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finished, she would come out in the evening for a saunter along the valley with Leslie Stephen and the rest of us. She was one of those people whose presence is even more than a pleasure, hers was a stimulus; she was kindly, sympathetic, and yet answering with that chord of intelligent antagonism which is so suggestive and makes for such good talk.

She used to tell me a great deal of her past life at that time, but with a certain reserve also, and it was not until I read the Autobiography published after her death that I realised what her great cares had been. I could then understand why she had been so scornful of mental difficulties which seemed real enough to some of us, and why she always spoke bitterly of problems of thought—she who had so many practical troubles to encounter. The impression of that special time is very vivid still—the busy clatter of the Swiss village close at hand, the great surrounding mountains, the terrace where we used to sit together under the clematis in full flower, and her eyes shining as she talked on and on. I remember her once saying, when I exclaimed at something she told me, Temperament has a great deal to do with our lives, and mine is a hopeful temper and has carried me on through terrible trials.'

Some time after our visit to Grindelwald, I wrote to her to ask for a literary contribution for a friend, an editor who was ill and in great need of help. Mrs. Oliphant immediately sent a story, a charming, long, cheerful story, which (as I discovered later) had been written by her son's sick bed, and which she gave as a gift with her bountiful hand at a time when she hardly knew where to turn for money. What friend in trouble was ever dropped or ignored by her ? When her helpless brother and his children came appealing to her she took them all into her home. The brother died, and his fine young son also died just at the opening of the career in which Mrs. Oliphant had started him, but the delicate girls survived to repay with full measure all the love they had received.

Mrs. Oliphant wrote near a hundred novels, we are told, besides her admirable criticisms and her histories, besides her reviews, and the lives of Montalembert, of Irving, and of Laurence Oliphant, her kinsman. Her books of travel about Florence, and Venice, and the Holy Land represent her holidays; as for her mystical histories, they always seem to be more like herself than anything else ; for though she hated mental speculation, she was a believing mystic in the semblance of a dignified Scotch lady, a little cold in manner and tart in speech. Yet, as is the way with some, she too was strangely moved at times to cast away all conceal


ment, and to pour out in writing those heart-secrets, which seem spoken, not to the world, but to the very spirit of sympathy which is in the world, when the pen runs on almost of its own accord and the hunian spirit cries aloud from the depths of silence.

I do not remember to have read anywhere else a description more to the point than that written by Mrs. Oliphant, towards the close of her writing, in a book which she calls 'The Ways of Life,' describing the ebb-tide '--the sudden realisation that all advance is at an end. ... It is a very startling discovery,' she says, 'to one who has perhaps been going with a tolerably full sail, without any consciousness of weakened energies or failing power, and it usually is as sudden as it is strange, though probably other people have already found it out and traced the steps of its approach. ... But yet the ebb has its poetry too, though the colours are more sombre, and the sentiment is different. The flood, which in its rise seemed almost individual, pervaded by something like conscious life or force, becomes an abstract, relentless fate when it pours back into the deep gulf of the sea of forgetfulness. ...'

Mrs. Oliphant has herself criticised her own work-she might have done better, she says, if she had written much less, and reached a higher level. Fancy was hers indeed, intuitive grasp of circumstance: only the very bountifulness of her gift was her temptation. “Was it love of mammon,' she asks, 'which impelled me to write on, or love of my children ?' Would the praise of the critics have been worth the daily happiness of all those who depended on her toil for their gaiety and superfluity, those for whom she so gladly slaved, morning, noon, and late into the night? She used to sit up at her writing after every one was gone to bed, and rise again on dark winter mornings to see her boys off to their early school. At times she was weary, but again and again she was able to resume her task with renewed interest. Too often she wrote by her sons' sick-beds, in apprehension and unspeakable terror.

No one has spoken more truly of her than a friend who lived after her for a time in the pleasant Windsor Crescent house. It is good,' says Mrs. Lionel Cust, ' to gather up again some memories of that vivid and charming personality, of that brave, indomitable spirit, of that amazing agility which could rise to every emergency and every crisis, which could amuse itself with the smallest interests or penetrate far into the mists of the unseen.'

As I saw her in the last years of her life,' Mrs. Cust continues, ‘she was old, but with the dignity of a queen, and shining eyes



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which seemed as though they saw far into the distance. She was looking towards “ the more genial land,” waiting for the time when she would be with those again whom she had lost here, and in that steadfast hope she died.'

* The one good thing I am conscious of,' she wrote to her friend * A.K.H.B.,' is the great, calm, all-sustaining sense of a Divine Unseen walking in the cool of the garden. ...'

So much for the Torch-bearers of the Early Victorian days ! Not very long ago people spoke of the rising generation knocking at the door ; it seems now as if it had already ceased to knock. It has burst in, leaving the doors wide open to admit the draughts from outside, and the shouts and shrieks and the storms of dust, as well as the more harmonious echoes of natural life.

The impatient effects, the incoherent audacities of the postpresent taste in literature, art, and music, appeal to an entirely different set of feelings from those which existed in my own age.

I cannot think they will ever impress our children as our familiar visions have impressed us, and will still impress those who are yet to live. I heard of a great leader of modern ideas exclaiming the other day, We are living in the present: why go on constantly dwelling on the past ?' But he was speaking to a young woman at the time, and an old one might have answered him, ' Because, as you yourself have sung in “Lest we forget,” the past holds us in its noble grip and it is the present.'

This paper was written far from home, at Venice, in the spring of 1912, in a window of the Palazzo Barbaro, that benevolent house most beautiful, where so many of us have been received and entertained in kindness. From its windows, morning after morning, one might watch, beneath the pale blue heaven, a sweet advancing angel brightening every instant in annunciation of the day to come, divinest lights changing into sunshine, morning clouds trailing towards a distant duomo, doves calling, and bells sounding with the dawn,

Just opposite, across the Grand Canal, stands another palace, also with carved balconies and ancient windows and sunlit terraces. This palace now belongs to a lady who, loving good English and beauty of style, has chosen to bestow here in London a yearly prize of a hundred pieces of gold, to be won in fair combat by literary aspirants, young knights of the pen.

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ABOUT the middle of the 18th century, when the unsuccessful rebellion in favour of the Stuarts led to the final conquest of the Highlands for civilization, numerous families of the Gaels migrated nearer the centres of industry in the south and threw themselves eagerly into the sensible pursuit of an independent livelihood and a modern education. So much had the semi-savage conditions of life on the islands and mountains of Western Scotland fallen into disrepute among a more prosaic generation, that these Highland clansmen as eagerly exchanged their Gaelic patronymics-savouring somewhat of Neolithic and early Aryan times—for more commonplace Saxon surnames. Thus the Gows became Smiths, and the MacLeays (why, it is not very clear, because MacLeay seems to mean 'Son of the Grey-headed') transformed themselves into Livingstones. The Highland stock which settled down in southwest Scotland as Livingston, Liviston, or Livingstone, must have possessed unusual qualities for successful pioneering enterprise, for during the later 18th century and much of the 19th we hear of men of that name making careers for themselves in Canada, Central America, the West Indies, South America, India and Malaysia.

David Livingstone, the greatest of them all, descended from a crofter family of the little island of Ulva, off the much larger island of Mull. His grandfather, finding it impossible to support his large family on the subsistence of his farm, came south to the Clyde, and took up work at Blantyre, eight miles from Glasgow, where a cotton manufactory had just been established. All his sons, except Livingstone's father, entered the army or navy during the wars with France ; but his son Neil became a dealer in tea and made Blantyre—where David was born-his residence or head-quarters, though much of his work was done as a pedlar. Pedlars, however, like ploughmen and shepherds, were educated men in the Scotland of the late 18th century; and David Livingstone—the centenary of whose birth will be celebrated on March 19, 1913, grew up in a circle of plain-living but high-thinking people. Their outlook on life was cramped by false views of religion and that mistaken worship of the Jewish conception of Jehovah which precludes questioning and inquiry into how the world was made. Yet Livingstone, though he entered the cotton factory as a child-labourer at VOL. XXXIV.NO. 201, N.S.


the age of ten, was not discouraged from spending a portion of his first week's wages on a Latin grammar, even though the rest of his pay must go to assist his mother in providing her family with food. His passion-for that much-abused term may really be applied to his ardour-for education was easy to satisfy in the country of his birth. There was an evening school from 8 to 10 which he attended from his tenth to his nineteenth year, whereat he learnt to read and understand the great Latin writers, whether their literature was profitable to him or not. He worked (with short intervals for eating) at the factory from 6 a.m. to 8 P.M., at the evening school between 8 and 10, and in further studies at home till near midnight. For six nights a week he often had less than six hours' sleep. He contrived to lighten his mechanical toil at the factory by placing a book on a portion of the machine so that he could snatch sentences as he passed backwards and forwards at his work, undisturbed by the roar of machinery.

Yet there must have been holidays at the factory, other than stolen Sabbaths, because he writes of his botanical and geological rambles about the hills and dales, which quickened the real religion stirring in him, the longing to know how the world was made and what Man-and what he himself—might make of it. His enthusiasm for science-he even studied astrology-led him into occasional conflicts with his father, who was of that type of Presbyterian which made a fetish out of the Old Testament and saw saving grace in the dismal outpourings of theology by a few narrow-natured, eighteenth-century expounders. Livingstone was, up to the age of fifteen or sixteen, sometimes flogged by his father for his refusal to read such works as 'Practical Christianity' by Wilberforce (into which the present writer once dipped, to find it childishly sentimental and eminently unpractical) or Boston's Fourfold State.' Such treatment (he writes) induced ' a dislike to dry doctrinal reading, and to religious reading of every sort, which continued for years afterwards.' ' It was gratifying to find his own idea, that true religion and science are not hostile, but friendly to each other, fully proved and enforced by his after-studies.

* We entered a limestone quarry-long before geology was so popular as it is now. It is impossible to describe the delight and wonder with which I began to collect the shells found in the carboniferous limestone which crops out in High Blantyre and Cambuslang. A quarryman, seeing a little boy so engaged, looked with that

His knowledge of Latin at any rate made it easy for him in after-life to acquire Portuguese.

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