Slike strani


Has any

Theism manifest, to us the Oɛós is vague, most unpractical, and reached after effectually but by very few without the aid of some more definite religion.'

Such being, according to Mr. Mivart, the God of reason, how can he found any inferences at all upon his existence? Mr. Mivart says: “Thus it seems to be likely à priori that God either has vouchsafed, or when the proper hour arrives will vouchsafe, some revelation of himself to man.' How does this appear? The proper inference from this vague Oeós appears to me to be silence, if that can be called an infer

Mr. Mivart seems to believe that there is some sort of analogy between God and man, though he does not say why he thinks so. 'If man has a certain amount of benevolence, what may we not expect from the analogous Divine attribute?' I reply, As far as I can see you can expect nothing. That there is such an analogy at all is, as far as appears from Mr. Mivart, an unproved assertion. Granting it for the sake of argument, no inference can be drawn from it. Can any one seriously profess to found upon a consideration of the attributes which he ascribes to God any sort of forecast of the course of human events? Has any one ever succeeded in doing so ? reasonable person ever tried to do so ? Yet this is what Mr. Mivart tries to do retrospectively when he says that a revelation of the Divine Will is probable à priori.

He next goes to the Church. Here at least we are again in the region of facts and history. We have to do with living men and institutions which for nearly two thousand years have held the first place in the history and attention of the world. Mr. Mivart does not say that he relies upon any historical results, upon any book or books, upon anything at all capable of being definitely tested. After making his remarks about God he says, ' Animated by such convictions and anticipations, I survey the world to see what signs there are that any such Divine authoritative revelation has been vouchsafed,' and of course he finds what he wants in the Roman Catholic Church. I will not go into what he says, beyond making one remark. He first describes those features in the Roman Catholic Church which attract him, and then says

that the marks of a true revelation are found in the Roman Catholic Church. He compares the foot with the mark by pressing it down upon it, and then says, See how they fit. In precisely the same spirit Bishop Warburton discovered by à priori methods that the ideal of a Christian Church was a National Establishment tolerating Dissent, but protected by a test law. This he regarded as a powerful argument for the Church of England as he knew it.

For these reasons it appears to me that Mr. Mivart's whole system is an elaborately disguised and inconsistent begging of the question. Its special inconsistency lies in the fact, which I originally pointed out, that in reference to certain parts of it he applies a method

? December 1887, pp. 862-3.

which he does not carry through the whole. If you are to criticise the Bible on his principles, you must apply the same principles to the examination of the authority of the Church which you call in to support the doctrines which you maintain. This he does not do, and if he tried to do so he would fail.

Putting aside all details, it is to my mind obvious that between scientific methods and religious belief there is a great gulf fixed. Bossuet, in reference to a closely allied though different matter, said, *S'il faut mettre au large la raison humaine, et que ce soit là le grand ouvrage de la Réforme, pourquoi ne pas l'affranchir de tous les mystères . . . puisque la raison n'est pas moins choquée de l'un que de l'autre?' The whole of the celebrated work in which this occurs turps upon a matter very like that of the discussion between Mr. Mivart and myself. How, says Bossuet in all sorts of forms, can you, Jurieu, refuse to submit to the Church, and yet hope to resist the Socinian? If you accept the Bible as interpreted by the Church, you must believe Transubstantiation. If you do not how will you be able to maintain that view of the Bible which asserts the doctrine of the Trinity against Socinians ? Just in the same way I ask Mr. Mivart, If you allow ordinary human reason to overrule the Bible, how do you expect to impose upon it the authority of the Church, which its greatest doctors have always held to be the authorised interpreter of the Bible and of the traditions connected with it? It would in my opinion be much better and simpler to say at once, I do not argue, I merely affirm. I do beg the question of religion. I find certain moral and what I call spiritual advantages in it, and I say no more. This kind of faith no one could reasonably attack, either in Mr. Mivart or in any one else, whether a Catholic priest or a Baptist minister. I at all events would never do so.

My only objection to Mr. Mivart's original article was that it appeared, as it still appears, to me to present great temptations to dishonesty, and involves a disguised inconsistency. I do not accuse Mr. Mivart of dishonesty, but I think that he is trying to mix up two inconsistent ways of thinking, and this tempts most men to be dishonest. We cannot serve two masters faithfully.

8 Sixième arertissement aux Protestants, vol. xxii. Versailles edition of 1816.






The quarter from whence the following lucubration is addressed cannot fail to give it weight with the judicious reader whose interest has been aroused by the arguments in support of Lord Verulam's pretentions to the authorship of Hamlet. I regret that I can offer no further evidence of the writer's credentials to consideration than such as may be supplied by her own ingenious and intelligent process of ratiocinative inference; but in literary culture and in logical precision it will be apparent that her contribution to the controversial literature of the day is worthy of the comparison which she is not afraid to challenge-is worthy to be set beside the most learned and the most luminous exposition of the so-called Baconian theory.


‘Hanwell: Nov. 29, 1887. «« The revelations respecting Shakespeare which were made in the columns of The Daily Telegraph have attracted great attention and caused no little sensation here.” With these impressive and memorable words the Paris correspondent of the journal above named opens the way for a fresh flood of correspondence on a subject in which no Englishman or Englishwoman now resident in any asylumso-called—for so-called lunatics or idiots can fail to take a keen and sympathetic interest. The lamented Delia Bacon, however, to whom we are indebted for the apocalyptic rectification of our errors with regard to the authorship of Hamlet and Othello, might have rejoiced to know-before she went to Heaven in a strait-waistcoat—that her mantle had fallen or was to fall on the shoulders of a younger prophetess. If the authority of Celia Hobbes—whose hand traces these lines, and whose brain has excogitated the theory now in process of exposition-should be considered insufficient, The Daily Telegraph, at all events, will scarcely refuse the tribute of attentive consideration to the verdict of Professor Polycarp Conolly, of Bethlemopolis, U.I.S. (United Irish States), South Polynesia. The leisure of over twenty

years passed in a padded cell and in investigation of intellectual problems has sufficed-indeed, it has more than sufficed—to confirm the Professor in his original conviction that “Miss Hobbes” (I am permitted—and privileged—to quote his own striking words) “had made it impossible any longer to boycott the question—and that to assert the contrary of so self-evident a truth was to stand grovelling in the quicksands of a petrified conservatism."

“The evidence that the late Mr. Darwin was the real author of the poems attributed to Lord Tennyson needs not the corroboration of any cryptogram: but if it did, Miss Lesbia Hume, of Earlswood, has authorized me to say that she would be prepared to supply any amount of evidence to that effect. The first book which brought Mr. Darwin's name before the public was his record of a voyage on board the Beagle. In a comparatively recent poem, written under the assumed name of Tennyson, he referred to the singular manner in which a sleeping dog of that species “plies his function of the woodland.” In an earlier poem, The Princess, the evidence derivable from allusion to proper names—that of the real author and that of the pretender—is no less obvious and no less conclusive than that which depends on the words“ hang hog,” “ bacon," "shake," and "spear.” The Princess asks if the Prince has nothing to occupy his time—“quoit, tennis, ball-no games?” The Prince hears a voice crying to him“ Follow, follow, thou shalt win." Here we find half the name of Darwin—the latter half—and two-thirds of the name of Tennysonthe first and the second third—at once associated, contrasted, and harmonized for those who can read the simplest of cryptograms.

"The well-known fact that Bacon's Essays were written by Lord Coke, the Novum Organon by Robert Greene, and the New Atalantis by Tom Nash (assisted by his friend Gabriel Harvey), might surely have given pause to the Baconite assailants of Shakespeare. On the other hand, we have to consider the no less well-known fact that the poems issued under the name of William Wordsworth were actually written by the Duke of Wellington, who was naturally anxious to conceal the authorship and to parade the sentiments of a poem in which, with characteristic self-complacency and self-conceit, he had attempted to depict himself under the highly idealized likeness of the Happy Warrior. Nor can we reasonably pretend to overlook or to ignore the mass of evidence that the works hitherto attributed to Sir Walter Scott must really be assigned to a more eminent bearer of the same surname—to Lord Chancellor Eldon : whose brother, Lord Stowell, chose in like manner (and for obvious reasons) to disguise his authorship of Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by hiring a notoriously needy and disreputable young peer to father those productions of his erratic genius. The parallel case now before us '[But here, we regret to say, the language of Miss Hobbes becomes-to put it mildly—contumelious. We are compelled to pass over a

paragraph in which the name of Tennyson is handled after the same fashion as is the name of Shakespeare by her transatlantic precursors or associates in the art or the task of a literary detective.]

Not all the caution displayed by Mr. Darwin in the practice of a studious self-effacement could suffice to prevent what an Irish lady correspondent of my own, Miss Cynthia Berkeley, now of Colney Hatch, has very aptly described as “ the occasional slipping off of the motley mask from hoof and tail.” When we read of “scirrhous roots and tendons,” of “foul-fleshed agaric in the holt,” of “ the fruit of the Spindle-tree (Euonymus Europaeus)," of “sparkles in the stone Avanturine,"

Of shale and hornblende, rag and trap and tuff,
Amygdaloid and trachyte,

we feel, in the expressive words of the same lady, that “the borrowed plumes of peacock poetry have fallen from the inner kernel of the scientific lecturer's pulpit.” But if any more special evidence of Darwin's authorship should be required, it will be found in the various references to a creature of whose works and ways the great naturalist has given so copious and so curious an account. “ Crown thyself, worm ”—could that apostrophe have issued from any other lips than those which expounded to us the place and the importance of worms in the scheme of nature ? Or can it be necessary to cite in further proof of this the well-known passage in Maud beginning with what we may call the pre-Darwinian line—“A monstrous eft was of old the lord and master of earth”?

• But the final evidence is to be sought in a poem published long before its author became famous, under his own name, as the exponent of natural selection, of the survival of the fittest, and of the origin of species. The celebrated lines which describe Nature as "so careful of the type, so careless of the single life,” and those which follow and reject that theory, are equally conclusive as to the authorship of these and all other verses in which the same hand has recorded the result of the same experience—“that of fifty seeds she often brings but one to bear.”

But-as the Earl of Essex observed in his political comedy, Love's Labour's Lost_“ satis quod sufficit." The question whether Shakespeare or Bacon was the author of Hamlet is now, I trust, not more decisively settled than the question whether Maud was written by its nominal author or by the author of The Origin of Species.'

Feeling deeply the truth of these last words, I have accepted the office of laying before the reader the theory maintained by the unfortunate lady who has entrusted me with the charge of her manuscript.-A. C. S. VOL. XXIII.-No. 131.


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