Imatges de pÓgina

With respect to the question of the Church it is extraordinary to observe that in England the intellectual (and sometimes the lineal) heirs of the people who shouted for Garibaldi fifty years ago are shouting to-day for the restoration of Rome to the Holy See.

The difference between the Italian and the English points of view on this question is worth noting. For the Italian, whatever attention is paid or refused to the Pope outside Italy, within the country he is undoubtedly the head of the Italian Church. Thus all the questions of 'alien interference and their kindred which have agitated English minds for centuries are, for the Italian, occasions of mild boredom ; hard to understand and tedious in so far as they are intelligible. Moreover, to the Italian, whatever else the Papacy may be, it is, essentially, an Italian institution.

It is quite a common thing, for example, to hear men grumble at the 'over-representation of Italy, as they call it, in the Sacred College. It seems to them quite reasonable to demand that the governing body of the Universal Church should be composed of * Nations,' represented in more or less exact proportion to their population and their contribution to the resources of the Vatican.

To the Italian such a proposal appears not only ridiculous but rather more than impertinent. This ought not to be hard for an Englishman to understand. Let us suppose, for example, that England had been the seat of orthodoxy, and that Italy had 'protested'in days gone by. Let us suppose that for centuries England had supplied Popes, and had retained an absolute working majority of the Sacred College for Englishmen. What should we say to the pretensions of those Italians who had 'found salvation' to anything like ‘proportionate representation '? Incontestably in so far as we took such pretensions seriously we should call them impertinent, and perhaps worse than impertinent.

Such is, precisely, the feeling of the Italian towards the Englishman who talks about the restoration of the Papal authority over Rome. With respect to this general question of the discussion of public affairs the Italian and the Englishman are very much alike. Both nations have their reservations ; English people grow restive when their monarchy is criticised ; Italians are growing sensitive in the same direction as they come to realise the debt which they owe to their own monarchy; and in the meantime they are (most naturally) touchy about Rome.

Ecclesiastical Rome is, then, intensely Italian, and therefore a subject of pride and rejoicing for all good Italians. In so far as it claims to be something else than ecclesiastical it is no longer possible, as we see by the majestic assertiveness of Royal Rome. Spiritually, Ecclesiastical Rome is at a standstill, if a visitor is qualified to express an opinion. Hardly can a comparison of St. Peter's with St. Paul's be avoided. St. Peter's is larger, but St. Paul's is more harmonious, as the natural result of being the work of one architect. Owing to the radiant atmosphere of Rome St. Peter's is cleaner; it might have been built yesterday. St. Paul's is dirty, and it has even been suggested that the chief of the Fire Brigade might occupy the spare time of his men (if they have any spare time) in cleaning St. Paul's—i.e. in removing its rich patina-a barbarous thought. The lavish employment of gold and the faithful observance of classical traditions of decoration enhance the grandeur of St. Peter's. Many of us admire, and many deprecate, the mosaics of St. Paul's. Whichever view may be just, it can hardly be maintained that the mosaics increase the sense of size. As to the music, musicians appear to be agreed that the service in St. Paul's is the noblest in the world. St. Paul's is vastly more interesting, not only on account of the interest of individual monuments, but because those monuments proclaim the church to be the church of the land ; the arid ecclesiasticism of St. Peter's shrivels the soul. St. Paul's, 'in streaming London's central roar,' really dominates the city, in spite of every thwarting of Wren's designs; it seems to consecrate the strenuous toil of the great capital. St. Peter's dominates nothing ; hardly even the Trastevere, certainly not Rome. If any monument is to dominate Rome it will be the monument to King Victor Emmanuel.

Pagan Rome is the Rome to which the world renders lip service daily with a loud voice. Whether the homage thus offered is more than lip service prompted by the claims of 'vested interests' is a fair question. Let us, however, assume it to be genuine. Let us assume that the devotees of classical learning would really like to do something to prove their gratitude to Rome. There are (if one is rightly informed) 400 universities in the United States alone. They might not all subscribe, but perhaps it is not extravagant to assume that we might count upon 500 faculties throughout the world contributing 101. apiece annually to a fund for the rebuilding of the Forum.

Rome could do something with half a million sterling, which would take a century to collect at this rate. But long before the century was reached, or even the half-century, or probably twentyfive years, we should have large donations falling in, so that the difficulty would be not so much to raise the money as to content the ardour of donors and subscribers who would want to see the completed work as soon as possible.

Architecture and archæology have been so attentively studied that quite a large number of people must know exactly what the Forum was like in the days of its grandeur. There are, however, two conditions to be maintained; the first is that the work should be ander the immediate sanction, patronage, and control of the King ; and the second is that there should be no nonsense about 'international commissions.' That being done, many of us might live to see realised the atmosphere of De Quincey's dream : ' at a clapping of hands would be heard the heart-shaking sound of Consul Romanus ; and immediately came “sweeping by

sweeping by” in gorgeous paludaments, Paullus or Marius, girt around by a company of centurions, with the crimson tunic hoisted on a spear, and followed by the alalagmos of the Roman legions.'

One might even venture to suggest a dedicatory inscription :




There could be nothing derogatory to the pride of Romans in this willing tribute, and the completed work would appeal to their poetic and historic sense. The Forum would be the most impressive building in the world ; a noble demonstration of the oneness of history, and of incalculable value and delight to the erudite and the student. In their present condition the ruins are a truly deplorable sight, the most distressing spectacle imaginable ; one prefers Wandsworth Common.

But they do occupy a very considerable area of Rome, and of course it is not hard to imagine the advent of some terrible practical person who will call for the building of flats in this eligible building locality. The practical person would have a good many sound arguments on his side, so it would be no more than 'practical 'to anticipate him rather than to give him time and opportunity to become a force requiring suppression.

This article might be indefinitely extended. It might include statistics; but statistics are most treacherous auxiliaries, as the author of 'L'Italia non farà da se' knows well ; and modern Italy is too great for statistics.

If one who has vaticinated and recanted may still be allowed the privilege of private judgment, he would say that the Risorgimento is the most successful revolt of the spirit against modernism, which is the deification of mediocrity. It behoves the good throughout the world to offer to Rome the tribute of their gratitude and admiration.



SOME twenty years back in the volumes of Mr. Punch may be found a characteristic Du Maurier drawing of a pretty woman interrogating à pompous personage in evening dress.

He says, 'I am-ah-going to the Anthropological Institute.'

* And where do they anthropolodge ? ' is the smiling question that follows this announcement.

They—the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (at that period)—possibly still 'anthropolodged ' in two dark, dirty little rooms in a part of St. Martin's Lane long ago rebuilt.

One could imagine the hitherto untravelled man of science of German, French, Italian, or American nationality who by reading had acquired some fair conception of that stupendous fact—the British Empire over 400,000,000 of human beings, belonging to nearly every known race or species of the human genus—arriving in London, the capital of the Empire, and turning his attention almost first and foremost to the headquarters of anthropology.

He might fairly expect to find that branch of scientific research occupying the whole of the magnificent buildings of the Imperial Institute, or endowed with the Crystal Palace, or the new Victoria and Albert Museum of South Kensington, or some one or other of the Palaces of London. As a matter of fact, he would discover the science of anthropology—the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland-established in one and a half rooms on the second floor of No. 3 Hanover Square, where it enjoys the somewhat limited hospitality of the Zoological Society.

If the intelligent foreigner had studied the British Empire sufficiently to have gauged what should have been the immense scope of its Imperial anthropology, he would have learnt enough about our odd way of doing business not to be surprised that we should spend millions of pounds on horse-breeding (half of which is for no other purpose than that of carrying on a pernicious form of gambling), hundreds of thousands, very wisely, on cattle and sheep breeding or less wisely on fancy dogs, and with problematical benefit on the promotion of tariff reform, imperial cricket, sectarian warfare in religion or education ; and yet from out of the gigantic wealth in the home country and capital of the Empire only be able to raise

fifteen hundred pounds annually for a science dealing with the bodies and minds of the 400,000,000 living men and women who are passing their lives under the rule of King Edward the Seventh.

The scientific study of anthropology—the science of man, the attempt to understand the bodily and mental conditions of earth's ruler-may be said to have begun in this country at the end of the fifties of the last century, under the direction of Sir Charles Lyell, T. H. Huxley, E. B. Tylor, Sir John Evans, Francis Galton, Colonel Lane-Fox-Pitt-Rivers, Sir John Lubbock, Dr. John Beddoe, Sir A. W. Franks, Sir Edward Brabrook, Dr. Charnock, Sir Richard Burton, Moncure D. Conway, and others. Dr. Prichard had written interestingly but unscientifically on the races of mankind in the pre-Darwinian days of the middle-nineteenth century, when a slavish interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures still clogged research into the past history and present classification of mankind."

He and others (including, I believe, one of the ablest and most 'modern' of these pioneers in anthropology, the late Edward Norris, Librarian of the Foreign Office) had founded the Ethnological Society about 1843 ; but, as Professor D. J. Cunningham has recently pointed out,” the membership, though distinguished, was and remained very small.

• In those days '(if I may quote the very interesting address recently delivered by Professor Cunningham) 'anthropologists were looked upon with some suspicion. They were regarded as men with advanced ideas-ideas which might possibly prove dangerous to Church and State. In London, as indeed might be expected, no opposition was offered to the formation of the Anthropological Society, but in Paris the first attempt to found a similar Society in 1846 was rendered futile by the intervention of the Government, and when finally, in 1859, the Anthropological Society of Paris was formed, Broca, its illustrious founder, was bound over to keep the discussions within legitimate and orthodox limits, and a police agent attended its sittings for two years to enforce the stipulation. The same fear of anthropology, as a subject endowed with eruptive potentialities, was exhibited in Madrid, where the Society of Anthropology, after a short and chequered career, was suppressed. It is indeed marvellous how, in the comparatively speaking short period which has elapsed, public opinion should have veered round to such an extent that at the present day there is no branch of science which enjoys a greater share of popular favour than anthropology.'

The 'popular favour' to which Professor Cunningham alludes may be accorded [to what should be the first of sciences] in France, Germany, Austria, Spain-Spain has made up for lost time in this respect

" It is scarcely necessary to point out that the Churches soon became reconciled to and even enthusiastic supporters of anthropological research. Remove the con. tributions to anthropology from members of the many Missionary Societies and you knock the bottom out of the science. One of the best periodical Reviews on this subject is Anthropos, conducted from Vienna by the Rev. Dr. P. W. Schmidt, and supported by Roman Catholic Missionaries throughout the world. Nor are the clergy of the Church of England, the Presbyterian, Baptist, or Wesleyan Churches in any way behind the Church of Rome in their fifty years' contributions to anthropology.

· In his presidential address of January 1908 to the Royal Anthropological Institute.

« AnteriorContinua »