« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Gertrude and Cressida, and has been would ever dream of marrying. They credited with showing us Tamora. are, it has been said, “kneaded of caAgainst Molière, on the other hand, it price, artifice and egotism." I leave is now charged that his women are too further illustration to another time, real, too human-too nude, in fact. They possibly to other pens; but I will just ask are, of course, models of purity beside the admirer of Molière to compare for the abandoned creatures of our Res- a moment the innocence of Agnès in toration comedy. They are, neverthe- “L'Ecole des Femmes" with that of less, delivered to the instincts of their Miranda in "The Tempest.” There is sex, and are not of those whom a man all the distance between the earth and of modern days could easily love or heaven. The Gentleman's Magazine.
AT THE RIVER'S EDGE.
O Sweet! when we come to the distant days,
When the fancies fail like the falling flowers,
And the wells of wishing have lost their powers;
With our souls so dull and our loves so blind,
We hear them sigh of the pains of age,
The blight of beauty, the blood grown cold;
When the psalm is sung and the wisdom told.
Did they find no flowers in the paths they trod
To warm their hearts to the old-world sod,
In the shadowy dusk at the River's edg=?
We have made fair plans for the days to come
We have made enough for a thousand years-
For beautiful rest-but none for tears.
If it be that the cup of our peace must spill,
Will the Hand that empties it not refill?
To-day love's meadows are laved in light,
But we know they slope to a far-off stream.
And garner them all for a future dream-
When the sun that showed us our joy is gone,
O Sweet! may the birds in our breasts sing on,
J. J. Bell. Chambers's Journal.
THE WORLD IN THE CHINA SHOP.
It is not the strong States that are dangerous to the peace of the world, but the weak ones, such as Spain, Turkey and China. They who had watched the prolonged failure of Spain to subdue the rebellion in Cuba realized, long before the United States declared war, that the most ancient colonial empire in the world was destined to pass to another master. The fears aroused by the intervention of the United States were due, not to doubt as to the issue of the struggle but to speculations as to whether some European Power, Germany for instance, would not appear to dispute with the victor the prize. Similarly the Turkish Empire has been for half a century a menace to the peace of Europe, for the claimants of the sick man's heritage were many. Now China has suddenly collapsed into the position of the world's invalid, and is likely to prove a more dangerous and troublesome charge than ever was the Sultan of Turkey. Not that we share the alarmist view of the Chinese question that prevails in certain quarters. The very magnitude and complexity of the difficulty that has burst upon the Western world must prevent anything like a permanent settlement or even an attempt at it, for the present.
an apparently contradictory proposition, the safety of the world lies in its danger. What differentiates the present Chinese crisis from its predecessors, and from similar crises in Eastern Europe, is that all the great Western Powers, including the United States and Japan, have acquired certain definite rights and interests, and consequently obligations in the Celestial Empire. But the Great Powers and Japan are not going to fight with one another over the business, for the plain and simple reason that no Power is at present prepared to take the consequences that would flow from isolated and armed action. Those consequences would not merely be war against one or more of the other Powers, but in the event of victory the administration of a large portion of the interior of China. Is there any of the interested Powers that is prepared to embark upon a policy whose failure or success would be almost equally disastrous. Power ready to risk a war for the privilege of governing even a slice of China? Certainly not Russia; certainly not Japan; while the absurdity of any of the Western Powers undertaking to administer the interior of China is too obvious for argument. For the treaty
ports, the cities on the coast, the capi- ous trouble to Europe was in 1856. The tal, that is another matter to which we notices of the life of the late Lord Loch shall return; but the internal govern- in various newspapers have recalled ment of China! The area of the Chi- to the memory of the present generanese Empire is computed to cover one- tion the stirring events in China betwelfth of the surface of the globe; it tween 1856 and 1860, culminating in is a fourth larger than the area of the Lord Elgin's second mission, the adUnited States, and its population, vance of the French and English troops which is roughly put at 350,000,000, upon Peking, and the burning of the works out at 83 persons to the square Summer Palace. We hope there will mile while France has 48 persons to the be no such painful incident to-day as square mile and the United States 17. the capture and imprisonment of Loch The leviathan tumbles about his un- and Parkes with their gallant little wieldy bulk in the ocean, and whilst force. But there might be; we must "he lies floating many a rood,” no one steel our nerves against the receipt of is willing to throw the first harpoon, be- unpleasant news at any moment, and cause no one is ready to take the from any part of the Chinese Empire. charge, still less the partition, of his As in 1860 France and England forced carcase. But if no sane man dreams of China to accept the presence of their governing by foreign officials, whether ambassadors at Peking, so in 1900 the European or Japanese, this enormous allied Powers, with greater force to territory, packed with the products of back their demands, and with far wider an arrested civilization, will no good and more definite interests to protect, come out of the present crisis? Will will compel "the insolent barbarian" to the Boxers be put down as the Taipings swallow a much larger dose of interwere put down, and things resume their national control. They must indeed do former course for another half-century? so for their own protection, for all are We believe that good will issue agreed that the risk of a repetition of from the present state of things, much the present outbreak would be intolergood, deplorable though the loss of life able. To give, even roughly, the deand property might be in the meantime. tails of any scheme of international The Powers of the world have gone too
control would be a futile and presumpfar to turn back from their task; they tuous attempt. The scheme will probhave set their hands to the plough, but ably occupy the attention of all the the furrow will not be as long and as
Powers for some months to come, and deep as some people with a defective will tax to the utmost the patience and imagination seem to suppose. The al- ingenuity of their most experienced lied Powers, as they are called, though diplomatists. It may, however, be asof course there is no bond but that of sumed, without any pretentions to a common interests between them, are revelation, that the Dowager Empress de facto at war with China-the Chi- will disappear as a factor in Chinese nese forts fired upon their ships--and politics, and that a fairly large comChina will have to submit to their posite force will be stationed for some terms. Those terms, if we mistake not, time in and around Peking and at the will take the shape of regularizing the
mouth of the river. It may be argued control of the Powers over the central that any system of joint international Government at Peking, and over the
control is doomed to failure, that a conadministration of the rivers and the dominium never works, as the case coast.
of England and France in Egypt The last time that China gave seri. proves. We agree that a dual control is dangerous, for one or the other Pow- of war, but-and this is the second er must, in the long run, be master. point we wish to make-we do not see But there are cases when there is safety any danger of a near rupture between in a multiplicity of counsellors, and we any of the Powers concerned. This think China is one of them. There are latter judgmentis based upon the hypothnot the same objections to a quintuple esis that an enlightened sense of selfas to a dual control, for amongst six interest is applied by all the powers to Great Powers like Great Britain, Rus- the problem before them. We think sia, Japan, France, Germany and the the hypothesis is warranted, because United States, to say nothing of subsid- we do not remember a time when the iary interests, such as those of Italy policy of the European Powers was and Austria, there will be a public guided with a greater amount of comopinion which cannot but act as a re- mon sense. The German Emperor is, straint upon the unscrupulous or un- in our eyes, one of the wisest and ruly member. One cause of apprehen- safest statesmen in Europe. Contrary sion at all events has been removed. to the opinion of many, we believe in By the correctness and moderation of the pacific principles of the Tsar of her attitude Japan has proved her right Russia, and in his power to enforce his to be admitted to the councils and the views upon his ministers. Even if we confidence of the Western Powers. are credulous on this point, those min.
The points which we wish to empha- isters are far too shrewd to assume the size in our view of the situation are burthen at present of administering these: that there cannot be from the even the northern part of China. With nature of the circumstances, any radi- regard to France, we are bound to say cal and permanent settlement of the that M. Delcassé has steered the forChinese question at the present time; eign policy of his country in trying that the Powers must proceed tenta- times, and under some provocation, tively and by small steps; and that, with great tact and self-restraint. therefore, the politics of Peking will, Japan is on her good behavior and will for the immediate future, take the place not disobey the other Powers, while of the Eastern Question in Europe as the United States are certainly not a source of interest and anxiety. There going to fight for or with anybody. will, of course, be intrigues and rumors The Saturday Review.
THE TWO KINDS OF CRITICISM.
An American writer in the columns body dare say what he really thinks of the Chicago Dial has lately put in a about the book of a writer whom, perplea for the revival of the good old haps, he will meet at the club. We slashing literary criticism, for the use need a healthy revival, this writer conof the cudgel and the bludgeon which tends, of the old and harder school of Macaulay wielded against Croker and criticism, which shall put the public Robert Montgomery. We are living, on its guard against inferior works, he says, in an age of soothing-syrup, and especially against pretentious when fourth-rate works are “boomed" works, which now secure an extensive into temporary notoriety, and when no sale before their real character is
known. And now some enterprising elements in Shakespeare or Milton that person has enforced this advice by re- he thought bad, he would say so even printing Dr. Johnson's “Short Stric- were all the world in arms against him. tures on the Plays of Shakespeare,” The transcendent value of sincere inoriginally published in 1765, in which dividual judgment was to him the most the Great Cham of literature, in his important fact in the world. True, he sturdy English way, did not hesitate to looked askance in religion and politics say in a few brief, sinewy phrases what on the right of private judgment, and he thought of Shakespeare, not hesitat- the securus judicat orbis terrarum which ing to blend condemnation with eulogy rang in the ears of Newman affected whenever he thought the occasion re- Johnson to an unusual degree. But quired it.
Some of these judgments when he could fling off the weight of are amusing. Dr. Johnson thought, established institutions and make free e.g., in common with newer Shakespea- incursions into the Republic of Literarian lights, that “Love's Labor Lost" is ture, Johnson was no man's slave; his characteristic of Shakespeare, and yet judgments were independent, his love that there are vulgar passages in it of truth dominated his whole being. which ought never to have been told He trembled before George III, he to a maiden lady like Queen Elizabeth. thought it a transcendant honor "to He finds that the “Winter's Tale" is dine with the canons of Christ-church;" full of “absurdities" (we suppose the but when it came to pronouncing a litallusion is to the Bohemian coast), but erary judgment, this hide-bound old yet "very entertaining;” that "Two Tory stood upon his feet and became Gentlemen of Verona" exhibits "a a man. No writer in England since his strange mixture of knowledge and ig- time, save Macaulay, has so effectively norance, of care and negligence;" that played the part of an honest and deter“All's Well that Ends Well" is not mined censor of everything which he "produced by any deep knowledge of conceived to be weak or worthless. He human nature;" that "Richard III" was the great “hanging Judge" of our contains "some parts that are triling, literary Tribunal. others shocking and some improbable;"
The criticism of our own time has that Cordelia's death is contrary to the adopted a quite opposite note, derived, natural ideas of justice; and that we think, largely from Sainte-Beuve, "Julius Cæsar" is "somewhat cold and who profoundly influenced the firstof our unaffecting.” In a word, Shakespeare contemporary critics, Matthew Arnold. is handled by Johnson with as little It was the principle of Sainte-Beuve, ceremony as he treated Goldsmith to in as it is generally of modern French a conversation with Boswell.
criticism, to discover positive merit and Johnson acted consistently all his life
definite formative ideas rather than to through on his own immortal maxim, denounce or condemn. This is, of “Clear your mind of cant.” Prejudiced course, the criticism of fine intelligence, and narrow he was, nor was he, in our like that of Goethe, which has no moral sense of the term, highly cultivated. partizanship, no partial view, but which His judgment was constantly at fault, approaches its theme, partly as a probhe attributed to third-rate authors of lem to be solved, partly as the expreshis time merits that no mortal being can
sion of an idea to be sympathetically perceive in them, while he was blind understood. Johnson and his school to the glories of "Lycidas." But no man have their point of view, to which the ever lived who worshipped so sincerely writer under consideration must be asat the shrine of truth; and if there were similated, to whose leading maxims he