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settled, the grounds of quarrel would great. It may not, for the Ottoman race be as varied and as pressing as ever. is a fighting race, which can still proIt is customary to say that Europe bas duce 500,000 brave soldiers, and they in the Turkish Empire a sick man on may find a leader equal to the situation; her hands, with all manner of heirs but the probability is the other way. claiming the inheritance, but, in reality, Empires require revenues, and Turkey there are four "sick” empires—Turkey, as a revenue-yielding empire is nearly Persia, China, and Morocco—for whose ruined; its ruling class is hopelessly heritages the European powers will cer- corrupt, its working population are at tainly quarrel, and, perhaps, , wage furious variance, and even its soldier actual war. The first of these will class is stricken with that despondency probably, though not certainly, fall in which Asiatics always feel when they first, and will, when it does, excite the are fighting Europe. The wire which cupidity of every Western nation. The holds up the golden apple is wearing sultan still owns by perfectly legal very thin. tenure, which has been acknowledged 2. The second "sick man,” the shah by all governments, some of the fairest of Persia, is not quite in such an evil regions of the earth's surface. He has case as the sultan, because he has less three valuable provinces in Europe be- internal hostility to dread. He could sides his capital, supposed to be from only be attacked from within by the its position the most valuable of Con- tribes of his North-East frontier, and tinental cities. He also possesses and though one of them seated the present governs directly the whole of the vast dynasty on the throne, they seem of region stretching from Persia to the late years to have lost their energy. Mediterranean, and from the Sea of The kingdom, however, is visibly perMarmora to the Persian Gulf, a region ishing of slow decay. The provinces larger in area than any European State are full of ruined villages. The populaexcept Russia, and believed to be ca- tion is decaying so fast that experienced pable of supporting in comfort or observers doubt if the country contains luxury fifty millions of white men. He five millions of Persians, and those five is owner of most of the islands of the millions live under sore oppression. eastern Mediterranean, while he is The single object of the court and its sovereign in Arabia, in Egypt, including agents is to make money; the army, a the whole Nile Valley, in Barca, and in few regiments excepted, is almost Tripoli to about the same extent, and worthless, and it is not doubted that if in much the same way that the Em- either Russia or England set themselves peror William is the sovereign in Ger- to the task, they could destroy the many. He is legally master of every rotten fabric in one campaign. At the road from Europe to southern Asia, and same time Persia is by nature exceedthe two greatest rivers of the Eastern ingly rich; everything will grow on its world—the Nile and the Euphrates, plateaus, and every mineral abounds in flow from source to débouchure within its mountains, while from its position his realm. If his throne falls not one its independence is of great importance of these provinces except Arabia could both to Russia and to the owners of defend itself, and there is not one, ex- India. They have fought for influence cept Arabia as before, which some great over it for nearly a century, and there European State, with a huge army or a is little doubt that if a short period of huge fleet, does not long to seize, while anarchy should from any cause superseveral command routes of the highestvene in Persia, two great States, at interest to all the nations which de- all events, would do battle for the sire trade. It is inevitable, therefore, derelict empire, which covers three that if the prize falls in diplomatists, times the area of France, could support and possibly generals and admirals, thirty millions of Russian peasants, and should have much to do soon, while the ought, under wise financial manage. probability that it will fall in is very ment, to produce a revenue of a pound a head. The diplomatists will be very begin with, lies so near to Europe that busy before Persia has been distributed, its possession by any State might in a and the necessity for distribution may few years disturb the European come at almost any hour.

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balance. In a wonderfully fertile coun3. Tue third sick man, the emperor try the size of France, the sultan rules of China, is in a different position from as many people as there are in Belgium the other two. His huge empire, with by the undisguised use of a small but its swarming population, is not exactly active predatory army. When a dis. disorganized, and has many elements in trict fails to pay up, the sultan sends or it which tend to permanent cohesion; leads a division into it, and when he but it is so incapable of the peculiar retires the district has been ruined for exertions required for war, that it is ten years. Outside Tangier there is no unable to resist any violent assailant, order, no chance of obtaining justice, The Japanese, if left to themselves, and no security either for merchants or would have conquered the whole of it their merchandise. The people are defor a time; and it is not doubted that a clining in numbers, the soldiers are Russian, English, French, or German losing their military qualities, and the corps-d'armée, once within the frontier, governing class, with rare exceptions, is could march to Pekin, and dictate any hopelessly corrupt and vile. It is beterms its government might please. lieved that anarchy is inevitable within This weakness does not threaten the the kingdom, and naturally many independence of China at present, be- powers would like to seize, if they could, cause nobody exactly wants to under- so goodly a derelict. The Spaniards take the task of governing three hun- declare that Morocco is theirs in right dred millions of Mongols all hostile to of their history, and are always ready their governors, and all given to secret to send an army to maintain their claim. plots and cruel massacres. But all The French see clearly that if they European States want to gain from could obtain Morocco they would China naval stations, routes for rail- possess an empire on the southern shore ways, concessions for industrial en- of the Mediterranean which might some terprises, and, above all, special day if its population increased rival rights to sell goods to the largest that of India, and, even without that, market existing in the world. As the give them command of the MediterChinese government grants nothing ranean. The Germans, on the other except to menace or offers of money, hand, maintain that Morocco belongs to the pressure put upon it is always the strongest, and is the only space diplomatic, and the intrigues, quarrels, close to Europe where the increasing and threats of war at Pekin among the overplus of their population could find powers are almost worse than they are farms and homes, while Great Britain, in Constantinople; are in fact worse, though she does not want Morocco, is because as they do not involve quite vehemently jealous lest the owner of such extreme dangers the diplomatists Tangier should be able to close the use more violence. Ambassadors will Mediterranean, and, therefore, the have much to do for many years before shortest route to India against her. As they have settled their relative position all these powers think Morocco almost at Pekin, and are able to decide on what vital to their interests, are all on the terms they can divide, not the provinces spot with fleets, and can all land armies, of China, but the grand commercial loot diplomatists will, whenever anarchy which the weakness of China enables arrives in Morocco, the sultan them all to hope for.

affronts any single power, have more 4. There are able men who think that than enough upon their hands. There the position of the fourth sick man, the is, it is quite clear, little fear of their sultan of Morocco, is even more dan- trade failing, as it is supposed the trade gerous to the peace of Europe than that of Ivory workers will shortly fail, for of the sultan of Turkey. Morocco, to want of material upon which to work.

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I. EMILE VERHAEREN,

BELGIAN
Poet. By Virginia M. Crawford, Fortnightly Review,
II. A FREAK OF CUPID. In Three Parts.
Part II.,

Temple Bar,
III. SECRET SOCIETIES IN CHINA,

Blackwood's Magazine, .
IV. GEORGE THE THIRD. By Goldwin Smith, Cornhill Magazine,
V. CHRISTMAS AT BYLAND,

Macmillan's Magazine, .
VI. FRENCH AND ENGLISH MINXES. By
Mrs. Andrew Lang,.

Longman's Magazine,
VII. THE BISMARCK MYTH,

Speaker, . VIII. ENGLAND AND THE CONTINENTAL AL

LIANCES. By Francis de Pressensé, Nineteenth Century,
IX. INDIAN FAMINE

Saturday Review,
Title and Index to Volume CCXI.

871 878

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880 886

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THE OLD VILLAGE CHURCH.

The sombre space seems bright with stuffs Here, on a gently swelling perch,

And fineries, doubtlets, breeches, coats, Backed by a straggling strip of wood,

Kirtles and stomachers and ruffs, Half in the village stands the church,

And patches and hoop-petticoats. Half in a sacred solitude:

We see the dames and men who played

Great parts in those small worlds now A square tower with a mellow chime, Grey walls, low doors, and, long and

past,

thin,

Types differing only by a shade, The gargoyles, on whose faces time

Each somewhat finer than the last. Has left the quaint and knavish grin.

And humble men, all labor bent,

Whom every generation bore The world that saw the first stone laid

To dig and delve, to live content Was younger by five hundred years,

Even as their fathers lived before. And Chaucer's parson might have prayed Here, might have preached to puzzled Oh Church! the village ghosts have fled

That haunted pool and tree and heath.

Scared by the modern light, the dead The obscure generations sleep

Leave not their narrow home beneath Deep in the churchyard: higher names Within, the brasses strive to keep

Save when the Sabbath bells in chime Under the carven knights and dames. Wake them; then only to this spot

They come, where change is stayed, and Old watcher that hast seen the stream

Time Of village life roll smoothly by,

Has mellowed all and ravaged nought. A long, slow pageant, like a dream,

Spectator.

W. H. That changes ever silently,

ears.

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 es-

tranged,
Tue village life and all its ways,

Only the church would not be changed.

THE CHRIST-TREE.
A seedling sown in weakness

All in a manger lay,
In lowliness and meekness,

At Bethlehem this day.

All else of that past life is dim,

We only know they worshipped thus, And find in august prayer and hymn

A living bond 'twist them and us.

'Mid darkness shines His glory

It hath become a tree;
Through ages spreads His story,

And reaches you and me.

Now under these old walls again

Our lips repeat the litanies
That rose from living hearts of men

Throughout the misty centuries.

Now is the Valley Grievous

Filled by the Tree of Pain; Each branch raised to relieve us,

Its thorns are all our gain.

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.

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.

LILLIAN T. WINSER.

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From The Fortnightly Review. tured, while in their own country iden. EMILE VERHAEREN; THE BELGIAN POET. tifying themselves with the rising talent

In a bi-lingual country literature must of Fernand Khnopff, of Henri de Groux, always suffer grave disadvaạtages. It of Van Rysselbergbe; and they have lacks a national entity, and hence it themselves in literature earned in turn fails, in a measure, to excite popular the epithets of "parnassien" and enthusiasm, or to achieve international symboliste," and

less too of recognition. Until quite recently, Bel- decadent. Like the vanguard of every gium might have been cited as a case movement, whether political, literary, in point. How many of us previous to or scientific, they have bad desperate the moment, some three years ago, rivalries and bitter enmities; quondam when Maurice Maeterlinck first dawned friends have quarrelled, old alliances on the literary horizon of the cultured have been broken, and organs have sucfew, realized that the kingdom of King ceeded one another with bewildering Leopold could rightly lay claim to a rapidity—“La Jeune Belgique,” “La distinctly national school of contem- Wallonie,” “La Société Nouvelle," “La porary literature? Her Flemish writers Basoche,” “L'Art Jeune"-as each sewere studied only by their own section ceding faction has felt the need of a of the nation, their very existence un representative mouthpiece.

Such episuspected by foreigners; her French sodes are the natural accompaniments writers, when not overshadowed by the of any young, free, and spontaneous artistic pre-eminence of her Gallic movement, liberating itself from clogneighbor, were apt to find themselves ging shackles, and falling into inevi. appropriated by the latter, and care- table extravagances in the process of lessly numbered in the ranks of her finding its own feet and realizing its own literary sons. If to-day Belgium own necessary limitations, extrayais openly triumphing over all these gances that should be accorded a symdrawbacks, and if the young school of pathetic indulgence by all who would Belgian-French writers and dramatists arrive at an understanding of the true is establishing for itself an European inwardness of a movement of w.bich reputation, the fact in itself is the best these are but the accidental exterior. possible testimony to the life and the ities. vigor of a movement that can point to From its first inception the name of the names of Maeterlinck and Huys. Emile Verhaeren, so familiar in Brusman, of Verhaeren and Rodenbach, on sels and in Paris, so little known as yet its roll of members.

on this side of the Channel, has been Had the brilliant group of young intimately associated with what we writers who, for the last fifteen years, may call the new Belgian terary have found their chief rallying-ground school. Indeed, he has counted for in the pages of L'Art Moderne, re- many years as one of its most brilliant sided, not in Brussels, but in Paris, it is leaders. As a student at Louvain, certain that their fame would have towards the year 1880, Verhaeren spread far more rapidly than has been founded, in conjunction with his friend the case. They have represented and present publisher, E Deman, a Young Belgium” not only with spirit militant little sheet, La Semaine, and talent, but even with genius; they which was very quickly suppressed by have led the van of a movement against the university authorities. Hardly had meaningless conventionalities and aca- he settled in Brussels, a year or two demic precision both in prose and later, with a view to studying for the poetry; they have allied themselves legal profession, than he flung the law with enthusiasm with “Les Jeunes” of aside, and himself, with all the ardor of the French capital; they were the de a highly-strung temperament, into the fenders of the impressionists in art literary movement. From that day to years before impressionism had been this his pen has never been idle. The adopted as the shibboleth of the cul- pages of L'Art Moderne and of con

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