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out-fantasies fantasy itself. At the

his pages.

And nothing need be said same time, it may be said that even against them if they had justified the slightest of these works is touched themselves in their places. But at by the master's hand, and that two of times they make but a harsh discord, them, “A Pair of Blue Eyes," a piece of and appear after a brief interval as exquisite pathos, and "The Trumpet mere concessions to a scientific curiosMajor," a light-hearted romance, alive ity, that has had its day. However, with joyous patriotism, are worthy to these are mere blemishes upon the surrank even with the novels of character face of a sober, dignified style,-a and environment.

style which will give Mr. Hardy a high Mr. Hardy's prose style keeps place among writers of English prose. sternly in touch with the tradition of There remains to say a word of Mr. our ancient speech. He uses words Hardy's poetry. He himself sets with a full consciousness of their higher value upon it than upon his weight and meaning. His sentences prose. "The more individual part of are compactly knit, and have no loose my literary fruitage," he calls it. The edges. Moreover, his periods have a passage of time, we think, will correct pleasant sinuous movement, which the writer's own estimate. It is not proves that he is sensitive to harmony dangerous to prophesy that by the as well as to structure. His mastery novels of environment Mr. Hardy will of dialect is complete, and, like all be esteemed in the court of posterity. masters of dialect, he records the talk Comparison, maybe, is unprofitable, of the people with a finer freedom than and the brilliance of the prose can in he brings to the management of the no way dim the lustre of “The Dycultured speech. He is not often con- nasts." This, in truth, is a work apart, scious of his forerunners, and seldom without ancestry or descendant. It is echoes the cadence of another. Now a drama that can be played upon no and again he recalls Burton's "Anat- stage but the stage of the imagination. omy of Melancholy," but the reminis- It is, as its author says, “concerned cences of the past are found rarely, and with the Great Historical Calamity, or at long intervals. For Mr. Hardy the Clash of Peoples," which rent Europe English language is an instrument of

in twain a hundred years ago. And precision. He will exclude no word as Mr. Hardy's vast panorama unfolds from his vocabulary which shall clarify itelf, we are struck most keenly by the bis meaning. He uses words of Saxon poet's amazing impartiality. He stands and Latin origin with impartiality. It as far remote from the puppets of his is perhaps a defect of his style that he drama as Providence itself. He is fair employs such inexpressive nouns to Napoleon, without underrating "the "premises” or “erection” when the dig- last large words” of Pitt. With a balnified and simple "house" would far anced hand he leads upon the stage all better serve his turn. But it was his the great men of the epoch, French and fortune, good or evil, to live in the English, and with a rare clairvoyance days of a tyrannical science, now al- he seeins to see the precise relation of ready “bankrupt," and to admit into one event to another. And over the his language words of a curious shape whole action there broods a set of imand sound, words weighted with asso. personated abstractions," or Intelliciations that are now half-forgotten. gences, called Spirits-Spirit of Pity, Theomachist, thesmothete, nullibist, zen- Spirit of Rumor, Spirit of the Years. ithal, nebulositythese are some of the "The Pities," as Mr. Hardy says, apstrange words wherewith he scatters proximate to Schlegel's notion of the

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Greek chorus—“the Universal sympathy of human nature—the Spectator idealized.” But whatever they be, they at once conduct and comment upon the poem; they explain and enhance the skill wherewith Mr. Hardy selects and knits up the manifold episodes of his vast drama;and they interpret with perfect lucidity the poet's doctrine of fate, the inevitable "working of the Will.”

For the rest, it may be said of Mr. Hardy's poetry, what Dr. Johnson wrote of Bentley's, that it is "the forci. ble verse of a man of strong mind, but not accustomed to write verse; for there is some uncouthness in the expression." If we may quote a specimen, we would choose the following stanzas from "A Trampwoman's Trag. edy":"From Wynyard's Gap the livelong

day,
The livelong day,
We beat afoot the northward way

We had travelled times before.
The sun-blaze burning on our backs,
Our shoulders sticking to our packs,

Blackwood's Magazine.

Here is something of the ancient bal-
lads, and much else beside a haunting
refrain, a noble use of place-names,
and a sense of impending tragedy.
But in whatever Mr. Hardy has writ-
ten it is not merely the intelligence
which is at work, it is an instinctive
emotion; and if George Meredith be
the Ben Johnson of his generation,
then surely is Thomas Hardy its
Shakespeare-a Shakespeare in his
keen perception of human nature. a
Shakespeare, also, in the singing of his
"native wood-notes wild."

Charles Whibley.

OPIUM:

AN UNSETTLED QUESTION.

ern.

From brief newspaper reports and Kong and the Straits Settlements, still comments on the recent House of Com- play the part of pander to the opiummons opium debate, people are getting smoking vice of the people they gop. wrong impressions. The opium battle And in the third place, China is is only partly fought, it is not nearly not yet explicitly declared free from won. Firstly, we have an increasing obligation to take our Indian opium. opium and similar drug evil at home. Our Government has taken an imA few months ago I presented to Par- portant step, but not an immediately liament, from the city of Liverpool, final one, toward freeing China from the most influentially signed local the grip of this "morally indefensible petition I have ever seen, praying for traslic." In the House of Commons, legislation against the opium evil in on May 7th last, on behalf of the Great Britain. The drugs of habitua- Government, Mr. E. S. Montagu, the tion-opium, morphia, cocaine, and the Under-Secretary for India, announced: like-are menacing our own national "That the traffic is dead-in India, at welfare. In the second place, to our least and will never be renewed, unshame, under the Colonial Office, our less China shows by her own action Crown Colony Governments, in Hong that she would not actually benefit by

the cessation of the import of Indian opium." By some this is misunderstood to be China's immediate release. It is not so, because there are accuma. lated, in the treaty ports, stocks of Indian opium waiting to enter China that may take a year in doing so. On the other hand, it is not the refusal of immediate release. Mr. Montagu stated that the accumulation of approximately 20,000 chests is now being taken into China at the rate of 2,000 chests a month. But that does not mean that China will be compelled to take the whole or any part of the 20,000 chests. On the contrary, Mr. Montagu said, “Do not let us talk for a moment of forcing China to take opium.”

He also said: “The Chinese never suggested that we should stop the im. ports completely at once," and he gave as the reason that it was "because they thought that as soon as we had stopped the imports, their difficulties with their own growers would have increased.” Later on he said: "Even in 1911, the Chinese Government never for one moment suggested the abandonment of that pari passu policy. What they wanted was to quicken that policy, not abandon it, because they thought that the complete cessation of the importation of Indian opium would have increased their difficulties." Later, in the same speech, he said: "If these stocks were to be sent elsewhere and there is absolutely no evidence that the Chinese Government would wish this, it would . . increase the difficulties of the Chinese Government themselves."

Clearly Government believes that China's continuing to import Indian opium actually helps and not hinders her policy of suppressing the entire traffic. From Mr. Montagu's statement, it would even appear to be the Chinese Government's desire that its citizens should go on importing In

dian opium, This acquiescence of China in continued importation is put forward in justification for not stopping the traffic at once. Presumably, therefore, it now rests with China to say whether the accumulated stocks should go in or not. Confirmation of this view is to be found in the House of Commons speech of Mr. Acland, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on December 20th last. He then said: “Our sending opium to China must come to an end automatically in 1917, and can be brought to an end automatically at any time before that, if the Chinese Government promises to see that it is not being cultivated in their own country.”

Now that our own Government has discontinued sales of further opium for China, the Indo-Chinese question is narrowed down to this—must China take the 20,000 chests now in the treaty ports, or may she henceforward refuse to allow their importation? It is for China herself to ask for imme diate release. Quite clearly, there need be no difficulty about the disposal of the stocks elsewhere, for, in the aforenamed speech, Mr. Montagu announced the Indian Government's intention to go on producing for the nonChinese markets. Let its future production be lessened by the number of chests still remaining in the treaty ports. Let India be content with having already made out of opium for China about twice as much money as in 1907 could have been expected from the whole then future Indo-Chinese opium trade. And let China at once go free. Should our Government wish it, let China's freedom to refuse opium till 1917 depend upon her persistence in the suppression policy. Her rulers would not object. But whatever vir. tue the pari passu policy may have had in 1908 or 1909, there is abundant evidence to show that the best way now of helping China is to free her at

our

once from the obligation to take more just absorbed the Tung Yi Tang and Indian opium.

the Min Chü Tang, and is now called A few days ago there arrived in the Chin Pu Tang,) and the Kuo Ming England, General Chang, President of Tang. The memorial of the former the Chinese National Opium Prohibi. asks for "an instant cessation of the tion Union. Though not officially rep- importation of Indian opium." The resenting the Chinese Government, memorial of the latter says that, "as he comes with their knowledge, appro- long as Indian opium can come in, bation, and hearty goodwill. Nineteen the prohibition movement cannot atout of twenty-two Chinese provincial tain its complete success, that the peogorernors have subscribed toward ple of new China are anxious that the the cost of his mission. He comes with opium curse may be got rid of at the credentials from the highest person- earliest date, and desire, therefore, an ages in China. He is one of the mili- early cessation of the importation of tary secretaries and an intimate and Indian opium." trusted friend of President Yuan Shih- The two delegates from the Fukien Kai, who has granted him three province to the recent great Chinese months' leave of absence on a special National Anti-Opium Conference at mission, to tell the British Govern- Peking, viz., Ding Neng Gnong and ment and people of China's earnest Shau Hsiang Cheng, send a special desire for immediate freedom from memorial of their own, addressed to Indian opium. His personal testimony the British Parliament. It recites that to the universality of this desire is in Fukien “the planters were promised striking and emphatic. Among many

that, as soon as their cultivation was communications he has brought are stopped, the importation of foreign letters from the Vice-President of opium would be discontinued, and the Chinese Republic, General

Li

growing was totally suppressed in Yuen Hung, from the Chinese 1911." Then, in the autumn of 1911, Minister of Foreign Affairs, from the revolution broke out, and, “taking General Feng Kuo Chang, Governor advantage of the non-fulfilment of this of Chihli, from all the great parties in promise and weakness of the Governthe new Chinese Parliament-viz., ment after the revolution, and being the Kuo Ming Tang, the Kung Ho jealous of the great profits enjoyed by Tang the Tung Yi Tang, and the Min those dealing in foreign opium, the Chü Tang-and from the Peking Cham- farmers in Hsinghua and some other ber of Commerce. They all express districts naturally attempted again friendliness toward Great Britain, and to grow poppy, which was far more show a touching faith in our willing- lucrative than any other crop. It was ness to accede to their prayer for not seldom that they asked, "Why immediate release from the obligation should the Government prohibit its to take Indian opium. The memo- own citizens from saving little rial from the Peking Chamber of Com- money by growing their poppy, while merce asks the British Government it allows the importation of foreign for "an immediate and complete stop- opium? And so long as the Governpage of Indian opium, in order to ment could not keep its promise of exsave the people of China from this cluding the foreign drug, why should poisonous drug, and thus benefit the we obey its law and stop planting our whole world." Practically the only poppy? They could not be prevailed political parties in China

upon to stop the cultivation without the King Ho Tang (which

has

the application of some military force.

a

now

are

over

In the Hsinghua Prefecture alone, tute a situation full of difficulty, and

a thousand planters and others open the door to grave abuse. Quite were killed by the troops before this recently reports have reached me of poisonous plant was wiped out. If the poppy-growing in Russia on the borforeign opium be not immediately ex- ders of Mongolia and of the smuggling cluded, after the terrible destruction of of opium into China. And undoubtso many lives and such a great quan- edly, with a large part of Mongolia tity of poppy as in Hsinghua, would itself in revolt, China must find it the Chinese farmers not consider it practically impossible to check there most unjust for their Government to either the fabulously lucrative producbring a military force again upon them tion or the enslavingly seductive use and kill them for attempting to raise of the drug. Let it be remembered the next crop of poppy? When a that China has also to prevent the imGovernment is not backed up by jus- portation and use of other equally tice, it cannot accomplish much, even harmful and easily smuggled drugs, with a military force."

such as morphia and cocaine, and Fukien is only one of several prov- some idea may be formed of the diffi. inces in which the authorities have culties confronting her. had to call out the military to suppress

Never did the rulers of a great peopoppy-planting. In China's heroic ple struggle more gallantly to free it task of suppressing the production, from a debasing vice than China's sale, and smoking of opium, her diffi- rulers are struggling to-day. Never did culties in any case are enormous. In a great nation more sorely need our at least two of the western provinces sympathy and help than China does there are several areas occupied by un. to-day. The hour of her need is the civilized tribes, which are practically hour of our opportunity—not for a moindependent. In Kansu and the re- ment to push her further into despair moter parts of Szechuan and Yunnan, -but to lift her out of it into the sun. far away from Peking, the lack of shine of hope. Great, indeed, has money for the payment of officials' been the wrong we have long done her. salaries and the terrible temptation to Proportionately great is the obligation the local authorities to wink at the now resting upon us to set her immehighly profitable poppy-growing as a diately free. means of raising local revenue consti

Theodore Cooke Taylor. The Contemporary Review.

THE ANGEL.

“Dear me!" exclaimed the chairman, Chignett Street, though he was the looking first at the book, then at the most presentable of the three candicorrespondent, and then at the mana- dates for the vacant post. It was the gers seated round the table, "So we've wrong time of the year for the "Colbeen entertaining an angel unawares." lege list" to be of much use, and the

And he might have added that it advertisement had brought in poor rehad taken them just twelve months to sults. One of the three was a rather see the wings.

shabby-looking man of forty whose I.

testimonials were so guarded as to They certainly were not in evi- arouse suspicion rather than inspire dence when the angel first appeared in confidence. The second was a young

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