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“But how, how? that's the question. I don't see my way. I suppose it's because I lived so long in Australia."
“Did you never hear the phrase, “a bold stroke for a wife?'" “Lay siege to her at once ?”. “No, no; no, no! take her by storm! Up, guards, and at her!”
“Up, guards, and at her!” repeated Sir Peter, slapping the table with ardour; “I'll do it! I'll visit her to-morrow, and make my declaration.”
“That won't do,” said Paul, who was not going to expose Mrs. Rowley to a second visitation even worse than the first, “ that's not the way; declare on paper-write her a letter.”
“A letter, you think, a letter; but then you see, Mr. Pickford, the misfortune is, I never wrote a letter in all my life except on business.”
“So much the better; write her the plain downright letter of a man of business, a few words, coming slap to the point.”
“A letter of business ? I see ; plain and downright! slap to the
“Exactly. If she says yes, you are the luckiest man in England; if she says no—but that's a case not to be put.”
Mr. Pickford had by this time had enough of his host, and perhaps too much of his wine; so he bade him good night, and left him to compose his declaration, which he was prudent enough to postpone to the cool of the morning.
Of the two business-like letters which passed on this occasion, both slap to the point, unfortunately only Mrs. Rowley's has been preserved.
“DEAR Sır PETER CHEESY,—
“A great many thanks for your straightforward and flattering letter. I am highly gratified to find that you approve of my enterprises, and consider my little speculations judicious; but as to the partnership which you are so good as to propose, much as it gratifies my vanity, I am obliged to decline it in the frank downright way of which you have set me so good an example. Wishing you a safe journey back to London, “I remain, dear Sir Peter,
But the widow was not at all pleased with this business altogether, and she was probably not more gracious to Mr. Pickford after it, as he left the cottage in a few days.
PROFESSOR MAURICE'S LECTURES ON SOCIAL MORALITY. Macmillan & Co. THOSE who desire to learn what kind of ethical doctrine Professor Maurice is delivering from his Cambridge Chair may learn from this volume that he has very distinct views, which could not well be characterised as those of any existing school. How far he may be following in the same direction with his excellent predecessor, Mr. Grote, I do not exactly know; but his method is certainly a very different one from that which gave birth to Dr. Whewell's clumsy artificial system, which so many Cambridge students have had to try to digest. Mr. Maurice's elementary principles seem to me to be thoroughly simple and real, and to have much that must commend them to moralists of all the great schools.
By virtues Professor Maurice understands the states or qualities of mind which answer to certain relations. He continually repeats the word jos as suggesting the matter with which the moralist has to deal. That is, he does not take either outward acts or a code of rules as constituting the basis of morality. The relations which demand and breed the qualities or manners are those existing amongst human beings. The first relation discussed as producing the most rudimentary morality is that of parents and children. The second, logically and in point of time the earlier, but from the moralist's point of view better treated as the second, is that of husbands and wives. The third is that of brothers and sisters. The fourth that of masters and servants. Wherever human beings have existed these relations have been matters of fact; and each of them has from the very first brought out a corresponding attitude or quality of mind. Where there are parents and children, there are authority and obedience. The life of parents and children, in proportion as it is better and happier, shows what the right authority and the right obedience are. The virtue of the conjugal relation Mr. Maurice describes as mutual trust. To the relation of brothers and sisters he finds a very marked nos corresponding, which he illustrates as the mind of consanguinity. The principle of service is developed through the relation of master and servant, true service requiring the master to serye and respect the servant, as well as the servant the master. These principles or qualities constitute domestic morality—the morality of society so long and so far as it remains in the patriarchal state.
For Professor Maurice appeals throughout to history as supplying the materials and evidence of his ethical system. Mr. Maiue (whom Oxford is to be congratulated on having borrowed as a Professor from Cambridge) is largely quoted as having shown the antecedent origin in the patriarchal state of the customs which afterwards were more or less adopted into laws. The Family was followed by the Nation, some throes generally accompanying the new birth. In the nation, neighbourhood, contiguity of place, is the bond, and it is one which unites as individuals those who were otherwise unconnected. With the nation property comes into being, and law defining rights, and the bond of a common language, and political government, and war for the preservation of the national distinctness. Mr. Maurice shows how all the positive and actual characteristics of a nation have brought out peculiar forms of moral life, and how, as the nation grows and is secured, these are developed. The sections on domestic and national morality are followed by a course of lectures on universal morality. And the origin of this Mr. Maurice places at a definite epoch in the history of the world. Nations perished in that triumph of the Roman Empire which may be dated at the battle of Actium. At the same time the proclamation of a Universal Family went forth. The principle or constitution of the Universal Family had to fight a life-and-death battle with a Universal Empire - a dominion which crushes nations under an irresponsible master. The Universal Family fostered a new growth of nations, and can only be realised hereafter in a brotherhood of free and distinct nations. The lectures on universal morality become lectures on history, treating in an extremely rapid manner of the course of events from the establishment of the Roman Empire to the present time, and indicating how the thoughts of men as to their vocation and duties have been affected by the various phases of European history.
These chapters put a sometimes painful strain upon the reader's attention, and they illustrate the principal cause which has led to the complaint of Mr. Maurice's writings being difficult to understand. His English is singularly simple, vigorous, and accurate; his sentences run only too swiftly. But he expects his readers to know more than most of them can know. He assumes them to be perfectly familiar with all history, with all philosophy, with all literature. Lectures on history, though fascinating, are always rather trying, because, in order to appreciate their generalisations, the reader ought to have a great quantity of facts at his fingers' ends. Mr. Maurice's paragraphs are closepacked, allusive, very rapid ; we are required to keep up with a rush of sentences, each one of which might be the text of a history. I take an example almost casually. How many readers are there who can read what follows, with a comfortable feeling of appreciating what is said ?
“When the little Augustus disappeared from the stage, and the temporary anarchy gave place to the sway of the Ostrogoths, there was the dawn of a national life for Italy ; there was no longer any Roman monarch who could dream of contesting with Constantinople for universal empire. The Popes might sometimes turn to the Empire for protection against heretical neighbours; quite as often the emperors and their ecclesiastical dependants were the heretics whom they confronted with their own decrees. Justinian's victories might be welcomed by them for a while. But the Lombards came - perhaps by Greek invitation. The Bishops of Rome knew not whether they or the Exarchs of Ravenna were least to be trusted. In the utter desolation of Rome Gregory I. showed himself the true father of it. He realised the might of that name. He had faith to expect that a European family would gather around it. His popedom was the inauguration of such a family.” (Pp. 317, 18.)
There is nothing but history here; but in the same lecture—to give only one other illustration-Mr. Maurice supposes his readers, as he does throughout the volume, to be thoroughly at home in one of the least read and most unreadable of great writers, M. Comte.
Is this too flattering estimate of his readers' knowledge a fault? That does not follow. What we most of us complain of is, in fact, an embarras de richesses. We are embarrassed, but by wealth of thought and allusions. Readers who have been recently studying, or who remember well, mediæval history, or the “ Politique Positive,” or “Les Misérables,” will not require more than the hints given. But we cannot have everything. A writer who pours out hints for the well-informed cannot be easy for the unlearned to read. I am sure that if due
allowance were made for this cause of obscurity in Mr. Maurice's writings, there would not be much obscurity left to account for.
It is common with Mr. Maurice only to hint his theology—to suggest to his readers by hypothetical or interrogative forms to draw the conclusions which he desires to commend. But in this volume he states with much plainness and reiteration the theological basis of all that he teaches. The relations from which he holds morality to be derived are the work of the Creator. The Universal Family is that founded by the Son of God on the Will of the Father. The professor warms into the preacher as he expounds and vindicates the morality of the Gospel and of the New Testament. His theological belief may be looked for everywhere. He observes that “we may trace a consistency in the thoughts of men who have exercised any considerable influence in the world, to whatever subject they have been directed.” So we may see Mr. Maurice's faith in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, in all his interpretations of history, and in those sequences of experience which he is fond of attributing to communities and to individuals. The question for the reader to consider is whether the key offered really fits the lock.
In the present notice I make no attempt to estimate the rank or place which this volume will occupy in the library of moral science. But I may say that it appears to me as full of characteristic earnestness and power and subtlety as any of Mr. Maurice's writings. It is exceedingly rich, as any reader must acknowledge, in pregnant ethical and historical reflections. Mr. Maurice joins in the remarkable homage paid by all recent serious inquirers to M. Comte (though he does not drop the partially ironic manner with which he habitually speaks of contemporaries from whom he differs), and especially in the grateful recognition of the high aim and nobleness of his social conceptions which has been drawn from large-minded Anglican Christians. On the whole, this work may be taken as an adequate exposition of the most forward-looking Christian morality.
The volume is beautifully printed; but there is here and there a misprint overlooked, as that of “unity” for “units,” on p. 401 (first line); and an unlucky one of “ Bain's ” for “Bacon's," on p. 380.
J. LLEWELYN DAVIES.
ERRATUM.-In Mr. Blind's article on “ The Condition of France," which appeared in December last, a passage on p. 661 was printed thus :-"There are shallow talkers who would fain persuade us that the sword is the sovereign and exclusive remedy in all cases of a crying State evil. If they looked to the vicious circle in which a nation that has once been got down on its knees is placed, even they might perhaps judge more leniently of acts of resistance that do not bear the accustomed constitutional ticket.” Instead of “ sword” read “ word.”
No. XXXVIII. New SERIES.–FEBRUARY 1, 1870.
(Conclusion.) An eminent man, who escaped by one accident from the hatchets of the Septembriseurs, and by another from the guillotine of the Terror, while in hiding and in momentary expectation of capture and death, wrote thus in condemnation of suicide, “the one crime which leaves no possibility of return to virtue.” “Even at this incomprehensible moment”—the spring of 1793—" when morality, enlightenment, energetic love of country, only render death at the prison-wicket or on the scaffold more inevitable; when it might be allowable to choose among the ways of leaving a life that can no longer be preserved, and to rob tigers in human form of the accursed pleasure of dragging you forth and drinking your blood; yes, on the fatal tumbril itself, with nothing free but voice, I could still cry, Take care, to a child that comes too near the wheel : perhaps he may owe his life to me, perhaps the country shall one day owe its salvation to him."1
More than one career in those days, famous or obscure, was marked by this noble tenacity to lofty public ideas even in the final moments of existence; its general acceptance as a binding duty, exorcising the mournful and insignificant egotisms that haunt and wearily fret and make waste the remnants of so many lives, will produce the profoundest of all possible improvements in men's knowledge of the sublime art of the happiness of their kind. The closing words of Condorcet's last composition show the solace which perseverance in taking thought for mankind brought to him in the depths of personal calamity. He had concluded his survey of the past history of the race, and had drawn what seemed in his eyes a moderate and reasonable picture of its future. “How this picture,”
(1) Dupont de Nemours. Les Physiocrates, i. 326. VOL. VII. N.S.