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that the nation might not trace its privileges back to that time quite as much as certain families whose wealth dates from the same period. Again, if Mr. Henry George shows that in more recent times common land was enclosed in defiance of historical right, he is doing useful work, if only by reminding lords of the manor that they should not court too close an inspection of their title-deeds. If there are historical rights, there are historical rights on both sides, on the side of those who have no land quite as much as on the side of those who have, and surely we are all of us most thankful that at the time of Charles the Second, and earlier still, at the time of Henry the Eighth, some large tracts of land were nationalised--were confiscated, in fact—that is, transferred from the hands of former proprietors to the fiscus, the national treasury. What would our national Universities be without nationalised land ? They would have to depend, as in Germany, on taxation, and be administered, as in Germany, by a Government Board. If, at the same time, some more land had been nationalised in support of schools, hospitals, almshouses, aye, even in support of army and navy, instead of being granted to private individuals, should we not all be most grateful? But though we may regret the past, we cannot ignore it, and, to quote Mr. Henry George's own words, “instead of weakening and confusing the idea of property, we should surround it with stronger sanctions.'
So far all historical minds would probably go with Mr. Henry George. But when he joins the Theoretical School, and tells us that every human being born into this world has a divine right to a portion of God's earth, it is difficult to argue with him, for how does he know it? Again, how does he know how much it should be, and, what is more important still, in what part of the world it should be? An acre of land in the city of London is very different from an acre of land in Australia. Besides, what is the use of land unless it has been cleared ? An old Indian lawgiver says very truly, “The deer belongs to him who sticks his arrow into him, and the land to him who digs the stumps out of it. If a man by his spade has made a piece of waste land worth having, surely it belongs to him as much as a sheet of paper belongs to the man who has made it worth having by his pen.
But, though I do not see how, with any regard for the rights of property, which Mr. Henry George regards as sacred, the nationalisation of the land could ever be carried out in an ancient country, such as England, without fearful conflicts, or without a religious revival, nor how it could effect, by itself alone, the cure of the crying evils of the present state of our society, I admire Mr. Henry George for the truths, the bitter truths, which he tells us, and it seems to me sheer intellectual cowardice to say that his ideas are dangerous, and should not be listened to. The facts which he places before us are dangerous, but there is far less danger in his theories, even if we all accepted them. We all hold theories which
might be called dangerous, if we ever thought of carrying them out. We all hold the theory that we ought to love our neighbour exactly as ourselves; but no one seems afraid that we should ever do so.
One more question still waits for an answer. Although the historical treatment may be the best, and the only efficacious treatment of all problems affecting religion, philosophy, morality, and politics, should we not follow up our tangles in a straight line, from knot to knot, from antecedent to antecedent? And if so, wbat can be the use of the Sacred Books of the East for the religious problems of the West? What light can the Rig Veda or the Vedanta philosophy of India throw on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason? How can the Koran help us in facing modern problems of morality? How can the Laws of Manu, applicable to the village system of ancient India, help us in answering the social problems of Mr. Henry George?
Perhaps the readiest answer I can give, is-Look at the sciences of Language, of Mythology, of Religion. What would they be without the East ? They would not even exist. We have learnt that history does not necessarily proceed from the present to the past in one straight line only. The stream of history runs in many parallel branches, and each generation has not only fathers and grandfathers, but also uncles and great-uncles. In fact, the distinguishing character of all scientific research in our century, is comparison. We have not only comparative philology, but also comparative jurisprudence, comparative anatomy, comparative physiology. Many points in English Law become intelligible only by a comparison with German Law. Many difficulties in German Law are removed by a reference to Roman or Greek Law. Many even of the most minute rules of German, Roman, and Greek Law become intelligible only by a reference to the ancient customs and traditions preserved in the Lawbooks of India.
This being so, it follows that a real historical study of the ancient language, the ancient philosophy, and the ancient religion of the East, and, more particularly of India, may have its very important bearing on the questions nearest to our own hearts. The mere lesson that we are not the only people who have a Bible, that our theologians are not the only theologians who claim for their Bible a divine inspiration, that our Church is not the only Church which has declared that those who do not hold certain doctrines cannot be saved, may have its advantages, if rightly understood.
These indirect lessons are often far more impressive than any more direct teaching. We see them ourselves, or we must draw them for ourselves, and that is always a better discipline than when we have simply to accept what we are told. It may seem a roundabout way, and yet it often leads to the end far more rapidly than a more direct route, nay, in some cases it is the only practicable route.
Let us take Comparative Anatomy as an illustration.
We all of us want to know what our bodily organism is like, how we see or hear, how we breathe, how we digest-in fact, how we live. But for a long time people shrank from dissecting a human body. They then took a mollusk, or a fish, or a bird, or a dog, or even so manlike an animal as an ape, and they soon grew accustomed to the idea that the muscles, bones, nerves, or even brains in the anatomical preparations correspond to their own muscles, their own bones, their own nerves, even their own brains. They gladly listened to an explanation how all these organs work together in the bodies of animals, and produce results very similar to those which they know from their own experience. Their mind thus grew stronger, larger, and more comprehensive, it may be, more tolerant.
If after a time you go a step further, and bring a dead human body before them to dissect it before their eyes, there will be at first a little shudder creeping over them, something like the feeling which a young curate might have when recognising for the first time the smock-frock of a German peasant as the prototype of his own beloved surplice. However, even that shudder might possibly be overcome, and in the end some useful lesson might be learned from seeing ourselves as we are in the flesh.
But now suppose some bold vivisectionist were to venture beyond, and to dissect before our eyes a living man, in order to show us how we really breathe, and digest, and live, or in order to make us see what is right and wrong in his system. We should all say it was horrible, intolerable. We should turn away, and stop the proceedings.
If we apply all this, mutatis mutandis, to a study of religion, we shall readily understand the great advantages not only of an historical study of our own religion, but also of a comparative study of Eastern religions as they can be studied now in the translations of the Sacred Books of the East. Those who are willing to learn may learn from a comparative study of Eastern religions all that can be known about religions-how they grow, how they decay, and how they spring up again. They may see all that is good and all that is bad in various forms and phases of ancient faith, and they must be blinder than blind if they cannot see how the comparative anatomy of those foreign religions throws light on the questions of the day, on the problems nearest to our own hearts, on our own philosophy, and on our own faith.
F. Max MÜLLER.
THE YORKSHIRE ASSOCIATION.
We are apt to forget that our habit of holding political meetings to express our views, and make our wishes known both to Parliament and the Government, dates from only one hundred years back. We are so accustomed to resolutions in favour of this, to protests against that measure, that we imagine the practice has been a characteristic of the English people since the signing of Magna Charta. Mr. Green, however, well points out in his history that it is from the quarrels between Wilkes and the House of Commons that we may date the influence of public meetings on English politics. The gatherings of the Middlesex electors in his support were preludes to the great meetings of Yorkshire freeholders in which the question of Parliamentary reform rose into importance; and it was in the movement for reform, and the establishment of corresponding committees throughout the country for the purpose of promoting it, that the power of political agitation first made itself felt.' This passage perhaps tells all that the ordinary student of English history may care to know; but Yorkshiremen may be forgiven if they dwell with special interest upon the proceedings that took place in their county in and after 1779. It was Mr. Wyvill who may be said to have first taken off his coat for the cause. In his own words, he came forward from a situation of obscure but happy independence to try what could be done for procuring redress by regular and legal means. The advocate for reform had need of all his courage for the task. If the evils of the representation as it then existed were infinite, the difficulties in the way
of amendment were also infinite. Lord Chatham had struck the key-note in 1770 by his proposal to add a hundred county members to the representation ; but among the ranks of the Upper House, in whose hands the power lay, there were few who were desirous of doing more than strengthen their own order while they diminished the paramount influence of the Crown. The Rev. Christopher Wyvill, who was illegitimately descended from the old family of that name in the North Riding, was born in 1740 and died in 1822. He published at different dates a series of volumes containing all the proceedings connected with the formation of the Association for the county of York, and all the varied correspondence that took place between himself and bodies and individuals who were interested in the reform of Parliament. In November 1779 Mr. Wyvill addressed himself privately to the gentlemen whom he believed to be likely to support him, proposing that a county meeting should be called to petition Parliament for an inquiry into sinecures, with a view to their abolition, and suggesting that if once the fund of corruption was reduced it would be an easy matter to carry the other regulations which might be thought necessary to restore the freedom of Parliament. The answers show how little hope the Whigs had of any redress. With few exceptions they are characterised by a tone of depression. Sir W. Anderson writes, 'I was eye-witness to a most respectable petition, signed by thousands, as big as a portmanteau, fung over the left shoulder with as much ease as if the person had practised, and the Lord in waiting catched it with as much alertness as the Duke of Dorset would a cricket-ball; these and many more were all laid by for private use. Mr. Constable says that the nation will soon be habitable only for merchants, nabobs, officers, and dependents on the nod of a despot. Other correspondents think the scheme premature, sympathise with the movement, but are evidently anxious to shelter themselves under the protection of names more powerful than their own. Gout and chronic heartburn seem strangely prevalent, and it was not surprising that in the first week in December Mr. Wyvill desponded about the success of the movement. A more general support, however, was then afforded. Mr. Pemberton Milnes gave in his adhesion gladly on the 8th, and sent in the names of John and James Milnes, of Mr. Ferrand and of Mr. John Smyth of Heath. By the 14th the advertisement calling the meeting for the following 30th was inserted in the newspapers, and the list of those who signed the requisition is full of interest. Among them are the names of Chaloner, Morritt, Smyth of Heath, St. Quintin, Croft, Milnes, Wyvill, Hildyard, Ferrand, Dodsworth, Armytage, Downe, Milner, Cayley, Ibbetson, Childers, Foljambe, Pilkington, Busk, Verelst, Wentworth, Garforth, Cooke, Ramsden, and Sheffield. Of these twenty-five, only four of their representatives belong to the Liberal party at the present time. The meeting on the 30th justified the action, and answered the expectations of the chief promoter. The Whig peers and their connections, the Duke of Devonshire and the Cavendishes, the Duke of Rutland, Lord Rockingham, Lords Scarborough and Fitzwilliam, Effingham and Egremont, were present in town (as York was called) and acquiesced in the petition which resulted from the meeting, and was directed against the increase of expenditure, the prevalence of sinecures, and the unconstitutional influence of the Crown. A committee of sixty-one gentlemen was at the same time appointed to prepare the plan of an association to support these reforms and restore the freedom of Parliament. The correspondence of Horace Walpole with Mr. Mason (the poet) of Aston, who was