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Indeed it is by contrast with American life that nirvâna appears to Amiel so desirable.
videt meliora probatque. He remains at bottom the man who said, Le livre serait mon ambition. He adds, to be sure, that it would be son ambition, “if ambition were not vanity, and vanity of vanities." Yet this disenchanted brooder, “full of a tranquil disgust at the futility of our ambitions, the void of our existence," bedaz zled with the infinite, can observe the world and society with consummate keen-ual being, and the expansion of self with hapness and shrewdness, and at the same time with a delicacy which to the man of the world is in general wanting. Is it possible to analyze le grand monde, high society, as the Old World knows it and America knows it not, more acutely than Amiel does in what follows?
For the Americans, life means devouring, dominance, power; they must crush rivals, incessant activity. They must win gold, presubdue nature. They have their heart set on the means, and never for an instant think of the end. They confound being with individpiness. This means that they do not live by the soul, that they ignore the immutable and eternal, bustle at the circumference of their centre. They are restless, eager, positive, existence because they cannot penetrate to its because they are superficial. To what end all this stir, noise, greed, struggle? It is all a mere being stunned and deafened!
Space is failing me, but I must yet find room for a less indirect criticism of democracy than the foregoing remarks on American life.
and serves to test them. Democracy is not forbidden to apply it; but Democracy rarely does apply it, because she holds, for example, that the most worthy man is the man who pleases her, whereas he who pleases her is not always the most worthy; and because she supposes that reason guides the masses, whereas in reality they are most commonly led by passion. And in the end every falsehood has to be expiated, for truth always takes its revenge.
In society people are expected to behave as if they lived on ambrosia and concerned themselves with no interests but such as are noble. Care, need, passion, do not exist. All realism is suppressed as brutal. In a word, what is called le grand monde gives itself for the Each function to the most worthy: this maxmoment the flattering illusion that it is mov-im is the professed rule of all constitutions, ing in an ethereal atmosphere and breathing the air of the gods. For this reason all vehemence, any cry of nature, all real suffering, all heedless familiarity, any genuine sign of passion, are startling and distasteful in this delicate milieu, and at once destroy the collective work, the cloud-palace, the imposing architectural creation raised by common consent. It is like the shrill cock-crow which breaks the spell of all enchantments, and puts the fairies to flight. These select gatherings produce without intending it a sort of concert for eye and ear, an improvised work of art. By the instinctive collaboration of everybody concerned, wit and taste hold festival, and the associations of reality are exchanged for the associations of imagination. So understood, society is a form of poetry; the cultivated classes deliberately recompose the idyll of the past, and the buried world of Astræa. Paradox or not, I believe that these fugitive at tempts to reconstruct a dream, whose only end is beauty, represent confused reminiscences of an age of gold haunting the human heart; or rather, aspirations towards a harmony of things which every-day reality denies to us, and of which art alone gives us a glimpse. I remember reading in an American newspaper a solemn letter by an excellent republican, asking what were a shopman's or a laborer's feelings when he walked through Eaton or Chatsworth. Amiel will tell him they are "reminiscences of an age of gold haunting the human heart, aspirations towards a harmony of things which every-day reality denies to us." I appeal to my friend the author of "Triumphant Democracy" himself, to say whether these are to be had in walking through Pittsburg.
learn is, that "the ultimate ground upon What publicists and politicians have to which every civilization rests is the average morality of the masses and a sufficient amount of practical righteousness." But where does duty find its inspiration and sanctions? In religion. And what does Amiel think of the traditional religion of Christendom, the Christianity of the Churches? He tells us repeatedly; but a month or two before his death, with death in full view, he tells us with peculiar impressiveness.
The whole Semitic dramaturgy has come to seem to me a work of the imagination. The apostolic documents have changed in value tween belief and truth has grown clearer and and meaning to my eyes. The distinction beclearer to me. Religious psychology has become a simple phenomenon, and has lost its fixed and absolute value. The apologetics of Pascal, Leibnitz, Secrétan, appear to me no more convincing than those of the Middle Age, for they assume that which is in ques-a revealed doctrine, a definite and unchangeable Christianity.
Is it possible, he asks, to receive at this day the common doctrine of a divine Prov
idence directing all the circumstances of our life, and consequently inflicting upon us our miseries as means of education?
Is this heroic faith compatible with our actual knowledge of the laws of nature? Hardly. But what this faith makes objective we may take subjectively. The moral being may moralize his suffering in turning the natural fact to account for the education of his inner man. What he cannot change he calls the will of God, and to will what God wills brings him peace.
But can a religion, Amiel asks again, without miracles, without unverifiable mystery, be efficacious, have influence with the many? And again he answers:
Pious fiction is still fiction. Truth has superior rights. The world must adapt itself to truth, not truth to the world. Copernicus upset the astronomy of the Middle Age; so much the worse for the astronomy. The Everlasting Gospel is revolutionizing the Churches; what does it matter?
This is water to our mill, as the Germans say, indeed. But I have come even thus late in the day to speak of Amiel, not because I found him supplying water for any particular mill, either mine or any other, but because it seemed to me that by a whole important side he was eminently worth knowing, and that to this side of him the public, here in England at any rate, had not had its attention sufficiently drawn. If in the seventeen thousand pages of the journal there are many pages still unpublished in which Amiel exercises his true vocation of critic, of literary critic more especially, let his friends give them to us, let M. Scherer introduce them to us, let Mrs. Humphry Ward translate them for us. But sat patriæ Priamoque datum : Maïa has had her full share of space already; I will not ask for a word more about the infinite illusion, or the double zero, or the great wheel.
A BEAR HUNT IN THE HIMALAYAS. A| the shoulder; but it seemed to have no effect, correspondent writes to the Field: "We had and on he charged straight at us, making a news of a large black bear; so I sent on my terrific shindy. I gave him the left barrel in shikari and rifle to the Dâk Bungalow at the middle of his body, and the shock of the Doonga Gully, where I was to sleep. I ar- bullet rolled him over; but he contrived to rived at the bungalow toward the small hours get into his cave, to which he was close, be of the morning. The shikari was waiting to fore I could give him another bullet. Knowsay that he had got a tracker, and we were to ing he was mortally wounded, we waited half start for the bear at 5 A. M. After a walk of an hour before reconnoitring. We then went six miles of the steepest climbing I ever had, to the cave, but it was so deep and dark that and hanging on to fearful precipices - those we could do nothing. Getting a lot of wood, of the Himalayas must be seen to be under- we tried to smoke him out, but he did not stood -we came on the bear's fresh tracks. show. We then sat down, and, after a counHe was evidently a large one, from his pugs cil of war, concluded we could do nothing (foot-mark). We tracked him for some dis- without light and help. I therefore remained tance to the edge of a terrible incline. We with the shikari while the tracker went back were at a height of over ten thousand feet, to Doonga for a lantern, which in due time and there was snow in all the ravines. The arrived. We then entered the cave, the shitracker went on in front, and presently came kari first with lantern and a knife, and I next back with a face of delight to say that the with the rifle. The cave was very narrow and bear was lying on a rock just outside his cave, went far into the rock. We had got about taking the air. It was now so steep that I twenty yards, when suddenly the bear, which had to take off my shooting-boots and walk was hidden behind a turn in the cave, gave a with bare feet, as a slip would have been fatal. roar, seized the shikari's hand and the lanLuckily there was a strong breeze blowing tern, tore his arm and leg, and left us in perfrom the bear up to us, so there was no dan- fect darkness. How we got out of that cave ger of his scenting us, which is most to be I know not; but we did so with very fair avfeared in bear-stalking. Down we went to- erage speed. Luckily, the bear was injured wards him, creeping nearer and nearer, till at so that he could not rise on his hind legs; as last we got within forty yards. My shikari we afterwards found, the bottom of his spine had now become so excited that he was shak-was smashed, and the bullet in his intestines, ing all over, and kept telling me to fire. I but he had just been able to strike at the shiwanted, however, to make sure, so crept on kari. To make a long story short, the bear till within twenty paces. The shikari's excitement now became intense, and he nearly spoiled the whole thing. In trying to restrain himself he coughed loudly, and up sprang the bear. At once I gave him the right barrel in
died next day, and a man with a long torch went into the cave, and the carcass was pulled out. It measured six feet from nose to tail, and five feet nine inches round the chest."
The belfry clock strikes slowly-eight!
A dead leaf rustled — that was all!
It stands and glistens.
She turns-but hark! the step she knows! The branches part and, swinging, close; what penance now on him impose
The tryst who misses?
She can't be hard, though sore she tries,
FREDERICK LANGBRIDGE, M.A.
COME when Spring touches with gentle finger The snows that linger
Among the hills;
When to our homestead return the swallows, ONCE, in the twilight of an autumn day,
I stood upon a beaten path, that led
When noontide sunshine beats on the meadow, With not one floating cloud to preach decay.
Always above the hush, through the soft
Slow waning-the wide solitude was fraught
Of calm expectancy and questionless suspense.
From The Nineteenth Century.
he was the grandson of Dr. Erasmus Dara man very famous in his day, who THE most delightful of all Mr. Darwin's was the earliest popular exponent of evoworks is the first he ever wrote. It is lution as explaining the creative work, and his journal as the naturalist of H.M.S. who, both in prose and verse, had made it Beagle in her exploring voyage round familiar as at least a dream and a poetic the world from the beginning of 1832 to speculation. Charles Darwin in his jour nearly the end of 1836. It was published nal seems as unconscious of that specuin 1842, and a later edition appeared in lation as if he had never heard of it, or 1845. Celebrated as this book once was, was as desirous to forget it as if he confew probably read it now. Yet in many curred in the ridicule of it which had respects it exhibits Darwin at his best, and amused the readers of the " Anti-Jacobin." if we are ever inclined to rest our opinions Only once in the journal is there any alluupon authority, and to accept without sion to such speculations, and then only doubt what a remarkable man has taught, to the form in which they had been more I do not know any work better calculated scientifically clothed by the French natuto inspire confidence than Darwin's journal. It records the observations of a mind singularly candid and unprejudiced-fixing upon nature a gaze keen, penetrating, and curious, but yet cautious, reflective, and almost reverent. The thought of how little we know of how much there is to be known, and of how hardly we can learn it is the thought which inspires the narrative as with an abiding presence. There is, too, an intense love of nature and an intense admiration of it, the expression of which is carefully restrained and measured, but which seems often to overflow the limits which are self-imposed. And when man, the highest work of nature, but not always its happiest or its best, comes across his path, Darwin's observations are always noble. "A kindly man moving among his kind seems to express his spirit. He appreciates every high calling, every good work, however far removed it may be from that to which he was himself devoted. His language about the missionaries of Christianity is a signal example, in striking contrast with the too common language of lesser men. His indignant denunciation of slavery presents the same high characteristics of a mind eminently gentle and humane. In following him we feel that not merely the intellectual but the moral atmosphere in which we move is high and pure. And then, besides these great recommendations, there is another which must not be overlooked. We have Darwin here before he was a Darwinian. He embarked on that famous voyage with no preconceived theories to maintain. Yet
ralist Lamarck. This is all the more curious and interesting, since here and there Charles Darwin records some facts, and enters upon some reasoning, in which we can now see the undeveloped germs of the theory which ultimately took entire possession of his mind. But that theory was, beyond all question, the later growth of independent observation and of indepen. dent thought. He started free - free at least, so far as his own consciousness was concerned. The attitude of his mind was at that time receptive, not constructive. It was gathering material, but it had not begun to build. It was watching, arranging, and classifying facts. But it was not selecting from among them such as would fit a plan. Still less was it setting aside any that did not appear to suit. He might have said with truth that which was said by a greater man before him: "Hypotheses non fingo." This is one of the many great charms of the book.
And yet there was one remarkable exception. Like every other voyager who has traversed the vast southern ocean, was struck, impressed, and puzzled by its wonderful coral reefs, its thousands of coral islands, and its still more curious coral "atolls." Why is it that so many of the continents and of the great continental islands whose coasts front or are surrounded by the waters of the Pacific, are fringed and protected by barrier reefs of coral? The curious question that arises is not why the coral should grow at all, or how it grows. All this, no doubt, is full of wonder wonder all the greater the