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general structure as the brick, in the old classical joke, gave of the house from which it was taken. Yet our readers will thank us for one or two short passages, which may be taken as pretty good specimens of the peculiar genius of these tales.
Poor Winifride Jones, the "very ignorant girl," and kitchenmaid in the family of her Protestant master and Catholic mistress, is one evening intrusted with their invalid daughter's infant child, while the nurse is obliged to leave him for a little:
"Well, that will do for to-night, Winifride,' said Mrs. Leslie, despondingly, taking the brush from the uncouth handmaid; I am very tired, and must get into bed, instead of sitting with baby while nurse is at her supper. Can I trust you to take my place, and not to fall asleep? He is rather restless to-night; and if he cries, I should like you to take him up and soothe him again quietly. If he is very fractious, carry him about the room gently; only don't drop my baby, as you did the comb.'
"Winifride replied that she would be very careful of him; and Mrs. Leslie, going into the adjoining apartment, dismissed the nurse to her supper, gazed fondly on her little Arthur, not venturing to kiss him lest she might awake him; and leaving Winifride installed by the cradle, retired into her own bed-room, to seek the repose she so much needed, but seldom enjoyed.
"How shall I manage to teach that poor ignorant creature any thing?" she said to herself as she lay down; she is so insuperably dull, as well as disgracefully ignorant. Where little is given, however, it is a comfort to reflect that God requires little.'.
"... Nurse has not yet come up. How long she is at her supper! People always seem long when we are impatient. There is baby crying again. Is Winifride awake, and has she followed her directions?
"Winifride is awake; since the moment that Mrs. Leslie left her by the child's cradle she had never stirred, never once leant back in her chair, never taken her eyes off her infant charge. Was it stupidity and dulness, or was it anxiety to perform her duties properly that kept her so immovable; her calm grey eyes, with their thick double fringe of dark lashes, the only good feature in her face, fixed upon the sleeping babe, and her clasped hands resting on her knees? Who might tell but He who is the eternal witness of our thoughts and our angel guardian, to whose spiritual eyes our every attitude and gesture are as a transparent language revealing the hidden soul? But now Arthur is stirring; he stretches his little hands, and convulses his little face, and puckers his little mouth, till the whole results in a complaining whimper, ready to develop into an unmitigated roar. Winifride raised him gently from his crib, and laid him on her knees, while without rising, she pushed back the candle which stood on a high chest of drawers close to her, that its light might not offend the half-opened eyes of the baby. The whimper had been suspended by the change of position, and
The quality of the judgment follows the quality of the sensation, or intuition, on which it rests. A particular sensation gives a particular judgment: reproduce and multiply this sensation in the memory or fancy, and you have a general judgment; produce mere empty divisions in the white tablet of the idea of space, and the intuition of these will give you necessary and universal judgments. Thus all generalisation comes from a certain productive and quasi-creative power in the mind; the power, namely, of reproducing and recombining in the memory what it has perceived, and of dividing and partitioning out its own intuitive idea of space. In fact, we may say that all human perception is judgment: we attribute to beasts, for convenience sake, sensation, like our own, without judgment; but because the act is thus divisible in idea, it does not follow that it should be so in nature. The human perception is judgment; the perception of the individual in the sensation is particular judgment; that of the general quality in the memory is a general judgment; that of the necessary in the intuition is a universal and necessary judgment.
But up to this time we have only dealt with phenomena, and with the bare empty spaces in which they are contained. With these alone can the reason deal; a man would not be rational who denied that A is A, that phenomena are appearances, that 2+2=4. But when we come to the understanding faculty, there is no such absolute necessity. A man may refuse to attribute essential reality to phenomena, or he may insist on attributing even life and soul to earth and sea, yet not lose his claim to rationality. In these cases it is, as Schlegel says, "the will that decides;" a man becomes spiritualist or materialist, infidel or believer, by no mere logical process, but by a voluntary act of the understanding faculty, projecting more or less of the spiritual nature of which he is conscious into the conceptions and judgments which the rational faculty supplies. He may be immoral, infidel, heretical, absurd, in affirming or denying that A is, or has a real existence, but no such proposition can make him irrational.
The use of the attributive faculty cannot therefore be strictly defined by any logical necessity; and yet it is this faculty which must determine all the really interesting questions of humanity; by this alone can we come to comprehend, or even form, any theory of the existence of things. What is matter. Determine the question only by the rational part of the mind, and you can only say that it is phenomenon extended in space. Phenomenon is only subjective, so this term must be withdrawn. Extension in space is infinitely subdivisible, and the last term of the division is a point, which is
nothing; therefore extended phenomenon, or matter, consists of an infinity of nothings, that is, it is nothing. Determine the question by the understanding, and we answer with Faraday, it is a system of forces: but what is force? It is something akin to the spiritual power we are conscious of in the soul, which we feel to consist of knowledge, power, and will. Or again, in the conception of the old magical mythologists, matter was the pronunciation, the expression of the Creator; but expression and pronunciation are simply projected knowledge; thus we can only understand matter, not as it is in itself, but as it can be represented by one or other of the powers or forms of our understanding faculty, power, knowledge, or will.
Further, those things to which we cannot attribute any of the forms of the understanding are for that reason unintelligible to us as essences. We have shown that simple existence is the last step in the analysis of our spiritual consciousness, the feeblest idea of actuality that we can attribute to objects of perception. There are objects to which we cannot attribute this idea, and whose objective existence is unintelligible to us; they lie further back, nearer to nothing than our intelligence can reach. But we must beware how we decide that they are therefore nothing; they may be nonexistent in any sense in which our understanding can comprehend existence; but our soul need not be the measure of possible existence, any more than our senses are of possible phenomena; there are numberless vibrations of æther and air on both sides of those which are to us visible and audible; these may be seen and heard by other beings with organs of the same kind as ours;-so it may be with the understanding. There may be possible existences which lie beyond the limits of its forms, power, knowledge, will, and substance. If we ever come to an idea to which we cannot attribute substance, we have no other understanding-conception to attribute to it; substance is the last idea in our analysis of actual being, and we cannot halve it, nor attribute to conceptions an actuality that is not yet substance. Thus we are tempted to deny to such conceptions any actuality whatever, and to reduce them to nonentities, though we have no reason for refusing them a certain unintelligible kind of existence. Time and space are examples of this kind of conception; we cannot pronounce true space and time to be objectively real, without, as Kant says, laying down the existence of two infinite and eternal nonentities. Not that we should allow as much as this; we affirm that our intelligence of entity need not reach so far back as possible existence; there may be an almost infinite distance between the simplest mode of existence that we can under
when it threatened to return, she lifted the infant and rocked it soothingly in her arms. It was quiet again; and Winifride laid it down once more on her knees, and gazed at it with the same calm and passively earnest face. The baby smiled, and the smile was faintly reflected on the face of its young nurse, as with a fond and almost reverential countenance she raised to her lips its tiny hand, which she stooped to kiss, muttering as she did so, 'He was once a child.'
"Mrs. Leslie had at this moment glided into the room unperceived. What was it riveted her to the spot, with her eyes gazing at Winifride with an interest so new and unexpected? The light shaded from the infant fell full on the girl's wide, calm brow, which wore an almost thoughtful aspect; while a smile, so faint that it almost eluded you, and vanished while you marked it, played round her lips. Did she look sad? Did she look glad? What did she look like, as she raised its hand to her lips? Was it distance, was it a peculiar light, which so transformed those ordinary features, and made the curious and astonished eyes which watched her see but one resemblance?
'Strange, strange,' muttered Mrs. Leslie to herself, as she crept back to her bed, that plain little Winifride should look so like a Madonna.""
From the group of tales contributed by the author of Joe Baker we feel it still more difficult to select a suitable and characteristic extract; for their merits are so uniformly dif fused throughout their whole narrative and dialogue as to make a brief selection almost impossible. The following, however, taken from Well known to the Police, strikes us as possessing more beauty than common. Hannah May has come to see her dying sister, who is a Catholic, and whose fatherless child waits on her sick mother and supports her by the scanty produce of her daily labour. Aunt and niece are conversing on the state of the poor invalid:
"I wonder you can bear it!' exclaimed Hannah, who could now only speak between bursts of distress. 'It's enough to break the spirit of one so young.'
"But it doesn't do so,' said Mary; 'it gives me spirit, and such strength and happiness as no girl can know who does not see what I see, and live as I live.'
"I can't see sickness and want in the light in which you see it,' said Hannah.
"But it isn't want,' replied Mary; 'God's blessing is fresh every day. I have never been without a day's work; and as to sickness, why, can you look on mother and not feel that to have to do with one like her is a pleasure and a blessing?'
"Well, I know what you mean; but it shakes one from head to foot; and things look so mean.' Hannah gave a glance round
on the whitewashed walls and bare floors.
"O aunt!' cried Mary, 'no place is mean that has a dying saint in it. The wood of the manger was not mean after that our Blessed Lord had blessed it by lying there. Gold and jewels are too mean to hold it now, if we had any thing more precious to put it in. And, next to Himself, what is there so sanctifying as a soul redeemed by His blood, burning with love to Him, to whom He so often gives Himself in the Blessed Sacrament, and who will so soon see His face? O, this room has never been mean since mother came to it!'
"Let me keep you a minute more,' said Hannah. 'Mary, you don't seem at all bowed down with grief. You are sorry for her?' "I can't say that I am sorry for mother. I am sorry for myself. When I think of how many years may pass before I see her again, I am sorry, very sorry; I cry, and I can't help it; and I need not help,' said Mary, wiping her eyes for the first time. But no one can be sorry over mother. It is an hourly blessing to watch her. God's will is being done in mother. She would lie there a hundred years, or go to-night, whichever Jesus likes. No pain or trial touches her, except to make her better than she was before it came; she can't be a grief to me. The priest says that such sights are the joy of his life, and it must be so; it is the triumph of grace.'
Blessings on the heart that traced lines of sweet and beautiful simplicity like these,-lines carefully copied from the daily triumphs of grace, by one who is no novice in the study of its operations among Christ's beloved poor. A thousand blessings on this band of authors, who have dedicated their envied mental accomplishments to the service of a class for whom little has yet been done by the Catholic press. We trust that they will take courage from the past success of their labours, and that their example will entice others to co-operate with them in the same field. Ground has hardly yet been broken in it; and yet it is scarcely possible to overrate its importance. The work of writing for children and for the poor is one which the most highly-cultivated intellect need not disdain to engage in. It is one which, if well performed, will give full employment to the most vigorous mental powers. It is a mistake to imagine that any thing is good enough for so "inferior" a class of composition. Nothing, on the contrary, can be too good, provided it is expressed in such language as the poor use and understand; and here lies one great difficulty peculiar to such writing. Technical language of every kind must as much as possible be avoided, and yet clear ideas on technical subjects must be conveyed; a task in itself sufficient to demand great familiarity with the subject, clearness and variety of language, and facility of illustration.
Then, again, stories of any kind, if they are to be readable