Page images
PDF
EPUB

ern novels that have struck him he places Baring Gould's “Mehalah " very high for force and originality and Bourget's “Le Disciple" as a psychologi. cal study.

His system of marking a book is rather elaborate. The upright cross, the line down the side, the y, are all different degrees of N. B. ; and when he wishes to qualify the text the Italian word “ma” (but) is written in the margin. A St. Andrew's cross (x) or a wavering line expresses disapproval or disagreement. At the end of the book a list of pages is always to be found with headings of what has most struck him in the volume. He is also particular in the order and variation of his reading. Last summer, for instance, the three books he had on hand, at one time, were Dr. Langen's Roman History (in German) for morning reading, Virgil afternoon, and in the evening a novel.

LORD ROSEBERY AND MR. PITT. I ORD ROSEBERY'S monograph upon Mr. Pitt L has had many reviewers, but none so appre. ciative as the Hon. Reginold Brett. The reason for this is that Mr. Brett says comparatively little about Mr. Pitt and a great deal about Lord Rosebery. This biography of a statesman written by a statesman naturally leads Mr. Brett to indulge in a comparison between the statesman of a hundred years ago and his present-day biographer. The parallel is in many respects pretty close; it is begun at school and continued down to the present day. Mr. Pitt astonished his teachers by the gravity of his demeanor:

“ One who remembers Lord Dalmeny when he arrived at Eton as a 'new boy' describes the gravity with which he used to lie by while others talked, and wait for a chance of saying at his ease some. thing unexpected and sec; how remarkably he possessed, even then, that capacity for the cool adjust. ment of two dissimilar things which makes a spark and is called wit; and how, even in boyhood, his wit was interlaced, as it is in the volume just pub. lished, with a fine sentiment."

When he left school and entered public life the parallel is continued. Mr. Pitt declared that he would not accept a subordinate office, and Lord Rosebery did much the same. Mr. Brett says:

“Lord Rosebery perhaps remembers that, years ago, a young politician, who had just-what is with singular inappropriateness called-finished his education, was warned by an old and affectionate teacher 'not to take plush,' whereby was meant one of those subordinate ornamental appointments which Ministers are fond of dangling before the eyes of promising youth. The reply was what Mr. Pitt might have written under similar circumstances:

I have been offered plush tied up with red tape, and have refused it.""

In political life Mr. Pitt remained firmly and warmly constant to his friends, especially when they were in tribulation. The following anecdote about

Lord Rosebery has not hitherto been common prop. erty:

“For, if Lord Rosebery remembers, it must be with satisfaction, how, on the receipt of the news that Khartoum had fallen and Gordon was dead, a younger politician-emulating Canning in loyalty, surpassing him in generosity-wrote immediately to Mr. Gladstone offering to accept office in an administration then discredited, which only a short while before, in times of prosperity, be had refused to join.”.

But, like Mr. Pitt, Lord Rosebery suffers from the faults of sequestration :

“And aloofness from the rough-and-tumble of familiar intercourse, although it may enhance personal dignity, deadens that fine instinct in the management of men which is commonly called tact. 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 that the unusual method had on one occasion to be adopted of tearing over his verses in order to secure his presence in pupil-room. It had the desired effect. And to his inquiry of why that indignity had been put upon him, he was told the story of how Absalom burnt Joab's corn when he found that an interview could not be obtained by less drastic means. This earned for Lord Rosebery a nickname, which he bore placidly, as Mr. Pitt bore that of the ‘Counsellor.' His political colleagues may perhaps regret the lack of that ready invention which secured a result for which they have often wished in vain."

And so the article goes on. It is very well done -one of the best that Mr. Brett has given us. His sympathy, both with the biographer and the subject of the biography, probably accounts for this success. The most ingenious passage in the article, however, is that in which Mr. Brett takes the failure of the Shelburne-Fox administration in order to argue in favor of Sir William Harcourt being Prime Minister in the House of Commons when Lord Rosebery is Foreign Minister in the House of Lords

“Imagine some Shelburne of our own time, interested as he was in foreign affairs, maintaining relations with the principal European courts as a friend of foreign ministers, not supreme in debate but eminent in the art of parliamentary disputation, a man in whose knowledge of affairs the public feel con. fidence, and confident himself in his power of directing them wisely. Imagine, further, such a man Prime Minister in the House of Lords, out of touch with the dominant chamber. And, finally, imag. ine, in a nominally subordinate position, Mr. Fox, perhaps the representative of some large popular constituency, such as Derby, conscious of his power to indulge in every caprice of the moment, headstrong in foreign politics, impetuous in judgments formed hastily, as a fighter in the van forms judg. ments, and not with all the responsibility of supreme leadership, wielding the vast authority which 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 other wise 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. * C IXTEEN Years in the Workshop of Leopold

Von Ranke" is the title of a series of articles begun in the Deutsche Revue for November, and continued in the December number. As Ranke's autobiography 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 sug gestive 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 acquaintances 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 circum. stances 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 circu. lation, 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, his 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 per.

“A SHORT WAY WITH DISSENTERS." fected to the utmost of his powers and his knowl. Mr. Lanin gives a number of extraordinary inedge. Yet he made even more corrections in the stances of the savagery of some orthodox priests in proofs. As a rule, the proof in galley form was their crusade against Stundism. One idiot of a corrected from three to five times, and in page priest, Father Terletsky, a renegade Roman Cathoform from three to four times. As often as not lic, actually sent in a memorial to the Government, the pages had to be made up more than once, for making the following proposals : the corrections were not confined to words and ex “ (1) Strictly prohibiting all Bible readings and pressions and the new arrangement of sentences, prayer.meetings, and, lest they should be convened but whole paragraphs would be taken out of one at night.in secret, quartering soldiers in the huts page to be inserted elsewhere, while such lengthy of all who were suspected of Stundism, and dogging enlargements of subjects would be added that in the steps of all wandering pedlers; and (2) constead of the broad margins on the proofs, several demning without trial or accusation all Stundist pages of writing-paper were required to contain preachers to penal servitude in the mines of Siberia.them. All these complicated corrections made “E. B. Lanin” no doubt exaggerates the extreme Ranke need a special compositor, and his publisher darkness of the Russian peasantry when he comspared no pains to meet his wishes in this matter. pares them to a mass of bewitched beasts, but there On the whole, however, Ranke, according to Herr seems to be no doubt that the Stundists have created Wiedemann, was too much occupied with research a new life in Russia, which is perhaps the most after he had begun his work ; his studies and his hopeful thing in the country to-day. writings seem to lie too near together. He needed

THE VIRTUES OF THE STUNDISTS. a sort of emancipation from his materials, yet he

The lofty morality of the Stundists even the or. must have devoted his best efforts to the adequate

thodox declare to be marvellous. They are most representation of his thoughts to have attained his

industrious, honest, sober people. Crime among universally acknowledged perfection of composition.

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 citiTHE PERSECUTION OF THE STUNDISTS. zens from every point of view except that of the THE writer who still chooses to preserve the

intolerant and persecuting priests, who in every transparent pseudonym of “ E. B. Lanin” deserts

land substitute when they can the rule of Antichrist the Fortnightly this month in order to publish in

for the authority of the Nazarene. In order to supthe Contemporary an article entitled the “ Czar Per.

press Stundism a fine of $7 a head was inflicted for secutor.” The article has little or nothing to do

each attendance at a prayer-meeting, while both with the Czar, who is a mere Turk's head set up

men and women were from time to time soundly to attract missiles, but it contains much that is of

flogged. After the Bishop of Kherson had failed in tragic interest in the account of the persecution

an attempt to send the chief of the Stundists,

Ratooshny, to Siberia, he attempted to bribe him against the Stundists in the south of Russia.

by offering him a living if he would become a WHY THEY PERSECUTE.

priest of the Orthodox Church. When that failed The writer estimates that there are 200,000 Stun

he prosecuted him for apostasy and proselytizing,

crimes classed in Russia under the same category as dists, and they are increasing daily in spite of per: secution, which, we regret to see, he justifies as a

murder. He was fortunately acquitted. Then the

priests started a system of lay confraternities, who necessary act of self-preservation on the part of the

offered bribes to Stundists who would apostatize autocracy and the Orthodox Church. Of course

and circulate tracts against Stundism. 'he does this the better to condemn the autocracy and the Orthodox Church; but the fallacy which

THE PRIESTS IN COUNCIL. underlies the argument is the same which imposed These severities having utterly failed, a council upon the first James, who obstinately clung to a of the clergy assembled last July, at Moscow, in similar belief, which he embodied in his famous order to discuss what should be done to stem the formula, “No bishop, no king.” The attempt to spreading plague. The project of law which they enforce Episcopacy upon, the Scotch cost Charles drew up and submitted to the Government, but upon Stuart his head, and would undoubtedly have de. which no government out of Bedlam could act, is stroyed the monarchy if it had been persisted in long thus described : Provisions are to be made by which enough, but the frank acceptance of Presbyterianism “no work of any kind may be given to Stundists. has enabled the monarchy to survive until the present No Stundist recruit is to be allowed to profit by the day. If the Czar could really understand the abom privilege of short military service, unless he can inations that are being carried on in his name in pass a satisfactory examination in the rites and the persecution of the people who are the very salt ceremonies of the Orthodox Church and consents to of his empire, he would make short work of the say all the prescribed prayers in the presence of a veritable reign of Antichrist which seems to have pope. The police are to be empowered to drive been established in Southern Russia.

Stundists into the church to listen in silence to

sermons against their religious tenets, as the Roman Jews were compelled to attend the Christian sermon on Holy Cross Day, only that the Russian Holy Cross Days may be multiplied ad libitum. None of the sectarians are to be allowed to purchase or rent land under any pretext. All Stundist families are to be ruthlessly broken up; the children torn from their fathers and mothers, and handed over to strangers to be brought up by hand. Any Stundist found reading the Bible or praying in company with one or more of his co-religionists is to be arrested and, without other formality, deported to Siberia; while every active Stundist, male or female, who presumes to preach, teach, or read the Bible to others, is liable to be summarily arrested and condemned by the Governor to penal servitude in the mines of Siberia.”

PERSECUTION NAKED AND UNASHAMED. Although this is only a project of law, it shows the aspiration of the persecuting clergy. The state is levying heavy fines, inflicting eight months' im prisonment as a minimum punishment for joining the sect. “Mr. Lanin” says he knows personally some hundreds of cases which have occurred within the last few months. That is for merely attending a prayer-meeting or for reading the Bible in common. But teaching and preaching are reckoned along with high treason. The preachers are sent to Siberia and driven as penniless wanderers over hundreds of thousands of miles across the country. The most abandoned women in Russia are allowed to follow their husbands to Siberia, but this right is now denied to the Stundists by special order. The sufferings of the Methodist Stundist preachers who have been exiled to Siberia are as bad as anything that Mr. Kennan has ever printed. “E. B. Lanin" says :

"The greed of the soldiers was surpassed by their bestial carnality. At night, the husbands being separated from their wives, these devoted women were forced to listen to the obscene jests and suffer the brutal attentions of their escort, against whose ruffianly attacks protests were idle and complaint would have been dangerous. And thus many of these defenceless women were, night after night, subjected to indecent wssaults of the most abomin. able nature, against which there was no remedy and no protection.

“Such is the price exacted from Russians by the Holy Orthodox Church for the privilege of following the dictates of their consciences and obeying the behests of their God.”

Notwithstanding this hideous story of oppression and of suicidal madness on the part of the persecut. ing party in Russia, there are Russians, patriotic and humane withal, who still take exception to Mr. Stead's describing M. Pobedonostzeff's policy as the Shadow of the Throne. The phrase is faulty. This system of persecution is far worse than a shadow ; it is a blot which may leave an ineffaceable stain on the reign of Alexander the Third.

THE ARTIST'S SOCIALISM. IN the January Atlantic Walter Crane has a vig. Torous word in answer to the question, “Why Socialism Appeals to Artists.”

Assuming that an artist, if he be worthy of the name, is something more than a fine mechanic, that he paints, or otherwise expresses what he thinks and believes as well as what he sees-in short, that he has ideals--Mr. Crane finds that the path before the nineteenth-century votary is a rough and a devious one. He asserts that whatever of beauty is drawn from our life of to-day is distinctly in spite of the influences that surround us.

“The choice presented to the modern artist is really pretty much narrowed to that of being either the flatterer and servant of the rich or a trade hack.

“If he has cherished dreams of great and sincere works he must put them away from him unless he can face starvation. Perhaps, in the end, he goes into some commercial mill of production, or sells his soul to the dealer, the modern high-priest of Pallas Athene. Then he finds that the practice of serving mammon has so hardened into habit as to make him forget the dreams and aspirations of his youth, and the so-called successful artist sinks into the cheerful and prosperous type of cynic of which our modern society appears to produce such abun. dant specimens.”

T his is all very unfortunate. But not only does the personal career of the artist lie between the Scylla of starvation and the Charybdis of syco. phancy; art itself, the beauty and picturesqueness of life, is smothered under our social enormities, complains Mr. Crane.

. “The blind gods of Cash and Comfort are enthroned on high and worshipped with ostentation, while there exist, as it were, on the very steps of their temples, masses of human beings who know not either, or, at the most, scarcely touch the hem of their garments. ... The joy, the dignity, and the poetry of labor are being crushed out by long hours in factory or field and the overmastering machine, and the beauty of our country and city becomes more and more a rare accident."

In this unjust fabric of society, in this hurry and bustle and strain to reach, before one's fellows, the “blind gods,” the artist-development has but small chance, thinks Mr. Crane. The creation of ideals cannot, hardly the existence of them can, be expected.

And the artist is, in his undebauched state, préeminently the fearless sayer of true things, the champion of the under side of freedom.

Hence it is that he turns to the communal system, believing that it cannot be worse and hoping that it will be infinitely better than our present régime. Mr. Crane's hasty answers to some of the stock objections to socialism cannot be of great importance. His peroration is at least very pretty.

“Times of activity in art, as William Morris has 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 in. tellectual 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 wist ful 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.

THE CHRISTMAS-TREE AND ITS HISTORY. THIS is the title of a long but interesting article

T 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 alone 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 Christmas tree 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, IN the January number of the Magazine of Art 1 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 who considers architecture an 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 straight. forward plan is difficult to design accounts for its rarity in inferior work. Any one 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 copy. ing 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.

IN the Neubery House Magazine for January arIdent evangelicals will read with shuddering horror the answer to the fifty-eighth Church Notes and Queries, which is : “Has the Church of England ever deliberately accepted the word Protestant ?" The editor answers emphatically, Never; not only has she never sanctioned its use, but on one memorable occasion, in 1689, it was deliberately rejected.

« PreviousContinue »