THE RELATION OF MEMORY TO WILL.
the population a hundred or even fifty years hence. One thing, however, it would seem allowable to assert without risk of mistake. The Chinaman is by tradition and education a monarchist, regarding autocracy as the only reasonable form of government; and he thrives best under its sway, so long as his just rights are respected. For the elective franchise he is entirely unfit, nor would he care for the privilege of exercising it if thrust upon him. After generations of association with white races and experience of the advantages of freedom of thought, the case might be different; but until his nature is materially modified, and the scope of his aims and wants becomes more extended, he progresses more safely led than leading. It follows that, whatever may be the political changes that may transpire in the countries to which Chinamen resort, their condition will be the happiest for themselves and the safest for the country concerned if they are dealt with as a subject people, and, as has already been remarked, as a community possessing abnormal characteristics, and therefore needing otherwise than ordinary treatment.
The preceding remarks represent the opinion of many who have been able to judge of the Chinese merely from observation of them in their own country, and apart from foreign associations and influences. But, as a matter of fact, little or no attention has been given to their condition and character as colonists abroad beyond the one-sided and sweeping condemnation of them which it has been the purpose of this paper to deprecate; and until full information upon these heads can be obtained, it may be to a certain extent unsafe to come to a definite conclusion as to the proper course to be pursued in dealing with the case. A very effective method of acquiring this information, and one that would have a most happy effect in conciliating and satisfying the Chinese immigrants themselves, would be to appoint a public commission of responsible persons, some of whom should speak and write the Chinese language, to visit all the places resorted to by Chinese, and to make it their duty to ascertain from the people themselves what grievances they have to complain of, what difficulties lie in the way of their harmonious incorporation with other colonists, and generally what remedial measures the circumstances of the case demand. Great Britain, as having an important interest in the results of such an inquiry, and as a power which is always found in the van where a policy of progress, enlightenment, and humanity is concerned, might very well take upon herself this duty, and there can be no doubt that she would have the grateful co-operation of the Chinese government and people in the undertaking, as well as the sympathy of other nations interested in the satisfactory solution of the problem. W. H. Medhurst.
From The Spectator.
THE RELATION OF MEMORY TO WILL.
Amid all the varied general interest of the great cause célèbre of our day — the Tichborne trial — perhaps the most distinct and important was the light thrown by it on people's different ideas of what it was possible to remember and to forget. When the trial was under general discussion, the contrast, or possibly the resemblance, between the powers of oblivion demanded for the claimant, and those which A and B were conscious of possessing, were matters of frequent mention, and most of us gained some knowledge of the different distance to which the past recedes in different lives. Hardly any knowledge can be more interesting or more fruitful, whether we consider its bearing on the moral atmosphere of the persons thus differently affected, or on the suggestion so expressively conveyed in the German name for memory, — Erinnerung (the inward faculty). Plutarch, in an attempt to vindicate the possible knowledge of the future, by showing the mysterious element in our knowledge of the past, calls memory "the sight of the things that are invisible, and the hearing of the things that are silent;" and a thinker, whose great metaphysical achievement was almost avowedly the obliteration from our mental inventory of all those powers which are supposed to deal with the invisible, recalls this description, in his confession that the analysis which reduced every other source of apparently ultimate knowledge to a trick of association was checked when we came to that within us which bore witness to a real past; and the concession that in this case we do know what we cannot prove, seems to us a pregnant one. How we know that these dim pictures on our walls — at once faint and indelible — are the work of another artist than imagination, must, J. S. Mill allows, be a question as vain as how we know that the things around us are real. But it is under its personal aspect that we would speak of memory to-day.