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From The Reader. when Louis Philippe was flung forth from SINCE 1848.
France, and, going down the Strand, one PERHAPS it is because so few among us are read in large letters on placards outside the old enough to have any recollections of that newspaper-shops the thrilling words,
66 Abstormy period of the world's history which dication of Louis Philippe,” one has been elapsed between 1789 and 1815, and most of thrilled and thrilled by bits of sudden sensaus are only old enough to have gathered our tion intelligence from all parts of the world first notions of the rate of human affairs from till one has ceased to be capable of astonishthe somewhat quiet and jog-trot period be- ment. There came first a spatter of revolutween 1815 and 1848, called by Miss Marti- tions all over the Continent ; then there came neau “ The Thirty Years' Peace,” that so what was called the Reaction, with the Hunmany of us have formed the opinion that this garian and Italian wars, in the latter of which last year, 1848, was the beginning of an era the Papacy was unfixed from its Roman roots; of unusually disturbed equilibrium, in the then there came the new Napoleonian empire, tumult of which we still find ourselves. A with its new impulses and developments, inBrougham or a Palmerston might laugh at cluding the Crimean war, the French war the fancy, and, remembering the days of their against Austria, and the resuscitation of youth, when all the earth reeled, and it Northern Italy. Up springs a Garibaldi ; seemed as if the Titans and the gods were and there is an end to the Kingdom of Naples, again at war, might pity the greenness of a and the Italian peninsula becomes one Euroyounger generation for seeing anything so pean power, with an impeding ligament in particular in the year ’48, or in all the hurly- the middle, and an unreclaimed bit of itself burly that has followed. “ Call this a storm?” on the north-east, still possessed by Austria.
ancient mariner night say to a young Meanwhile, in other parts of the earth-in one expressing his feelings on his first expe- China, in India, and everywhere else—there rience of some tolerable rage of the elements have been vehement outbreaks of the same round his ship. “ Bless your heart, you irritability. A restlessness has seized the nashould have been with me in my voyage round tions. Hardly a region in which there has Cape Horn in the year, !” But we not been some insurrection, soine vast disturbcan't all be Broughams or Palmerstons ; ance of the equilibrium, some heaving towards and, without prejudice to the claims of any a new order, some war of nationalities or previous period of the history of the world to races. If there has been a lull, it has been a character for superior storminess, we take but for a brief time, and we have listened, as the liberty of thinking that the last fifteen it were, all round, -to the north, to the south, years have been, on any reckoning, a time of to the east and to the west,-uncertain where more than average human commotion. We the irritability might next break out. Lo! think that 1848 was a rather particular year, ere we are aware of it, the irritability breaks and that it will have to be marked as such, out in America. The great Republic, which if history is minutely conscientious, in the was supposed to be independent of the rest of records of humanity. If there are such things the earth, and to hold all the Old World inas belts of space charged with some element fluences in quarantine, shows that it has or ether having a stimulating or irritating caught the general terrestrial contagion, falls property upon the collective human nerve, asunder in a manner of its own, and exhibits then we conceive that, about the year 1848, battles and carnages on a scale to match its the earth, and perhaps the system to which rivers and its notions of territory. Hardly it belongs, plunged into such a belt, and that is Europe appalled by this phenomenon when, we are still, after fifteen years, voyaging again, in her own body, there is a central through it. Things have been more out of convulsion radiating strife. Poland is up in equilibrium since '48, things have gone on at arms against Russia ; the agitation extends a faster rate, than in most previous periods to all the fragments of the Slavonic race, so to which written narrative can carry us back. that Prussia, Austria, and Turkey feel themIn the first place, the fifteen years since 1848 selves concerned ; and, over the body of a have been a period of unusual political irrita- divided Germany, dubious what to do, France bility all the world over. There has been a is gazing eagerly at the turmoil, passionate ferment among the nations. Since the day for a war for Poland, if Britain would but go
along with her. A new European war seems | progress of mechanical and engineering ina very close possibility ; and perhaps the last vention, to which we have sung hosannahs and most pregnant rumor is that, in that case. so long that all of us, except omnibus-drivers it may come to be a war of cross-purposes in- and International Exhibitionists, nauseate volving both hemispheres— Federal America the very theme—this, indeed, is not to be making common cause with Russia against credited to the last fifteen years, but, so far allied European powers of the West. The as any period may have the special credit of rumor may be but a rumor ; but it is a preg- it, to the entire past century. But even of nant one, and points to an historical possibil- this progress some of the most startling deity. Anyhow, we are moving on into a period velopments have been quite recent. One of so charged, on every hand, with the elements the most singular and significant phenomena of change and disturbance, that even Britain of our time is that which you cannot but see begins to foresee that it may be difficult for every day as you pass along any of the great her to preserve her peaceful isolation, and thoroughfares in any of our great cities, if begins even to wonder whether, after all, her you chance to look aloft—the lines and
gangVolunteer movement may not have been a lia of telegraphic wires crossing and recrossprovidential presentiment, and a time may ing the streets from chimney-top to chimneynot be coming when the puffs of white smoke top in all directions. Over Regent Circus. along her coast-line shall have a real and ter- in Oxford Street, they are beginning to have rible meaning. In the view of what is pass- the appearance of a cobweh. And what are ing and of what is approaching, all the ideas, these lines and wires thus traversing the of our former political philosophy seem inad- earth, with cities for their centres of converequate and powerless. A while ago it was gence and divergence, but new nerves for huperhaps the most advanced theory that the manity-filaments of sensation and intelliworld had outlived the agency of war, and gence-added to the structure of the collecwas to get on with less and less of it; and, tive social organism within the very period in lo ! now the agency of war is more terrifically which we now live? Passing Regent Circus, in favor than ever, and, in America, the very and looking at the cobweb overhead, we find prophets of peace are zealots of the rifle. ourselves instinctively thinking of the year
But it is not only in the political order of | '48. But from that year, at all events, may things that the world since 1848 seems to be dated a suddenly-increased publicity of have passed into an era of quickened pulsa- certain trains of ideas more purely speculation.
It is perhaps the case that times of tive, and a wondrously accelerated rate of extraordinary political movement, of events speculative research and discovery. Who , which are called momentous, are also always save perhaps a student, ever heard of Socialtimes of increased mental energy, and that, ism or Socialistic Philosophy before '48, unindeed, rapid vicissitudes in the material or- less it were as of some monstrous thing der of the world, and correspondingly rapid hatched in the Seven Dials ? And yet the variations in the world's ideas and modes of immediate effect of the Parisian Revolution thought, go necessarily together. Certain it of 1848 was to let loose a deluge of socialis that the last fifteen years have been a istic phrases and notions into the popular period of extraordinary intellectual, no less mind of Europe ; and, though, after a little, than extraordinary political, activity. It is the propagandism died out, yet it has left a not implied, of course, that the year 1848 deposit or sediment of ideas still active everyitself originated or gave birth to much or where, and forming the real strength of that aught of what we now conveniently trace resistance which the now dominant political back to it. There is no such break in the philosophy meets with when it proclaims incontinuity of history; whatever comes to dividual liberty as the first principle of sopass has been brewing long before. But a ciety, and all functions of government, save great deal that is extraordinary in matters for the protection of such liberty, vicious of invention and intellectual speculation and invalid. But pass into other, and more does seem, with some due allowance, to date abstract or more scientific regions of specufrom that year of the sudden sputter of lation. What of Darwin's theory of natural European revolutions and the total disturb- selection - a theory which, “when fully ance of the equilibrium of 1815. That vast enunciated,” to use the words of Sir Wil
liam Armstrong in referring to it this week | rious objects, which, since Mr. Nasmyth disin his opening address to the British Associa- covered them, have been seen by other obtion at Newcastle, “ founds the pedigree of servers as well, are computed to be each not living nature upon the most elementary 100 miles in breadth. The enormous chasms
less than 1,000 miles in length, and about forms of vitalized matter,” and then, per- in the sun's photosphere, to which we arply haps, accounts for even these forms by im- the diminutive term spots,' exhibit the exagining their evolution from prior inorganic tremities of these leaf-like bodies pointing nature? And what of Lyell’s connected inwards, and fringing the sides of the cavern speculation as to the antiquity of the earth far down into the abyss. Sometimes they and of the human species ? In every age,
form a sort of rope or bridge across the indeed, there have been revolutionary specu- by lateral attraction. I can imagine nothing
chasm, and appear to adhere to one another lations-heresies from all previous thought;
more deserving of the scrutiny of observers but there are revolutionary speculations than these extraordinary forms. The symwhich are very revolutionary, heresies which pathy also which appears to exist between burst the walls of the mind; and these spec- forces operating in the sun and magnetic ulations of our own epoch are of this ex- forces belonging to the earth merits a contintreme nature. They are such, so far as we uance of that close attention which it has can see, as no previous epoch was exercised already received from the British Association,
and of labors such as General Sabine has with, and as cannot be adopted without re- with so much ability and effect devoted to acting upon the entire mode of thought about the elucidation of the subject. I may here all things whatsoever, and changing the notice that most remarkable phenomenon whole mental horizon. There are, moreover, which was seen by independent observers at cognate speculations of our epoch, less liable two different places on the 1st of September, to be regarded as heterodox, but hardly less 1859. A sudden outburst of light, far esrevolutionary. Connect, for example, that ceeding the brightness of the sun's surface, great speculation of recent physical science drifting cloud over a portion of the solar face.
was seen to take place, and sweep like a as to the Indestructibility of Force, the Cor- This was attended with magnetic disturbrelation of Forces, the Presentability of Heat ances of unusual intensity and with exhibias Motion, and of Motion as Heat, etc., with tions of aurora of extraordinary brilliancy. the still more recent investigations, through The identical instant at which the effusion spectrum-analysis and otherwise, into the of light was observed was recorded by an constitution of the Sun. Read the follow- abrupt and strongly marked deflection in the
The ing remarkable passage from Sir William self-registering instruments at Kew.
phenomenon as seen was probably only part Armstrong's Newcastle address :
of what actually took place : for the mag,
netic storm in the midst of which it occurred " Of all the results which science has pro- commenced before and continued after the duced within the last few years, none has event. If conjecture be allowable in such a been more unexpected than that by which case, we may suppose that this remarkable we are enabled to test the materials of which event had some connection with the means by the sun is made, and prove their identity, in which the sun's heat is renovated. It is a part at least, with those of our planet. The reasonable supposition that the sun was at spectrum experiments of Bunsen and Kirch- that time in the act of receiving a more than hoff have not only shown all this, but they usual accession of new energy; and the thehave also corroborated previous conjectures ory which assigns the maintenance of its as to the luminous envelope of the sun. I
power to cosmical matter plunging into it bave still to advert to Mr. Nasmyth’s re- with that prodigious velocity which gravitamarkable discovery, that the bright surface tion would impress upon it as it approached of the sun is composed of an aggregation of to actual contact with the solar orb, would apparently solid forms, shaped like willow- afford an explanation of this sudden exhibileaves or some well-known forms of Diatom- tion of intensified light in harmony with the aceæ, and interlacing one another in every knowledge we have now attained that ardirection. The forms are so regular in size rested motion is represented by equivalent and shape, as to have led to a suggestion heat.” from one of our profoundest philosophers of
Sir William does not here state the whole their being organisms, possibly even partaking of the nature of life, but, at all events, speculation; and, indeed, it takes different closely connected with the heating and vivi- forms in different minds, and does not admit fying influences of the sun. These myste- | as yet of any one consistent statement. Gen
erally, however, the speculation is this, that no mind, and no modification of it can enter the sun is the sustaining body of the solar any mind, without affecting every jot and system, and that it is on the radiation of the tittle about everything whatever that that energy stored up in it, that all the other mind thinks. And these and such like specbodies of the solar system, our own earth in- ulations are the very breath of the epoch. cluded, depend—that this energy is radiated It is, doubtless, to their subtle and diffused as heat, light, and what-not, which are action disturbing and disintegrating old transmuted into other forms (the very coal- modes of thought, as much as to any mere beds of our earth being but accumulated keenness of biblical scholarship or historical power from the sun); and so that, were the criticism, that we are to attribute those new sun to fail, the entire solar system must forms of theological scepticism which are starve and collapse. But, according to some, also to be remarked as among the peculiar the sun is failing; endless radiation of his manifestations of our time. power into space is telling even upon him, Altogether, it seems probable that we and the universe will find it out one day. have a stirring quarter of a century before Those reinforcements of his energy by the us. The fast rate of events in the political absorption of comets or other cosmical bodies world will probably still continue; and the to which Sir William Armstrong refers, are, momentous speculations now in progress will according to the calculation of Professor proceed farther and farther, and interconThomson, by no means an equivalent for nect themselves more and more, and generate his expenditure; the balance is continually all kinds of extensions and applications and dwindling; and the rate of loss is such that, modifications. Perhaps even out of the very in about eight hundred millions of years, rapidity and whirl of their development unless for some reserve unknown as yet, the there may come, sooner than might be exsun will have cooled to a kind of cinder, and pected, some counterblast to that spirit of become incapable, if the conditions of life enthusiastic Materialism which at first sight are the same as now, of continuing to sustain they seem calculated to cherish, and which his dependent orbs. A vastly remote specu- is certainly for the moment all-prevailing. lation this, it may seem, for all practical pur- Meanwhile, the literature of our age, and, poses ; but, as a speculation, immediately above all, the poetry, keeps no pace with the important in this respect, that it can enter I speculative activity.
A PROPHECY IN JEST.- Perhaps the following understand ?' said the priest. · Walk on, then, may be of interest. It is taken from Dr. Somer- forninst me, and I think how I can explain it to ville's My Own Life and Times (Edmonston you.' The man walked on, and the priest came and Douglas) :
after him and gave him a tremendous kick.
• Ugh!' roared the sufferer, 'why did you do “ Burke said that he would not be surprised that?' Did you feel it?' asked the priest. at the defection of some of the colonies from the To be sure I did,' replied the man.
Well, Union.' I believe he mentioned the Southern then, it would have been a merakle if you had States. Their Constitution was not then settled, not,' returned the priest."— Reader. and the Democratic party threatened to overpower the interests of the Federalists, to whom he gave full credit for wisdom and patriotism.” recently formed the subject of long discussions at
An anonymous MS., preserved at Poitiers, has -Notes and Queries.
the Société Antiquaire de l'Ouest. It contains, among other valuable documents, four unedited
letters by Rousseau, three by Voltaire, several Miss COBBE, in an article on “ The Humor of by Robinet, author of the " Livre de la Nature,” Various Nations,” in the July number of the and by the Abbé Yoon, one of the editors of the Victoria Magazine, tells the following story of “ Encyclopédie,” and, finally, several letters an Irish definition of a miracle : “ A priest, in by the Marquis d’Argenson, which prove that, Ireland, having preached a sermon on miracles, from 1765 to 1775, his chateau at Ormes was was asked by one of his congregation, walking one of the most prominent haunts of the leaders homewards, to explain a little more lucidly' what of the philosophical and critical movements of a miracle meant.' • Is it a merakle you want to the time.
From Punch, 5. Sept. “What though the land run red with blood, ENGLAND'S NEUTRALITY.
what though the lurid flashes
Of cannon light, at dead of night, a mournful A PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE, WITH NOTES, BY A CON
heap of ashes, Where many an ancient mansion stood—what
though the robher pillages All ye who with credulity the whispers hear of That sacred home, the house of God, in twice a fancy,
hundred villagesOr yet pursue with eagerness hope's wild extravagancy,
What though a fiendish, nameless wrong, that Who dream that England soon will drop her long makes revenge a duty, miscalled Neutrality,
Is daily done” (O Lord, how long ?) “to tenAnd give us with a hearty shake the hands of derness and beauty ?” nationality ;
(And who shall tell, this deed of hell, how dead
lier far a curse it is Read, while we give, with little fault of state- Than even pulling temples down and burning ment or omission,
universities ?) The next debate in Parliament on Southern Recognition ;
· Let Arts decay, let millions fall, for aye let They're all so much alike, indeed, that one can
Freedom perish, write it off, I see,
With all that in the Western world men fain As As truly as the Times Report without the gift
would love and cherish, of prophecy.
Let Universal Ruin there become a sad reality,
We cannot swerve, we must preserve our rigorNot yet, not yet to interfere does England see ous neutrality.” occasion,
0 Pam! O Pam! hast ever read what's writ But treats our good commissioner with coolness
in holy pages, and evasion ;
How Blessed the Peace-Makers are, God's chil. Such coolness in the premises that really 'tis re dren of the agesfrigerant
Perhaps you think the promise sweet was nothing To think that two long years ago she called us a
but a platitude, belligerent.
'Tis clear that you have no concern in that Di..
vine beatitude. But further Downing Street is dumb, the premier deaf to reason
But “ hear ! hear ! hear !” another peer, that As deaf as is the Morning Post, both in and mighty man of muscle, out of season ;
Is on his legs, a hearing begs, the noble Earl of The working men of Lancashire are all reduced
Russell ; to beggary,
Thus might he speak, did not of speech his And yet they will not listen unto Roebuck or to shrewd reserve the folly see, Gregory :
And thus unfold the subtle plan of England's
secret policy : " Or any other man to-day who counsels interfering,
“ John Bright was right; yes, let 'em fight,
these fools across the water, While all who speak on t'other side obtain a ready hearing ;
'Tis no affair at all of ours, their Carnival of
slaughter ; As, par exemple, Mr. Bright, that pink of all
The Christian world, indeed, may say we ought propriety,
not to allow it, sirs ; That meek and mild disciple of that blessed Peace Society.
But still 'tis music in our ears, this roar of Yan
kee howitzers. Why, let 'em fight,” says Mr. Bright ; " these
“A word or two of sympathy, that costs us not Southerners, I hate 'em,
a penny, And hope the Black Republicans will soon ex- We give the gallant Southerners, a few against
terminate 'em ; If Freedom can’t Rebellion crush, pray tell me we say their noble fortitude of final triumph what's the use of her ?"
presages, And so he chuckles o’er the fray as cheerfully as And praise in Blackwood's Magazine Jeff Davis Lucifer.
and his MessagesEnough of him-an abler man demands our “Of course we claim the shining fame of gloriclose attention,
ous Stonewall Jackson, The Maximus Apollo of strict Non-Interven- Who typifies the English race, a sterling AngloWith pitiless severity, though decorous and calm To bravest song his deeds belong, to Clio and his tone,
Melpomene Thus speaks the “old man eloquent,” the puis- | (And why not for a British stream demand the sant Earl of Palmerston :
Chickahominy); THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE.
the many ;