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portant; and this study will enable us to see something eminently significant in one of the events of 1866,—not noisy at all, not discussed in newspapers and public meetings, but certain to be one day referred to as the starting-point of a new epoch. What is this? Ask the press what have been the great topics of this year of noises. They have been the cattle-plague, the panic, the disclosures of railway mismanagement, the agitation for Reform, the Fenians, the conflict of the President with Congress, the Seven Days' War, ending in the expulsion of Austria from Germany, and the freedom of Italy from a foreign yoke. These are, some of them at least, events of importance, but the philosophic student will probably see far more significance in an event which was weither imposing in outward aspect, nor suggestive in its prophecies to the ordinary inind: that event is the Congress of Workmen at Geneva.

You hear it mentioned, perhaps now for the first time, so little noise has it made in our noisy world. Yet look closely into it, and you will see that only two events in modern history are comparable to it; and these are the rise of the Communes in the twelfth century, and the Meeting of the States' General in 1789. The first marks the emergence of the Third Estate into political existence; the second was the opening of the revolutionary era in which the democratic Idea became European. No one in the twelfth or eighteenth century divined the significance of the event. But we may easily divine the significance of the Workmen's Congress, because it is avowedly intended to bring to an issue the long struggle between Capital and Labour, which is the deepest problem of our time. The Third Estate was formed when citizens began to combine. The artisans are now beginning to combine, and their enormous power, were it only the power of brute force, will soon be felt if it be directed by an organisation. Gradually they have prepared themselves for this. They have formed Trade Unions, and have learned to enforce their conditions by means of Strikes. Now a vaster scheme is conceived. From having formed local combinations, they learned to form general combinations, and now aim at universal combinations. From the union of each trade into a General Union, they have begun the coalition of all trades in all Europe, so that the International Association of Workmen will have the industry of Europe in its power. Already this Association counts 160,000 members in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Belgium, and has its regular and active organisation, by means of which a constant communication is kept up between the countries. In the Revue Contemporaine, Oct. 15, and the Revue des Deux Mondes, Nov. 1, will be found two articles giving an account of the Association and of the meeting of the Congress at Geneva. I cannot here find space to reproduce the details, but content myself with pointing to the seriousness of the scheme. The English plan is nothing less than that of making Strikes universal; the French plan is nothing less than that of removing Industry from its present conditions of Capital and Labour, and substituting universal co-operation. That neither plan could be at present carried out is obvious enough; but nothing is more clear to the prophetic eye than that if once the workmen of Europe combine, they will ultimately adopt one or both of these plans; and that what they resolve on must be realised.

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Novels and plays often begin with great spirit, and seem to promise rare delight, which promise grows fainter and fainter as the development goes on, until at last we begin to marvel at the falling off, never reflecting that it is comparatively an easy thing to state a problem, to present a situation, or to sketch a character, but a very difficult thing to solve the problem, develop the situation, and make the character live. It is in this latter part of his task that the author is a real creator; in the former part he is simply a describer. Now creation is excessively difficult; and even where the power exists, it is apt to flag before the work comes to an end. We see this remarkably illustrated in Shakespeare. He is seldom equal to himself in his fifth act. He seems to get tired of the labour, and anxious to bring it to a close, not much caring how. Besides the flagging, there is a want of genuine Sincerity and Vision, which often betray a writer midway in his work, to quit the track he has chosen and to pass into the beaten track which fallaciously promises to lead him to easy success, because it has before led others to success. The Stage and the Library exercise a fatal fascination over the writer who is not resolute to see for himself, and to set down sincerely what he sees; the phantom-forms of old successes hover before his eyes, and solicit him to copy them; the old situations that have awakened interest, the old characters and old language crowd upon a memory not occupied with images of real experience'; and the writer yields to the temptation-perhaps mistakes these memories for creations,—at any rate, ceases to work out the material he began upon; and then is surprised that the public will not think his work a chef d'ouvre.

An example of this disappointing reliance on old material after a promise of something new, is the last work of Alex. Dumas the younger, “L'Affaire Clémenceau.” The opening chapters are unusually interesting; the writing is simple, graphic, direct, and delicate; the situations are deeply suggestive; but having roused our interest, no sooner does the real drama begin than the author flags, draws on the repertory of French fiction for incidents, motives, and speeches, and ends by being cynical and wearisome. Another example is in the first work of a writer who will live, I hope, to see the error of her ways, and give us, what she might give us, a genuine work of original fiction. " Aunt Margaret's Troubles" (Chapman and Hall) is as charming in its

” earlier chapters, as it is commonplace and, consequently, uninteresting in the incidents and language-echoes from the circulating library-which succeed. There is real invention and delicate power in the representation of the childhood of the heroine; and it impresses the reader with a sense of reality. But no sooner does the drama begin with its hackneyed motives of misunderstandings and suppression of letters, and its stagey language of passion, than the power and the spell vanish, we no longer feel ourselves to be following a real history, we know ourselves to be listening to blended murmurs from the stage and library.

No doubt that the change from invention to reproduction is, in many cases, due to the false belief writers have in the necessity for some “striking incidents;” and as the natural evolution of their story does not furnish any such, they disturb the natural order of evolution, and thrust in some incident drawn from a very different set of conditions. Now it should be borne in mind that “ striking incidents are only useful as regards the reader because they interest him, and as regards Art, because they serve to bring into a focus the diffused rays

of character and emotion. If the reader can be interested by any other means, the end is attained so far as he is concerned. If the incidents do

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not bring the rays into a focus, but produce a sense of artifice and intrusion, their employment has been an artistic error. Let the author of “Aunt Margaret's Troubles” diligently inquire among her readers, and she will find, I believe, that the pages which have most amused them were the pages for which she was not indebted to the library, pages in which there were no striking incidents at all. Could she have resolutely developed her story with the same creative sincerity, she would have found her readers follow her quiet, orderly movement with far greater interest than they now follow the “exciting" story-which they have often read before. Sensation novels of course depend on “exciting” situations, and breathless rapidity of movement; whether the movement be absurd or not matters little, the essential thing is to keep moving; non ragioniam di lor.

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That we are living in a transition period as regards things intellectual, no less than things political and social, is very obvious to every contemplative mind. Old creeds are rapidly decaying, or passing into transformations which obliterate all trace of their ancient form. Our physical theories, which seemed so secure, are visibly tottering at the base. Gravitation, which held the proud position of an ultimate fact, an inexplicable datum, is in serious danger of turning out to be no ultimate fact at all, but the product of ether-pressure, ranging beside so many other products of the great dynamis called Vibration. Instead therefore of conceiving gravitation as inherent” in matter, as an occult“ property” admitting of no explanation, we shall, it appears, have to conceive it as a case of Motion. How the phenomena of Light, Heat, Electricity, and Chemical Affinity-once supposed to be distinct Forces-have been reduced to one common term, and shown to be Modes of Motion, every reader is aware; but every reader is not aware of the latent revolution of all our physical theories which this reduction heralds. Meanwhile the most pressing business for the thoughtful student is to master at least one group of the phenomena thus reduced to Motion ; and an excellent opportunity is offered him by the publication of Dr. Balfour Stewart's “ Elementary Treatise on Heat” (Macmillan and Co.), which forms the latest issue of the admirable scheme known under the name of the “Clarendon Press Series.” This compact little treatise is commendable both as an elementary exposition of the chief phenomona of heat, and their practical applications, and also as a brief exposition of the philosophical theories which have recently given a new interest to the phe

The structure of the work is also excellent: the first part, wholly disengaged from theory, describes the various phenomena of heat, as affecting bodies; the second part establishes the laws which regulate the distribution of heat through space; the third part is theoretical, and considers what Heat is and what are its relations to other properties of matter. I observe in the first part that Dr. Stewart gives the velocity of radiant Heat at 190,000 miles per second; but the recent correction of the velocity of Light, which gives 186,300 miles per second, must be carried over to Heat. In the third part, also, I observe a passing over of Mayer's claims, which is far from just; at any rate, Mayer should be named among those to whom we are indebted for the new views, even if Dr. Balfour Stewart considers that too much is claimed for him. It is part of the piety of Science to be ever mindful of the claims of real pioneers.

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Apropos of elementary works, let me direct attention to the “ Lessons in Elementary Physiology” (Macmillan and Co.), which a master of the science, Professor lIuxley, has just issued for teachers and learners in boys' and girls' schools, and in which "

any person who desires to become acquainted with the principles of Human Physiology may learn, with a fair prospect of having but little to unlearn as our knowledge widens.” Teachers may read it with profit, to learn from it the art of popular exposition.

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It was in 1839 that Schwann put forth that famous cell-theory which has changed the face of the science of Life, and has given an impulse to the use of the Microcsope, now become not simply an indispensable instrument of research, but a delightful object for amateurs. Those whose student days were in the pre-Schwannian period will remember how great was the scorn for microscopic investigations, and how rarely a microscopist was met with in the flesh. Now "every one” possesses a microscope, and, what is more, uses it. “Every one" will therefore be thankful for some very serviceable indications contained in a little work just published by Messrs. Longman and Co., entitled "Ilistological Demonstrations,” by George Harley, M.D., edited by George Brown, M.R.C.V.S.; because, although specially intended for medical an:1 veterinary students, it gives useful hints as to the mode of preparation and observation of animal tissues, with numerous woodcut illustrations (for the most part old friends) which will greatly interest the amateur microscopist. There is nothing in the book for the advanced student; but the directions are so plain, and are so obviously inspired by the desire to assist beginners, that the book will be very welcome to young students.

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Illustrations of a very different order, and for a very different purpose will be found in the “Gift Book” which Messrs. Longman and Co. this year make of Miss Ingelow's poems. It is useless contending against a custom so vigorous as that of making Christmas a pretext for issuing books one is almost afraid to handle. The prejudice exists that a “ Gift Book” should cost a guinea, and be very resplendent in externals; it must be something to “ look at,” and its main object would appear to be that, as a present,” its value should be ascertainable at a glance. Now Miss Ingelow's poems, in sobor duodecimo, would fill many a mind with delicate delight; but then of course they would require to be read, and this would take time; whereas Miss Ingelow on toned paper, in sumptuous binding, and escorted by numerous pictures, at once extorts an exclamation of delight from the person receiving the present, and thus the guinea's worth of gratitude is paid forthwith.

Be it so.

Miss Ingelow's gentle muse is capable of diffusing so much healthy feeling for nature, that one cannot but applaud every means of making her poems more widely known; and many will read her poems in this “Gift Book” who might never see them elsewhere. Let me add that the illustrations are, on the whole, very good, as book illustrations --not very original, indeed, but who expects originality in such a place ?-nor, on the other hand, are they carelessly conventional. One recognises the influence of Doré, Leys, and the pre-Raphaelites here and there; and in Wolf's birds there is a master hand.

It is a subject of frequent regret that men who have achieved great icputations in Literature or Art cannot rest contented with the work they have done,

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but must continue under failing powers to solicit the applause once so fairly earned. How to sink gracefully into old age, and relinquish claims to personal fascination when personal charm has disappeared, is, we all know, very trying to man and woman; still more trying does it seem to relinquish intellectual display. In the solitude which deepens round old age, men are haunted by the echoes of plaudits which thrilled their prime. The old singer forgets that his voice trembles, the old painter forgets that his hand no longer obeys its ancient cunning, the old writer is unaware of his inability to learn new truths and to form new combinations; and that which makes this impotence pathetic is the presence of the young man's desire in conjunction with the old man's weak

Few who are acquainted with the historical works of M. Guizot will be tempted to criticise severely the volumes he has of late been unwise enough to publish ; but every one must regret that a solid reputation should thus run the risk of being dragged through the mire of contempt by feeble and flaccid writings, products of decrepitude. In his latest volume, “ Meditations on the Actual State of Christianity, and on the Attacks which are now being made on it," (Murray), he pretends to answer Darwinism, Rationalism, and Positivism, and his refutation consists in simple assertions, which betray a strange want of elementary acquaintance with the subjects. One needs to re-open the “Essais sur l'Ilistoire de France” or the “Civilisation en Europe" to restore the author to his old place. in our respect; and having read a chapter of these works, we may again think of M. Guizot as one of the teachers of this age.

Philosophy was never his forte; and his latest attempts in this direction recall to my mind a ludicrous incident. One of the confident, but by no means competent, French Socialists who descended upon London like a flock of crows, after the coup d'état, was favouring me with his views of French statesmen and publicists; on my interposing a word for M. Guizot, I was suddenly checked by a peremptory verdict: “He's a charlatan!” Not being prepared to let this verdict pass unchallenged, I enumerated the claims of the historian to respect, whereupon my peremptory friend declared that he admitted M. Guizot to have a talent of style, but denied him all philosophy : “Whereas I, monsieur, I am nothing but a philosopher, my career has been wholly philosophictandis que moi, monsieur, je ne suis que ça: ma carrière a été toute philosophique !Whatever my appreciation of the carrière toute philosophique, thus thrust unprovoked on my notice, I assented to his assertion that Philosophy is not the forte of the author of “Méditations Chrétiennes.”

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I have only had time to dip into the long-promised volumes of Mr. Dallas on the “ Gay Science” (Chapman and Hall), but have seen enough to be assured that it is work which will greatly interest all who delight in æsthetical discussions, and which will excite definite thought on questions hitherto suffered to hover very vaguely before the mind. When health and leisure permit, I propose to discuss several of the questions Mr. Dallas raises, with a fulness which their importance demands.

EDITOR,

VIRTUE AND CO., PRINTERS, CITY ROAD, LONDON.

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