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the persiennes, and the southern pătois confusedly audible below the windows. Whether it come early or late, however, this pleasure will not end with the anticiation, as do so many others of the same amily. It will leave him wider awake than it found him, and give a new significance to all he may see for many days to come. There is something in the mere name of the South that carries enthusiasm along with it. At the sound of the word, he pricks up his ears; he becomes as anxious to seek out beauties and to get by heart the permanent lines and character of the landscape, as if he had been told that it was all his own — an estate out of which he had been kept unjustly, and which he was now to receive in free and full possession. Even those who have never been there before feel as if they had been ; and everybody goes comparing, and seeking for the familiar, and i. it with such ecstacies of recognition, that one would think they were coming home after a weary absence, instead of travelling hourly farther abroad. It is only after he is fairly arrived and settled down in his chosen corner, that the invalid begins to understand the change that has befallen him. Everything about him is as he had remembered, or as he had anticipated. Here, at his feet, under his eyes, are the olive gardens and the blue sea. Nothing can change the eternal magnificence of form of the naked Alps behind Mentone; nothing, not even the crude curves of the railway, can utterly deform the suavity of contour of one bay after another along the whole reach of the Riviera. And of all this, he has only a cold head knowledge that is divorced from enjoyment. He recognizes with his intelligence that this thing and that thing is beautiful, while in his heart of hearts he has to confess that it is not beautiful for him. It is vain that he spurs his discouraged spirit; in vain that he chooses out points of view, and stands othere, looking with all his eyes, and waiting for some return of the pleasure that he remembers in other days, as the sick folk may have awaited the coming of the angel at the pool of Bethesda. He is like an enthusiast leading about with him a stolid, indifferent tourist. There is some one by who is out of sympathy with the scene, and is not moved up to the measure of the occasion; and that some one is himself. The world is disen
, chanted for him. He seems to himself
comes a palsied fumbling after notes that are silent when he has found and struck them. He cannot recognize that this phlegmatic and unimpressible body with which he now goes burthened, is the same that he knew heretofore so quick and delicate and alive. He is tempted to lay the blame on the very softness and amenity of the climate, and to fancy that in the rigours of the winter at home, these dead emotions would revive and flourish. A longing for the brightness and silence of fallen snow seizes him at such times. He is homesick for the hale rough weather; for the tracery of the frost upon his windowpanes at morning, the reluctant descent of the first flakes, and the white roofs relieved against the sombre sky. And yet the stuff of which these yearnings are made, is of the flimsiest : if but the thermometer fall a little below its ordinary Mediterranean level, or a wind come down from the snow-clad Alps behind, the spirit of his fancies changes upon the instant, and many a doleful vignette of the grim wintry streets at home returns to him, and begins to haunt his memory. The hopeless, huddled attitude of tramps in doorways; the flinching gait of barefoot children on the icy pavement; the sheen of the rainy streets towards afternoon; the meagre anatomy of the poor defined by the clinging of wet garments; the high canorous note of the Northeaster on days when the very houses seem to stiffen with cold : these, and such as these, crowd back upon him, and mockingly substitute themselves for the fanciful winter scenes with which he had pleased himself awhile before. He cannot be glad enough that he is where he is. If only the others could be there also ; if only those tramps could lie down for a little in the sunshine, and those children warm their feet, this once, upon a kindlier earth; if only there were no cold anywhere, and no nakedness, and no hunger; if only it were as well with all men as it is with him | For it is not altogether ill with the invalid, after all. If it is only rarely that anything penetrates vividly into his numbed spirit, yet, when anything does, it brings with it a joy that is all the more poignant for its very rarity. There is something pathetic in these occasional returns of a glad activity of heart. In his lowest hours he will be stirred and awakened by many such ; and they will spring light” comes often on small wings. For the pleasure that we take in beautiful nature is essentially capricious. It comes sometimes when we least look for it; and sometimes, when we expect it most certainly, it leaves us to gape joylessly for days together, in the very home-land of the beautiful. We may have passed a place a thousand times and one ; and on the thousand and second it will be transfigured, and stand forth in a certain splen. dour of reality from the dull circle of surroundings; so that we see it “with a child's first pleasure,” as Wordsworth saw the daffodils by the lake side. And if this falls out capriciously with the healthy, how much more so with the invalid. Some day he will find his first violet, and be lost in pleasant wonder, by what alchemy the cold earth of the clods, and the vapid air and rain, can be transmuted into colour so rich and odour so bewilderingly sweet. Or perhaps he may see a group of washerwomen relieved, on a spit of shingle, against the blue sea, or a meeting of flower-gatherers in the temperate daylight of an olive-garden ; and something significant or monumental in the grouping, something in the harmony of faint colour that is always characteristic of the dress of these southern women, will come home to him unexpectedly, and awake in him that satisfaction with which we tell ourselves that we are the richer by one more beautiful experience. Or it may be something even slighter: as when the opulence of the sunshine, which somehow gets lost and fails to produce its effect on the large scale, is suddenly revealed to him by the chance isolation — as he changes the position of his sunshade — of a yard or two of roadway with its stones and weeds. And then, there is no end to the infinite variety of the olive-yards themselves. Even the colour is indeterminate and continually shifting: now you would say it was green, now grey, now blue ; now tree stands above tree, like “cloud on cloud,” massed into filmy indistinctness; and now, at the wind's will, the whole sea of foliage is shaken and broken up with little momentary silverings and shadows. But every one sees the world in his own way. To some the glad moment may have arrived on other provocations ; and their recollection may be most vivid of the stately gait of women carrying burthens on their heads; of tropical effects, with canes and naked rock and sunlight ; of the relief of cypresses; of the troubled, busy-looking groups of sea-pines, that
to touch things with muffied hands, and perhaps from very trivial sources; as : to see them through a veil. His life be-liriend once said to me, the “ spirit of de
seem always as if they were being wielded and swept together by a whirlwind; of the air coming, laden with virginal perfumes, over the myrtles and the scented underwood; of the empurpled hills standing up, solemn and sharp, out of the green-gold air of the east at evening. There go many elements, without doubt, to the making of one such moment of intense perception; and it is on the happy agreement of these many elements, on the harmonious vibration of many nerves, that the whole delight of the moment must depend. Who can forget how, when he has chanced upon some attitude of complete restfulness, after long uneasy rolling to and fro on grass or heather, the whole fashion of the landscape has been changed for him, as though the sun had just broken forth, or a great artist had only then completed, by some cunning touch, the composition of the picture ? And not only a change of posture —a snatch of perfume, the sudden singing of a bird, the freshness of some pulse of air from an invisible sea, the light shadow of a travelling cloud, the merest nothing that sends a little shiver along the most infinitesimal nerve of a man's body — not one of the least of these but has a hand somehow in the general effect, and brings some refinement of its own into the character of the pleasure we feel. And if the external conditions are thus varied and subtle, even more so are those within our own bodies. No man can find out the world, says Solomon, from beginning to end, because the world is in his heart; and so it is impossible for any of us to understand, from beginning to end, that agreement of harmonious circumstances that creates in us the highest pleasure of admiration, precisely because some of these circumstances are hidden from us forever in the constitution of our own bodies. After we have reckoned up all that we can see or hear or feel, there still remains to be taken into account some sensibility more delicate than usual in the nerves affected, or some exquisite refinement in the architecture of the brain, which is indeed to the sense of the beautiful as the eye or the ear to the sense of hearing or sight. . We admire splendid views and great pictures; and yet what is truly admirable is rather the mind within us, that gathers together these scattered details for its delight, and makes out of certain colours, certain distributions of graduated light and darkness, that intelligible whole which alone
we call a picture or a view. Hazlitt, relating, in one of his essays how he went on foot from one great man's house to another's in search of works of art, begins suddenly to triumph over, these noble or wealthy owners, because he was more capable of enjoying their costly possessions than they were ; because they had paid the money and he had received the pleasure. And the occasion is a fair one for self-complacency. While the one man was working to be able to buy the picture, the other was working to be able to enjoy the picture. An inherited aptitude will have been diligently improved in either case; only the one man has made for himself a fortune, and the other has made for himself a living spirit. It is a fair occasion for self-complacency, I repeat, when the event shows a man to have chosen the better part, and laid out his life more wisely, in the long run, than those who have credit for most wisdom. And yet even this is not a good unmixed ; and like all other possessions, although in a less degree, the possession of a brain that has been thus improved and cultivated, and made into the prime organ of a man's enjoyment, brings with it certain inevitable cares and disappointments. The happiness of such an one comes to depend greatly upon those fine shades of sensation that heighten and harmonize the coarser elements of beauty. And thus a degree of nervous prostration, that to other men would be hardly disagreeable, is enough to overthrow for him the whole fabric of his life, to take, except at rare moments, the edge off his pleasures, and to meet him wherever he goes with failure, and the sense of want, and disenchantment of the world and life.
It is not in such numbness of spirit only that the life of the invalid resembles a premature old age. Those excursions that he had promised himself to finish, prove too long or too arduous for his feeble body; and the barrier-hills are as impassable as ever. Many a white town that sits far out on the promontory, many a comely fold of wood on the mountain side, beckons and allures his imagination day after day, and is yet as inaccessible to his feet as the clefts and gorges of the clouds. The sense of distance grows upon him wonderfully; and after some feverish efforts and the fretful uneasiness of the first few days, he falls contentedly in with the restrictions of his weakness. His narrow round becomes pleasant and familiar to him as the cell to a contented prisoner. Just as he has fallen already
out of the mid race of active life, he now falls out of the little eddy that circulates in the shallow waters of the sanatorium. He sees the country people come and go about their every-day affairs; the foreigners stream out in goodly pleasure parties; the stir of man's activity is all about him, as he suns himself inertly in some sheltered corner ; and he looks on with a patriarchal impersonality of interest, such as a man may feel when he pictures to himself the fortunes of his remote descendants, or the robust old age of the oak he has planted over night. In this falling aside, in this quietude and desertion of other men, there is no inharmonious prelude to the last quietude and desertion of the grave; in this dulness of the senses there is a gentle preparation for the final insensibility of death. And to him the idea of mortality comes in a shape less violent and harsh than is its wont, less as an abrupt catastrophe than as a thing of infinitesimal gradation, and the last step on a long decline of way. As we turn to and fro in bed, and every moment the movements grow feebler and smaller and the attitude more restful and easy, until sleep overtakes us at a stride and we move no more, so desire after desire leaves him ; and day by day his strength decreases, and the circle of his activity grows ever narrower; and he feels, if he is to be thus tenderly weaned from the passion of life, thus gradually inducted into the slumber of death, that when at last the end comes, it will come quietly and fitly. If anything is to reconcile poor spirits to the coming of the last enemy, surely it should be such a mild approach as this ; not to hale us forth with violence, but to persuade us from a place we have no further pleasure in. It is not so much, indeed, death that approaches as life that withdraws and withers up from round about him. He has outlived his own usefulness, and almost his own enjoyment; and if there is to be no recovery; if never again will he be young and strong and passionate, if the actual present, shall be to him always like a thing read in a book or remembered out of the far-away past; if, in fact, this be veritably nightfall, he will not wish greatly for the continuance of a twilight that only strains and disappoints the eyes, but steadfastl await the perfect darkness. He will pray for Medea: when she comes, let her either rejuvenate or slay. And yet the ties that still attach him to the world are many and kindly. The sight of children has a significance for him such as it may have for the aged also, but not for others. If he has been used to feel humanely, and to look upon life somewhat more widely than from the narrow loophole of personal pleasure and advancement, it is strange how small a portion of his thoughts will be changed or embittered by this proximity of death. He knows that already, in English counties, the sower follows the ploughman up the face of the field, and the rooks follow the sower; and he knows also that he may not live to go home again and see the corn spring and ripen and be cut down at last, and brought home with gladness. And yet the future of this harvest, the continuance of drought or the coming of rain unseasonably, touch him as sensibly as ever. For he has long been used to wait with interest the issue of events in which his own concern was nothing; and to be joyful in a plenty, and sorrowful for a famine, that did not increase or diminish, by one half loaf, the equable sufficiency of his own supply. Thus there remain unaltered all the disinterested hopes for mankind and a better future which have been the solace and inspiration of his life. These he has set beyond the reach of any fate that only menaces himself; and it makes small difference whether he die five thousand ears, or five thousand and fifty years, efore the good epoch for which he faithfully labours. . He has not deceived himself; he has known from the beginning that he followed the pillar of fire and cloud, only to perish himself in the wilderness, and that it was reserved for others to enter joyfully into possession of the land. And so, as everything grows greyer and quieter about him, and slopes towards extinction, these unfaded visions accompany his sad decline, and follow him, with friendly voices and hopeful words into the very vestibule of death. The desire of love or of fame scarcely moved him, in his days of health, more strongly than these generous aspirations move him now ; and so life is carried forward beyond life, and a vista kept open for the eyes of hope, even when his hands grope already on the face of the impassable. Lastly, he is bound tenderly to life by the thought of his friends; or shall we not say rather, that by their thought for him, by their unchangeable solicitude and love, he remains woven into the very stuff of life beyond the power of bodily dissolution to undo 2 In a thousand ways will
he survive and be perpetuated. Much of Etienne de la Boetie survived during all the years in which Montaigne continued to converse with him on the pages of the ever-delightful essays. Much of what was truly Goethe was dead already when he revisited places that knew him no more, and found no better consolation than the promise of his own verses, that soon he too would be at rest. Indeed, when we think of what it is that we most seek and cherish, and find most pride and pleasure in calling ours, it will sometimes seem to us as if our friends, at our decease, would suffer loss more truly than ourselves. As a monarch who should care more for the outlying colonies he knows on the map or through the report of his vicegerents, than for the trunk of his empire under his eyes at home, are we not more concerned about the shadowy life that we have in the hearts of others, and that portion in their thoughts and fancies which, in a certain far-away sense, belongs to us, than about the real knot of our identit —that central metropolis of self, of whic alone we are immediately aware — or the diligent service of arteries and veins, and infinitesimal activity of ganglia, which we know (as we know a proposition in Euclid) to be the source and substance of the whole 7 . At the death of every one whom we love, some fair and honourable portion of our existence falls away, and we are dislodged from one of these dear provinces; and they are not, perhaps, the most fortunate who survive a long series of such impoverishments, till their life and influence narrow gradually into the meagre limit of their own spirits, and death, when he comes at last, can scotch them at one blow. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
From The Spectator. THE OLD SCOTCH MODERATES.
THE Duke of Richmond's Bill for the Abolition of Lay Patronage in the Church of Scotland casts a vivid light on the change which has come over that institution, and recalls an interesting set of Churchmen. Patronage was once the battle-ground of the two great parties into which that, like every other Church, is divided. On the one side was the party which walks by faith, and on the other that which prefers to walk by sight so long as the sun is up. On the
one side were clergy fervent in spirit and prone to push earnestness to the length of bigotry, while the clergy on the other were inclined to test all arguments by the edge of the naked reason, to be impatient of heroics, to look with scepticism on the promptings of enthusiasm, and to hew away the portals of the faith until the way should be broad enough to admit even the crowds of the marketplace. The old Evangelicals of Scotland were cast in much the same mould as the Low Churchmen of England were fifty years ago, and they were not unlike what Mr. Spurgeon's congregation would be to-day, if it were made up of hard logical heads as well as of believing hearts. But it is not so easy to find an English parallel to the old Scotch Moderates. They have a character of their own, which is an insoluble puzzle to those impatient students who, like Buckle, fancy that they know Scotch Presbyterianism when they have studied a few books of Cameronian divinity; when they have applied their philosophical measuringwand to the “godly Mr. Renwick” and to Richard Cameron ; and when, with a happy union of insolence and ignorance, they have devoted a few pages of rhetorical sneers to a nation which could throw its rare intellectual capacity at the feet of what they are pleased to term a besotted fanaticism. Buckle would scarcely have understood the retort that the “fanaticism" even of the Covenanters was never “besotted,” and that he himself would have had a slender chance of victory if he had tried a fall in the field of logic with some of the fanatics on whom he showered the philosophic scorn that he had borrowed from Comte. Mr. Froude, who does see the real spirit of Scotch Calvinism, treats it with a respect and an admiration which form a happy contrast to the insolent contempt of the historian who fancied that the world could be healed of its woes by the glad tidings of statistical tables. And the truth is, that the theological extravagances of the Covenanters became a quickening intellectual agent, because they forced the people to think for themselves. By presenting to the mind of unlettered peasants metaphysical problems, which were only theological renderings of the deepest questions of the schools, they gave the thoughts of those wayfaring men such a range, and often such a sublimity, as will never come to any like body of people who draw their inspiration from merely secular knowledge. And meanwhile,
many of the Scotch clergy and laity fought as stoutly against the fanaticism of the Covenanters, and the temper of the whole Evangelical school, as Mr. Buckle himself, although they could not match the rancour of his monkish intellectual bigotry, for the reason that they knew what they were speaking about. Knowledge is the strait-waistcoat which prevents fury from doing mischief to itself. A “Moderate ’’ minister of the old school was a Calvinistic Broad Churchman, at least as much a lawyer as a theologian, a man of the world rather than a saint, and a human creature who did not disdain the inspiration of conviviality. As his name implied, he aspired to be “moderate ” in all things. He preached Calvinism moderately, he moderately told men to be moral, he preached moderately long sermons, and he rebuked fanaticism with moderate warmth of contempt. In the same spirit did he interpret the command to preach the Gospel to the whole earth. The divine behest implied, he thought, that the Gospel was a very good thing when taken in moderation, but that it would be rash to push missionaries — especially if they were Evangelicals — into the placid and happy ignorance of a heathen village. There was only one subject which made him lose his moderation, and that was fanatical attacks on patronage, for these were attacks on himself. But for patronage, he would never have had a good stipend and a comfortable manse. No body of worshippers would ever have chosen him, if they had been left to the freedom of their own will, and if their impulses had been governed by that sense of responsibility which comes with liberty. Hugh Milker once drew a striking picture of a divinity student who rose to the ministry by sheer dint of his scholarship and his keen brain, but whose character was open to such suspicions that no congregation would ever give him a “call.” His hope lay in the good offices of a patron ; but the power of Veto which the General Assembly gave to congregations seemed to blast them forever, and he left the country. Had he remained a few years, he would have found the decree of the General Assembly set aside by the Court of Session and the House of Lords, and his own chances brought back again for a brief space of time. Although painted by the hand of an Evangelical, that picture does not unfairly represent the old race of