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building it up. We again find the limit of vital
duration for the animal as for the vegetable.

Notwithstanding all which, it is not a special
kind of matter, but that which has already
formed part of minerals, which traverses thus
the frames of organised beings: drawn along,
as Cuvier expresses it, in a continual vortex or
current. This continual current flows in one
direction, which, however complicated it may
be, remains constant. While these movements
of matter are being performed, while the
current continues, it is evident that a force is in
action. While new materials are being adapted
to the body, while worn-out materials are being
rejected, a force directs and regulates the
incessant change. Matter plays the part of an
obedient slave. Each atom is the recipient of
the force, until a fresh atom comes to take its
place. The permanence of the force, its unity
of action, is manifested in the midst of an
unceasing vortex. Matter is transient, and passes
away; force remains, and is permanent.

This is the grand point to establish. Names
are of very inferior consequence. M. Hénant,
in his lectures on Force and Matter, calls
this force Vital Force, holding that it is
impossible to confound it with Physico-Chemical
Force. The metaphysical gauntlet here thrown
down, is hardly worth the picking up. At least
as good an authority as M. Hénant asks, "Are
the forces of organic matter different in kind
from those of inorganic?" and answers, "All
the philosophy of the present day tends to
negative the question; and to show that it is
the directing and compounding, in the organic
world, of forces belonging equally to the
inorganic, that constitutes the mystery and the
miracle of vitality."

In meddling with Spiritual, Intellectual, or
Mental force, M. Hénant takes us out of our
depth, and out of his own. He is right in
owning that "when we endeavour to pass from
the region of physics to the region of thought,
we meet a problem to seize on which
transcends any conceivable expansion of the powers
we now possess. We may think over the
subject again and again, but it eludes all intellectual
presentation. Thus, though the territory of
science is wide, it has its limits, from which we
look with vacant gaze into the region beyond."

SOME OLD SUNDAYS.

POETS have done very handsomely for Sunday;
but all their "peaceful Sabbaths," "village
chimes," and days of rest, deal with the
country Sunday, or, to narrow it still more,
with the village Sunday. The village Sunday,
take it where we will, has the true Sabbath
poetry and flavour: the old church-tower, the
general festive air, the ancient chime,
musical and soft, sweetened by age like old
Lafitte: not raw, and sharp, and strong. A new
bell, like new claret, is odious. The
villagers, "virtuous" by courtesy on that day
at least, have the look of stage peasants, and
the children and the women crowding to the
church in their rustic finery, give a pleasant
and innocent air. But in the pure country,
and the country-houses, Sunday in its profaner
aspect is a terribly dull day. There are the
drive for the religious duties, and the service,
and the sermon, and the coming home, and the
criticism on the sermon, and the lunch. After
that refection, despondency and ennui set in;
and if the hostand there are such hostsbe of
an "improving" turn of mind (of course only
as regards his neighbour), and would wish to
sanctify the day in a sort of extra professional
manner, there is much trial in store for the
guests. There is the procession to the library,
the composing of features to a decently funereal
air, the breaking out of irreverence on the part
of juniors during the procession, the enforced
attendance of retainers, some of whom are
always missing, and sheltered by confederates,
and the soft gliding into the library and securing
of easy-chairs; while the host in the middle
afar off at his deskis almost for the moment
transported into the belief that he is a real
clergyman, and reads, at great length, in the most
impressive manner. These Sundays, at devout
country-houses, are gloomy to experience,
gloomier to remember, and make the rising
of the Monday morning's sun, when the shooting
and the riding set in again, doubly welcome.

Yet gloomier still is our English Sunday in
town. The whole resolves itself into the
monotony of rows of shutters. Even the well-
meant festive air of Sunday clothes, the almost
whitewashed look of the excellent heads of
families who have been labouring all the week
in the heats and the dusts, and who seem to have
got all hands to work to polish and "point" their
surfaces, and who carry their prayer-books with a
triumph and complacency (why is there more
finery about prayer-books, and why are they more
gorgeously gilt than other bookssay spelling-
books?)—even this part of the pageant adds
only to the despondency. A tour of the
London city churches and churchlings, as once
described in this journal from an
"uncommercial" point of view, would be the surest
inducement to confirmed melancholy that could be
discovered. There is surely some amendment
wanted in our fashion of keeping Sunday. Let
there be "rest" by all means, and let there
be "holiness" by yet more means; but let there
not be the weary unrest of utter idleness, or the
starch and scraping buckram of official
puritanism.

Through that gauzy curtain which hangs
between us and our childish days, and which
gives to them the misty charm that the same
material does to tableaux vivans, I can look
back and make out a Sunday or two more
distinct than other Sundays set me to behold.

There has been a voyage of some three
or four days and nights in a lumbering steamer
of the older buildof the pre-Scott-Russell era
during which, discomfort and physical
agonies of all sorts have been my childish
portion; for there has been rough weather, and

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