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ber of The Annals of Psychical Şcience day to permit of denying to a whole Dr. Arnaldo Cervesato has a paper on collectivity of phenomena that right “Destiny,” in which he relates an ex- to investigation which one has perperience of his own in the operation haps exceptionally the option of denyof what he thiuks are certain guiding ing to a few sporadic facts without forces outside himself. He was in precedent or sequent.” He imagines Berlin on September 26th, 1908, and the guiding "Force" as acting coherwas about to enter the underground ently and in accordance with a great railway to go to a luncheon-party, natural law,-it makes "the least poswhen a sudden sense of “a strange sible effort in order to produce the well-being” induced him to wheel greatest possible result." Thus, if he round and return to his hotel to finish had finished his letters and had no obsome, important letters which he had vious reason for returning to his hotel, reluctantly left a minute before merely the Force would have had to exert a because he was too tired to continue much greater effort-to interpose some writing. “I returned to my work," he singular obstacle—to deter him from says; "and it was whilst I was finish- taking the journey on which his mind ing my correspondence that--on the was immediately bent. The thought same line I had been about to travel
of the persons who were not deterred over-between 1 and 1.30 there OC- from taking the journey, and did perish curred that terrible disaster which the in the accident, will cause some readers English readers of The Annals may still to stick at the egoism which is imremember; for the disaster of the 26th plicit in this argument. Dr. Cervesato September last was, after that of the thinks the Force capable of absolute Metropolitan in Paris, two years ago, and final intervention when necessary the most terrible railway catastrophe by acting by inhibition on the centre which has taken place since this sys- of the faculty of the will. We are uot tem of traction has existed in Euro- troubled by his suggestion that the pean cities." We could wish that Dr. Force may “function in the reverse," Arnaldo Cervesato were accurate in all and impel a man unsuspectingly to things. The Paris accident happened his doom; but the difficulty we have nearly six years ago, on August 10th, mentioned before remains with us, that 1903. Inaccuracy in him, however, the "Force" often acts on people withdoes not affect the possibility of what out any justification. We should like he calls indications or rapports inter- to know the proportion between real ceding between man and his destiny. and false alarms. He says nothing of He perceives that he may have been this, and of course the matter is of its saved only by a piece of good luck nature extremely difficult to investi. which had no ordered place in the gate. scheme of his life or of the world, but Is it material for poets and mystics he prefers to offer this confession of alone, this “mysterious selection," as faith:-"In the first place, the further Maeterlinck has called it, which is at the study of the laws of Nature is car- work for months or years, or perhaps ried, the further she seems from yield- only for moments, among those who ing any place in the chain of conclu
propose to themselves what will be (or sions to the intervention of that un- would be if they undertook it) a fatal known but extremely convenient per journey? Maeterlinck believes in the sonage, Chance; in the second place, reality of the guidance, whatever it the multiplicity of examples of this may be. In a passage quoted by Dr. kind grows much too important each Cervesato he says:
It is a remarkable and constant fact reason in the supposition that somethat great catastrophes claim infinitely thing in man has defined the disaster; fewer victims than the most reason- that an obscure but unfailing instinct able probabilities might have led one has preserved a great number of peoto suppose. At the last moment a for- ple from a danger that was on the tuitous or exceptional circumstance is point of taking shape, of assuming the almost always found to have kept imminent and imperious form of the away half, and sometimes two-thirds, inevitable; and that their unconsciousof the persons who were threatened ness, taking alarm, is seized with by the still invisible danger. A hidden panic, which manifests itself steamer that goes to the bottom has outwardly in a caprice, a whim, some generally fewer passengers on board puerile and inconsistent incident, that than would have been the case had she is yet irresistible and becomes the not been destined to go down. Two means of salvation. trains that collide, an express that falls over a precipice, etc., carry less travel- Is that evidence of a more “legal" kind lers than they would on a day when
than we have in Wordsworth's lines on nothing is going to happen. Should a
“Presentiments”?bridge collapse, the accident will generally be found to occur, in defiance
How oft from you, derided Powers! of all probability, at the moment the
Comes Faith that in auspicious hours crowd has just left it. In the case of
Builds castles, not of air; fires in theatres and other public
Bodings unsanctioned by the will places, things unfortunately happen
Flow from your visionary skill, otherwise. But there, as we know, the
And teach us to beware. principal danger does not lie in the fire, but in the panic of the terror-stricken crowd.
Yet Wordsworth seems genuinely to Again, a fire-damp explosion will usually occur at a time when the have believed in presentiments as havnumber of miners inside the mine is ing much more than a poetic value, appreciably inferior to the number that otherwise would he have written the would habitually be there. Similarly,
following verse?when a powder factory is blown up, the majority of the workmen, who
God, who instructs the brutes to scent would otherwise all have perished, will
All changes of the element, be found to have left the mill for some
Whose wisdom fixed the scale trifling, but providential, reason. So true is this, that the almost unvarying By higher, sometimes humbler, guides,
Of natures, for our wants provides remark, that we read every day in
When lights of reason fail. the papers, has become familiar and hackneyed, as: "A catastrophe which
Those who would documenter this submight have assumed terrible propor: tions was fortunately confined, thanks
ject would do well, we should think, to such and such a circumstance," etc.,
to collect the evidence on such a teretc.; or, “One shudders to think what rific event as the earthquake at Mesmight have happened had the accident sina and Reggio. What percentage of occurred a moment sooner, when all
genuine warnings can they discover the workmen, all the passengers," etc.
among the persons who were accidentIs this the clemency of Chance? are becoming ever less inclined to
ally kept away from those doomed credit it with a personality, with de
cities? sign or intelligence. There is more
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Dr. L. D. Barnett's “The Golden Town” is bis translation of a very small part of Soma-deva's “Ocean of Romance Rivers" written in the latter half of the eleventh century, and adapted from the “Great Romance" written at least five centuries earlier and possibly eight. The volume contains but three tales, "The Golden Town," "Sundura Luna and Mandaravati" and "Mriganka's Quest,” but each tale is like a Chinese nest of boxes with other tales enclosed, and with these enclosing yet others. They abound in proverbial sayings and it seems as if the editor spoke truthfully when he wrote that “This little book of fiction may convey to its readers more vividly than learned and veracious treatises the spirit of India in the brave days of old." One certainly gathers many hints as to the manners, customs and ideals of the Hindu, and · English speaking folk cannot know too
much of him now, when the daily papers cheerfully confound him with the Mohammedan and quote "a learned Parsi merchant" as authority regarding both. E. P. Dutton & Co.
spy of Bonaparte and at one time also an agent of the French Royalists and their English friends. The author, Mrs. R. S. Garnett, first introduces him in his character of a husband so loving, so tender, and so unselfish that he revives his wife when science has abandoned her to death; so patient and gentle that his adopted daughter worships him; so true in friendship that he is beloved by nearly all who know him and disliked only by one whose hatred is flattery. His wife, with whom piety amounts to genius, is no more than worthy of him in his private character as a husband and she dies from pure inability to endure complete knowledge of his public wickedness. The lovers of the story are but sketched in comparison with these two, but the sketches are adequate, and the adventures of the pair are sufficiently novel to have made an uncommonly interesting tale had they been unsupported. The chorus, the flock of smugglers, the family groups scattered through Sussex pletely described and definite, and England in panic is excellently sketched. She is less interesting by necessity than she is at this moment, because steam and electricity did not combine to renew her shivers of affright, and many classes now hysterical with dangerous little learning were ignorantly stolid; but she was interest ing at that time with her views of the great enemy across the Channel, and her half-faith in her own great sous, and Mrs. Garnett with few words sets her forth most vividly. If this be at first book it is wonderful; if it has had predecessors, why are they not
famous this soon must be? Henry Holt & Co.
“The Infamous John Friend," is a title to turn aside all but the most determined of novel readers, for the "infamous” of the twentieth century means something disgusting iu inore than in mere aberration from righteousness; but the time of the story is about a hundred years ago, and the tale is comparatively clean, touching very little upon anything worse than high treason made possible by persistent falsehood and unscrupulous deceit, spiced with the occasional shedding of blood. John Friend, supposed by Pitt to be his own secret agent, is really a
No. 3399, August 28, 1909
QUARTERLY REVIEW 515
CORNHILL MAGAZINE 520 Saleh: A Sequel. Chapters XXV, XXVI and XXVII
(Conclusion.) By Hugh Clifford. BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE 630 Swinburne's Lyrical Poetry. By Alice Meynell DUBLIN REVIEW 534 The Hotel on the Landscape. By Arnold Bennett
PALL MALL MAGAZINE 541 Other Kingdom. By E. M. Forster
ENGLISH REVIEW 547 Professor Simon Newcomb. By Sir Robert 8. Ball NATURE 561 Vanishing Navies.
NATION 565 Country Dancing.
SPECTATOR 567 The Seaside Life of France.
OUTLOOK 570 The Approaching Opposition of Mars,
VI. VII. VINI. IX. X. XI.
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