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snug and safe within the four seas, listening to the story of our own wars as a tale of distant things.
Therefore the population of this Fortunate Isle should be advised not to overvalue itself ethically, if as a matter of fact it does advance farther than any other from the savagery in which all began. I say "if," but I mean that it is a matter of fact, very certain and very clear. Could this assertion be heard over all Europe, what scornful laughter would arise from every people in its confines! And the laughter would be quite natural, the scorn a present from ourselves; for, without being much aware of it, we give our neighbours plentiful reason for thinking us the most self-righteous and hypocritical nation under the sun. It is not their fault that this is a universal belief, though they are wrong when it pleases them to express it in exaggerated terms. Yet all the while it remains true that in England thought and feeling have made a more sensible advance, have passed farther through the change to be fulfilled when wars shall be no more, than in any other nation. I do not pretend that it is much of an advance the day's march of a snail on a journey round the world, perhaps. Nor is there any surety that there will be no falling back: that depends upon the fortunes of the country in a future unknown but certainly not void of strife. All that can be said is, that within the last hundred years there has been at home here a new and remarkable growth of sen
timent which may be called millennial, and that should be so called without derision.
Did it only appear in a greater number of individuals than heretofore little might be thought of it, but that is not the case; or rather there is the difference between the larger number of exceptional minds rising to loftier heights of spiritual growth, and the lift of a whole people, even by a little, in the same direction. And this is what has happened in our own country within the time
of three generations. Whoso doubts it may find abundant evidence to convince him, if he do not insist that religious fervour is the only true sign of spiritual development. But that, of course, it is not, unless in the sense that
"He prayeth best who loveth best
All things, both great and small"; and there it is that the spiritual lift of the whole people of this island most plainly appears. Compare the cast of sentiment in every class a hundred years ago and now, and in every class will be seen much less of the robust selfdependence, selfishness, offishness of wild life, and a far deeper sense of the obligations of common kindness. "The human family," which was once a phrase of purely scientific meaning, almost admits its domestic signification in the England of to-day-so much wider is the embrace of kinship, so much All ship, so much more general the acknowledgment of mutual obligation and responsibility for each other's good. The relief of suffering in the next parish
was always understood as meritorious-its existence is now felt as a reproach; and the difference between the two states of mind marks the long distance of ascent from one moral plane to another. The same change of spirit is seen in the treatment of animals, where the lift is so great that man and his four-footed creatures stand in entirely new relations. Were it our present business to dwell upon subject, pages might be spent upon the significance of this one benign advance alone. As it is, our purpose is served by bringing forward for recognition and acknowledgment a very remarkable modification of mind, a change, an upgrowth, comparable in many respects with the sudden development which at one time in Greece, at another in Italy, at another in England, advanced the intellectual progress of mankind in a night, as it And this time it is not an intellectual but a spiritual growth; which has only to go on unblighted and unchecked for two or three generations more meanwhile spreading here and there in other lands -to substantiate the hopes of the religionists of humanity.
What first convinced us of this transforming change were its beneficences only, and from that day to this they have become more and more apparent. But as yet to speak of twelve or fifteen years ago- the evidence was unconfirmed by a sort of testimony which could have been well spared, and is
now infinitely too abundant. When anything good or bad becomes "the mode there is no doubting its existence; and assurance is even more offensively clear when the mode passes into excess, extravagance, caricature. And what is more obvious nowadays than that brotherliness, loving-kindness, righteous wrath, pain as wrong, pity as heal-all, sensibility as an adorning virtue, do become a fashion, do pass into a foolish, or hysterical, or pharisaical excess. And SO the existence of the best of things is proved in the worst way-by their caricature and corruption.
Of course there is nothing new in that. It is all according to common experience; and what is generally to be feared is that the good thing, if it be a sentiment, will go out of favour with the affectations and hypocrisies that gather upon it and seem to be its own natural growth. Reaction is the name of this consequence, which in the present case would be most unfortunate; though it is hardly to be dreaded as destructive quite. The more humane cast of thought which distinguishes these later generations is certainly no mere fashion, but inbred from evolutionary forces in the favouring conditions wherein this little island stands; and that being its origin, it is likely to live on beneath the vicious extravagances of sentiment which are more often false and parasitical throughout than (what they are generally taken for) its own development in extremes. Yet,
being false, they discredit the through some such change as true; being parasitical, they the believer looks for after feed on it; and, with that death. But that unalterable advantage, they are as mis- state of things leaves us neither chievous in some affairs-and hopeless nor quite without these among the greatest-as remedy. Societies are but the blight on the branch and units drawn together by the the worm at the root. There- need of mutual help and forfore what is to be feared is not bearance. The stimulus origiso much that the new growth nated in pure selfishness, but it of feeling which brings more of has not stopped there. Mutual the divine into social relations help and forbearance have gone will be overlaid and destroyed some way beyond the selfishness by the spurious sentiment of that determined their adoption the time, but that the safe- when savagery first began to guards of society itself will be take thought; and it would be ruinously impaired thereby. hard to say what bounds might be set to their extension if the existence of every community, like the life of every man, were not too short for any near approach to perfection.'
For there is scarcely anything in the machinery of government and the social order which is free from attack by the competitive sentimentalism of press and platform. This machinery and these regulations are not inventions, arbitrarily imposed upon the communities they govern, but growths as natural and predetermined as that of the oak from the acorn. There is witness to that in the fact that (I hope it is none the worse for being stated by myself) "all human society, wherever it has come together, in any land, at any time, and under any conditions, has taken the same growth. Needs, instincts, passions as common and as little variable as the shape of our hands, have cast every known association of human beings into the same form and marked out the same lines of development. Imperfect as it is, hateful as it may be for some of its attendant results, no other system is possible, nor will be till the needs, the instincts, the passions of which it is the outcome pass
When we look about us to-day we see that the worst and the best of this account seems more true than ever. Certainly it is so of the best, for we may say with greater confidence now than could be said ten years since that human kindness is growing still. But neither in that nor in anything else is there any warrant for assuming that the day has come for changing the basis of government, and putting the social order on a new and a heavenly foundation. It is quite true that the originals are nothing to be proud of as they stand, and as they have stood from the time when communal life was little higher for our fathers than now it is for prairie-dogs. Mistrust of human nature, suspicion of the natural man, the necessity of taking bonds for his good behaviour at every turn-these
and such-like determinants are no doubt at the root of all government. They were the beginning of laws, the origin of contract, the meaning of carrying arms; and the truth is that, disagreeable as they are, they are no more to be rejected now than they were at any time in the history of the world for with all our various "advances" the brute in man survives.
Human nature being perfect, there would be no need of law, with its punishments, precautions, and restraints. Its raison d'être is the persistence of aboriginal instincts and passionsits main or almost its sole intention to keep these survivals within such bounds that they shall cease to be predatory and anarchical. Inasmuch as it succeeds in doing so, it is not by the suppression, the extinction of the sinister impulses which it is appointed to control. Possibly they may die out altogether in a larger number of minds as generation succeeds generation; but if so, and if their number could be ascertained, they would reckon by the dozen. In the rest of mankind these passions and instincts still exist-moderated or retired as to the main of us, but only returned to the egg when most retired and here they lie, ready to break out from many a breast on provocation or allowance, as we know they do in enfeebled and corrupt civilisations. Now whether it be humiliating or not, pessimist or not, to accept these facts, facts they are, and facts of the kind that government must go by or perish.
It follows, therefore, that though the social order may be lightened here and there, its maintenance, with all its aforesaid punishments, precautions, and restraints, is as imperative as ever; and, for that matter, "the new growth of sentiment that may be called millennial" is nothing to the contrary. It would not be millennial were it nonsensical, and that it isn't that may be seen by the part it plays when compared with the role of the newer sentimentalist.
The part it plays, then, is like that of the modern race of physicians, who, with a keener knowledge of the disorders and distresses of humanity and a deeper feeling for them at heart, are more willing than the faculty of old to make sacrifices for their alleviation. Resolved to "go one better" in the spiritual line, the competitive sentimentalist soars to a kind of political faith - healing. The theory he would have us start from does not deny that the community is troubled with actual disorders and real dangers, or that they are the work of evil-doers within the State and rival nations without. But his doctrine is that the surest way of increasing these troubles and bringing on these dangers is to provide against them on the old system of distrust and precaution. We should reverse that system and rest on confidence and faith. Cast off suspicion; be confiding; trust, and show that you do so by such signs as opening your frontiers to the enemy, giving arms to the disloyal, freedom to assassins, and a
kindly ear to that tender voice from the jail
Imprisonment alone is not
a dozen different shapes and is formidable in most of them. It debauches political imagination,
A thing of which we woold com- leading it away from the most
Add ill-conwenience to our lot,
But do not give the convick pain." Do these things and the like of them in all affairs; and if only you have perfect faith in receiving a proper response, fear not that you will ever be confounded. Above all, this is the short way to the abrogation of war and the institution of a United States of Europe and America.
The sentimentalism of which this is no caricature may be sincere, as the passion for Chippendale and blue-and-white china was; or it may be assumed, as the rage for Wagner music is by three-fifths of those who flock to it in their best gowns; or there may be nothing more in it than the pose of advanced sensibility and perception, such as, in literature, hails the moonrise of a Celtic revival after the darkness of a thousand years. But there is good in all these things-that is to say, in the Chippendale chairs, and the hawthorn ginger - jars, and in some parts (I really am not thinking of the curate's egg) in many parts and much of Wagner's music, and certainly in the moonshine of the Celtic revival; while as to this other seizure, there is no good in it whatever, unless it be the good intention which is so often found in things most foolish and mischievous. And while it can work to no profitable end-no, not one-the harm it does takes
useful to the most useless exercises of fancy. It forsakes the school of experience-hard and sordid, no doubt, but the only resort for sound conclusionspreferring the drug-shop and celestial dreams. By its dreams it interprets facts, the usual and the safer practice running to the contrary. It substitutes for the ideals of good statesmanship, which are all on the line of reasonable pursuit, ideals that are not only beyond endeavour but beyond hope. On the same plan, it breathes emotionalism into politics as their nobler and spiritual part, preaches the ascendancy of feeling over judgment, and bids a prudent people think it meritorious to throw away their heads in homage to their hearts. Foreign affairs being our heaviest and most doubtful care, it is devoted to the cultivation of spurious and impracticable notions of international relationship; and by all it thinks and says invites foreign diplomacy to practise on this country deceptions which credulity itself would reject, and audacities that would move a worm to resentment. Of that we have present proof enough and to spare. The ruse of the Peace Conference (no reflection on the good Czar intended) was prepared for one country alone; for in no other was it likely to succeed, and in no other had it an hour's success. That country, of course, was our own, where a glorious reception for