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tather with fear than love, were in reality see at least a reflection of his own virtue powers of evil; while above the Oriental in the arch of heaven, and bathe his spirit additions so often made to the pantheon in the mirage projected from the well. was to be superposed one ultimate divin- spring of its own love. ity, alone beneficent, and alone to be For such an instinct, for all the highest adored.

instincts of his heart, Marcus would no The hierarchy of an unseen universe doubt have found in Christianity a new must needs be a somewhat shadowy and and full satisfaction. The question, how. arbitrary thing. And to those whose im- ever, whether he ought to have become a agination is already exercised on such Christian is not worth serious discussion. matters a new scheme of the celestial in the then state of belief in the Roman powers may come with an acceptable world it would have been as impossible sense of increasing insight into the deep for a Roman emperor to become a Chris. things of God. But to one who, like Mar. tian as it would be at the present day for cus, has learnt to believe that in such a czar of Russia to become a Buddhist. matters the truest wisdom is to recognize Some Christian apologists complain that what we cannot know, in him a scheme Marcus was not converted by the miracle like the Christian is apt to inspire incre of the “ thundering legion. They for

. dulity by its very promise of complete. get that though some obscure persons ness, – suspicion by the very nature of may have ascribed that happy occurrence the evidence which is alleged in its sup- to Christian prayers, the emperor was as. port.

sured on much higher authority that he Neither the Stoic school in general, in- had performed the miracle himself. Mar. deed, nor Marcus himself, were clear of cus, indeed, would assuredly not have all superstitious tendency. The early insisted on his own divinity. He would inasters of the sect had pushed their doc- not have been deterred by any Stoic extrine of the solidarity of all things to the clusiveness from incorporating in his point of anticipating that the liver of a par- scheme of belief, already infiltrated with ticular bullock, itself selected from among Platonic thought, such elements as those its fellows by some mysterious fitness of apologists who start from St. Paul's things, might reasonably give an indica- speech at Athens would have urged him tion of the ult of an impending battle. to introduce. But an acceptance of the When it was urged that on this principle new faith involved much more than this, everything might be expected to be indic. It involved tenets which might well seem ative of everything else, the Stoics an- to be a mere reversion to the world-old swered that so it was, but that only when superstitions and sorceries of barbarous such indications lay in the liver could we tribes. Such alleged phenomena as those understand them aright. When asked of possession, inspiration, healing by imhow we came to understand them when position of hands, luminous appearances, thus located, the Stoic doctors seem to modification and movement of material have made no sufficient reply. We need objects, formed, not, as some later apolonot suppose that Marcus participated in gists would have it, a mere accidental absurdities like these. He himself makes admixture, but an essential and loudly no assertion of this hazardous kind, ex. asserted element in the new religion. The cept only that remedies for his ailments apparition of its founder after death was “have been shown to him in dreams.” its very raison d'être and triumphant And this is not insisted on in detail; it demonstration. The Christian advocate rather forms part of that habitual feeling may say, indeed, with reason that pheor impression which, if indeed it be super nomena such as these, however suspicious stitious, is yet a superstition from which the associations which they might invoke, no devout mind, perhaps, was ever wholly however primitive the stratum of belief to free; namely, that he is the object of a which they might seem at first to degrade special care and benevolence proceeding the disciple, should, nevertheless, have from some holy power. Such a feeling beco examined afresh on their own eviimplies no belief either in merit or in dence, and would have been found to be privilege beyond that of other inen; but supported by a consensus of testimony just as the man who is strongly willing, which has since then overcome the world. though it be proved to him that his choice Addressed to an age in which reason was is determined by his antecedents, must supreme, such arguments might have yet feel assured that he can deflect its carried convincing weight. But mankind issue this way or that, even so a man, the had certainly not reached a point in the habit of whose soul is worship, cannot but I age of the Antonines, – if, indeed, we

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have reached it yet, at which the recol- | upper and lower teeth.” “It is peculiar to lections of barbarism were cast into so man to love even those who do wrong: and remote a background that the leaders of thou wilt love them if when they err thou becivilized thought could lightly, reopen " Men exist for the sake of one another; teach

think thee that they are to thee near akin.” questions, the closing, of which might them then, or bear with them.' " When men seem to have marked a clear advance blame thee, or hate thee, or revile thee, pass along the path of enlightenment. It is inward to their souls; see what they are. true, indeed, that the path of enlighten- Thou wilt see that thou needst not trouble ment is not a royal road, but a labyrinth ; thyself as to what such men think of thee. and that those who have marched too And thou must be kindly affectioned to them; unhesitatingly in one direction have gen- for by nature they are friends; and the gods erally been obliged to retrace their steps, too help and answer them in many ways. to unravel some forgotten clue, to explore

“ Love men, and love them from the heart." some turning which they had already loves; and the whole universe loves the mak

« • Earth loves the shower,' and 'sacred æther passed by. But the practical rulers of ing of that which is to be. I say then to the men must not take the paths which seem

universe : Even I, too, love as thou.” to point backwards until they hear in front of them the call of those who have And yet about the love of a John, a chosen that less inviting way.

Paul, a Peter, there is the ring of a note An emperor who had "learned from which is missing here. Stoic love is but Diognetus not to give credit to what is an injunction of reason and a means to said by miracle-workers and jugglers | virtue; Christian love is the open secret about incantations and the driving away of the universe, and in itself the end of of demons, and such things,” might well all. In all that wisdomn can teach herein, feel that even to inquire into the Gospel Stoic and Christian are at one. They stories would be a blasphemy against his both know that if a man would save his philosophic creed. Even the heroism of life he must lose it; that the disappear. Christian martyrdom left him cold. In ance of all selfish aims or pleasures in the words which have become proverbial as a universal life is the only pathway to peace. wise man's mistake, he stigmatizes their All religions that are worth the name Christian contempt of death as "sheer have felt the need of this inward change; party spirit.” And yet - it is an old the difference lies rather in the light unthought, but it is impossible not to recur der which they regard it. To the Stoic to it once more - what might he not have in the West, as to the Buddhist in the learned from these despised sectaries ! East, it presented itself as a renunciation the melancholy emperor from Blandus which became a deliverance, a tranquillity and Potheina, smiling on the rack. which passed into an annihilation. The

Of the Christian virtues, it was not Christian, too, recognized in the renunciafaith which was lacking to him. His faith tion of the world a deliverance from its indeed was not that bastard faith of the evil. But his spirit in those early days logians, which is nothing more than a was occupied less with what he was rewillingness to assent to historical propo- signing than with what he gained; the sitions on insufficient evidence. But it love of Christ constrained him; he died was faith such as Christ demanded of his to self to find, even here on earth, that he disciples, the steadfastness of the soul in had passed not into nothingness, but into clinging, spite of doubts, of difficulties, heaven. In his eyes the Stoic doctrine even of despair, to whatever she has was not false, but partly rudimentary and known of best; the resolution to stand or partly needless. His only objection, if fall by the noblest hypothesis. To Mar- objection it could be called, to the Stoic cus the alternative of "gods or atoms manner of facing the reality of the upi. of a universe ruled either by blind chance verse was that the reality of the universe or by an intelligent Providence

was so infinitely better than the Stoic ever present and ever unsolved; but in supposed. action he ignored that dark possibility, If then the Stoic love beside the Chris. and lived as a member of a sacred cos- tian was “as moonlight unto sunlight, and mos, and co-operator of ordering gods. as water unto wine," it was not only be.

Again, it might seem unjust to say that cause the Stoic philosophy prescribed the he was wanting in love. No one has ex. curbing and checking of those natural pressed with more conviction the interde. emotions which Christianity at pendence and kinship of men.

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guided and intensified by her new ideal. “ We are made to work together, like feet, it was because the love of Christ which like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the the Christian felt was not a laborious

once

duty, but a self-renewing, self-intensifying of spiritual progress ? Or may we not force; a feeling offered as to one who for- find that the conditions of the experiment ever responded to it, as to one whose vary, as it were, as virtue passes through triumpliant immortality had brought his different temperatures; that our formula disciples' immortality to light.

gives a positive result at one point, a neg. So completely had the appearance of ative at another, and becomes altogether Jesus to the faithful after his apparent un meaning at a third ? death altered in their eyes the aspect of the It will be allowed, in the first place, world. So decisive was the settlement of that for an indefinite time to come, and the old alternative, “ Either Providence until the mass of mankind has advanced or atoms,” which was effected by the firm much higher above the savage level than conviction of a single spirit's beneficent is as yet the case, it will be premature to return along that silent and shadowy way, be too fastidious as to the beliefs which So powerful a reinforcement to faith and prompt them to virtue. The first object love was afforded by the third of the is to give them habits of self-restraint Christian trinity of virtues by the grace and well-doing, and we may be well conof hope.

tent if their crude notions of an unseen But we are treading here on contro- power are such as to reinforce the someverted ground. It is not only that this what obscure indications which life on great prospect has not yet taken its place earth at present affords that honesty and among admitted certainties; that the hope truth and mercy bring a real reward to and resurrection of the dead are still men. But let us pass on to the extreme called in question. Much more than this; hypothesis, on which the repudiation of the most advanced school of modern any spiritual help for man outside himself moralists tends rather to deny that “a must ultimately rest. Let us suppose sure and certain hope" in this matter is that man's impulses have become harto be desired at all. Virtue, it is alleged, monized with his environment; that his must needs lose her disinterestedness if tendency to anger has been minimized by the solution of the great problem were long-standing gentleness; his tendency to opened to her gaze.

covetousness by diffused well-being ;' his Pour nous [says M. Renan, who draws this tendency to sensuality by the increased moral especially from the noble disinterested- preponderance of his intellectual nature. ness of Marcus himself], pour nous, on nous How will the test of his disinterestedness annoncerait un argument péremptoire en ce operate then?. Why, it will be no more genre, que nous ferions comme Saint Louis, possible then for a sane inan to be delibquand on lui parla de l'hostie miraculeuse ; erately wicked than it is possible now for nous refuserions d'aller voir. Qu'avons nous a civilized man to be deliberately filthy in besoin de ces preuves brutales, qui n'ont d'ap: his personal habits. We do not wish plication que dans l'ordre grossier des faits, et

now that it were uncertain whether filth qui gêneraient notre liberté ?

were unhealthy in order that we might be This seems a strong argument; and if the more meritorious in preferring to be it be accepted it is practically decisive of clean. And whether our remote descendthe question at issue, - I do not say only ants have become convinced of the reality between Stoicism and Christianity, but of a future life or no, it will assuredly between all those systems which do not never occur to them that, without it, there seek, and those which do seek, a spiritual might be a question whether virtue was a communion for man external to his own remunerative object of pursuit. Lapses soul, a spiritual continuance external to from virtue there may still be in plenty; his own body. If a proof of a beneficent but inherited instinct will have inade it Providence or of a future life be a thing inconceivable that a man should voluntato be deprecated, it will be indiscreet, or rily be what Marcus calls a “boil or imeven immoral, to inquire whether such a posthume upon the universe,” an island proof has been, or can be, obtained. The of selfishness in the mid-sea of sympaworld ipust stand with Marcus; and there thetic joy. will be no extravagance in M. Renan's It is true indeed that in the present age, estimate of the Stoic morality as a sounder and for certain individuals, that choice of and more permanent system than that of which M. Renan speaks has a terrible, a Jesus himself.

priceless reality. Many a living memory But generalizations like this demand a records some crisis when one who had close examination. Is the antithesis be- rejected as unproved the traditional sanctween interested and disinterested virtue tions was forced to face the question a clear and fundamental one for all stages, whether his virtue had any sanction which

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still could stand; some night when the her as eternally rewarded in any other foundations of the soul's deep were broken way? And what need there be in a spiritup, and she asked herself why she still ual law like this to relax any soul's exershould cleave to the law of other men tion, to encourage any low content? By rather than to some kindlier monition of an unfailing physical law we know that the her own :

athlete attains through painful effort that Doch alles was dazu mich trieb,

alacrity and soundness which are the Gott, war so gut! ach, war so lieb !

health of the body. And if there were an

unfailing spiritual law by which the philTo be the conqueror in such a contest osopher might attain, and ever attain in. is the characteristic privilege of a time of creasingly, through strenuous virtue, that transition like our own. But it is not the energy and self-devotedness which are only, nor even the highest conceivable, the health of the soul, would there be form of virtue. It is an incident in the anything in the one law or in the other to moral life of the individual; its possibil. encourage either the physical or the spir. ity may be but an incident in the moral itual voluptuary the self-indulgence life of the race. It is but driving the either of the banquet-ball or of the clois. enemy off the ground on which we wish ter ? There would be no need to test to build our temple; there may be far men by throwing an artificial uncertainty greater trials of strength, endurance, cour-round the operation of such laws as these; age, before we have raised its dome in it would be enough if they could desire

what was offered to them; the ideal would For after all it is only in the lower become the probation. stages of ethical progress that to see the To some minds reflections like these, right is easy and to decide on doing it is rather than like M. Renan's, will be sug. hard. The time comes when it is not so gested by the story of Marcus, of bis much conviction of the desirability of vir- almost unmingled sadness, his almost tue that is needed, as enlightenment to stainless virtue. All will join, indeed, in perceive where virtue's upward pathway admiration for a life so free from every lies; not so much the direction of the will unworthy, every dubious incitement to which needs to be controlled, as its force well-doing. But on comparing this life and energy which need to be ever vivified with the lives of men for whom the great and renewed. It is then that the moralist French critic's sympathy is so much less must needs welcome any influence, if such such men, for instance, as St. Paul there be, which can pour into man's nar. we may surely feel that if the universe be row vessel some overflowing of an infinite in reality so much better than Marcus power. It is then, too, that he will learn supposed, it would have done him good, to perceive that the promise of a future not harm, to have known it; that it would existence might well be a source of po- have kindled his wisdom to a fervent tent stimulus rather than of enervating glow, such as the world can hardly hope peace. For if we are to judge of the re. to see till, if ever it be so, the dicta of wards of virtue hereafter by the rewards science and the promises of religion are which we see her achieving here, it is at one; till saints are necessarily philosomanifest that the only reward which al- phers, and philosophers saints. And yet ways attends her is herself; that the only whatever inspiring secrets the future may prize which is infallibly gained by per. hold, the lover of humanity can never reforming one duty well is the power of gret that Marcus knew but what he knew. performing yet another; the only recom. Whatever winds of the spirit may sweep pense for an exalted self-forgetfulness is over the sea of souls, the life of Marcus that a man forgets himself always more. will remain forever as the normal highOr rather, the only other reward is one water mark of the unassisted virtue of whose sweetness also is scarcely realizable man. No one has shown more simply or till it is attained; it is the love of kindred more completely what man at any rate souls; but a love which recedes ever far. must do and be. No one has ever earned ther from the Aatteries and indulgences the right to say to himself with a more which most men desire, and tends rather tranquil assurance in the words which to become the intimate comradeship of close the “ Meditations” — Depart thou spirits that strive towards the same goal. then contented, for he that releaseth thee

Why then should those who would im-is content." agine an eternal reward for virtue imagine

FREDERIC W. H. MYERS.

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From Fraser's Magazine. not nerve himself to bear his awful charge CHARLES LAMB AND HIS FRIENDS. for a month or for a year; he endured his

cross through life, conscious that there THERE are few authors of the present was no escape from its burden and from century whose names are dearer to the its pains. There were premonitory symplover of literature than that of Charles toms, but both knew that Mary's insanity Lamb. And our affection for his books might return any day. When they travextends to the writer. There are men elled she carried a strait-waistcoat in her who publish invaluable works which we trunk, and a friend of the Lambs has reesteem for their wisdom, their learning, lated how on one occasion he met the their logic, or their accuracy, but while brother and sister weeping bitterly and appreciating the books we care nothing walking hand-in-hand across the fields to for the authors. This indifference has the old asylum. This was the lot Charles its advantage, for it makes a reader im had to face, and once only did his courage partial; it has its disadvantage also, for it fail at the prospect. prevents the sympathy of mind with mind, which makes a writer and reader friends ridge) and I don't know where to look for

My heart is quite sunk she writes to Colefor life. Lamb asks, in the first place, for relief. Mary will get better again, but her this sympathy. We must know the man constantly being liable to such relapses is before we can appreciate his genius. dreadful; nor is it the least of our evils that Shy though he was in company, he is her case and all our story is so well known communicative as an essayist, and like around us. We are in a manner marked. Montaigne, though in a different way, I am completely shipwrecked. My head is takes the reader into his confidence. His quite bad. I almost wish that Mary were dead. life must be read in his letters and es. Five years later Mary writes:says, and on these his literary reputation rests. Lamb failed as a dramatist, had It has been sad and heavy times with us but small success as a poet, and less as a lately. When I am pretty well, his low spirits story-teller. His genius, resembling in throw me back again ; and when he begins to this respect his taste for literature, was get a little cheerful, then I do the same kind confined within a narrow range.

In that, office for him. however, he was supreme. He put his

And again she says: heart into “Elia," and it is no exaggera. tion to say that its pulsation may be felt Do not say anything when you write of our there still. The tragedy of Charles low spirits — it will vex Charles. You would Lamb's life is universally known. It ex. laugh or you would cry, perhaps both, to see ceeds in pathos even that of Cowper. At us sit, together, looking at each other with long the age of twenty-two the young clerk in and rueful faces, and saying, How do you do? the India House, who had himself been and How do you do? and then we fall a cry. temporarily insane, undertook the charge He says we are like toothache and his friend

ing and say we will be better on the morrow. of an imbecile father, who happily did not gumboil

, which, though a kind of ease, is but long survive, and of a mad sister ten

an uneasy kind of ease, a comfort of rather an years older than himself. Mary Lamb, uncomfortable sort. whom Hazlitt considered the most sensi. ble woman he knew, was liable all her It is less to be wondered at than de. life long to fits of frenzy. After the fatal plored, that this “terribly shy” and calamity of 1796 the elder brother John, sorely tried man should have sometimes who kept apart from the family troubles, sought to forget his sorrow by drinking. desired that Mary should be confined for It brought him companionship and tem. life in an asylum. Charles, however, ob- porary oblivion. tained permission to be her guardian, and the two lived together in what words. I have been laughing, I have been carousing, worth finely calls dual loneliness, untii Drinking late, sitting late with my bosom

cronies, death divided them thirty-five years afterwards. His sister, as john Forster ob. was a confession Lamb had to make in serves, was but another portion of himself. sober prose many a morning, and to make The noble constancy and unselfish affec. with profound sadness. Procter says he tion of Charles Lamb, and the constant never knew him drink immoderately; but, love he received from Mary in return, he was speedily affected, and wine, by supply a lesson as beautiful and touching removing his nervousness, gave for the as any contained in the history of heroic moment freedom to his genius. It is deeds. Charles, be it remembered, did stated, on the authority of Mr. Crossley,

1966

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LIVING AGE.

VOL. XXXVIII.

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