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dote that it was much valued by our James II., and was the book for the loss of which, in his flight after the battle of the Boyne, he hastened to express his lively regret when Bossuet was first introduced to him at St. Germain. Very different was the spirit of Bossuet's greatest controversial work, the celebrated Variations of the Protestant Churches," the publication of which followed by a couple of years the revocation of the edict of Nantes. Of this the professed object was to set in the strongest light" the internal disputes and preplexities of the new reform, that amid them Catholic truth might shine forth like a bright sun piercing the clouds." Here Bousset was, to use Mr. Hallam's phrase, "the eagle of Meaux, lordly of form, fierce of eye, and terrible in his beak and claws," bent not on conciliating, but on crushing his opponents. The effect was immense, and for several years Bossuet was deeply engaged in replying to the attacks made on the book.-The Quarterly Review.
PIUS II. AND THE WORLD OF HIS TIME (1450).-Pius II. had a sort of cynical contempt for the current state of morality. Such are the morals of Italy," he said, "that almost all its princes are bastards." But it must not be supposed that this general depravity was confined to Italy. Jean V.,.Count of Armagnac, lived in incest with his sister, and actually applied to three Popes for a dispensation that he might contract a legal marriage with her. The story is told by French authorities, but Pius II. gives a circumstantial account of Jean's dealings with the Papacy in this abominable matter. Nicholas V. refused his application with scorn; but the Bishop of Lectoure was sent to Rome to renew it before Calixtus III. When Calixtus III. was on his death-bed a Papal secretary, John of Volterra, gave him a hint: "If any of your friends want an unjust or discreditable job performed now is your time." The Bishop of Lectoure at once promised him a large sum of money if he could get the dispensation signed, and he undertook to do so by means of Cardinal Borgia. John of Volterra drew out a dispensation for the fourth degree of consanguinity. When it was signed he erased the word "fourth" and substituted first." But he kept the dispensation till he had received his money, and the Count of Armagnac complained to Pius II. of John's attempts at extortion. Pius II. investigated the matter, condemned the Bishop of Lectoure to perpetual imprisonment, handed over John to the secular arm, and imposed a penance on the Count of Ar
magnac. There was one consolation to Pius II. in this matter. He records with some complacency that the Count of Armagnac said, "I have been opposed to Charles of France, but I never dreaded his armies so much as the Pope's tongue, which is like a sharp sword." This story serves to illustrate the way in which moral depravity invaded the officials of the Papal court, and the scandalous way in which current business is conducted. During the remainder of the century we meet with many cases of the punishment of officials who forged on a large scale dispensations and indulgences. If the Popes themselves were lax in granting privileges, their subordinates were still more lax. When so many documents had to be signed they could not all be properly examined. The moral indignation whch gave force to Luther's protest probably rested upon a broader basis than the Popes were aware of -The Saturday Review.
WATER AND DISEASE GERMS.-The appalling possibilities of water as a vehicle for the conveyance of the infectious germs of cholera, typhoid fever, and other epidemic diseases, which scientific investigators are every day demonstrating more clearly, and recently the discovery by Dr. Koch of the cholera bacillus in Indian tank water, should prompt the most careful supervision over the water supply of the population. But more than that; we cannot but re-echo Mr. Perry's wish to fix upon every individual a sense of personal responsibility in these matters [i. e. the abundance and purity of the water supply]. It is not enough to admit in a general way their importance to the moral and physical well-being; there is something to be done probably under your own roof, certainly within the reach of your influence." We entertain for chemistry, as for every other science, the greatest respect, but chemistry is, at least in its present stage, imperfect, and inadequate to solve many problems which science would fain resolve. We agree, therefore, entirely with Mr. Perry, that though chemical analysis is of the greatest value, it can scarcely be relied on alone to decide what water is salubrious for drinking purposes. Thus we are told by one school of chemists that we may unhesitatingly drink water which is condemned by another school as being unfit for human consumption, and the conclusion seems inevitable that in the present unsettled and unsatisfactory state of knowledge on the subject, the guidance of chemical analysis cannot be unreservedly
followed." It is much better frankly to recognize this than to place a blind reliance upon the assertions of dogmatic specialists. The Committee of the House of Lords which in 1878 had to consider a bill for the water supply of Durham is evidently of this opinion, for although six eminent chemists spoke very favorably of the water to be supplied, the Committee refused to pass the bill because the river from which the water was to be taken received higher up the drainage of several towns and villages, containing altogether a population of about ninety thousand. Nevertheless, one of the analysts employed had declared it, an exceedingly good water without the slightest trace of sewage contamination." It is remarkable, also, that the season of the year and other circumstances make a great difference in the analysis of water, especially that of streams. Thus Professor Frankland analyzed the water of a stream at four different times. When the stream was very full it would have been condemned as impure, while when it was low and contained little water it would have been called very pure and free from organic matter. The diseases which are conveyed through water are, as is now pretty well ascertained, due to certain minute organisms--bacteriaand it is generally admitted that these elude the most searching chemical analysis, and the opinion of the 1869 Royal Commission on Water Supply is justified. The Commission says: "Where a minute quantity of organic matter escapes destruction, it would seem that chemistry is not yet sufficiently advanced to pronounce authoritatively as to its exact quality and value, and with microscopic living organisms especially, chemistry is incompetent to deal, and other modes of examination are needed." It is strange under these circumstances that the Commissioners did not resort to microscopical examination. of different samples of water. Impure water often displays swarms of minute organisms under the microscope. Dr. Hassall has shown how useful the microscope may be in such cases in his report to the Committee appointed after the epidemic of 1854. From him we learn that the water supplied to London still contains considerable numbers of living vegetable and animal productions."-Month.
ENGLISH RULE IN EGYPT.-There can be little doubt that Egypt is the victim of quack remedies and bungling charlatanism. Regardless of the difference between Egyptians and ourselves, we have attempted to thrust
down their throats the blessings of a British administration; we have stuffed into the mouth of an Arab baby the tough beefsteak of an English ploughman, and we wonder that the infant chokes! The first great error committed by the British Government was the assumption of supreme authority after Tel-elKebir, unless we were prepared to accept entire responsibility. We found Egypt at that period as helpless as a baby in arms; we took it as a child of our own, and the Khedive represented our adoption; we declared that we should protect him, re-establish his authority, reorganize his military forces, reform the abuses of his country, introduce a liberal form of government, insure the liberty of the people by a representative assembly, and, in fact, that we should quickly exhibit the invigorating effect of Liberal institutions grafted from the British oak upon the Egyptian date-palm. Such a graft was a botanical impossibility. Such a policy was an absurd attempt at Quixotic endeavor to change the skin of the Ethiopian-to harness the horse and the camel in the same chariot. Nevertheless, the world was assured that the mighty magician who directed the destinies of Ireland and Great Britain, whose touch was certain of success, would, in the case of Egypt, equally succeed; our child the Khedive would be nursed until, invigorated by our protection, and instructed in British policy, he would be able to rule his loving subjects, who, grateful to England as their protector and liberator from long years of thraldom, would regard their ruler as the offspring of England's intervention. British forces would then retire from Egyptthe dust watered by the tears of a grateful population; the Khedive, strengthened by British tutorship, and hallowed by our influence, would be venerated by all those various races of Mohammedans beneath his rule who only waited for the retirement of British bayonets to display their loyalty. But, although we had adopted the Khedive as our own child rescued from the torrent of rebellion, as the infant Moses had been snatched from the waters of the Nile, we qualified and chilled our patronage by an ostentatious repudiation of all responsibility. We compelled him to administer the affairs of Egypt according to our dictation, leaving him no choice, and destroying all liberty of action, at the same time that we attempted to Anglicize all Egyptian institutions, which would evoke the hatred of the governing classes against their passive ruler who had submitted to our usurpation.—Nineteenth Century.
BY PROF. J. R. SEELEY.
GOETHE seems to be rising once more above the horizon. He is the youngest of the world's great authors; the latest who has laid a claim, that seems in a fair way of being allowed, to a place above the rank of merely national authors. The books that belong to the whole world alike are few, and even of these some have owed their universal acceptance to an accident. Fewer still are the authors who have so written that their personal character, their way of thinking and feeling, becomes a matter of perpetual interest, not only in their own country and age, but in every country where men study and in every age. Goethe appears to belong to this very small group. If he is not yet formally canonized, he has long been a Bienheureux. If little more than half a century has passed since his death, the NEW SERIES.-VOL. XL, No. 4
first part of Faust has been before the world three-quarters of a century; and of his first brilliant appearance in authorship the centenary is several years behind us. When we consider not only the period through which his fascination has lasted, but also the reactions it has surmounted and the vitality it exhibits, we may see our way to conclude that his fame is now as secure as any literary fame can be, and that it will only yield to
some deep-working revolution of thought-which, perhaps, it would be rash to pronounce impossible-some twilight of the gods, in which not only Goethe but also Shakespeare and Dante should fall from heaven.
If great authors are to be compared to stars, we may say of them that in the earlier stages of their immortality they do not take their place as fixed stars, but disappear and reappear with periodicity like comets or like planets.
Goethe has indeed passed out of this stage in his own country, where the reaction which Börne and Heine represented was never very serious, and where the latest cry is that the tide of admiration cannot be resisted; and that it is as vain now to exclaim impatiently "Goethe und kein Ende !" as it was for Goethe himself to exclaim" Shakespeare und kein Ende !" at the beginning of the century. But his European fame is less settled than his national fame, and so the reappearance of Goethe before our public at the present time is a sign worth noting. It marks a new stage in his posthumous career. His English prophet, Carlyle, is gone; the genera tion that listened to Carlyle and studied Goethe under his advice is passing away. Another race hath been, and other palms are won." And now we ask again, "Was it all true that Carlyle told Need we still study this foreign Goethe?" It might be some relief to be told that the fashion is past and need not be revived. For it is not much in our habits to study foreign literature. There is actually only one foreign poet who has influenced us at all profoundly or lastingly, that is Dante. Are we bound to concede this very exceptional honor to Goethe also?
Some obvious considerations might tempt us to hold ourselves excused. Carlyle used to hold up Goethe as a light in religion and philosophy; a guardian who marched before us as a pillar of fire to show the way out of the scepticism of the eighteenth century into faith and serenity. But is not this a view difficult to admit or to understand now that the eighteenth century, with its Voltaires and Fredericks and French revolutions, has receded so far into the distance; now that so many new forms of scepticism have appeared, and so many new ways of dealing with scepticism have been suggested? And if the nimbus of prophecy has faded from about his head, if we look at him again without prepossessions, as Scott Coleridge looked at him in his own lifetime, and see in him only a distinguished literary man, the author of certain plays, novels, songs and epigrams, of certain fragments of autobiography, criticism and description, does any ground remain for paying him a homage different, not
merely in degree but in kind, from that which we render to other great literary men who have adorned the nineteenth century-to such men, for instance, as Scott or Coleridge themselves, or as Byron, or as Victor Hugo? Assuredly there is no danger that the author of "Faust" will not take rank with the highest of these men. But do his works justify us in raising him far beyond that rank, into the small first class of the select spirits of all time? Why rank him, for instance, with Shakespeare? It may be fair, perhaps, to say that "Faust" would deserve rank, and even high rank, among the Shakespearian dramas; but then "Faust" stands alone among Goethe's works. What other compositions of the first class can he produce? Is it "Hermann und Dorothea ?" That, no doubt, is very pretty and perfect. "Iphigenie" is very noble, Tasso" very refined, "Götz'' very spirited, but "Egmont is somewhat disappointing, and almost all the other plays are unimportant, when they are not, like Stella, absurd. The pathos of "Werther" is obsolete; and is not " Wilhelm Meister" dull in a good many parts, nay, perhaps everywhere except where it is redeemed by the exquisite invention of Mignon, or by the vivacity of the disreputable Philine Do not even Germans sometimes acknowledge that they cannot read the Elective Affinities"? And who can make anything of the second part of Faust, or the second part of Meister"? When we praise Shakespeare, we are not obliged to make so many abatements. Among his plays very few can be called failures, and a dozen at least are undoubted masterpieces. pieces. But can Goethe hold his own even against Scott in abundance of imagination? To produce his few masterpieces how much effort was bestowed? What a task of self-culture did he impose upon himself? How many large designs did he conceive and abandon? What has become of his "Cæsar," of his "Mohammed," of his "Prometheus," of his Ahasuerus, of his great religious epic, "Die. Geheimnisse," of his national epic on
Bernhard of Saxe Weimar," of his epic on "Wilhelm Tell," of his great trilogy of plays illustrative of the French
Revolution? Of the trilogy we have a single play, "Die Natürliche Tochter," of some of the other works more or less considerable fragments, of some not a trace remains. Meanwhile Scott, taking life easily and making no parade of effort, pours out his poems, ballads, romances and novels without stint, finishes whatever he begins, scarcely ever fails to satisfy both himself and the whole world; and though he had a life shorter by twenty years, has left behind him a far greater mass of literature which is still amusing,
Against such objections as these what is Goethe's case? First, then, it may be admitted that Goethe, though he produced a great deal, was not one of those artists whose career is one easy and continuous triumph. The truth is that his circumstances did not admit of this. Artists are like generals, of whom some find an army ready-made, and therefore win a succession of victories, while others are reduced to prove their genius by the skilful use of insufficient means. An artist is no more to be estimated by counting his successful works, than a general simply by counting his victories. But was not Goethe one of the most fortunate of artists? Had he not long life, easy circumstances, and most generous patronage? Nay, in one respect he was among the much-tried artists who correspond to such generals as Washington or William III., generals to whom victory is difficult, because they have to make the armies they fight with.
It is often affirmed that a great poet is the outgrowth and flower of a great age, and this is true of a certain class of great poets. They live in the midst of great men, and within the rumor of great deeds; they use a language which has been gradually moulded to poetic purposes by poets who have been their precursors and whose fame they absorb. Appearing at the right moment, they reap the harvest which has been sown by others. Subjects are waiting for them, style and manner have been prepared, and a public full of sympathy and congeniality welcomes them. Such poets are not like William III. or Washington, but rather like Frederick, who inherited an unrivalled army created by his father, or like Napoleon, who wielded all the prodigious military
force created and trained by the Revolution. Both Shakespeare and Scott may be said to belong to this class. The first is the normal product of the Elizabethan age, which has filled his imagination with its great deeds and the great changes it has wrought. Scott too had, in the first place, the advantage of models, in whose steps it was safe to follow, since Shakespeare himself and the great, novelists had created the style and smoothed the path for him, and since in two centuries of a flourishing English literature there had grown up a common understanding between the authors and the public. But, moreover, the teeming imagination which furnished out Scott's poems and romances was also in a certain sense the result of fortunate circumstances. It was not the mere accident of a gifted nature, but the result of local and family associations. In the brain of the Borderer the wild life of his ancestors survived as a perennial spring of ballad poetry and romance. That brain was like a haunted house upon which the strange deeds of a past generation have left their mark.
He said himself that he had a head through which a regiment of horse had been exercising ever since he was five years old." All the turmoil. of the blood which is put to rest by the security of a settled civilization, and which had lingered longer on the Border than in any other region so near the capital seats of civilization-all the intense passions, prejudices, and superstitions which make the stock of the romancer and ballad-writer-belonged to Scott, not simply because he was a genius, but mainly because he was a Borderer, because he was a Scott.
Such a case as that of Scott, which is corroborated by the later instances of Hawthorne and Rossetti, teaches us that we ought to distinguish two kinds of poetic imagination. We often speak of the poet as if he drew his inspiration necessarily from Nature, as if he had not only the sources that are open to all, but a peculiar talent of using them, a power of seeing in nature more than others see. These examples show us another kind of poetic imagination, which may be equally powerful and which strikes us also as genuine, but which does not work upon Nature.