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earliest stage, from the time he left Jerusalem. The day after he arrived at Damascus he had an attack of partial delirium, which he attributed to the laudanum which had been given to him under the supposition that his attack was chiefly choleraic. In this Mr. Glennie reports that he cried out, “My book! my book! I shall never finish my book, as if for the first time the idea had invaded his heretofore composed and confident mind that his journey and his labours might be interrupted. In ten or twelve days after he was dead, the interval being full of fever and delirium, with now and then intervals of intelligence and calm. Mr. Huth records no allusion to the book; but just before his death he asked for the poor children who were thus about to be left in unimaginable desolation. Poor little boys!' he said, as he kissed his helpless fellow-travellers. These tender words are the last recorded of him before he disappeared into that awful gloom where we know no longer what is done or felt or said. Though he was not a Christian, he had always believed devoutly that he should find there what he had lost.
Throughout all Buckle's intellectual career his power of ignoring or not seeing what does not agree with the immediate strain of his thoughts is very evident. Nobody could be more sure of such facts as struck him than he was. He says I KNOW, at all times, in the largest capitals; asserting his certainty in some cases, and those exactly the cases in which he had no personal knowledge, with something like passion. It is the claim of the present school of Freethinkers—we take the epithet as that of their own choice, and as the easiest, not as granting their pretension that they alone have full freedom of thought—that they assume nothing they have not proved, and that they are entirely and nobly superior to the intolerance which is natural to every class of religionists. Buckle did not, like Professor Clifford, proclaim his belief that murder was an incident of ordinary occurrence, and to be expected in Catholic countries like Spain; but with much more serious certainty he announced the logical sequences of events in that country, and in the kindred realm of Italy, to be, firstly, an awful and imposing aspect of nature, accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic disturbances; secondly, a gloomy reign of superstition; thirdly, art. Now the most of us know something about Italy, at least, and some of us know something about art. There are two great volcanoes in Italy, but neither Naples nor Sicily has produced either painter or poet fit to take his place among the highest. On the other hand, the greatest of Italian artists was bred among the soft Tuscan hills, those gentle elevations that figure in so many pictures, and make us understand the tender Hebrew image of the little hills like lambs.' Not all the ranges of the Apennines held such a volcano as was that Florentine. As Dante is of all Italians, so Buonarotti is of all Italian painters, the son of mystery, the type of an imagination one come from the slopes of Vesuvius, and the other from under the sovereignty of Etna, we agree that there would have been a great poetical appropriateness in it; but they were Florentines, from a land flowing with milk and honey, with oil and wine. Buckle, however, did not think it necessary to note anything of all this. Nor did it occur to him that Switzerland, where nature is far more grandiose, imposing, and terrible than in any part of Italy, where accidents of the most sudden and appalling kind are common, and half the year is often passed in forced abstinence from outdoor labour (which, he tells us in another place, always produces fickleness of character), is neither superstitious nor imaginative nor fickle, nor anything but the most stolid, sordid, tenacious, and commonplace country on the face of the earth. What kind of wisdom is there in the argument which throws terror and tempest upon the soft heights where Fiesola looks down upon Florence, or makes the wooded hills of Umbria overcome the human soul which keeps its stolid steadiness under the shadow of Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc? We are fain to allow that the philosopher never professed to know anything about art, though he has not stinted to lay down the law upon the subject of its origin; but, with all these facts left out in his summary verdict, we cannot but ask what right any man had on this point to say I KNOW.
Buckle in fine understood books, and believed them to afford all that was necessary for the just calculation of human affairs, as the books in a counting-house are the only rule for the affairs of a mercantile firm; but he did not apprehend the difference between the concerns of that firm and those of the race, and would never agree that individual minds were of a different order and more difficult to deal with than the choses of an inventory at law. To see this slim and feeble figure erecting itself against the dull walls of his library, with only one opening to the daylight world, and making its boast of irrefragable evidence and absolute knowledge, is a strange spectacle ; but it is pathetic to watch the forlorn struggle of the lonely man toiling across those blazing Eastern ways, going blind with fever into the old splendour of the great Arabian city which he had so longed to see, dying with a gasp of surprise that such an unthought of thing as death should have stopped him and his book and his mentorship, which was so confident yet so kind. In all his narrow harshness of theory and rigid Puritanical incapacity to understand any fashion of being different from his own, it is with a sigh at least, if not a tear, that we see him laid away, all his knowledge lost for this world, under the monstrous mass of stone which his friends, after a long interval of indifference, put on his resting-place. He should have been a good man of business, exacting punctual work but giving liberal pay, going to church twice every Sunday, cultivating all the middle-class punctilios of life, and appearing at his office at the same hour every morning for sixty or narrow, respectable, commercial strain with the alien current of philosophy and speculation, putting a kind of eloquence into the thin utterance, and a kind of inspiration into the orderly and rigid soul, must answer for the result. Buckle was not the ideal philosopher, much less the guide and instructor of mankind; but in his suppressed and parsimonious way, with no life to speak of, he was neither an ignoble nor an unlovable man.
IRISH LAND REFORM.
FROM AN IRISH POINT OF VIEW.
[This paper speaks for itself. An Irish writer of knowledge and ability has been
allowed to discuss from his own point of view a subject which must be largely and from many sides discussed before it can be settled. But Fraser's Magazine is not committed to the special views or arguments of the writer.-ED.] THATEVER may be thought of the anti-rent agitation in Ireland,
it has at least had the merit of again forcing into prominence the abuses of the Irish land system, and of ensuring for them a measure of public and, it may safely be predicted, of further parliamentary attention which few anticipated at the close of last Session. Nearly all the Liberal leaders have since then recognised the expediency and justice of further large concessions to the Irish tenant, and Mr. Bright in his great Birmingham speech committed himself to a policy wbich many would call as revolutionary’as that of Mr. Parnell himself—involving nothing less than the expropriation of the landlords by the State, and the resale of their estates to a peasant proprietary. At the same time, Mr. Shaw and the more moderate Home Rulers have also perforce adopted all but the extremest lines of their Obstructionist colleague, and so virtually pledged their whole party—which may be safely reckoned at a hundred votes after the coming general election—to the compact support of his land programme in the next Parliament. Clearly, therefore, Irish agrarian reform promises to be a burning question in the early future of our domestic politics. As yet, however, with a few exceptions, the subject has been discussed in the English press mainly from the landlords' point of view, with the result of little or nothing being said either of the foundation on which the present system rests or of the gross inequity it works to the vast majority of the tenants, notwithstanding the partial relief afforded by the Act of 1870. As a contribution towards balancing the controversy, it may therefore be useful to state some facts and aspects of the question which have thus far been imperfectly considered, but the recognition of which is essential to any just public judgment upon it.
One of the most important, and yet hitherto most overlooked, of these is the historical difference between the land systems of Ireland and England—a fact that goes far to explain the widely different condition of the smaller island, on which so many fallacious arguments against special reform for it are based. Although the titles to not a few of the great estates on this side of the Channel had their origin in such Court favour of the last two or three centuries as their present owners would not care to boast of, those of, perhaps, the majority extended itself to the whole that especial and extravagant respect for landed above every other class of property has grown into one of the most deeply rooted of our English social superstitions. This, of course, largely springs from the popular fallacy that there is an absoluteness in such ownership which attaches to no other kind of property. But in no single case can existing Irish titles claim either the prescription or the popular recognition of their sacredness' that hedges round the institution here in England. Almost every acre of land between Bantry Bay and Fairhead has been confiscated three times at least. From the time that Henry II. and his barons secured their first foothold in the small part of Leinster called the Pale to the present, confiscation has been the origin and basis of land tenure all over the island. True it is that although the English King then apportioned the whole country on paper among half a score of his followers, neither they nor their successors for centuries after so much as laid eye on one twentieth part of the domain thus disposed of by letters patent. But the island was none the less declared to be conquered,' and the myth has long since crystallised into accepted fact in popular English history. It was not, however, till four hundred years later, under Mary, that the narrow limits of the Pale were extended by the seizure of the large tract named the King and Queens Counties, which was allotted wholly without reference to Henry's charters. The process was continued, chiefly in Ulster," by Elizabeth and the Stuarts, and culminated under Cromwell, whose ruthless victories were consummated by the confiscation of more than 5,000,000 acres in three provinces, divided under military warrant amongst his Gospellers, with equal disregard of all previous grants. Thousands of the native owners and tenants were then transported to the malarial plantations of the West Indies, while to the rest was given the memorable alternative of
Go to Hell or Connaught '—the barren moorlands beyond the Shannon being deemed so unfit for human habitation that the fugitives were expected to starve there. Confiscation still followed under Charles II., who allotted the western province among his English favourites, without reference to what may be called the penal settlement of Cromwell. This century of war, bloodshed, and spoliation was fitly closed by William III., who again, despite the guarantees of the Treaty of Limerick, seized and distributed 2,000,000 acres more after the old fashion. So far, therefore, as legal title in Ireland is concerned, the latest prescription is little more than two hundred years old, and its moral value is greatly affected by the violent manner in which it was originally acquired. · Probably no man at the Irish bar' (say Mr. Butt) ever saw a devolution of title that did not commence with a patent granting a forfeited estate.' Up to the passing of the Encumbered Estates Court Act it
The great estates now held in this province by the London Companies were