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of vigour, who is capable of really loving what is worth being loved and hating what deserves hatred, apart from the personalities in which the lovable or the spiteful has been incarnated—the man who is always ready to enter the arena and to fight for an ideal which ennobles his love and justifies his antipathies? From the times of the philosophers of antiquity there was a tendency to represent 'virtue'as a sort of 'wisdom' which induces the wise man to 'cultivate the beauty of his soul,' rather than to join the unwise' in their struggles against the evils of the day. Later on that virtue became 'nonresistance to evil,' and for many centuries in succession individual, personal salvation, coupled with resignation and a passive attitude towards evil, was the essence of Christian ethics; the result being the culture of a monastic indifference to social good and evil, and the elaboration of an intricate argumentation in favour of 'virtuous individualism. There is no doubt, however, that a reaction begins now, and the question is asked whether a passive attitude in the presence of evil does not merely mean moral cowardice ? whether, as was taught by the Zend Avesta, an active struggle against Ahriman is not the first condition of virtue ? 10 We need moral progress, but without moral courage no moral progress is possible.
Such are some of the main currents of thought concerning the ethical need of the day which can be discerned amid the present confusion. All of them converge towards one leading idea. What is wanted now is a new comprehension of morality : in its fundamental principle, which must be broad enough to infuse new life in our civilisation, and in its methods, which must be freed from both the transcendental survivals and the narrow conceptions of philistine utilitarianism. The elements for such a comprehension are already at hand. The importance of mutual aid in the evolution of the animal world and human history may be taken, I believe, as a positively established scientific truth, free of any hypothetical admission. We may also take next, as granted, that in proportion as mutual aid becomes more habitual in a human community, and so to say instinctive, this very fact leads to a parallel development of the sense of justice, with its necessary accompaniment of equity and equalitarian self-restraint. The idea that the personal rights of every individual are as unassailable as the same rights of every other individual grows in proportion as class distinctions fade away; and it becomes established as a matter of fact when the institutions of a given community have been altered permanently in this sense. A certain degree of identification of the individual with the interests of the group to which it belongs has necessarily existed since the very beginning of sociable life, and it is apparent even among the lowest animals. But in proportion as relations of equalitarian justice are solidly established in the human community, the ground is prepared for the further and the more general development of those more refined relations, under which man so well understands and feels the feelings of other men affected by his actions that he refrains from offending them, even though he may have to forsake on that account the satisfaction of some of his own desires, and when he so fully identifies his feelings with those of the others that he is ready to sacrifice his forces for their benefit without expecting anything in return. These are the feelings and the habits which alone deserve the name of Morality, properly speaking, although most ethical writers confound them, under the name of altruism, with the mere sense of justice.
1° C. P. Thiele, Geschichte der Religion im Alterthum, German translation by G. Gehrich. Gotha, 1903, vol. ii. pp. 163 sq.
Mutual Aid—Justice-Morality are thus the consecutive steps of an ascending series, revealed to us by the study of the animal world and man. It is not something imposed from the outside ; it is an organic necessity which carries in itself its own justification, confirmed and illustrated by the whole of the evolution of the animal kingdom, beginning with its earliest colony-stages, and gradually rising to our civilised human communities. Speaking an imaged language, it is a general law of organic evolution, and this is why the senses of Mutual Aid, Justice, and Morality are rooted in man's mind with all the force of an inborn instinct—the first being evidently the strongest, and the third, which is the latest, being the least imperative of the three. Like the need of food, shelter, or sleep, these instincts are self-preservation instincts. Of course, they may sometimes be weakened under the influence of certain circumstances, and we know numbers of such instances, when a relaxation of these instincts takes place, for one reason or another, in some animal group, or in a human community; but then the group necessarily begins to fail in the struggle for life ; it marches towards its decay. And if it perseveres in the wrong direction, if it does not revert to those necessary conditions of survival and of progressive development, which are Mutual Aid, Justice, and Morality—then the group, the race, or the species dies out and disappears. It did not fulfil the necessary condition of evolution-and it must go.
This is the solid foundation which science gives us for the elaboration of a new system of ethics and its justification; and, therefore, instead of proclaiming the bankruptcy of science, what we have now to do is to examine how scientific ethics can be built up out of the elements which modern research, stimulated by the idea of evolution, has accumulated for that purpose.
i P. KROPOTKIN.
• THE HARVEST OF THE HEDGEROWS
A LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURES
Every lover of the open air, who follows Nature through sunshine and rain, has found some spot which is dearer to him and carries a deeper meaning than any other place on earth. From the earliest green of the swelling bud to the last parched winter leaf, that clings to sheltered oak or beech until the memory of a year ago is swept away by the gales of March, the colours seem brighter there than elsewhere, and the little confidences with which Nature rewards his constancy become more tender and intimate.
It may be an open moorland, robed in summer in its mantle of imperial purple and gay only in the unprofitable riches of goldenspangled furze ; or a treeless down, sprinkled with delicate blue harebells, that darkens under no sorrow heavier than the passing shadow of a wind-driven cloud; or even a melancholy fen, where the grey heron stands motionless for hours by the brink of a muddy ditch, and cold blue sedges lean trembling before the storm. But whether it be mountain, woodland, or broad plain, if he have not caught the spirit of his bit of countryside he has missed one of the finer joys of life. Though he may have travelled the whole world over, and viewed the wonders of another hemisphere, he is like one who, after a thousand gay romances, has found no abiding love, or amidst a teeming humanity has made no enduring friendship.
The spot I love the most is within easy walking distance from my home, and thither my errandless footsteps always wander by some indescribable attraction.
A narrow byway cuts through a sandy hollow, and then warily descends aslant the steep hillside. Again it rises over a gentle knap, a sort of outwork of the range, and from this lower summit a broad valley lies full in view.
The land below is rich in green pastures, sparingly intermixed with square arable fields, in which, after a yellow stubble, the furrows turn up a light brown behind the plough. Everywhere there is a soil so deep that no outcropping rock can shame us with the nakedness of its poverty by wearing holes in its imperishable garment of verdure decked with flowers. The fields are small; therefore it is a country of hedgerows, with stately elms and here and there an oak standing along the banks and casting mysterious shade upon the dark water that often lies in the ditches below. Yet many of the fields have once been smaller still; and then a gentle ridge and hollow, covered with grass of a deeper green, and a row of tall, spreading trees show where a hedge and ditch have at some time been.
A spirit of tranquil plenty and contentment lightly rests upon the whole valley, filling every nook and corner, like sunshine of a cloudless summer noon.
At early morning, and again of an afternoon, a dairyman comes down to the pasture and throws open the gate. You can hear his voice calling to the herd, and perhaps the barking of his dog. The patient red and white milch-cows deliberately obey, and slowly pass out of sight. Yet now and again there is a glimpse of bright colour as they wind along the lane. Sometimes a wagon, laden with shining tins and laughing folk, rattles to the meadow instead; and then the cattle gather in a shady corner and are milked in the field. All the rest of the day, whether they stand on the bright after-grass that comes after the hay or lie in a sea of glistening buttercups, they are left to ruminate in peace. Starlings congregate around them. Wag. tails run quite close to catch the flies. Through all the summer months nesting wood-pigeons, out of sight amidst foliaged-curtained branches or from the dark ivy, that has run up from the hedge and overgrown so many a stalwart trunk, make known their satisfaction with the unceasing monotony of their one never-changing phrase.
There are places a thousand times more lonely and less populated than this quiet vale.
Every mile or so, a square church-tower and a cluster of thatched gables rise above or peep between the elms, and a film of grey smoke tells a tale of hearths unseen. Yet a few steps from the highroad, not even the solitary woodland can offer a more beautiful seclusion. This is the greatest charm of this country of old hedgerows.
They are beautiful, these hedgerows. Oftentimes neglected and left uncut for years, they grow into a wild profusion. Though they keep out the sun, at least they offer shelter from the winter wind. Black. thorn and wrinkled maple, hawthorn and hazel, straight sapling of grey ash, and frequent suckers from the long roots of the elm trees, all push each other and intermingle their leaves of various shapes and colours. The honeysuckles, hoping to flower unpicked, climb high out of reach. The briars hang down and offer their sweet pink flowers. Brambles thrust themselves and straggle everywhere. Here is a mass of clematis ; and there white bryony, in close company with the broad, glossy, heart-shaped leaves of the black, meets in a tangle with the little purple, yellow-eyed flowers of the woody nightshade. From the snowy blossom of the blackthorn upon a leafless hedge,
hearths um land can offer of old hedgerowoted and left
through all the fragrant summer to the frost, when fieldfares come in a flock to clear away the blood-red haws in a day, the hedgerow is a glory and delight.
At last, in winter, or at least when the sap is low, a new figure is seen in the landscape.
The hedger comes in his gloves and long leathern gaiters. He clears away the useless stuff—' trumpery,' he calls it-chooses with care the likeliest growing wood for “plashers,' with here and there a straight sapling to grow into a tree, stands high upon the bank, and chops down all the rest. With a deft blow of his hook he cuts the 'plasher' almost through, so that it seems wonderful that it can live. He lays it, and pegs it down; builds up the bank with sods, and fills the new-made ditch with thorns, lest cattle should come and trample upon his work. So the old hedge is turned to account. Nothing is wasted. There is wood to burn, and fagots for the baker's oven. The younger hazel goes for sticks for next year's peas; the straight ashen poles to fence sweet-smelling ricks. Even the 'trumpery' will serve as staddle to make a dry foundation for some future mow.
This, no doubt, is the true harvest of the hedgerow; but it is not the harvest which gave a title to this sketch.
It was autumn, and all the corn was hauled. Upon many of the squares of golden stubble droves of pigs were running to pick up the ears missed by the rake, and the ripe grains that had fallen when the sheaves were pitched. On others the plough was already at work. The ploughman shouted to his team as he turned under the hedgerow to come back upon the other side. The rooks, that are so wary of the harmless rambler like myself, rose as he drew near, circled within easy gunshot above his head, spread their black wings, and lightly dropped upon the fresh-turned furrow behind his back. From beyond the hedge came the sound of the woodman's axe, for the September gales, where the ditch lay to windward, had here and there torn up an ancient elm by the roots, and he was lopping off the branches in readiness for the timber wagon to haul away the trunk.
I was in the valley walking down a broad green lane. On either hand were signs of the declining year. Where the wild roses grew the briars were decked with crimson hips; and, although a solitary flower might still be seen, the honeysuckles had changed to clusters of reddening berries. The hazel leaves were yellow, and the maple bush was turning to old gold. A few sparse leaves and a sprinkling of apples brighter than guineas still hung upon the crab. Surprised by the quietness of my approach, a startled blackbird rushed out of the ditch. A little later my eye caught sight of a wren, creeping like a mouse and hiding out of sight behind the old level plashing upon the bank; and all the while I had the company of a flock of linnets, that waited till I came, flew out of the hedge with a whirring of wings,