Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

90

THE CANADIAN MONTHLY.

compatibility with modern civilization, pretensions against the State, jealousy of the use and circulation of Holy Scripture, the de facto alienation of the educated mind, detrimental effects on the comparative strength and morality of the States in which it has sway, and its tendency to sap veracity in the individual mind. As between the Historical and Evangelical Schools, Mr. Gladstone evidently inclines, as he has always done, to the former; yet he does no injustice to the Evangelicals. He is even coldly tolerant of the Theists, although he has "quitted the zone" in which he can alone feel comfortable; and when he comes to the Negatives, he feels like a negro transplanted from Tanganyika to the Pole. Mr. Arthur Arnold's paper on Persia has been referred to elsewhere. It is exceedingly interesting as a picture of Mohammedan savagery and decrepitude. The description of the Shah's palace, with its globe with literally emerald seas, its diamond England, India of amethysts, and Africa of rubies, and all the wealth in pearls and gold distributed otherwhere, ends in the anti-climax, that to "prevent rain or snow entering this and other halls of His Majesty's palace, cotton sheets are hung, covering the sides open to the weather. Outside all is darkness, extortion, cruelty, oppression, misery in every shape.

[ocr errors]

Mr. Pollock's paper on "The Drama" is a long but most valuable paper on the subject. It is in the main historical, giving a very lucid account of the English, Spanish, and French drama, the last especially interesting because it contains a detailed account of the plays of Dumas, Alfred de Musset, Victor Hugo, Dancourt, and Octave Feuillet. Sir John Lubbock, in a paper on "Elementary Education," pleads the claims of physical science to a place in the curriculum, and ridicules grammar and history, the latter in trenchant style. Prof. Lewis Campbell gives another instalment of his essay on New Testament revision, in which he descends into minutiæ. He is generally a conservative on the subject, loath to sanction alteration where a decent apology can be offered for the laissez faire policy. Not that he is rigidly orthodox by any means, as he shows in more places than one. As when (p. 95) he calls the theory of verbal inspiration "a superstitious feeling; or where (p. 96) he objects to the 66 poor and shuffling policy" of levelling just up to the spirit of the age. On this he remarks: "The Biblical critic ought, of all other men, to be most aware that what was once great in his subject has become small, and that what is now whispered in the ear in closets will ere long be proclaimed upon the housetops." These are bold, true words. Then again, treating of the chapter-headings in The Song of Solomon, and also in Psalms xciii. and cix., he inquires," How long must a strain of interpretation which no clergyman

would now venture to adopt in preaching to an educated congregation be allowed to impress the minds of simple folk who read the Bible for themselves?" Finally, in speaking of the marginal dates, Prof. Campbell observes: "The first impression on the eye of the child in reading Scripture is not easily shaken off, and the 4004 at the beginning of our Bibles may have had an incalculable effect in fostering the long quarrel between science and revelation. Do we really mean, in the present state of knowledge, to base chronology on the lives of the antediluvian patriarchs?" We wonder if Prof. Campbell ever subscribed his name to the Confession of Faith?

[ocr errors]

Miss Swanwick's paper on "Evolution and the Religion of the Future" is thoughtful an moderate, its writer ranking herself outside all Mr. Gladstone's five schools, and as belonging to the Free Christian churches. She is no mere Theist, for she believes in Jesus and in Scripture; but like Mr. Clodd, whom she quotes, there seems to her a common progressive movement in all religions. The great principle underlying the doctrine of Evolution, she observes, "is that throughout the universe there has been a continual unfolding;" in short, each link in the vast chain of human development is connected with every antecedent link, and would have no significance if we could suppose the continuity to be broken. The mental and spiritual development of the individual is only the progress of the race in petto. This is illustrated by a brief sketch of the Greek, Buddhist, Parsee, Hindoo, and Hebrew religions. The writer, finally, while rejecting most orthodox dogmas, especially the fiercest"-" -"the eternity of hell-fire"-finds in the teaching of Jesus the fundamental truths of religion. The second part of Mr. Fairbairn's monogram on Strauss commences with an account of the desperate conflict precipitated by the publication of the Leben Jesu. Strauss had the combative instinct strong within him, and he was not very particular in his choice of the weapons he employed-the Damascus blade or the Irish shillelagh came alike to him. But, in fact, a man can hardly be expected to be picked in his words when he is compared with Judas; "like the devil, without conscience;"" without a heart, or had one like Leviathan ; "as firm as a stone and hard as a piece of the nether millstone," &c. His defence, however, was, in the main, a softening of his original-in short, he was apologetic in both senses of the word. He published a third edition of the Life, in which he retracted so much as to undermine the mythical theory and set about attempting a reconciliation. In consequence he was invited to a professorship of theology at Zurich, but was compelled to resign summarily, through clerical hostility. Then all his concessions were thrown to the winds, and he launched upon the unknown sea, drift

[ocr errors]

FINE ART.

ing away towards "The Old Faith and the New," his final work. Dr. Abbott's reply to Mr. Spedding is of the bitterest kind. Certainly on two points-Bacon's treatment of Essex, and his giving judgments in Chancery at the dictation of Buckingham-the doctor appears to have the best of it.

The Fortnightly Review opens with a review of "The New Domesday Book," by the Hon. E. L. Stanley. He proves beyond question that half the soil of England is owned by not more than 4,500 persons, allowing for double entries. The division of land in Scotland is also considered, the general conclusion being that "the welfare of the country demands that land should be freely bought and sold." The writer advocates the assimilation in all respects of real to personal property; the prohibition of settlements of land on all unborn persons; and the abolition of the game-laws, or at least their very great restriction. Mr. Horace White contributes a paper on "The Financial Crisis in America," which is rather historical than suggestive. These periodical disasters he regards as resulting entirely from speculation, and as peculiarly Anglo-Saxon disorders. Mr. Bridges' "Early Autumn on the Lower Yang-Tze" is a graphic and lively sketch of Chinese life in and about Shanghai. The domestic life, agri

[ocr errors]

culture, and religious habits of the Chinese are sketched with a free hand, the background being the gorgeous scenery of "the flowery land."

Mr. Leslie Stephen contributes "An Agnostic's Apology," in which he attempts to give to all men a reason for the no-faith which is in him. Those who believe in God and immortality, not to speak of revelation, he styles, by a twist in phraseology, Gnostics. His creed is briefly this, that outside the phenomenal world we can know nothing with certainty. He points at some length to the extraordinary dilemmas to which the "Gnostics" are reduced in attempting to show a sure foundation for their so-called spiritual knowledge, and enlarges also upon the innumerable diversities of opinion existing amongst them. "The Gnostics," he says, are at least bound to show some ostensible justification for their complacency. Have they discovered a firm resting-place, from which they are entitled to look down in compassion or contempt upon those who hold it to be a mere edifice of moonshine? If they have diminished by a scruple the weight of one passing doubt, we should be grateful : perhaps we should be converts. If not, why condemn Agnosticism?" The other papers in the number are of mere local interest.

66

FINE ART.

EXHIBITION OF THE ONTARIO SOCIETY OF ARTISTS.

THIS now in since the

HIS Society, now in the fourth year since | could be exhibited alongside the best of those taken possession of its new rooms on King Street, is to be congratulated upon having at last acquired also a permanent local habitation. That it has a long and prosperous career before it, there is every reason to believe; and that its present quarters, commodious and suitable as they now are, will, before many years have elapsed, be found too contracted for the expansive growth of their occupant, we also hope and believe. The Exhibition given during the past month was, it is stated, the most successful yet held in every material respect in the number of subscribers to the Art Union, in the number of visitors to the Exhibition, and in the number and value of the sales. In the Exhibition itself, the improvement was not so marked. The water colours undoubtedly were, on the whole, in advance of those of any previous year; but the oils have been surpassed in one or two former exhibitions, a falling off probably due to the Philadelphia Exhibition having attracted a number of the best pictures of the year. Under these circumstances it might be well to hold another Exhibition in the fall, when the paintings now at Philadelphia

Taking the Exhibition as a whole the most striking thing which forced itself upon the notice of even the casual observer, after a general survey, was the woful lack of ideas. With few exceptions-the number of which might almost be counted on the fingers of both hands-the whole two hundred and thirty were simply sketches from nature, undoubtedly faithful and meritorious for the most part, but still mere bits of scenery-field, wood, rock, and water. Now, M. Taine is no doubt right when he declares that the fundamental idea at the bottom of all art is imitation. But it is none the less true that imitation is not of itself sufficient, otherwise a wax figure by Madame Tussaud would be a finer work of art than the Venus of Praxiteles. A man might have the hand of a Michelangelo for drawing, the eye of a Titian for colour, and that of a Rembrandt for chiaro-oscuro, and yet be little better than a mere mechanical manufacturer of pretty pictures. At the back of the eye which sees and the hand which executes, there should be a heart to feel and a brain to conceive. These are the supreme necessi

92

THE CANADIAN MONTHLY.

ties, and their absence or presence makes the difference between a mere copyist and a Raphael-between a writer of smooth-flowing verses for a lady's album and a Tennyson.

In a community where art culture is yet in its infancy, it would be absurd to look for elaborate works in figure subjects. The necessary educational appliances do not exist here, nor does the market for their sale. But it is not necessary to go to the works of Turner for proof that sea-pieces, landscapes, and delineations of animal life afford an ample range for the exercise of the highest mental qualities of the painter-poetic insight, imagination, ideality, and humour. Any doubt on this point would be at once dispelled on turning over the pages of a volume of the Aldine, and seeing there the wealth of ideas lavished upon this class of pictures. An illustration taken from the recent exhibition here will make our meaning plain. Prominent among the oil paintings was a sea-piece by Mr. Verner (No. 31), showing a large vessel in full sail under a stiff | breeze, making her last tack for port. The catalogue gives the title "Homeward Bound," | which tells the story at once. The idea conveyed is that of labour accomplished, of difficulties and dangers overcome, of the welcome haven reached at last, and of rest and recompense fairly earned. A poetic glamour is

thrown around a commonplace incident of commerce, which compels the spectator to linger musingly in front of the canvas. The effect is heightened by the evening sun, which having also performed its appointed task, is sinking to rest, also "homeward bound," to its couch beneath the sea, on whose waves its horizontal rays cast a weird and ruddy glow. The sentiment is similar to that conveyed in Turner's well-known "Fighting Temeraire," though there the subject is more poetical. Mr. Verner's picture is very well painted, though not better than some others of his-for instance, Nos. 25 and 50-but it is the only one of the whole twelve or fifteen exhibited by him which has been illuminated by an idea, and for that reason is by far the most interesting to the spectator. It would, of course, be nonsensical to expect that every picture painted should be inspired by an idea. The reproduction on canvas of a beautiful or striking landscape may call up feelings similar to those created by the scene itself. But surely it is not unreasonable to hope that a moderate proportion-one-third or onefourth-of the works exhibited annually by the Society, should give evidence that mind and soul, as well as eye and hand, have been at work in their creation.

LITERARY NOTES.

Among recent Canadian publications, the most noteworthy are: a copyright edition of Mrs. Charlesworth's last novel," Oliver at the Mill," published by Dawson Bros. Montreal; "The Prairie Province," by J. C. Hamilton, M. A., and a reprint of Anthony Trollope's last novel, "The Prime Minister," both published by Belford Bros. All these works are noticed at length in our Book Review Department. Dawson Bros'. reprint of "Daniel Deronda," has reached Part V.," Mordecai." In this portion indications are given that the hero will turn out to be of Jewish blood, and we understand that this will actually be the case.

Messrs. Harper Bros., have sent us a number of their recent issues, including reprints of Merivaile's "History of Rome," and Cox's "History of Greece" in their "Students Series;" a finely illustrated manual of Comparative Zoology," by James Orton, author of "The Andes and the Amazon;" a popular account of "Early Man in Europe," by Charles Rau, being a reprint of six articles which recently appeared in Harper's Magazine; a revised edition, in two volumes, of Prof. Draper's masterly work, on "The Intellectual Development of

|

Europe;" and a reprint of Mr. Gladstone's latest venture, "Homeric Synchronism: The Time and Place of Homer," being an attempt to fix the date of the Trojan War, and to link that event with contemporaneous history.

We are in receipt from Appleton & Co., of New York, of a reprint of another of the admirable series of "Science Primers," the present instalment being on Botany," by J. D. Hooker; and a pamphlet on Paper Money Inflation in France: how it came, what it brought, and how it ended," by Andrew D. White.

[ocr errors]

In England, as usual at this season, there is a dearth of new issues. The most important are: Lord Amberley's posthumous work "An Analysis of Religious Belief," from the press of Messrs. Trubner; the fourth volume of the

Encyclopædia Britannica," (from Bok toCan,) containing an article on "Canada," by Prof. Daniel Wilson; and the sixth volume of the "Speaker's Commentary," dealing with Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets, and finishing the portion of the work which relates to the Old Testament.

[ERRATUM-The quotation on p. 39, line 10, in the right hand column, should read:

46 The Light is the life of man "]

[blocks in formation]

Author of " Anne Judge, Spinster," "Grandmother's Money," "Poor Humanity,'

""Little Kate Kirby," &c.

[blocks in formation]

HE Reverend Gregory Salmon and his son Angelo left the shadow of the trees and the society of the cows, for a quiet walk along the banks of the river. There was much for the father to explain, and at the outset there was more difficulty than the senior Mr. Salmon had expected. He was not so sure of his son as he had been half an hour since-or rather, for the first time in his life he distrusted his influence over a weak and impressionable young

man.

He began as if he doubted him and the strength of his own influence together.

Angelo," he said, "we have been labouring under a terrible delusion, and I hope you see that as clearly as I do."

"I do not see anything very terrible at present," said the son.

"I am dreadfully shocked."

"I was never happier in my life," said Angelo, pressing his hand on his waistcoat pocket, wherein was Mabel's purse, which was as close to his heart as he could get it at present.

"I am talking about Miss Westbrook," said the father sharply.

"So am I."

Mr. Salmon was unprepared for these ready answers, and marvelled what had become of that slow, hesitating manner for which Angelo had been invariably distinguished. He did not affect to be surprised, however, but after a glance askance at his son, went on in the same pompous way.

"I have been having a serious discussion with your mother concerning the fact of Miss Westbrook's loss of fortune-if she ever had any fortune," he added, " and we both arrived at the conclusion that it will be infinitely better for that young lady to leave St. Lazarus as soon as possible."

Registered in accordance with the Copyright Act of 1875.

"Because she is poor?" asked Angelo, with a marked elevation of his eyebrows. "Because she is a mystery-because we have nothing but her word as to all this." "It is enough," replied Angelo.

"It is not sufficient for me," said Mr. Salmon sharply. He was an irritable man, and the short quick responses of his son aggravated as well as perplexed him.

"Miss Westbrook is a guest in your house, father," Angelo remarked, "and to be treated, I hope, with respect so long as she remains there."

"Of course, of course," answered the father, "as long as she remains, I am not likely to forget the courtesy due to a lady who has been invited to my home. There has certainly been an error of judgment, and I take my share of blame. I have been credulous, Angelo-I have believed every word of your statement as to her position in life, just as you believed it before me, and without seeking one atom's worth of proof, and now we are both trembling on the brink of an abyss!"

Angelo shook his head as he walked on by his father's side.

"I don't understand you," he said. Mr. Salmon fancied that he had impressed his son at last.

"Suppose I merely say suppose, for the sake of the argument, Angelo-that Miss Westbrook is a shrewd, long-headed, farseeing woman of the world," he continued; "she meets you in America, hears you are rich, discovers you to be credulous, and lays her plan accordingly. Could she have acted in a cleverer way to enlist our sympathy and gain our admiration?"

"You know I admire her," said Angelo; "I have not attempted to disguise even a deeper feeling than admiration for her, and I-I-I--" he began to grow confused, "I object to any supposition that attempts, for a single moment, to lower Mabel Westbrook in my estimation. There!" he concluded, with an emphatic stamp of his foot upon the grass.

"If I put a mild supposition before you, Angelo, you need not fly at me like a bulldog," said the father, reprovingly.

"I beg your pardon. But-don't say anything against her just now, please."

Surely, it has not gone so far as this. My dear boy, you have not been weak enough to allow Miss Westbrook to antici

[blocks in formation]

"She would not have you if she were rich," said Mr. Salmon, seeing his advantage; "she is too brilliant and sharp a girl— · 'go-ahead' they call it in the country from which she has come. She would have had hundreds of admirers if she had been wealthy. You know she would not have had you."

"Yes," said Angelo very sadly, "I know that."

"And if she accept you for the sake of position-if she has known all along of this blow to her fortune, and has played her cards accordingly, what a miserable life lies before you. The world will not only laugh at you," said the father, "but she will laugh at you too."

[ocr errors]

I have been laughed at so often in my life," replied Angelo, "that one more jest will not affect me much. And if it comes from her, I can forgive it."

"Not afterwards. Not when time has proved to you what a dupe you have been."

"She will not make a dupe of me," said Angelo; "I wish she would."

"But

[ocr errors]

"But I have received your warning, sir," said Angelo, interrupting him, "and will consider it. I do not think there is anything more for you to say, and I am quite certain there is nothing more which I can hear with any patience.'

"Angelo!"

"Therefore you will kindly leave me."

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinua »