they do not stand aloof in villa seclusion close by, and yet divided for a lifetime. Here, they acknowledge each other's existence; they approach and lend a helping hand in stress of work. The common bond of sport has much to do in preserving this spirit. Every one takes the deepest interest in the deer, and in sport generally; it is a topic certain to come up, and thus a community of feeling causes a pleasantness of manner. With the red deer of the old-world time of England, survive courtesy and hospitality and the old world friendliness." There is in Richard Jefferies as there is in Izaac Walton a spirit of warm and affecVOL. LX. 3096


incapable of perceiving anything that is not mechanical, or of supposing that action can occur in other than set ways. I do not think that because crystals are precipitated with fixed angles, therefore the whole universe is necessarily mechanical. I think there are things exempt from mechanical rules. The restriction of thought to purely mechanical grooves blocks progress in the same way as the restrictions of mediæval superstition. Let the mind think, dream, imagine, let it have perfect freedom. To shut out the soul is to put us back more than twelve thousand years." I do not know whether he was an accomplished sportsman in practice, but he would have sympathized with Sir Henry Wotton, who, Izaac Walton tells us, never forgot his pleasure in angling, which he would call "his idle time, not idly spent." To Jefferies the study of human nature was an innate and passionate pleasure, vivid and keen to every sense he possessed. It is curious to note also how the activity of this natural sense excites the larger feelings of human kindness, and seems, as it were, to take the place of that mental activity which finds its vent in many minds in controversies concerning our place in the world which is beyond the senses. As a rule, the students of nature - Izaac Walton, Evelyn, of later times Frank Buckland- seem to have relished life exceedingly. Evelyn was one of the first to flavor English society and English country life with a taste for woods and gardens. Custom and superstition have, alas! in his case neglected the expressed wishes of a man whose heart and life were in the temples not made by human hands, for in the fourth book of his "Sylva Evelyn discourses on the sacredness of standing groves, and expresses the opinion that, as our Saviour's sepulchre was in a garden, so tombs in fields, mountains, highways, and gardens are preferable to the proudest mausoleums; and he adds: "The late elegant and accomplished Sir W. Temple, though he laid not his whole body in his garden, deposited the better part of ithis heart-there; and if my executors will gratify me in what I have desired, I wish my corpse may be interred as I have bespoken them, not at all out of singularity,

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but for other reasons not here necessary | school, at some village meeting in a county to trouble the reader with, what I have contest, when he has at last been got to said in general being sufficient. How- deliver his views. In the same sense ever, let them order it as they think fit, so what can be more picturesque or graphic it be not in the church or chancel." than the old local words?

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The passionate love of nature and of In this village the word twilight is sunshine which belonged to the man, and almost unknown. It is the "dimmets which was reflected in the brightness and that describes the evening hour. Amid vivacity of his disposition, seemed to the decay of the old-world language and shrink from circumscribing or localizing knowledge the attention of statesmen has the temple of religion. To him- as to been called to the gradual depletion, not Sir Henry Wotton, who, we are told by only in the form but in the numbers and Izaac Walton, while a great lover and material, of village life. Year by year we bountiful entertainer of his neighbors, was notice the steady and growing influx of a great enemy to wrangling disputes of the smartest lads into the large towns. religion there breathed a spirit of reli- In one sense this is the salvation of the gion and a sense of devotion in all those physical type of the Londoner, but on the dreams of loveliness which nature is ever other hand it increases the congestion and affording in the sunrise over down or cop-intensifies the competition there, while it pice, or in the twilight of dim and glittering avenues.

Happy art thou whom God does bless
With the full choice of thine own happiness,
And happier yet because thou'rt blest
With prudence how to choose the best;
In books and gardens thou hast plac'd aright
Things which thou well dost understand,
And both dost make with thy laborious hand
Thy noble innocent delight.

denudes the country-side, not only of
labor, but of the best and most vigorous
types of village society. Of the villagers
of to-day it cannot be said that

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray.

Since the days of the "Elegy," country life has in many senses been raised and purified. The laboring poor live in better Just as Evelyn first taught our country-cottages; are better fed. They are more men how to plant, and enriched our or-independent themselves, and education chards and our gardens, so has Richard will enable their children to be even more Jefferies first brought home to us and so; but their lot and position, although it to many of limited means this is a great has been carved into greater consonance practical boon- the pleasures and de- with modern ideas, is not one of contentlights of the home and southern counties, ment. To-day there exists a sort of superwhich cluster around the metropolis. stition that all that glitters is gold, and that in the land of gin-shops and crowded thoroughfares, employment and fortune are to be found. None except the many failures know the loneliness of London. I need not dwell upon how sad and bitter is the disappointment, and how unsatisfactory the career of many of these trustful and simple-minded country emigrants.

There are many, alas! the children of Gibeon, on whose faded and weary faces there has never played the breath or sunshine of the country; but among this class of the very poor in London who are being strangled out of a livelihood by the demon of cheap competition, in the shape of for eign pauper immigration, cheap labor, and foreign manufactures many now enjoy visions of country life. By the help of Mrs. Jewne's funds and other agencies many London children are being boarded out in country cottages to taste of country air and country life. But town nurslings pitched into the country for a few weeks' health cannot acquire the country knowledge of which Mr. Jefferies writes, and which, like much of the old folk-lore, seems to linger among the old men who still crawl among us.

Many of my friends will remember the raciness of some speech of an illiterate Hodge, stuffed by experience with the knowledge of country matters rather than with the learning of the modern board

Some gentlemen are interesting themselves about the creation of village communities, but the commercial life as we find it to-day in Switzerland would, I be lieve, be unsuited to the social character of English country life; nor do I anticipate that under our present fiscal arrangements much success would accrue from the revival of village industries.

It is in the agricultural parts of England, remote from coal and from large towns, to the prosperity of the farmer, that the laborer must look for employ. ment. He possesses in the Laborers' Union a perfectly legitimate and valuable means for protecting the value of his labor. It is not so much the price of

proof we have only to turn to any news-
paper of to day. Let me take this one, as
a sample of many others, an advertisement
from the Field newspaper of September
the 3rd:

wages although that is bound to fall if | are now appreciated by the many, and the present agricultural depression con- have become convertible into the gold of tinues -as the want of employment that the London money market. Of this, for is, and will continuously increase, to drive the agricultural poor away from their homes to drift hopelessly and helplessly over the face of the country. And, alas! an element of despair enters into this matter. No answer has as yet been vouchsafed to show us how this deplorable tendency of the country population to augment the congestion in the towns will not proportionately increase as foreign importation continues to depreciate the value of cereal crops in England, and to necessitate farms becoming derelict, or their conversion from arable into pasture, which, whatever there may be in the argument of certain kinds of land being more naturally suited for cereals than grass, means a certain saving in the labor and the tradesmen's bills.

To turn to a very different but more satisfactory side of the general question. We have evidence on all sides of a healthy and increasing appreciation of the aesthetic side of natural scenery. The appraised commercial value of æsthetics would in itself furnish material for an article. It would be most interesting to note how, while the values of purely commercial properties have deteriorated during the last few years, while the landowners and manufacturers have been out at elbow, amid falling prices in land and houses, fancy prices can still be got for a fine print or picture, or, in the case of real property, for an old house, or for a genuine untouched old bit of woodland and chase as a site for the house of some Midas.

This sense, expressed in the desire for his daughter to marry an English deer park, reaches the soul of the most unimaginative of American millionaires. No one cares for the dull acres with the improved farm buildings, and the only temptation to connect capital with the land, and that still remains to the acquisition of land, are the possibilities of sport or the beauty of the demesne.

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ferred, Wanted to purchase; any part of EnAncient Mansion, of Elizabethan period pregland will do, and preference will be given to house that has not been restored or modernized in any way; a large quantity of land not required. - Address, "R. J. V.," care of Messrs. Osborn & Mercer, 28B, Albemarle Street, Piccadilly, W.

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If we turn to the types of opinion around which this reverence has intertwined itself, it is one of the pleasantest contradictions of advanced Radicalism that it has saved to the nation the weird and romantic beauty of Epping Forest, and stayed the hand of the wood-farmer and larchplanter in the unrivalled glades of primeval timber of the New Forest.

Amid the rise and fall of mushroom millionaires - the race to make and the race to spend—there is, as indeed there should be, a growing respect and regard for the incomparable beauty which centu ries of family pride and family self-denial have created and lovingly preserved, in the multitudes of fine places and woodlands of ancient timber that are scattered throughout the country, and that, like the portraits of Vandyke, plead the pathos and story of English history.

In no part of England is all this so conspicuous as in those southern countries of which Richard Jefferies wrote. I know of no greater contrast, nothing which tells more graphically the history of the two countries, than the dreary and treeless plains of France across which has swept, uprooted, and destroyed, every phase of revolution and violence, with the peaceful and smiling entrance into England through the fruitful county of Kent, studded as it is with fine trees and places.

sky and landscape, so they have not been endowed with that mineral wealth which destroys the one and obscures the other.

The southern counties have not only enjoyed more sunshine and more genial What Richard Jefferies loved the climate wherewith nature can adorn heruntutored beauty of the woods, the wil-self; but as their wealth has been that of derness of down and heather, or the old manor house where old shadowy days, melted into night three centuries since, have left a little of their twilight in the hall; where there is a dream in every chair, and where romance has grown richer with age like the color of the oak, - these, once the ideal possessions, and coveted only by the few and most politely born,

There are parts of Wiltshire and Dorset that lie to the south of Salisbury, a wild land of downs and heath which adjoins the New Forest, that correspond with the description of Kingswood in "Sir Percival," that stood in the centre of an

agricultural and wooded country, and was immediately surrounded by miles of chase and forest untouched since the Saxon time, when it had been the favorite hunting-ground of King and Etheling.

them are.

they have not wasted their time looking among empty straw for the grain that is not there; they have been in the sunlight. Since the days of ancient Greece the doves have remained in the sunshine; we who In a little pamphlet entitled "Report- have labored have found nothing. In the ing, Editing, and Authorship," published sunshine by the shady verge of woods, by by John Snow & Co., Jefferies says: "To the sweet waters where the wild dove create a taste in the public requires a sips, there alone will thought be found." great genius; it is, therefore, wisest to To him the solitude and silence of nature study the existing taste, and so cast the are not as it appears to many morbid writstory that it may suit the fashion of the ers the voices of remorse, regret, retaliaday." The writing of Richard Jefferies tion. Nature speaks to him of herself, describes, in express language, a growing and, through herself, of higher things be passion which exists among all classes yond. He could commune with her as an for the things in which he delighted. "We agreeable and cheerful companion, full of often hear of the doomed days of shooting. incident and anecdote, and not, as she is My experience points in a very different so often represented, the confessor of our direction. The depression in agriculture own egotism, or of our own dreary and is very severe, and yet there is hardly a foolish fancies. "I was," says Richard young farmer who does not take out a Jefferies, "sensitive to all things, to the license, and very excellent shots many of earth under and the star hollow round Moreover, while there are cor- about, to the least blade of grass, to the responding objections and troubles, there largest oak. They seemed like exterior is no doubt that the facility of acquiring nerves and veins for the conveyance of shooting resulting from the impoverish-feeling to me; sometimes a very ecstasy ment of the landowning class, has opened of exquisite enjoyment of the entire visiout the sport very largely to a class who ble universe filled me." before found some difficulty in partaking of it. Everything that brings the capital ist in the towns into a practical acquaintance with the enjoyments of the country must benefit the agriculturalist, and (2) it must tend to dispel the ridiculous prejudice and jealousy which, born of ignorance, are directed against a class who receive less interest for their capital than that of any other body of men.' That the public taste is attracted to other natural pleas- In conclusion, I would fain say a few ures experienced by Richard Jefferies is words in relation to the mystical philos established beyond controversy open ophy of which Richard Jefferies imbibed spaces, "the open air," flowers, for these so deeply, and of which all of us have more the craving is general and growing; it is or less imbibed, to whom the eternities a part, and by no means an unimportant for nature, while ever changing, never part, of that general belief which is sink-dies ing deep into our hearts, that just as the social reformer is acquiring the interest formerly attached to the politician, so the removal of social evils and the creation of healthy and happier conditions better homes in the towns for the poor, homes which are not so miserable as to make the miseries of the gin-palace a brighter alternative-and a more general knowledge of the laws of health and healthy living, must precede the development of any finer conceptions of religious or human duties.

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Jefferies puts into the language of poetry a thought which must have come home to many of us. Speaking of the wood pigeons he says: "They have not labored in mental searching as we have;

Such is a happy and indeed a practical philosophy; one which in these days might teach us a great deal. To increase the happiness of the many is forever on our lips; it is one of the leading mottoes of our political cant, but how much more effective would be such a wish if it fell from the lips of those in whose own natures there was a sunshine that could to others be transmitted!

of nature have appealed.

In Mr. Shorthouse the grace of English scenery, by him usually associated with an idealized aristocracy, the glories of Kingswood, its pleasance, chase, and halls of twilight and of tapestry, awaken the feelings of a High Church sacramentalist. To him it is the story of religion as told by the Church that seems to touch, and, touching, transfuse with an increased glory the wonders of creation. To Jefferies there is also a deep religious sense, but of a different kind. "I was not more than eighteen when an inner and esoteric meaning began to come to me from all the visible universe, and indefinable aspirations filled me. I found them in the grassfields, under the trees, on the hilltops at

natural philosophy, so would it teach us
to find a fresh sense and a quickening
vitality of enjoyment in all that is around
and among us.

Though it was now broad day, a gentle trace
Of light, diviner than the common sun,
Shed on the common earth, and all the place
Was filled with magic sounds woven into


sunrise, and in the night. There was a deeper meaning everywhere." With Jefferies the wonders of creation excite a humility, a sense of how limitless is the knowledge of facts, but how limited and circumscribed the knowledge of thought; as he says, ever the same thoughts come that have been written down centuries and centuries. To him nature is an incomprehensible religion in itself rather than the medium for revealing the doctrines of any particular religious system. "Sweet," he says, "is the bitter sea, and the clear green in which the gaze seeks the soul looking through the glass into itself. The sea thinks for me as I listen and ponder; the sea thinks, and every boom of the wave repeats my prayer; my soul rising to the immensity utters its desire prayer with all the strength of the sea, or again, the BY THE AUTHOR OF 'MEHALAH,' JOHN HERRING,"

full stream of ocean beats upon the shore, and the rich wind feeds the heart, the sun burns brightly; the sense of soul life burns in me like a torch." Every page, every line I might say, of the writings of Richard Jefferies contradicts that hopeless and dreary philosophy of materialism which is accepted by those whose study of nature is not with eyes of love, but purely mechanical, of the laboratory only. Immortality is everywhere, around him and before him, nay, it is the sense with him of absolute incapacity to realize the immensity of this spiritual life which makes him feel the incompleteness and inadequacy of the definition of the religious mystery by any particular creed or Church. Just as Marcus Aurelius asks: "What is earth but a point, how small a corner is occupied! who and what are they who are about to cry thee up?" so Jefferies felt that as the sky extended beyond the valley, so there are ideas beyond the valley of our thoughts. "Beyond and over the horizon I feel that there are other waves of ideas unknown to me, flowing as the stream of ocean flows." In this there is a general agreement. To one and all upon whom has fallen nature's spell, to Shorthouse as well as to Jefferies, there is the feeling that ideas are beyond the power of language, that our immortal nature cannot be communicated through the medium of what is human and mortal.

Oblivious melody, confusing sense
Amid the gliding waves and shadows dun.

From Chambers' Journal. RICHARD CABLE,






ONCE annually, whilst he was in England, did Captain Sellwood pay his aunt a visit. He stayed with her a fortnight; and she took him round to show him to her old friends, and show him the young ladies of the neighborhood among whom he was at liberty to pick and choose ladies by birth and breeding, and with at least something to bring with them. As yet he had not picked and chosen in the region round Bewdley; he had contented himself with exciting the admiration of the old ladies, to whom he devoted himself with more eagerness than to the young. They were his aunt's cronies, and he made an effort to please his aunt by showing courtesy to her friends.

The family coach went to the station to meet the captain, and Miss Otterbourne awaited his arrival impatiently. Josephine's heart was in a flutter. "Shall I leave the room?" she asked, suddenly rising from her needlework in the window. Miss Otterbourne had got into the way of making her sit in the same room with her much of her time.

"No, Cable," answered the old lady no need for that. You have, I dare say, seen the captain, and he will probably know you."

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For all that is revered by the various In fact, Miss Otterbourne was curious religious systems that belong to various to observe how they met; for she knew races and climes this philosophy offers a nothing for certain about Josephine's orireverence deep and profound. It is the gin, nor of the extent of her acquaintance, philosophy of humility rather than of dog-nor of its character, with the Sellwoods. matism, but just as Shorthouse and Jef feries have each in different ways attuned our minds to a higher interpretation of

Josephine remained, but stood silent in the window, withdrawn as much as possi ble from sight. Captain Sellwood came

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