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been for the awful sixpenny chromo. | before the invention of Voltaireanism. lithographs of the Passion, the bleeding The happiness of some souls appears to wooden Christs, the Madonnas in muslin consist in a sense of vigor and selffrocks and spangles, and all the pious reliance, a power of censuring one's self tawdriness which makes Rother Chapel and one's neighbors ; and Protestantism, look like some awful Belgian or Bavarian as austere and Calvinistic and democratic church, I might almost have believed, for as possible, is the right religion for them. the moment, that the lady in question But there are others whose highest spirwould do very wisely to turn Catholic.” itual bien être consists in a complete strip

" I wonder whether she will?” mused ping off of all personality, a complete Vere, as they walked slowly across the letting themselves passively be swung up yielding turf of the common, which and down by a force greater than them. seemed, in its yellow greepness, to be selves; and such people ought, I think, saturated with the gleams of sunshine, to turn Catholic.". breaking ever and anon through the film Rheinhardt looked at Vere with a droll of white cloud against which stood out expression of semi-paternal contempt. the dark and massive outline of the pine My dear Vere,” he asked, “is it possiclumps, the ghostlike array of the larches, ble that you, at your age, can still believe and the pale-blue undulation of the dis- in such nonsense? Ladies, I admit, may tant downs.

require for their complete happiness to “She may or she may not,” answered abandon their conscience occasionally into Rheinhardt, “ that is no concern of mine, the hands of some saintly person; but do any more than what becomes of the ac- you mean to say that a man in the posses. tors after an amusing comedy. What is sion of all his faculties, with plenty to do it to us unbelievers whether one more in the world, with a library of good books, mediocrity be lost by Protestantism and some intelligent friends, a good digestion, gained by Catholicism ? 'Tis merely the and a good theatre when he has a mind juggler's apple being transferred from the to go there, — do you mean to tell me that right hand to the left; we may amuse such a man can ever be troubled by the ourselves watching it dancing up and wants of his soul ? ” down, and from side to side, and wonder- “Such a man as that certainly would ing where it will reappear next; that's not,” answered Vere, “because the name all."

of such a man would be Hans RheinVere was fully accustomed, after their hardt.” three weeks'solitude together, correcting " It is very odd,” remarked Baldwin, proofs and composing lectures in this that neither of you seem to consider south-country farm, to Rheinhardt's opti- that the lady's conversion can concern mistic Voltairean levity, his sheer incapac- anybody except herself; Rheinhardt looks ity of conceiving that religion could be a upon it as a mere piece of juggling; you, reality to any one, his tendency to regard Vere, seem to regard it in a kind of æs. abstract discussion merely as a delightful thetic light, as if the woman ought to exercise for the aristocracy of the intel- choose a religion upon the same principle lect, quite apart from any effect upon the upon which she would choose a bonnet thoughts or condition of the less gifted namely, to get something comfortable and majority. He adınired and pitied Rhein- becoming.' hardt, and let bimself be amused by his 'Surely,” interrupted Vere, “the indi. kindly skeptical narrow mindedness. vidual soul may be permitted to seek for

“ Poor woman!” replied Vere, " it does peace wherever there is most chance of seem a little hard that her soul should be finding it?” merely an apple to be juggled with for " I don't see at all why the individual the amusement of Professor Rheinhardt. soul should have a right to seek for peace But, after all, I agree with you that it is regardless of the interests of society at of no consequence to us whether she turn large, any more than why the individual Catholic or remain Protestant. The mat- | body should have a right to satisfy its ter concerns only herself, and all is right cravings regardless of the effect on the rest as long as she setiles down in the faith of mankind,” retorted Baldwin. “You best adapted to her individual spiritual cry out against this latter theory as the

There ought to be as many dif- height of immorality, because it strikes at ferent religions as there are different sorts the root of all respect for mine and thine; of character - religions and irreligions, of but don't you see that your assumed right course; for I think you, Rheinhardt, to gratify your soul undermines, what is would liave been miserable had you lived quite as important, all feeling of true and





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false? The soul is a nobler thing than in his life, to take some decision which the body, you will answer. But why is it depends upon his having at least under. nobler ? Merely because it has greater stood some of the truths which have been powers for good and evil, greater duties discovered by his betters; and every man and responsibilities; and for that very is required, and that constantly, to think reason it ought to have less right to in- out individual problems of conduct, for dulge itself at the expense of what belongs which he will be fit just in proportion as not to it, but to mankind. Truth

he is in the habit of seeing and striving "Upon my word,” put in Rheinhardt, to see things in their true light. The “I don't know which is the greater plague, problems which he has before him may the old-fashioned nuisance called a soul, be trilling and may require only a trifling or the new-fangled bore called mankind.” amount of intellect; but of such problems And he pushed open the gate of the farm- consists the vast bulk of the world's life, garden, where the cats rolled lazily in the and upon their correct decision depends neatly gravelled paths, and the hens ran much of the world's improvement." cackling among the lettuces and the “ The world's improvement,” answered screens of red-flowered beans. When Rheinhardt, “ depends upon everything they entered the little farm-parlor with its being done by the person best fitted to do deep chimney recess, curtained with faded it; the material roads and material ma. chintz, and its bright array of geraniums chinery being made by the men who have and fuchsias on the window-ledge, they the strongest physical muscles and the found that their landlady had prepared best physical eyes, and the intellectual their tea, and covered the table with all roads being cut, and the intellectual mamanner of home-baked cakes and fruit, chinery constructed, by the men who have jugs of freshly cut roses and sweet peas. the best intellectual muscle and sight.

"It is quite extraordinary,” remarked Therefore, with reference to conversions Rheinhardt, as he poured out the tea, (for I see Baldwin can't get over the pos“that a man of your intelligence, Bald- sible conversion of that particular lady), it win, should go on obstinately supposing appears to me that the only thing that can that it can matter a jot what opinions are possibly concern us in them is, that these held by people to whom opinions can conversions should not endanger the lib. never be anything vital, but are merely so erty of thought of those who can think; many half.understood formulæ; much less and this being gained (which it is, thorthat it can matter whether such people oughly, nowadays), that they should not believe in one kind of myth rather than in interfere with the limitation of thought to another. Of course it matters to a man those whose it is by rights. That relilike Monsignore, who, quite apart from gious belief is the best which is most any material advantage which every addi- conducive to complete intellectual emantional believer brings to the Church of cipation.” which he is a dignitary, is fully persuaded

** But that is exactly why I am sorry that the probable reward for Protestants that Monsignore should make any conare brimstone and flames, which his Evan- verts !" cried Baldwin. gelical opponents doubtless consider as “ And for that reason,"continued Rheinthe special lot of Papists. But what ad-hardt, fixing his eyes on Baldwin with vantage is it to us if this particular obvious enjoyment of the paradox, “I mediocrity of a great lady refuses to be think that we ought to hope that Monconverted to the belief in a rather greater signore may succeed in converting not number of unintelligible dogmas? Sci. only this great lady, but as many ladies, ence and philosophy can only gain in- great and small, as the world contains. I finitely by being limited strictly to the beg, therefore, to drink to the success of really intelligent classes; the less all oth- Monsignore, and of all his accomplished, ers presume to think, the better

zealous, and fascinating fellow-workers !” “Come now," objected Vere, “you are And Rheinhardt drank off his cup of tea not going to tell me that thought is the with mock solemnity. privilege of a class, my dear Rheinhardt.” “ Paradoxical as usual, our eighteenth

“ Thought," answered Rheinhardt, “is century philosopher,” laughed Vere, lightthe privilege of those who are capable of ing his pipe. thinking."

* Not paradoxical in the very least, my “ There is thinking and thinking,” cor. dear Vere. Look around you, and comrected Baldwin; "every man is neither pare the degree of emancipation of really able nor required to think out new truths; thinking minds in Catholic and in Protes. but every man is required, at least once tant countries : in the first it is complete

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- confession, celibacy of clergy, monas- in the minority. The majority may reticism, transubstantiation, Papal infallibil. ceive an improved position, but it cannot ity, Loudres water, and bits of semi-saintly improve itself; so secure the freedom of bones in glass jars, as I have seen them the minority before thinking of anything in Paris convents, being too much for the else.” patience of an honest and intelligent man “That is all very well,” answered Baldwho reads his Voltaire and his Renan. win, who had been leaning upon the table, With your Protestant your case is differ- eagerly following Rheinhardi's words, and ent, bé he German or English: the Refor watching for an opportunity of interrupto mation has got rid of all the things which ing him; “that's all very well as long as would stink too manifestly in his nostrils; you go upon the supposition that the only and he is just able to swallow (in an intel-thing of value in this world is scientific lectual wafer which prevents his tasting truth, and the only improvement which it) the amount of nonsense the absorption can be wished is the increased destruction of which is rewarded by a decent social of error. But there is something more position, or perhaps by a good living or a valuable than scientific truth, and that is, professorship; meanwhile he may nibble the temper which cannot abet falsehood; at Darwinism, Positivism, materialism, be there is something which it is more urquite the man of advanced thought; for, gent to demolish and cart off than mere even if he be fully persuaded that the error, and that is, all the bad moral habworld was not created in six days, and its, the habit of relying on other folks' consider Buddha and Socrates quite as judgment, the habit of not sifting the evil divine as Christ, he will yet allow that the from the good, the habit of letting one's lower classes must not be too rudely dis- self be moved instead of moving one's turbed in their belief of the story of the self, the habit of sanctifying low things apple and its fatal consequences. And with high names; all the habits of spir. this merely because a parcel of men of itual sloth, spiritual sybaritism, spiritual the sixteenth century, without any scien- irresponsibility: In this is the real degratific reasons for doubt and up to the ears dation, the real danger. And Protestant. in theology, chose to find that certain ism, wbich you call a modus vivendi with Romish dogmas and practices were in. falsehood, merely because the men of the tolerable to their reason and conscience; sixteenth century rose up against only as and therefore invented that disastrous much error as they themselves could dis. modus vivendi with Semitic and mediævalcern, - Protestantism meant the refusal notions which call Protestantism. to abet falsehood and foulness, the effort And then we men of the nineteenth cen- to disentangle good from bad, to replace tury are expected to hold Luther and Cal. mysticism by morality; it meant moral vin centenaries, to make fine speeches and and intellectual activity, and completeness, write enthusiastic passages about them, and manliness. It meant that in the sixand cry • Long live religious toleration.' teenth century; and, say what you will, it No, no; give me the Council of Trent, means that still nowadays. The men who the Bull Unigenitus, Loyola, Lainez, and arose against the Papácy in the time of Pascal's Jesuits; give me Lourdes water Luther are naturally not the men who and silver ex-votos, and slices of the pope's would still be mere Protestants in the slipper, and Capuchins and Trappistes; days of Comte, and Darwin, and Spengive me Monsignore Russell, because in cer; as they preceded and dragged on so doing you are giving me Voltaire and their inferiors then, so they would seek Diderot, and Michelet and Auguste to precede and drag on their inferiors Comte!"

now; they would be, what they were, “ But,” put in Vere, " you seem by your pioneers of truth, clearers away of error. own account (for you know I don't regard But those who are Protestants nowadaysCatholicism as you do, and I don't think that is to say, possess a religion expunged it matters what a man believes as long as of the more irrational notions and demorhis belief suffices to his soul), to be buy.alizing institutions of the Middle Ages, a ing the total emancipation of a few minds religion less mythological and more ethi. at the expense of the slavery and degra- cal — but for the Reformation, would still dation of an enormous number of men. be morally starving, and from starvation If Catholicism is so bad that no one who contracting all the loathsome moral dis. has the option will compromise with it, eases and degrading moral palsies which have you a right to prescribe it to the we observe in the Catholic forefathers majority of mankind ? »

before Luther, in their Catholic contem. “Progress, my dear Vere, exists only (poraries of Spain, and Italy, and France.



The Reformation may have done nothing Italian, and Austrian peasants, that, spir. for the thinking minority, it may even, as itually, they live in something between a Rheinhardt insists, have made that mi- drain and a cellar. So that, if I were a nority smaller, but to the small minority great landed proprietor, or a great manuthe Reformation gave a vast majority, facturer, or any other sort of modern which is not, as in Catholic countries, leader of men, I should certainly feel separated from it by an unbridgeable gulf. bound to put every obstacle in the way of The number of completely emancipated a conversion of my tenants and operaminds may be less in Protestant countries; tives by a man like Monsignore; I should but behind them is a large number of seel as if they were going to sell their minds which are yet far from being utterly solid and well-drained cottages in order cramped and maimed and impotent, which to live in mere mud cabins without drains have not gone very far on the right road, and without chimneys. But when it but have not gone far on the wrong one; comes to the upper classes, to those who minds possessing at least rudimentary have a certain secured intellectual life, habits of inquiry, of discrimination, of the case would be different.”. And Vere secular morality, and which, little by lit- puffed away at his pipe, as if he had settle, may be influenced, improved, enfran- tled the question. chised, by those who are more fully de- Really,” cried Baldwin, “ I don't see veloped and more completely free. This at all why you should be indifferent to is what Protestantism has done for us; the aristocracy of intellect (as Rheinhardt and the highest thing that we can do, is calls it) living in what you describe as a to follow in the steps of those first Prot- spiritual dwelling partaking of the cellar estants, to clear away what appears to be and of the drain.” error in our eyes, as they cleared away “I am not indifferent," answered Vere, what appeared to be error in theirs." "but I see that a certain standard of in

"The Reformation,” persisted Rhein- tellectual and moral wealth having now hardt calmly; “was a piece of intellectual been attained, there is not the faintest socialism. It consisted in dividing truth chance of a man living in a cellar or a so that each man might have a little scrap drain. Given a certain amount of intelliof it for himself, and in preventing all gence and culture, which one may nearly increase by abolishing all large intellec- always assume among our educated classtual capital.”

es, our spiritual dwellings are sure to be “I have never doubted,” remarked quite healthy enough; and I can't see, Vere, “that the Reformation was, for all therefore, why each man should not be the paradoxes of this Voltairean of ours, permitted to build his house to please his a most necessary and useful revolution. fancy, and fill it with whatever things may It swept away - and this is what I most give him most pleasure. He is doing no regret the last shreds of pagan purple, harm to anybody, and no one has any the last half-withered flowers of pagan right to interfere with him. Oh, I know fancy, out of Christianity, and left it a you, Baldwin! you would be for sorcing whitewashed utilitarian thing a Metho- your way into a man's spiritual house and dist chapel, well ventilated and well insisting (with a troup of Positivistic powarmed, but singularly like a railway wait- licemen and sanitary inspectors at your ing-room or a warehouse. But of course heels) that every room must have a given such a consideration can have no weight. number of cubic feet of air and a given Protestantism (excuse my confusion of number of windows, and that wall-papers metaphors) may be called the spiritual must be made to wash, flowers be careenfranchisement of the servile classes; fully restricted to the hot-house, and that it turned, as Baldwin says, a herd of an equal temperature, never rising much slaves and serfs into well-to-do artisans above the moral and intellectual freezing. and shopkeepers. I think, therefore, that point, should be kept up. Now, I happen Protestantism was an unmitigated bless to consider that this visit of yours, aling for what Rheinhardt calls the intel. though most benevolent, would be a quite lectual proletariat, for the people who unjustifiable intrusion; and that you neither increase intellectual wealth nor would not have the smallest right to tear enjoy intellectual luxury. There is some down the curtains of a man who enjoys a thing as beautiful in the rough cleanness subdued light, still less to pitch his How. of belief of a Scotch or Swiss artisan as ers and incense-burners out of his bedthere is in a well-scoured deal table and a room window. Joking apart, I think there spotless homespun napkin; and I often is no greater mistake than to interiere have felt, talking with certain French, I with the beliefs of people who belong to

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a class which has secured quite enough "Why not?" asked Rheinhardt, “'tis spiritual freedom; let them satisfy their the height of wisdom; and for that reaown nature, and remember that the imag: son, indeed, cannot be your idea, Vere." inative and emotional wants, the spiritual “ You are not an advocate of this the. enjoyments of each man, are different ory when applied by fashionable num. from those of his neighbor

skulls, certainly, my dear Vere. Of the “That is exactly my view," put in men who think of nothing but enjoying Rheinhardt: “let the imbeciles keep out themselves by eating dinners at a guinea of my way, and I certainly won't get into a head, sitting up till six in the morning theirs. Let us enjoy our own intellectual in ballrooms or playing cards at the club, ambrosia, and leave them to their beer driving four-in-hand, and having wives and porridge, which they think every bit dressed out by Wörth and collections of as nice;” and he threw his cigarette into bad pictures and apocryphal bric-à-brac; the fire.

of such men, or rather beings, you have as "I understand," said Baldwin, over- bad an opinion as myself. Indeed, I dare looking Rheinhardt's remark, and address. say, you have a considerably worse one ing himself directly to Vere, “according than I have, because I am always ready to you the class which possesses the high- to admit that the poor devils whom we est intellectual life, bas, like the govern. revile as the corrupt of the world, are in ing social body, a right and an obligation reality acting for the best according to to interfere in the spiritual mode of life their lights, being totally unable to conof such classes as might, if left to them-ceive of a higher mode of existence or a selves, become a public nuisance." more glorious destiny. But the case

That is rather a hard way of putting changes when a man's leisure consists it,” answered Vere, “but such, in the not merely in his no longer being required main, is my principle."

to earn his bread, but in no longer requir. You wish your lower classes to being to free his mind from the painful reProtestant for the same reason that you strictions and necessities of former days; would wish your lower classes to live in when his inherited wealth consists not sanitary-regulation houses, because a con. merely in estates and cash, but in intellect dition of spiritual darkness and dirt would and knowledge. What are we to think of produce nasty spiritual diseases, which this new sort of favorite of fortune, if he miglit spread to your upper class, and employ that intellectual leisure and those would at all events fill the streets with intellectual riches merely in feeding his sights and smells quite unendurable to mind with exotic spiritual dainties (among your upper class, which is of course as which, even as with the more material æsthetical as it is humane. The unfortu-epicure, rottenness constitutes a great atnate hardworking creatures who save us traction); in playing games of chance with from inanual labor must be looked after bis own beliefs and emotions; in bedeckand taught how to be decent, spiritually ing himself and attitudinizing in the picas well as physically, both for their own turesque rags and tags of effete modes of sake and for ours. So far I completely feeling and antiquated modes of thought, follow your ideas. But I confess my ina. because be enjoys making himself look bility to follow, in the sense of under interesting, and enjoys writing sonnet standing its justifiableness, the rest of sketches of his poor maimed and crippled your theory. From your manner of speak- soul decked out in becoming purple, and ing, and your allusion to men building gray and saffron and sad green of pagantheir spiritual homes to suit their fancy, ism, and asceticism, and Baudelaireisn, and excluding the light and scenting the and Schopenhauerism; what shall we say air as they please, I presume that in your of the man who does this, while nine-tenths

1 opinion a man who has inherited the of his fellow-men are slaving at mechanical means of living in leisure, un troubled by labor ; who refuses to employ his leisure the necessity of earning his bread or of and his powers in doing that other kind liberating his conscience (his ancestors of work without which mankind cannot having given their labor and their blood exist, the work of sowing and grinding for that), need think of nothing beyond the grain which must make the spiritual making his life as agreeable as possible bread of the world? To me it seems as to himself."

if this man were but a subtler and less "I wonder, Baldwin, you can be so gro conscious robber; keeping in barren mort. tesque as to suppose that I am an advo. main, even as the clergy before the Revo. cate of anything of the sort,” interrupted lution kept the fruitful acres of France, Vere rather angrily.

that which ought to keep and strengthen

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