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the Irish, exaggerating all their woes? of material on our side for estabWhy this wonderful sympathy in lishing the wished - for balance. England for the anauthorised reli- As for the question why we should gious orders in France ? How does it happen that everything which accuse the French of immorality seems to tell against one of the and not the Italians, nothing can two countries is received with instant be more easy to answer. French credence in the other ?”

books, and especially French works

of fiction purporting to give a The explanation that it is par picture of French life and morals, triotic jealousy which is the cause are very much read in England. of all these misstatements and mis- Italian books ere not apprehensions, is here, we think, themselves the latter are much not at all carried out by facts. That less numerous and less attainable, the French should wish “ to push so that we have not the material the English out of Egypt" is very on which to form our judgment. comprehensible; it is an old ground And that the French should dwell of contention, and, however little much more on what they think we may like the perpetual rivalry, English cruelty than on the cruelty we can neither wonder at it nor of the Turks, is likewise the most find it

BO.

unreasonable. As for comprehensible thing in the world. Canada, that is unreasonable more If we are cruel, we are much more because it is impossible than for guilty than the Turks. The Turks any other cause; for certainly we are unprogressive : they have not should not at all on our side be the same tenets as we have; their content to leave a large section of conscience is unaffected, by the our country-folk, obstinately tena- laws which dominate Western syscious of our language and ways, tems. There are persons, indeed, under French subjection if yo who maintain that the Mohamcould help it. But what English- medan civilisation is a more effecman wishes “ to sink the French tive Christianity than our own; fleet” q We may desire that it but these enlightened individuals should remain inferior to our own, have not yet succeeded in conor rather—what is at once a better vincing the rest of the world that and a more veracious way of stating it is so, and we are all, French the fact-that our own should and English alike, united in bobe manifestly and indisputably lieving that what is expected from superior to it, which is the most the peoples in the front of civilreasonable thing in the world; isation is not to be expected from but to sink the French fleet, the Oriental. It seems hardly unless, indeed, we were engaged in worth while to insist on facts so deadly warfare, and its destruction apparent. or our own was the only alter Mr Hamerton, however, is very native, is what nobody could for strong in his reiterated protest a inoment either desire or think against our general disposition to of, and would be a most serious take French fiction as a just illusinjury to the world in general: tration of French morality and and to place such a fantastio ima.. manners. He uses the somewhat ginary wish against the other two extravagant argument that the facts, both of them quite com- English old maid reads all about prehensible, is a proof at once the murders of the day, yet never of the failure of Mr Hamerton's murders anybody, as an excellent argument, and a singular absence reason against dccusing the French

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public of immorality because it critical discussions, which are the delights in stories of vice. This, things French writers are most however, is not the question at cunning and remarkable in all. Nobody denies that there must be almost impossible for a exist in France the purest lives, cultivated Frenchwoman who is the most admirable characters. not a jeune fille. And this is put Nobody now who knows anything forth, recognised, applauded as a about the matter believes, as once revelation-and no voice of authoan ignorant generation believed, rity, as far as we are aware, has that because the French have not ever said that it was not so. the word “home” the thing does Some disclaimers, we are aware, not exist among them—a ridicu- have arisen recently from the bosom lous misconception, which only of French society on this subject. ignorance could ever justify. At The author of Marie Fougère,' who the same time, we know that our has written under various noms own novels are more or less truth- de plume, sometimes as a woman, ful representations of the life of but who is no less a personage our time--many of them admir- than the present Procureur de la able, few of them seriously mis- Republique, has made most leading. There are some, indeed, energetic and animated protest, which represent life only as it exists describing how in the country among the frivolous classes, and “toutes les honnêtes femmes sont these have naturally no breadth effrayées, pour leur enfants comme of truth, but yet are sufficiently pour elles-mêmes, des tendances faithful to the path of life which que manifeste de plus en plus l'école they portray. This being the case, moderne.

Paris nous

a lancé we are not only justified in believ comme dernier défi la Terre et ing that French novels must be in l’Immortel : ceci est la réponse de their way a true expression of life, la bourgeoisie lettrée de province." but driven to that conviction. Alas! the réponse is but poorly every other country they are ac qualified to maintain its place cepted as such. Tho drama must against the modern school thus deal with stronger effects than are objected to. It is like all French necessary for a portrayal of life, fiction, which resembles the imbeing compelled to epitomise in mortal little girl of the distich : the space of a few hours the en

“ When she was good she was very, tire growth and dénouement of a

very good, tragedy, or, what is even more

And when she was bad she was difficult, of the genteel comedy, horrid." which approaches more closely to a novel. That we should distrust The very, very good is never the the existence of pure women in fit reply to vice. What we want France because their novels are is to see ordinary human nature odious, or imagine that every upon that ordinary level of life Frenchwoman who reads Madame which would be impossible if it Bovary' must necessarily share were not at least tolerably virtuous. her inclinations or emulate her of this fact we are fully convinced life, is absurdity; though at that the reeking dunghill of the

time not to have French Action cannot largely repread Madame Bovary'- book resent the common existence of the

of which must be France, or else France would inforced upon her in a hundred evitably fall to pieces. But at the

same

namo

same time this universal burden English keep their talk down to of story, this consent of living tes- a low level, from a dread of the timony, how is it possible to ac- watchful jealousy of their intelcept it is as worth nothing? If lectual inferiors. They only dare by common agreement Realism is venture to talk in their own way understood to mean Vice in a cer- between themselves in privacy.tain language and country, what This is a very appalling statecan spectators say or believe ? ment indeed. Is it possible that Nothing that Mr Hamerton says is the intellectual classes in England, worth considering as an answer to after expressing or not expressing this question. It is doubtful, in- “in a far inferior language " such deed, as he announces on various sentiments as it may be possible occasions that he does not read to trust to their intellectual infeFrench novels, how far he is a riors, talk Johnsonese among themjudge.

selves? How glad must everyThere are some very curious body be in that case that he or she statements about life in England does not belong to these painfully in this book, which lead us to the "cultivated ” people ! conclusion that Mr Hamerton

But probably the reader has had must have forgotten his native enough of Mr Hamerton. It is a country in many ways. He tells pity he did not keep to his literary us that the modern Englishman, landscape-painting, and to those for instance, is “taught and gov- sketches of his French neighbours ernod in boyhood by clergymen; which were so pleasant. He has their feminine allies compel him clearly forgotten his native land, to go to church, and to observe' which is not wonderful ; for few the English Sunday if he intends people perhaps are capable of being to marry in England." The last of two nationalities at Nois a most curious and entirely body, however, is compelled to be French suggestion : and it is absurd unless he likes. And the rather a pity that it is not true. above statement is almost more “Even a strong-minded English- ludicrous than the funny bu+ nasty man is a little afraid of a clergy. French belief which he quutes, of man,” Mr Hamerton adds. Another the common bath taken daily by vexy curious statement is about our every English family. The latter, language. “It is only the most indeed, is the more excusable of the cultivated English people who dare two. to employ in conversation the full We had meant to take up two powers of their noble tongue: the other varieties of the fragmentary others shrink from the best use of fare brought to us at the end of it, and accustom themselves to the publishing season-two books forms of speech that constitute in amusingly unlike, and both in reality a far inferior language, in their way significant of the period which it is so difficult to express – but that space fails us. The thought and sentiment that they first 1 is a long poem, in which is are commonly left unexpressed.” treated the origin of man, and Mr Hamerton adds, in a footnote, his progress upon strict Darwinian "An English friend of mine, him- principles, from the ooze-and slime self a man of the very highest up to the highest honours of culture, says that the cultivated civilisation. Miss Mathilde Blind

ice.

1

1 The Ascent of Man. By Mathilde Blind. Chatto & Windus.

has the good sense to occupy &

"dawned upon the seething waste.” very short space with the first But we confess that we are much steps of this process. Though startled by his appearance-a some they would naturally be the most thing apparently not dependent interesting had she any light to upon the auroral pulsations or the throw on the subject, it is wiser atoms flashing in union primeval. to refrain when she has 80 evi How did he get there? We think dently none. Here is the begin- Mr Darwin furnishes no reply. ning of her genesis :

At the end of the poem, efter Man

has ascended into the inexpressible “Struck out of dim fluctuant forces and miseries of London life, à Voice,

shock of electrical vapour, —which evidently is not Man, but Repelled and attracted the atoms flash. something outside, and which adAnd over the face of the waters,' far dresses Miss Blind as its “youngheaving in limitless twilight,

est child,” the culmination of its Auroral pulsations thrilled faintly, and efforts, after it has "yearned and

striking the black heaving surface panted through a myriad forms," The measureless speed of their motion bids her, as the “heir and hope

now leaped into light on the waters. And lo, from the womb of the waters,

of my to-morrow,” rouse up and upheaved in volcanic convulsion,

stand fast. “Bear, oh bear, the Ribbed and ravaged and rent, there horrible compulsion,” says this rose bald peaks and the rocky

Venerable Originator, for—and the Heights of confederate mountains, com reason is at least somewhat pre

pelling the fugitive -vapours sumptuous, if we must not say To take a form as they passed them, and profanefloat as clouds on the azure.

“ From Man's martyrdom in slow con. This goes on, but very briefly,

vulsion until

Will be born tha infin... goodness

God," “Lo, moving o'er chaotic waters Love dawned upon the seething waste,"

We may therefore expect, after

Miss Blind has suffered a little which pulls us up sharply, for we more, chiefly it would appear from were not aware that Love had any the sight of other people's misery, hand in it,--and who is Love? that she will accomplish this last Whoever he may be, it appears invention, and disclose it to a wonthat, after all, he acted as a first dering world. It is well to be cause in the original slime. And thus told what the instrument and it requires us only five widely the process shall be. printed pages to arrive at Man, The burden of the other book 1 whose after-career, when he comes before us is singularly different, the length of Egypt, Rome, &c., and yet we scarcely know whether we are already acquainted with there may not be a subtle someLore encounters Miss Blind several thing of harmony between them. times after in the course of her It is a book of revelations, chiefly despairing rambles through the made in dreams to a lady, Dr miseries of the world and of Anna Kingsford, who appeared for London, and evidently in the some time in England as a proopinion of both he would have fessor of medicine, and lectured done much better had he notion hygienic and other subjects,

1 Clothed with the Sun : being the book of the Illuminations of Anna (Bonus) Kingsford. Edited by Edward Maitland. Puedwa”.

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woman.

with what success we do not know. her hymns to the ancient gods, as It appears, however, that she was well as in certain of her illumina“ recognised by many as a Seer, an tions—which is by no means charInterpreter, and a Prophet of the acteristic usually of these fanrarest lucidity and inspiration, and tastic revelations of a new faith. a foremost herald of the dawning It is very curious, however, to better ago;"- and that this is the note how many of the prophets of posthumous collection of her pro- the present time and they are phecies or “illuminations," chiefly very numerous) have taken hold conveyed in dreams. One of these of Swedenborg's idea of what is illuminations is entitled a “Pro. called the dual nature of God. phecy of the Kingdom of the Soul, The Motherhood as well as Fathermystically called the Day of the hood of the Deity is the central Woman,” in which the new doc- point in their wild dreams of a trine is given forth as follows:- new force which shall renovate

“1. And now I show you a mystery the future. It has been lately set and a new thing, which is part of the forth with mystio completeness, mystery of the fourth day of creation. yet vagueness, in the strange

** 2. Tie vord which shall come to book called "Sympneumata. It save the rorld shall be uttered by a

is the inspiration of the book

now before us. Another still more “3. A woman shall conceive and shall bring forth the tidings of mystical production, having the salvation.

same name, and attached to some « 4. For the reign of Adam is at its obscure organism for propagating last hour : and God shall crown all the faith, has also passed through things by the creation of Eve.

our hands. One wonders whether “ð. Hitherto the man hath been it has anything to do with the alone, and hath had dominion over

feminine revolution in

affairs the carth;

“6. But when the woman shall be which has occurred within the created, God shall give unto her the last twenty years, or what it will kingdom: and she shall be first in come to. We are a long way from rule and highest in dignity.

the Johanna Southcote period,

who was to be a second mother of “ 22. But the creation of woman is God, in the old and well-recognised not yet complete : but it shall be complete in the time, which is at mode, as bringing forth another hand.

Messiah. Nowadays it is the “ 23. All things are thine, O

woman in her own right who is to mother of God I all things are thine, take that place. This is the last O thou that risest. from the sea ! and development, and one which we thou shalt have dominion over all should have imagined the most unthe worlds."

likely of the Ewige Weiblichkeit. Mrs Kingsford's revelations are Miss Blind, who expects to be able long, and wu are unable here to to produce “the infinite goodness treat them fully. The reader will -God," as the result of her musperceive by the above that she ings, is naturally a little more profinds indications of the woman fane; but, altogether, it is a very who is 'to be revealed in the curious turn of that fantastic cur'ncient Venus who rose from the rent of feeling which in religion, sea, as well as in the Blessed Vir- as in everything, continually tends gin ;

and we may add that there to and aspires after something is a tone of real poetry in some of new.

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