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The truth is, that as yet we have made very cap and the garden warbler, and the whitethroat, little way in understanding the origin of species. and the reed warbler, and the common wren, and The general idea of origin by descent, or of crea- (locally) from the nightingale. Above all, there tion by birth, fits well into many of the facts. is one great want which nothing can replace. But this general conception does not necessitate The meadows of North America were to my eye our acceptance of the particular theory of Mr. thoroughly English in appearance, the same rich Darwin, that variations occur only as it were by and luxuriant grass—the same character of wild accident, or only by small and almost insensible flowers—and even the same weeds. The skies modifications, or that one particular form can of America are higher and wider, and more full only arise at one time and one place. On the of sunshine. But there is no skylark to enjoy contrary, it may be that all variations arise out that "glorious privacy of light.” “The sweetest of a definite and predetermined law, that this law singer in the heavenly Father's choir "* is wantmay determine the appearance of the same forms ing in the New World. I can not help thinking at many places and at different times, and also that it might be introduced. Of course, the winthat such changes are not always gradual or in- ters of Canada and of the Northern States would finitesimally small, but sometimes comparatively compel it to follow almost all the other birds sudden and comparatively large.
which summer there, and to retire with them With regard to the birds of North America, until the return of spring to Virginia or the I can not doubt from what I saw and heard that' Carolinas. It would be an interesting experias songsters they are inferior to our own. This ment. I do not know whether it has been tried. is the testimony of Mrs. Grant of Laggan, who If not, I would suggest it to my American friends was familiar with both. It is a curious circum- as one worth trying. It would be a happier instance that between one Canadian bird and the troduction than that of the “ London sparrow." corresponding species at home, the only differ- I can not conclude this very hasty sketch of ence I could detect was that the American spe- my first impressions of the New World without cies was silent, while our own is always talking. thanking the many friends and countrymen both I refer to that charming bird, the common sand- in the States and in the Dominion, who offered piper (Totanus hypoleucus), abounding on the their hospitality, or otherwise testified their kindbanks of every stream and lake in the Highlands. ness. Circumstances compelled me to avoid soIts American cousin (Totanus macularius) is ciety, and to find my occupations in the woods equally abundant on all the rivers of Canada ; and on the waters. But I saw enough to assure but while at home its call-notes are incessant, me that even the most insignificant services in and the male bird has even a continuous and their great and now triumphant cause is never most lively song, I did not hear a solitary sound forgotten in the American Union. In Canada I from the sandpiper of Canada. This, however, had abundant evidence that old hereditary assomay have been an accident, and the sandpipers ciations are not less strong than at home. It are nowhere reckoned among the birds of song. was a real joy to see the vast regions of hospitaOne hears the migratory thrush (robin) every- ble soil which afford there an inexhaustible outwhere, in the midst of the gardens and villas of let for the increase of our people, and to feel that towns and cities, and in every little clearing of the facilities of communication, which are every forest on the outskirts of human habitation. It year extending, will tend more and more to keep is a pleasant song, but decidedly inferior to any up the attachment of the colonists to the land of one of its cousins in Britain. It is inferior in their fathers. power to the missal thrush, in variety to our
ARGYLL (Fraser's Magasine). common “mavis,” in melody to the blackbird.
* I quote this line from some verses of great beauty, Near Niagara I heard one very broken and in- published in a little volume of poems, “Songs of the terrupted song of fine tone, and of considerable Rail," by Alexander Anderson, a surface-man on one of power. But although I was in the woods and our Scotch railways. Some of these verses on the skyfields of Canada and of the States in the richest which have been written on the same subject by several
lark appear to me to compare not unfavorably with those moment of the spring, I heard little of that burst of the masters of English song. (London : Simpkin, of song which in England comes from the black- Marshall & Co. Edinburgh : J. Menzies & Co.)
replaced by a new one. The Lie must be stamped
out and give way to Truth. R
ATIONALISM and radicalism exist to a It is our mission to destroy the Lie; and, to ef
certain extent in every country of Europe. fect this, we must begin at the very commencement. But the Social Democrats of Germany and Aus- Now, the beginning of all those lies which have tria and the Communists of France and Spain ground down this poor world in slavery, is God. For turn with horror from Russian revolutionists, who many hundred years monarchs and priests have inoc
ulated the hearts and minds of mankind with this consider the programme of the Paris Commune of 1871 condemnably weak, and Felix Pyat, Clu- also invented for the people the notion of another
notion of a God ruling over the world. They have seret, and their companions as little better than world, in which their God is to punish with eternal Conservatives.
torture, those who have refused to obey their deThe Social Democrats and even the Com- grading laws here on earth. This God is nothing munists of the rest of Europe have in view aims but the personification of absolute tyranny, and has which, no matter how fantastic, are always of a been invented with a view of either frightening or sufficiently defined nature. They look forward alluring nine tenths of the human race into subto an entirely democratic form of government, mission to the remaining tenth. If there were really and hope for a reorganization of the social world, a God, surely he would use that lightning which he under which all capital and property would be holds in his hand, to destroy those thrones, to the held either by the state or commune for the steps of which mankind is chained. He would asequal benefit of everybody. They are levelers, suredly use it to overthrow those altars, where the but they are not destroyers.
truth is hidden by clouds of lying incense. Tear out The revolutionary party in Russia, on the of your hearts the belief in the existence of God; other hand, has no definite aims of reorganiza- for, as long as an atom of that silly superstition retion or improvement in view. In its sight, every- freedom is.
mains in your minds, you will never know what thing as it now exists is rotten, and, before any
When you have got rid of the belief in this thing new and good can be created, all existing priest-begotten God, and when, moreover, you are institutions must be utterly destroyed. Religion, convinced that your existence, and that of the surthe state, the family, laws, property, morality, rounding world, is due to the conglomeration of all are equally odious, and must be rooted out atoms, in accordance with the laws of gravity and and abolished.
attraction, then, and then only, you will have accomIt is because “nothing " as it exists at present plished the first step toward liberty, and you will finds favor in their eyes that they have been experience less difficulty in ridding your minds of called “Nihilists.” They desire to break up the that second lie which tyranny has invented. actual social organization into mere individualism, The first lie is God. The second lie is Right. with entire independence for each separate per- Might invented the fiction of Right in order to inson. They maintain that no one should be bound sure and strengthen her reign ; that Right which by laws or even moral obligations of any kind, she herself does not heed, and which only serves as but that everybody should be allowed to do ex
a barrier against any attacks which may be made by actly as he pleases. Their object is anarchy in the trembling and stupid masses of mankind. the very truest sense of the word. They are only society. Might makes and unmakes laws, and that
Might, my friends, forms the sole groundwork of modest enough to decline the attempt to create might should be in the hands of the majority. It a new order of things in the place of what they should be in the possession of those nine tenths of propose to destroy. That they intend to leave the human race whose immense power has been renfor a better and more enlightened generation.
dered subservient to the remaining tenth by means Nihilism can not be better described than by of that lying fiction of Right before which you are the Nihilists themselves in their speeches, proc- accustomed to bow your heads and to drop your lamations, and writings. Here is a speech made arms. Once penetrated with a clear conviction of in 1868, at Geneva, by the father of Nihilism, the your own might, you will be able to destroy this arch-conspirator, Michael Bakunin, to whose his- mere notion of Right. tory we shall have occasion to refer later on : And when you have freed your minds from the
fear of a God, and from that childish respect for the Brethren, I come to announce unto you a new fiction of Right, then all the remaining chains which gospel, which must penetrate to the very ends of the bind you, and which are called science, civilization, world. This gospel admits of no half-measures and property, marriage, morality, and justice, will snap hesitations. The old world must be destroyed, and asunder like threads.
Let your own happiness be your only law. But, support and education. Then grant to all grownin order to get this law recognized, and to bring up people the same social standing and the same about the proper relations which should exist be- means of supplying their wants by their own labor, tween the majority and minority of mankind, you and you will see that the inequalities, which are now must destroy everything which exists in the shape of looked upon as being quite normal, will disappear, state or social organization. So educate yourselves for they are merely the result of the difference made and your children that, when the great moment for in the conditions of development. You can even constituting the new world arrives, your eyes may improve nature by destroying the present social ornot be blinded and deceived by the falsehoods of the ganization. For, when you have succeeded in maktyrants of throne and altar.
ing everything and everybody equal, when you have Our first work must be destruction and annihila- equalized all the conditions of development and lation of everything as it now exists. You must ac- bor, then many crimes, miseries, and evils, will discustom yourselves to destroy everything, the good appear. with the bad ; for, if but an atom of this old world remains, the new will never be created.
After proceeding to advocate the abolition of According to the priests' fables, in days of old a marriage, which he condemns as a mere political deluge destroyed all mankind, but their God spe- and religious institution, he concludes by saying : cially saved Noah in order that the seeds of tyranny and falsehood might be perpetuated in the new world.
It is impossible to destroy the superstition of When you once begin your work of destruction, and religion by means of arguments or education. Reliwhen the floods of enslaved masses of the people rise gion is not only an aberration of the brain, but also and ingulf temples and palaces, then take heed that
a protest of human nature and human hearts against no ark be allowed to rescue any atom of this old the misery and narrowness of the reality by which world which we consecrate to destruction.
we are surrounded. As man finds nothing in this
world but injustice, stupidity, and misery, he allows In another of his speeches, delivered at Berne, his phantasies to beget a new and a better one. in December, 1868, he says:
When, however, the earth again receives her due,
namely, happiness and fraternity, then religion will Your beautiful civilization, ye gentlemen of the have lost its raison d'être. We need but a social West, which you flout in the faces of us barbarians revolution to bring about its disappearance. of the East, is based on the compulsory servitude of the immense majority of the human race, which is
And again : condemned to a slavish and almost bestial existence,
Conscience is a mere matter of education. A in order that a very small minority may be able to Christian living in Europe, who has murdered anylive in luxury. This monstrous inequality in the body with cunning and premeditation, usually exconditions of life is due to your West-European sys- periences a certain kind of remorse. But a Red Intem. It is incapable of improvement, for it is the dian, who is every bit as much a man of flesh and necessary consequence of your civilization, which is blood, rejoices when he is able to surprise and slay a grounded on the sharply defined separation existing defenseless enemy. His conscience in no wise sufbetween mental and manual labor. This degrading fers from the act, for he has been taught from earlistate of things can not last much longer, for the man- est youth that the more scalps he possesses, the betual laborers are determined to look after their own
ter he will be received in the happy hunting-grounds interests in future. They have decided that in fu- of the great Manitou. ture there shall be only one great class instead of two; that everybody shall have equal advantages for The speech of another Nihilist is as follows: starting in life; that all shall enjoy the same privileges and support, the same means of education and Nothing, in the present state of social organizabringing up; finally, that every one shall have the tion, can be worth much, for the simple reason that same advantages from his labor, not in consequence our ancestors instituted it. If we are still obliged of any law, but by the mere nature of the work which to confess ourselves ignorant of the exact medium will permit everybody to labor with his brain as well between good and evil, how could our ancestors, less as with his hands.
enlightened than we, know it? A German philoso I detest Communism ; it is the denial of freedom, pher has said : “Every law is of use. It rules the and I do not like to picture to myself any human conduct of individuals who feel for one another and being without freedom. I oppose it because it con- appreciate their respective wants. Every religion, centrates and absorbs all the forces of society, and on the other hand, is useless ; for, ruling, as it does, because it places all property and capital in the our relations with an incommensurable and indefinite hands of the commune or of the state. In demand- Being, it can only be the result of a great terror, or ing the abolition of commune and state, I also wish else of a fantastic imagination.” Now, we Nihil. for the annulment of the law of inheritance, which ists say, no law, no religion-Nihil! The very is nothing but an institution brought into life by the men who instituted these laws ruling their fellow state, and a consequence of its principles. Give all creatures have lived and died in complete ignorance children, from their very birth, the same means of of the value of their own acts, and without knowing in the least how they had accomplished the mission is called God. To arms, then, brethren, and follow traced for them by destiny at the moment of their me to the conquest of the Godhead. birth. Even taking it for granted that our ancestors were competent to order the acts of their fellow
In March, 1876, several Nihilist proclamations, creatures, does it necessarily follow that the require. on their way to Russia, were seized by the Prusments of their time are similar to those of to-day? sian authorities at Königsberg. Paragraph sixEvidently not. Let us, then, cast off this garment teen of one of the documents in question ran of law, for it has not been made according to our thus: measure, and it impedes our free movements. Hither with the axe, and let us demolish everything. Those
You should only allow yourselves to be influenced who come after us will know how to rebuild an edi. (in the selection of your victims) by the relative use fice quite as solid as that which we now feel trem- which the revolution would derive from the death of bling over our heads.
any particular person. In the foremost rank of such
cases stand those people who are most dangerous and In another speech it is asserted that the deeds injurious to our organization, and whose sudden and of political assassins and incendiaries are not the violent death would have the effe of terrifying the offspring of any sentiment of personal hatred or Government, and shaking its power by robbing it of vengeance. They know full well that one em- energetic and intelligent servants. peror killed will merely be succeeded by another, who in his turn will again nominate the chiefs of remedy the ills of the people is that which will tear
SECTION 23. The only revolution which can police, and of the Third Section. Such deeds up every notion of government by its very roots, and are justified by the necessity of rooting out from which will upset all ranks of the Russian Empire men's minds the habitual respect for the powers with all their traditions. that be. The more the attacks on the Czar and
Sec. 24. Having this object in view, the Revoluhis officials increase, the more will the people tionary Committee does not propose to subject the get to understand the absurdity of the venera- people to any directing organization. The future tion with which they have been regarded for order of things will doubtless originate with the centuries.
people themselves; but we must leave that to future When it becomes evident that a person can not relentless, and terror-striking destruction.
generations. Our mission is only one of universal, be more severely punished for the assassination of
Sec. 26. The object of our organization and of his sovereign than for the murder of a mere comrade, then the people will comprehend that it is world into an invincible and all-destroying power.
our conspiracy is to concentrate all the forces of this quite as just to kill a man guilty of the abuse of power as to execute a poor beggar who has been
Among the papers found on the Nihilist Lieutempted by hunger to commit murder. Society of tenant Dubrowin, who was hanged at St. Petersto-day, gangrened though it be, has, to a certain ex- burg in May last for his association with the tent, understood this, for Damiens-executions are things of the past, and in all legislations regicide is regicide Solowjew, were two letters of some now assimilated to mere homicide. And how many
importance. The first, addressed to Nihilist offiare the murders and incendiarisms nowadays which cers in the Russian army, contains the following remain unpunished! Soon we shall see the authors passage : “ Our battalions are numerically so of these so-called crimes enjoying the greatest con- weak, and our enemies, on the other hand, are sideration among us. The old world will have had so mighty, that we are morally justified in makits time. On its ruins the poor and oppressed will ing use of all attainable methods of proceeding take each other by the hand, and the true disciples which may enable us to carry on successfully of Christ, that grand Nihilist, will smile when they active hostilities wheresoever it may become exremember the parable of the poor man in Abraham's pedient." bosom refusing a drop of water to the rich man in The second letter, dated December, 1878, is hell, and saying, “Thou hast had thy time, now it addressed to Russian revolutionists, and is as is mine!"
follows: " The object of our letter is to comThen there will arise a new generation, gener- municate to Russian revolutionists certain expeous-hearted and independent, and all mankind will riences which, according to our ideas, are necesbe happy; until the time when, like the fabulous phænix, the spirit of evil will arise again from the sary for the organization of armed resistance to ashes of the old world. The children of our children the Bashi-Bazouks of the police, and which, will be forced to begin our work anew; but the evils moreover, are indispensable to all those measures of the future will be of a less monstrous nature than which social revolutionists must adopt in order those which we now deplore, just as these in their to realize the ideas of the revolution. Unfortuturn are less crying and odious than those to which nately, the Russian Nihilists have not the revoour ancestors were subjected. And thus, from strug- lutionary experience which the Overthrow party gle to struggle, and after centuries of combat, man- of other more favored countries possess,” etc. kind will finally attain perfection, and become what We have spoken of Bakunin as the founder of this doctrine of universal chaos; we must not couple, both the hostess and her two guests drink omit to speak also of M. Tschernyschewsky, who so much champagne that they all become quite has done more than any one else to propagate it tipsy. Julie, remembering that Vera was now a in Russia. Formerly editor of a monthly review married woman, judged that it was no longer called the “Sowremennik," which was suppressed necessary to be guarded in her conversation, and in 1862 on account of its radicalism, he was sen- ended by enthusiastically describing orgies in the tenced in 1864 to sixteen years' penal servitude most licentious of colors. “Suddenly Julie arose in Siberia for having propagated revolutionary from the table and pinched Vera, who quickly doctrines. This he had chiefly effected by means rose in her turn and pursued her friend all through of a novel which he had written, entitled “What the rooms, jumping over chairs and tables.” is to be done?" and which, although strictly for- Having finally succeeded in catching Julie, a bidden in Russia, has been printed both at Berlin struggle ensues, which ends by the two women and in Switzerland. This book has been de- falling down together in a drunken sleep on the scribed as being not only the encyclopædia, the sofa, while Alexander also falls asleep in another dictionary of Nihilism, but also as a guide to the corner of the room. practical application of the new doctrine. In its A month or two later Vera takes it into her characters Nihilist principles are personified, and head to earn her own living ; accordingly she sets examples given as to the means to be employed up a dressmaking business under the immedifor their realization. We are shown the ideal of ate patronage of Julie and her friends. Twenty a future state of society, absolutely free from all young needlewomen belong to this establishlaw and control.
ment, which is conducted according to Nihilist The aim of the author, as stated in the pref- notions. At the end of every month the net ace, is to increase the type of people which he profits are equally divided among all the memdescribes, and it must be acknowledged that his bers, Vera merely taking her share with the rest. teaching seems too well calculated to effect his The young women all live in the same house and object among those prepared to receive it. Twen- take their meals together; in this manner they ty or even sixteen years ago Nihilism was com- are able to economize a great deal by buying all paratively rare in Russia, whereas to-day it has their provisions and necessaries at wholesale spread throughout the empire. Notwithstanding prices. They appear to have possessed everythat the book is strictly forbidden in Russia, we thing in common and to have contented themare confidently assured that there is hardly a stu- selves with little, for M. Tschernyschewsky exdent of either sex at the universities and colleges pressly informs us that the twenty young ladies who has not read, and almost learned by heart, only had five umbrellas among them. The this most baneful piece of literature.
financial success of the undertaking is so great The first Nihilist with whom we have to deal that we actually find the girls at a loss how to in the novel is a poor medical student of the name invest their earnings profitably. Taking advanof Alexander who “finds it cheaper to get drunk tage, however, of Vera's experience in the matthan to eat or dress himself decently." In illus- ter, they use their money to set up a pawnbroker's tration of his faithfulness to Nihilistic principles business in connection with the dressmaking eswe are favored with the particulars of an intrigue tablishment. The author does not inform us with a rich danseuse, which lasted a fortnight, at whether the pawnbroking is also conducted acthe end of which she becomes tired of him and cording to Nihilistic principles. turns him out of the house.
About a year after their marriage a third NiWe next find him giving lessons to the son hilist makes his appearance on the scene. He is of a government clerk, who manages to combine a medical student named Kirsanoff. We are inthe business of a pawnbroker with his official formed that he is exceedingly clever, that he had functions. Finding that the pawnbroker has a thoroughly mastered the French language by pretty daughter of rather an independent charac- reading through eight times a French version of ter, named Vera, he first of all converts her to the New Testament, “ a well-known book "; and Nihilism by means of conversations and books, finally that he had written a treatise on physioland then persuades her to make a runaway match ogy which even the great Claude Bernard of with him “in order to escape from the authority Paris had alluded to in terms of respect." In of her parents.” The success of their plans of the same manner as Alexander is distinguished elopement was partly due to the friendly services for perseverance, so is Kirsanoff remarkable for of a Madame Julie Letellier, one of the most no- his kindness of heart, of which the following intorious lionnes of St. Petersburg, "whose lan- stance is given : Having fallen in love with a griguage was such that it caused even the greatest sette, of notoriously drunken habits, he allowed polissons of the upper classes to blush.” At a her to come and live with him as soon as she had breakfast given by this lady to the newly married earned a sufficient sum of money by her vile trade