Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

more quickly” (p. 409). This the result is controlled by the brings us into touch with Mum- majority of opinions outside, bo-Jumbo. It would be bad not by the infinitesimal minenough if a man's health de- ority of opinions in the sickpended upon his own belief. chamber" (p. 70). This is the But it is a great deal worse “tyranny of the majority” with that it should depend upon a vengeance.

It is, then, no the belief of several millions of mere idle fancy that a man can people besides.

Children, for satiate his vengeance by merely example, are apparently wholly wishing evil to his enemy. Was at the mercy of their parents there ever superstition so childand guardians. If you give ish, so enervating, so despicable? children niedicine, and are on The wretched crones who used the alert for their becoming to earn a livelihood by sticking ill, you will "convey mental pins into wax dolls, in order to images to children's bodies, and gratify the spite of their clients often stamp them there (p. against enemies or rivals, were 411). It is thus that so-called much less ridiculous than your hereditary disease is transmitted Christian Scientist. from father to son; it is thus Suchomitting, as we have that infection is spread. The indicated, much gross blasgeneral opinion of mankind is phemy, and a vast deal of jarbound to overrule the correct gon about discord being the view taken by the patient him- nothingness of error, and harself. Drugs, as we have already mony the somethingness of seen, derive their efficacy from truth—such is the system put the faith of the person who forward for regenerating manprovides or administers them. kind, and the one atom of fact And so it is with poisons. “If on which the whole of this elaa dose of poison is swallowed borate superstructure is raised through mistake and the patient seems to be the familiar enough dies, even though physician and phenomenon that on the denpatient are expecting favour- tist's doorstep the toothache is able results, does belief, you apt to disappear! We owe an ask, cause this death? Even apology to our readers for even so, and as directly as if the affecting to treat such a tissue poison had been intentionally of nonsense seriously. Our extaken. In such cases

cuse must be that human folly, persons believe the potion swal- even in its most egregious lowed by the patient to be forms, may be instructive by harmless; but the vast majority way of warning, and that this of mankind, though they know precious creed has not only a nothing of this particular case considerable following in the and this special person, be- United States, but has begun lieve the arsenic, strychnine, or to make converts in “smart whatever the drug used, to be society in this country. Ladies poisonous, for it has been set of fashion, whose time hangs down as a poison by mortal heavy on their hands, and to mind. The consequence is that whom the sublime truths of Christianity are mere foolish- precedence to the behests of ness, apparently find something Mrs Mary Baker G. Eddy and to satisfy and to console in the her satellites. But there is crude and transparent scheme little fear, we think, of the of imposture which we have en- sphere of its influence enlarging. deavoured to expose. Nor, so It is essentially a creed for the long as their purses can stand idle, the half-educated, and the the strain, are they likely to be vain. It is not a religion that

a few

>

. neglected by those who “ run” will stand wear and tear. It is the Christian Science business meant for fair weather, not for for their own livelihood. There foul. The first blast of sickness, are few more lucrative occupa- calamity, or affliction, will tear tions, we take it, for women its sophistries to tatters. On than that of a “metaphysical this point, at all events, we are healer.” The fees

The fees are good, quite prepared to “ trust the and there are no bad debts, people.' This is not the sort of for prepayment is imperative. “dampnabil opunyeon," as the Money, to be sure, has no real Scots Acts have it, that one existence, and what money can is likely to turn to one's own buy is an illusion induced by personal use. It may be very the physical senses. Yet the easy and very edifying to try to apostles of that high - toned persuade one's neighbour that doctrine seem to hug the dear pain is a delusion, or that he error with astonishing fidelity, can move his arm rather better remembering, doubtless, that in without muscles than order to qualify for their office them. But we shall be surthe fees paid to the high- prised if the first bout of toothpriestess were not of the lowest. ache, or earache, or stomach

Christian Science, like all ache in his own person does not other systems of quackery, will send the neophyte post-haste to produce much misery within the a qualified practitioner. Withsphere which it influences. It out intending to boast, we bewill raise false hopes in the lieve we could make a Christian breasts of those who have been Scientist squeak, and the first visited by Providence with in- squeak gives his whole case curable disease. It will cause away. He was a shrewd and dissension and bitter strife in sagacious dental surgeon who families, as it has already done; remarked the other day, "Find for the dictates of conjugal or the Christian Scientist's filial duty and the inclinations tooth, and I'll find you the of pious affection must yield Christian Scientist's nerve!”

[ocr errors]

me

AT THE BACK OF BEYOND.

AN IMPRESSION.

IF you

leave Vienna some fine stalls of more or less invitingmorning, having provided your- looking wares,—bread in little self with a ticket for the station twists, or huge round loaves in East Galicia whose name like black cheeses; strings of seems, on the whole, the least onions; long boots, black or unpronounceable in the time- yellow ; bright tin samovars; table, you will find yourself in and, ranged on the ground, the corridor of the train, about pottery of shapes and colours twenty-four hours later, breath- and prices that make one yearn lessly ready to alight.

to fill the carriage with it,The reason of the breathless- we begin to mount up, up, up, ness is that the halt lasts only until the blossoming plain lies one minute, and while the Brit- below us, rolling far away into ish traveller, with a distrust the blue distance, like the sea. born of sad experience at home, It is all new and fresh and is rushing to look for the lug- wonderful. The fields of springgage which abroad never fails ing maize; the peasant women punctually to keep its appoint- who, with garments well tucked ment, the smoke of the train up above shapely brown legs, is already melting into the are washing in a wayside pool, distance.

they and the men and the chilAcross Poland, so far, the dren all in white linen and country has been flat. Great soft weathered yellows and plains covered with pastureland tomato

reds; their kindly and fields and woods stretch “Slavas!as we pass; the little away as far as the

eye can reach; homesteads, thatched in intrimixed companies of geese, cows, cate devices, enclosed in basketand donkeys dot the green- work fences and bowered in sward; the ditches are golden blossoming fruit - trees; the with irises; and here and there Greek churches of bronzed a stilted, long-billed stork has wood, crowned with little copcome alive out of Hans Ander- per-tipped minarets, glistening sen, and is looking for babies in in the sun; the wayside crosses, the marsh, or standing on one and, at last, closing in the leg beside his nest on a thatched horizon above us, the forestroof, talking to his wife and clad Carpathians. reproving his family for being For three hours the road led greedy.

when onwards, and when, grown very have driven along a straight narrow and very rough, it had road bordered by poplars and forded two rivers, and led us up acacias, and through a little a hill so steep that the horses square market - place full of seemed to climb it on their chaffering Jews, presiding over hands and knees, it brought us VOL. CLXV.—NO. MII.

2 x

But now,

we

one

at last to our goal at the back forest, which covered the counof beyond, amid the deep and try, far and wide. Oak and shrill-mouthed welcome of half birch were the prevailing trees, a score of dogs. From the ver- but they never stood too densely andah of the long, low, white to allow the ground beneath to wooden dwelling, half country- be softly carpeted with mossy house, half farm, one looked grass, and for the sunbeams to away over the gently descend- insinuate themselves between ing plain to where a dark line the branches. And ferns withof trees cut across the distant out end grew there,—the vivid horizon. Not quite across, in- oak-fern, and the royal fern, deed, for at one side was still and another kind of which each a suggestion of the infinite be- leaf formed a section of a deep yond, which allowed that outlet ring, into whose heart to the imagination, the absence could look as into a cool green of which makes any enclosed chalice. Lily of the valley hid view, however beautiful, weigh under its own leaves in favoured ultimately upon the spirits. spots, slender Solomon's seals Behind, until it reached the am- tinkled fairy bells, wild strawphitheatre of mountains, spread berries and wood - sorrel gave the toloka, a vast, gently un- one familiar greeting, while new dulating stretch of short, crisp friends introduced themselves at grass, where many cows/rather

every footstep. Sometimes the small, wiry cows—were always forest opened into glades: great feeding, attended by bands of stretches of short grass, with a bare-footed, dark-eyed boys and group of oaks in the centre, or girls with an Arcadian habit of a lonely birch-tree shaking out crowning their tawny locks with its green tresses to the breeze; flowers. When one wanted to spots where the temptation to

. go anywhere to which no road rest was irresistible, for surely directly led, one could drive nowhere else could the mossstraight over the toloka, up hill cushions be quite so deep, nor and down dale. It was prudent the scent of the birches quite so to hold on at the bumpiest bits, sweet. Sometimes a deer uld and the sensation was one of dash across, shaking the beepleasurable excitement,-some- orchids as he passed out of sight thing between hunting and go- down an arched aisle of treesing to sea. Above, a great, an aisle so long that either end generous sweep of sky, where was lost in the distance, and one the summer sunsets seemed to only knew which was the west glow more goldenly and the because the sunset gleamed and thunderstorms to rush

shimmered through the dancing swiftly and swarthily along, be- leaves as through some precause, for miles and miles, there cious stained - glass window of was nothing to interrupt the the “solemn fifteenth century.” eye.

There was never a soul to meet At a few hundred yards from but the woodland creatures; the house, on either hand, the green and gilt lizards, with inforest began, — a Government teresting, brittle tails; tiny,

more

you;

a

bright-green frogs, like sorrel- after flower yielded with graceleaves come alive, and hopping ful, unresentful dignity to its away

from and sometimes successor,—each an emblem of a snake basking its evil but "Joy, whose hand is ever at harmless length on a sandbank his lips, bidding adieu.” First by the little river, which ap

small heartsease, creamy, peared and reappeared at all flecked with violet, spread sorts of unexpected places, as it everywhere like foam. Next meandered casually through the came a rosy dawn of raggedforest. And above, among the robin; and, before that had branches, cuckoos called end- exhausted its glories, “ blue lessly, and when twilight stole ran

the flush across,

and on us, the nightingales (who campanula – a low - growing, surely in their hearts must deep-hued sort—was born, while despise the cuckoo's meagre from out of it rose pale heads répertoire) gave concerts, where of meadow - rue dusted with we occupied the best places all ruddy tiplets, which poised and the season through. A long, swayed on slender stalks, like grassy walk, bordered with some sort of huge butterfly fruit-trees, led from the house hovering in the air. Then to a little rustic chapel dedi- came the chicory, its tall stems cated to St Joseph, and built of stiffly beset with little vivid rough-hewn, white birch-logs. blue tassels; and after the Here the best singers of all had middle of June a perfect riot their nests, and made the “long of marguerites made ready in evening-ends” delicious, as they field and lane and wood and answered and outvied one an- meadow to take the land by other in joyous rivalry.

storm. In the small fields the maize Sometimes it was difficult not was springing, very lush, and to let oneself believe that the strong and green; potatoes peasants themselves, who delved too ; poppies, cultivated for and weeded those flowery fields, their seeds (used in confection- were not also some kind of ery), a little wheat and rye, gigantic blossom of the soil. and hay which seemed all wild- Many of them, especially the flowers. When one thinks of men and boys, were strikingly the country there, it is not the handsome, with straight feacrops that flash

upon

the inward tures, dark eyes, and hair cut eye, it is the wild-flowers, which across the forehead and falling inundated the fields like suc- on the neck behind, like cessive floods, sweeping every- Velasquez portrait. thing before them. Considered ments they wore, too, were not from the point of view of those only comfortable and sanitary, who looked to the land for but amazingly satisfying to the bread, this effect had its draw- eye. The groundwork, so to backs; but to the irresponsible speak, for both men and women, passer-by it was one of pure

one of pure was rough, home - spun linen, delight. Flower after flower which lay bleaching in narrow held the fields in thrall, flower lengths beside the river. The

a

The gar

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »