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resolved to refer the Bill to a committee, which is tantamount to its rejection. The Government, in order to show its disregard of the wishes of the Legislature, thereupon actually granted a subsidy of 60,000l. to the planters of St. Thomas, and at the end of the year an attempt was expected to impeach the Ministry. The Folkething was dissolved in December by royal decree.

The marriage of the Princess Thyra to the Duke of Cumberland, son of the dethroned King of Hanover, was celebrated in December with great pomp.

PORTUGAL.

Early in the year the Portuguese Ministry resigned, in consequence of a vote of censure in the Chamber of Deputies, and Senhor de Fontes Pereira de Mello was called upon to form a new Cabinet.

MEXICO.

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“A Mexican question,” we quote from the news of August, “has been looming ahead for some time, and may before long break out in such an acute form as to complicate political affairs on both sides of the Rio Grande. General Porfirio Diaz is now recognised as President of the Mexican Republic throughout the interior; but on the northern border General Escobedo, known as ‘the Butcher, continues to infest the country in the interest of the principal claimant to the rickety Presidential chair, Senor Lerdo de Tejada, and both parties manage somehow to make raids across the river on Texan territory every now and then, and abstract as much cattle and other moveable property as they can manage to secure before a couple of United States soldiers appear on the scene. Of late the commander of the American troops in the border districts has repeatedly taken it on himself to pursue the thieves across the frontier, and now both sets of patriotic marauders vie with one another in asseverating that they will wreak vengeance on the Gringos, which is the nickname they give to the Americans. As yet this looks like a tempest in a teacup, but before long it may assume proportions almost as large as the grandiloquent proclamation of the Mexican chieftains.”

RETROSPECT

OF

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART IN 1878.

LITERATURE.”

“W. M. Hunt's Talks about Art.”—A book with some quaint maxims, such as the following :— “Your parents don't like your work? Of course they don't ; they haven’t been through enough. Don't mind what your friends say of your work. In the first place, they all think you're an idiot; in the next place, they expect grand things from you ; in the third place, they wouldn't know if you did a good thing.” “Ah, those great men their life was one prayer. They did nothing but their work; cared only for what they were doing; and how little the world knows of them . There was Poussin, a lovely old chap. How the critics were down on him when he painted “Moses Striking the Rock '' The owner wrote him, ‘I don't like it. Here's a lake made in a single moment You’ve been trivial. I don’t want your picture ' ' To which came the calm reply,– Don't worry. I thought if Moses were going to strike a rock, he might as well strike where there had once been a fountain. He knew what he was about !” “Walks in London.” By A. J. C. Hare.—“Of all the barbarous and ridiculous injuries,” says Mr. Hare, “by which London has been wantonly mutilated within the last few years, the destruction of Northumberland House has been the greatest. The removal of some ugly houses on the west, and the sacrifice of a corner of the garden, might have given a better turn to the street now called Northumberland Avenue, and have saved the finest great historical house in London, commenced by a Howard, continued by a Percy, and completed by a Seymour, the house in which the restoration of the monarchy was successfully planned in 1660, in the secret conferences of General Monk.” The book is a strong protest against the destructive mania ; and describes how narrowly the portico of St. Martin's Church, “the masterpiece of Gibbs, and the only perfect example of a Grecian portico in London,” escaped the Board of Works in 1877, by the help of Parliament; and how Milton's garden-house in York Street, Westminster, where Hazlitt lived afterwards, did not escape, but was pulled down. The rich literary associations of London are much dealt with by the writer. “Works on the Catacombs.” J. H. Parker. The Rev. S. Northcote,

* Our review of the Literature and Art of the year is for the most part abbreviated from articles in the Spectator. We have thought it advisable this year, in deference to various opinions expressed, to confine ourselves as far as possible to analysis and extracts.

the author of the “Buried Cities.”—Anything like a consecutive history of the Catacombs we cannot possibly construct from the meagre and incidental notices of them which have come down to us. It is certain, however, that they were begun in the first century, and Mr. Parker has found brickwork which he confidently pronounces to belong to Nero's age. It may be too much to describe any of the Catacombs as Apostolic, but still the time-honoured tradition which fixes the place of St. Paul’s burial as the Via Ostiensis is not to be lightly disregarded. In the second and third centuries they became places of assembly, as well as of burial, and this was the age of the “Church in the Catacombs.” In the three years of Diocletian's great persecution, at the beginning of the fourth century, they were confiscated, and lost to the Christian community. The Edict of Milan in A.D. 312, reversed all this, and from this time it appears that interments in the Catacombs became rarer, and that towards the close of the century the subterranean crypts were almost wholly abandoned. It was at this period that the splendid basilicas were raised over the tomb of Christian martyrs. Pope Damasus won for himself a good and saintly reputation by the diligence with which he sought out the burial-places of men and women who had been thus honoured, and preserved their memories in brief inscriptions. Writing of the Catacombs in the fourth century, St. Jerome says that when he was a boy at school at Rome, he used to visit them on Sundays, and that they reminded him by their profound darkness of the prophet's words, “Let them go down alive into Hades.” After Rome's capture and plunder by Alaric, in A.D. 410, when, to quote the same father, “the most beautiful light in the world was put out,” burial in them appears to have become less and less common, and it is even a question whether a single well-authenticated instance is to be found. From the fifth century the Catacombs tended to become places of pilgrimage and the resorts of pilgrims. In the Gothic and Lombard invasions of the sixth and eighth centuries they were fearfully desecrated and rifled, and in fact, for a long period they ceased to attract any but a few occasional visitors. Pope Nicholas I. made in the ninth century an effort to rescue them from oblivion; but they were not “rediscovered" till the sixteenth, when Antonio Bosio, called by Dr. Northcote “the Columbus of this new world of subterranean Rome,” began the work which in our day is being worthily carried out by De Rossi. “Life and Habit.” By Samuel Butler.—This is another of the many productions of modern “thought ; ” a name which vague speculation nowa-days seems to arrogate for itself. The main problem it batters at was solved at once and for ever two thousand years ago for those who care to accept the solution simply; and will never be solved by book-makers in this world, for those who do not. One extract from this last utterance of human wisdom is enough : “Life is that property of matter whereby it can remember. Matter which can remember is living, matter which cannot remember is dead.” We add a “humorous” passage :“A grain of corn, for example, has never been accustomed to find itself in a hen's stomach,-neither it nor its forefathers. For a grain so placed leaves no offspring, and hence cannot transmit its experience. The first minute or so after being eaten it may think it has just been sown, and begin to prepare for sprouting, but in a few seconds it discovers the environment to be unfamiliar; it therefore gets frightened, loses its head, is carried into the gizzard, and comminuted among the gizzard-stones.”

“Perak and the Malays.” By Major McNair.—Written from twenty years' knowledge of a country as little known as any under British protection. The author believes the Malay peninsula to be the “Ophir" of Scripture, where Solomon's ships went for “apes, peacocks, ivory, and gold.” The largest state of the peninsula is described as :-" Not a sun-baked region of parched desert and insufferable drought, but a rich, moist country, almost touching the Equator, but rarely suffering from excessive heat; a land of eternal summer, where refreshing rains fall, where the monsoons blow regularly, where the frightful tempests of the East are unknown ; and which is, for the most part, covered with a luxuriant vegetation, the produce of a fertile soil. . . . . . . “Perak’ signifies ‘silver’—a name probably given to it from the vast amount of silvery-looking tin which is one of its principal productions. The depth inland of the State is about forty-five miles, giving an area of about 4,000 square miles, of a land metaphorically flowing with milk and honey, but badly ruled, thinly inhabited, and poorly cultivated.” The Malays themselves are dull and heavy, but determined when roused ; they have a proverb, “A wound may heal, but will always leave a scar,” and rarely forget an offence; they are courteous in demeanour, and friendly, but retiring, and utterly unreceptive of a joke. The chapter on “an Amok?” (whence “running a muck”) is remarkable, describing the man seized with the “Amok” frenzy as a sort of human mad dog. “Keble College Sermons, 1870–76.” A series of very fine addresses. The finest of them is perhaps a sermon by Mr. Illingworth, on Eternity:“It is therefore of eternity that nature and the Church alike are calling you to think. And now, if ever, there is need of our rendering obedience to the call. For, apart from all sentimental depreciation of the age we live in, it is an age of distractions, and we glory in the fact. Patriarchal meditation in the fields at the eventide ; Oriental watchfulness among the midnight stars; Greek philosophy, thought out when schools were still the homes of leisure ; monastic detachment; renaissance learning ; even the stately literature of the last century; are now impossible to us, for repose has utterly perished from our lives; and we think hastily, and read superficially, and speak and write and act prematurely, and possibly save time, but certainly lose eternity. “Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” . . . . The very fact that at the best we can know so little of the great realities is a reason for our pressing onward, grappling with them, wrestling with them, refusing with passionate insistance to let them go till we know their name. Eternity then is rather the quality of timelessness, than a quantity of time. It is out of, and above, and beneath, and behind time. It does not go on for ever, but it always is ; and to introduce it into the temporal notions of after and before is like attempting to cut water with an axe. It is measured by its intensity, not by its extension. And because timeless, things eternal are whole, and selfidentical and changeless—“the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.’” In contrast with the wit and wisdom of Mr. Samuel Butler, this strikes us as worth attention. “Lecky's History of the Eighteenth Century.”—Here is an interesting extract on an early phase of Methodism, whose history the author tells better than it has yet been told :—“Considering the immense doctrinal chasm between the Catholics and the Methodists, the pertinacity with which the charge of Popery was repeated against the latter is very remarkable. “ Unless, as I apprehend,’ wrote Horace Walpole, “the Methodists are secret Papists—and no doubt they copy, build on, and extend their rites towards that model–Popery would not revive here.' Hogarth, in his caricature of the Methodist preacher, represents his wig as falling aside and revealing beneath the shaven crown of the Popish friar. Warburton noticed the striking analogies between the journal of Whitefield and the visions of Loyola; and no less a writer than Archdeacon Blackburne, the well-known author of ‘The Confessional,’ countenanced the charge that the Methodists were secret Papists. Bishop Lavington, in his “Enthusiasm of Methodists and Papists,” made the resemblance the chief ground of his attack. The accusation was frequently brought from the pulpit, and it sank deeply into the public mind. Cries of “Popery, Popery!' interrupted the Methodist preachers. It was reported that Wesley was born and educated in Rome, and in 1744, when all Catholics were ordered to leave London, Wesley thought it advisable to delay his intended departure from the metropolis, lest it should countenance the charge. His brother was once actually summoned before the magistrates at Wakefield for having, in the usual Methodistic phraseology, prayed that “God would bring home his banished ones,” which was construed by some of his hearers into a prayer for the Pretender. The real sentiments of Wesley on the subject appear in several controversial tracts which he wrote, not only against the doctrines, but even against the toleration of Catholicism, in the earnestness with which he taught the Lutheran tenet of justification by faith, and in the emphatic sentence in his journal in which he pronounced his opinion about the position of Catholics. “I pity them much, having the same assurance that Jesus is the Christ, and that no Romanist can expect to be saved according to the terms of his covenant.’” And again on Methodism in Ireland, after mentioning that itinerant missionaries of an extreme form of Protestantism passed in safety through the wildest and most Catholic districts of Ireland, he proceeds to say:— “The experience of Wesley half a century later was very similar. He certainly found more eager and more respectful listeners among the Catholics of Ireland than in most parts of England, and he has more than once in his ‘Journal' spoken in terms of warm appreciation of the docile and tolerant spirit he almost everywhere encountered. Novelty and the resemblance which the itinerant preacher bore to the missionary friar may have had in these cases some influence, but they are insufficient altogether to account for it. Many of the politicians whom the Irish Catholics have followed with the most passionate devotion have been decided Protestants; and while in elections in England the Catholicism of a candidate has almost invariably proved an absolute disqualification, a large proportion of the most Catholic constituencies in Ireland are usually represented by Protestants. The tithe war was a species of agrarian contest in which the Protestant clergy occupied the position of landlords, and in the course of it many of them were brutally ill-treated ; but with this exception, no feature in the social history of Ireland is more remarkable than the almost absolute security the Protestant clergy, scattered thinly over wild Catholic districts, have usually enjoyed during the worst periods of organised crime, and the very large measure of respect and popularity they have almost invariably commanded, whenever they abstained from interfering with the religion of

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