settled, the grounds of quarrel would be as varied and as pressing as ever. It is customary to say that Europe has in the Turkish Empire a sick man on her hands, with all manner of heirs claiming the inheritance, but, in reality, there are four "sick" empires-Turkey, Persia, China, and Morocco-for whose heritages the European powers will certainly quarrel, and, perhaps,, wage actual war. The first of these will probably, though not certainly, fall in first, and will, when it does, excite the cupidity of every Western nation. The sultan still owns by perfectly legal tenure, which has been acknowledged by all governments, some of the fairest regions of the earth's surface. He has three valuable provinces in Europe besides his capital, supposed to be from its position the most valuable of Continental cities. He also possesses and governs directly the whole of the vast region stretching from Persia to the Mediterranean, and from the Sea of Marmora to the Persian Gulf, a region larger in area than any European State except Russia, and believed to be capable of supporting in comfort or luxury fifty millions of white men. He is owner of most of the islands of the eastern Mediterranean, while he is sovereign in Arabia, in Egypt, including the whole Nile Valley, in Barca, and in Tripoli to about the same extent, and in much the same way that the Emperor William is the sovereign in Germany. He is legally master of every road from Europe to southern Asia, and the two greatest rivers of the Eastern world-the Nile and the Euphratesflow from source to débouchure within his realm. If his throne falls not one of these provinces except Arabia could defend itself, and there is not one, except Arabia as before, which some great European State, with a huge army or a huge fleet, does not long to seize, while several command routes of the highest interest to all the nations which desire trade. It is inevitable, therefore, that if the prize falls in diplomatists, and possibly generals and admirals, should have much to do soon, while the probability that it will fall in is very

great. It may not, for the Ottoman race is a fighting race, which can still produce 500,000 brave soldiers, and they may find a leader equal to the situation; but the probability is the other way. Empires require revenues, and Turkey as a revenue-yielding empire is nearly ruined; its ruling class is hopelessly corrupt, its working population are at furious variance, and even its soldier class is stricken with that despondency which Asiatics always feel when they are fighting Europe. The wire which holds up the golden apple is wearing very thin.

2. The second "sick man," the shah of Persia, is not quite in such an evil case as the sultan, because he has less internal hostility to dread. He could only be attacked from within by the tribes of his North-East frontier, and though one of them seated the present dynasty on the throne, they seem of late years to have lost their energy. The kingdom, however, is visibly perishing of slow decay. The provinces are full of ruined villages. The population is decaying so fast that experienced observers doubt if the country contains five millions of Persians, and those five millions live under sore oppression. The single object of the court and its agents is to make money; the army, a few regiments excepted, is almost worthless, and it is not doubted that if either Russia or England set themselves to the task, they could destroy the rotten fabric in one campaign. At the same time Persia is by nature exceedingly rich; everything will grow on its plateaus, and every mineral abounds in its mountains, while from its position its independence is of great importance both to Russia and to the owners of India. They have fought for influence over it for nearly a century, and there is little doubt that if a short period of anarchy should from any cause supervene in Persia, two great States, at all events, would do battle for the derelict empire, which covers three times the area of France, could support thirty millions of Russian peasants, and ought, under wise financial management, to produce a revenue of a pound a


head. The diplomatists will be very busy before Persia has been distributed, and the necessity for distribution may come at almost any hour.

3. The third sick man, the emperor of China, is in a different position from the other two. His huge empire, with its swarming population, is not exactly disorganized, and has many elements in it which tend to permanent cohesion; but it is so incapable of the peculiar exertions required for war, that it is unable to resist any violent assailant. The Japanese, if left to themselves, would have conquered the whole of it for a time; and it is not doubted that a Russian, English, French, or German corps-d'armée, once within the frontier, could march to Pekin, and dictate any terms its government might please. This weakness does not threaten the independence of China at present, because nobody exactly wants to undertake the task of governing three hundred millions of Mongols all hostile to their governors, and all given to secret plots and cruel massacres. But all European States want to gain from China naval stations, routes for railways, concessions for industrial enterprises, and, above all, special rights to sell goods to the largest market existing in the world. As the Chinese government grants nothing except to menace or offers of money, the pressure put upon it is always diplomatic, and the intrigues, quarrels, and threats of war at Pekin among the powers are almost worse than they are in Constantinople; are in fact worse, because as they do not involve quite such extreme dangers the diplomatists use more violence. Ambassadors will have much to do for many years before they have settled their relative position at Pekin, and are able to decide on what terms they can divide, not the provinces of China, but the grand commercial loot which the weakness of China enables them all to hope for.

4. There are able men who think that the position of the fourth sick man, the sultan of Morocco, is even more dangerous to the peace of Europe than that of the sultan of Turkey. Morocco, to

begin with, lies so near to Europe that its possession by any State might in a few years disturb the European balance. In a wonderfully fertile country the size of France, the sultan rules as many people as there are in Belgium by the undisguised use of a small but active predatory army. When a dis trict fails to pay up, the sultan sends or leads a division into it, and when he retires the district has been ruined for ten years. Outside Tangier there is no order, no chance of obtaining justice, and no security either for merchants or their merchandise. The people are declining in numbers, the soldiers are losing their military qualities, and the governing class, with rare exceptions, is hopelessly corrupt and vile. It is believed that anarchy is inevitable within the kingdom, and naturally many powers would like to seize, if they could, so goodly a derelict. The Spaniards declare that Morocco is theirs in right of their history, and are always ready to send an army to maintain their claim, The French see clearly that if they could obtain Morocco they would possess an empire on the southern shore of the Mediterranean which might some day if its population increased rival that of India, and, even without that, give them command of the Mediterranean. The Germans, on the other hand, maintain that Morocco belongs to the strongest, and is the only space close to Europe where the increasing overplus of their population could find farms and homes, while Great Britain, though she does not want Morocco, is vehemently jealous lest the owner of Tangier should be able to close the Mediterranean, and, therefore, the shortest route to India against her. As all these powers think Morocco almost vital to their interests, are all on the spot with fleets, and can all land armies, diplomatists will, whenever anarchy arrives in Morocco, or the sultan affronts any single power, have more than enough upon their hands. There is, it is quite clear, little fear of their trade failing, as it is supposed the trade of ivory workers will shortly fail, for want of material upon which to work.

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IV. GEORGE THE THIRD. By Goldwin Smith, Cornhill Magazine,


Mrs. Andrew Lang,.


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LIANCES. By Francis de Pressensé,


Fortnightly Review,


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Macmillan's Magazine,

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Title and Index to Volume CCXI.







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THE OLD VILLAGE CHURCH. Here, on a gently swelling perch, Backed by a straggling strip of wood, Half in the village stands the church, Half in a sacred solitude:

A square tower with a mellow chime, Grey walls, low doors, and, long and thin,

The gargoyles, on whose faces time

Has left the quaint and knavish grin.

The world that saw the first stone laid
Was younger by five hundred years,
And Chaucer's parson might have prayed
Here, might have preached to puzzled


The obscure generations sleep

Deep in the churchyard: higher names Within, the brasses strive to keep

Under the carven knights and dames.

Old watcher that hast seen the stream
Of village life roll smoothly by,
A long, slow pageant, like a dream,
That changes ever silently,

While thou remain'st unchanged there:-
To thee, we think, on days of grace
A crowd of ghosts must still repair
To thee, the one familiar face

Left in the spot wherein their days

Were spent: the rest would seem estranged,

Tue village life and all its ways,

Only the church would not be changed.

All else of that past life is dim,

We only know they worshipped thus, And find in august prayer and hymn A living bond 'twixt them and us.

Now under these old walls again
Our lips repeat the litanies
That rose from living hearts of men
Throughout the misty centuries.

And thus it is without a doubt
That, when our low responses rise,
A company of ghosts steal out
And join their voiceless notes and sighs.

The aisles that echo back our burst
Of music mingle notes more faint,-
The clinging ghosts of sounds, since first
Was sung here praise of God or saint.

The sombre space seems bright with stuffs
And fineries, doubtlets, breeches, coats,
Kirtles and stomachers and ruffs,
And patches and hoop-petticoats.

We see the dames and men who played Great parts in those small worlds now past,

Types differing only by a shade,

Each somewhat finer than the last.

And humble men, all labor bent,
Whom every generation bore
To dig and delve, to live content

Even as their fathers lived before.

Oh Church! the village ghosts have fled That haunted pool and tree and heath. Scared by the modern light, the dead

Leave not their narrow home beneath

Save when the Sabbath bells in chime
Wake them; then only to this spot
They come, where change is stayed, and

Has mellowed all and ravaged nought.
W. H.


A seedling sown in weakness
All in a manger lay,
In lowliness and meekness,

At Bethlehem this day.

'Mid darkness shines His glory-
It hath become a tree;
Through ages spreads His story,
And reaches you and me.

Now is the Valley Grievous Filled by the Tree of Pain; Each branch raised to relieve us, Its thorns are all our gain.

Upon Golgotha's mountain
In agony it grows;
From sacred passion's fountain
It putteth forth a rose.

Then laud we Him who o'er us
Rejoicing spreads to-day;
He gave His body for us
Who in a manger lay.


From The Fortnightly Review. EMILE VERHAEREN; THE BELGIAN POET. In a bi-lingual country literature must always suffer grave disadvantages. It lacks a national entity, and hence it fails, in a measure, to excite popular enthusiasm, or to achieve international recognition. Until quite recently, Belgium might have been cited as a case in point. How many of us previous to the moment, some three years ago, when Maurice Maeterlinck first dawned on the literary horizon of the cultured few, realized that the kingdom of King Leopold could rightly lay claim to a distinctly national school of contemporary literature? Her Flemish writers were studied only by their own section of the nation, their very existence unsuspected by foreigners; her French writers, when not overshadowed by the artistic pre-eminence of her Gallic neighbor, were apt to find themselves appropriated by the latter, and carelessly numbered in the ranks of her own literary sons. If to-day Belgium is openly triumphing over all these drawbacks, and if the young school of Belgian-French writers and dramatists is establishing for itself an European reputation, the fact in itself is the best possible testimony to the life and the vigor of a movement that can point to the names of Maeterlinck and Huysman, of Verhaeren and Rodenbach, on its roll of members.

Had the brilliant group of young writers who, for the last fifteen years, have found their chief rallying-ground in the pages of L'Art Moderne, resided, not in Brussels, but in Paris, it is certain that their fame would have spread far more rapidly than has been the case. They have represented "Young Belgium" not only with spirit and talent, but even with genius; they have led the van of a movement against meaningless conventionalities and academic precision both in prose and poetry; they have allied themselves with enthusiasm with "Les Jeunes" of the French capital; they were the defenders of the impressionists in art years before impressionism had been adopted as the shibboleth of the cul

tured, while in their own country identifying themselves with the rising talent of Fernand Khnopff, of Henri de Groux, of Van Rysselberghe; and they have themselves in literature earned in turn the epithets of "parnassien" and "symboliste," and doubtless too of decadent. Like the vanguard of every movement, whether political, literary, or scientific, they have had desperate rivalries and bitter enmities; quondam friends have quarrelled, old alliances have been broken, and organs have succeeded one another with bewildering rapidity-"La Jeune Belgique," "La Wallonie," "La Société Nouvelle," "La Basoche," "L'Art Jeune"-as each seceding faction has felt the need of a representative mouthpiece. Such eplsodes are the natural accompaniments of any young, free, and spontaneous movement, liberating itself from clogging shackles, and falling into inevitable extravagances in the process of finding its own feet and realizing its own necessary limitations, extravagances that should be accorded a sympathetic indulgence by all who would arrive at an understanding of the true inwardness of a movement of which these are but the accidental exterior. ities.

From its first inception the name of Emile Verhaeren, so familiar in Brussels and in Paris, so little known as yet on this side of the Channel, has been intimately associated with what we may call the new Belgian literary school. Indeed, he has counted for many years as one of its most brilliant leaders. As a student at Louvain, towards the year 1880, Verhaeren founded, in conjunction with his friend and present publisher, E Deman, a militant little sheet, La Semaine, which was very quickly suppressed by the university authorities. Hardly had he settled in Brussels, a year or two later, with a view to studying for the legal profession, than he flung the law aside, and himself, with all the ardor of a highly-strung temperament, into the literary movement. From that day to this his pen has never been idle. The pages of L'Art Moderne and of con

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