« PreviousContinue »
reader is told simply that he darted to Juliet, and Viola would represent the the stable yard, sprang on his horse, sweet simple loving girl, without much and galloped away from Hernshaw strength except where her love was Castle, with the face, the eyes, the ges- concerned; while Lady Macbeth, tures, the incoherent mutterings of a Lear's two daughters, and Cleopatra raving Bedlamite. With what pages are obviously Mr. Courtney's wicked and pages of reflections and philoso- passionate women. There are plenty phizings Eliot would have watered of sweet and natural women in fiction, down this powerful scene. Reade de- from Fielding down to Stevenson, but, scribes it all in about two dozen sen- as Besant points out, it is Reade who tences, and the reader knows intuitively has found the true woman : the everything that is passing in the minds “ average woman," with plenty of of the three persons concerned. But sinall faults and plenty of great virthen Reade's silences are often more tues. Reade neither palliates the one eloquent than Eliot's wordiness. nor unduly magnifies the other. Kate
Of the great gallery of portraits in Gaunt is imperious and haughty ; Reade's books, no class has created Lucy Fountain tells fibs; Christie such discussion as his heroines—Mar Johnston mangles the Queen's Eng. garet Brandt, Christie Johnstone, Jael lish ; even Peter Brandt's red-haired Dence, Peg Woffington, and the others. girl, the most lovable of them all, is No one has been yet bold enough to not above some small deceits. But deny that they are at least interesting these shortcomings are nothing as creations ; but, says Ouida, who leads compared with their good qualitiesthe attack, none of them are gentle. their staunchness and loyalty to their women : “ Take, for instance, Zoe own, the depths of devotion and affecVizard, who is described of good birth tion in their nature, their mercifulness and breeding. She speaks and acts and forgivingness. No writer in the like a barmaid; giggles and cries English language ever showed the
La !'” But gentility is something beauty of womanhood so truly, tenmore than merely skin-deep, and so derly, and sympathetically as Reade Ouida's major proposition is fallacious. has done. Besides, she has attacked so many other It was the fate of Reade, as it was writers of fiction in almost exactly the the fate of Shakespeare and Scott, not same terms that her criticisms are not to be appreciated at his true worth of much weight. Then Mr. W. L. during his lifetime. When he first Courtney makes a counter-attack by came before the reading public with charging that Reade's heroines are not “Peg Woffington," Scott had been real living people at all, but only a dead only twenty years, Dickens and series of monotonous types of woman- Thackeray had already published the hood-namely, the strong natural girl, best portion of their work and were the sweet simple lovable girl, without the idols of the hour, and George Eliot much strength of character, and the was getting ready to compete with wicked passionate woman who has mo. them as a fiction-monger. The capacments of grace. This form of criticism ity of the public to digest mediocre has been made to do duty very often, work is stupendous, but its appreciaOne ingenious gentleman has classified tion of the fruits of genius is limited, all the characters in Dickens's books, and for a tiine Reade's books did not and reduced them to about a dozen dis- get all the attention they deserved. tinct types. There is no doubt that However, in spite of Time's handicap the same thing could be done with they have now placed themselves in the Scott and Thackeray. And if Mr. affections of the public on terms of Courtney were so wishful he could equality with the writings of the older classify even Shakespeare's heroines authors, and “The Cloister and the under the same headings as he has Hearth” is almost as well known and assigned to Reade's. Kate, Portia, appreciated as “ David Copperfield,'' Rosalind, and Olivia would easily come "Ivanboe," or " The Newcomes." under the classification of the strong Scott, Dickens, and Thackeray are natural girl. Ophelia, Desdemona, kings each in his own particular realm ; THE NEW YORK PUSLIC LIBRARY
but if any one wants a good bracing story circumlocution-a story-exhaling MITAANO that will bring the color to the cheek author's love of right and honest indigTIONS and the brightness to the eye-full of nation at wrong, and inculcating with plenty of pathos and humor, terror every sentence the eternal truths of and pity, moving accidents by flood Holy Writ- let him step for an hour and field, and strong human nature—a or two into the wonderful world that dramatic story that will carry the Charles Reade has created, and he will reader along without a single interrup- not be disappointed.—The Gentleman's tion, written in honest English that Magazine. says what it wants to say without any
WHERE the stormy tempests blow, and the cold tides ebb and flow
Oh! the summer days are long, and the hearts of men are strong,
When the murky night draws in, and the haven's yet to win,
Though the hamlet seems to sleep there are those that vigil keep,
When the North Sea lies at rest, and the boats upon its breast
But the fishers tell their tales of the wild October gales,
They are men of noble deeds, they are folk of simple needs,
'THE COMING STRUGGLE IN THE PACIFIC.
BY BENJAMIN TAYLOR.
tince of the ward the Paciwers of
THE war with Spain has convinced committed herself to an international America that the Nicaragua Canal will policy “at the gateways of the day," have to be constructed with all speed, which she had previously only dallied no matter what may be the engineering with in Samoa, and had tried to comdifficulties and the financial obstacles. mercialize in Japan. Henceforward, And the scramble for China should for good or evil, the United States serve to convince Great Britain that no takes her place among the nations as such canal ought to be constructed in one of the Maritime Powers of the Pawhich we have not a very decided share. cific. Does she then abandon the prinIn defeating Spain the American ciples of the Monroe doctrine, upon Union has become a maritime nation, which the late Secretary Blaine foundand by annexing Hawaii and protect- ed his scheme of a Pan-American alliing the Philippines she will become ance against Europe, and with which politically, as she has always been geo- President Cleveland sanctified his asgraphically, one of the Powers of the sault upon our boundary-line in British Pacific. Toward the Pacific the bal- Guiana ? Are the Bulwer-Clayton ance of the world is now steadily set- Treaty and the Monroe doctrine reconting. In that vast basin, stretching cileable, or must the one fall before the from the shores of the two Americas to other, and both before the advance of the China Seas and the Indian Ocean, the Union into the Pacific? Not necare brought face to face the two great essarily, if we are to interpret the Monraces of mankind—white and yellow, roe doctrine in the light of the inteneach working out its own destiny. tion of its author. Eighty years ago Within that great area Britain, Ameri- James Monroe occupied the Presidenca, Russia, France, and Germany are tial chair, and in 1823 ex-President contending for supremacy in trade, if Thomas Jefferson wrote to him in these not for advantage in territory; Japan terms, in reply to certain “considerais establishing her claim to be ranked tions” stated to him by Monroe: as a World Power; and China is await. “Do we wish to acquire to our Confeder. ing a new birth that will revolutionize acy any one or more of the Spanish prorthe West as well as the East. Where inces? I candidly confess that I have ever seven empires meet is the battle-ground
looked on Cuba as the most interesting ad
dition which could ever be made to our sys. on which will be fought out the great
tem of States. The control which, with racial struggle of the future, as well Florida Point, this island would give us as the economic struggle of the present. over the Gulf of Mexico, and the countries Where Europe and America impinge on
and the isthmus bordering on it as well
as those whose waters flow into it, would Asia we behold already the beginning
fill up the measure of our political wellof a series of the most interesting prob- being. Yet, as I am sensible that this can lems known to human history. The never be obtained, even with her own conforemost is the commercial one, because
sent, but by war, and as her independence,
which is our second interest, and especially everybody says that but for its com
her independence of England, can be semercial potentiality China would not cured without it, I have no hesitation in be worth a Foreign Office dispatch. abandoning my first wish to future chances And a primal factor in the commercial
and accepting its independence with peace
and the friendship of England, rather than problem is now the Nicaragua Canal.
its association at the expense of war and When she gathered Hawaii into the her enmity. I could honestly, therefore join Federal fold, the American Republic in the declaration proposed, that we aim precipitated herself into the Pacific not at the acquisition of any of these pos. arena, of which she had hitherto only
sessions, that we will not stand in the way
of any amicable arrangement between any held the gate on one side. When she
of them and the mother country; but that sent her fleet to the Philippines she we will oppose with all our means the forci.
ble interposition of any other Power, either arbitrary, stipendiary, or under any other fcrm or pretext, and most especially their transfer to any Power by conquest, cession, or acquisition in any war.”
Thus far Jefferson, who had just laid it down that:
“Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils or Europe; our second, never to suffer Europe to meddle in Cis-Atlantic affairs. America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe and peculiarly her own; she should, therefore, have a system of her own and apart from that of Europe.”
And in the following Jefferson was almost prophetic:
“Great Britain is the nation which can do us the most harm of any one, or all on earth; and with her on our side we need not fear the whole world. With her, then, we should the most sedulously nourish a cordial friendship; and nothing would tend more to knit our affections than to be fighting once more side by side in the same
: cause—not that I would purchase even her amity at the price of taking part in her wars.”
Had Mr Chamberlain, one wonders, been reading the Jefferson correspondence (which Mr. Theodore Cook has rescued from the archives of the Department of State at Washington *) when he made his famous AngloAmerican speech at Birmingham ? Jefferson, like Canning, thought that an Anglo-American combination would prevent war, and he favored Canning's proposal of joint opposition to the designs of the Holy Alliance in South America. Our purpose, however, is not to discuss the origin of the Monroe doctrine, but to show what was the intention of the authors of a declaration which ex-President Cleveland tried to convert into a part of international law on the ingenious, though not ingenuous, plea that every just right and claim is portion of international law, that the Monroe doctrine is based on the just rights and claims of the United States, and that, therefore, the Monroe doctrine is a part of international law. The letter of Thomas Jefferson's just quoted was written in October, 1823;
the famous Message of President Monroe was dated the 2d of December, 1823, and a few days later he wrote a long reply to Jefferson's letter, in the course of which he says that,
“ We certainly meet in full extent the proposition of Mr. Canning and in the mode to give it the greatest effect. If his Government makes a similar declaration the project will, it may be presumed, be aban. doned. By taking the step here it is done in a manner more conciliatory with, and respectful to, Russia and the other Powers than if taken in England, and, as it is thought, with more credit to our Government. Had we moved in the first instance in England, separated as she is in part • from those Powers, our union with her being marked, might have produced irritation with them." Now what can this mean except that vihat is now called the Monroe doctrine might have been enunciated by Great Britain, with the cordial consent of the United States, but that it was thought more expedient, not to say diplomatic, to enunciate it in a Presidential Message? In point of fact, what Mr. Cleveland and others have sought to construe into an anti-British deliverance was actually an Anglo-American contrivance. It amounted to a public recognition by the United States of Great Britain as an American Power, and to a declaration of a combined (not a purely nited states) poncy against all other Powers on the Continents of America. From the spirit of this policy Mr. Blaine was the first to depart when he claimed for the United States exclusive jurisdiction over the Panama canal, should it ever be completed. This claim was promptly and firmly relected by the British Government, as both traversing our rights under the Bulwer-Clayton Treaty of 1850 and the rights of France under an agreement with the United States of Colombia. The real Monroe doctrine and the Bulwer-Clayton Treaty stand just as much in the way of an America-for-theAmericans claim to the exclusive control by the United States over a canal across Nicaragua, as they did in the case of the abortive canal across Panama.
The preamble of the Bulwer-Clayton Treaty states that the two countries are
* The Fortnightly Review, September, 1898.
desirous of setting forth and fixing in ercised over the Mosquito country to a convention “their views and inten- other parts of Nicaragua. The object tions with reference to any means of of Great Britain was to prevent the communication by ship canal which possibility of any such arrangement as may be constructed between the Atlan- that contemplated under the Hise Contic, and Pacific Oceans, and either or vention (never ratified), by which the both of the Lakes of Nicaragua or United States were to be granted by Managua.” By the first article, it is the Nicaragua Government the exclusive agreed that neither contracting party right to construct and operate a cana! shall ever obtain for itself any ex- through Nicaragua, to acquire land, clusive control over any ship canal, or build forts, and to exclude the vessels erect or maintain fortifications in its of any Power with which either of the vicinity, or “occupy or fortify, or colo- contracting parties (the Republics of nize, or assume or exercise any dominion the United States and of Nicaragua) over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mos- might be at war. The Hise Convenquito Coast, or any part of Central tion was made impossible of repetition America, nor will either make use of by the Bulwer-Clayton Treaty; and any protection which either affords or the Bulwer-Clayton Treaty amounted may afford . . . for the purpose to a formal acknowledgment of Great of erecting or maintaining any such Britain as an American Power, and as fortifications, or of occupying, fortify- exempt from the exclusive policy of the ing, or colonizing Nicaragua, Costa Monroe doctrine. The Bulwer-Clayton Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part Treaty was in existence when General of Central America . . . nor will Grant came over to try to raise British take advantage of any intimacy or use capital for the construction of the any alliance, connection, or influence canal, a design which he had very dear. that either may possess with any Stately at heart. The Bulwer-Clayton or Government through whose territory Treaty is in existence to-day-and upon the said canal may pass for the pur- adherence to the principle of it, whatpose of acquiring or holding, directly ever modifications may be permissible or indirectly, for the citizens or sub. in its conditions, we are bound to injects of the one, any rights or advan- sist. tages in regard to commerce or naviga With regard to the practical value of tion through the said canal which shalla Central American canal, there has not be offered on the same terms to been, perhaps, too much disposition to the citizens or subjects of the other.” found upon either Suez or Panama. By the fifth article, both Powers engage De Lesseps made his reputation at the to protect the canal from the interrup- one isthmus and dug it at the other, tion, seizure, or unjust confiscation, and and during his career he amply justito guarantee its neutrality, condition- fied his own description of himself, ally upon the management of the canal made when launching his Egyptian not making any unfair discriminations project: “I am not a financier or a in favor of one or other of the con- man of business.” He was certainly tracting parties. By the eighth arti- neither—nor was he an engineer. cle—in order “to establish a general There was no reason certainly why beprinciple”—the provisions of the treaty cause Suez had been a success Panama are extended to any practicable canal or should be one also; but equally there railway across any part of the Isthmus, ja no reason why because Panama has and therefore covered both Tehuante- been one of the world's magnificent pec and Panama. Now this treaty was failures Nicaragua should be another. concluded twenty-seven years after the For Nicaragua is wanted not such a Message of President Monroe enunciat- man as Lesseps was, according to Reing the famous “ doctrine.” The ob- ran—" one born to pierce isthmuses, of ject of the Americans was to effect an Thom antiquity would have made a understanding that Great Britain myth”—but such a man as Lesseps was should not extend the protectorate ex- not—an engineer, a financier, and a