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to imitate the natural course of things would be universally seen and acknowledged to be the wickedest of men."

Diderot, in a delicate case of conscience, where the virtue of a wife was pitted against the life of herself and children, observed: "In truth, I think nature heeds neither good nor evil; she is wholly wrapped up in two objects, the preservation of the individual and the propagation of the species." "True," remarks John Morley, "but the moral distinction between right and wrong is so much wrung from the forces that Diderot here calls nature."

Both of these views are but different versions of what has been admitted by Huxley; namely, that all moral achievement is proportioned to the extent to which man can assign limits to the struggle for existence, and any system of evolution which disregards that fact or that principle will be found wanting. The most common error of both the speculative and the ordinary mind is that it fails to distinguish adequately between the process and the theory of evolution. The latter aims to formulate the basis, law, or principle which will explain the series of phenomena represented in the process, and the connection of each unit with every other. But we are not always assured that we have recognized in the theory all that exists in the process. If so, the formulated theory is defective, not in its scientific conception of the facts, but in its explanation of them. A theory may then be partly true, and partly false; true in its general denomination of the process, but inadequate or false in assuming that the principle behind the process is equal to the functions assigned it. And we may go farther, and assert that a theory may be perfectly adequate in the causal explanation of a process, but inadequate in its deduction of moral rules from the principle which serves as a physical explanation of phenomena. This is precisely the prime error of evolutionists in their application of their doctrine to ethics. The principle of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest may be an adequate explanation of certain phenomena, but they afford no basis for legislative purposes, and ethics is legislative, not explanatory. They are merely principles of force and indicate the means of making an idea effective, not of constituting its worth and legitimacy.

The explanation of a fact is one thing and the moral value both of the fact and the principle which accounts for it is another. Hence we may easily enough accord the struggle for existence all the causal explanatory power claimed for it, but deny the adequacy of the theory so embodied for validating, or even psychologically or logically explaining, moral principles and moral ideals. These must transcend the struggle for existence, although they may employ the principle represented in it to make their own existence effective. The value of keeping this limitation in view consists in the fact that it will serve as a check to misplaced confidence and enthusiasm regarding the all-sufficiency of the doctrine of evolution. The actual achievements of the theory have concealed this limitation, while the assumed dependence of ethics upon a general philosophic theory of the universe has carried with the admission of evolution its application to that field of phenomena in their nature and validity as well as their origin. But in the first flush of fairly won victory we may not always count the cost and the consequences of it, and they may be sufficient to impair the value of the victory itself. Precisely thus we may be hailing a triumph that is destined to issue in the loss of all the moralization the race has gained, merely because the elimination of the moral from the only principle recognized by our doctrine must eviscerate every system of ethics founded upon it. Even the establishment of a truth may be at the expense of a moral ideal, when that truth happens to antagonize a view with which the ideal was associated. Our solicitude should be to avoid this consequence which may not be a necessary one, except to the logic of association. But it is nevertheless inevitable when our fundamental principle is divested of all affinities with the moral. Thus the idea of "nature," conceived as excluding the moral, leaves the problem of ethics untouched and unsolved; conceived as including it, it is valueless for antagonizing any of the theories to which evolution is opposed. But it generally has the former conception in all speculative efforts and produces an influence to accord with the implications involved. There is a fixed connection between what a man believes or admires and what he is. If it be a moral ideal above the principle of "nature," something

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by which to measure his imperfection, he may hope to direct his will by a superior object: but if it be only the spectacle or example of what is below him; if he can aim at nothing higher than the exercise of force, he may well despair of the future, for it would only present him as the victim of hopeless illusions. Nature," viewed from the plane of ethics, is only a spectacle of non-moral forces. It is the fierce indignation at injustice and wrong everywhere manifested by mere conformity to natural law, and the splendid endeavor to realize some unattained ideal, that makes man's conduct ethical, and invests life with so much moral grandeur, although for the moment that it passes it may be marked by a shadow.




Dear Sir:-Under the title of "A Poetical Heart-break," an anonymous writer dating from the University Club, New York, published in the New Englander for August an attempt to trace a private experience in certain lyrics and verses of Lord Tennyson, and to fasten upon them a definite personal meaning for which no warranty has been given by the poet himself, and for which I venture to think no warranty can be

[NOTE. It is due to the writer of "A Poetical Heart-break" to say that in submitting his MS. to the editor he deprecated even more strenuously than this critic does the possibility of an unwarrantable intrusion within the precincts of a poet's private life through the medium of his verses, and expressly withdrew the Article from consideration, or acceptance, if in the opinion of the editor it was open to objection on this ground. But as it neither invents nor urges any theory controversially, but merely follows a train of thought which leads to a suggestive study of a favorite poet in a new aspect, and largely by quotation, it was deemed quite safe to leave it to the reader to sift the fanciful from the serious, and accept or reject according to his or her own choice and judgment. Apparently his commentary does not go beyond the sanction of the text either in expression or inference, and the writer carefully refrains from asking any one to accept either the poet's lines or his own interpretation as literal biography. The only thing for which he may perhaps be held responsible is in venturing to detect and trace a possible reality as the moving inspiration of what very likely may be mere random poetic fancies in the mode of expression; and in deducing from this the solution of an interesting psychological problem. If the solution is correct the study may be not without interest and profit to some, aside from its immediate personal bearing, since it reveals mental and emotional conditions which, if not true to actual experience in this instance, might well be so in some others.— ED. NEW ENGLANDER AND YALE REVIEW.

adduced. Had the writer not disclaimed for his Article the character of a jeu d'esprit, it would have been possible to class it with that which he cites from the St. James Gazette, and with those burlesques of the laureate which have occasionally appeared in Punch. His disclaimer, however, is unequivocal; and as Lord Tennyson has recently felt obliged to repudiate through his son certain identifications of persons and localities by the author of "In Tennyson Land" and others, and to insist that the lyrics in question are entirely dramatic, I venture to ask your courtesy to allow me a few words in reply to your anonymous contributor. Permit me therefore briefly to analyze his argument.

In the first place, four several characters, three of which belong to the poet's earlier period, are selected as representing the various phases of a personal passion and of its subject, in spite of the fact that in feeling, in catastrophe, in texture, and in setting the poems are quite unlike, and that their appearance covers a period of nearly a quarter of a century. These are Lady Clara Vere de Vere, the Letty of "Edwin Morris," the Cousin Amy of "Locksley Hall," and the heroine of "Maud."

Allow me to devote a word or two to each of the four lyrics. In the first we have a lover evidently belonging to the lower walks of life committing suicide because he has had the misfortune to love a cold patrician beauty, who, when he declares his passion, fixes on him a vacant stare and slays him with her noble birth. It is a subject familiar enough in English romance-one that we naturally meet with in a country in which an aristocracy of birth forms a prominent part of its social life; and it may be dismissed without further comment. In "Locksley Hall" the subject is a different one: the poet endeavors to bring before us the effect of a disappointment in love upon a noble and sensitive spirit capable of turning for consolation to the thoughts that make us men and to the serried history of the development of mankind. The lovers here are cousins; and it is the poverty of the hero, who in this case is a poet and a gentleman, and the weakness of the heroine, "servile to a shrewish tongue," which furnish the catastrophe. Amy marries the wealthy suitor favored by her guardians, and

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