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Not that these essays show any lack of wide reading, or of keen critical insight. On the contrary, the range of Mr. Bagehot's reading and the catholicity of his taste are surprising. He wrote almost equally well of Beranger's Songs and of Butler's Analogy; and the pithy criticism upon men of widely different ages which is scattered incidentally through these volumes--upon Homer, Plato, Voltaire, Dante, Goethe, and Dryden, for example—show that he had somehow found time to familiarize himself with what is best in all the great Enropean literatures. But his reading did not warp his originality nor make him bookish. Upon the most wellworn themes-Shakspeare, for instance-he had something new to say, and a fresh and forcible way of saying it. Few collections of essays contain so little second-hand opinion, so much that is new and yet true.
As for his acumen we have seen nothing in recent English criticism to equal it. But it never led him into fanciful or laborious analysis. It was constantly held in check by the practical temper of his thought. To use a phrase he was fond of, he could always tell you what a thing “came to; ” and that is the office of criticism. By its easy rapidity, its manifold suggestiveness, and its versatility, the writing of Mr. Bagehot reminds one of that rare thing, the talk of a really good talker. It is uncommon to find so much depth and power of thought combined with such vigorous plainness of expression and felicity of illustration. Indeed, Mr. Bagehot seemed sometimes curiously rather afraid of his own penetration. After stating some principle of conduct or opinion discovered in the life or writings of the author under criticism, he had a way of saying, “Now, this may seem to many people like nonsense, but in reality it isn't. For, "--and then would follow some homely but conclusive examples of the principle in common life.
It is largely to this union of the speculative and the practical temper that we ascribe the humor which constantly played about Mr. Bagehot's pen. For humor, if any thing more than easy goodfellowship or the gush of animal spirits, depends upon the quick perception of contrasted relations. And this perception Mr. Bagehot had in a remarkable degree. The philosopher and the banker in him were always laughing at each other. Very suggestive of the nature and the source of his humor is such a passage as
There seems an unalterable contradiction between the human mind and its employments. How can a soul be a merchant? What relation to an immortal being have the price of linseed, the fall of butter, the tare on tallow, or the brokerage
on hemp? Can an undying creature debit“ petty expenses” and charge for "car. riage paid?” All the world 's a stage;—"the satchel and the shining morning face,"—the “strange oaths,"—the "bubble reputation,"—the
Eyes severe and beard of forinal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances. Can these things be real? Surely they are acting. What relation have they to the truth as we see it in theory? What connection with our certain hopes, our deep desires, our craving and infinite thought? “In respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect it is a shepherd's life, it is naught.” The soul ties its shoe; the mind washes its hands in a basin. All is incongruous.
The essays are remarkably even. If we mistake not, however, those which deal largely with the relations of philosophy and religion to practical life are written with greater zest than the others. Those on Huxley, Coleridge, Arthur Hugh Clough, and Milton are excellent, but the best of the series is the essay on Butler. We do not remember to have seen in so brief compass such a clear and satisfactory statement of the character and limitations of Butler's work.
C. T, W.
Periodicals. The Popular Science Monthly. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1879. This magazine for April contains a translation of an article by G. De Mortillet, in the Revue d'Anthropologie, on “Early Traces of Man," written in a very positive style of faith in the geologic man, yet making some remarkable discriminations.
First, it maintains the absolute settlement of the question in favor of the reality of quaternary man. And the remains of this epoch are found as truly in the East, in Assyria, in Egypt, both lower and upper, as in America. It notices with peremptory contradiction the claim made by Mr, Southall that no traces of paleolithic man are found in Egypt and the Orient; maintaining that they have been discovered in positions decisive of their gennine geological antiquity. And of the vastness of the quaternary age he thus speaks : “All geologists are agreed that the duration of the period in which we live is as nothing compared with that of the quaternary period. It is as a day compared to ages, as a drop of water in a stream. All paleontologists understand what a length of time is requisite for the rise and decline of animal species--species which, while they have been upon the earth, have been lavishly distributed over an enormous area." - Page 795. On this we remark that, positive as paleontologists are of this stnpendous length of time, the physicists as positively maintain that no such time can be allowed. As yet the physicists possess the field.
But Mortillet is also sure not only of the tertiary man anterior to the stupendous quaternary, but even of the miocene. We do not quote his proofs, our main object being the certain discriminations above hinted. Was the fossil man the complete man of our present humanity ? Or was he, in fact, a lower species ; an anthropoid, and not a man. If
SO, the Adamic man may have no genetic connection with the pre-Adamite, and our race may have begun with Adam. On this point we adduce the following passages :
But first let us understand what is meant by the terms quaternary man and tertiary man.
The fauna of the mammals serves clearly to determine the limits of these later geological periods. The tertiary is characterized by terrestrial mammals entirely different from extant species; the quaternary by the mingling of extant with extinct species; the present period by the extant fauna. The man of the early quaternary, he who made the St. Acheul hatchets and used them, is the man of Neanderthal, of Canstatt, of Enggisheim, of La Naulette, of Denise. He is indubitably a man, but differing more widely from the Australian and the Hottentot than the Australian and Hottentot differ from the European. Hence unquestionably he formed another human species, the word species being taken in the sense given to it by naturalists who do not accept the transformation doctrine.
Tertiary man, therefore, must have been still more distinct--of a species still less like the present human species-indeed, so different as to entitle it to be regarded as of distinct genus. For this reason I have given to this being the name of man's precursor. Or he might be called anthropopithecus—the man-moukey. The question of tertiary man should therefore be expressed thus: Did there exist in the tertiary age beings sufficiently intelligent to perform a part of the acts which are characteristic of man?
So stated, the question is settled most completely by the various series of objects sent to the Anthropological Exposition.
It results, therefore, from the Abbé Bourgeois' researches, that during the middle tertiary there existed a creature, precursor of man, an anthropopithecus, which was acquainted with fire and could make use of it for splitting flints. It al80 knew how to trim the flint-flakes thus produced, and to convert them into tools.—Pp. 797, 798.
But if even quaternary “man was not of the same species with our present man, then there properly is no quaternary man. And inasmuch as eren " the man of Neanderthal, of Canstatt, of Enggisheim, of La Naulette, of Denise,” is of very questionable character, how do we know that the being intelligent enough to split flints by fire or by tapping had a human form at all, even rudimentally? Quantitatively, the beaver and the bee have as great an amount of intelligence, although qualitatively in different direction. We are, therefore, unable to be sure that the flint-splitter was “the precursor of man.” But even admitting his precursorship, he was still an animal, with animal body and intellect. The higher nature, the spirit, was wanting. The being may have possessed an animal body, and an animal soul, but have lacked the TveŪua, the transcendant humanity. For man was not only made of “dust” and “became a living soul,” but he “became” so by the inbreathing of the Divine. We are still left, then, on this scientific admission, ample room to deny that the Mosaic history of the Adamic man is contradicted. The view of Tayler Lewis, and later of Mivart, is left unrefuted. Or, rather, we may say that the genetic connection between Adam and the geologic man remains entirely unproved.
The West African Reporter. Four folio pages. Vol. V, No. 68. Sierra Leone.
April, 1879. We have received and looked over with interest a few numbers of this paper that have flowed as if by spontaneity from Africa into our office. In the present number, in refuting the existence of
caste in literature," the editor says :
Professor Blyden, in his writings above referred to, bas been recognized and welcomed as a co-worker by the ablest writers. His articles have been quoted and copied, and what is, perhaps, a greater compliment, plagiarized by periodicals in England and America. The Edinburgh, Contemporary, and Saturday Reviews in England have quoted from and reviewed them. Littell's Living Age and the Methodist Quarterly Review in the United States have copied some of them entire.-ED. W. A. F.
The Methodist Quarterly Review has copied none of Mr. Blyden's articles from English periodicals entire. Our Quarterly was the first to discover Mr. Blyden; and his article in our Quarterly was the first of his ever published, and, doubtless, the first article in any review or magazine from a man of bis race. He has been contributor to our Quarterly ever since, and an article of bis will be found in this, our January, number. The only article of his ever partially republished from England in our pages was written by him for our Quarterly, but intercepted in England and published in Frazer's Magazine.
Miscellaneous. The Lesson Commentary on the International Sunday-School Lessons for 1880. By
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