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Fifth Series, Volume XLVIII.
No. 2107.- November 8, 1884.
author of “Citoyenne Jacqueline,” “ Lady
Contemporary Review, . IV. AT ANY Cost. Part IV.,
330 339 349 363 368 374 377 379
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I took it thence, and carried far EH, but it's grand to sit at one's door with
The plant into a greenhouse, where one's own wife at one's side,
I tended it, with blossoms rare, A-showing her what she ought to know - how
Until it brightened, like a star a ship-shape knot is tied :
Delivered from a passing cloud, See the ropes be equally matched, lass. A
That hides it 'neath a silver shroud,
Yet fails its loveliness to mar; wisp and a cable won't splice;
Until it ceased to be a wild For tie 'em as neat as you may, the weaker will give in a trice.
And common thing - and then I smiled. (That's just what the Good Book means, Kate, It grew, and thrived ; new buds put forth,
when it says that two will not speed, And more, and more, and still became Who set out to travel together, yet are in More fruitful, till no more the same nothing agreed.)
Meek, lowly child of the far north, But take two ropes like these, now - this is It reared its lordly stem on high, softer, you see, but it's tough,
Climbing towards the distant sky, And that is as good in its way, though it feels As though it deemed its greater worth a little more rough.
Deserved a higher place, and kept
then I wept.
I wept, because I thought the weed Strange! how it's easy to do, what's not easy
Showed strange ingratitude to me, to understand!
And had forgot how lovingly 'Twas easy our falling in love — but ask how I nourished it when in its need. we did it, and why?
And then the flower bent down its head, You may answer (for women are clever !) but I can't tell you, not I !
Touched me caressingly, and said:
“Think not that I forget thy deed, Then to make sure that the ropes are spliced,
The tender care and constant thought just tug 'em at either end,
That in my life this change have wrought. If the knot be right, and the ropes be sound, there will be nor slip nor rend;
“Now to the far-off skies I climb, There will be, as it were, one rope, only
Because I fain would show thee, there stronger because it's two,
Is something higher than the care And that's the way it's to always be, my Katie, Of a mere plant, to fill the time with me and you !
God giveth thee. How, then, my love
For thee more truly can I prove The tugs will come, lass, as sure as life, when Than by thus pointing to a clime young days will pass away,
Where Hope's fulfillment thou shalt find, When duties will thicken around us, while our And earthly love to heaven's bind ?”
heads grow bowed and gray; For though knots be tied in the sunshine, So, from a tiny seedling, grows
Kate, they're meant to hold in a gale : Sweet friendship's root from year to year, And from all that we see around us, life isn't Nourished alike by smile and tear, a summer sail !
By sun and storm, and winter snows
Of jealousy and blind mistrust; And the time must come at last, Kate, when all knots will dip out of sight,
Through which the deathless plant shall
thrust One of the strings drawn safely in God's haven Its growing flower, until it blows of love and light,
At last, within that land on high But one of 'em still left dragging in life's
Where virtues bloom eternally. ocean rough and cold,
F. E. S. Yet the watch may sing out “ All's well ! ”
Kate, for our Father's knots will hold ! Leisure Hour.
I. F. MAYO.
THE STRAY BLOSSOM. UNDER a ruined abbey wall,
Whose fallen stones, with moss o'ergrown,
About the smooth fresh turf were strown, And piled around the roots, and tall,
Green-ivied trunks, and branching arms
There, in a broken sill, I spied
ON MAGISTER MARTINUS OF BIBERACH,
I live, know not how long,
From The Fortnightly Review. France or Germany. We import only the IS ENGLAND A GREAT EUROPEAN excess which the beef-fed Briton insists POWER?
on consuming. The average nett income The responsibilities which at the pres- per inhabitant is sixteen per cent. higher eat moment confront us in Egypt, and than in the United States, and more than which may ere long be extended over a far double the European average. The numwider area, have caused many an English- ber of paupers gradually but surely de. mao to ask the question : Are we a great clines, the savings banks show a rapid European power? It will be acknowl. increase in the hoarded capital of the edged that power, great or little, means working classes even in Ireland. Comthe possession of some strength or quali. pared with the earnings of the country ties valuable to mankind, and a faculty of taxation is much lower than the European keeping what we possess. It is not average, and, if account could be taken of merely great wealth or influence, but the the blood tax paid in person by Continen. power of defending it, which constitutes tal nations, with its influence on progress, greatness in this very imperfect world. the result would be startling. The birth. No one denies that England is wealthy, rate is increasing, the death-rate diminbut people are apt to forget that wealth ishing. The national debt is being paid does not mean only a big balance at the paid off by degrees, though municipal and bankers, and a huge rent roll. Much more local debts representing expenditure on is included in national wealth, and as so health and education are increasing. And, much, forcibly reminding one of the if this be a comfort to anybody, we are groans
of the Britons” when they peti- perpetually adding annexation to annexa. tioned Rome to belp them against the tion. Above all, our people have the civil Picts and Scots, has been said about our liberty which permits the most emphatic perils and infirmities, it may be well to denunciation of political opponents, and call attention to some of our advantages. the religious liberty which bolds all docThough the revenue of the country no trines from pantheism and atheism in longer increases by leaps and bounds, it almost equal respect, allows one man to does grow steadily, and by no means prove that we are but highly developed slowly. The productive power of the apes, and another to preach the gospel people shows always an increasing ratio according to the Salvation Army. These per inhabitant, and in this respect we last privileges, combined with the commove faster than other European nations. fortable condition of
progress just In the middle of the last century we were sketched, are surely worth preserving. fighting for leave to navigate the ocean They constitute the wealth which is one freely. Now, we appear to be absorbing of the sigos of a great power, and it only tbe whole carrying trade of the world, remains to decide wh er we are able chiefly because by the skill and good man and willing to defend ourselves and our agement of our seameo fewer men do the possessions, or, if we are not, whether we same work. Not far from sixty per cent. should universally succumb, with the of the water carriage of the world is per. meek entreaty, Give peace in our time, O formed by ships sailing under the British nations. flag, and of these between seventy-five and The first idea which suggests itself is eighty per cent. are steamers. Popula- that a State, spending eleven hundred mil. tion is growing at the rate of about one lions a year and saving more than sixty million in three years, and the people eat millions, might find it worth while to spend more than twice as much meat per head whatever may be necessary to provide for as is the average for European nations. its own requirements and make itself and Anxiety is sometimes shown as to the its property safe from aggression. And meat supply in case of war, but we actu. this is, unquestionably, the feeling of the ally produce enough in Great Britain to country. The late Mr. Delane, whose supply all the needs of the people if calcu. power of gauging popular feeling became lated on the scale of consumption in / from long practice a sort of genius, used to say that the English people would will. It seems to be taken for granted that ingly give anything in reason to make the tendency of modern progress is in the their interests safe, but that there was a direction of democracy, and that the profound disbelief in the capacity of the demos will be so wise and passionless, so War Office and Admiralty, and an impres capable of seeing the other side of all sion that additional supplies would go questions, so bent upon progress in arts towards increasing the emoluments of old of peace, that England will forever bere. generals and admirals rather than towards after set an example of wisdom, modera. creating an efficient army and navy. Lord tion, and avoidance of strife; that however Derby, with bis usual caution, suggested fierce the Continental monarchies may be, that the first step was to discover what we at least shall be prepared to turn the we really require in order to place En- other cheek to the smiter. Where are the gland in readiness to fulfil the duties signs of it? It is now a quarter of a cendemanded of her by the position she tury since Mr. Buckle published the first occupies. In Parliament we see a perpet. portion of his “ History of Civilization," ual contest between a class of wild alarm in which he so eloquently proclaimed the ists on the one hand and optimist minis. gospel of good sense, pointing with tri. ters on the other. The former insist that umph to America as our example of all England is without means to make her that was peaceful, and claiming for Euwill respected, or even to defend her ocean rope a close approach to the transatlantic trade; the latter declare that there is model. The coming millennium was in. nothing whatever in the facts and figures augurated with the solemnity of religious of the alarmists to cause a moment's anx. rites at the opening of the first Great iety. The military journals weep over the Exhibition. Hardly had we all agreed to degeneration of the army; the naval jour- recognize the value of democracy and the nals and the “One who Knows” of the peaceful tendency of trading self-interest, Pall Mall Gazette, denounce and deplore when the two halves of America were the feebleness of the navy. Lord Wolseley burst asunder by the volcanic force of says that never in history was the army those very interests; democrats flew at so efficient as now, and Lord Northbrook each others' throats and heaped up a war shows that we are building ships of war debt of greater magnitude than had been twice as fast as France. In such a chaos conceived possible of accumulation in so of .conflicting opinions no one can be short a time. Democratic France, a de. surprised that the House of Commons mocracy under the name of an empire, is weary of the discussion, or that the thought to serve her interests by invading waving of the alarmist flag is a signal for Mexico. The war of 1859 in Italy was the emptying of benches. Under these without doubt the result of popular aspiraconditions it is not possible for the coun- tions for freedoin from the yoke of Aus. try to have any clear opinion on the questria. The war of 1866, which produced of tion now asked, and the uncertainty has necessity that of 1870, was forced on, not bred a kind of recklessness on the most by the royal houses, but by one great important subject which can engage the minister who would have been president attention of a nation, namely, the condition if Prussia had been a republic, and its of its health and strength, whether it is, object was a popular one, the union of like a strony man, able to give and to take Germany. The emperor of Austria was the blows which form so large a portion of entirely in favor of peace in 1866. In that human experience, or whether, as a sick year, after the collapse of the Imperial man, it must plead for gentle treatment armies, the most distinguished of Austrian and, confessing its weakness, take shelter statesmen said to the present writer, under the protection of its stronger neigh. “This is England's fault. We expected bors. If we are strong, let us know it your feet in the Baltic two years ago, and and cease this perpetual groaning: if we were prepared to withdraw at once from are weak, let us make up our minds what the hostilities against Denmark, which price of territories, casb, and humiliation have led by a natural sequeoce to this we are prepared to pay for protection. fatal campaign.” The most rigid of noninterventionists will not deny that, if our great prosperity, when our trade is brisk first interest be universal peace, we may and our merchants are all engaged in sacrifice that interest by refusing to take profitable transactions, the traders are any part in European questions, even peacefully inclined, because they fear to when those questions arise from the de disturb the even current of prosperity. sires of nations rather than of kings. And But it is far otherwise in periods of de. it would also appear that the wars of the pressed commerce. The most pronounced most civilized powers now arise rather Jingoes were to be found seven years ago from popular desires than from the ambi. among the merchants of London, and the tion of their rulers.
great city newspaper, the Times, has for If we go farther east and think of the months past been preaching daily serevents which led to the late Russo-Turkish mons on the wisdom of non-effacement in struggle, we find precisely the same causes Egypt, of snatching the goods the gods producing the same effects. The court provide us there, leaving France to storm and the governing classes of Russia outside if she likes. We only just es. dreaded that war, and their fears were caped a war with Russia in 1878, and the justified by the sequel. The few English reason why we did not fight was because men who were personally acquainted with the advocates of intervention were divided the early details and heard from the lips in opinion, many of them wishing to go of the higher officers their opinion, know to war with Turkey side by side with that the upper classes were dragged into Russia. So they neutralized the efforts it at the tail of the secret societies, those of the Jingoes, and the result was peace. very societies which have since shaken Mr. Gladstone did not then by any means the throne so severely. They heard also assert a policy of peace at any price. The bitter reproaches against England for thunder of his eloquence against a policy having cleverly drawn them on till they of irritation and what he considered use. could not recede. We did not inten- less wars was accompanied by lightning tionally draw them on, but, by our hope. flashes of spirit in which he declared himless indecision, we certainly led them on self ready to throw the whole power of without intending to do so. It may be England into the scale for a reasonable or new to Englishmen to hear this. None noble cause. So far then it appears that the less it was the common talk of the neither the growing power of democracy court of Russia and the higher officers in nor that of trade can be counted upon as 1877. Then, how far has trade tended trustworthy agents in the cause of peace. towards keeping England herself at peace? If we have not taken part in any late Since we became a trading nation, nearly European wars it has been because there all our wars, under whatever disguise they was no conceivable object to be gained by may have been undertaken, have been our interference. They might act upon brought about by the exigencies of trade, our imagination, but they never stirred supported by traders and turned eventually our hearts, nor touched our pockets. to the advantage of trade. Some of them A curious and interesting illustration of indeed, such as the Chinese opium wars, democratic possibilities has just occurred have been fought avowedly for trading in France. The English public is ac. purposes; some, like the long struggles in customed to associate great armaments, the eighteenth century, had other nominal conscription, and the rest of the military causes, but were in truth the struggles of burdens on industrialism with monarchies, trade to free itself from restrictions im- but the republic, or rather the popular posed by foreign powers. Others again, chamber of the republic, has gone farther like the series which we call the conquest than any monarchy would dare to go in of India, were begun by traders and car. the direction of interference with individried on because the tide of conquest mustual liberty for the sake of military power. flow till it meets with a solid barrier to All the monarchies allow means of escape stop its progress. Weak neighbors irre, from the chief burden of service to young sistibly invite aggression. In times of I men of wealth and education who are not