« VorigeDoorgaan »
Number of Leeches used.
the deficiency is less to be regretted. We be feared, some of the most interesting exbibit the figures in a table :
cities are reputed to be unhealthy, and the ST. BARTHOLOMEW's.
Alps are so near that it does not seem
worth while to endure the heat that may Year. 1832
be expected with certainty: Besides, 97,300
300 1842 48,100
many private collections are inaccessible
550 1852 27,300
during the hottest months, and though the
600 1802 6,200
churches and the public galleries remain 1872
670 open, the effort to reach them exhausts all 1882
670 but the most youthful strength. The ST. GEORGE'S.
streets, too, are deserted and the windows
shaded during the daytime, so that the 1832
21,800 1842 19,600
towns are robbed of their gaiety, and wear
an appearance of desolation till the sun 4,050
325 1862 1,360
down. Then, it is true, square and 350
goes 1872 500
market seem to breathe anew; the shut
ters are pushed back and the lattices
opened, and by-and-by the open spaces These figures may be thus exhibited in their diminishing order of number of begin to be filled by a crowd of men and leeches used per bed :
woinen who have come forth to profit to
the utmost by the coolness of the evening, St Bartholomew's 195, 187, 45, 9, 105, 2'5
to saunter languidly up and down, and to St. George's 109, 61, 10, 4, 195, 2.5 sip ice before the caffè doors. But the
(nearly). more brilliant members of the community The older hospital seems to have been are absent in some seaside village or more conservative of the usage. It is a mountain retreat, and those who remain curious economical fact that the leeches no longer exhibit the vivacity that distin. seem to have cost more in 1882 than in guishes them in spring and autumn, nay, 1832, though the consumption had been even in the bright days of winter; they reduced to about a fiftieth part. Leech seem overcome by lassitude to a degree gathering must have been in times past a that might excite the admiration of some distinct occupation followed by an appre: them the true representatives of the nine.
spectators, and induce them to consider ciable part of the population. It must now have dwindled away, with the effect teenth century. The tourists are doubt. of diminishing the supply even beyond
less wise in their generation. the diminution of the demand. Or has
And yet there is a charm in an Italian fifty years of draining made the leeches summer, at least for those who have cultiactually fewer? The present writer iust, vated a natural talent for indolence, for it however, own his ignorance as to the certainly appeals to the contemplative sources of the past and present supply.
rather than the active order of minds. Statistics of the quantities used of the There is positively nothing to be done. chief drugs, such as quinine and calomel During the long noonday hours to take a (does any one, we wonder, now take the walk on the beach is to run the risk of odious sénna which was one of the terrors supstroke, while riding would be an act of of our childhood ?), of anæsthetics, and of heartless cruelty not only to your horse other things without number, would be
but to yourself. Fortunately you have no extremely interesting. Professor Rogers
desire to do anything. Bodily exercise is has given us “ Six Centuries of Work and clearly a folly, and you soon perceive that Wages;” why should not he or another intellectual exertion is also a vanity and a give us “ Six Centuries of Food,” and an
You begin to sympathize with the expert in the art, “Six Centuries of Medi. Eastern sages who think it the height of ?
wisdom to cross their legs and repeat a mystical monosyllable, though, for your own part, you prefer to stretch yourself at full length on your bed with the small.
est amount of clothing your sense of deFrom The Saturday Review. cency will permit, and the least exciting
novel you can manage to procure without
trouble. This is the time to read Sterne In these days of cheap and rapid trav- with real pleasure, and to discover the elling, few tourists care to pass a summer wisdom concealed beneath his wit ang in Italy. Even when no epidemic is to humor, which only the indoleat will ever
have leisure enough to understand. As ployed to-morrow. It was not thus our you ponder over the reflections suggested old poets and novelists worked. Chaucer by some sentence the true meaning of and Shakespeare, like Michael Angelo, which for the first time dawns upon you, could draw without models, because they the book slips from your hand, and you knew human nature so well that it was sink into a doze which is half a reverie impossible for them to err in portraying and half a dream. So the hot hours pass it; and in their own lines Swift, Fielding, slowly by, till the time has come to open Sterne, and Thackeray, nay, even Smol; your casement and to go forth in search of lett and Dickens, would have scorned dinner. But to enjoy, or even to endure, such a hand-to-inouth trade. Out of the such a condition it is not enough that you fulness of their knowledge and observa. have no debts to pay and no work to do. tion they spoke; they had not to look You must also possess a contented mind. hungrily around them every morning for You must have forgotten all about the something to say. It must be acknowlpoor harmless sluggard you were taught edged that this restless activity is the very to despise, and the busy bee you were told quality that has secured for England her to emulate, in the days of your infancy. supremacy in manufacture, trade, and You must let each hour bear its own bur. colonization; but the man who can never den, and when you have endured its heat regard either nature or human life with a kindly and patiently, without increasing disinterested and purposeless love will the difficulties of your neighbors by your never — to return to our subject, he will ill-humor and irritability, which perhaps never enjoy an Italian summer; it will be rarely happens, you may feel that if you nothing but unalloyed misery to bim. bave performed no heroic labor you have For the contented and the quiet mind, at least passed through a course of moral we repeat, it has a charm. The beat discipline which is not to be despised. serves as a welcome excuse for indulging
“ An Englishman can never sit still in the dreamy indolence which nature has except when he has a bottle of wine be. bestowed as a sweet opiate on those whom fore him.” Such is the southern verdict she has deprived of a capacity for pushing on our northern character, and it is hard their way. To watch the sea for hours, to deny that it contains a certain truth. wondering whither the white sails are Most of our fellow-countrymen feel a tending, and what freight of human hope, strong call to be up and doing. On a fine sorrow, or passion they are bearing so day we know that every one who can afford quietly along, seems philosophical resig. it is expected to kill something, and in wet nation rather than self-indulgence. To weather he has his accounts to add up, a leave the book unread and the task unmachine to invent, or an article to write. done is not to be lazy, but prudent. Con. If he has no such resource, he will ruin science and inclination are thus recon. himself at the gaming-table or elsewhere. ciled; and, when the born sluggard meets He has no patience to let the influences his fretful acquaintances, he for once in of nature work quietly upon him, no time his life enjoys the sweet sense of superi. to chew the cud of bis reflections. Even ority. And what a world it is to lie and on his travels the gallery is “done " and dream in! The olive gardens extend to the landscape" bolted” as the clodhopper the cliffs above the shore, and beyond the bolts his bacon. The busy bee is indeed grey expanse, which here and there bright. his model, and what does she know of ens to silver, stretches the deep sapphire the lilies of the field? They may be ar of the sea. Further on, the coast is brokrayed in a splendor greater than that of en into innumerable inlets and tiny bays; Solomon ; she does not perceive it, and if and, as the sunshine touches the rocks, she did she would not care; her one ques. their tints vary from deep black to a goldtion is, Where can I find a little honey to en brown. There is a glimmer as of haze carry home to my_hive? And so it is in the air into which the distance softly with the average Englishman of to-day. fades; yet every outline is clear, every What he seeks in nature is something he shadow sharply marked. The mountains
He observes acutely, but only and islands on the horizon are still disto serve his own ends, practical, scientific, tinct, though they seem withdrawn by or artistic; so he perceives only half- some magic into the realm of dream. One truths, but these he turns to the best ad- can hardly believe that they belong to the vantage. Our very poets and artists seem workday world; and as the sun sinks the to go into the open air only to find a sug. deep flushes of varying light seem rather gestion for a line or a study for a picture. to shine through than to be reflected from And what is noticed to-day must be em. them. All the long noontide, too, it would
be so still, were it not for the chirp of the is, more wholesome than the half-melted cicadas, which only seems to make the ices, flavored with unholy essences. heat audible. A single insect of the kind On such an evening excursion you may is a torment not to be endured; but when perhaps find a pleasant midday retreat, thousands take voice together from the for the landlord of a country cantina is olive groves, their humming seems to fall generally a small proprietor, whose garinto a rhythm that harmonizes with the dens and vineyards adjoin the yard at the ripple of the sea. The village children back of the house. The noon is always say they are singing to bid the grapes hotter there than indoors; but, at least in grow ripe. The sluggard's vintage never the early summer and late autumn, it ripens, so he is spared the trouble of seems more bearable to a northerner in gathering it, and can saunter forth as soon the open air; and some of these little as the air grows cooler to view the pleas. orchards are charming from the very
fact ures, the labors, and the follies of his that they are planted for use and not for neighbors.
ornament. In one of the least frequented The smallest Italian village has its of the southern seaside towns, for examcaffè, and the smallest caffè provides ice ple, there is a pomegranate garden of this at least once or twice in the week. Here, kind. It stands on the summit of a little in the summer evenings, the whole air is cliff which rises precipitously above the in motion with the flutter of fans. The sea with its narrow fringe of sand. At husbands, brothers, and fathers read the one end some one with ampler means and single paper supplied turn by turn with a more cultivated taste than the present such a concentrated and protracted inter- occupant built a terrace in the early years est, that one might suppose they were of the last century. It is falling into ruin going to pass an examination in its con. now, but the great view it commands still tents, if one did not know they were sim- remains, and it is still shadowed over by ply anxious to ignore the fervid glances the heavy foliage of ancient trees. A lit. which the ladies under their protection tle brook runs through the grounds, and are exchanging with the youths who are bounds or trickles down the face of the playing dominoes at the opposite tables. cliff, according to the season. It is forced The landlord shuffles backwards and for at first to take its way through a huge wards every now and then, and the waiter square trough of roughly hewn stone, and moves actively about, expectant of pos- here it must be confessed that early in sible soldi. You feel at once that it is the morning washing is sometimes done, only a cheaper edition of the great world after the primitive method of the place, from which you have fled, printed on by rubbing the linen with sand and beatworse paper and in a coarser type. Downing it on the sides of the cistern, without one of the streets that lead to the shore, the aid of soap or a fire; but at other times bowever, there is sure to be a cantina. It even the lower part of the brook is as offers nothing but the wine of the country, bright and clear as crystal. In the early and none of the frequenters of the caffè weeks of June, when the pomegranates ever think of passing its portals. In the are in full flower, and the sunshine flickers daytime, it must be confessed, they are restlessly on the tender green below, you gloomy enough to frighten the passer-by; could hardly find a more delightful resting, but of an evening the huge back doors are place, and even later on in the season, if opened, and then the shop appears only a you bring a volume of the “ Earthly Para. portico to the orange or olive grove be: dise," and sling your hammock by the hind. If you are content with the light of brook, you will not feel that the midday the moon, the stars, and the fireflies, you heat lasts too long. A pigeon may flutter can take a chair and drink your wine down and sip of the water, a child may there; but, if you are a lover of men, you come to paddle in it for a minute or two will seat yourself at the rude table oppo- with her brown feet, and then coil herself site the counter, and listen to the talk of up in the nearest patch of shade and fall the fishermen who come in to quench their asleep there. Nothing else will disturb thirst and fill their bottles before starting your reverie, and as you glance away from on their nightly expeditions. There is the lovely story to the blue sea over which generally something to be learned from the distant sails are stealing so calmly their conversation; and, even if this is not and so slowly, you may well for a moment the case, the breeze that passes through feel that human life is, indeed, what Nova. the captina is pleasanter than the heavy lis said it ought to become
-a dream. air of the caffè, and the wine, rough as it
From The Spectator. bly construct of our own – but as the CARLYLE ON RELIGIOUS CANT.
pretence of bearing personal evidence to MR. FROUDE makes of his last two vol. truths which are not origioal in us at all, umes of Carlyle's life and letters one and which are borrowed by us from others, constantly recurring and perpetually reit. on whose authority alone we accept them. erated vituperation of cant; but what cant Now, it is not every one who can bear is, except that it is either absolutely insin. personal testimony to the ultimate founcere, or – a deeper stage still — sincere dations even of religious truth, though insincerity, neither Mr. Froude por Car- every one with a religion at all can bear lyle ever plainly says. In one place Car. personal testimony to the spiritual strength lyle suggests that the mere echoing of it gives. No one knew this better than other persons' beliefs is pure cant, for he Carlyle, for he bore the most eloquent bewails himself much on the misery of testimony to the depth of his own father's living amidst echoes. “ Ach Gott ! ” he and mother's faith ; and yet, so far as we says, “it is frightful to live among echoes." can judge, his profound scorn for tradi. Well
, if the echoing of other persons' be. tional faiths struck in principle, — though, liefs — that is, believing their belief on of course, he did not think so, at the their authority - be cant, we must all of sincerity of theirs. He wrote with his us cant on all subjects on which we have usual wrath to Mr. Erskine of those who not been able to satisfy ourselves. In looked at the universe through the "belps that case, it is cant to echo the astrono. and traditions of others." “ Others,” he mer's prediction of an eclipse, or the said, “are but offering him their miserable wine-merchant's opinion of a brand of spy-glasses, Puseyite, Presbyterian, Free wine, or the farmer's of the condition of Kirk, Old Greek, Middle Age Italian, im. the crops. It would be cant to accept perfect, not to say distorted; semi-opaque, Mr. Carlyle's assertion that Sterling's was wholly opaque, and altogether melancholy a “beautiful soul” which "pulsed auro. and rejectable spy-glasses, one and all if ras,” – indeed, as we suspect that to have one has cyes left. On me, too, the presbeen a bit of Carlylese cant, the echoing sure of these things falls very heavy; inof it might really be cant. Nay, it would deed, I often feel the loneliest of all the even be cant to take it on trust from him sons of Adam; and, in the jargon of poor that "sea-green incorruptible" is a trust. grimacing men, it is as if one listened to worthy description of Robespierre, or the jabbering of spectres, not a cheerful
fiery-real from the great fire-bosom of situation at all while it lasts. ... I con. nature herself” of Danton. We cannot fess, then, Exeter Hall, with its frothall of us follow the researches of the his. oceans, benevolence, etc., etc., seems to torians any more than those of the astron- me amongst the most degraded platitudes omers or the tradesmen. If we are to this world ever saw; a more brutal idolahave impressions at all on the subjects try, perhaps, – for they are white men, on which Carlyle himself has given us and their century is the nineteenth, our impressions, we must “live among than that of Mumbo Jumbo itself. . . echoes.” It cannot be cant simply to take It is every way very strange to consider on trust the work of others, or to echo on what 'Christianity''so-called has grown to reasonable evidence wbat we have not had within these two centuries, on the Howard time to investigate for ourselves. Nay, to and Fry side as on every other, - a paltry, make original views for ourselves when mealy.mouthed religion of cowards, who we have not in reality the means of mak. can have no religion but a sham one, ing them with anything like the justice which also, as I believe, awaits its aboli. and truthfulness with which others, whom tion from the avenging power. If men we might follow and trust, can make them, will turn away their faces from God, and is itself a very serious sort of cant, of set up idols, temporary phantasms, instead which Carlyle was not unfrequently guilty. of the Eternal One, — alas ! the conseSome of his " Latter-Day Pamphlets” ap- quences are from of old well-known.” pear to us to have been full of attempts to For him, at least, even the self-sacrificing be original on subjects which he did not labors of Howard and Elizabeth Fry in really understand, though he treated with trying to improve the diabolical treatment the most insulting contempt those who of criminals once common in English understood them far better than himself. prisons, were founded on pure cant, on a We should describe cant not as the echo mealy-mouthed religion of cowards. Yet ing of others' views or faiths. which we Carlyle's own religion was not, if he is to very often ought to echo, because they are be judged by his letters, free from cant. far better than any which we could possi- | For it was, by his own admission in later
life, a religion which he could not recon. and told him that he was not facing the cile with the facts of life as he apprehended facts truly, but deceiving himself with them. At first his religion, which was phantasms; that he had no right to decast in the stern old Hebrew type, insisted nounce the materialism of those who a great deal on the everlasting foundations simply put away their faith in Providence of truth, on the permanent duty of honest because they found it, as he found it, industry, on the severe grandeur of con. “ without evidence,” if not against the stancy and good-faith, on the sublimity of evidence, and who had given up trust in God's eternity, and on the magnificence an Everlasting Will which, so far as they of the heavens; further, it poured the could see, he had rightly described when utmost contempt on miracle as exploded he said, “ He does nothing," what could by science, treated the external story of he have replied which any Christian might the Gospel as childish legend, based the not equally reply to his taunts? He faith in human immortality on a kind of would probably have been wisely in differintuition, and ridiculed all positive revela- ent to the assertion that for his soul there tion as Hebrew old clothes. This is what was “no hope at all.” He would perfectly Carlyle's faith was in his manhood. But, well have recognized that, after all, he was apparently, if Mr. Froude may be trusted, not in the least insincere in holding by it was more hesitating towards the end. that passionate faith in Providence for He admitted, we are told, that his deep which, when challenged, he could give no faith in Providence was without evidence, reason, - nay, against which he could if not against the evidence. When Mr. suggest many reasons.
He would have Froude told him, not long before his death, felt perfectly sure that in spite of the pain that he (Mr. Froude)” could only believe with which he declared to Mr. Froude in a God which [sic] did something: with that God "does nothing," it was his own a cry of pain which I shall never forget, dulness and deadoess which made the he said, “He does nothing. For him. admission, and not his own life and in. self,” adds Mr. Froude, “however, bis sight. But would he ever have seen that faith stood firm. He did not believe in it was as truly cant in him to deny the historical Christianity. He did not be possibility of true faith in Christianity to lieve that the facts alleged in the Apostles' men of education and knowledge, as it Creed had ever really happened. The would have been cant in the materialists, resurrection of Christ was to him only the if on the strength of such evidence as symbol of a spiritual truth. As Christ Mr. Froude gives us, they had denied rose from the dead, so were we to rise sincerity to Carlyle? from the death of sin to the life of right. The truth is that no cant is worse than
Not that Christ had actually the cant of originality, and that no cant died and had risen again. He was only ought to have been more clearly recog. believed to have died and believed to have nized as cant by Carlyle. He himself was risen, in an age when legend was history, original only in what he omitted from the when stories were accepted as true from faith of his parents; for no man could their beauty or their significance.” In a have retained more vividly the impress of word, Christianity was not true, and all the religious type which they had handed who were pretending to believe, or be down to bim. That retained his faith lieving that they believed, becoming hypo. in Providence and immortality at all, was crites conscious or unconscious, the last the consequence of the faith long and the worst of the two, not daring to look carefully preserved by his ancestors, and the facts in the face, so that the very by them transmitted to him. On the sense of truth was withered in them," mere basis of his own imaginative vision were on the side of cant. “For such he would have had no faith worth the souls,” says Mr. Froude, describing Car. name, at most, indeed, a perception of lyle's belief in words, let us hope, a little the possibility of faith. Nay, is it not the stronger than he himself would have used, lesson of Revelation itself that what we " there was no hope at all.” Such was inherit in this way from our parents is Carlyle's own “Exodus from Hounds. not a prejudice, but a growing faculty ditch." After that exodus, he was com- of insight; and that we ought to value pelled to admit that his faith in Providence nothing more than the type of character was without evidence, or against the evi. through which genuine belief in the spirit. dence, and that the Everlasting Will on wal world becomes possible? Did not whose absolute government of the world the Jews accumulate the results of their he rested so much,“ does nothing." If prophetic teaching for long generations of anybody had then turned round on him, I prosperity, calamity, exile, and dependent