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tales seem commonplace beside the verities of modern discovery, and new and inconceivable potentialities open out for the human race as we observe how we are now able to treasure up the forces of nature, and employ them at our leisure for human advantage. Those problems which spring from the continual increase of population take another aspect; as we perceive how to face new conditions, new and incalculable resources are brought into play. So ignorant, however, concerning itself is the age which witnesses the new birth, that it is disposed to regard itself as commonplace. Meanwhile, to bear out the parallel I always feel inclined to establish, the present century, like the fifteenth, is perplexed, as no other period has been, with the problems of human suffering. Only since the days of Keats can it in truth be said that, as Shelley writes
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. To prove the truth of these statements, and to show how, from the time of the Greek—who in his delight in beauty, put on one side all thought of what is oppressive, or, it may be, cruel, in human surroundings—until to-day there have been but two periods the literature of which is coloured throughout with gloom, requires an essay rather than a note. The task, however, though it might be long, would not be difficult. To others besides myself the parallel I have indicated appears real and full of significance.
knowable is worth trying to know—at any rate, trying " to know something about." In geology, chemistry, meteorology, botany, astronomy, I can find much which helps to answer the question, “Is life worth living?” But I must draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at the more advanced developments of psychology. I think I have a fair average power of understanding at least the popular aspect of all that is commonly called scientific. Sylvanus Urban is not a specialist-not a professor of what Matthew Arnold calls instrumentknowledge ; like Bacon, he takes all knowledge for his field. But I confess the psychologists are too many for him. Now, here is a passage, in a quarterly review of psychology and philosophy, respecting which I would ask if men or angels can tell what it is all about:-“The transcendence of man is maintained on the ground of his exercising powers, which it may plausibly be disputed whether he exercises at all. The notion that thought can originate, or that we can freely will, is at once set down as a transcendental illusion "
(transcendental illusion is good, it is very good, and yet—it is but transcendental illusion). “There is more hope of result if the controversy is begun lower down, with the analysis of an act which it is not doubted that we perform. Now, the ordinary perception of sensible things, or matters of fact, involves the determination of a sensible process, which is in time, by an agency that is not in time-in Kant's language, a combination of empirical and intelligible characters'" ("I trust I make myself understood ")_"as essentially as do any of those “higher' mental operations of which the performance may be disputed. The sensation of which the presentation as a fact is the nucleus of every perception, is an event in time. Its conditions, again, have all of them a history in time. It is true, indeed” (pray mark this), " that the relation between it and its cause, if its cause is understood strictly as the sum of its conditions, is not one of time. The assemblage of conditions, "external' and
internal,' constitutes the sensation. There is no sequence in time of the sensation upon the assembled conditions." And so on, apparently without any meaning, or even any tendency to a meaning, in timeor out of time—till we come to this stupendous assertion: "The agent of this neutralisation of time can as little, it would seem, be itself subject to conditions in time, as the constituents of the resulting whole, the facts united in consciousness into the nature of the perceived object, are before or after each other.”
In what way is the world benefited by lucubrations of this sort? Those who produce them (we say it without the least ill feeling towards the late Professor T. H. Green, to whom the above is due) must have known perfectly well that while the ideas they were enunciating were commonplace enougl--not worth the trouble of stating, in fact, in plain terms—such verbiage as the above would tend to convey an idea of profundity altogether unmerited. They seem to act on the idea that many will say of them, or (to all intents) think of them
If they find sense in that which is Greek and worse to me,
THE UTILITY OF FOLLY AND VICE. NDOUBTEDLY there is a germ of truth in Mr. Mattieu
Williams's recent half-jesting Science Note on the “ Utility of Drunkenness.” In default of war and massacre, plague, pestilence, and famine, the human race increases too fast for the life-supporting powers of the earth. In my contemporary Knowledge, Mr. Proctor has shown that even at the rate of increase of population observed in England during the last few years, the world would have been many times more than covered by its human inhabitants alone, in 4,000 years, starting from a population of only ten persons at the beginning of that time. Yet in England there still remain many causes by which the too rapid growth of population is prevented. When we consider how large a proportion of our infant population perish before they reach their fifth year, most of them from causes which might be avoided; when further we note in how many of our cities, towns, and villages, deaths from preventible causes are rife, we see that, at a very moderate computation, the annual rate of increase per cent. of population might be raised from its present value, about 1į, to twice that; in which case, apart from emigration, England would be overcrowded in less than a century, and the whole world packed over its entire surface with human beings in less than a thousand years. Philanthropists are doing their best to hasten the approach of this undesirable consummation ; and really, at a first view, it seems as though their anxiety to put an end to wars and rumours of war, to prevent or to limit disease, to teach men, women, and children how they should clothe themselves, how arrange their houses, what precautions to take as to exercise, change of air, sleep, and so forth, were in itself commendable. Yet, if they attained their wishes all round, and if, further, men learned from them to be vegetarians, not to hunt or to kill other animals, and so forth, two centuries or so at the outside would see the land surface of the earth so closely covered with inhabitants that there would be no living. If all were equally unselfish (stay, “altruistic" is the proper word), all would die at about the same time. The saviours of the world, under these untoward conditions, would be the unwise : the drunkards, who provide themselves with a happy despatch; the anti-vaccinationists and anti-vivisectionists, who strive to keep alive the seeds of disease or to prevent the inquiries by which disease might be eradicated; the tight-lacing women, who kill themselves and their offspring ; the reckless, the vicious, and the abandoned.
GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE. .
DUST: A NOVEL.
BY JULIAN HAWTHORNE,
Only the actions of the Just
'HE words which Philip had heard, and the shock of surprise
which they gave him, combined with the unexpectedness of the whole scene in Mrs. Lockhart's little sitting-room, rendered obscure his perception of what immediately followed. By-and-by, however, two or three of the persons present took their departure, and then Philip found himself alone with Fillmore, Mrs. Lockhart, and Marion. The latter had already received the congratulations of the company, to which she had replied little or nothing.
“My dear daughter," now exclaimed Mrs. Lockhart, with gentle fervour, "what a splendid surprise ! To think I should have lived to see you a great heiress ! Twenty thousand pounds did you say, Mr. Fillmore? To think of Mr. Grant's--Mr. Grantley's having been so rich! He was so quiet and simple. What a noble thing to do ! But he was the son of Tom Grantley, you know, and Lady Edith Seabridge was his mother. And, oh! Philip, how happy you and Marion will be now !”
“I think we should have been that, at any rate," said Philip, smiling at Marion, and conscious of eleven hundred pounds in his pocket.
“Yes; at least as happy," said Marion, in a low voice.
"I had not been aware," observed Fillmore with a slight bow, " that Mr. Lancaster was to be congratulated as well as Miss Lockhart.”
“ You can bear witness that I was not a fortune-hunter," said Philip, laughing. “When was this will made, Mr. Fillmore?" VOL. CCLIII. NO. 1823.
“ Very recently," he replied, mentioning the date.
“ Strange !” said Philip, musing. “ He was as sound and healthy a man of his age as ever I saw. Had he any premonition of death ?" " Apparently he had not," the lawyer answered.
But, as you would have learned, had you been present throughout the reading of the document, the will provided for the probable contingency of his continuing to live. In that case, Miss Lockhart would have come into possession of ten thousand pounds on her next birthday, and the remainder of the legacy hereafter. Mr. Grantley evidently intended her to reap the benefits of his wealth without having to wait for his decease.”
"I wish he had told me !" murmured Marion, folding her hands on her lap and looking out of the window.
“ Madame Desmoines was not here?” remarked Philip.
“I have had some correspondence with her on the subject," said Fillmore. “As it happens, she was not named as a legatee in the will. But, had it been otherwise, I gathered that it was not her purpose to accept anything."
“Why so ?” Philip asked.
“I was not informed; but it may be presumed that the will would have designated her as the testator's daughter, and she was perhaps not prepared to acknowledge the relationship.
“Oh, Mr. Fillmore, do you think Madame Desmoines could have any doubts of Mr. Grantley's honour ? " exclaimed Mrs. Lockhart. “I'm sure she has too fine a character herself to think evil of others.”
"I should not explain her action on that ground-were I to attempt to explain it," Fillmore answered. “The Marquise Desmoines is not an ordinary woman : she is very far from it. No direct proof, beyond the testator's confidential statement to certain persons, has ever been advanced as to his identity with the Charles Grantley who disappeared a score of years ago. Had the Marquise adopted that statement, it might have involved inconvenient or painful explanations with persons still living, which, under the circumstances, the Marquise would have been anxious to avoid. I mention no names, and need not do so. On the other hand, she is the owner of a property from her late husband which is in excess of her ordinary requirements. She desires no addition to it, and may have been unwilling to seem to interfere with the advantage of others.”
“How could that be?" demanded Philip. “If Mr. Grantley had bequeathed money to her, it would have made no difference whether she acknowledged him or not,”