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courage the multiplication of the best inaccurate notions about the actual stocks; and that the lower orders of character of the struggle for existence society do at present tend to grow and of natural selection in human more rapidly than the middle and society. Pessimistic views, it has been upper classes is pretty well established. shown, have been based upon observaBut, on the other hand, it is to be tions made with regard to the decline borne in mind that there is a consider- of the birth-rate, increased humaniable process of absorption of the lower tarianism, the relatively larger growth into the middle class constantly going of the lower classes, and the immigraon, and that there is an incalculable tion of the rural population into the spontaneity in the appearance of towns. That this pessimistic feeling is genius or of extraordinary talent. unwarranted and due to a failure to They are no monopoly of any class or perceive all the factors, especially the order of society. Whether, again, ethical factor, in human evolution, I town life is really so injurious as it is have endeavored very briefly to point commonly supposed to be, is still a out. My remarks refer, however, only matter of dispute. In any case, the to the struggle between individual perextent of the injury will to a great de- sons, and I now pass on to that begree depend upon the answer to the tween the various States and nations. much-debated problem of the inherit- If the struggle for existence among

or non-inheritance of acquired individual persons differs in some imcharacters. For if we are to conclude portant points from that which obtains that such characters are not acquired, in the animal creation, much more does then it follows that the evil effects of it differ from the struggle among civtown life upon individuals will not ilized States. A social organism, as descend to their posterity. Nor is this we have seen, is a totally different all; for it has been contended with thing from a physiological organism. some show of reason that a race not And yet in common talk people speak merely of town-dwellers, but even of of international conflict, as if it were a slum-dwellers, who would be immune mere phase of the struggle forexistence. to the effects of their surroundings, It is again to the failure to perceive might in course of time be evolved; the difference between the two cases and that to place individuals to live in that the origin of a whole group of too favorable conditions would defeat erroneous views must be ascribed. It its own ends by reducing to a mini- is argued, for example, that war is

the elimination of the unfit. necessary for the maintenance of a There is, indeed, much to be said for healthy competition, and in accordance Weismann's view that civilization can with this view, preparedness for war never lead to the utter deterioration of is made almost the sole test of national mankind, because the moment it be- efficiency. A certain feeling of appregins to be injurious to the individual hension, moreover, is provoked by a in the struggle for existence, natural widely-spread but unwarrantable belief selection will step in and prevent

that a nation's life is like man's, and further decay.

that it must go through the three At the beginning of this article I periods of youth, middle age and senile ventured to assert that the popular decay. A full-grown nation must, it is acceptance of Darwinism had tended imagined, sooner or later enter upon to induce a prevalent feeling of pessi- the last melancholy stage. All human mistic fatalism. This feeling, I went power, writes Cardinal Newman, for on to maintain, was largely due to example, has its termination sooner or



later; States rise and fall; the very decimating wars; and it is quite possicauses which lead to the greatness of ble that an exaggerated militarism civilized communities, at length by might lay burdens on society which continuing become their ruin. The an- would end by causing that very dealogy, however, between national and terioration which it is the supposed human life is a false one; for bodies result of war to prevent. Putting war politic do not die of senility, but of aside, there is no form of struggle left violence or disease. Decay in their except that of commercial competition. structure is no part of an inevitable Yet, properly regarded, international order. Yet for want of this percep- trade is beneficial to all who particition there has arisen a common idea pate in it, and the prosperity of each that the British nation, because it is reacts to the prosperity of all. There one of the oldest civilized States, must is, therefore, clearly no analogy beprobably by this time be entering on tween the international struggle and the inevitable period of decadence; and the struggle in the animal creation. people fancy that they see around The question whether a nation is likely them signs of the beginning of the end. to endure or to decline seems to depend Sir W. Gilbert writes in one of his rather upon a different class of considcomic operas of

erations altogether. Civilization in"The idiot, who praises with enthusi- volves a continuous change of environastic tone,

ment, or the imposing of new condiEvery century but this, and every tions, which may have one of two country but his own."

results. Either it may modify a nation Croakers of this kind, indeed, are by no which is pliant enough, or it may demeans unknown in England. Yet there stroy it if it be too unyielding. It is is no real ground for thinking that the quite possible that a nation may grow English nation need ever grow old, incapable of keeping pace with the much less die. It may be endowed demands which civilization makes with the gift of perpetual youth. upon it. Whether this fate is likely to

It is not infrequently said that inter- overtake any particular State must in national war is a necessary factor in the last resort depend upon its own human progress, and that, if it were nature and the character of its organabolished, nations would sink into ism. It is here, doubtless, that there slothfulness, luxury and decay. There, lies the explanation of the fact that again, there seems to be little ground some primitive races melt away be for this discouraging conclusion. Dim- fore the breath of civilization. In a inution in national power, whether ab- word, it is in a kind of innate incasolute or relative, is not in itself a pacity to meet the more complex consign of decadence; nor is the struggle ditions of a changing environment that for existence among nations neces- the cause of national decadence is sarily concluded in favor of the biggest probably to be found. No one, howand the strongest. It is admitted that ever, would be bold enough to assert war is the crudest form of interna- that the British people are, in a greater tional struggle, and that it has no real degree than other nations, showing equivalence in that simple removal by signs of inability to cope with the death of the unfit and the survival and stress of civilization. reproduction of the fit, which is the Much of the prevalent pessimism outcome of natural selection. Napoleon, about the future of mankind and of it is said, permanently lowered the the British people has, I have endeavstature of the French nation by his ored to show, arisen from inaccurate

and superficial views about the course of evolution in human society. Some of the conclusions arrived at are, to say the least of them, scarcely warranted by the facts. Pope's famous saying that “whatever is, is right," though it has been roundly denounced, may in a sense be true. For, after all, tbere is good ground for thinking that

l'he Fortnightly Review.

there is a continuously increasing bar-
mony between the tenantry of the
earth and their environment Individ-
uals, even nations, may perish, but the
end may be perfection. And so we
may say with Browning:-

“God's in His Heaven,
All's right with the world.”

C. B. Roylance Kent.



conversing diffusely in the kitchen, Fay Fleetwood, alone in the dining and discovering in every hole and corroom of “Combe Down," sat by the ner iniquities that had been perpefire that burned in a very modern trated by the deserter. Marion and grate designed to give the greatest Isabel were with friends at Prince's heat with the least possible consump- Skating Rink for the afternoon; but tion of fuel. It was the Fleetwoods' Mr. Fleetwood had fled at once to the second winter in Norbledon, and they Club when the kitchen disturbance had learned that it saved a great deal arose, agreeing, for his own as well of coal not to have fires burning in all as for the household convenience, to three sitting rooms from morning till spend the day there. night. Further than this it "saved the "We shall be able to manage dinner servants"-that insecure foundation all right if I can get Mrs. Hikkup,” on which rested the family content- his wife told him, “but you had betment, a foundation that so often gave ter have an extra good luncheon in way, that indeed proved itself a sort case of accidents. And don't come of sliding bog. When servants stayed home too late, dear,” she added anxthey were usually incompetent; when jously, “your cough seems so bad.” they knew their work and did it they She watched him with wistful eyes either had illnesses, or did not like from the dining-room window as he something connected with the situa- set out for the station, and noticed, tion, and gave notice. They came and not for the first time, that his shoulwent, principally went, Marion ders, always a little bent, had now a said; and at this moment Fay was definite stoop, that his face was thinstudying a cookery book because the ner, rather weary, though his smile cook had departed that morning in a was just as cheerful and his spirits passion, for the reason that "there was did not seem to flag. But in her heart too many fiddling things to do in this she knew that the rust of inaction and house." She mentioned various duties restraint was wearing into his soul, she had cheerfully agreed to undertake deadening his mind, telling on his when engaged by Mrs. Fleetwood a bodily health. At the end of the road month ago

he turned and waved to her. Ener. Mrs. Fleetwood was in London this getically she waved to him again, afternoon "cook-hunting.” Meantime a thankful that he could not see the person of the char persuasion was tears filling her eyes.



Later she sent Fay to commandeer Mrs. Hikkup. The name had long since ceased to amuse the family, for the owner's presence in the kitchen at Combe Down was a token of domestic upheaval. Fay offered, while her mother was absent, to confer with Mrs. Hikkup on the subject of dinner that night, and more or less to tell her how to cook it.

"I can do anything I am told," Mrs. Hikkup would say with colossal confidence, though the statement was quite untrue. However, thank goodness, there she was,-an honest, goodnatured body, entirely without a sense of method, but able to roast and boil, if she could do nothing else.

This afternoon Fay had been helping her to prepare a savoury, had also been tidying cupboards, and noting with despair how much was missing or broken. There seemed so few saucepans, and those that remained were minus their lids. Saucepan lids always disappeared at once, and what became of them was a mystery that quite interested Fay. She imagined there must be some obscure and remote region where saucepan lids retired to die, as in the case of elephants -a place that had never yet been discovered. Milk jugs, too, were scarce -everything in the way of crockery was badly chipped or cracked. A new dinner service was an absolute necessity.

Fay sighed as she sat by the diningroom fire and turned over the pages of the cookery book, which, like books on gardening, omitted all details that would be most useful to one ignorant of the art. "Take a cupful of cream— a cupful of breadcrumbs-a cupful of this, that, and the other." What cup? A coffee, breakfast, or tea-cup?-and of what use in a small household were recipes that bade the cook "take" a pound of good puff paste, or a gill of good white sauce as part of some

dish? two things notoriously difficult to achieve. It was not as if you could buy good white sauce and puff paste as you would sugar and flour!

She threw down the book, and leaned back in her chair. Outside it was foggy, bitterly cold, dark and raw. People stumped along the pavement as though their feet and boots were made of wood. The opposite houses were barely visible in the gloom, and yet it was only four o'clock! In India now there was brilliant sunshine, everybody was out of doors in the light and air and warmth. In India nobody had to think of sitting in the dining-room to save fires in the other rooms. There were no Mrs. Hikkups, or violent cooks, or unwilling parlormaids. Fay found she was forgetting all unpleasant episodes to rememeber only the joys of life in India; yet, if the situation were reversed, she felt sure the worries of existence in England would remain in her mind to the exclusion of all other recollectionsthere were no nice things to remember, speaking from her own experience!

This last year had been a species of nightmare to Fay-the winter so cold, so cheerless, so unsettled. Her mother harassed by housekeeping difficulties that were so new to the poor lady. The ending of Isabel's engagement to Captain Mickleham, who had behaved abominably and married Miss van Bart. Marion snatching at every straw of gaiety that floated within her reach. Their father quiet, resigned, yet no martyr. Fay knew that he was too game to repine. . . . Then the spring, windy and wet and callous, when everybody seemed out of sorts and small ailments were rife-chills, indigestion, liver attacks. At least in India, thought Fay with savage impatience, people were either quite well or dead! The summer had been pleasanter, but even so it was what is called "no summer," constant rain, un


seasonable temperature, the hay spoilt, ton

announced—not, providenthe fruit crop ruined, the harvest a tially, by Mrs. Hikkup, who had a failure, grumbling everywhere. Au- habit of rushing to the front door tumn she enjoyed; they managed to whenever the bell sounded, but by the let the house for a month by a lucky fairly presentable parlormaid just now chance, and all went away with the "obliging” Mrs. Fleetwood. He came Bullens to Cornwall, to a little place into the room, and stood uncertain for where clothes did not matter, and a moment. The flickering firelight was there was deep sea fishing, and a col- rather confusing, and the fog had crept ony of friendly people, who attracted inside, blurring all outlines. He made the contempt and derision of Marion out a girl's figure standing before him, aud Isabel. Now here was the winter a slim, serious creature in a black again, the horrible, dark, devastating gown, whose grey eyes contrasted cuwinter, when misfortunes seemed to riously with her dark hair and thick collect in clouds and illness was not to black lashes. He hesitated. This was be resisted, and one could almost wish neither of the two Miss Fleetwoods to be bedridden in order to secure he had known at Pahar Tal? Then, warmth and peace. .

all at once, he realized that she must Fay rose and went to the window. be the youngest one, grown upThe dining-room was in the front of grown up, too, into all she had promthe house, and she gazed with disgust ised to be when last he saw her with at the little patch of garden with iron her hair down her back and a babyish railings and sodden, empty flower beds, white hat on her head, grown up graceand a few dismal shrubs. How cold ful and interesting and undeniably the people looked who hurried along attractive; still a little aloof, but the the asphalt pavement! The fog was touch of defensiveness he remembered deepening, frost prevented it rising, had developed into a pretty dignity. She black, cruel, invisible frost. ... Shad- held out a small, cool hand, supple and owy figures passed and repassed, foot- soft. steps beat in monotonous repetition, "Oh, how nice to see you! We didn't sometimes there was silence for the know you were at home," she said; space of a minute or more, and then and added hungrily: "Have you come stamp, stamp, again at the end of the straight from India ?” road, growing louder till it passed the "Not quite. I had to come home house, echoing away faintly into the unexpectedly. My brother died. Difog. Fay found herself counting the rectly I arrived I went to my sister-inpaces that were passing now, rather law, and I've been there ever since long, leisurely paces that paused once for the last month." or twice, then to her surprise stopped She observed then that he wore very at the iron gate of Combe Down, a dark clothes and a black tie.

I am gate that made an excruciating noise 80 sorry!" she murmured. when it was opened or shut. The “There was an awful lot to settle up familiar screech set Fay's teeth on and see to," he went on. “I'm up in edge as usual, and also gave her the London on business now, and I must go disturbing intelligence that a visitor back to the country to-morrow till just was imminent. The man's figure that before I sail again. I could only get passed through the gate was not that three months' leave." of her father; so much was obvious She indicated one of the armchairs despite the gloom and mist.

on either side of the fireplace. "Do Two minutes later Captain Somer- sit down. You don't mind being in

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