Page images
[ocr errors]


ern novels that have struck him he places Baring Lord Rosebery has not hitherto been common propGould's “Mehalah very high for force and origi- erty : nality and Bourget's “ Le Disciple” as a psychologi- “For, if Lord Rosebery remembers, it must be cal study.

with satisfaction, how, on the receipt of the news His system of marking a book is rather elaborate. that Khartoum had fallen and Gordon was dead, a The upright cross, the line down the side, the v, younger politician-emulating Canning in loyalty, are all different degrees of N. B. ; and when he surpassing him in generosity-wrote immediately wishes to qualify the text the Italian word “ma” to Mr. Gladstone offering to accept office in an ad(but) is written in the margin. A St. Andrew's ministration then discredited, which only a short cross (x) or a wavering line expresses disapproval or while before, in times of prosperity, be had refused disagreement. At the end of the book a list of pages to join.' is always to be found with headings of what has But, like Mr. Pitt, Lord Rosebery suffers from the most struck him in the volume. He is also particu- faults of sequestration : lar in the order and variation of his reading. Last “And aloofness from the rough-and-tumble of summer, for instance, the three books he had on familiar intercourse, although it may enhance perhand, at one time, were Dr. Langen's Roman History sonal dignity, deadens that fine instinct in the man(in German) for morning reading, Virgil afternoon, agement of men which is commonly called tact. and in the evening a novel.

Lord Rosebery's fellow-feeling has induced him to lay no stress upon this. He himself as a boy was

difficult of access, even to his tutor. So much so LORD ROSEBERY AND MR. PITT.

that the unusual method had on one occasion to be

adopted of tearing over his verses in order to secure ORD ROSEBERY’S monograph upon Mr. Pitt his presence in pupil-room. It had the desired

has had many reviewers, but none so appre- effect. And to his inquiry of why that indignity ciative as the Hon. Reginold Brett.

The reason

had been put upon him, he was told the story of for this is that Mr. Brett says comparatively little how Absalom burnt Joab's corn when he found that about Mr. Pitt and a great deal about Lord Rosebery. an interview could not be obtained by less drastic This biography of a statesman written by a states

This earned for Lord Rosebery a nickname, man naturally leads Mr. Brett to indulge in a com- which he bore placidly, as Mr. Pitt bore that of the parison between the statesman of a hundred years "Counsellor.' His political colleagues may perhaps ago and his present-day biographer. The parallel is in regret the lack of that ready invention which semany respects pretty close; it is begun at school and cured a result for which they hare often wished in continued down to the present day. Mr. Pitt aston- vain." ished his teachers by the gravity of his demeanor : And so the article goes on. It is very well done

“One who remembers Lord Dalmeny when he ar- -one of the best that Mr. Brett has given us. His rived at Eton as a 'new boy ' describes the gravity sympathy, both with the biographer and the subject with which he used to lie by while others talked, of the biography, probably accounts for this success. and wait for a chance of saying at his ease some The most ingenious passage in the article, however, thing unexpected and sec; how remarkably he pos- is that in which Mr. Brett takes the failure of the sessed, even then, that capacity for the cool adjust- Shelburne-Fox administration in order to argue in ment of two dissimilar things which makes a spark favor of Sir William Harcourt being Prime Minand is called wit; and how, even in boyhood, his ister in the House of Commons when Lord Rosebery wit was interlaced, as it is in the volume just pub- is Foreign Minister in the House of Lords . lished, with a tine sentiment."

“Imagine some Shelburne of our own time, interWhen he left school and entered public life the ested as he was in foreign affairs, maintaining relaparallel is continued. Mr. Pitt declared that he tions with the principal European courts as a friend would not accept a subordinate office, and Lord of foreign ministers, not supreme in debate but emRosebery did much the same.

Mr. Brett says:

inent in the art of parliamentary disputation, a man “ Lord Rosebery perhaps remembers that, years in whose knowledge of affairs the public feel con. ago, a young politician, who had just-what is with fidence, and confident himself in his power of disingular inappropriateness called-finished his edu- recting them wisely. Imagine, further, such a man cation, was warned by an old and affectionate Prime Minister in the House of Lords, out of touch teacher not to take plush,' whereby was meant one with the dominant chamber. And, finally, imag. of those subordinate ornamental appointments which ine, in a nominally subordinate position, Mr. Fox, Ministers are fond of dangling before the eyes of perhaps the representative of some large popular promising youth. The reply was what Mr. Pitt constituency, such as Derby, conscious of his power might have written under similar circumstances : to indulge in every caprice of the moment, headI have been offered plush tied up with red tape, strong in foreign politics, impetuous in judgments and have refused it.'"

formed hastily, as a fighter in the van forms judg. In political life Mr. Pitt remained firmly and ments, and not with all the responsibility of suwarmly constant to his friends, especially when they preme leadership, wielding the vast authority which were in tribulation.

The following anecdote about a parliamentary majority in the House of Commons

bestows upon its leader. Such a political combination could not from the nature of the case be otherwise than unstable.”

With one other extract I close. Lord Beaconsfield once described to a sovereign his own method of dealing with his own sovereign. “I never contra. dict, I never deny, but I sometimes compliment.” He might have added, “and I always flatter."

LEOPOLD VON RANKE AT WORK. IXTEEN Years in the Workshop of Leopold


begun in the Deutsche Revue for November, and continued in the December number. As Ranke's auto. biography only dates down to 1870, his admirers will welcome these connected authentic reminis. cences of his later years, written by Theodor Wiedemann, an amanuensis of Ranke during the last sixteen years of his life. Wiedemann had other colleagues, but many of them were university men studying for their future profession, who only re. garded work under Ranke in the light of a useful intermediate training.

First of all it should be understood that Ranke objected to the name assistant. To him it was a most inappropriate word. It was, in fact, too suggestive of the very different position of an assistant doctor, and it struck him that a wrong meaning might be attached to the name, just as if his works were not entirely his own creations. Wiedemann was much older than his colleagues, and he differed from them in that he devoted the whole of his time to his master. A natural consequence of this was that Ranke reserved for him a special field of labor, and he was intrusted with the collecting of literary and bibliographical notes, the preparation of excerpts for Ranke's use, the first and second correcting of the proofs, and the final revision of the pages.

Ranke's mode of life was regular and simple. He rose at nine, and after a light breakfast began work about half past nine or ten and continued till half.past one or two, except for a brief interval of a quarter of an hour or so for the second breakfast or lunch About two he took his daily walk, and was accompanied by his servant, for he was very short-sighted, and it was the servant's special duty to draw the attention of his master to any ac. quaintances he might meet in the street, and partic. ularly to members of the imperial family. Dinner was at five, and work was resumed at seven. In later years a longer pause was made, which threw the work into the midnight hours. Still, Ranke could not stand the strain of work longer than from eight to nine hours a day, and only when circumstances were pressing did he ever prolong his labors beyond that period. In any case, he took care that the time reserved for sleep should not be curtailed.

While he was at work he worked with his whole heart and soul. He sat in an easy-chair at a little table, rising every now and then to promote circulation, and often standing a while against the chair

or the table. Leaning against his chair or table, but with his back turned to his amanuensis, that his thoughts should not be disturbed, was, indeed, bis usual attitude when dictating.

He prepared himself for his work in a very methodical manner. When he decided on a literary production for publication, he had already a good grasp of his subject, so that his plans of research, conception, and composition were already settled in his mind. Latterly, he relieved his memory by jotting down or dictating his first sketch. Then, from the materials at hand, he dictated extracts bearing upon his subject, accompanying them with remarks, which were all committed to paper. In the case of manuscripts or printed archives, he was able to discern at a glance which would be of any service, so that much useless reading was spared. The amanuensis was expected to look up all references, and this often turned out a very troublesome business, as Ranke was not generally very explicit, and the passage he had in his mind many a time lay hidden away in the most unexpected place. Those books which served as sources were read aloud in the original language, and it was a marvel how Ranke could listen for hours together, and with the closest attention, to this reading in so many different languages, especially as he was so very dull of hearing

His general method of executing his work was somewhat as follows: The choice of a title always preceded the commencement of the work, and even before a single line was written the title would have been changed half a dozen times, but each time on a new sheet of paper. He was deeply convinced of the importance of a title, and after it had been finally decided upon, it would continue to worry him to the completion of the work. After his preparatory studies, he was so far master of his materials as to be able to sketch out the whole bookthe sections and the chapters—with their headings. Sometimes, when a book was being read aloud to him in the evening, he would suddenly stop the reading and begin dictating, showing that he had been marshalling together his facts while the reading was in progress. During the dictation the slightest interruption was intolerable to him, and the amanuensis did well to leave all his questions to the end, even if he had not understood what he had to write. If during the dictation Ranke had occasion to refer to a book, it was only permitted when the book was at hand. Every pause made him impatient, and whenever the amanuensis went into another room to fetch a book, he might count op being called back before he had time to find it. As each chapter was finished, the loose sheets were numbered with Roman numerals and put away in a blue cover labelled with the title. Many correc. tions, however, were made in the manuscript; indeed, Ranke generally went through it five times, and then handed it over to Herr Wiedemann for further observations and corrections.

It was against Ranke's principle to send copy to


the printer which he had not corrected and perfected to the utmost of his powers and his knowl. edge. Yet he made even more corrections in the proofs. As a rule, the proof in galley form was corrected from three to five times, and in page form from three to four times. As often as not the pages had to be made up more than once, for the corrections were not confined to words and ex. pressions and the new arrangement of sentences, but whole paragraphs would be taken out of one page to be inserted elsewhere, while such lengthy enlargements of subjects would be added that in. stead of the broad margins on the proofs, several pages of writing-paper were required to contain them. All these complicated corrections made Ranke need a special compositor, and his publisher spared no pains to meet his wishes in this matter. On the whole, however, Ranke, according to Herr Wiedemann, was too much occupied with research after he had begun his work; his studies and his writings seem to lie too near together. He needed a sort of emancipation from his materials, yet he must have devoted his best efforts to the adequate representation of his thoughts to have attained his universally acknowledged perfection of composition.

[blocks in formation]

A SHORT WAY WITH DISSENTERS." Mr. Lanin gives a number of extraordinary instances of the savagery of some orthodox priests in their crusade against Stundism. One idiot of a priest, Father Terletsky, a renegade Roman Catholic, actually sent in a memorial to the Government, making the following proposals :

“ (1) Strictly prohibiting all Bible readings and prayer meetings, and, lest they should be convened at secret, quartering soldiers in the huts of all who were suspected of Stundism, and dogging the steps of all wandering pedlers; and (2) condemning without trial or accusation all Stundist preachers to penal servitude in the mines of Siberia.

“ E. B. Lanin” no doubt exaggerates the extreme darkness of the Russian peasantry when he compares them to a mass of bewitched beasts, but there seems to be no doubt that the Stundists have created a new life in Russia, which is perhaps the most hopeful thing in the country to day.

THE VIRTUES OF THE STUNDISTS. The lofty morality of the Stundists even the orthodox declare to be marvellous. They are most industrious, honest, sober people.

Crime among them is almost unknown. They feed the hungry, care for the sick, shelter the wanderer, their family life is exemplary, and they are, in short, ideal citizens from every point of view except that of the intolerant and persecuting priests, who in every land substitute when they can the rule of Antichrist for the authority of the Nazarene. In order to suppress Stundism a fine of $7 a head was inflicted for each attendance at a prayer-meeting, while both men and women were from time to time soundly flogged. After the Bishop of Kherson had failed in an attempt to send the chief of the Stundists, Ratooshny, to Siberia, he attempted to bribe him by offering him a living if he would become a priest of the Orthodox Church. When that failed he prosecuted him for apostasy and proselytizing, crimes classed in Russia under the same category as murder. He was fortunately acquitted. Then the priests started a system of lay confraternities, who offered bribes to Stundists who would apostatize and circulate tracts against Stundism.

THE PRIESTS IN COUNCIL. These severities having utterly failed, a council of the clergy assembled last July, at Moscow, in order to discuss what should be done to stem the spreading plague. The project of law which they drew up and submitted to the Government, but upon which no government out of Bedlam could act, is thus described : Provisions are to be made by which " po work of any kind may be given to Stundists. No Stundist recruit is to be allowed to profit by the privilege of short military service, unless he can pass a satisfactory examination in the rites and ceremonies of the Orthodox Church and consents to say all the prescribed prayers in the presence of a pope. The police are to be empowered to drive Stundists into the church to listen in silence to


The writer estimates that there are 200,000 Stundists, and they are increasing daily in spite of per: secution, which, we regret to see, he justifies as a necessary act of self-preservation on the part of the autocracy and the Orthodox Church.

Of course 'he does this the better to condemn the autocracy and the Orthodox Church ; but the fallacy which underlies the argument is the same which imposed upon the first James, who obstinately clung to a similar belief, which he embodied in his famous formula, “No bishop, no king." The attempt to enforce Episcopacy upon, the Scotch cost Charles Stuart his head, and would undoubtedly have de. stroyed the monarchy if it had been persisted in long enough, but the frank acceptance of Presbyterianism has enabled the monarchy to survive until the present day. If the Czar could really understand the abominations that are being carried on in his name in the persecution of the people who are the very salt of his empire, he would make short work of the veritable reign of Antichrist which seems to have been established in Southern Russia.


sermons against their religious tenets, as the Roman

THE ARTIST'S SOCIALISM. Jews were compelled to attend the Christian sermon on Holy Cross Day, only that the Russian Holy N the January Atlantic Walter Crane has a vigCross Days may be multiplied ad libitum. None of orous word in answer to the question, "Why the sectarians are to be allowed to purchase or rent Socialism Appeals to Artists.” land under any xt All Stundist families are Assuming that an artist, if he be worthy of the to be ruthlessly broken up; the children torn from name, is something more than a fine mechanic, their fathers and mothers, and handed over to that he paints, or otherwise expresses what he thinks strangers to be brought up by hand. Any Stundist and believes as well as what he sees-in short, that found reading the Bible or praying in company

he has ideals-Mr. Crane finds that the path before with one or more of his co-religionists is to be the nineteenth-century votary is a rough and a arrested and, without other formality, deported to devious one. He asserts that whatever of beauty is Siberia; while every active Stundist, male or drawn from our life of to-day is distinctly in spite female, who presumes to preach, teach, or read the of the influences that surround us. Bible to others, is liable to be summarily arrested “The choice presented to the modern artist is and condemned by the Governor to penal servitude really pretty much narrowed to that of being either in the mines of Siberia."

the flatterer and servant of the rich or a trade hack.

“If he has cherished dreams of great and sincere PERSECUTION NAKED AND UNASHAMED.

works he must put them away from him unless he Although this is only a project of law, it shows can face starvation. Perhaps, in the end, he goes the aspiration of the persecuting clergy. The state into some commercial mill of production, or sells is levying heavy fines, inflicting eight months' im- his soul to the dealer, the modern high-priest of prisonment as a minimum punishment for joining Pallas Athene. Then he finds that the practice of the sect. “Mr. Lanin” says he knows personally serving mammon has so hardened into habit as to some hundreds of cases which have occurred within make him forget the dreams and aspirations of his the last few months. That is for merely attending youth, and the so-called successful artist sinks into a prayer-meeting or for readi the Bible in com. the cheerful and prosperous type of cynic of which

But teaching and preaching are reckoned our modern society appears to produce such abun. along with high treason. The preachers are sent to dant specimens.' Siberia and driven as penniless wanderers over This is all very unfortunate. But not only does hundreds of thousands of miles across the country. the personal career of the artist lie between the The most abandoned women in Russia are allowed Scylla of starvation and the Charybdis of syco. to follow their husbands to Siberia, but this right phancy; art itself, the beauty and picturesqueness is now denied to the Stundists by special order. The of life, is smothered under our social enormities, sufferings of the Methodist Stundist preachers who complains Mr. Crane. have been exiled to Siberia are as bad as anything ." The blind gods of Cash and Comfort are en. that Mr. Kennan has ever printed. “E. B. Lanin” throned on high and worshipped with ostentation, says :

while there exist, as it were, on the very steps of “The greed of the soldiers was surpassed by their their temples, masses of human beings who know bestial carnality. At night, the husbands being not either, or, at the most, scarcely touch the hem separated from their wives, these devoted women of their garments. ... The joy, the dignity, were forced to listen to the obscene jests and suffer and the poetry of labor are being crushed out by the brutal attentions of their escort, against whose long hours in factory or field and the overmasterruffianly attacks protests were idle and complaint ing machine, and the beauty of our country and would have been dangerous. And thus many of city becomes more and more a rare accident.” these defenceless women were, night after night, In this unjust fabric of society, in this hurry and subjected to indecent issaults of the most abomin. bustle and strain to reach, before one's fellows, the able nature, against which there was no remedy “blind gods,” the artist-development has but small and no protection.

chance, thinks Mr. Crane. The creation of ideals "Such is the price exacted from Russians by the cannot, hardly the existence of them can, be exHoly Orthodox Church for the privilege of following pected. the dictates of their consciences and obeying the And the artist is, in his undebauched state, prébehests of their God.”

eminently the fearless sayer of true things, the Notwithstanding this hideous story of oppression champion of the under side of freedom. and of suicidal madness on the part of the persecut- Hence it is that he turns to the communal system, ing party in Russia, there are Russians, patriotic believing that it cannot be worse and hoping that and humane withal, who still take exception to Mr. it will be infinitely better than our present régime. Stead's describing M. Pobedonostzeff's policy as the Mr. Crane's hasty answers to some of the stock objecShadow of the Throne. The phrase is faulty. This tions to socialism cannot be of great importance. system of persecution is far worse than a shadow ; His peroration is at least very pretty. it is a blot which may leave an ineffaceable stain on “ Times of activity in art, as William Morris has the reign of Alexander the Third.

well said, have been times of hope. There is the

alternation of night and day in the history of human progress. Each new dayspring lifts the voices of new singers; the reddening lips of the dawn fire the eyes of painters. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of them that bring good tidings! In the freshness of the morning, in the wonder and delight and anticipation of the new intellectual day, Art is born again ; she rises like a new Aphrodite from the dark sea of time trembling in the rose and gray of the morning, her blue wistful eyes full of visions, her slender hands full of flowers, and straightway there appears a new heaven and a new earth in the sight of men, filled with the desire and joy of life; as the husk of the past, the faded chrysalis, shrivels away, and the new-born spirit of the age rises upon the splendor of its painted wings."

army kept Christmas in France, and now Paris requires some 40,000 Christmas-trees. The Christ. mas tree found its way into London also through the royal palace. In 1840 Prince Albert became Prince Consort, and it was he who brought the Christmas-tree to the Court of St. James, whence it gardually, though slowly, made its way among the aristocracy, and now the custom is quite common in the metropolis ; but in Scotland and Ireland it has scarcely got beyond the German families settled there.


"HIS is the title of a long but interesting article

in the December part of Nord und Sud by Dr. Alexander Tille, professor of German literature at Glasgow University. Once on Christmas Eve, so runs a Protestant legend, Luther was travelling alove across the country. Above him the sky shone bright and clear with thousands and thousands of stars, and the picture impressed him so deeply that, when he got home, he made it his first business to get a fir tree from the nearest wood, set it up in the house, and cover it over and over with wax-lights.

The tree was to be a picture to his children of the evening sky, with its innumerable lights, which the Lord Jesus left that night to come down to earth. This legend, however, is not old, and there is no proof in Luther's writings that the tree, with its lights, dates back to the era of the Reformation.

Passing over all the folk-lore associated with the Christmas-tree in Germany, we come to Goethe and Schiller and the allusions they have made to it. It was in 1765, at Leipzig, in the house of Körner's grandmother, that Goethe first made the acquaintance of a Christmas-tree. It was adorned with sweets, and under it lay a manger with a child Jesus, etc., made of sugar.

In 1767 Goethe lent a hand in decking a tree for Christmas. In his works Schiller has never described a Christmas scene; but in 1790, after his marriage, he set up a Christmastree in his own house.

By 1830 the custom had grown pretty prevalent in Germany. In some parts of Saxony an early morning service at six o'clock is held on Christmas Day. On the altar table there is a Chirstmas-tree, and every one is expected to take with him a candle or a lantern. The tree thus takes the place of the manger in the Christmas celebration of the Catholic South. To-day the tree is universal, even in Jewish families.

In 1840 Princess Helena, of Orleans, introduced the custom at the Tuileries, and it was not long in making its way in France. The ex- Empress Eugénie has rendered similar service. In 1870 the German

ARTISTIC HOMES, N the January number of the Magazine of Art

Mr. Reginald Blomfield opens the series of articles on “ Artistic Homes” with a paper on “House Architecture, Exterior."

“With certain critics and architects it has been,” he says, “the fashion to assume that an architect who considers architecture an art is necessarily an unreasonable and unpractical person, full of fads and crotchets, and negligent of the points that go to the real comfort of the house. The basis of archi. tecture is good planning and sound construction. The better the architecture the more simple and logical it will be found, and the fact that a straightforward plan is difficult to design accounts for its rarity in inferior work. Anyone can tack one room on to another, and tie them loosely together with long irregular passages. The problem is to get all this within the compass of a reasonable plan. The best house architects are strongest in their plans, and, at least, the days are past when a dis. tinguished architect could plan all his rooms crooked, and run his pointed windows into his ceilings, out of very cussedness of false mediævalism.

“If, then, there is now no one style in which every one works as a matter of course, and a totally new style is out of the question, and a literal pro. duction of old work is pedantic, and a patchwork of multifarious details is not architecture, how should one set to work with the elevation of a house? The designer should think for himself instead of copying others; and the house-builder, instead of darkening counsel with irrelerant suggestions, might recollect that the business of a designer is to think for himself, and that it is expressly for this that he is employed.”

The article, though containing a good deal of criticism of the recent fashions of architecture, is full of suggestions as to the point of view from which house-building ought to be considered.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »