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spirit of the American Constitution? If so, I have not read it understandingly. But the American people will not, it seems, be convinced that there is anything whatever to fear, so long as force is not used. They will not look at the subject at all, and are impatient at having it brought before them in public speech or in the public press. But one cannot avert a danger by refusing to see it. Is it quite certain that this country is wholly free from dangers that threaten other nations of the world? The Roman Catholic vote has already become so important an element in politics as to decide the fate of parties. Every Roman Catholic is in duty bound to enter politics as a Roman Catholic, not as an American citizen. The press of this country understands perfectly well that if it would have the support of the Roman Catholics it must say nothing in criticism, but every. thing in praise, of the Roman Church; so that even now there is a practical restraint, if not a positive check, upon the freedom

of the press.

The American people, with a heroism unparalleled in history, threw off the yoke of political dependence, and have made themselves a mighty nation, founded upon freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. These liberties are essential to the maintenance and perpetuity of this republic. But there is a church organization in this nation which is, and ever must be, in deadly conflict with these principles of liberty. The Roman hierarchy is the most complete and powerful instrument of absolutism and tyranny the world bas ever known. It holds within its mighty grasp all government, civil and religious, and all interests, temporal as well as spiritual. That the Vatican claims temporal power in Rome, goes without saying ; and that she makes the same claim in the United States, I think I have proven out of the mouth of a bishop and a cardinal-archbishop. I take it that every one acquainted with the facts would readily agree that there can be no such thing as republican government where the decrees of the Vatican are enforced. It is then simply a question of power. The Roman Church claims, in fact, to be a theocracy, and true to this idea she enforces, when she can, obedience to her authority in all things social, political, and economic, as well as in things religious, so called.

Has she not, within the past few weeks, asserted this political power in Ireland in the most positive and high-handed manner? Can there be any question as to the meaning of the Vatican rescript, coming as it does in the midst of a fierce struggle of an oppressed people for political liberty ? Does it not mean that the temporal interests of nationalities and governments, of races and peoples, must at all times be sacrificed to the policy of the Roman pontiff? The Irish bishops accept the pope's rescript without question, and declare that the Roman pontiff has an inalienable divine right to speak with authority on all such matters. Do Americans think that this republic is absolutely and forever invulnerable, and free from any possible danger from within or from without? Strong nations fear the Roman system. Two of the greatest statesmen of this age have spoken out in plain, grave speech upon the pretensions of the Roman Church. Mr. Gladstone says:

“The pope demands for himself the right to determine the province of his own rights, and has so defined it in formal documents as to warrant any and every invasion of the civil sphere... Rome requires a convert who joins her to forfeit his moral and mental freedom, and to place his loyalty and civil duty at the mercy of another.” Prince Bismarck, in a speech delivered April 16, 1875, said:

“ This pope, this foreigoer, this Italian, is more powerful in this country than any one person, not excepting even the king. And now please to consider what this foreigner has aunounced as the programine by which he rules in Prussia as elsewhere. He begins by arrogating to himself the right to define how far his authority extends. And this pope, who would use fire and sword against us if he had the power to do so, who would confiscate our property and not spare our lives, expects us to allow him full, uncontrolled sway among us.

LÉON BOULAND.

THE NEW BATTLE OF THE BOOKS.

For a long time a wordy war has raged in the magazines and the newspapers between so-called realists and romanticists. In “Harper's Monthly” Mr. Howells has for years been asserting the importance of novels that keep close to the facts of life; and the critics and criticasters have daily attacked his teaching and practice as materialistic and debasing, as disregarding " the depth, variety, and beauty of life.” Mr. George Saintsbury has recently enunciated as “the first rule of literature,

that what is presented shall be presented not merely as it is, but transformed, or, if I may say so, disrealized.” “As a merely mimetic process," says Mr. J. A. Symonds, "art is so conspicuously a failure, that the artist must resign the attempt to do again what nature does,

and all his realistic skill must finally subserve the expression of the thought and emotion which himself contains.” Even Mr. Andrew Lang and Mr. Edgar Fawcett have been drawn into the fray, and at length certain rules have been formulated by a deft and charming writer, Mr. R. L. Ste

The young author, he asserts, must first select a motive either of character or passion, and then make everything in the novel subservient to that motive; he should remember always that a novel is "not a transcript of life;" he must not suffer “his style to play below the level of the argument,” and must 'pitch the key of conversation, not with any thought of how men talk in parlors, but with a single eye to the degree of passion he may be called on to express ;" finally, he is not even to “care particularly if he miss the pungent material of the day's manners, the reproduction of the atmosphere and the environ. ment

One critic violently denounces Rider Haggard's "She," and another, with equal vehemence, derides Howells's “ April Hopes." The ground is strewn with dead and dying reputations. Is it

venson.

not time, perhaps, to call a parley, and to consider terms of peace? In all this confusion there must be some principles to guide us, some truths generally admitted that may serve as a basis for compromise. Let us for a moment try to discuss this matter calmly, with what impartiality and lucidity we may. The controversy has become mainly one of words, a question of “right naming;" let us try to ascertain the facts that these words but half reveal.

No one, doubtless, ever tried to paint a picture or to tell a story untrue to fact in every particular; certainly, no one ever succeeded in such an attempt. Even an angel in a church window has some resemblance to a human being, and the action of even the most romantic hero is not inspired by the weakest motive. At the outset, then, one may say that every work of fiction ever written has been, to some extent at least, realistic. The question becomes at once a question of the degree of realism that is permissible. In a matter of such delicacy it would seem that every man must be a law to himself, for where can any authoritative rules be found? A novelist may copy the practice of previous novelists, but whence comes their authority? or he may copy nature, carefully retaining the color of his own spectacles and the effect of his own prejudices; but why should his personal defects of judgment or vision be of enduring interest? or he may copy nature with an endeavor to be as impartial and unprejudiced and clear-sighted as his character and education permit, and if he does so what Daniel is there who can say that he does wrong?

In the old romances of chivalry “all reference to real life or real geography," to quote the words of Ticknor, " was apparently thought inappropriate," and the heroes, who were invariably princes in disguise, always expressed themselves with that noble elegance supposed to be characteristic of the speech of princes. In "Palmerin of Great Britain " the Green Sword Knight had a lively contest with the dragon Endriago, and, “ before its soul departed, the devil flew from its mouth and went through the air with a clap of thunder.” The typical bero, as in the later romance of "Cassandra," whatever else he might be, was never commonplace; always

“his face was marvelously handsome; and through a beauty which had nothing effeminate one might observe something so martial, so sparkling, and so majestic, as might in all hearts make an impression of love, fear, and respect, at once. His stature exceeded that of the tallest man, but the proportion of it was wonderfully exact, and all the motions of his body had a grace and liberty that was nothing common."

In Greene's “ Arcadia," even a poor gentlewoman living with shepherds could not change her dress without quoting Latin: “ Aulica vita splendida miseria ; . . . then, Lamedon, will I disguise myself, ... for being poorly attired, I shall be meanly minded, and measure myself by my present estate, not by former fortunes.” The Amadis romances were still more extravagant, and are to the modern reader still more unreadable. Did a generation more imaginative than ours delight in such romances simply because they were unreal, because the beroes talked like gods and loved like madmen? In those days the “ Amadis" must have seemed far more lifelike than the only other fiction to be had, stories from classical mythology and jest-books of anecdotes ancient as the Sanscrit. Knight-errantry, moreover, was more real and lasted longer than we can well believe. In the time of Ferdinand and Isabella several distinguished noblemen journeyed into foreign countries, " in order to try the fortune of arms with any cavalier that might be pleased to adventure it with them," and it was well on in the sixteenth century when Ulrich von Hütten, “the last of the knights-errant," sallied forth from his study to attack" three abbots on the highway in the Palatinate," and later fought, single-handed, five of the retinue of the French ambassador at Viterbo. It could not, indeed, have been the unreality of the romances that charmed their readers, since they are known to have been regarded as literally true.

Even in the romances most remote from actual life there are occasional natural touches. Many a valiant knight must bave sympathized with Amadis at the tournament when, “his arms in pieces and without a sword, ... he looked toward Oriana's window, and seeing her back toward him, knew why she had turned away," and got fresh courage; for Oriana could not bear to see his danger, and yet would comfort him with the sight of her long hair.

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