"I am quite unhappy to-day thinking of your parting with the dear boy, for I can understand, though my man's coarser nature cannot feel as intensely, the pang to you of parting with a bit of yourself. More and more am I sure, and physiologists are becoming more sure also, that the mother is the more important [parent], and in the case of the boy everything; the child is the mother, and her rights, opinions, feelings, even fancies about him, ought to be first regarded. You will write to me all about his starting; but I have no fear of his being anything but happy..


TO HIS YOUNGEST DAUGHTER. "MY MARY, — This is the real castle where I am, and in the bottom of that tower a real witch was locked up before she was burnt on Craig-na-Ban, overhead. At the back of the house, under my window, which is in the top of the tower, the Dee is roaring, and the salmons are not leaping, and a darling water-ouzel, with a white breast, is diving after caddises. And as soon as I have had luncheon I am going to fish with two dear little girls, who catch lots of trout with a fly; and a real gilly in a kilt, who, when he and I caught a salmon two days ago, celebrated the event by putting on his Prince of Wales's tartan and uniform, taking an enormous bagpipe, and booming like an elephantine bumble-bee all round the dinner-table, and then all about the house. It is very pleasantlike a dream real stags in the forest looking at you, and real grouse, and blackcock, and real princesses walking about; but I long to be home again with you. all, and that is truth. Love to Rose, and tell her to write to me to Aboyne. Your affectious pater,

"C. K."

TO MR. T. DIXON." I am much surprised to hear of alms-houses paying rates. The whole Poor-Law Question has got into the hands of the small shop

keepers, as far as I can see, altogether. But as for shifting the burden of rates and taxes, the true place to shift it, it seems to me, is on to the large shopkeepers and employers of labor, who rapidly grow rich, and therefore could endure a little more taxation. As for putting it on the land - you cannot be aware that land does not now pay more than 22 or 3 per cent. to buy, so that the possession of it is a luxury, which only the rich can afford. This is owing to the heavy burdens which lie already on the (generally) exhausted and poor soil of England; and its effect is, that the land is drifting into too few hands. That happens by no privilege or injustice, but simply by supply and demand, there being so very few purchasers for the luxury of being a landowner. This is a serious evil, and a growing one. But I do not think that much shifting of taxes is needed — what is needed, is not squandering them when they are raised and if there is that waste it must be the fault of the House of Commons, and nobody else. If we do not put good men into Parliament, we must be punished for our own folly. God grant the working men in their elections may choose honest and virtuous men (I don't care what their opinions are), leaving them as much unpledged and free as possible, and trusting to their conscience and honor to do what is right."

To L. T., Esq.-"As for stammering, I have seldom known a worse case than my own. I believe it to be perfectly curable, by the most simple and truly scientific rules if persevered in. The great obstacles to cure are 1. Youth, which prevents attention and force of will. 2. In after life, nervous debility of any kind. But with the cure of stammering, nervous debility decreases, owing to the more regular respiration, and therefore more perfect oxygenation of the blood, and so the health improves with the speech. Try a simple experi

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

ment, it is an old and notorious method. Before beginning to speak, take two or three deep breaths, and always breathe at a stop, so as to prevent doing what all old stammerers do, speaking with an empty lung. Take a pair of very light dumb-bells and exercise your chest with them, taking care to in-spire deeply when you raise them over your head, and when (consequently) the ribs are raised, and the lungs expanded. Do this slowly and quietly, and I think you will find, though it will not cure you, yet it will relieve and literally comfort your breathing enough to give you confidence in my hints."


[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]

"Life, I repeat, is energy of love,

Divine or human; exercised in pain,
In strife, and tribulation, and ordained

If so approved and sanctified, to pass

Through shades and silent rest, to endless joy."


“I never saw in any man such fearlessness in the path of duty. The one question with him was, 'Is it right?' No dread of consequences, and consequences often bitterly felt by him, and wounding his sensitive nature, ever prevented him from doing that to which conscience prompted. His sense of right amounted to chivalry." - Life of PROFESSOR FORBES.


HE professorial lectures this year were on the 16th century, and were crowded, as usual; but some severe attacks on his teaching in two leading newspapers in the preceding autumn (though in each case they might be traced to some personal animosity), had inclined him, for his own honor, and for that of his University, to resign his post. Before doing this, he consulted some of the Cambridge authorities, on whose friendship and impartiality he could rely;

and on their advice he decided to retain the Professorship, though the work was too heavy for him, for at least another year. "Dry-as-dust is invaluable in his way, but he cannot create an interest in his subject where it does not exist," wrote one distinguished member of the University, who strongly dissuaded him from resigning, not knowing who might be his successor. Writing to his wife from Cambridge at this time he says:

"I have been very unhappy about your unhappiness about me, and cannot bear to think of your having a pang on my account. But you must remember that these battles and this abuse, painful as they may be, are what every man has to go through who attains any mark, or does any good in the world. Think how far more obloquy was gone through by Buckland, Milman, Maurice, Hare, Stanley, Robertson, Arnold; they have all had to fight their fight. But they conquered, and so shall I, please God, in spite of my mistakes. . . . In the meantime I will keep out of war, and do the duty that lies nearest me, that all may be well. So pray comfort yourself and think cheerfully and hopefully of the future, which after all is not so very dark, if one looks at it fairly.. I have got well through my lecture on Paracelsus. I should think there were a hundred men there, and the Public Orator and Wright. Then I heard a noble lecture from Mr. Maurice."

[ocr errors]

His calmness and magnanimity under attacks of the press, especially when made by literary men, were always remarkable; and no truer words were ever spoken than those by Mr. Matthew Arnold on hearing of his death:

"I find myself full of the thought of something in which he seemed to me unique. I think he was the

« VorigeDoorgaan »