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how, in some respects, this country is repeating certain notes and marks which preceded the French Revolution. There is the same tendency to extensive political theorising; the same tendency to materialistic views issuing in a selfish sensuality. Such symptoms, however, are only partial and local, and appear to be utterly incompetent to produce that universal sentiment which caused the eighteenth century to go off in an explosion.
To use a trite image, during the incessant play of the waves upon the surface, the great depths, fathoms and fathoms down, are still and unbroken. To the efforts of the doctrinaires the people oppose a ponderous and immovable inertia. People seem to echo those lines which Dr. Johnson inserted in one of Goldsmith's poems, which the philosopher would, of course, denounce as a fallacy
"How .small of all that human hearts endure
The part that kings or laws can cause or cure !' Society has not been regenerated by cheap literature; and the best friends of the people will perhaps have to own that it cannot be regenerated by household suffrage, which will necessarily leave untouched those great economical laws which are hardly amenable to Parliament, and those sorrows, wants, and aspirations of the human soul which make up the real life within the life. It is much the same way in relation to the moral and religious life of the nation. People
are religious or irreligious independently of abstract reasonings. Not many years ago one of the philosophers allowed Christianity ten years' further lease in the world before its final extinction. It would be more correct to say that not ten men during that time have deliberately abandoned Christianity through sheer conviction; of those who have done so, some have returned. We can perceive no falling off in attendance at the churches and chapels; even the philosophers themselves do a morning parade there, accept their wives at the altar, and carry their babes to the font. We must also consider the extraordinary fertility of religious life in England. There never was a time in which practical religious life, both in literature and active work, made itself so universally felt. Compared with this, practical efforts on the other side are microscopically minute. The active literary hostility proceeds from a class of men who are numerically small, but who possess points of advantage from which they address large but indifferent audiences.
In a country that has grown in wisdom and stature like England, in juster views and a matured experience, the essential 'falsehood of extremes’ is not much to be apprehended. The nation seems to have arrived at that happy frame of mind that will not refuse any just reform, either in a lateral or vertical direction, either in civil or ecclesiastical matters; but it will not
tolerate organised violence, and it will retain a wholesome impatience of doctrinaires.
Still there are certain specific tendencies in politics and literature which will have distinctive chapters of their own in any future history of opinions. It is important that these should be recognised and thoroughly ventilated by the wholesome process of discussion. that accumulate flame and poison in the hidden mine lose their force in the liberal sunshine and air. The real importance of tendencies, such as we have mentioned, is, after all, not so much as respects political life, but as they respect the growth of individual character, the substance and colour of individual life.
Hon to Get the cheapest Holidays.
THE \HE first point of all with most of us is, how to
get our holidays at all ; and with very many of us, in days of comparative impecuniosity, how to get them in the cheapest way.
It is hardly necessary in the present day to argue the question in favour of holidays. We meet with very worthy people sometimes who are unconvinced of the very first social axiom of modern life. 'We did very well without them in our tirne,' argue our highly respectable but extremely fossilised friends ; 'and we don't see the necessity of running away to the seaside, and all that sort of thing, every year. This is the language occasionally employed by the revered authors of our being, or their immediate progenitors, if we give a hint, oblique or direct, that some of the coin which they are doubtless hoarding for us might be advantageously invested in recruiting our energies and those of our belongings by franking us for a long holiday excursion from our door in starting to our door in returning. The elderly birds do not always 'seem to
see it. They have never explored all the green lanes in their own neighbourhood, nor scaled the hills which bound their own narrow horizon. 'But, my dear sir or madam,' is the logical rejoinder, ‘we have justly left behind us the inactivity and incuriosity of other days. Just as we have lengthened the average of human life, and have cultivated the domestic tub, and have gone in for baths of earth, air, vapour, and medicated water, and have got hold of the telegraph and telephone, and get our news and railway journeys and light wines at a cheap rate, so it has now become an axiomatic matter that we must have holidays, if for no other reason than this—that we can't do our work unless we get the rest and the change supplied by the holiday.' To a candid mind such an argument is simply irresistible.
The idea of cheapness is directly associated with holidays; for in the glorious system of holidays you really save very much. You save in doctors' bills, for the hygienic effect of a holiday is very great ; you save in education, for the educational effect of a holiday ought also to be very great. Man, the great machine of machines, is being rested and lubricated, and getting the wheels and springs repaired, and varnished up generally, and made almost as good again
All this can be done after a very costly fashion. It can also be done, with care and management, in a cheap and moderate way. The natural