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leaving their circle of ideas. We must endow him with | ial, but never the sentiment. The deep manly emotion that simplicity of character which gives us frequent cause makes us forget not only the frequent clumsiness of his to smile at its proprietor, but which does not disqualify him style but the pettiness of the incident, and, what is more from seeing a great deal further into his neighbors than difficult, the rather bread-and-butter tone of morality. If they are apt to give him credit for doing. Such insight, he is a little too fond of bringing his villains to the gallows, in fact, is due not to any great subtlety of intellect, but to he is preoccupied less by the external consequences than the possession of deep feeling and sympathy. Crabbe saw | by the natural working of evil passions. With him sin is little more of Burke than would have been visible to an or- | not punished by being found out, but by disintegrating the dinary Suffolk farmer. When transplanted to a ducal | character and bluniing the higher sensibilities. He shows mansion, he only drew the pretty obvious inference, in - and the moral, if not new, is that which possesses the ferred in a vigorous poem, that a patron is a very disagree. really intellectual interest - how evil-doers are tortured by able and at times a very mischievous personage. The joys the cravings of desires that cannot be satisfied, and the and griefs which really interest him are of the very tangi- | lacerations inflicted by ruined self-respect. And therefore ble and solid kind which affect men and women to whom there is a truth in Crabbe's delineations which is quite inthe struggle for existence is a stern reality. Here and dependent of bis more or less rigid administration of poetithere his good-humored but rather clumsy ridicule may cal justice. His critics used to accuse him of having a low strike some lady to whom some demon has wbispered opinion of human nature. It is quite true that he assigns “ Have a taste ;” and who turns up her nose at the fat to selfishness and brutal passions a very large part in carbacon on Mr. Tovell's table. He pities her squeamishness, rying on the machinery of the world. Some readers may but tbinks it rather | unreasonable. He satirizes too the infer that he was unlucky in his experience, and others that heads of the rustic aristocracy; the brutal squire who bul. he loved facts too unflinchingly. His stories sometimes relies his nephew, the clergyman, for preaching against his mind ode of Balzac's in the descriptions of selfishness trivices, and corrupts the whole neighborhood; or the specu umphant over virtue. One, for example, of his deeply palative banker who cheats old-maids under pretence of look thetic poems is called the “ Brothers ;” and repeats the ing after their investments. If the squire does not gener old contrast given in Fielding's Tom Jones and Blibl. The ally appear in Crabbe in the familiar dramatic character of shrewd sly hypocrite has received all manner of kindnesses a rural Lovelace, it is chiefly because Crabbe has no great from the generous and simple sailor, and when, at last, the belief in the general purity of the inferior ranks of rural i poor sailor is ruined in health and fortune, he comes home life. But his most powerful stories deal with the tragedies expecting to be supported by the gratitude of the brother, - only too life-like - of the shop and the farm. He de- / who has by this time made money and is living at his ease. scribes the temptations which lead the small tradesman to Nothing can be more pathetic or more in the spirit of some adulterate his goods, or the parish clerk to embezzle the of Balzac's stories than the way in which the rich man remoney subscribed in the village church, and the evil effects ceives his former benefactor ; his faint recognition of fraof dissenting families who foster a spiritual pride which ternal feelings gradually cools down under the influence of leads to more unctuous hypocrisy; for though he says of a selfish wife; till at last the poor old sailor is driven from the wicked squire, that
the parlor to the kitchen, and from the kitchen to the loft, His worship ever was a churchman" true,
and finally deprived of his only comfort, his intercourse And held in scorn the methodistic crew,
with a young nephew not yet broken into hardness of heart.
The lad is not to be corrupted by the coarse language of the scorn is only objectionable to him in so far as it is a
| his poor old uncle. The rich brother suspects that the cynical cloak for scorn of good morals. He tells how boys
sailor has broken this rule, and is reviling him for his inrun away to sea, or join strolling players, and have in con
gratitude, when suddenly he discovers that he is abusing a sequence to beg their bread at the end of their days. The
corpse. The old sailor's heart is broken at last; and his almshouse or the county jail is the natural end of his vil
brother repents too late. He tries to comfort his remorse lains, and be paints to the life the evil courses which gen- / by cross-examining the boy, who was the cause of the last erally lead to such a climax. Nobody describes better the
quarrel :process of going to the dogs. And most of all, he sympatbizes with the village maiden who has listened too easily “Did he not curse me, child?” “ He never cursed, to the voice of the charmer in the shape of a gay sailor, or But could not breathe, and said his heart would burst." a smart London footman, and has to reap the bitter conse- /
"And so will mine." -“But, father, you must pray; quences of her too easy faith. Most of his stories might be
My uncle said it took his pains away.” paralleled by the experience of any country clergyman who
| Praying, however, cannot bring back the dead; and the has entered into the life of his parishioners. They are as
fratricide, for such he feels himself to be, is a melancholy commonplace and as pathetic as the things which are hap
man to the end of his days. In Balzac's hands repentance pening round us every day, and which fill a neglected par
would have had no place, and selfishness been finally triagraph in a country newspaper. Tbe treatment varies
umphant and unabashed. We need not ask which would from the purely humorous to the most deep and genuine
be the most effective or the truest treatment; though I pathos; though it seldom takes us into the regions of the
must put in a word for the superior healthiness of Crabbe's loftier imagination.
mind." There is nothing morbid about him. Still, it would The more humorous of these performances may be briefly
be absurd to push such a comparison far. Crabbe's por dismissed. Crabbe possesses the faculty, but not in any
traits are only spirited vignettes compared with the elabo-eminent degree; his hand is a little heavy, and one must
rate full lengths drawn by the intense imagination of the remember that Mr. Tovell and his like were of the race
French novelist; and Crabbe's whole range of thought is who require to have a joke driven into their heads with a
narrower. The two writers have a real resemblance only sledge hammer. Once or twice we come upon a sketch
in so far as in each case a powerful accumulation of lifewhich may help to explain Miss Austen's admiration.
like details enables them to produce a pathos, powerful by There is an old maid devoted to Mira, and rejoicing in
its vivid reality. stuffed puppies and parrots, who might have been another
The singular power of Crabbe is in some sense more conEmma Woodhouse, and a parson who would have suited
spicuous in the stories where the incidents are almost authe Eltons admirably :
daciously trilling. One of them begins with this not very Fiddling and fishing were his arts ; at times
impressive and very ungrammatical couplet:.
With our late Vicar, and his age the same,
His clerk, hight Jachin, to his office came. Such sketches are a pleasant relief to his more sombre Jachin is a man of oppressive respectability; so oppressive, portraiture; but it is in the tragic elements that his true indeed, that some of the scamps of the borough try to get power comes out. The motives of his stories may be triv-l him into scrapes by temptations of a very inartificial kind,
which he is strong enough to resist. At last, however, it | Peter grew more sullen, and the scenery became more occurs to Jachin that he can easily embezzle part of the weird and depressing. The few who watched him reusual monthly offerings wbile saving his character in bis marked that there were three places where Peter seemed to own eyes by some obvious sophistry. He is detected and be more than usually moved. For a time he burried past dismissed, and dies after coming upon the parish. These them, whistling as he rowed ; but gradually he seemed to materials for a tragic poem are not very promising; and I be fascinated. The idle lodgers in the summer saw a man do not mean to say that the sorrows of poor Jacbin affect and boat lingering in the tideway, apparently watching the us as deeply as those of Gretchen in “Faust." The par | gliding waves without casting a net or looking at the wildish clerk is perhaps a fit type of all that was least poetical fowl. At last, his delirium becoming stronger, he is carried in the old social order of the country, and virtue which to the poor-house, and tells his story to the clergyman. Nosuccumbs to the temptation of taking two shillings out of a | body has painted with greater vigor that kind of externalplate scarcely wants a Mephistopheles to overcome it. Weized conscience which may still survive in a brutalized may perhaps think that the apologetic note which the ex. mind. Peter Grimes, of course, sees his victims' spirits cellent Crabbe inserts at the end of his poem, to the effect and hates them. He fancies that his father torments him that he did not mean by it to represent mankind as “ pup- out of spite, characteristically forgetting that the ghost had pets of an overpowering destiny," or " to deny the doctrine some excuse for his anger :of seducing spirits,” is a little superfluous. The fact that I'T was one hot noon, all silent, still, serene, a parish-clerk has taken to petty pilfering can scarcely jus
No living being had I lately seen ; tify those heterodox conclusions. But when we have I paddled up and down and dipped my net, smiled at Crabbe's philosophy, we begin to wonder at the But (such his pleasure) I could nothing get, force of his sentiment. A blighted human soul is a pa
A father's pleasure when his toil was done,
To plague and torture thus an only son ! thetic object, however paltry the temptation to which it has succumbed. Jachin has the dignity of despair, though
And so I sat and looked upon the stream,
How it ran on, and felt as in a dream; he is not quite a fallen archangel; and Crabbe's favorite
But dream it was not; no! - I fixed my eyes scenery harmonizes with his agony.
On the mid stream and saw the spirit rise; In each lone place, dejected and dismayed,
I saw my father on the water stand,
And hold a thin, pale boy in either hand;
And there they glided ghastly on the top
Of the salt flood, and never touched a drop; On the broad beach, the silent summer day,
I would have struck them, but they knew the intent, Stretched on some wreck, he wore his life away;
And smiled upon the oar, and down they went. Or where the river mingles with the sea,
Remorse in Peter's mind takes the shape of bitter hatred Or on the mud-bank by the elder tree,
for his victims ; and with another characteristic confusion, Or by the bounding marsh-dyke, there was he. 1
he partly attributes his sufferings to some evil influence inNor would he have been a more pitiable object if he had | trinsic in the locality :betrayed a nation or sold his soul for a garter instead of
There were three places, where they ever rose, the pillage of a subscription plate. Poor old Jachin's story
The whole long river has not such as those, may seem to be borrowed from a commonplace tract; but
Places accursed, where, if a man remain, the detected pilferer, though he has only lost the respect of
He'll see the things which strike him to the brain. the parson, the overseer, and the beadle, touches us deeply And then the malevolent ghosts forced poor Peter to lean as the Byronic hero who has fallen out with the whole syg on his oars, and showed him visions of coming horrors. tem of the world.
Grimes dies impenitent, and fancying that his tormentors If we refuse to sympathize with the pang due to so petty are about to seize him. Ofall haunted men in fiction, it is a catastrophe - though our sympathy should surely be pro not easy to think of a case where the horror is more terriportioned to the keenness of the suffering rather than the bly realized. The blood-boultered Banquo tortured a absolute height of the fall — we may turn to a tragedy of a noble victim, but scarcely tortured him more effectually. deeper dye. Peter Grimes, as his name indicates, was a Peter Grimes was doubtless a close relation of Peter Bell. ruffian from his infancy. He once knocked down his poor Bell having the advantage of Wordsworth's interpretation, old father, who warned him of the consequences of his bru leads us to many thoughts which lie altogether beyond tality :
Crabbe's reach; but, looking simply at the sheer tragic On an inn-settle, in his maudlin grief,
force of the two characters, Grimes is to Bell what brandy This he revolved, and drank for his relief.
is to small beer. He would never have shown the white
feather like his successor, who, Adopting such a remedy, he sank from bad to worse, and gradually became a thief, a smuggler, and a social outlaw.
After ten months' melancholy In those days, however, as is proved by the history of Mrs.
Became a good and honest man. Brownrigg, parish authorities practiced the “ boarding out If, in some sense, Peter Grimes is the most effective of system " after a reckless fasbion. Peter was allowed to Crabbe's heroes, he would, if taken alone, give a very distake two or three apprentices in succession, whom he bul
torted impression of the general spirit of the poetry. It is lied, starved, and maltreated, and who finally died under only at intervals that he introduces us to downright crimisuspicious circumstances. The last was found dead in Pe nals. There is, indeed, a description of a convicted felon, ter's fishing-boat after a rougb voyage; and though noth which, according to Macaulay, has made “ many a rougb ing could be proved, the mayor told him that he should
and cynical reader cry like a child," and which, if space have no more slaves to belabor. Peter, pursuing his trade
were unlimited, would make a striking pendant to the in solitude, gradually became morbid and depressed. The
agony of the burdened Grimes. But, as a rule, Crabbe melancholy estuary became haunted by ghostly visions. can find motives enough for tenderness in sufferings which He had to groan and sweat with no vent for his pas have nothing to do with the criminal law, and of which the sion :
mere framework of the story is often interesting enough. Thus by himself compelled to live each day,
His peculiar power is best displayed in so presenting to us To wait for certain hours the tide's delay;
the sorrows of commonplace characters as to make us feel At the same time the same dull views to see,
that a shabby coat and a narrow education, and the most The bounding marsh-bank and the blighted tree;
unromantic causes, need not cut off our sympathies with a The water only, when the tides were high, When low, the mud half-covered and half-dry;
fellow-creature; and that the dullest tradesman who treads The sun-burnt tar that blisters on the planks,
on our toes in an omnibus, may want only a power of articuAnd bank-side stakes in their uneven ranks ;
late expression to bring before us some of the deepest of Heaps of entangled weeds that slowly float,
all problems. The parish clerk and the grocer - or what. As the tide rolls by the impeded boat.
ever may be the proverbial epitome of human dullness
may swell the chorus of lamentation over the barrenness | ing that he is at the very opposite pole from Keats. The and the bardsbips and the wasted energies and the barsh | more bigoted admirers of Keats for there are bigots in discords of life which is always “steaming up" from the | all matters of taste or poetry as well as in science or theolworld, and to which it is one, though perhaps not the high ogy or politics — would refuse the title of poet to Crabbe, est, of the poet's functions to make us duly sensible. | altogether, on the strength of the absence of tbis element Crabbe, like all realistic writers, must be studied at full from his verses. Like his most obvious parallels in paintlength, and therefore quotations are necessarily unjust. It ing, be is too fond of hoors and pothouses to be allowed the will be sufficient if I refer — pretty much at random – to quality of artistic perception. I will not argue the point, the short stories of " Phæbe Dawson " in the “ Parish Reg. wbicb is, perhaps, rather a question of classification than ot ister," to the more elaborate stories of " Edward Shore" intrinsic merit; but I will venture to suggest a test which and the “ Parting Hour" in the “ Tales," or to the story will, I think, give Crabbe a very firm, though it may be, of “ Ruth" in the “ Tales of the Hall," where again the not a very lofty place. I should be unwilling to be reckdreary pathos is strangely beigbtened by Crabbe's favorite oned as one of Macaulay's “rough and cynical readers." seaport scenery, to prove that he might be called as truly I admit that I can read the story of the convicted felon, or as Goldsmith affectuum potens, though scarcely lenis domi of Peter Grimes without indulging in downright blubbernator.
ing. Most readers, I fear, can in these days get through It is time, however, to conclude by a word or two as to pathetic poems and novels without absolutely using their Crabbe's peculiar place in the history of English literature. pocket-bandkerchiefs. But though Crabbe may not prompt I said that, unlike his contemporaries, Cowper and Burns, such outward and visible signs of emotion, I think that he be adhered rigidly to the form of the earlier eighteenth cen- | produces a more distinct titillation of the lachrymatory tury school, and partly for this reason excited the wayward glands than almost any poet of his time. True, he does admiration of Byron, who always chose to abuse the bridge | not appeal to emotions, accessible only through the finer which carried him to fame. But Crabbe's clumsiness of intellectual perceptions, or to the thoughts which“ lie too expression makes him a very inadequate successor of Pope deep for tears." That prerogative belongs to men of more or of Goldsmith, and his claims are really founded on the intense character, greater philosophical power, and more qualities which led Byron to call him “nature's sternest | delicate instincts. But the power of touching readers by painter, yet her best." On this side he is connected with downright pictures of homespun griefs and sufferings is some tendencies of the school which supplanted his early one which, to my mind, implies some poetical capacity,' models. So far as Wordsworth and his followers repre- | and which clearly belongs to Crabbe. sented the reaction from an artificial to a love of unsopbisticated nature, Crabbe is entirely at one with them. He did not share that unlucky taste for the namby-pamby by
THE “PALL MALL” ON EVOLUTION. which Wordsworth annoyed his contemporaries, and spoilt some of his earlier poems. Its place was filled in Crabbe's There is a certain writer in the Pall Mall Gazette who mind by an even more unfortunate disposition for the simply would compare well with the most powerful of the so-called bumdrum and commonplace, which, it must be confessed, “ giants" of the old days, — to use Macaulay's expression, makes it almost as hard to read a good deal of his verses - in the vigor, fertility, and graphic character of his literas to consume large quantities of suet pudding, and has ary work, but with a bitterness, a naughtiness, a (so to probably destroyed his popularity with the present genera- | speak) “invincible ignorance," all his own. No man with tion. Still, Crabbe's influence was powerful as against the | any true appreciation of literary style can help being struck old conventionality. He did not like his predecessors, by the strength with wbich he hammers away year by year write upon the topics which interested “ persons of quality,” at impressing his very masculine and strongly-conceived, and never gives us the impression of having composed his though narrow and, on many sides, positively obtuse creed, rhymes in a full-bottomed wig or even in a Grub Street on the minds of a shallow-hearted generation, the effectgarret. He has gone out into country fields and village iveness with which he is constantly drawing and drawing lanes, and paints directly from man and nature, with again for us the spectacle of a mind of strong, upright, and almost a cynical disregard of the accepted code of pro sombre conceptions as to the government of the universe by priety. But the points on which he parts company with a probable God, as to the checkered destinies of man, and the his more distinguished predecessors is equally obvious. worthlessness of the fatal subterfuges by which weakminded Mr. Stopford Brooke bas lately been telling us with great people try to escape from the disagreeable necessity of seeeloquence what is the theology which underlies the poet ing facts as they are. The present writer, at least, may say ical tendencies of the last generation of poets. Of tha that he so much enjoys the vigor of the ever-varying, yet creed, a sufficiently vague one, it must be admitted, Crabbe ever-identical photograph, which this graphic writer paints was by no means an apostle. Rather, one would say, be of himself on the literature of the day, that he would gladly was as indifferent as a good old-fashioned clergyman could purchase it, even at the cost of being blundered against, very well be to the existence of any new order of ideas in thumped, and contemptuously shot into the gutter, by this the world. The infidels, whom he sometimes attacks, read not very accurate-sighted giant of the literary world, who Bolingbroke, and Chubb, and Mandeville, and have only | is always reminding one of Matthew Arnold's Titan, “with heard by report even of the existence of Voltaire. The | deaf ears and labor-dimmed eyes, staggering on to his Dissenters, whom he so heartily detests, have listened to goal.” This goal, as regards the ultimate intellectual Whitefield and Wesley, or perhaps to Huntington, S. S. — creed of the writer we are referring to, seems certain to be that is, as it may now be necessary to explain, Sinner a sort of Carlylian glorification of Force, physical, intellectSaved. Every newer development of thought was still far ual, and voluntary, as at once the source and upshot of away from the quiet pews of Aldborough, and the only form | things, – though he betrays a much stronger respect for of church restoration of which he has heard is the objec- positive law, and a much clearer insight into the practical tionable practice of painting a new wall to represent a utility of government, when not representing an individual growth of lichens. Crabbe appreciates the charm of the will but only a good system, tban Mr. Carlyle has ever conpicturesque, but has never yet heard of our elaborate fessed. The writer we speak of, whom we suppose, at least, methods of creating modern antiques. Lapped in such ig. that we discern in the author of the paper in last Tuesday's norance, and with a mind little given to speculation, it is | Pall Mall on “Old and New Apologetics," — which is, in only in character that Crabbe should be totally insensible | fact, a supercilious attack on the article we published last to the various moods of thought represented by Words- | week called “ The Materialist's Stronghold," — would cerworth's pantheistic conceptions of nature, or by Shelley's tainly not be improved, but injured, as a literary force, by dreamy idealism, or Byron's fierce revolutionary impulses. taking more pains to understand the positions he assails; Still less, if possible, could he sympathize with that love of for after one has once made a familiar acquaintance with beauty, pure and simple, of which Keats was the first him, he becomes the most un profitable, though he remains prophet. He might, indeed, be briefly described by say- | the most interesting, of writere, his great power consisting in that figure of speech which, when it can be sufficiently Does she improve only by dint of starving out previous varied not to weary, is, as Carlyle himself, we think, ob. blunders, or rather by a process perfectly consistent, 'even served, the greatest of all rhetorical forces, repetition. Ex to human minds, with deliberate prescience of, and intencept when dealing with legal topics, no one seems less ca tion to create, all the organic forms and phenomena which pable than this author of entering into an intellectual posi occur? What we ventured to point out was, first, that the tion somewhat removed from his own, or of even caring to apparent tentativeness of nature is a mere fiction of our discriminate one aion from another in the writers he buffets. disturbed imagination ; that in the organic, no less than in It is hardly possible, for instance, that he can have cared the inorganic world, there is no hesitation, and that the to understand the sense of what we were writing about in appearance of it is due simply to the great varieties of form our last number, for his criticism is just as wide of it as if which arise in any complex structures under the influence he had really read no more than the fifteen lines he ex of varying circumstances, all of wbich are equally traceable tracts. No doubt he read the whole, but apparently in to fixed causes, so far as we can judge at all, though all are that spirit of contemptuous indifference to the argument not equally perfect in structure. The appearance of hesi. which would not give him a chance of distingrishing be tation, then, really is, in all probability, not hesitation at tween one branch of it and another. As far as we can see, all, but due simply to the tendency in the forces at the this writer has made up his mind that it is sorry work the sources of evolution, whatever they are, to produce among orizing about the origin of things ; that if you can believe organic forms a variety wbich we do not find among the in God at all, it is only by a happy leap from the convic. inorganic, — forms which, in relation to man's view of them tion of your own personal identity to the analogical pre are better and worse, more and less structurally perfect, sumption that some infinitely mightier self underlies the in other words, forms between which comparison and comgovernment of the universe ; and he evidently holds that petition is possible, which is bardly the case as regards the all attempts to find any harmony between the facts of the inorganic world. We then went on to our second point, universe and the moral peculiarities of man are more or Does improvement in nature proceed by blundering and less the futilities of weak minds, which cannot bear to con the correction of blunders ? Is the pbenomenon of organic fess either the inscrutability of the world, or the obvious degeneration one of preliminary blundering and subsequent inconsistency between their moral code and that which the correction of blunders, or not? And it was in discussing said world embodies. Such indiscriminate contempt, how | this question that we used the language which has led to ever, for everything which at a superficial glance seems to | our able contemporary's very uninformed criticism. The belong to a given class of despised things, is not the best fact of deterioration of type, of course, we admitted, but we intellectual condition for discriminating between what does thought, and think, that fact perfectly consistent, considerand what does not belong to that class. Assuredly we ing the drift and final end of organic evolution, with intelwere never more amused, after the first vexation of so ridic lectual prescience and specific intention: “Why," we ulous a misunderstanding had passed, than by reading the said, “ should variations of a degenerate character ever be Pall Mall's criticism on what, as it supposed, we had been admitted, if there be a Divine mind giving its law to natusaying. The fact is that the writer of the criticism shows ral change? Of course no complete answer can be given in it no inkling at all either of the true meaning of the the to such a question, but considering the world as the stage ory of evolution, or of the aim of our remarks upon it, and on which a moral freedom is to be disciplined, it is not in. yet we do not think the fault lay with us.
explicable why that liability to degeneration which is the We were not attempting in the least, as the writer seems greatest danger in moral growth, is visible to man on every to fancy, to vindicate the ways of God to the lower animals side, in natural things as well as moral, as one of the catasby accounting for their sufferings. Except parenthetically, trophes to wbich, both naturally and supernaturally, he is there was not, and could not have been consistently with liable. Without the constant sight of the tendency to dethe subject on hand, any remark at all bearing on such a generation in things natural, without being daily taught subject. As for trying to prove that this is the best of all that it needs, in some sense, a physical struggle not merely possible worlds, we should say that no effort could be more for nature to keep on advancing, but to keep from falling futile, our imagination being entirely 'limited by the actual back, the meaning and risk of the same liability in tuings world we live in. Our point was very much narrower, and, moral and spiritual would not be half as vivid as it is. It as far as we can see, quite within the grasp of finite intel is, after all, by no means a matter for surprise that natlects. It was to consider whether the hypothesis of “evo. ure should not merely reflect back, but even in a man. lution” is consistent with the intellectual character of the ner anticipate, the inertia, the indolence, the degeneracy, ultimate source of evolution. We may remind our readers as well as the activity, the industry, and the refining transthat wbat we started from was the assertion of Professor formations, of buman trial.” Now we should have thought Challis and the Guardian that mathematicians are less ma the drift of this remark, — which might have been, no terialistic in their view of science than physicists and biol. doubt, less succinctly and more elaborately explained, - in ogists. We observed that even if it were so, that was nat relation to a theory of evolution, intelligible enough. It is ural enough, because there is nothing but absolute and the very gist of that bypothesis, — and of this the writer unvarying order discovered as yet in those regions of nat in the Pall Mall is either ignorant or forgetful, - that the ure which are susceptible of mathematical treatment, while higher forms of life are moulded on the lines, and devel. in the region of those sciences which have given rise to the oned out of the experience, of the lower forms of life. hypothesis of evolution, you get the apparent signs both of Without the experience of bigh tension and conflict in groping or tentativeness, and in some sense also of failure. things natural, the high tension and conflict in things moral Our point, then, was not to discuss a difficul y which was would not and could not be wbat it is. When we spoke of just as great before the hypothesis of evolution had been what was “ visible' to men on every side, we never imagadvanced as it has been since, — the difficulty of under ined that any one could be so dull or so careless as to harp standing animal suffering as proceeding from a Divine pur. on that expression alone, to the exclusion of the much pose, – but solely to consider the new difficulty, if any, larger one used in the following sentence, as to our being introduced by the bypothesis of evolution, and that only “ daily taught that it needs in some sense a physical strug. in relation to those phenomena which are supposed to in I gle, not merely for nature to keep on advancing, but to dicate blindness and failure. Anything beyond that was keep from falling back.” The whole context of course rebeyond our purpose altogetber, and what the Pall Mall im- quired the assumption that it is not merely what we see, putes to us was not only not in our article, but could only but what we experience in every way, as the consequence have been there as a consequence of the grossest confusion I of a nature moulded on the same lines wi'h the animal crebetween several very different subjects. Our sole points ation out of wbich our organism is evolved, which is an eswere these : Do the discoveries and hypotheses of Darwin | sential condition of the moral experience to which we rejustify the conception that there is, in any sense inconsiste ferred. Had there not been conflict and strife in na:ure, ent with the purely intellectual origin of things, hesitation there would not have been the natural competitiveness and and failure in nature? Does nature grope and hesitate ? emulation out of which moral competitiveness and emulation are subsequently developed. It is the end of the evo- | specimen of moral gymnastic? We hardly mentioned the lution, so far as we can see it, which makes it possible to word “ suffering" at all, except to remark parentbetically, judge how far the intermediate steps are to be attributed what we believe to be true, but what the writer of this critto an intellectual and not to a materialistic origin. And icism forgets to say, that there is no reason to believe so anxious were we to mark this, that we went on at the that the individuals of a vanishing type suffer materially close of our paper to point out what the critic in the Pall more than the individuals of a multiplying type. There Mall takes not the slightest notice of, that though it is by are fewer and sewer of them, as time goes on, and the few the “natural development of the brain" that the highest that remain may have, on an average, shorter and probably organic forms are evolved, yet in the moral region some more difficult lives; but none the less, when we talk of natthing better and much higher than competitive selection ure stamping out the inferior types, we deceive ourselves grows out of the bighest types formed by competitive se- by a metaphor; the individuals of that type live the same lection itself, — “ pity," " reverence,” and “sacrifice" be- sort of lives and come to the same sort of ends as the ing the moral ideals which more and more emerge out of individuals of the improving types, though probably a little the earlier and narrower moralities of emulation and con- sooner, and, on an average, on terms a little harder. Still, flict.
the picture which we are apt to represent to ourselves unThe very sum and substance of all we were driving at der the phrase, “starving out the worse types," is an errowas just this: When the long process of evolution comes neous one, the process being in the main that fewer are to such an end, is it possible to regard the final outcome, produced, and that the few that are produced live shorter so far as we see it, as otherwise than preconceived and pro- | lives. But that remark was purely parenthetic. The novided for by the power which worked in the germinal forms tion of apologizing in our last week's article for the sufferout of which it grows? If it is not possible, then, in spite ing of the world, except in relation to the appearance of of the difficulty which deteriorated organic forms seem to blundering and want of foresight which the occurrence of interpose to an intellectual origin for evolution, we must su h suffering might seem to involve, — never entered the assume that the phenomenon called “deterioration” is an writer's head. His object was simply to bring out that the essential of the whole process, since without it we could not liability to degeneration of type is intelligible as a part of have had a nature educated by the very principle of what the physical evolution of organic forms, when one sees, and seems to us often cruel struggle. Only when we remember only when one sees, that it is the mould out of which ultithat this cruelty of struggle ends in a type of excellence mately our moral nature springs, – just as liability to be that rises above cruelty of struggle, into a competition not hustled off the pathway by a blundering literary giant is cruel, but the reverse of cruel, can intellectual foresight be an incident of newspaper criticism to which one becomes attributed without inconsistency to the source of the evolu- | reconciled when one sees, and only when one sees, that it tion. Now, this being, as every careful and candid reader is one of the conditions out of which the congruity and effiof our article will at once admit, our drift, wbat can be cacy of newspaper discussion evolve themselves. more ridiculously off the question than this exceedingly caustic, but very irrelevant attack ?
“So, then, it seems that all this vast quantity of thoroughly literal misery is inflicted with an eye to a purely figurative ap
FORMOSA. plication. Large batches of the lower animal world are told off for punishment in a variety of ways, in order that man may feel,
Formosa bas ever been as great an object of terror to twice as 'vividly' as before, something which his own sufferings
the sailors of the China seas as was Scylla to the Romans and those of his fellows might, if physical suffering really con:
of old. Lying in the direct line between the southern and veys this lesson, have taught him quite vividly enough before. northern ports of China, and in the stormiest part of that Myriads of sentient beings are to be created for destruction in typhoon-tossed ocean, it would, under any circumstances, order that nature may not merely reflect back, but even in a present dangers to navigators of no ordinary kind. But manner anticipate, the inertia, the indolence, the degeneracy, as add to this that the distance between the island and the well as the activity, the industry, and the refining transforma mainland leaves little or no sea-room in case of storm, but tions of human trial.' Was ever the employment of such
serves only as a funnel to collect and intensify the force of means - means so childishly circuitous, so gratuitously inhuman, so wantonly disproportioned to their end — attributed to
the wind, wbile the east coast - outside which sailingany human, not to say to any superhuman intelligence? But,
vessels are compelled to pass — is a series of rugged again, if this be the lesson, and if the lesson were worth teaching
heights, without a single harbor of any kind, and is inat such cruel cost, what antecedent probability was there that it habited by savage and in hospitable natives, and we have would be correctly learned ? nay, how many have ever had the a picture of perils scarcely to be surpassed. During ceropportunity of learning it? How many of the races of mankind tain seasons of the year, storms arise with such rapidity who are brought closest to this sad but, we are now told, edify and violence, that the eastern shore is strewn with the ing spectacle are likely to draw the same transcendental moral
wrecks of. hapless junks and vessels whose crews and froin it that is drawn by a super-subtle theologian in a London
cargoes are left to contend with the fury of the waves, and journal ? And outside these races how much of all this suffer
the even more hostile natives. There is reason to fear ing is witnessed or even known of? But the questions do not bear asking, nor does the answer bear stating. Freed from the
that the sailors of more than one English vessel have fallen haze of sentimental theology, the matter stands thus: that we
victims to the savagery of the aborigines, who have uniare asked to believe that, for ages before man appeared on the
formly treated in the same merciless fashion the survivors earth, and in vast spaces where the foot of man has never penc from Chinese and Japanese junks. Constant representatrated and never can penetrate, - for what of the ocean, and the tions on the subject have been made by the Mikado's
moral lesson’ of the unwitnessed struggle among its innumer government to the court of Peking, and the murder of able inhabitants? - Nature has been engaged in creating and
fifty Japanese sailors, who were shipwrecked last year on destroying countless creatures, in order that a few appreciative
the southeast coast of this island, was made an important minds may derive benetit to their moral sensibilities, and deduce from it a lesson of which ninety-nine out of every hundred of
point by the Embassy despatched last year to the Chinese their fellow.creatures can find no trace whatever. But the re
capital. As is usual when complaints are made at Peking turn upon the old lines of defence is, we see, complete. After
of the behavior of natives in outlying districts, the Tsungthe lapse of a century we are landed once more in the philosophy
li. Yamun sheltered themselves behind the excuse that the of Pangloss. We still live in the best of all possible worlds' native tribes in Formosa were virtually beyond their jurisonly a little less stress is to be laid on the word best,' and a diction, and that therefore, though they abhorred tbe deed little more on the word possible. The world is as good as it that bad been committed, they were quite unable to inflict could possibly be – consistently with supplying the necessary punishment for it. Somewhat to their surprise, the Mikadiscipline to man's ‘moral freedoin' through countless forms of do's government replied that, if that was so, they felt suffering.”
bound to take the law into their own hands; and, with That is smart writing, but what is the use of smashing that energy which has lately characterized Japanese movewhat has not been asserted, - unless it be as an interesting ments, an expedition was fitted out, and has already landed