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population! That is, there were 186 murders to each million of the population ! *
We have not attempted to take np all the statistical assertions in the Catholic World, and explain to that journal how it has been betrayed into its mistakes. We tried this in a previous number, and it was not kindly received at all. We do not wish, for obvious reasons of humanity and expediency, to press too closely an adversary who, when driven into a corner, turns at bay and spits out such unpleasant language. The task which the World has set itself is quite like that with which the advocates of slavery used to toil like the bad angels, tearing up mountains of solid statistics by the roots, and casting them into the sea; and after every demonstration that figures could give, of the wrongness of their cause, turning up unabashed with an ingenious explanation. Something ought to be conceded to the heroism with which so gigantic a task has been undertaken by the Catholic World. Without unnecessary remarks about its queer statistics, we have contented ourselves mainly with exhibiting authentic facts, from the most recent government returns.
* The following table from Moreau de Jonnes. Statittique de la Grande Brttagne, Vol. ii., p. 257, is instructive and corroborative, though not recent:
ASSASSINATIONS AND ATTEMPTS TO ASSASSINATE IN EUROPE.
Protestant Scotland, 1835 1 for 270,000
England, 1 for 178,000
"Low Countries, 1824 1 for 168,000
"Prussia, 182* 1 for 100,000
Roman Catholio Austria, 1809 1 for 57,000
Spain 1826 1 for 4,118
'' Naples, 1 for 2,750
"Roman States 1 for 760
Article VI.—JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL AND ROBERT BROWNING.
The Cathedral. James Russell Lowell. Boston: Fields,
Osgood, & Co. 1870. 16mo. pp. 53. Christmas Eve. Robert Browning. Boston: Ticknor &
We have been accustomed to account Mr. James Russell Lowell as among the foremost of American poets. Brightminded and cheerful, open-eyed and objective, in his diction fluent and clear, with a humor as bubbling and as changing as a mountain spring, and a sprightliness of fancy as light as the leap of a bounding fawn, he rarely fails fully to satisfy his expectant readers. The announcement of a new poem upon 60 frnitfnl a theme as "The Cathedral" raised our expectations more than ever. .We could not repress the belief that, with a topic so elevating and suggestive, he would rise above his wonted excellence. We are sorry to confess our disappointment. Speculation and theology evidently do not suit his genius. They are "heavy as nightmare" to his generally cheerful and believing spirit. He had better leave such themes to Mr. Emerson. It is better that one poet should be spoiled than two, by the nebulous philosophy that resolves into " a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors" the ordinary world of poetry and of faith, with "its brave, o'erhanging firmament, its majestical roof fretted with golden fire." It is a thousand pities that even in the cathedral of Chartres, on that memorable day that never could be matched by another,
"Cloudless of care, down-shod to every sense,
Mr. Lowell could not forget
'"the homelike sounds,
At Concord and by Bankside heard before;"
that, instead of giving himself up to the inspiring influences of the scene, he should have fallen into a brown study concerning the relations of Faith to Science and of Science to Faith.
Had he left all thoughts of Concord at home, and given himself to the legitimate inspiration of the Cathedral, the father'» faith to which, as he informs us and we believe most truly, "he is not recreant," would have found new stimulus and confirmation, and the trulhs which he learned ''at his mother's knee" would have caught a fresh glory from "the soul's east window of divine surprise." Surely the Cathedral's inspiration is fitted to suggest thoughts more elevating and more poetic than those expressed in the lines,
"Whilere, men burnt men for a doubtful point,
We would not be unjust to the poetic merits of "The Cathedral," even when we express our regret that its speculative character has been very unfortunate in its influence. We are certain Mr Lowell never wrote such a poem before, so artificial in its structure, so indirect and elaborate in its style, and so remote in its allusions. We can ascribe this to no other than the fact that he has given to speculation the mind that was made for faith and poetry. Very painfully, in this instance, has
"he beat his music out. There is more faith in honest doubt, Believe me, than in half the creeds."
We have, however, still graver objections to his philosophy than to the poetry which it has so seriously marred. We object to its assumptions and its conclusions. Mr. Lowell is correct in assuming that with many of the thinking men of the day the old Christian faith has died out; that to them its history and its miracles are untrne, its worship is "wearisome," and its hopes and consolations are undefined, and, above all, its Christ is little more than a sublime and attractive ideal, in the interpretation of which each man is at liberty to use his individual discretion. But he is not justified in the assumption that, because these tendencies are widely prevalent, they are therefore destined to be universal, nor that, because many men of thought and science give way to them, therefore any resistance or dissent is to be taken as something exceptional and nnnatural, which in the next generation is certain to be ontgrown and laid aside. Mr. Lowell's reading of history is certainly too liberal not to have informed him that a similar tone has been assumed in other generations and even in other centuries by the rejectors of Christianity, and that the same conflict has been said to exist between the Science of other days and the Faith of other days, which is now affirmed to be irreconcilable between the Faith and the Science of the present. Or, if he had been at fault, his learned friend, the Kev. Hosea Biglow, would have informed him that much which he has intimated in this canticle has been bravely uttered by the classic Herbert of Cherbury, the elegant Shaftesbury, to say nothing of the vulgar Paine and the sentimental Rousseau.
He is too generous and too courteous not to be ready to concede that there are some, whose culture and honesty he respects, who firmly believe that the two are not irreconcilable. Why, then, should he assume, as one of those axioms which poetry is allowed to accept for the common mind, that the one must give way to the other? In answer to this question, he would doubtless say that this is the farthest from his intent, so much so, that it is his very design and intent to save a place for Faith against the claims of Science; rather is it the aim of his argument to show that the two are not inconsistent. Of this we are aware. We doubt not the earnestness of his claim and the warmth of his sympathies in this direction. He knows that man cannot live without faith in the divine. He strives to show that this faith will and must survive all the analyses of Science and even the coarse and practical measurements of the democratic spirit. The passages in which he asserts for faith indestructible endurance and final triumph are among the finest of the poem, as indeed they must be, from the necessary relation of the believing to the poetic spirit. What we object to is that he assumes that the worship of the Christian and preeminently of the Protestant Church at the present hour is so largely insincere as to be properly offensive and wearisome to a man of insight and to culture, and that its faith in the supernatural and miraculous is very largely a hindrance rather than a help to a true and earnest belief in that living God, who is more effectively received when self-revealed to the soul, than He can be by the medium of a Christ or the agency of a miracle.
"Where others worship I bat look and long,
For, though not recreant to my father's faith,
Its forms to me are weariness."
In the thin air of life's supremer height*;
We cannot make each meal a sacrament." "Perhaps the deeper faith that is to come
Will see God rather in the strenuous doubt.
Than in the creed held as an infant's hand
Holds purposeless whatso is placed therein." "O Power! more near my life than life itself.
I fear not thy withdrawal; more I fear,
"We are compelled to observe that in this Platonic communing with God by nature, however earnest it may be, there fails entirely that recognition of human weakness and guilt which were extorted from Plato in "the garden " in which he earnestly sought to know himself, and passionately longed for a teacher divinely commissioned to give him light and relief. Nor are there expressed in any part of this poem those sober and graver views of the moral order of the universe and of its sterner aspects mingled with pity, which lend such pathos to the reflections of the Greek tragedians. The search after God which this poem expresses wants the earnestness which not a few have felt who, finding themselves shut up to the light of nature, have sought after God, ''if haply they might feel after and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us."
So far as the poet finds occasion to learn tolerance from his meditations in a cathedral, he cannot go beyond the measure of the New Testament, " that iu every nation he that feareth