« VorigeDoorgaan »
That looks well, looks like a mother, Sir.
I thought so. They took water at Whitehall,
[The ballad-singer, moving nearer, sings again. Oh how alas what ails to tell,
For all that is doth ail ;
The narrow seas must sail.
To-night when buds on hawthorn boughs
Unfold and scent the lea,
Ere I come home to thee.
But think you thus, I must be true
How lone soe'er my lot,
If, love, I you forget.
And vows do nought avail ;
And some are found to fail ?"
Most fairest fair, we love, we part,
And oft is change below.
No! forever no,
If I forget and you forget,
Thereby no wrong shall be.
Oh! the worse for me.
What ails alas, what ails I tell,
And all that is doth ail.
The narrow seas must sail.
First. The narrow seas, alway the narrow seas.
She knows nought,
say the narrow seas are in the air,
[A number of women and lads come running back with cries of “ The Queen! The
Second (stepping forward). What of the Queen, good people ?
Sir, they say
Poor lady, say they so ?
Woman. Though it be good, sir, sure 'tis parlous news.
First. Ay, parlous ; yet how quiet are the streets,
Is aught to fear ?
[Exeunt omnes. -Longman's Magazine.
THE PESSIMIST VIEW OF WORK.
The extraordinary pessimism of the and eat up half his seed, he steadfastly French about all that relates to labor has
perseveres. How deeply rooted this view been a subject of remark for the last thirty of labor has become, appears in a little years. They appear unable to conceive story told in the St. James' Gazette of of toil as of anything but a crushing and Monday last. The French Academy gives even degrading burden, beneath which a prize of four thousand francs every year men may, indeed, display patience or for the best copy of verses for which it submission, but can never feel joy, or, suggests the subject. This
year except in the case of the rarest tempera- Labor ;'' and of all the two hundred ments, which are despised for their pos- and more poets who struggled for the prize, session of the quality, even careless con- not one had treated the subject from any tent. In French literature, the workman other point of view than that of pessimism. is always oppressed, always in want, al- All dwelt on the painful toilsomeness of ways a slave to a destiny which is never manual work, and not one on the satisfacless than passively hostile. The artisan tion it produces, or even, it would seem, suffers, the peasant endures, and both are on the healthfulness of body and the sweet sad or gloomy or sordid, not from any sleep it necessarily yields. Labor is, in volition of their own, but under the pres- fact, to the writers, an object either of sure of an inexorable fate. Not only does abhorrence or of the kind of pity stirred the idealist describe the worker as a kind by physical misfortune. We think we of God-forgotten victim, and the realist notice a rapid spread of the same feeling depict bim as a sort of beast too nearly in England, not, indeed, among the poets, animal to be responsible for his vileness, but among writers of fiction, like_Mr. but the painter, even when he is, like Besant, who always paints the lot of EastMillet, a man of religious fervor, shows Enders as if they never could enjoy anyhim always bending beneath the weight thing; and among the journalists, who of care, or, as in “ The Sower,” jncurably reserve all their softest sentiments for saddened by the work with which, in spite those whose hard and unjust lot bas comof the birds wbich follow his footsteps pelled them to work all day, and who apparently regard the compulsion of necessity generation, and if it softens and “ bumanas almost as much deserving of resistance izes,” does not altogether tend to strengthas the compulsion of the lash. The work- en it. The littérateurs of a generation man is often with them a kind of convict, always catch and exaggerate its note ; and with tbe foreman for warder, the “ shop” as the note of this generation is sympathy, for prison, and the daily task to be fin- they extend their sympathy to the laished for the sentence to hard labor. borer, and read into his lot an amount of
We wonder greatly whither this revolt suffering of which he is himself, partly at against industry will lead, and whether it least, unconscious. After all, the workhas any foundation in the realities of man has, as regards a portion at least of modern life. But for certain circum- his destiny, the advantage of the rich man, stances, we should balf suspect that it had – he sleeps better, and sleep is a third of not, and should decide that the abhor- life ; he has better health, and health is rence of work was not the feeling of the the first of satisfactions ; he enjoys his workers, but only a feeling which littéra- food more, and the pacification of hunger teurs think that they themselves would is the most recurrent of the pleasures ; feel if they had manual labor to perform. and he has, as we believe, more of the We do not find that the educated, when enjoyment alike of society and of friendreally overworked, as, for instance, rising ship, the latter a pleasure which the cultiprofessionals often are overworked till Na- vated of our day have in large measure ture revenges herself by striking, usually thrown away. It is not, however, possidetest the work. They often dislike its ble to be blind to the fact that on the hurry, or the seclusion it enforces, or its Continent, and in some of our great cities, consequences upon health ; but they do the laborers think of their labor as those not dislike the work itself, and until they who pity them do ; that there is a bittergrow middle-aged, remain impatient of ness as of men oppressed among them ; advice to diminish it at the sacrifice of any that work is regarded as a heavy burden, portion of its profits. They work on, and if not as a positive curse ; and that the so do the poor when they are working for envy of leisure is keener, especially among themselves. The small shopkeepers, the the weaker sort, than the envy of wealth. masterless artisans, and those agricultural It is difficult to doubt that the artisans of laborers who possess allotments, often cities at least bemoan their lot far more work like Chinese, thinking nothing of than they did, and that in capitals like fifteen hours a day, and if their gains are Paris, Berlin, and Vienna, the growth of at all proportionate, are still fairly
content. a savage kind of Socialism is the outcome Nor do we notice this bitterness among of a growing discontent with toil as the workers for wages, if only the wages are permanent condition of existence. The enough. They wish for shorter bours, as workmen are not yet articulate enough to almost all of us do, and if the hours exceed draw their own Utopias ; but if they sixty in the week, the wish grows pas- could, we fancy that, with a portion of sionately strong ; but their most genuine them at least, hard work would be only a feeling is drawn out rather by the amount rare incident in their daily lot. of their pay than by the hours spent in The evil, so far as it is an evil-and we earning it. Few among them would ac- think it a great one—is due, of course, cede to the abolition of overtime without partly to the startling increase of self-conan increase of wages ; and fewer still sciousness which may be noticed in all would, were the choice a free one, accept men and in all departments of life ; partly short hours at the price of the sacrifice of to the growth of the passion for comfort all luxuries in the way of liquor and to- which distinguishes Europe and our own bacco. We should say, if we argued from day ; and partly to that impatience of the what appears on the surface alone, that monotony inseparable from severe labor the literary feeling on the subject, how- which is helping to produce, for one sympever general, was rather the mood, possi- tom, the emigration of rural folk into the bly the passing mood, of an over-sensitive great cities. Labor, as it is now subdiclass than the result of a general distaste vided, is dull, and therefore is sometimes for toil, -was, in fact, only one phase of detested as a bondage which men only en. that passion for the indulgence of pity dure because the pain of hunger is sharper which in a hundred directions marks this than the pain of weariness. Our business to-day, bowever, is rather with the result dreamy author of “ Looking Backward,”' which the new feeling, supposing it to for instance, would have them, must still spread until it became as general among toil, and, as we believe, remembering the European workmen as it is among French poverty of intensely industrious peoples poets, would probably produce. We can like the Prussians and the Chinese, must see, we confess, no result for good, and, still toil hard, and must, if there is any indeed, no result at all, except a vast in- reason in the nature of things for the new crease of that pessimist melancholy which feeling, still detest their labor. Men caneverywhere begins to reduce what there is not be more industrious than the Chinese, of gladness in the world. The necessity or, for the most part, more equal ; yet of work will not cease. The body of their ceaseless industry, guided by rare workers, whenever they please, and are skill, and expended upon one of the most convinced enough to break up the armies fertile of countries, barely suffices, if it by refusing them supplies, can, of course, can be said to suffice, to keep famine from distribute among themselves so much of their doors. Toil will not be the sweeter the world's wealth as is not dependent because all pay will be thrown into a comupon credit or upon the exercise of brain- mon fund, or because the only employer, power, as they have on the Continent and the community, can neither be evaded, throughout Asia gradually distributed the por defied, nor told with safety, as some soil. They can do no more if they all die great employers are now being told about fighting, for equality and artificial credit twice a week, that it is a beastly opcannot co-exist, nor will the man who can pressor battening on bones and sweat." guide accept the wages of the man guided; There is no chance of the world's release but they can do this, and when they have from toil, for God or Destiny, whichever done it, all the work will still remain to it is, has settled that ; and if toil is in it. be done. Houses inust be built and re- self a burden-a proposition we are not paired ; cities must be paved and drained ; discussing, though discussing we should fuel must be excavated with painful toil; deny it-it is a burden the apparent metals must be dug out of the mines ; the weight of which must increase with every beasts must be tended and controlled ; increase in cultivation and self-conscious: and, above all, the fields must be tilled in ness, for we do not suppose that even all climates and under all weathers, and French poets will declare that the stupider the crops must be got in with a rapid and the workman, the more he suffers. With exhausting effort of one kind or another. the burden, therefore, pain must increase The pleasure of leisure now enjoyed by until man is loaded down by the sense of perhaps one per cent. of mankind, may be a necessary duty which he abhors, but of made a penal offence, and the exhaustion which he can never hope to be rid. We of the overworked may be reduced- are not optimists, having a conviction that though none work so strenuously as the the ultimate use of man is other than his owners of their own fields, and Socialism own happiness ; but we look forward to a mcans, or should mean, ownership for all happier destiny for the human race than
- but the immense majority of the world, that. - Spectator. if they are to be as comfortable as the
BY PROFESSOR A, H. SAYСE.
If there is any country which has seemed For a brief moinent, indeed, it played a to lie completely outside the stream of conspicuous part in human affairs, inspirancient history, it is Arabia. In spite of ing the Qoran of Mohammed, and forging its vast extent, in spite, too, of its position the swords of his followers ; then the veil in the very centre of the civilized empires was drawu over it again, which had previ. of the ancient East, midway between ously covered it for untold centuries.
We Egypt and Babylon, Palestine and India, think of Arabia only as a country of dreary its history has seemed almost a blank. deserts and uncultured nomads, whose momentary influence on the history of the made such an impression at Rome that the world was a strange and exceptional phe- conquest of Arabia was abandoned forever. nomenon.
From that iime forward to the rise of MoBut the restless spirit of modern research hammedanism the Roman and Byzantine is beginning to discover that such a con: Courts contented themselves with supception is wide of the truth. The advent porting the native enemies of the Sabæan of Mohammed had long been prepared for ; kings, or using Christianity as a means for Arabia had long had a history, though the weakening their power. records of it were lost or forgotten. The As far back as 1810 Seetzen, while explorer and decipherer have been at work travelling in Southern Arabia, discovered during the last few years, and the results and copied certain inscriptions written in they have obtained, fragmentary though characters previously unknown. Later they still may be, are yet sufficiently sur- travellers brought to light other inscripprising. Not only has Arabia taken its tions of the same kind, and eventually, place among the historical nations of an- with the help of an Arabic MS., the intiquity, its monuments turn out to be scriptions were deciphered, first by Geamong the carliest relics of alphabetic senius, and then by Roediger (1841). writing which we possess.
They received the name of Himyaritic Arab legend told of the mysterious races from that of the district in which they of 'Ad and Thamud, who, in the pleni- were found — Himyar, the country of the tude of their pride and power, refused to Homerites of classical geography. The listen to the warnings of the prophets of language disclosed by them was Semitic, God, and were overwhelmed by divine ven. while their alphabet was closely related to geance. In the south the magnificent pal- the so-called Ethiopic or Geez. In certain aces of ’Ad might still be seen in vision dialects still spoken on the Southern Araby the belated traveller, while the rock-cut bian coast, notably that of Mahrah, bedwellings of Thamud were pointed out tween Hadramaut and Oman, the peculiar. among the cliffs of the north ; but the first ities of the old Himyaritic language are authentic information about the interior of still to be detected. Arabia came to Europe from the ill-fated In 1841 Arnaud succeeded, for the first expedition of Ælius Gallus, the Roman time, in penetrating inland to the ancient Governor of Egypt, in B. c. 24. The spice- seat of the Sabæans, and in bringing back bearing regions of Southern Arabia bad with him a large spoil of important inlong carried on an active trade with East scriptions. Later, in 1869, another adand West, and the wealth their commerce venturous journey was made by M. Halé. had poured into them for centuries had vy, on behalf of the French Academy, made them the seats of powerful king- who was rewarded by the discovery of doms. Their ports commanded the trade more than 800 texts. But it is to Dr. with India and the further East ; already Glaser that we owe the better part of our in the tenth chapter of Genesis we learn present knowledge of the geography and that Ophir, the emporium of the products ancient history of Southern Arabia. Three of India, was a brother of Hazarmaveth or tiines at the risk of his life he has explored Hadramaut. Western merchants carried a country of which our modern geograback exaggerated reports of the riches of phers still know so little, and almost alone
Araby the Blest," and Augustus coveted among Europeans has stood among the the possession of a country which com- ruins of Marib, or Mariaba, called by manded the trade with India as well as Strabo the Metropolis of the Sabæans. being itself a land of gold and spicery. He has collected no less than 1031 inscripAccordingly, with the help of the Naba. tions, many of them of the highest bistheans of Petra, a Roman army was landed torical interest. The first-fruits of his on the western coast of Arabia and marched discoveries have been published in his inland as far as the kingdom of Sheba or Skizze der Geschichte Arabiens," of the Sabæans. But disease decimated the which the first part has just appeared at invaders, their guides proved treacherous Munich. and Ælius Gallus had to retreat under a For some time past it has been known burning sun and through a waterless land. that the Himyaritic inscriptions fall into The wrecks of his army found their way two groups, distinguished from one anwith difficulty to Egypt, and the disaster other by phonological and grammatical