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of power may easily be shown. No poet has evinced a more despotic
mastery over intractable materials, or has been more successful in
clothing what is common with the dignity of his art. The Downs are not
the best subjects in the world for verse; but they will be remembered
with and by his descriptive line in the "Idylls"--

Far o'er the long backs of the bushless downs.

[1] We use the word in what we conceive to be its only legitimate
meaning; namely, after the manner and with the effect of painting.
It signifies the _quid_, not the _quale_.

How becoming is the appearance of what we familiarly term the "clod" in
the "Princess"! (p. 37)--

Nor those horn-handled breakers of the glebe.

Of all imaginable subjects, mathematics might seem the most hopeless to
make mention of in verse; but they are with him

The hard-grained Muses of the cube and square.

Thus at a single stroke he gives an image alike simple, true, and
poetical to boot, because suited to its place and object in his verse,
like the heavy Caryatides well placed in architecture. After this, we
may less esteem the feat by which in "Godiva" he describes the clock
striking mid-day:--

All at once,
With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless noon
Was clashed and hammered from a hundred towers.

But even the contents of a pigeon-pie are not beneath his notice, nor
yet beyond his powers of embellishment, in "Audley Court":--

A pasty, costly made,
Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret lay
Like fossils of the rock, with golden yolks
Imbedded and injellied.

What excites more surprise is that he can, without any offence against
good taste, venture to deal with these contents even after they have
entered the mouth of the eater ("Enid," p. 79):--

The brawny spearman let his cheek
Bulge with the unswallowed piece, and turning, stared.

The delicate insight of fine taste appears to show him with wonderful
precision up to what point his art can control and compel his materials,
and from what point the materials are in hopeless rebellion and must be
let alone. So in the "Princess" (p. 89) we are introduced to--

Eight daughters of the plough, stronger than men,
Huge women _blowzed_ with health, and wind, and rain,
And labour.

It was absolutely necessary for him to heighten, nay, to coarsen, the
description of these masses of animated beef, who formed the standing
army of the woman-commonwealth. Few would have obeyed this law without
violating another; but Mr. Tennyson saw that the verb was admissible,
while the adjective would have been intolerable.

In 1842 his purging process made it evident that he did not mean to
allow his faults or weaknesses to stint the growth and mar the
exhibition of his genius. When he published "In Memoriam" in 1850, all
readers were conscious of the progressive widening and strengthening,
but, above all, deepening of his mind. We cannot hesitate to mark the
present volume as exhibiting another forward and upward stride, and that
by perhaps the greatest of all, in his career. If we are required to
show cause for this opinion under any special head, we would at once
point to that which is, after all, the first among the poet's gifts--the
gift of conceiving and representing human character.

Mr. Tennyson's Arthurian essays continually suggest to us comparisons
not so much with any one poet as a whole, but rather with many or most
of the highest poets. The music and the just and pure modulation of his
verse carry us back not only to the fine ear of Shelley, but to Milton
and to Shakespeare: and his powers of fancy and of expression have
produced passages which, if they are excelled by that one transcendent
and ethereal poet of our nation whom we have last named, yet could have
been produced by no other English minstrel. Our author has a right to
regard his own blank verse as highly characteristic and original: but
yet Milton has contributed to its formation, and occasionally there is a
striking resemblance in turn and diction, while Mr. Tennyson is the more
idiomatic of the two. The chastity and moral elevation of this volume,
its essential and profound though not didactic Christianity, are such as
perhaps cannot be matched throughout the circle of English literature in
conjunction with an equal power: and such as to recall a pattern which
we know not whether Mr. Tennyson has studied, the celestial strain of
Dante.[1] This is the more remarkable, because he has had to tread upon
the ground which must have been slippery for any foot but his. We are
far from knowing that either Lancelot or Guinevere would have been safe
even for mature readers, were it not for the instinctive purity of his
mind and the high skill of his management. We do not know that in other
times they have had their noble victims, whose names have become
immortal as their own.

Noi leggevamo un giorno per diletto
Di Lancilotto, e come amor lo strinse.
* * * * *
Galeotto fu il libro, e chi lo scrisse.[2]

[1] It is no reproach to say that neither Dante nor Homer could have
been studied by Mr. Tennyson at the time--a very early period of his
life--when he wrote the lines which are allotted to them
respectively in "The Palace of Art."
[2] "Inferno," c. V, v. 127.

How difficult it is to sustain the elevation of such a subject, may be
seen in the well-meant and long popular "Jane Shore" of Rowe. How easily
this very theme may be vulgarised, is shown in the _"Chevaliers de la
Table Ronde"_ of M. Creuze de Lesser, who nevertheless has aimed at a
peculiar delicacy of treatment.

But the grand poetical quality in which this volume gives to its author
a new rank and standing is the dramatic power: the power of drawing
character and of representing action. These faculties have not been
precocious in Mr. Tennyson: but what is more material, they have come
out in great force. He has always been fond of personal delineations,
from Claribel and Lilian down to his Ida, his Psyche, and his Maud; but
they have been of shadowy quality, doubtful as to flesh and blood, and
with eyes having little or no speculation in them. But he is far greater
and far better when he has, as he now has, a good raw material ready to
his hand, than when he draws only on the airy or chaotic regions of what
Carlyle calls unconditioned possibility. He is made not so much to
convert the moor into the field, as the field into the rich and gorgeous
garden. The imperfect _nisus_ which might be remarked in some former
works has at length reached the fulness of dramatic energy: in the
Idylls we have nothing vague or dreamy to complain of: everything lives
and moves, in the royal strength of nature: the fire of Prometheus has
fairly caught the clay: every figure stands clear, broad, and sharp
before us, as if it had sky for its background: and this of small as
well as great, for even the "little novice" is projected on the canvas
with the utmost truth and vigour, and with that admirable effect in
heightening the great figure of Guinevere, which Patroclus produces for
the character of Achilles, and (as some will have it) the modest
structure of Saint Margaret's for the giant proportions of Westminster
Abbey. And this, we repeat, is the crowning gift of the poet: the power
of conceiving and representing man.

We do not believe that a Milton--or, in other words, the writer of a
"Paradise Lost"--could ever be so great as a Shakespeare or a Homer,
because (setting aside all other questions) his chief characters are
neither human, nor can they be legitimately founded upon humanity; and,
moreover, what he has to represent of man is, by the very law of its
being, limited in scale and development. Here at least the saying is a
true one: _Antiquitas saeculi, juventus mundi;_ rendered by our poet in
"The Day-dream,"

For we are ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.

The Adam and Eve of Paradise exhibit to us the first inception of our
race; and neither then, nor after their first sad lesson, could they
furnish those materials for representation, which their descendants have
accumulated in the school of their incessant and many-coloured, but on
the whole too gloomy, experience. To the long chapters of that
experience every generation of man makes its own addition. Again we ask
the aid of Mr. Tennyson in "Locksley Hall":--

Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.

The substitution of law for force has indeed altered the relations of
the strong and the weak; the hardening or cooling down of political
institutions and social traditions, the fixed and legal track instead of
the open pathless field, have removed or neutralised many of those
occasions and passages of life, which were formerly the schools of
individual character. The genius of mechanism has vied, in the arts of
both peace and war, with the strong hand, and has well-nigh robbed it of
its place. But let us not be deceived by that smoothness of superficies,
which the social prospect offers to the distant eye. Nearness dispels
the illusion; life is still as full of deep, of ecstatic, of harrowing
interests as it ever was. The heart of man still beats and bounds,
exults and suffers, from causes which are only less salient and
conspicuous because they are more mixed and diversified. It still
undergoes every phase of emotion, and even, as seems probable, with a
susceptibility which has increased and is increasing, and which has its
index and outer form in the growing delicacy and complexities of the
nervous system. Does any one believe that ever at any time there was a
greater number of deaths referable to that comprehensive cause a broken
heart? Let none fear that this age, or any coming one, will extinguish
the material of poetry. The more reasonable apprehension might be lest
it should sap the vital force necessary to handle that material, and
mould it into appropriate forms. To those especially, who cherish any
such apprehension, we recommend the perusal of this volume. Of it we
will say without fear, what we would not dare to say of any other recent
work; that of itself it raises the character and the hopes of the age
and the country which have produced it, and that its author, by his own
single strength, has made a sensible addition to the permanent wealth of


[From _The Quarterly Review_, July, 1860]

_On the Origin of Species, by means of Natural Selection; or the
Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life._ By CHARLES
DARWIN, M.A., F.R.S. London, 1860.

Any contribution to our Natural History literature from the pen of Mr.
C. Darwin is certain to command attention. His scientific attainments,
his insight and carefulness as an observer, blended with no scanty
measure of imaginative sagacity, and his clear and lively style, make
all his writings unusually attractive. His present volume on the _Origin
of Species_ is the result of many years of observation, thought, and
speculation; and is manifestly regarded by him as the "opus" upon which
his future fame is to rest. It is true that he announces it modestly
enough as the mere precursor of a mightier volume. But that volume is
only intended to supply the facts which are to support the completed
argument of the present essay. In this we have a specimen-collection of
the vast accumulation; and, working from these as the high analytical
mathematician may work from the admitted results of his conic sections,
he proceeds to deduce all the conclusions to which he wishes to conduct
his readers.

The essay is full of Mr. Darwin's characteristic excellences. It is a
most readable book; full of facts in natural history, old and new, of
his collecting and of his observing; and all of these are told in his
own perspicuous language, and all thrown into picturesque combinations,
and all sparkle with the colours of fancy and the lights of imagination.
It assumes, too, the grave proportions of a sustained argument upon a
matter of the deepest interest, not to naturalists only, or even to men
of science exclusively, but to every one who is interested in the
history of man and of the relations of nature around him to the history
and plan of creation.

With Mr. Darwin's "argument" we may say in the outset that we shall have
much and grave fault to find. But this does not make us the less
disposed to admire the singular excellences of his work; and we will
seek _in limine_ to give our readers a few examples of these. Here, for
instance, is a beautiful illustration of the wonderful interdependence
of nature--of the golden chain of unsuspected relations which bind
together all the mighty web which stretches from end to end of this full
and most diversified earth. Who, as he listened to the musical hum of
the great humble-bees, or marked their ponderous flight from flower to
flower, and watched the unpacking of their trunks for their work of
suction, would have supposed that the multiplication or diminution of
their race, or the fruitfulness and sterility of the red clover, depend
as directly on the vigilance of our cats as do those of our well-guarded
game-preserves on the watching of our keepers? Yet this Mr. Darwin has
discovered to be literally the case:--

From experiments which I have lately tried, I have found that the
visits of bees are necessary for the fertilisation of some kinds of
clover; but humble-bees alone visit the red clover (Trifolium
pratense), as other bees cannot reach the nectar. Hence I have very
little doubt, that if the whole genus of humble-bees became extinct or
very rare in England, the heartsease and red clover would become very
rare or wholly disappear. The number of humble-bees in any district
depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy
their combs and nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long attended to the
habits of humble-bees, believes that "more than two-thirds of them are
thus destroyed all over England." Now the number of mice is largely
dependent, as every one knows, on the number of cats; and Mr. Newman
says, "near villages and small towns I have found the nests of
humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the
number of cats that destroy the mice." Hence, it is quite credible
that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district
might determine, through the intervention, first of mice, and then of
bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district.--p. 74.

* * * * *

Now, all this is, we think, really charming writing. We feel as we walk
abroad with Mr. Darwin very much as the favoured object of the attention
of the dervise must have felt when he had rubbed the ointment around his
eye, and had it opened to see all the jewels, and diamonds, and
emeralds, and topazes, and rubies, which were sparkling unregarded
beneath the earth, hidden as yet from all eyes save those which the
dervise had enlightened. But here we are bound to say our pleasure
terminates; for, when we turn with Mr. Darwin to his "argument," we are
almost immediately at variance with him. It is as an "argument" that the
essay is put forward; as an argument we will test it.

We can perhaps best convey to our readers a clear view of Mr. Darwin's
chain of reasoning, and of our objections to it, if we set before them,
first, the conclusion to which he seeks to bring them; next, the leading
propositions which he must establish in order to make good his final
inference; and then the mode by which he endeavours to support his

The conclusion, then, to which Mr. Darwin would bring us is, that all
the various forms of vegetable and animal life with which the globe is
now peopled, or of which we find the remains preserved in a fossil state
in the great Earth-Museum around us, which the science of geology
unlocks for our instruction, have come down by natural succession of
descent from father to son,--"animals from at most four or five
progenitors, and plants from an equal or less number" (p. 484), as Mr.
Darwin at first somewhat diffidently suggests; or rather, as, growing
bolder when he has once pronounced his theory, he goes on to suggest to
us, from one single head:--

Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that ALL
ANIMALS and PLANTS have descended from some one prototype. But analogy
may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless, all living things have much in
common in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their
cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction....

Therefore I shall infer from analogy that probably all the organic
beings which have ever lived on this earth (man therefore of course
included) have descended from some one primordial form into which life
was first breathed by the Creator.--p. 484.

This is the theory which really pervades the whole volume. Man, beast,
creeping thing, and plant of the earth, are all the lineal and direct
descendants of some one individual _ens_, whose various progeny have
been simply modified by the action of natural and ascertainable
conditions into the multiform aspect of life which we see around us.
This is undoubtedly at first sight a somewhat startling conclusion to
arrive at. To find that mosses, grasses, turnips, oaks, worms, and
flies, mites and elephants, infusoria and whales, tadpoles of to-day and
venerable saurians, truffles and men, are all equally the lineal
descendants of the same aboriginal common ancestor, perhaps of the
nucleated cell of some primaeval fungus, which alone possessed the
distinguishing honour of being the "one primordial form into which life
was first breathed by the Creator "--this, to say the least of it, is no
common discovery--no very expected conclusion. But we are too loyal
pupils of inductive philosophy to start back from any conclusion by
reason of its strangeness. Newton's patient philosophy taught him to
find in the falling apple the law which governs the silent movements of
the stars in their courses; and if Mr. Darwin can with the same
correctness of reasoning demonstrate to us our fungular descent, we
shall dismiss our pride, and avow, with the characteristic humility of
philosophy, our unsuspected cousinship with the mushrooms,--

Claim kindred there, and have our claim allowed,

--only we shall ask leave to scrutinise carefully every step of the
argument which has such an ending, and demur if at any point of it we
are invited to substitute unlimited hypothesis for patient observation,
or the spasmodic fluttering flight of fancy for the severe conclusions
to which logical accuracy of reasoning has led the way.

Now, the main propositions by which Mr. Darwin's conclusion is attained
are these:--

1. That observed and admitted variations spring up in the course of
descents from a common progenitor.

2. That many of these variations tend to an improvement upon the parent

3. That, by a continued selection of these improved specimens as the
progenitors of future stock, its powers may be unlimitedly increased.

4. And, lastly, that there is in nature a power continually and
universally working out this selection, and so fixing and augmenting
these improvements.

Mr. Darwin's whole theory rests upon the truth of these propositions and
crumbles utterly away if only one of them fail him. These, therefore, we
must closely scrutinise. We will begin with the last in our series, both
because we think it the newest and the most ingenious part of Mr.
Darwin's whole argument, and also because, whilst we absolutely deny the
mode in which he seeks to apply the existence of the power to help him
in his argument, yet we think that he throws great and very interesting
light upon the fact that such self-acting power does actively and
continuously work in all creation around us.

Mr. Darwin finds then the disseminating and improving power, which he
needs to account for the development of new forms in nature, in the
principle of "Natural Selection," which is evolved in the strife for
room to live and flourish which is evermore maintained between
themselves by all living things. One of the most interesting parts of
Mr. Darwin's volume is that in which he establishes this law of natural
selection; we say establishes, because--repeating that we differ from
him totally in the limits which he would assign to its action--we have
no doubt of the existence or of the importance of the law itself.

* * * * *

We come then to these conclusions. All the facts presented to us in the
natural world tend to show that none of the variations produced in the
fixed forms of animal life, when seen in its most plastic condition
under domestication, give any promise of a true transmutation of
species; first, from the difficulty of accumulating and fixing
variations within the same species; secondly, from the fact that these
variations, though most serviceable for man, have no tendency to improve
the individual beyond the standard of his own specific type, and so to
afford matter, even if they were infinitely produced, for the supposed
power of natural selection on which to work; whilst all variations from
the mixture of species are barred by the inexorable law of hybrid
sterility. Further, the embalmed records of 3,000 years show that there
has been no beginning of transmutation in the species of our most
familiar domesticated animals; and beyond this, that in the countless
tribes of animal life around us, down to its lowest and most variable
species, no one has ever discovered a single instance of such
transmutation being now in prospect; no new organ has ever been known to
be developed--no new natural instinct to be formed--whilst, finally, in
the vast museum of departed animal life which the strata of the earth
imbed for our examination, whilst they contain far too complete a
representation of the past to be set aside as a mere imperfect record,
yet afford no one instance of any such change as having ever been in
progress, or give us anywhere the missing links of the assumed chain, or
the remains which would enable now existing variations, by gradual
approximations, to shade off into unity. On what then is the new theory
based? We say it with unfeigned regret, in dealing with such a man as
Mr. Darwin, on the merest hypothesis, supported by the most unbounded
assumptions. These are strong words, but we will give a few instances to
prove their truth:--

All physiologists admit that the swim-bladder is homologous or
"ideally similar" in position and structure with the lungs of the
higher vertebrate animals; hence there _seems to me to be no great
difficulty in believing_ that natural selection has actually converted
a swim-bladder into a lung, or organ used exclusively for
respiration.--p. 191.

_I can indeed hardly doubt_ that all vertebrate animals having true
lungs have descended by ordinary generation from the ancient
prototype, of which we know nothing, furnished with a floating
apparatus or swim-bladder--p. 191.

We must be cautious

In concluding that the most different habits of all _could not_
graduate into each other; that a bat, for instance, _could not_ have
been formed by natural selection from an animal which at first could
only glide through the air.--p. 204.


_I see no difficulty in supposing_ that such links formerly existed,
and that each had been formed by the same steps as in the case of the
less perfectly gliding squirrels, and that each grade of structure was
useful to its possessor. Nor _can I see any insuperable difficulty in
further believing_ it possible that the membrane-connected fingers and
forearm of the galeopithecus might be greatly lengthened by natural
selection, and this, as far as the organs of flight are concerned,
would convert it into a bat.--p. 181.

For instance, a swim-bladder has _apparently_ been converted into an
air-breathing lung.--p. 181.

And again:--

The electric organs of fishes offer another case of special
difficulty: It is impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous
organs have been produced; but, as Owen and others have remarked,
their intimate structure closely resembles that of common muscle; and
as it has lately been shown that rays have an organ closely analogous
to the electric apparatus, and yet do not, as Matteucci asserts,
discharge any electricity, we must own that we are far too ignorant to
argue that _no transition of any kind is possible._--pp. 192-3.

Sometimes Mr. Darwin seems for a moment to recoil himself from this
extravagant liberty of speculation, as when he says, concerning the

To suppose that the eye, with its inimitable contrivances for
adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different
amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic
aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I
freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.--p. 186.

But he soon returns to his new wantonness of conjecture, and, without
the shadow of a fact, contents himself with saying that--

he _suspects_ that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to
light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which
produce sound.--p-187.

And in the following passage he carries this extravagance to the highest
pitch, requiring a licence for advancing as true any theory which cannot
be demonstrated to be actually impossible:--

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, _which
could not possibly_ have been formed by numerous, successive, slight
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find
no such case.--p. 189.

Another of these assumptions is not a little remarkable. It suits his
argument to deduce all our known varieties of pigeons from the
rock-pigeon (the Columba livia), and this parentage is traced out,
though not, we think, to demonstration, yet with great ingenuity and
patience. But another branch of the argument would be greatly
strengthened by establishing the descent of our various breeds of dogs
with their perfect power of fertile inter-breeding from different
natural species. And accordingly, though every fact as to the canine
race is parallel to the facts which have been used before to establish
the common parentage of the pigeons in Columba livia, all these are
thrown over in a moment, and Mr. Darwin, first assuming, without the
shadow of proof, that our domestic breeds are descended from different
species, proceeds calmly to argue from this, as though it were a
demonstrated certainty.

It _seems to me unlikely_ in the case of the dog-genus, which is
distributed in a wild state throughout the world, that since man first
appeared one species alone should have been domesticated.--p. 18.

In some cases _I do not doubt_ that the intercrossing of species
aboriginally distinct has played an important part in the origin of
our domestic productions.--p. 43.

What new words are these for a loyal disciple of the true Baconian
philosophy?--"I can conceive"--"It is not incredible"--"I do not doubt"
--"It is conceivable."

For myself, _I venture confidently_ to look back thousands on
thousands of generations, and I see an animal striped like a zebra,
but perhaps otherwise very differently constructed, the common parent
of our domestic horse, whether or not it be descended from one or more
wild stocks of the ass, hemionous, quagga, or zebra.--p. 167.

In the name of all true philosophy we protest against such a mode of
dealing with nature, as utterly dishonourable to all natural science, as
reducing it from its present lofty level of being one of the noblest
trainers of man's intellect and instructors of his mind, to being a mere
idle play of the fancy, without the basis of fact or the discipline of
observation. In the "Arabian Nights" we are not offended as at an
impossibility when Amina sprinkles her husband with water and transforms
him into a dog, but we cannot open the august doors of the venerable
temple of scientific truth to the genii and magicians of romance. We
plead guilty to Mr. Darwin's imputation that

the chief cause of our natural unwillingness to admit that one species
has given birth to other and distinct species is that we are always
slow in admitting any great change of which we do not see the
intermediate steps.--p. 481.

In this tardiness to admit great changes suggested by the imagination,
but the steps of which we cannot see, is the true spirit of philosophy.

Analysis, says Professor Sedgwick, consists in making experiments and
observations, and in drawing general conclusions from them by
induction, and admitting of no objections against the conclusions but
such as are taken from experiments or other certain truths; for
_hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental philosophy._[1]

[1] "A Discourse on the Studies of the University," by A. Sedgwick, p.

The other solvent which Mr. Darwin most freely and, we think,
unphilosophically employs to get rid of difficulties, is his use of
time. This he shortens or prolongs at will by the mere wave of his
magician's rod. Thus the duration of whole epochs, during which certain
forms of animal life prevailed, is gathered up into a point, whilst an
unlimited expanse of years, "impressing his mind with a sense of
eternity," is suddenly interposed between that and the next series,
though geology proclaims the transition to have been one of gentle and,
it may be, swift accomplishment. All this too is made the more startling
because it is used to meet the objections drawn from facts. "We see none
of your works," says the observer of nature; "we see no beginnings of
the portentous change; we see plainly beings of another order in
creation, but we find amongst them no tendencies to these altered
organisms." "True," says the great magician, with a calmness no
difficulty derived from the obstinacy of facts can disturb; "true, but
remember the effect of time. Throw in a few hundreds of millions of
years more or less, and why should not all these changes be possible,
and, if possible, why may I not assume them to be real?"

Together with this large licence of assumption we notice in this book
several instances of receiving as facts whatever seems to bear out the
theory upon the slightest evidence, and rejecting summarily others,
merely because they are fatal to it. We grieve to charge upon Mr. Darwin
this freedom in handling facts, but truth extorts it from us. That the
loose statements and unfounded speculations of this book should come
from the author of the monograms on Cirripedes, and the writer, in the
natural history of the Voyage of the "Beagle," of the paper on the Coral
Reefs, is indeed a sad warning how far the love of a theory may seduce
even a first-rate naturalist from the very articles of his creed.

This treatment of facts is followed up by another favourite line of
argument, namely, that by this hypothesis difficulties otherwise
inextricable are solved. Such passages abound. Take a few, selected
almost at random, to illustrate what we mean:--

How inexplicable are these facts on the ordinary view of creation!--p.

Such facts as the presence of peculiar species of bats and the absence
of other mammals on oceanic islands are utterly inexplicable on the
theory of independent acts of creation.--pp. 477-8.

It must be admitted that these facts receive no explanation on the
theory of creation.--p. 478.

The inhabitants of the Cape de Verde Islands are related to those of
Africa, like those of the Galapagos to America. I believe this grand
fact can receive no sort of explanation on the ordinary view of
independent creation.--pp. 398-9.

Now what can be more simply reconcilable with that theory than Mr.
Darwin's own account of the mode in which the migration of animal life
from one distant region to another is continually accomplished?

Take another of these suggestions:--

It is inexplicable, on the theory of creation, why a part developed in
a very unusual manner in any one species of a genus, and therefore, as
we may naturally infer, of great importance to the species, should be
eminently liable to variation.--p. 474.

Why "inexplicable"? Such a liability to variation might most naturally
be expected in the part "unusually developed," because such unusual
development is of the nature of a monstrosity, and monsters are always
tending to relapse into likeness to the normal type. Yet this argument
is one on which he mainly relies to establish his theory, for he sums
all up in this triumphant inference:--

I cannot believe that a false theory would explain, as it seems to me
that the theory of natural selection does explain, the several large
classes of facts above specified.--p. 480.

Now, as to all this, we deny, first, that many of these difficulties are
"inexplicable on any other supposition." Of the greatest of them (128,
194) we shall have to speak before we conclude. We will here touch only
on one of those which are continually reappearing in Mr. Darwin's pages,
in order to illustrate his mode of dealing with them. He finds, then,
one of these "inexplicable difficulties" in the fact, that the young of
the blackbird, instead of resembling the adult in the colour of its
plumage, is like the young of many other birds spotted, and triumphantly
declaring that--

No one will suppose that the stripes on the whelp of a lion, or the
spots on the young blackbird, are of any use to these animals, or are
related to the conditions to which they are exposed.--pp. 439-40--

he draws from them one of his strongest arguments for this alleged
community of descent. Yet what is more certain to every observant
field-naturalist than that this alleged uselessness of colouring is one
of the greatest protections to the young bird, imperfect in its flight,
perching on every spray, sitting unwarily on every bush through which
the rays of sunshine dapple every bough to the colour of its own
plumage, and so give it a facility of escape which it would utterly want
if it bore the marked and prominent colours, the beauty of which the
adult bird needs to recommend him to his mate, and can safely bear with
his increased habits of vigilance and power of wing?

But, secondly, as to many of these difficulties, the alleged solving of
which is one great proof of the truth of Mr. Darwin's theory, we are
compelled to join issue with him on another ground, and deny that he
gives us any solution at all. Thus, for instance, Mr. Darwin builds a
most ingenious argument on the tendency of the young of the horse, ass,
zebra, and quagga, to bear on their shoulders and on their legs certain
barred stripes. Up these bars (bars sinister, as we think, as to any
true descent of existing animals from their fancied prototype) he mounts
through his "thousands and thousands of generations," to the existence
of his "common parent, otherwise perhaps very differently constructed,
but striped like a zebra."--(p. 67.) "How inexplicable," he exclaims,
"on the theory of creation, is the occasional appearance of stripes on
the shoulder and legs of several species of the horse genus and in their
hybrids!"--(p. 473.) He tells us that to suppose that each species was
created with a tendency "like this, is to make the works of God a mere
mockery and deception"; and he satisfies himself that all difficulty is
gone when he refers the stripes to his hypothetical thousands on
thousands of years removed progenitor. But how is his difficulty really
affected? for why is the striping of one species a less real difficulty
than the striping of many?

Another instance of this mode of dealing with his subject, to which we
must call the attention of our readers, because it too often recurs, is
contained in the following question:--

Were all the infinitely numerous kinds of animals and plants created
as eggs, or seed, or as full grown? and, in the case of mammals, were
they created bearing the false marks of nourishment from the mother's
womb?--p. 483.

The difficulty here glanced at is extreme, but it is one for the
solution of which the transmutation-theory gives no clue. It is inherent
in the idea of the creation of beings, which are to reproduce their like
by natural succession; for, in such a world, place the first beginning
where you will, that beginning _must_ contain the apparent history of a
_past_, which existed only in the mind of the Creator. If, with Mr.
Darwin, to escape the difficulty of supposing the first man at his
creation to possess in that framework of his body "false marks of
nourishment from his mother's womb," with Mr. Darwin you consider him to
have been an improved ape, you only carry the difficulty up from the
first man to the first ape; if, with Mr. Darwin, in violation of all
observation, you break the barrier between the classes of vegetable and
animal life, and suppose every animal to be an "improved" vegetable, you
do but carry your difficulty with you into the vegetable world; for, how
could there be seeds if there had been no plants to seed them? and if
you carry up your thoughts through the vista of the Darwinian eternity
up to the primaeval fungus, still the primaeval fungus must have had a
humus, from which to draw into its venerable vessels the nourishment of
its archetypal existence, and that humus must itself be a "false mark"
of a pre-existing vegetation.

We have dwelt a little upon this, because it is by such seeming
solutions of difficulties as that which this passage supplies that the
transmutationist endeavours to prop up his utterly rotten fabric of
guess and speculation.

There are no parts of Mr. Darwin's ingenious book in which he gives the
reins more completely to his fancy than where he deals with the
improvement of instinct by his principle of natural selection. We need
but instance his assumption, without a fact on which to build it, that
the marvellous skill of the honey-bee in constructing its cells is thus
obtained, and the slave-making habits of the Formica Polyerges thus
formed. There seems to be no limit here to the exuberance of his fancy,
and we cannot but think that we detect one of those hints by which Mr.
Darwin indicates the application of his system from the lower animals to
man himself, when he dwells so pointedly upon the fact that it is always
the _black_ ant which is enslaved by his other coloured and more
fortunate brethren. "The slaves are black!" We believe that, if we had
Mr. Darwin in the witness-box, and could subject him to a moderate
cross-examination, we should find that he believed that the tendency of
the lighter-coloured races of mankind to prosecute the negro slave-trade
was really a remains, in their more favoured condition, of the
"extraordinary and odious instinct" which had possessed them before they
had been "improved by natural selection" from Formica Polyerges into
Homo. This at least is very much the way in which (p. 479) he slips in
quite incidentally the true identity of man with the horse, the bat, and
the porpoise:--

The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a
bat, fin of a porpoise, and leg of the horse, the same number of
vertebrae forming the neck of the giraffe and of the elephant, and
innumerable other such facts, at once explain themselves on the theory
of descent with slow and slight successive modifications.--p. 479.

Such assumptions as these, we once more repeat, are most dishonourable
and injurious to science; and though, out of respect to Mr. Darwin's
high character and to the tone of his work, we have felt it right to
weigh the "argument" again set by him before us in the simple scales of
logical examination, yet we must remind him that the view is not a new
one, and that it has already been treated with admirable humour when
propounded by another of his name and of his lineage. We do not think
that, with all his matchless ingenuity, Mr. Darwin has found any
instance which so well illustrates his own theory of the improved
descendant under the elevating influences of natural selection
exterminating the progenitor whose specialities he has exaggerated as he
himself affords us in this work. For if we go back two generations we
find the ingenious grandsire of the author of the _Origin of Species_
speculating on the same subject, and almost in the same manner with his
more daring descendant.

* * * * *

Our readers will not have failed to notice that we have objected to the
views with which we have been dealing solely on scientific grounds. We
have done so from our fixed conviction that it is thus that the truth or
falsehood of such arguments should be tried. We have no sympathy with
those who object to any facts or alleged facts in nature, or to any
inference logically deduced from them, because they believe them to
contradict what it appears to them is taught by Revelation. We think
that all such objections savour of a timidity which is really
inconsistent with a firm and well-instructed faith:--

"Let us for a moment," profoundly remarks Professor Sedgwick, "suppose
that there are some religious difficulties in the conclusions of
geology. How, then, are we to solve them? Not by making a world after
a pattern of our own--not by shifting and shuffling the solid strata
of the earth, and then dealing them out in such a way as to play the
game of an ignorant or dishonest hypothesis--not by shutting our eyes
to facts, or denying the evidence of our senses--but by patient
investigation, carried on in the sincere love of truth, and by
learning to reject every consequence not warranted by physical

He who is as sure as he is of his own existence that the God of Truth is
at once the God of Nature and the God of Revelation, cannot believe it
to be possible that His voice in either, rightly understood, can differ,
or deceive His creatures. To oppose facts in the natural world because
they seem to oppose Revelation, or to humour them so as to compel them
to speak its voice, is, he knows, but another form of the ever-ready
feebleminded dishonesty of lying for God, and trying by fraud or
falsehood to do the work of the God of truth. It is with another and a
nobler spirit that the true believer walks amongst the works of nature.
The words graven on the everlasting rocks are the words of God, and they
are graven by His hand. No more can they contradict His Word written in
His book, than could the words of the old covenant graven by His hand on
the stony tables contradict the writings of His hand in the volume of
the new dispensation. There may be to man difficulty in reconciling all
the utterances of the two voices. But what of that? He has learned
already that here he knows only in part, and that the day of reconciling
all apparent contradictions between what must agree is nigh at hand. He
rests his mind in perfect quietness on this assurance, and rejoices in
the gift of light without a misgiving as to what it may discover:--

"A man of deep thought and great practical wisdom," says Sedgwick,[2]
"one whose piety and benevolence have for many years been shining
before the world, and of whose sincerity no scoffer (of whatever
school) will dare to start a doubt, recorded his opinion in the great
assembly of the men of science who during the past year were gathered
from every corner of the Empire within the walls of this University,
'that Christianity had everything to hope and nothing to fear from the
advancement of philosophy.'"[3]

[1] "A Discourse on the Studies of the University," p. 149.
[2] Ibid., p. 153.
[3] Speech of Dr. Chalmers at the Meeting of the British Association
for the Advancement of Science, June, 1833.

This is as truly the spirit of Christianity as it is that of philosophy.
Few things have more deeply injured the cause of religion than the busy
fussy energy with which men, narrow and feeble alike in faith and in
science, have bustled forth to reconcile all new discoveries in physics
with the word of inspiration. For it continually happens that some
larger collection of facts, or some wider view of the phenomena of
nature, alter the whole philosophic scheme; whilst Revelation has been
committed to declare an absolute agreement with what turns out after all
to have been a misconception or an error. We cannot, therefore, consent
to test the truth of natural science by the Word of Revelation. But this
does not make it the less important to point out on scientific grounds
scientific errors, when those errors tend to limit God's glory in
creation, or to gainsay the revealed relations of that creation to
Himself. To both these classes of error, though, we doubt not, quite
unintentionally on his part, we think that Mr. Darwin's speculations
directly tend.

Mr. Darwin writes as a Christian, and we doubt not that he is one. We do
not for a moment believe him to be one of those who retain in some
corner of their hearts a secret unbelief which they dare not vent; and
we therefore pray him to consider well the grounds on which we brand his
speculations with the charge of such a tendency. First, then, he not
obscurely declares that he applies his scheme of the action of the
principle of natural selection to MAN himself, as well as to the animals
around him. Now, we must say at once, and openly, that such a notion is
absolutely incompatible not only with single expressions in the word of
God on that subject of natural science with which it is not immediately
concerned, but, which in our judgment is of far more importance, with
the whole representation of that moral and spiritual condition of man
which is its proper subject-matter. Man's derived supremacy over the
earth; man's power of articulate speech; man's gift of reason; man's
free-will and responsibility; man's fall and man's redemption; the
incarnation of the Eternal Son; the indwelling of the Eternal Spirit,--
all are equally and utterly irreconcilable with the degrading notion of
the brute origin of him who was created in the image of God, and
redeemed by the Eternal Son assuming to himself his nature. Equally
inconsistent, too, not with any passing expressions, but with the whole
scheme of God's dealings with man as recorded in His word, is Mr.
Darwin's daring notion of man's further development into some unknown
extent of powers, and shape, and size, through natural selection acting
through that long vista of ages which he casts mistily over the earth
upon the most favoured individuals of his species. We care not in these
pages to push the argument further. We have done enough for our purpose
in thus succinctly intimating its course. If any of our readers doubt
what must be the result of such speculations carried to their logical
and legitimate conclusion, let them turn to the pages of _Oken_, and see
for themselves the end of that path the opening of which is decked out
in these pages with the bright hues and seemingly innocent deductions of
the transmutation-theory.

Nor can we doubt, secondly, that this view, which thus contradicts the
revealed relation of creation to its Creator, is equally inconsistent
with the fullness of His glory. It is, in truth, an ingenious theory for
diffusing throughout creation the working and so the personality of the
Creator. And thus, however unconsciously to him who holds them, such
views really tend inevitably to banish from the mind most of the
peculiar attributes of the Almighty.

How, asks Mr. Darwin, can we possibly account for the manifest plan,
order, and arrangement which pervade creation, except we allow to it
this self-developing power through modified descent?

As Milne-Edwards has well expressed it, Nature is prodigal in variety,
but niggard in innovation. Why, on the theory of creation, should this
be so? Why should all the parts and organs of many independent beings,
each supposed to have been separately created for its proper place in
nature, be so commonly linked together by graduated steps? Why should
not Nature have taken a leap from structure to structure?--p. 194.

And again:--

It is a truly wonderful fact--the wonder of which we are apt to
overlook from familiarity--that all animals and plants throughout all
time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to
group, in the manner which we everywhere behold, namely, varieties of
the same species most closely related together, species of the same
genus less closely and unequally related together, forming sections
and sub-genera, species of distinct genera much less closely related,
and genera related in different degrees, forming sub-families,
families, orders, sub-classes, and classes.--pp. 128-9.

How can we account for all this? By the simplest and yet the most
comprehensive answer. By declaring the stupendous fact that all creation
is the transcript in matter of ideas eternally existing in the mind of
the Most High--that order in the utmost perfectness of its relation
pervades His works, because it exists as in its centre and highest
fountain-head in Him the Lord of all. Here is the true account of the
fact which has so utterly misled shallow observers, that Man himself,
the Prince and Head of this creation, passes in the earlier stages of
his being through phases of existence closely analogous, so far as his
earthly tabernacle is concerned, to those in which the lower animals
ever remain. At that point of being the development of the protozoa is
arrested. Through it the embryo of their chief passes to the perfection
of his earthly frame. But the types of those lower forms of being must
be found in the animals which never advance beyond them--not in man for
whom they are but the foundation for an after-development; whilst he
too, Creation's crown and perfection, thus bears witness in his own
frame to the law of order which pervades the universe.

In like manner could we answer every other question as to which Mr.
Darwin thinks all oracles are dumb unless they speak his speculation. He
is, for instance, more than once troubled by what he considers
imperfections in Nature's work. "If," he says, "our reason leads us to
admire with enthusiasm a multitude of inimitable contrivances in Nature,
this same reason tells us that some other contrivances are less

Nor ought we to marvel if all the contrivances in nature be not, as
far as we can judge, absolutely perfect; and if some of them be
abhorrent to our idea of fitness. We need not marvel at the sting of
the bee causing the bee's own death; at drones being produced in such
vast numbers for one single act, and with the great majority
slaughtered by their sterile sisters; at the astonishing waste of
pollen by our fir-trees; at the instinctive hatred of the queen-bee
for her own fertile daughters; at ichneumonidae feeding within the
live bodies of caterpillars; and at other such cases. The wonder
indeed is, on the theory of natural selection, that more cases of the
want of absolute perfection have not been observed.--p. 472.

We think that the real temper of this whole speculation as to nature
itself may be read in these few lines. It is a dishonouring view of

That reverence for the work of God's hands with which a true belief in
the All-wise Worker fills the believer's heart is at the root of all
great physical discovery; it is the basis of philosophy. He who would
see the venerable features of Nature must not seek with the rudeness of
a licensed roysterer violently to unmask her countenance; but must wait
as a learner for her willing unveiling. There was more of the true
temper of philosophy in the poetic fiction of the Pan-ic shriek, than in
the atheistic speculations of Lucretius. But this temper must beset
those who do in effect banish God from nature. And so Mr. Darwin not
only finds in it these bungling contrivances which his own greater skill
could amend, but he stands aghast before its mightier phenomena. The
presence of death and famine seems to him inconceivable on the ordinary
idea of creation; and he looks almost aghast at them until reconciled to
their presence by his own theory that "a ratio of increase so high as to
lead to a struggle for life, and as a consequence to natural selection
entailing divergence of character and the extinction of less improved
forms, is decidedly followed by the most exalted object which we are
capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals" (p.
490). But we can give him a simpler solution still for the presence of
these strange forms of imperfection and suffering amongst the works of

We can tell him of the strong shudder which ran through all this world
when its head and ruler fell. When he asks concerning the infinite
variety of these multiplied works which are set in such an orderly
unity, and run up into man as their reasonable head, we can tell him of
the exuberance of God's goodness and remind him of the deep philosophy
which lies in those simple words--"All thy works praise Thee, O God, and
thy saints give thanks unto Thee." For it is one office of redeemed man
to collect the inarticulate praises of the material creation, and pay
them with conscious homage into the treasury of the supreme Lord.

* * * * *

It is by putting restraint upon fancy that science is made the true
trainer of our intellect:--

"A study of the Newtonian philosophy," says Sedgwick, "as affecting
our moral powers and capacities, does not terminate in mere negations.
It teaches us to see the finger of God in all things animate and
inaminate [Transcriber's note: sic], and gives us an exalted
conception of His attributes, placing before us the clearest proof of
their reality; and so prepares, or ought to prepare, the mind for the
reception of that higher illumination which brings the rebellious
faculties into obedience to the Divine will."--_Studies of the
University_, p. 14.

It is by our deep conviction of the truth and importance of this view
for the scientific mind of England that we have been led to treat at so
much length Mr. Darwin's speculation. The contrast between the sober,
patient, philosophical courage of our home philosophy, and the writings
of Lamarck and his followers and predecessors, of MM. Demaillet, Bory de
Saint Vincent, Virey, and Oken,[1] is indeed most wonderful; and it is
greatly owing to the noble tone which has been given by those great men
whose words we have quoted to the school of British science. That Mr.
Darwin should have wandered from this broad highway of nature's works
into the jungle of fanciful assumption is no small evil. We trust that
he is mistaken in believing that he may count Sir C. Lyell as one of his
converts. We know indeed the strength of the temptations which he can
bring to bear upon his geological brother. The Lyellian hypothesis,
itself not free from some of Mr. Darwin's faults, stands eminently in
need for its own support of some such new scheme of physical life as
that propounded here. Yet no man has been more distinct and more logical
in the denial of the transmutation of species than Sir C. Lyell, and
that not in the infancy of his scientific life, but in its full vigour
and maturity.

[1] It may be worth while to exhibit to our readers a few of Dr. Oken's
postulates or arguments as specimens of his views:--
I wrote the first edition of 1810 in a kind of inspiration.
4. Spirit is the motion of mathematical ideas.
10. Physio-philosphy [Transcriber's note: sic] has to ... pourtray
the first period of the world's development from nothing; how the
elements and heavenly bodies originated; in what method by
self-evolution into higher and manifold forms they separated into
minerals, became finally organic, and in man attained
42. The mathematical monad is eternal.
43. The eternal is one and the same with the zero of mathematics.

Sir C. Lyell devotes the 33rd to the 36th chapter of his "Principles of
Geology" to an examination of this question. He gives a clear account of
the mode in which Lamarck supported his belief of the transmutation of
species; he interrupts the author's argument to observe that "no
positive fact is cited to exemplify the substitution of some _entirely
new_ sense, faculty, or organ--because no examples were to be found";
and remarks that when Lamarck talks of "the effects of internal
sentiment," etc., as causes whereby animals and plants may acquire _new
organs_, he substitutes names for things, and with a disregard to the
strict rules of induction, resorts to fictions.

He shows the fallacy of Lamarck's reasoning, and by anticipation
confutes the whole theory of Mr. Darwin, when gathering clearly up into
a few heads the recapitulation of the whole argument in favour of the
reality of species in nature. He urges:--[Transcriber's note: numbering
in original]

1. That there is a capacity in all species to accommodate themselves to
a certain extent to a change of external circumstances.

4. The entire variation from the original type ... may usually be
effected in a brief period of time, after which no further deviation can
be obtained.

5. The intermixing distinct species is guarded against by the sterility
of the mule offspring.

6. It appears that species have a real existence in nature, and that
each was endowed at the time of its creation with the attributes and
organization by which it is now distinguished.[1]

[1] "Principles of Geology," edit. 1853.

We trust that Sir C. Lyell abides still by these truly philosophical
principles; and that with his help and with that of his brethren this
flimsy speculation may be as completely put down as was what in spite of
all denials we must venture to call its twin though less-instructed
brother, the "Vestiges of Creation." In so doing they will assuredly
provide for the strength and continually growing progress of British

Indeed, not only do all laws for the study of nature vanish when the
great principle of order pervading and regulating all her processes is
given up, but all that imparts the deepest interest in the investigation
of her wonders will have departed too. Under such influences a man soon
goes back to the marvelling stare of childhood at the centaurs and
hippogriffs of fancy, or if he is of a philosophic turn, he comes like
Oken to write a scheme of creation under "a sort of inspiration"; but it
is the frenzied inspiration of the inhaler of mephitic gas. The whole
world of nature is laid for such a man under a fantastic law of glamour,
and he becomes capable of believing anything: to him it is just as
probable that Dr. Livingstone will find the next tribe of negroes with
their heads growing under their arms as fixed on the summit of the
cervical vertebrae; and he is able, with a continually growing neglect
of all the facts around him, with equal confidence and equal delusion,
to look back to any past and to look on to any future.


[From _The Quarterly Review_, October, 1864]

_Apologia pro Vita sua_. By JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, D.D.

Few books have been published of late years which combine more distinct
elements of interest than the "Apologia" of Dr. Newman. As an
autobiography, in the highest sense of that word, as the portraiture,
that is, and record of what the man was, irrespective of those common
accidents of humanity which too often load the biographer's pages, it is
eminently dramatic. To produce such a portrait was the end which the
writer proposed to himself, and which he has achieved with a rare
fidelity and completeness. Hardly do the "Confessions of St. Augustine"
more vividly reproduce the old African Bishop before successive
generations in all the greatness and struggles of his life than do these
pages the very inner being of this remarkable man--"the living
intelligence," as he describes it, "by which I write, and argue, and
act" (p. 47). No wonder that when he first fully recognised what he had
to do, he

shrank from both the task and the exposure which it would entail. I
must, I said, give the true key to my whole life; I must show what I
am, that it may be seen what I am not, and that the phantom may be
extinguished which gibbers instead of me. I wish to be known as a
living man, and not as a scarecrow which is dressed up in my
clothes.... I will draw out, as far as may be, the history of my mind;
I will state the point at which I began, in what external suggestion
or accident each opinion had its rise, how far and how they were
developed from within, how they grew, were modified, were combined,
were in collision with each other, and were changed. Again, how I
conducted myself towards them; and how, and how far, and for how long
a time, I thought I could hold them consistently with the
ecclesiastical engagements which I had made, and with the position
which I filled.... It is not at all pleasant for me to be egotistical
nor to be criticised for being so. It is not pleasant to reveal to
high and low, young and old, what has gone on within me from my early
years. It is not pleasant to be giving to every shallow or flippant
disputant the advantage over me of knowing my most private thoughts, I
might even say the intercourse between myself and my Maker.
--pp. 47-51.

Here is the task he set himself, and the task which he has performed.
There is in these pages an absolute revealing of the hidden life in its
acting, and its processes, which at times is almost startling, which is
everywhere of the deepest interest. For the life thus revealed is well
worthy of the pen by which it is portrayed. Of all those who, in these
later years, have quitted the Church of England for the Roman communion
--esteemed, honoured, and beloved, as were many of them--no one, save
Dr. Newman, appears to us to possess the rare gift of undoubted genius.

That life, moreover, which anywhere and at any time must have marked its
own character on his fellows, was cast precisely at the time and place
most favourable for stamping upon others the impress of itself. The
plate was ready to receive and to retain every line of the image which
was thrown so vividly upon it. The history, therefore, of this life in
its shifting scenes of thought, feeling, and purpose, becomes in fact
the history of a school, a party, and a sect. From its effect on us,
who, from without, judge of it with critical calmness, we can form some
idea of what must be its power on those who were within the charmed
ring; who were actually under the wand of the enchanter, for whom there
was music in that voice, fascination in that eye, and habitual command
in that spare but lustrous countenance; and who can trace again in this
retrospect the colours and shadows which in those years which fixed
their destiny, passed, though in less distinct hues, into their own
lives, and made them what they are.

Again, in another aspect, the "Apologia" will have a special interest
for most of our readers. Almost every page of it will throw some light
upon the great controversy which has been maintained for these three
hundred years, and which now spreads itself throughout the world,
between the Anglican Church and her oldest and greatest antagonist, the
Papal See....

The first names to which it introduces us indicate the widely-differing
influences under which was formed that party within our Church which has
acted so powerfully and in such various directions upon its life and
teaching. They are those of Mr.--afterwards Archbishop--Whately and Dr.
Hawkins, afterwards and still the Provost of Oriel College. To
intercourse with both of whom Dr. Newman attributes great results in the
formation of his own character: the first emphatically opening his mind
and teaching him to use his reason, whilst in religious opinion he
taught him the existence of a church, and fixed in him Anti-Erastian
views of Church polity; the second being a man of most exact mind, who
through a course of severe snubbing taught him to weigh his words and be
cautious in his statements.

To an almost unknown degree, Oriel had at that time monopolised the
active speculative intellect of Oxford. Her fellowships being open,
whilst those of other Colleges were closed, drew to her the ablest men
of the University: whilst the nature of the examination for her
fellowships, which took no note of ordinary University honours, and
stretched boldly out beyond inquiries as to classical and mathematical
attainments in everything which could test the dormant powers of the
candidates, had already impressed upon the Society a distinctive
character of intellectual excellence. The late Lord Grenville used at
this time to term an Oriel Fellowship the Blue Ribbon of the University;
and, undoubtedly, the results of those examinations have been
marvellously confirmed by the event, if we think to what an extent the
mind, and opinions, and thoughts of England have been moulded by them
who form the list of those "Orielenses," of whom it was said in an
academic squib of the time, with some truth, flavoured perhaps with a
spice of envy, that they were wont to enter the academic circle "under a
flourish of trumpets." Such a "flourish" certainly has often preceded
the entry of far lesser men than E. Coplestone, E. Hawkins, J. Davison,
J. Keble, R. Whately, T. Arnold, E.B. Pusey, J. H. Newman, H. Froude, R.
J. Wilberforce, S. Wilberforce, G. A. Denison, &c., &c.

Into a Society leavened with such intellectual influences as these, Dr.
Newman, soon after taking his degree, was ushered. It could at this time
have borne no distinctively devout character in its religious aspect.
Rather must it have been marked by the opposite of this. Whately, whose
powerful and somewhat rude intellect must almost have overawed the
common room when the might of Davison had been taken from it, was, with
all his varied excellences, never by any means an eminently devout,
scarcely perhaps an orthodox man. All his earlier writings bristle with
paradoxes, which affronted the instincts of simpler and more believing
minds. Whately, accordingly, appears in these pages as "generous and
warmhearted--particularly loyal to his friends" (p. 68); as teaching
his pupil "to see with my own eyes and to walk with my own feet"; yet as
exercising an influence over him (p. 69) which, "in a higher respect
than intellectual advance, had not been satisfactory," under which he
"was beginning to prefer intellectual excellence to moral, was drifting
in the direction of liberalism"; a "dream" out of which he was "rudely
awakened at the end of 1827, by two great blows--illness and
bereavement" (p. 72).

Though this change in his views is traced by Dr. Newman to the action of
these strictly personal causes of illness and bereavement, yet other
influences, we suspect, were working strongly in the same direction. It
is plain that, so far as regards early permanent impression on the
character of his religious opinions, the influence of Whately was
calculated rather to stir up reaction than to win a convert. "Whately's
mind," he says himself (p. 68), "was too different from mine for us to
remain long on one line." The course of events round him impelled him in
the same direction, and furnished him with new comrades, on whom
henceforth he was to act, and who were to react most powerfully on him.
The torrent of reform was beginning its full rush through the land; and
its turbulent waters threatened not only to drown the old political
landmarks of the Constitution, but also to sweep away the Church of the
nation. Abhorrence of these so-called liberal opinions was the electric
current which bound together the several minds which speedily appeared
as instituting and directing the great Oxford Church movement. Not that
it was in any sense the offspring of the old cry of "the Church in
danger." The meaning of that alarm was the apprehension of danger to the
emoluments or position of the Church as the established religion in the
land. From the very first the Oxford movement pointed more to the
maintenance of the Church as a spiritual society, divinely incorporated
to teach certain doctrines, and do certain acts which none other could
do, than to the preservation of those temporal advantages which had been
conferred by the State. From the first there was a tendency to
undervalue these external aids, which made the movement an object of
suspicion to thorough Church-and-State men. This suspicion was repaid by
the members of the new school with a return of contempt. They believed
that in struggling for the temporal advantages of the Establishment, men
had forgotten the essential characteristics of the Church, and had been
led to barter their divine birthright for the mess of pottage which Acts
of Parliament secured them. Thus we find Dr. Newman remembering his
early Oxford dislike of "the bigoted two-bottle orthodox." He records
(p. 73) the characteristic mode in which on the appearance of the first
symptoms of his "leaving the clientela" of Dr. Whately he was punished
by that rough humorist. "Whately was considerably annoyed at me; and he
took a humorous revenge, of which he had given me due notice
beforehand.... He asked a set of the least intellectual men in Oxford to
dinner, and men most fond of port; he made me one of the party; placed
me between Provost this and Principal that, and then asked me if I was
proud of my friends" (p. 73). It is easy to conceive how he liked them.
He had, indeed, though formerly a supporter of Catholic Emancipation,
"acted with them in opposing Mr. Peel's re-election in 1829, on 'simple
academical grounds,' because he thought that a great University ought
not to be bullied even by a great Duke of Wellington" (p. 172); but he
soon parted with his friends of "two-bottle orthodoxy," and joined the
gathering knot of men of an utterly different temper, who "disliked the
Duke's change of policy as dictated by liberalism" (p. 72).

This whole company shared the feelings which even yet, after so many
years and in such altered circumstances, break forth from Dr. Newman
like the rumblings and smoke of a long extinct volcano, in such
utterances as this: "The new Bill for the suppression of the Irish Sees
was in prospect, and had filled my mind. I had fierce thoughts against
the Liberals. It was the success of the Liberal cause which fretted me
inwardly. I became fierce against its instruments and its
manifestations. A French vessel was at Algiers; I would not even look at
the tricolor" (97). This was the temper of the whole band. Most of these
men appear in Dr. Newman's pages; and from their common earnestness and
various endowments a mighty band they were.

* * * * *

Here then was the band which have accomplished so much; which have
failed in so much; which have added a new party-name to our vocabulary;
which have furnished materials for every scribbling or declaiming
political Protestant, from the writer of the Durham Letter down to Mr.
Whalley and Mr. Harper; which aided so greatly in reawakening the
dormant energies of the English Church; which carried over to the ranks
of her most deadly opponent some of the ablest and most devoted of her
sons. The language of these pages has never varied concerning this
movement. We have always admitted its many excellences--we have always
lamented its evils. As long ago as in 1839, whilst we protested openly
and fully against what we termed at the time the "strange and
lamentable" publication of Mr. Froude's "Remains,"[1] we declared our
hope that "the publication of the Oxford Tracts was a very seasonable
and valuable contribution to the cause both of the Church and the
State." And in 1846, even after so many of our hopes had faded away, we
yet spoke in the same tone of "this religious movement in our Church,"
as one "from which, however clouded be the present aspect, we doubt not
that great blessings have resulted and will result, unless we forfeit
them by neglect or wilful abuse."[2]

[1] "Quarterly Review," vol. lxiii, p. 551.
[2] Ibid., vol. lxxviii, p. 24.

The history of the progress of the movement lies scattered through these
pages. All that we can collect concerning its first intention confirms
absolutely Mr. Perceval's Statements, 1843, that it was begun for two
leading objects: "first, the firm and practical maintenance of the
doctrine of the apostolical succession.... secondly, the preservation in
its integrity of the Christian doctrine in our Prayerbooks."[1] Its
unity of action was shaken by the first entrance of doubts into its
leader's mind. His retirement from it tended directly to break it up as
an actual party. But it would be a monstrous error to suppose that the
influence of this movement was extinguished when its conductors were
dispersed as a party. So far from it, the system of the Church of
England took in all the more freely the elements of truth which it had
all along been diffusing, because they were no longer scattered abroad
by the direct action of an organised party under ostensible chiefs.
Where, we may ask, is not at this moment the effect of that movement
perfectly appreciable within our body? Look at the new-built and
restored churches of the land; look at the multiplication of schools;
the greater exactness of ritual observance; the higher standard of
clerical life, service, and devotion; the more frequent celebrations;
the cathedrals open; the loving sisterhoods labouring, under episcopal
sanction, with the meek, active saintliness of the Church's purest time;
look--above all, perhaps--at the raised tone of devotion and doctrine
amongst us, and see in all these that the movement did not die, but
rather flourished with a new vigour when the party of the movement was
so greatly broken up. It is surely one of the strangest objections which
can be urged against a living spiritual body, that the loss of many of
its foremost sons still left its vital strength unimpaired. Yet this was
Dr. Newman's objection, and his witness, fourteen years ago, when he
complained of the Church of England, that though it had given "a hundred
educated men to the Catholic Church, yet the huge creature from which
they went forth showed no consciousness of its loss, but shook itself,
and went about its work as of old time."[2]

[1] "Collection of Papers connected with the Theological Movement of
1833." By the Hon. and Rev. A.P. Perceval. 1843. Second Edition.
[2] "Lectures on Anglican Difficulties," p. 9.

As the unity of the party was broken up, the fire which had burned
hitherto in but a single beacon was scattered upon a thousand hills.
Nevertheless, the first breaking up of the party was eminently
disheartening to its living members. But it was not by external violence
that it was broken, but by the development within itself of a
distinctive Romeward bias. Dr. Newman lays his hand upon a particular
epoch in its progress, at which, he says, it was crossed by a new set of
men, who imparted to it that leaning to Romanism which ever after
perceptibly beset it. "A new school of thought was rising, as is usual
in such movements, and was sweeping the original party of the movement
aside, and was taking its place" (p. 277). This is a curious instance of
self-delusion. He was, as we maintain, throughout, the Romanising
element in the whole movement. But for him it might have continued, as
its other great chiefs still continue, the ornament and strength of the
English Church. These younger men, to whom he attributes the change,
were, in fact, the minds whom he had consciously or unconsciously
fashioned and biassed. Some of them, as is ever the case, had outrun
their leader. Some of them were now, in their sensitive spiritual
organism, catching the varying outline of the great leader whom they
almost worshipped, and beginning at once to give back his own altering
image. Instead of seeing in their changing minds this reflection of
himself, he dwelt upon it as an original element, and read in its
presence an indication of its being the will of God that the stream
should turn its flow towards the gulf to which he himself had unawares,
it may be, directed its waters. Those who remember how at this time he
was followed will know how easily such a result might follow his own
incipient change. Those who can still remember how many often
involuntarily caught his peculiar intonation--so distinctively singular,
and therefore so attractive in himself and so repulsive in his copyists
--will understand how the altering fashion of the leader's thoughts was
appropriated with the same unconscious fidelity.

One other cause acted powerfully on him and on them to give this bias to
the movement, and that was the bitterness and invectives of the Liberal
party. Dr. Newman repeatedly reminds us that it was the Liberals who
drove him from Oxford. The four tutors--the after course of one of whom,
at least, was destined to display so remarkable a Nemesis--and the pack
who followed them turned by their ceaseless baying the noble hart who
led the rest towards this evil covert. He and they heard incessantly
that they were Papists in disguise: men dishonoured by professing one
thing and holding another; until they began to doubt their own fidelity,
and in that doubt was death. Nor was this all. The Liberals ever (as is
their wont), most illiberal to those who differ from them, began to use
direct academic persecution; until, in self-distrust and very weariness,
the great soul began to abandon the warfare it had waged inwardly
against its own inclinations and the fascinations of its enemy, and to
yield the first defences to the foe. It will remain written, as Dr.
Newman's deliberate judgment, that it was the Liberals who forced him
from Oxford. How far, if he had not taken that step, he might have again
shaken off the errors which were growing on him--how far therefore in
driving him from Oxford they drove him finally to Rome--man can never

In the new light thrown upon it from the pages of the "Apologia," we see
with more distinctness than was ever shown before, how greatly this
tendency to Rome, which at last led astray so many of the masters of the
party, was infused into it by the single influence of Dr. Newman
himself. We do not believe that, in spite of his startling speeches, the
bias towards Rome was at all as strong even in H. Froude himself. Let
his last letter witness for him:--"If," he says, "I was to assign my
reasons for belonging to the Church of England in preference to any
other religious community, it would be simply this, that she has
retained an apostolical clergy, and enacts no sinful terms of communion;
whereas, on the other hand, the Romanists, though retaining an
apostolical clergy, do exact sinful terms of communion."[1] This was the
tone of the movement until it was changed in Dr. Newman. We believe that
in tracing this out we shall be using these pages entirely as their
author intended them to be used. They were meant to exhibit to his
countrymen the whole secret of his moral and spiritual anatomy; they
were intended to prove that he was altogether free from that foul and
disgraceful taint of innate dishonesty, the unspoken suspicion of which
in so many quarters had so long troubled him; the open utterance of
which, from the lips of a popular and respectable writer, was so
absolutely intolerable to him. From that imputation it is but bare
justice to say he does thoroughly clear himself. The post-mortem
examination of his life is complete; the hand which guided the
dissecting-knife has trembled nowhere, nor shrunk from any incision. All
lies perfectly open, and the foul taint is nowhere. And yet, looking
back with the writer on the changes which this strange narrative
records, from his subscribing, in 1828, towards the first start of the
"Record" newspaper to his receiving on the 9th of October, 1845, at
Littlemore, the "remarkable-looking man, evidently a foreigner, shabbily
dressed in black,"[2] who received him into the Papal Communion, we see
abundant reason, even without the action of that prevalent suspicion of
secret dishonesty somewhere, which in English minds inevitably connects
itself with the spread of Popery, for the widely-diffused impression of
that being true which it is so pleasant to find unfounded.

[1] "Collection of Papers, &c." p. 16.
[2] "Historical Notes of the Tractarian Movement," by Canon Oakley.
Dublin Review, No. v, p. 190.

From first to last these pages exhibit the habit of Dr. Newman's mind as
eminently subjective. It might almost be described as the exact opposite
of that of S. Athanasius: with a like all-engrossing love for truth;
with ecclesiastical habits often strangely similar; with cognate gifts
of the imperishable inheritance of genius, the contradiction here is
almost absolute. The abstract proposition, the rightly-balanced
proposition, is everything to the Eastern, it is well-nigh nothing to
the English Divine. When led by circumstances to embark in the close
examination of Dogma, as in his "History of the Arians," his Nazarite
locks of strength appear to have been shorn, and the giant, at whose
might we have been marvelling, becomes as any other man. The dogmatic
portion of this work is poor and tame; it is only when the writer
escapes from dogma into the dramatic representation of the actors in the
strife that his powers reappear. For abstract truth it is true to us
that he has no engrossing affection: his strength lay in his own
apprehension of it, in his power of defending it when once it had been
so apprehended and had become engrafted into him; and it is to this as
made one with himself, and to his own inward life as fed and nourished
by it, that he perpetually reverts.

All this is the more remarkable because he conceives himself to have
been, even from early youth, peculiarly devoted to dogma in the
abstract; he returns continually to this idea, confounding, as we
venture to conceive, his estimate of the effect of truth when he
received it, on himself, with truth as it exists in the abstract. And as
this affected him in regard to dogma, so it reached to his relations to
every part of the Church around him. It led him to gather up in a
dangerous degree, into the person of his "own Bishop," the deference due
to the whole order. "I did not care much for the Bench of Bishops, nor
should I have cared much for a Provincial Council.... All these matters
seemed to me to be jure ecclesiastico; but what to me was jure divino
was the voice of my Bishop in his own person. My own Bishop was my
Pope."--(p. 123.) His intense individuality had substituted the personal
bond to the individual for the general bond to the collective holders of
the office: and so when the strain became violent it snapped at once.
This doubtless natural disposition seems to have been developed, and
perhaps permanently fixed, as the law of his intellectual and spiritual
being, by the peculiarities of his early religious training. Educated in
what is called the "Evangelical" school, early and consciously
converted, and deriving his first religious tone, in great measure, from
the vehement but misled Calvinism, of which Thomas Scott, of Aston
Sandford, was one of the ablest and most robust specimens, he was early
taught to appreciate, and even to judge of, all external truth mainly in
its ascertainable bearings on his own religious experience. In many a
man the effect of this teaching is to fix him for life in a hard,
narrow, and exclusive school of religious thought and feeling, in which
he lives and dies profoundly satisfied with himself and his
co-religionists, and quite hopeless of salvation for any beyond the
immediate pale in which his own Shibboleth is pronounced with the
exactest nicety of articulation. But Dr. Newman's mind was framed upon a
wholly different idea, and the results were proportionally dissimilar.
With the introvertive tendency which we have ascribed to him, was joined
a most subtle and speculative intellect, and an ambitious temper. The
"Apologia" is the history of the practical working out of those various
conditions. His hold upon any truth external to and separate from
himself, was so feeble when placed in comparison with his perception of
what was passing within himself, that the external truth was always
liable to corrections which would make its essential elements harmonize
with what was occurring within his own intellectual or spiritual being.
We think that we can distinctly trace in these pages a twofold
consequence from all this: first, an inexhaustible mutability in his
views on all subjects; and secondly, a continually recurring temptation
to entire scepticism as to everything external to himself. Every page
gives illustrations of the first of these. He votes for what was called
Catholic Emancipation, and is drifting into the ranks of liberalism. But
the external idea of liberty is very soon metamorphosed, in his view,
from the figure of an angel of light into that of a spirit of darkness;
first, by his academical feeling that a great University ought not to be
bullied even by a great Duke, and then by the altered temper of his own
feelings, as they are played upon by the alternate vibrations of the
gibes of "Hurrell Froude," and the deep tones of Mr. Keble's

The history of his religious alternations is in exact keeping with all
this. At every separate stage of his course, he constructs for himself a
tabernacle in which for a while he rests. This process he repeats with
an incessant simplicity of renewed commencements, which is almost like
the blind acting of instinct leading the insect, which is conscious of
its coming change, to spin afresh and afresh its ever-broken cocoon. He
is at one time an Anglo-Catholic, and sees Antichrist in Rome; he falls
back upon the Via Media--that breaks down, and left him, he says (p.
211), "very nearly a pure Protestant"; and again he has a "new theory
made expressly for the occasion, and is pleased with his new view" (p.
269); he then rests in "Samaria" before he finds his way over to Rome.
For the time every one of these transient tabernacles seems to
accomplish its purpose. He finds certain repose for his spirit. Whilst
sheltered by it, all the great unutterable phenomena of the external
world are viewed by him in relation to himself and to his home of
present rest. The gourd has grown up in a night, and shelters him by its
short-lived shadow from the tyrannous rays of the sunshine. But some
sudden irresistible change in his own inward preceptions alters
everything. The idea shoots across his mind that the English Church is
in the position of the Monophysite heretics of the fifth century (p.
209). At once all his views of truth are changed. He moves on to a new
position; pitches anew his tent; builds himself up a new theory; and
finds the altitudes of the stars above him, and the very forms of the
heavenly constellations, change with the change of his earthly

* * * * *

In October the final step is taken, and in the succeeding January the
mournful history is closed in the following most touching words:--

Jan. 20, 1846.--You may think how lonely I am. _Obliviscere populum
tuum et domum patris tui_, has been in my ears for the last twelve
hours. I realize more that we are leaving Littlemore, and it is like
going on the open sea.

I left Oxford for good on Monday, February 23, 1846. On the Saturday
and Sunday before, I was in my house at Littlemore simply by myself,
as I had been for the first day or two when I had originally taken
possession of it. I slept on Sunday night at my dear friend's, Mr.
Johnson's, at the Observatory. Various friends came to see the last of
me--Mr. Copeland, Mr. Church, Mr. Buckle, Mr. Pattison, and Mr. Lewis.
Dr. Pusey, too, came up to take leave of me; and I called on Dr. Ogle,
one of my very oldest friends, for he was my private tutor when I was
an undergraduate. In him I took leave of my first College, Trinity,
which was so dear to me, and which held on its foundation so many who
have been kind to me, both when I was a boy and all through my Oxford
life. Trinity had never been unkind to me. There used to be much
snapdragon growing on the walls opposite my freshman's rooms there,
and I had for years taken it as the emblem of my own perpetual
residence, even unto death, in my University.

On the morning of the 23rd I left the Observatory. I have never seen
Oxford since, excepting its spires, as they are seen from the railway.

What an exceeding sadness is gathered up in these words! And yet the
impress of this time left upon some of Dr. Newman's writings seems, like
the ruin which records what was the violence of the throes of the
long-passed earthquake, even still more indicative of the terrible
character of the struggle through which at this time he passed. We have
seen how keenly he felt the suspicious intrusions upon his privacy which
haunted his last years in the Church of England. But in "Loss and Gain"
there is a yet more expressive exhibition of the extremity of that
suffering. He denies as "utterly untrue" the common belief that he
"introduced friends or partisans into the tale"; and of course he is to
be implicitly believed. And yet ONE there is whom no one who reads the
pages can for a moment doubt is there, and that is Dr. Newman himself.
The weary, unresting, hunted condition of the leading figure in the
tale, with all its accompaniment of keen, flashing wit, always seemed to
us the history of those days when a well-meant but impertinent series of
religious intrusions was well-nigh driving the wise man mad.

We have followed out these steps thus in detail, not only because of
their intense interest as an autobiography, but also because the
narrative itself seems to throw the strongest possible light on the
mainly-important question how far this defection of one of her greatest
sons does really tend to weaken the argumentative position of the
English Church in her strife with Rome. What has been said already will
suffice to prove that in our opinion no such consequence can justly
follow from it. We acknowledge freely the greatness of the individual
loss. But the causes of that defection are, we think, clearly shown to
have been the peculiarities of the individual, not the weakness of the
side which he abandoned. His steps mark no path to any other. He sprang
clear over the guarding walls of the sheepfold, and opened no way
through them for other wanderers. Men may have left the Church of
England because their leader left it; but they could not leave it as he
left it, or because of his reasons for leaving it. In truth, he appears
never to have occupied a thoroughly real Church-of-England position. He
was at first, by education and private judgment, a Calvinistic Puritan;
he became dissatisfied with the coldness and barrenness of this theory,
and set about finding a new position for himself, and in so doing he
skipped over true, sound English Churchmanship into a course of feeling
and thought allied with and leading on to Rome. Even the hindrances
which so long held him back can scarcely be said to have been indeed the
logical force of the unanswerable credentials of the English Church. On
the contrary they were rather personal impressions, feelings, and
difficulties. His faithful, loving nature made him cling desperately to
early hopes, friendships, and affections. Even to the end Thomas Scott
never loses his hold upon him. His narrative is not the history of the
normal progress of a mind from England to Rome; it is so thoroughly
exceptional that it does not seem calculated to seduce to Rome men
governed in such high matters by argument and reason rather than by
impulse and feeling. We do not therefore think that the mere fact of
this secession tells with any force against that communion whose claims
satisfied to their dying day such men as Hooker and Andrewes, and Ussher
and Hammond, and Bramhall and Butler.

But, beyond this, his present view of the English Church appears to be
incompatible with that fierce and internecine hostility to the claim
upon the loyalty of her children which is really essential to clear the
act of perverting others from her ranks from the plainest guilt of
schism. It is not merely that the nobleness and tenderness of his nature
make his tone so unlike that of many of those who have taken the same
step with himself. It is not that every provocation--and how many they
have been!--every misunderstanding--and they have been all but
universal; every unworthy charge or insinuation--down to those of
Professor Kingsley, failed to embitter his feelings against the
communion he has deserted and the friends whom he has left. It is not
this to which we refer, for this is personal to himself, and the fruit
of his own generosity and true greatness of soul. But we refer to his
calm, deliberate estimate of the forsaken Church. He says, indeed, that
since his change he has "had no changes to record, no anxiety of heart
whatever. I have been in perfect peace and contentment. I never had one
doubt" (p. 373). But, as we have seen already, this was always the
temporary condition in which every new phase of opinion landed him. He
was always able to build up these tabernacles of rest. The difference
between this and those former resting-places is clear. In those he was
still a searcher after truth: he needed and required conviction, and a
new conviction might shake the old comfort. But his present
resting-place is built upon the denial of all further enquiry. "I have,"
he says (p. 374), "no further history of religious opinions to narrate":
and some following words show how entirely it is this abandonment of the
idea of the actual conviction of truth for the blind admission of the
dictates of a despotic external authority on which he rests.

* * * * *

There is another deeply interesting question raised by Dr. Newman's
work, on which, if our limits did not absolutely prevent, we should be
glad to enter. We mean the present position of the Church of Rome with
that great rationalistic movement with which we, too, are called to
contend. Everywhere in Europe this contest is proceeding, and the
relations of the Church of Rome towards it are becoming daily more and
more embarrassed. Mr. Ffoulkes tells us that "the 'Home and Foreign
Review' is the _only_ publication professing to emanate from Roman
Catholics in this country that can be named in the same breath with the
leading Protestant Reviews."[1] Since he wrote these words its course
has been closed by Pontifical authority. M. Montalembert has barely
escaped censure with the payment of the penalty--so heavy to his
co-religionists--of an enforced silence; and Dr. Newman "interprets recent
acts of authority as tying the hands of a controversialist such as I
should be,"[2] and so is prevented completing the great work which has
occupied so much of his thoughts, and which promised, more than any
other work this country is likely to see, to set some limiting boundary
line between the provinces of a humble faith in Revelation and an ardent
love of advancing science. This is an evil inflicted by Rome on this
whole generation. But in truth, whenever the mind of Christendom is
active, the attitude of the Papal communion before this new enemy is
that of a startled, trembling minaciousness, which invites the deadly
combat it can so ill maintain.

[1] "Union Review," ix, 294.
[2] "Apol." 405.

These facts are patent to every one who knows anything whatever of the
present state of religious thought throughout Roman Catholic Europe.
Almost every one knows further that the struggle between those who would
subject all science and all the actings of the human mind to the
authority of the Church, and those who would limit the exercise of that
authority more or less to the proper subject-matter of theology, is rife
and increasing. The words of, perhaps, the ablest living member of the
Roman Catholic communion have rung through Europe, and many a heart in
all religious communions has been saddened by the thought of Dr.
Doellinger's virtual censure. And yet it is at such a time as this that
Dr. Manning ventures to put forth his "Letters to a Friend," painting
all as peace, unanimity, and obedient faith within the Roman Church; all
dissension, unbelief, and letting slip of the ancient faith within our
own communion. Surely such are not the weapons by which the cause of
God's truth can be advanced!

But we must bring our remarks on the "Apologia" to a close.

Some lessons there are, and those great ones, which this book is
calculated to instil into members of our own communion. Pre-eminently it
shows the rottenness of that mere Act-of-Parliament foundation on which
some, now-a-days, would rest our Church. Dr. Newman suggests, more than
once, that such a course must rob us of all our present strength. Dr.
Manning sings his paean with wild and premature delight, as if the evil
was already accomplished. In his first letter he triumphed in the
silence of Convocation, but that silence has since been broken. A solemn
synodical judgment, couched in the most explicit language, has condemned
the false teaching which had been our Church's scandal. But because a
"very exalted person in the House of Lords"[1] (p. 4), with an ignorance
or an ignoring of law, as was shown in the debate, which was simply
astonishing, chose, in a manner which even Dr. Manning condemns, to
assert, without a particle of real evidence, that the Convocation had
exceeded its legitimate powers, Dr. Manning is in ecstasies. The "very
exalted person" becomes "a righteous judge, a learned judge, a Daniel
come to judgment--yea, a Daniel." These shouts of joy ought to be enough
to show men where the real danger lies. Our present position is
impregnable. But if we abandon it for the new one proposed to us by the
Rationalist party, how shall we be able to stand? How could a national
religious Establishment which should seek to rest its foundations--not
on God's Word; on the ancient Creeds; on a true Apostolic ministry; on
valid Sacraments; on a living, even though it be an obscured, unity with
the Universal Church, and so on the presence with her of her Lord, and
on the gifts of His Spirit--but upon the critical reason of individuals,
and the support of Acts of Parliament--ever stand in the coming
struggle? How could it meet Rationalism on the one hand? How could it
withstand Popery on the other? After such a fatal change its career
might be easily foreshadowed. Under the assaults of Rationalism, it
would year by year lose some parts of the great deposit of the Catholic
faith. Under the attacks of Rome, it would lose many of those whom it
can ill spare, because they believe most firmly in the verities for
which she is ready to witness. Thus it might continue until our ministry
were filled with the time-serving, the ignorant, and the unbelieving;
and, when this has come to pass, the day of final doom cannot be far
distant. How such evils are to be averted is the anxious question of the
present day. The great practical question seems to us to be that to
which we have before this alluded,[2]--How the Supreme Court of Appeal
can be made fitter for the due discharge of its momentous functions? We
cannot enter here upon that great question. But solved it must be, and
solved upon the principles of the great Reformation statutes of our
land, which maintain, in the supremacy of the Crown, our undoubted
nationality; which, besides maintaining this great principle of national
life, save us from all the terrible practical evils of appeals to Rome,
and yet which maintain the spirituality of the land, as the guardians
under God of the great deposit of the Faith, in the very terms in which
the Catholic Church of Christ has from the beginning received, and to
this day handed down in its completeness, the inestimable gift.

[1] Hansard's "House of Lord's Debates," July 15, 1864
[2] "Quarterly Review," vol. cxv. p. 560


[From _The Quarterly Review_, July, 1814]

_Waverley; or, 'tis Sixty Years since_. 3 vols. 12mo. Edinburgh, 1814.

We have had so many occasions to invite our readers' attention to that
species of composition called Novels, and have so often stated our
general views of the principles of this very agreeable branch of
literature, that we shall venture on the consideration of our present
subject with but a few observations, and those applicable to a class of
novels, of which it is a favourable specimen.

The earlier novelists wrote at periods when society was not perfectly
formed, and we find that their picture of life was an embodying of their
own conceptions of the "_beau ideal_."--Heroes all generosity and ladies
all chastity, exalted above the vulgarities of society and nature,
maintain, through eternal folios, their visionary virtues, without the
stain of any moral frailty, or the degradation of any human necessities.
But this high-flown style went out of fashion as the great mass of
mankind became more informed of each other's feelings and concerns, and
as a nearer intercourse taught them that the real course of human life
is a conflict of duty and desire, of virtue and passion, of right and
wrong; in the description of which it is difficult to say whether
uniform virtue or unredeemed vice would be in the greater degree tedious
and absurd.

The novelists next endeavoured to exhibit a general view of society. The
characters in Gil Blas and Tom Jones are not individuals so much as
specimens of the human race; and these delightful works have been, are,
and ever will be popular, because they present lively and accurate
delineations of the workings of the human soul, and that every man who
reads them is obliged to confess to himself, that in similar
circumstances with the personages of Le Sage and Fielding, he would
probably have acted in the way in which they are described to have done.

From this species the transition to a third was natural. The first class
was theory--it was improved into a _generic_ description, and that again
led the way to a more particular classification--a copying not of man in
general, but of men of a peculiar nation, profession, or temper, or, to
go a step further--of _individuals_.

Thus Alcander and Cyrus could never have existed in human society--they
are neither French, nor English, nor Italian, because it is only
allegorically that they are _men_. Tom Jones might have been a
Frenchman, and Gil Blas an Englishman, because the essence of their
characters is human nature, and the personal situation of the individual
is almost indifferent to the success of the object which the author
proposed to himself: while, on the other hand, the characters of the
most popular novels of later times are Irish, or Scotch, or French, and
not in the abstract, _men_.--The general operations of nature are
circumscribed to her effects on an individual character, and the modern
novels of this class, compared with the broad and noble style of the
earlier writers, may be considered as Dutch pictures, delightful in
their vivid and minute details of common life, wonderfully entertaining
to the close observer of peculiarities, and highly creditable to the
accuracy, observation and humour of the painter, but exciting none of
those more exalted feelings, giving none of those higher views of the
human soul which delight and exalt the mind of the spectator of Raphael,
Correggio, or Murillo.

But as in a gallery we are glad to see every style of excellence, and
are ready to amuse ourselves with Teniers and Gerard Dow, so we derive
great pleasure from the congenial delineations of Castle Rack-rent and
Waverley; and we are well assured that any reader who is qualified to
judge of the illustration we have borrowed from a sister art, will not
accuse us of undervaluing, by this comparison, either Miss Edgeworth or
the ingenious author of the work now under consideration. We mean only
to say, that the line of writing which they have adopted is less
comprehensive and less sublime, but not that it is less entertaining or
less useful than that of their predecessors. On the contrary, so far as
utility constitutes merit in a novel, we have no hesitation in
preferring the moderns to their predecessors. We do not believe that any
man or woman was ever improved in morals or manners by the reading of
Tom Jones or Peregrine Pickle, though we are confident that many have
profited by the Tales of Fashionable Life, and the Cottagers of

We have heard Waverley called a Scotch Castle Rack-rent; and we have
ourselves alluded to a certain resemblance between these works; but we
must beg leave to explain that the resemblance consists only in this,
that the one is a description of the peculiarities of Scottish manners
as the other is of those of Ireland; and that we are far from placing on
the same level the merits and qualities of the works. Waverley is of a
much higher strain, and may be safely placed far above the amusing
vulgarity of Castle Rack-rent, and by the side of Ennui or the Absentee,
the best undoubtedly of Miss Edgeworth's compositions.

* * * * *

We shall conclude this article, which has grown to an immoderate length,
by observing what, indeed, our readers must have already discovered,
that Waverley, who gives his name to the story, is far from being its
hero, and that in truth the interest and merit of the work is derived,
not from any of the ordinary qualities of a novel, but from the truth of
its facts, and the accuracy of its delineations.

We confess that we have, speaking generally, a great objection to what
may be called historical romance, in which real and fictitious
personages, and actual and fabulous events are mixed together to the
utter confusion of the reader, and the unsettling of all accurate
recollections of past transactions; and we cannot but wish that the
ingenious and intelligent author of Waverley had rather employed himself
in recording _historically_ the character and transactions of his
countrymen _Sixty Years since_, than in writing a work, which, though it
may be, in its facts, almost true, and in its delineations perfectly
accurate, will yet, in sixty years _hence_, be regarded, or rather,
probably, _disregarded_, as a _mere_ romance, and the gratuitous
invention of a facetious fancy.


[From _The Quarterly Review_, January, 1817]

_Tales of My Landlord_. 4 vols. 12mo. Third Edition. Blackwood,
Edinburgh. John Murray, London. 1817.

These Tales belong obviously to a class of novels which we have already
had occasion repeatedly to notice, and which have attracted the
attention of the public in no common degree,--we mean Waverley, Guy
Mannering, and the Antiquary, and we have little hesitation to pronounce
them either entirely, or in a great measure, the work of the same
author. Why he should industriously endeavour to elude observation by
taking leave of us in one character, and then suddenly popping out upon
us in another, we cannot pretend to guess without knowing more of his
personal reasons for preserving so strict an incognito that has hitherto
reached us. We can, however, conceive many reasons for a writer
observing this sort of mystery; not to mention that it has certainly had
its effect in keeping up the interest which his works have excited.

We do not know if the imagination of our author will sink in the opinion
of the public when deprived of that degree of invention which we have
been hitherto disposed to ascribe to him; but we are certain that it
ought to increase the value of his portraits, that human beings have
actually sate for them. These coincidences between fiction and reality
are perhaps the very circumstances to which the success of these novels
is in a great measure to be attributed: for, without depreciating the
merit of the artist, every spectator at once recognizes in those scenes
and faces which are copied from nature an air of distinct reality, which
is not attached to fancy-pieces however happily conceived and
elaborately executed. By what sort of freemasonry, if we may use the
term, the mind arrives at this conviction, we do not pretend to guess,
but every one must have felt that he instinctively and almost insensibly
recognizes in painting, poetry, or other works of imagination, that
which is copied from existing nature, and that he forthwith clings to it
with that kindred interest which thinks nothing which is human
indifferent to humanity. Before therefore we proceed to analyse the work
immediately before us, we beg leave briefly to notice a few
circumstances connected with its predecessors.

Our author has told us it was his object to present a succession of
scenes and characters connected with Scotland in its past and present
state, and we must own that his stories are so slightly constructed as
to remind us of the showman's thread with which he draws up his pictures
and presents them successively to the eye of the spectator. He seems
seriously to have proceeded on Mr. Bays's maxim--"What the deuce is a
plot good for, but to bring in fine things?"--Probability and
perspicuity of narrative are sacrificed with the utmost indifference to
the desire of producing effect; and provided the author can but contrive
to "surprize and elevate," he appears to think that he has done his duty
to the public. Against this slovenly indifference we have already
remonstrated, and we again enter our protest. It is in justice to the
author himself that we do so, because, whatever merit individual scenes
and passages may possess, (and none have been more ready than ourselves
to offer our applause), it is clear that their effect would be greatly
enhanced by being disposed in a clear and continued narrative. We are
the more earnest in this matter, because it seems that the author errs
chiefly from carelessness. There may be something of system in it,
however: for we have remarked, that with an attention which amounts even
to affectation, he has avoided the common language of narrative, and
thrown his story, as much as possible, into a dramatic shape. In many
cases this has added greatly to the effect, by keeping both the actors
and action continually before the reader, and placing him, in some
measure, in the situation of the audience at a theatre, who are
compelled to gather the meaning of the scene from what the _dramatis
personae_ say to each other, and not from any explanation addressed
immediately to themselves. But though the author gain this advantage,
and thereby compel the reader to think of the personages of the novel
and not of the writer, yet the practice, especially pushed to the extent
we have noticed, is a principal cause of the flimsiness and incoherent
texture of which his greatest admirers are compelled to complain. Few
can wish his success more sincerely than we do, and yet without more
attention on his own part, we have great doubts of its continuance.

In addition to the loose and incoherent style of the narration, another
leading fault in these novels is the total want of interest which the
reader attaches to the character of the hero. Waverley, Brown, or
Bertram in Guy Mannering, and Lovel in the Antiquary, are all brethren
of a family; very amiable and very insipid sort of young men. We think
we can perceive that this error is also in some degree occasioned by the
dramatic principle upon which the author frames his plots. His chief
characters are never actors, but always acted upon by the spur of
circumstances, and have their fates uniformly determined by the agency
of the subordinate persons. This arises from the author having usually
represented them as foreigners to whom every thing in Scotland is
strange,--a circumstance which serves as his apology for entering into
many minute details which are reflectively, as it were, addressed to the
reader through the medium of the hero. While he is going into
explanations and details which, addressed directly to the reader, might
appear tiresome and unnecessary, he gives interest to them by exhibiting
the effect which they produce upon the principal person of his drama,
and at the same time obtains a patient hearing for what might otherwise
be passed over without attention. But if he gains this advantage, it is
by sacrificing the character of the hero. No one can be interesting to
the reader who is not himself a prime agent in the scene. This is
understood even by the worthy citizen and his wife, who are introduced
as prolocutors in Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle. When they are
asked what the principal person of the drama shall do?--the answer is
prompt and ready--"Marry, let him come forth and kill a giant." There is
a good deal of tact in the request. Every hero in poetry, in fictitious
narrative, ought to come forth and do or say something or other which no
other person could have done or said; make some sacrifice, surmount some
difficulty, and become interesting to us otherwise than by his mere
appearance on the scene, the passive tool of the other characters.

The insipidity of this author's heroes may be also in part referred to
the readiness with which the twists and turns his story to produce some
immediate and perhaps temporary effect. This could hardly be done
without representing the principal character either as inconsistent or
flexible in his principles. The ease with which Waverley adopts and
after forsakes the Jacobite party in 1745 is a good example of what we
mean. Had he been painted as a steady character, his conduct would have
been improbable. The author was aware of this; and yet, unwilling to
relinquish an opportunity of introducing the interior of the Chevalier's
military court, the circumstances of the battle of Preston-pans, and so
forth, he hesitates not to sacrifice poor Waverley, and to represent him
as a reed blown about at the pleasure of every breeze: a less careless
writer would probably have taken some pains to gain the end proposed in
a more artful and ingenious manner. But our author was hasty, and has
paid the penalty of his haste.

We have hinted that we are disposed to question the originality of these
novels in point of invention, and that in doing so, we do not consider
ourselves as derogating from the merit of the author, to whom, on the
contrary, we give the praise due to one who has collected and brought
out with accuracy and effect, incidents and manners which might
otherwise have slept in oblivion. We proceed to our proofs.[1]

[1] It will be readily conceived that the curious MSS. and other
information of which we have availed ourselves were not accessible
to us in this country; but we have been assiduous in our inquiries;
and are happy enough to possess a correspondent whose researches on
the spot have been indefatigable, and whose kind, and ready
communications have anticipated all our wishes.

* * * * *

The traditions and manners of the Scotch were so blended with
superstitious practices and fears, that the author of these novels seems
to have deemed it incumbent on him, to transfer many more such incidents
to his novels, than seem either probable or natural to an English
reader. It may be some apology that his story would have lost the
national cast, which it was chiefly his object to preserve, had this
been otherwise. There are few families of antiquity in Scotland, which
do not possess some strange legends, told only under promise of secrecy,
and with an air of mystery; in developing which, the influence of the
powers of darkness is referred to. The truth probably is, that the
agency of witches and demons was often made to account for the sudden
disappearance of individuals and similar incidents, too apt to arise out
of the evil dispositions of humanity, in a land where revenge was long
held honourable--where private feuds and civil broils disturbed the
inhabitants for ages--and where justice was but weakly and irregularly
executed. Mr. Law, a conscientious but credulous clergyman of the Kirk
of Scotland, who lived in the seventeenth century, has left behind him a
very curious manuscript, in which, with the political events of that
distracted period, he has intermingled the various portents and
marvellous occurrences which, in common with his age, he ascribed to
supernatural agency. The following extract will serve to illustrate the
taste of this period for the supernatural. When we read such things
recorded by men of sense and education, (and Mr. Law was deficient in
neither), we cannot help remembering the times of paganism, when every
scene, incident, and action, had its appropriate and presiding deity. It
is indeed curious to consider what must have been the sensations of a
person, who lived under this peculiar species of hallucination,
believing himself beset on all hands by invisible agents; one who was
unable to account for the restiveness of a nobleman's carriage horses
otherwise than by the immediate effect of witchcraft: and supposed that
the _sage femme_ of the highest reputation was most likely to devote the
infants to the infernal spirits, upon their very entrance into life.

* * * * *

To the superstitions of the North Britons must be added their peculiar
and characteristic amusements; and here we have some atonement to make
to the memory of the learned Paulus Pleydell, whose compotatory
relaxations, better information now inclines us to think, we mentioned
with somewhat too little reverence. Before the new town of Edinburgh (as
it is called) was built, its inhabitants lodged, as is the practice of
Paris at this day, in large buildings called _lands_, each family
occupying a story, and having access to it by a stair common to all the
inhabitants. These buildings, when they did not front the high street of
the city, composed the sides of little, narrow, unwholesome _closes_ or

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