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process of human skill by which men could have felt towards them. But our feeling, once produce some class of useful or orna- if in some sort the result of accident, is mental objects, nay, perhaps some more none the less real and healthy. It is a dignified process of saving or destroying great thing to have a monument of that men's lives, has utterly perished and been fresh and vigorous stage of our language forgotten. Now among these lost arts it familiar to every ear and every tongue. is painful to have to reckon the art of But that is not all; the English of the making prayers. That art has been going Prayer-Book has something more than the down ever since the sixteenth century. In incidental merit of representing a very fact, as far as we Englishmen are con- happy stage of the language. The men cerned, it may be said to have existed only who used it knew thoroughly well what during a few years in the middle of the they were about; they knew how to adapt sixteenth century. There was one short their language to the particular purpose moment in our ecclesiastical history when for which it was meant. The sixteenth cenwe were left wholly to ourselves, to the tury was an age of long-winded sentences; dictates of our own insular wisdom, when but we find no long-winded sentences we had got rid of Rome and not yet let in in the original portions of the PrayerGeneva. It is a thing to be noticed that Book; and the authors of the Prayerour first Prayer-Book, our most truly Eng- Book understood in its perfection on lish Prayer-Book, did not contain the which we will not say is wholly lost, but Daily Exhortation which is sometimes ir- which it is certain that vast number of reverently spoken of as “ Dearly Beloved.” people do not understand or care for. At the other end, too, it did not contain We mean the art of prose rhythm. Many that marvellous prayer for the Queen's people seem to put together their senMajesty which sounds as if its author, hav- tences anyhow; they either do not think ing raised Queen Elizabeth almost to the about the matter at all

, or only think how level of Deity, was puzzled to find words they may drag in the longest words. But yet more exalted for the invocation of here and there you find a writer who Deity itself. Nor did it contain that other weighs every syllable that he writes, to prayer which seems to class among “great whom a syllable too much or too little is marvels” the possibility of clergy and peo- as painful in a prose sentence as in a ple each doing their duty in that state of stanza of verse, and to whom a thoughtlife to which it has pleased God to call less change of a rhythmically built sentence them. Some people have ventured to is as grating to the ear as a false quantity think that, now that there is a talk of in a hexameter or iambic verse. There is shortening the Services, the best way of some mysterious law in these matters shortening Morning and Evening Prayer which we are not philosophers enough to would be to get rid of the later excres- throw into the shape of any definite precences which have grown on to them at oepts, but about which a careful writer both ends. But these are matters which feels by instinct when it is obeyed and are too high for us, and we will not risk when it is broken. Now among men who ourselves a step further in the way of dis-, thoroughly knew what rhythm was we cussing them. We wish to look at the must give a high place to the makers of our Prayer-Book, not as a matter either of Prayer-Book, and, above all, to the author3 theology or of ecclesiastical law, but as a of the older translation of the Book of matter of the English tongue.

Psalms. They knew what people nowaOn the whole, there is for us no English days seem to forget, that what they wrote like the English of the Prayer-Book, and, was meant to be said or' sung. They next to that, no English like that of our therefore by an unfailing instinct threw it translation of the Bible. Both were made into a form in which it really could be at a happy moment. They belong to that said or sung.

A modern Archbishop's exact stage of our language which is occasional prayer may be a very devout archaic enough to be venerable, but not so and orthodox composition, it may be a archaic as to be generally hard to under. first-rate example of the art of fine writstand. Being the only writings of their ing, but it is about as fit to be said or own age which are thoroughly familiar to sung as an article in the Daily Telegraph every one, they seem to have a character or the speech of a Duke at an agricultural of their own, a sort of personal existence meeting. In fact, when we read of some apart from other writings which does not political magnate expressing the enorbelong to them in their own nature. We mous satisfaction” with which he sets feel towards them in a way in which the forth the “ magnificent demonstration of men of the sixteenth century could not such a concourse of people,” we get a dim

feeling of a vastness and stateliness which into “the terraqueous globe and the enis something more than ducal, almost tirety of its contents.” archiepiscopal. We have no notion by We have been led into this train of what process either lordly speeches or thought by a docuinent purporting to be a archiepiscopal prayers are put together, scheme for the reforın of the Athanasian but we have read somewhere of some part Creed. We have by some chance stumbled of Great Tartary where they have a pray- on it in a report of the proceedings of the ing-machine which pulls out prayers by Convocation of York, but which we have the yard, or whatever may be the proper no doubt has been laid before the Convomeasure for reckoning the length of a cation of Canterbury also. The document prayer in an agglutinative language. We is a report signed by five Bishops those have seen in our own country a mill which of London, Winchester, Gloucester and turned out Latin verses, and we cannot Bristol, Ely, and Chester. Now let us ask help thinking that some machinery of the our readers to look for a moment at the same kind is busily at work in turning out Creed, or whatever it is to be called, which various specimens of language, spiritual has just now once more become the suband temporal. For our part we have no ject of so much controversy, from an unhope, unless we could see our way to con- usual point of view. We ask to be allowed juring up a man of the sixteenth century to to be for awhile neither theological, nor make our prayers for us. Failing that, we historical, nor critical. We will say not a would suggest that we should give up a word as to the dogmas which the Creed task which has proved utterly hopeless, sets forth, or as to the wisdom of fencing and should content ourselves with the un- them in with anathemas. We will be for doubted truth that nothing ever yet hap- the nonce wholly indifferent whether it is pened for which it was not easy to find an a work of the time of Constantius or a appropriate psalm. This brings us back work of the time of Charles the Great. to our former point. How much rhythm We will not hearken to any discussions as to tells in the matter is shown by the fact the authority of this or that manuscript, or that we still keep in use the translation of as to the critical value of this or that readPsalms which was made in the time of ing. We will look at the English version of Henry the Eighth. No one doubts that the the Creed, as it stands in our Prayer-Books, translation of James the First's time is, as simply as a piece of English. As such it is a matter of Hebrew scholarship, an incom- beyond all praise; nothing was ever yet parably better translation. No one doubts put together more thoroughly suited to be that in the older version many passages said or sung. It is hardly possible to read are quite wrongly rendered, and that some it without being irresistibly tempted to the are quite unintelligible. Yet the reviewers act of saying or singing. The rhythm of of Charles the Second's time, when they every clause is perfect; there is not a sylordered the Epistles and Gospels to be lable too much or too little ; crowded nechanged to the new translation, did not cessarily as it is with technical terms of thethink of applying the same rule to the ology, it is wonderful to see how they have Psalms. And, as far as we know, no one been caught and broken in and made to wishes for any such change now. Indeed play their part in a piece of English which the later version is hardly ever used at all; for its own purpose is altogether unsurno one ever quotes it except as a text for passed. When the Creed is properly sung

And why? Because every one by a well-trained choir, a heretic himself feels that, whatever may be its faults in could almost submit to be cursed in a forother ways, the older version is a noble mula of such majestic harmony. And now piece of English, and that it is specially let us see what our five Bishops propose to suited for its special purpose, that of be- do. They may have, for aught we know, ing said or sung. Every verse of the good reasons enough as concerns the Latin older version is rhythmical; the music is text, but they are going to destroy an already made. The more correct version of together perfect piece of English. They King James' translators it would be hope- begin the very first verse; “ whosoever less to try to sing; the thing could not be will be saved,” is to be “whosoever willeth done ; the clauses are not built for the to be saved.” Now the five Bishops who purpose. As for any further attempts at laid their heads together had not any one improvement in our own day, we shudder of them ear enough to feel that their proto think of them. A closer approach to posal gives two syllables too much, and the exact meaning of the Hebrew would utterly ruins the rhythm of the first clause. be dearly purchased if “ the round world The next change is, if possible, worse. and all that therein is " should be changed '" Everlastingly" is to be changed into

a sermon.

From The Economist. M, THIERS.

" eternally.” The reason of this change is general one. There may be good reasons, wholly beyond us; if any theological dif- theological or other, for changes either in ference lurks between the two words, if the Prayer-Book or in the translation of “eternally” is supposed to be a milder for- the Bible ; but those who are set on such mula than "everlastingly," we are too a delicate task should at least remember dense to follow so subtle a distinction. that what they are handling is, whatever But we do see that a Latin word is needelse it one of the most precious posseslessly put in the place of an English one, sions of Englishmen, a monument of their and that a wonderful piece of rhythm is native speech which forms no small part of utterly swept away. It shows how every their national heritage. No doubt our rerule has its exceptions — it shows the in- ceived translation of the Bible might in stinctive delicacy of ear of the English many places be improved. We do not say translators of the Creed – that, while in a word against any such improvement; this verse it would be ruin to put the Latin but, with such examples as we have before word instead of the English, yet in that us, we do feel very great dread lest an place of the Creed where the Latin word indiscreet and unsympathizing meddling is found, to replace it by the English would with compositions of the very highest orbe, to say the least, no improveinent. der may take away something which, by Then we come to the clause which contains association at least, is certainly not less the word "incomprehensible,” a long for- valuable than a more minutely correct reeign word, and used in an unusual sense, prodnction of the original. but which yet, by some lucky chance, gives exactly the rhythm that is wanted. The five Bishops propose to substitute "infinite"; if a rubric be added to say that the accent is to be laid on the second syllable the change may be just borne, but even then the majestic roll of the longer word The character of the present President will be lost. And, if the word be sounded of the French Republic is remarkable peras it commonly is, the whole music of the baps mainly for this, that he is the first clause will vanish utterly. And so the ruling man who has appeared of his own thing goes on ; a number of small changes kind. Should the idea of hereditary power are proposed which may likely enough, as perish in Europe, as many unprejudiced in the case of the Psalms, more correctly observers think it will, and should that represent some more correct Latin text, idea be replaced by a system of election but which are so many death-blows to the regulated inainly by great cities, as is hymn Quicumque vult as a piece of English again extremely probable, our children to be said or sung. Lastly, the last clause may see many men like him ; but he is as of all is to stand thus: This is the holy yet the only man of his kind who has risen and Catholic Faith, which every man who to supreme power over a great country. desireth to attain to eternal life ought to No American President has been in the know wholly and to guard faithfully.” No least like him, and he is perhaps, of all men doubt, as far as regards the matter, the who ever attained quasi-regal power, the new formula is a considerable softening one who differs most entirely in all the down of the old one, but the one can be characteristic features of his intellect from sung and the other cannot; and, as all an ordinary King. He is indeed, in modPsalms and Hymns should be pointed as ern history, the only instance of a man esthey are to be said or sung in churches, sentially litterateur who has risen to indewe should ask the five Bishops where we pendent power -- power, we mean, beyond are to put the point in a sentence almost that of a member of a Cabinet — the only as long as a German sentence in the old- man whose inner belief has been that the fashioned Kanzleistyl. We see that in the policy of a great country could be success. debates of the Northern Convocation the fully directed by mere brain, by a mind announcement of these pro vosed changes acting on its own impulses, without guidwas immediately followed by a proposal ance from national feeling, or party feeling by the Dean of Chester and the Bishop of or steady flow of well understood political Ripon to get rid of the Creed altogether thought. The son of a locksmith, without in public worship. Perhaps, if it is to be a personal follower in France, the claim of mauled in this ruthless way, its friends as M. Thiers, in his own eyes, to rule that well as its enemies may be less keen to country is that he is the ablest mau in it; make a fight on its behalf.

that he best of all men, can meet the diffiBut the qnestion is only part of a more culties of the hour by the expedients of the hour; can best foresee, and devise, and courage. For example, he believes, probpersuade, and guide. There is no trace ably rightly, that the French army needs of the Sovereign about him, none of the training in camp, and he has accordingly Sovereign’s dignity, or reticence, or belief kept it in camp all the winter, thereby in other things than ability ; and yet he provoking extreme, and it may be even has all the self-confidence, the latent but dangerous, discontent among the soldiers. immovable self-conceit- using the word The usual kind of ruler, knowing how in no depreciatory sense - which Prince weak a Provisional Government must be Bismarck is said to have onee declared to would have hesitated to do that, would be the first characteristic of the great Sov- have feared sickness and unpopularity ereign caste. He really thinks himself and opposition; but M. Thiers gave the competent to rule by force of his own order as readily as he would have made mental power and nothing else; is in fact a speech recommending it, and his act a journalist on the Throne, with all the therefore creates the impression of secumerits, and, except perhaps one, all the rity and power usually attaching only defects we should expect from a man in to the acts of long-established Governthat singular position. He has, to begin ments. He is quite assured in his own with, the journalist's intellectual fearless- mind that this is the right thing to do, and ness; frames a policy, or maintains a plan, does it with as little hesitation as if great exactly as he would if he had only to main- administrative acts no more involved contain his convictions on paper; when op- sequences than clever speeches or stinging posed trusts to his power of persuasion, of newspaper articles; as if somebody else oratory, of logic, but dispiays at the same than himself were to take the actual retime a strong and separate will, which, sponsibility. He has, in fact, the confimainly because it is so entirely self-derived, dence not of the statesman, but of the litso completely independent of any force ex- terateur, and with a dangerous crisis on isting outside his own mind, imposes hand, drives down to a hostile Assembly strongly on those with whom he comes in with the cheeriest conviction that, once on contact. M. Thiers, for instance, has no his feet, he shall soon convince everybody military experience, and extremely little that he is in the right. This kind of poknowledge of finance; but it is quite likely litical courage, though not the real article, that his view of military reorganization, has much of its effect, more especially in and his notion of financial policy, may pre- M. Thiers, whose powers, though essentialvail, just as under certain circumstances it ly literary, are in their way quite real, and is quite likely that the view of an Editor who possesses one qualification not often of the Times, or of any man of exceptional found in that kind of man. He can do literary hold over the electors, might pre- business. He may not comprehend the vail in England. The definiteness and facts accurately, as in this matter of systematic clearness apt to belong to men finance, but the moment he has deterwho are advising without responsibility, mined on his line, he can give the needful pertain to all M. Thiers's views, and orders, select the needful men, set the mafrequently give his policy an appearance chive going in fact in the direction in which of strength to which it is not entitled. he wishes it to go. This capacity makes it When he says, for example, that France much more easy to him to carry out his must “rally Catholicism” to her, or that views than it would be, for example, to a " he will lean on no party," or that “noth- man like M. Emile de Girardin to carry ing is possible except the Republic,” he out his, and relieves him of his greatest seems to be laying down the bases of a danger – the opposition of professional policy, whereas he has probably never even men who do not consider his policy so thought, but how to make his brilliant much as his ability to give the orders they epigrams work, or considered the immense want, and understand ther practical repmass of opposing forces which will impede resentations. He does not stumble over the realization of ideas so clear, so far details, he is insatiably industrious, and reaching, and so independent of the prac- be therefore succeeds in governing as a tical necessities of political life.

purely literary man would not do. This It is, we believe, this literary tone of faculty may keep him in his place for years, mind, this habit of thinking about a sub- and that will be an advantage to his counject as if he were going to speak a speech try which needs rest; but it will not enor write an article about it, and not as if able him to realize those epigrammatic he were going to deal personally with the ideas which with him stand for policies. men and the interests involved, which gives We do not think he will be speedily overM. Thiers his exceedingly serviceable thrown, but we suspect France and Eu.

was,

like

-as

From The Pall Mall Gazette.

rope will find that many of his objects, hoped by some Conservatives that there will be as much and as little attained as would be a revival of the egg largessez ; that announced by Canning, when exactly but though the King was anxious that in M. Thiers's manner he announced, after every one of his subjects should eat boiled acknowledging the Spanish-American Re- fowl on Sunday, and though he was as publics, that he had called a new world open-handed as his Prime Minister allowed into existence to redress the balance of him to be, yet atteinpts on his life were too the old." That sounded like statesman- numerous for him to risk standing the ship, as M. Thiers's ideas often do, and better part of Easter Monday in the court

many of those ideas, not a policy yard of the Louvre with egg baskets but only a political epigram.

around him, and all the tag-rag and bob-
tail of Paris filing up to receive these eggs
at the hands of the royal almoners
had been the custom with some of his pre-
decessors. So the Duc de Sully informed

a mob who came clamouring at his manEASTER EGGS.

sion in the Rue St. Antoine one Easter The Parisian who, being absent from that the King had done more for the inditown at the new year, omitted to distribute gent in the few years he had been on the étrennes among his acquaintances, views throne than any two other monarchs before the approach of Easter with mingled feel- him; and that to ask for eggs over and ings; for Easter is the season when sins of above the alms-money that was freely lavomission dating from the 1st of January ished by the State Treasurer on Mauvday must be atoned for by the gift of eggs, the Thursday was nothing but frivolity and size, quality, and price of which have been greed “ rien que folie et gourmandise.” steadily on the increase for the last twenty This was in 1603, and after this little is years. One should always speak with re- heard of Easter eggs for more than 170 spect of established institutions, and yet years, though the practice of exchanging that is an interesting study which consists them between private persons probably in watching how an institution at first continued in Paris, and certainly did so in costless develops by process of time into a the country, where the gift — in some very pretty little abuse with roots deep provinces at least, those of Poitou and set and difficult to pull up. Originally Anjou among them

to bear a there was no harm in Easter eggs. In the peculiar sense; the girl who accepted an middle ages, when it was really prudent Easter egg from a man being supposed to to do as the Church told one, and to prac- plight her troth to him and promise martise abstemiousness during Lent, the pres- riage before the feast of St. John. ent of an egg on Easter morning aptly At the beginning of Louis XVI.'s reign, symbolized the return to plenty and gas- however, egg offerings were revived on an tronomic freedom. It became the custom enormous scale incidentally to the yearly to paint the eggs with scriptural devices cavalcade at Longchamps. This cavalcade and edifying, texts; and by-and-by the arose from a visit which certain exalted Church kindly took to blessing these eggs ladies were in the habit of paying on Good at so much apiece on the inorrow of Good Friday to the Longchamps nunnery, where Friday. Most fifteenth and sixteenth cen- the choral service in the chapel, conducted tury chroniclers wrote of the wholesale by young ladies selected for their good distribution of eggs to the poor of Paris on voices and carefnlly trained, was one of Easter Mondays by the King's bounty; unusual attractiveness. By degrees the but so early as the reign of Louis XI. it visitors brought their friends with them, was found that real eggs were too costly, then gentlemen; then the Court came; so eggs of dough were largely substituted, then the press of visitors became so large the King probably arranging the matter that special choral services were held on with his conscience by reflecting that money the Saturday of Holy Week, on Easter spent on thrashing Charles the Bold must Sunday, and the two following days; until be far more agreeable in the sight of Provi- at length the cavalcade to Longchamps dence than money wasted in omelettes. became as a yearly fair. Booths were As centuries rolled by and good traditions erected, strolling players and dancing dogs lapsed, the custom of royal egg-dolez was congregated ; instead of returning to Paris discontinued, the exact period of the final immediately after the service, the fashion abeyance being the reign of Henry III. arose of stopping to lunch rustically in the When Henry IV. was in definitive posses- open air; and as hard-boiled eggs are the sion of the throne it seems to have been'safest things to buy in a suburb, eggs,

came

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