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has worked as a collaborator with Dr. Legge in his great task, the translation and annotation of the "Chinese Classics," and in his present essay has amplified the observations on the character and credibility of the early Chinese records, which are already to be found in the Prolegomena to Dr. Legge's last volumes, the Shoo King, or Book of History. The conclusion arrived at by Mr. Chalmers is, that "the Chinese nation had no existence before 2,000 B.C.; and a large part of what relates to the period from 2,000 to 1,600 B.C. recorded in the oldest and most authentic history which the Chinese possess, is no more worthy of credit than the Arabian Nights." It is pleasing to find a fact which, in despite of M. S. Jullien's credulity, is more and more clearly forcing itself on the mind of sinologues, so sturdily and unmistakably expressed; and there can be little doubt that either Mr. Chalmers or some other writer will shortly play the part of Niebuhr to the fantastic legends of past greatness and pre-historic civilization in China, belief in which is incompatible with a careful and unprejudiced collation of authorities. In his philological disquisitions Mr. Chalmers is less happy, evincing a readiness to accept coincidences of sound (the "fatal facility" of philologers), which is the more remarkable when compared with his critical acuteness where history is concerned. At the same time his remarks are eminently suggestive, and may stimulate inquiry into the archaic forms of the Chinese language, both spoken and written, which cannot fail to develop important results. His pamphlet is decidedly one of the most interesting contributious to Anglo-Chinese literature that has as yet appeared.-Oriental Lit. Gazette. French Journalists seem to be opening their eyes to the extreme folly of the system of duelling rampant among their order. Last week we mentioned the refusal of M. de Sainte-Beuve to allow himself to be pistolled by a M. Lacaze, who first insulted and then desired to kill him. We have now to add that M. Vermorel, editor of the Courrier Français has refused to fight one of the two younger Cassagnacs on the question whether their father's name, Granier de Cassagnac, ought to be written with or without parenthetical marks enclosing the latter part of the name-"(de Cassagnac)." The Cassagnacs accordingly threaten him with "the régime of the stick;" to which M. Vermorel replies that "the police have been established for the protection of honest men from malefactors," and that the Cassagnacs are under the ban of a "League of Contempt." Strange to say, a commissary of police waited on M. Vermorel after the publication of this retort, seized the letters of adhesion he had received, and spoke of a prosecution of him "for exciting to hatred and contempt of citizens "-though assuredly he is the most aggrieved party, since it even appears that M. Louis Cassagnac has spat in his face in the court of the juge d'instruction, and in the public street. M. Weiss, also, who is connected with the Journal de Paris, has declined a challenge from M. Anatole Duruy, who thereupon, like a mere street ruffian, struck M. Weiss a blow on the head, for which, it is to be hoped, he will be made accountable in a court of law. The French press has recently disgraced itself in the eyes of civilized nations by the truculence of its
writers; but the instances of moral courage to which we have referred will go some way towards retrieving its character. M. Pietri, the Prefect of Police, has published a letter in the Moniteur, in which he speaks very severely of the acts of certain journalists, and recommends the commissioners of police to protect peaceful citizens against them.
Royal Society.-Among the papers read at the closing meeting of the Royal Society's session, there were a few of special interest. One by Lord Oxmantown on the Observations of the Great Nebula in Orion, made with the Earl of Rosse's huge telescopes from 1848 to 1867, adds largely to our knowledge of that remarkable phenomenon, and, being illustrated by careful drawings, will be accepted as a standard for reference for centuries to come. Lord Oxmantown is still a young man, and astronomers everywhere will be gratified at this promise of his carrying on the work so ably begun by his father the earl-A paper by Mr. Stoney, of the Queen's University, Dublin, on the Physical Constitution of the Sun and Stars, is also worth notice, as it treats of a subject which has of late years grown to be more and more appreciated by students of physical science. The gases which form the atmosphere outside of the sun's photosphere, lie, so to speak, in strata, the heaviest (barium) at the bottom, and the lightest (hydrogen) at the top. The rays of light which pass from the lowermost and most intensely heated strata, are stopped by the upper and cooler strata, which send them forth with a subdued radiance. The three outermost gases, hydrogen, sodium, and magnesium, constitute a very cold region, and the lines they show in the spectrum, when examined for analysis, are black. The two most abundant gases of the sun's outer atmosphere are hydrogen and iron, and they play therein the same part which nitrogen and oxygen do in the earth's.-Chambers' Journal.
In a lecture delivered at the Royal Institution On the Doctrine of the Correlation of Force in its bearing on Mind, Professor Alexander Bain shows that the extension of that correlation to mind must be made through the nerve-force. According as the mind is exerted, force is drawn away from the proper corporeal functions, which are to that extent weakened. We all know by common experience that great mental exertion is rarely combined with great physical robustness; neither do we find many examples of a combination of different modes of mental excellence. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great man of science; but how few have there been like him! Great sensibility is seldom associated with great activity of temperament, nor intellectual originality with emotional exuberance.
African Squadron.-The squadron maintained by this country on the Western Coast of Africa for the suppression of the slave trade, is one of those institutions which only on very rare occa sions occupy any share of public attention, and on those occasions leave impressions of by no means a pleasant character. The subject was brought before the House of Commons on Tuesday by Sir H. Bruce, and the old story was told of the loss of life and money which the service
involves, and of the utter absence of anything like compensating results. Not only do we, at an expense which Sir H. Bruce said he should understate if he put it at a million per annum, maintain fourteen ships of war on the station, but we permit red-tape and system such full sway that the loss of human life is horrible for even an African climate. Although it has been strongly urged upon the Admiralty that no ship's crew should be kept upon the coast for a longer period than two years at a time, yet the same vessels have been continued on the station for three, four, five, and even six years. The drain upon the best blood of the country which this involves, is shown in the return of the mortality between 1855 and 1865. During those ten years, out of 15,000 men, the number of them dead or invalided amounted to 1,157. We have heard very little of the benefits which the negro has derived from these sacrifices. We find that numbers of them have been drowned in the attempts made to rescue them from the slavers; and upon the whole there appears to be but one opinion, that the squadron is practically useless. Instead of leaving our sailors to waste away in the hopeless and demoralizing inactivity of a life on the African coast, could we not benefit humanity quite as much by employing them in the more agreeable duty of extirpating the pirates who infest the Chinese seas, and of whose atrocities we learn something by almost every mail from the East?
We are promised a new History of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew," by Dr. Henry White, to be published shortly by Mr. Murray. Dr. White is well known as a London journalist of ability and varied information, and as the author of several historical works. His forthcoming book (which will extend to about 600 pages 8vo) is an entirely new history, based on a critical examination, not only of the printed authorities, but of an immense mass of unpublished M.S. documents and old archives. It is not, as we understand, a religious history; but it will contain an account of the rise and progress of the Huguenot party, and of the religious wars, as well as of the Papal and Spanish intrigues which led to the great catastrophe of August, 1572. Such a work should be one of interest and value, and we shall look for it with curiosity.
The Paris Exhibition is developing a peculiar species of literature, the last edition to which is a work professing to give the biographies of the exhibitors. This is being published in numbers, under the editorship of M. N. Gallois, and it professes to be written by "a society of literary men," whose names, however, do not appear. "In the preface," says a writer from Paris, we are told that the work will be the livre d'or of the nobility of labor-an 'international monument '— the lesson of the present and the instruction of the future.' The society of literary men'-it is comforting to have this assurance at once-do not intend to write the biographies of all the 42,000 exhibitors of 1867; they limit themselves to the industrial heroes of the day, whose campaigns they will describe. The generals, captains, and simple soldiers of the 'grande armée industrielle' are apostrophized in round terms, and informed that they will be reviewed alphabetically
in a future edition. For the present, they will be taken as they come."
Madame George Sand having been requested by the conductor of a little pictorial journal to allow a caricature of herself to be published (such publication being illegal in France without the consent of the person caricatured), replied in the following characteristic letter;-"Paris, July 8.-If I were free, sir, I would say, 'yes' directly, for I never was vain, and I am not going to be at the age of sixty-three. But all my friends are against it, and my children would be pained by what you propose to do. Everybody about me tells me this so seriously that I must say 'no.' You will excuse me, won't you? Believe that I am very sorry to refuse a request made in such friendly and amiable terms.-GEORGE SAND."
A Supplement to the French " Yellow Book," containing the Luxembourg despatches, has been presented to the Chambers. Some doubt yet hangs over the question as to whether the original proposal with reference to the cession of the province came from France or from Holland. It may be recollected that, at the time of the recent discussion, directly contradictory statements were made by those two powers on the subject, each striving to fasten on the other the responsibility of taking the initiative. The probability
is that the French and Dutch monarchs had first talked the matter over in private correspondence, and that then the formal arrangement of the business was handed over to the respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The official interchange of notes commenced on the 21st of March in a despatch from the Marquis de Moustier to the Dutch Minister, in which he assumes as a postulate (derived, it would appear, from "previous correspondence ") that Holland desired to sell the duchy. The contemplated purchase was not to be concealed from Prussia, but France wished to be the first to communicate the intention. The King of Holland, however, himself spoke to the Prussian Minister at the Hague on the subjecta course which the Marquis de Moustier afterwards characterized as "premature, and to be regretted." One thing previously suspected is made tolerably clear in this Yellow Book. That is, that Count Bismarck was driven into opposing the contemplated cession by the loud demands of the Liberal party in Prussia, and the extreme and very general agitation of the public mind in view of such an event. Personally, the Count seems never to have been at all strong on the subject, and it is well known that he was always opposed to the extreme assumptions of his countrymen with reference to Luxembourg. This undoubtedly helped to preserve the peace of Europe. Lord Stanley also expressed to the Prussian and Russian Ambassadors his "personal opinion" that the purchase of the duchy by France would be "no more than legitimate." The whole business, however, was very ill-advised and objectionable, and the only satisfactory feature about it is the ability with which the English Government averted the threatened convulsion.
Earl Russell has published a corrected report of his recent speech upon the Irish Church, with a preface strongly insisting on the necessity of a
of these is the argument of Lord Derby, that the Church established in Ireland has as much right to its property as the Duke of Bedford has to Covent Garden and Woburn Abbey. Lord Russell admits this position so far as it may be meant to place the right of the present Archbishop of Dublin during his life, and that of the present Duke of Bedford during his life, to property formerly held by the Roman Catholic Church, on the same footing. "But," his lordship asks, "who are their heirs? The heir of the Duke of Bedford is known to the law, and will succeed as a matter of course. The heir of the bishops and clergy of the Church established in Ireland is the State," and "if the State chooses to dispose of the property in a manner different from its present appropriation, it has a full right to do so." The second objection is that urged in the recent debate by Lord Cairns, namely, that if Presbyterians and Roman Catholics are admitted to partake in the benefits to be derived from Church property, every religious sect is entitled to its share. This Lord Russell considers "a mere captious objection." To omit four millions and a half of Roman Catholics in your distribution is a palpable and glaring inequality; to omit 10,000 Baptists, or 20,000 of the Society of Friends, is only to make your distribution harmonize with the policy of the State and the general welfare of the community." His lordship, without binding himself to its details, believes the proposal of Mr. Justice Shee for the settlement of the Irish Church question likely to promote peace and content in Ireland with the least disturbance and personal suffering.
Mr. Goldwin Smith has written a letter to the Daily News, which, though nominally on the subiect of Professor Beesly and his critics, is really a criticism upon the trades' unions. Mr. Goldwin Smith shows that we have now reached one of the great turning points in the history of industry. The unions are the most striking signs of the day. They owe their existence to the peculiar position of the laborer. In their present form they are wild attempts to obtain that justice for the employed which the employer has hitherto monopolized. Their vicious elements are due rather to the ignorance of their framers than to any other cause. Such mere class movements-the product of uneducated men-were sure to be attended at first with violence and crimes. The violence, however, must be restrained, and the crimes sternly punished. By such means, by the spread, too, of knowledge, unions will not indeed be put down, but, what is better, reformed and brought into harmony with the spirit of the day. We cannot hope to put them down, but we may by wise legislation turn them into movements which shall bring good, not to one class, but to all classes.
A conviction has for some time been growing among the leading civil-engineers of Germany that the use of wood in the construction of railways is a mistake. Wooden sleepers soon perish, especially in hot climates, and the cost and risk of
renewal are alike great. If nothing but iron were used, the renewal would not be frequent, as at present, for the life of a good iron rail may be reckoned as thirty years; consequently in different parts of Germany, railways have been constructed without the use of wood. The rail is made about nine inches high, with a broad flat base, which rests on a well-prepared bed of ballast, and when properly fixed, is further supported by a layer of gravel. Thus constructed, the jerky motion of a train, occasioned by numerous cross-sleepers, is done away with; the hammering sound becomes a steady, continuous roar, the longitudinal bearing is distributed over a greater distance, and the need for repairs occurs but rarely. Some of the railway engineers in the United States have taken up the question, and come to the conclusion, that an iron permanent way is the best for their country, especially in the vast treeless regions of the North-west. The iron trade is reported to have been dull of late: if all the railway companies of Europe were to resolve on adopting an iron permanent way, the demand for the metal in the new form would be so great, that the trade could hardly fail to be brisk for years
£6,661,914 is the exact sum which Sir Samuel Morton Peto, Bart., M.P., Edward Ladd Betts, and Thomas Russell Crampton, are alleged to owe the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. When Sir S. M. Peto stood for Finsbury, in the spring of 1859, his peculiar claims upon the constituency were, we remember, urged in the following man
"The soldiers' friend, and sailors', too,
We doubt, however, if the holders of London, Chatham and Dover stock will, just now, be inclined to join in the blessing.-London Review.
M. Grimaud once more publishes a report upon the mode of introduction of cholera into Marseilles. From his examination of the various official and other documents, he has now no hesitation in stating that the cholera was introduced into Marseilles by the pilgrims who came in the ship Stella from Alexandria, on the 1st of June, 1865, and several of whom had died on the voyage, of what was said to be dysentery.
An Earthquake and Volcanic Disturbance similar to those at Santorin, have occurred in the two islands of Tercera and Gracioza, off the Portuguese coast. On the night of the 1st of June a volcano rose from the sea, about nine miles north of Serrata, and has since been in a state of great activity. It has thrown up enormous masses of stone and lava, and has formed a new island, which is likely to be dangerous to navigation. Sulphur and other vapors are emitted in large quantity. The boats have not been able to approach the new deposit, because of its incandescence and the dangerous character of the volcanic emanations. M. Saint-Claire Deville has asked the French Academy to appoint some geologist to inquire into and report upon the facts as in the case of the Santorin volcano.