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saving-bank, my child. Is it to be “I don't know," said John. "My spending your hard-earned money on mother used to give prizes for gardens. an old woman like me, God help you! There never was one that deserved the Sure I had all I wanted except your prize. They said it was all very well face, and now that longing's satisfied, for Quality with nothing to do-not I'm ready to go. I'd like the money for the likes o' them. ... I believe to be a help to you, my son.' I could our folly amused them. Potatoes have cried with vexation, but I were the only crop they'd grow. expect it gave her more joy in a way But they are learning.” than spending it would have done. “We must help them to learn," That's how I comfort myself. Any- said the American, gravely. “Octavy'll how, it was lucky money, for I never be in and out like a dog at a fair. looked back from the time I had it." You'll see!"
They were close to the village now. "So your daughter has come with There was one long street of cabins you?" with a few houses of two stories, the "Octavy, just made out that she shop-McGroarty's as it was usually had to come. She's been wanting to called—the post-office, where the cu- any time since she was six. No, rate and the schoolmaster lodged; Octavy,' I always said. 'I don't want Hart's public house.
you to see Cloughaneely till it looks At this end of the village the neat, up a bit. Nor the country for the whitewashed police barracks wore an matter of that. I don't want a child air of prosperity. The garden in front of mine to look down on the old was full of flowers, a dog lay asleep on country.'”. the flagged path; beyond the tight He looked before him down the mass of flowers a young constable, his irregular street. The greater portion tunic unbuttoned, for the day was of Cloughaneely lay out on the strand hot, was teaching the sergeant's baby in straggling rows of thatched cottages. its first steps, while the sergeant's “Why, here is Octavy! She's been wife looked from the doorway, smiling putting to rights. She says the all over her comely face.
cottage is just too cunning for anyMr. Sweeney pointed to the little thing: and she's been worrying Miss scene. "Octavy—that's my daughter, Horan till she's got all she wants. sir-calls that an English outpost of That you, Octavy? This is Mr. John law and order. When she took a McGrady. You've heard me speak walk yesterday the other member of of the McGradys." the force, a red-haired young man, was “I never heard you do anything washing potatoes at that stone seat else," remarked Miss Sweeney, lookand at the same time putting the dog ing at John with frank interest. Somethrough its tricks. Why don't they how John blushed. He had not have gardens like that at all the credited Mr. Sweeney with a daughter cottages?"
like Miss Octavia. (To be continued.)
MEREDITH AND OUR ALLIES.
No genuine reader of George Meredith can be unaware of his love for France. Appreciative references to
France and her people are scattered throughout his books. Last of all his publications, and containing some of
the maturest of his work, were his Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History. That volume contains, too, the noble poem of France, 1870, which, written in December, 1870, when the German army was about Paris, has the ring of the iron reality as Europe knows it today: We look for her that sunlike stood Upon the forehead of our day, An orb of nations, radiating food For body and for mind alway. Where is the shape of glad array; The nervous hands, the front of steel, The clarion tongue? Where the bold, proud face? We see a vacant place; We hear an iron heel.
Those are the opening words of the poem; its closing ones are hardly less poignant: Soaring France! How is Humanity on trial in thee: How may'st thou gather humankind in fee: Now prove that Reason is a quenchless scroll; Make of calamity thine aureole, And, bleeding, head us through the troubles of the sea. Thus Meredith wrote in 1870; twentyeight years later, in Alsace-Lorraine, we have, even more intimately, his belief: On France has come the test Of what she holds within. Responsive to Life's deeper springs. She above the Nations blest In fruitful and in liveliest, In all that servant earth to heavenly bidding brings. And the belief is a clearly reasoned one; for this poem contrasts these qualities of spontaneity and elasticity with “the belted overshadower,” Germany, “who contracts horizons within present sight” and “adamantine makes the mind.” Yet impressive as these great Odes to France are, they have their parallels in Swinburne's work, and, in some degree, in Browning's. Where Meredith
is alone is in his more incidental references. Renée we must all of us remember—“brunette of the good blood of France”—“her features had the soft irregularities which run to rarities of beauty, as the ripple rocks the light”: not so beautiful as the English Cecilia, but on which, Meredith asks, “does the eye linger longest? Which draws the heart? a radiant landscape where the tall, ripe wheat flashes between shadow and shine in the stately march of summer, or the peep into dewy woodland on dark water?” Alvan, in The Tragic Comedians, compares Clotilde with Paris—“his beloved of cities—the symbolized goddess of the lightning brain that is quick to conceive, eager to realize ideas, impassioned for her hero, but ever putting him to the proof, graceful beyond all rhyme, colloquial as never the Muse; light in light hands, yet valiant unto death for a principle; and therefore not light, anything but light in strong hands, very steadfast rather.” The French people, One of Our Conquerors tells us, “are the most mixed of any European nation; so they are packed with contrasts: they are full of sentiment, they are sharply logical; freethinkers, devotees; affectionate, ferocious; frivolous, tenacious; the passion of the season operating like sun or moon on these qualities; and they can reach to ideality out of sensualism. Below your level, they're above it—a paradox is at home with them.” “The most mixed of any European nation,” that, from Meredith, is the choicest of compliments; for he is an enthusiast in regard to international marriages. His strong belief in the fast-arriving supremacy of the United States, among English-speaking peoples, is based mainly upon their cosmopolitanism and mingling of nationalities. In One of Our Conquerors, too, it is that Nesta, overwhelmed by Nataly's death and her father's mental seizure, seeks harborage in the home of Louise de Seilles—“on the borders of Dauphiné; and, with French hearts at their best in winningness around her, she learned again, as an art, the act of breathing calmly.” And the phrasing of that brings us to the most intimate of all the allusions—the one where, in A Faith Upon Trial, Meredith is speaking of his wife, lying mortally ill:
Sweet was her voice with the tongue, The speechful tongue of her France, Home of her birth and her love.
Singularly international and unconfined in his view, “The world,” he said, “is being visibly universalized: to deny us this larger citizenship is the worst provincialism.” Among all the European nations, France held the largest place in his heart. Italy, however, came a very good second, and in America, as I have said, his interest was profound. For Russia throughout most of his life his sympathy naturally was less. Yet in regard to the Crimea even, in Beauchamp's Career, his view was singularly just. He paid tribute to “the dauntless Lancastrian who thundered like a tempest over a gambling tent, disregarded” (John Bright), and to the three Quakers (Robert Charlton, Henry Pease, and Joseph Sturge) who, on the eve of the war, made a pilgrimage to the Czar beseeching him to give way “for piety's sake.” Yet not the most malevolent of detractors has dared ever to speak of Meredith as a pacifist. Had they done so, his vindication might safely have been left to his most intimate of friends, Admiral Maxse, the original of Beauchamp! Later in life, too, he was a warm supporter of The Society of Friends of Russian Freedom, and, in 1905, he wrote The Crisis—with its lately much-quoted lines:
Now has come The day when thou can'st not be dumb Spirit of Russia. . . .
Beauchamp's Career, it may be noted in passing, well repays perusal at this moment—the Militia Bill, the invasion panic, Lord Palmerston's methods—all these things are not so far away as when we last read of them. Diana of the Crossways, in a less degree, but in the same kind of way, has a new value now in respect to Ireland. Meredith's sympathies, clear enough in that book, are fully given in two articles—A Pause in the Strife and Concessions to the Celt—in the Fortnightly Review of 1886. In the first of these he wrote: “Mr. Gladstone has not been defeated. The question set on fire by him will never be extinguished until the combustible matter has gone to ashes. . . . We shall be made sensible that we have an enemy in our midst, until a people, slow to think, have taken counsel of their native generosity to put trust in the most generous race on earth.”
In considering tributes to Italy, our minds turn, and rightly turn, first to Swinburne. Yet Meredith, in Vittoria, has not only left us a portrait of Mazzini that is without equal, but he has proved his passionate sympathy with Italy's struggle in the fact of his creation of Vittoria. She, as Sandra Belloni, is his greatest of soul; close to nature, elemental; she is, from the first, in touch with poetry and passion at their source; the only question in regard to her, as Sandra, is whether she can find a vision large enough to unite her powers. In Vittoria the ideal is found: the great destiny that was foreshadowed is realized. The call to Italy's service is supreme—demanding the whole, both her Art and her personal relations. In that great scene at La Scala, she sings—the stage curtain held above her, after the Austrian officials have ordered its lowering, by a dozen noble youths of Milan:
Our life is but a little holding, lent To do a mighty labor; we are one
heart might live. Not to hope blindly, in the exceeding anxiousness of her passionate love, nor blindly to fear; not to let her soul fly out among the twisting chances; not to sap her great maternal duty by affecting false stoical serenity; to nurse her soul's strength, and suckle her womanly weakness with the tears that are poison when repressed; to be at peace with a disastrous world for the sake of the dependent life unborn; by such pure efforts she clung to God. Soft dreams of sacred tenderness, tragic images, wild pity, were like phantoms encircling her, plucking at her as she went, but they were beneath her feet, and she kept them from lodging between her breasts. The thought that her husband, though he should have perished, was not a life lost if their child lived, sustained her powerfully. It seemed to whisper at times almost as if it were Carlo's ghost breathing in her ears: “On thee.” On her the further devolved; and she trod down hope, lest it should build her up and bring a shock to surprise her fortitude: she put back alarm. The mountains and the valleys scarce had names to her understanding; they were but the scene where the will of her Maker was at work. Rarely has a soul been so subjected by its own force.
“Not to let her soul fly out among the twisting chances,” to Meredith that achievement appeared the end and aim of earth's teaching. Not to abate by one atom our capacities for desire, yet to control them, instead of being dragged in the wake—such was, such would be today, his Reading of Life, even though it involve for us, as it did for Vittoria, that we tread down our Hopes as we put back our Fears.
M. Sturge Gretton.
INDUSTRY DURING THE WAR.
With the outbreak of war the industrial system broke down, though it showed remarkable powers of adapta
tion to new circumstances. It is perhaps no criticism of capitalist industry that it failed in the country's hour of
need. Industry must necessarily organize itself on the assumption of peace as the normal state of affairs. No economic system, however well organized for peace, could therefore be expected to stand the strain of war production without considerable changes. The general effect of the War upon industry has been to complete the Industrial Revolution, and to place beyond all doubt the power of the economic organization to satisfy the demands made upon it for commodities and services. It is in so far as the changes which have gradually been introduced have been a logical completion of the Industrial Revolution, that grave evils have been accentuated. But whilst the War has added the final words of a long and tragic chapter of our economic history, it has also opened a new one, owing to the recognition of certain elementary facts which the materialism of the past overlaid with its half-truths The War has brought home the truth, subconsciously accepted, but rarely openly admitted, that industry primarily exists to satisfy the material needs of the community. During the past three years the general attitude of mind has been that nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of the fulfilment of national requirements. The practice has undoubtedly fallen behind the theory, but more has been done avowedly in the national interest than ever before. The War has also brought into prominent relief the further fact—too often ignored in the past—of the important part labor plays in industry. The most truculent militarists have been driven to admit that the prosecution of the War depended largely upon the industrial workers, without whose co-operation and sacrifice the prodigious production of war materials would have been impossible. The significance of the changes
which have taken place during the War cannot at present be fully appreciated. There are conflicting tendencies the relative strength of which it is idle to pretend to estimate. The history of industry during the past three years has still to be told. The greater part of the material lies locked in the Ministry of Munitions. Certain broad developments, however, may be mentioned. The most obvious of these has been the large part which the State has taken in organizing and controlling industry. National factories have been opened; national subsidies have been given to industrial enterprises; the State has bought raw materials on a very large scale for distribution to manufacturers, and built ships for transport purposes; it has taken active steps to improve industrial organization, and interfered in an unprecedented degree with methods of production, with prices and profits. The State has, in a word, assumed responsibility for the operations of a considerable portion of the capital and labor employed in industry. It is interesting also to observe that the concentration of large numbers of workers in munition factories, and the introduction of new grades of labor, e.g., women, in a large number of processes, gave rise to conditions which the State was driven to attempt to remove by stimulating “welfare work.” It is well to remember, further, that whilst the State has tolerated many evil industrial conditions during the War, under the plea of national necessity, the seamen's accommodation in the standard ships built by the Government is far in advance of that required under the Merchant Shipping Acts. State action, if we could unravel its details, would be found to be both good and ill. Unfortunately, the ill is public property, the good but little known. Whilst a considerable body of em