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signs of natural decay. And here it may not be illustration of extreme old age is in question, inopportunely stated, that when Master Parr we all recur to Master Part. He was an old had outlived a century by some years, a certain man certainly, a very old man; but by no youthful indiscretion brought on him the penalty means the oldest of whom authentic records of doing church-penance in a white sheet ! exist. Old Jenkins beats him. Of Jenkins
Speculating on the average age of mankind, more anon. The very oldest man I can find and animals in general, some have expressed account of is Thomas Carn, who, according to surprise that the organism should wear out at the parish-register of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, all, seeing that the materials of it are so con- died 28th January, 1588, æt. two hundred and stantly replenished ; others, on the contrary, seven. He was born in the reign of Richard have wondered that the mechanism should last II. in 1381. He lived in the reigns of ten soveso long as it ordinarily does.
reigns, viz., Richard II., Henries IV., V. and In reference to the former, it has been said VI., Richard III., Henries VII. and VIII., Edthat every part of a living animal's body under- ward VI., Mary and Elizabeth. goes renewal once in about three months; but Some years ago, when Parliament had closed this is not strictly correct. Every soft part of and London was deserted—when the silly seathe body may, indeed probably does, come un- son, as newspaper-people call it, had fairly set der that process of regeneration in the time in—the leading journal admitted to its columns specified, gelatine or the soft portion of the a series of letters, the general purport of which bones inclusive. The composition of our bodies was to cast a doubt on records of extreme loralters with age, notwithstanding. During life gevity. Could it be demonstrated that
, since something goes on comparable to the furring of the existence of scriptural patriarchs, any man a tea-kettle or the fouling of a steam-boiler. or any woman had completed a hundred years? Hard earthy concretions deposit in the heart, Such was the general question ; and much impeding its movements; in the arteries, im- ' argument was expended to prove the negative pairing the elasticity needful to their vital func- Amongst others reasons for disbelieving the tions. Vainly are the soft portions of our bodies statements of persons of extreme age, their renovated, whilst those earthy depositions con- failure of memory was insisted on ; also a certinue to be formed. The longer we live the tain pride of age, that dawns and dominates, more brittle do we grow. Young children can just like the pride of youth at earlier epochs of fall about, rarely breaking their bones; whereas life. Deferring to these arguments in their old people often fracture their limbs by the general application, it is still impossible to set mere exertion of turning in bed.
aside the precise testimony of certain cases Bearing in mind the fact, that as we grow However easy it would be for a supra-centenaolder we become more brittle, this is explained; rian to tell an untruth, or to make a mistake
, and being explained, shall we not marvel that ! as to the bare statement of age, it would not life's fire burns so long? Consider what the be easy-rather would it be impossible–fo animal machine has to do to keep itself alive him to make the bare statement consist wich and going, the heart above all. Taking an cross-questioning founded upon consideration average of different ages, the human heart may' of events and historical periods. The extreme be considered to beat one hundred thousand age of Jenkins-he died at one hundred and times in the twenty-four hours. A human adult sixty-nine—is attested by the following line of, may be considered to hold from fifty to sixty as it would seem, unimpeachable evidence. pounds of blood; and this has to be kept in Henry Jenkins is said to have been bora at continuous motion by the pulsating heart to Bolton-upon-Swale, Yorkshire, in 1500, and to the very end of life. The mechanical labour is have followed the active employment of fisherenormous. Were a mechanician to devise a man for about a hundred and forty years. Being machine of ordinary materials for overcoming produced as a witness on a trial at the Yorkthe weight of fifty or sixty pounds, as happens shire assizes, to prove a contested right of way, to the blood, repairs would be incessant, the he swore to near one hundred and fifty years machine would soon wear out.
memory, during all which time he said he te I do not know how it happens that, when an membered the right of way. 'Beware wha?
you are swearing,' said the judge ; "there are ings, and, after ceremonies, besides wassal (a two men in the court eách above eighty--they liquor made from apples, sugar, 'and ale), have both sworn they have known no such ordered him a quarter of a yard of roast beef right of way.'
for his dinner (for that monasteries did deliver 'Those men,' replied Jenkins, are boys to their guests' meat by measure) and a great me. Upon which the judge inquired of those black-jack of strong drink. men how old they took Jenkins to be. Their Being next questioned whether he rememanswer was, they knew Jenkins very well, but bered the dissolution of religious houses, he said, not his age; for that he was a very old man Very well ;' that he was between thirty and when they were boys.
forty years old when the order came to dissolve Here, then, we have evidence of the great those in Yorkshire ; that great lamentation age of this patriarch,-evidence, so far as it was made, and the county all in a tumult when goes, of the most satisfactory kind ; educed, as the monks were turned out. After this sort of it was, from the testimony of those who, being evidence it will be impossible, I think, to refuse in a certain sense antagonists, can hardly be credence to this very old man's tale. assumed to have gone out of their way to en- Is growing old an art to be acquired ? is it a hance his antiquity. Evidence equally satis matter of eating, drinking, and avoiding? ? factory and more precise, as it goes to fix his These are amongst the questions that people, age exactly, was elicited by judicial cross- desirous of growing very old, will not fail to questioning founded on comparison of histori- propose to themselves. And thus may we recal dates. Being brought before a court of law ply: Viability, or the capacity of living long, to give evidence, he testified to one hundred wrote somebody, is an inheritance. Like talent, and twenty years : having been born before it may be cultivated ; like talent, it may be perparish-registers were kept, these only having verted; but it exists independent of all cultivabeen established by the 30th of Henry VIII. tion. Some men have a talent for long life.
This seemed so extraordinary that Jenkins Longevity tends to be hereditary. M. Charles was cross-questioned with reference to histori- Lejoncourt, in his Galerie des Centenaires, pubcal occurrences. What remarkable battle or lishes some cnrious examples. He cites a dayevent had happened in his memory? ' Flodden labourer, who died at one hundred and eight; Field,' said Jenkins : 'I being then turned his father having lived to one hundred and twelve years of age.' How did he live ? ' By four, and his grandfather to one hundred and thatching and salmon-fishing. I was thatch- eight. His daughter, then living, had arrived ing when served with your subpæna, and can at eighty. In another page of M. Lejoncourt's dub a hook with any man in Yorkshire.' treatise, we find a saddler whose grandfather
Reference to Flodden Field brought more died at one hundred and twelve, his father at cross-questioning. His reply was consistent, one hundred and thirteen, and he himself at and still more confirmatory. When eleven or one hundred and fifteen. This man, two years twelve years old, he said, he was sent to before his death, being asked by Louis XIV. Northallerton in the North Riding, with a how he had managed to live so long ?-Sire,' horse-load of arrows to be used in the battle of said he, 'by acting on two principles since I Flodden Field. From Northallerton the ar- was fifty ; the principles of keeping my winerows were sent on to the field of battle by a cellar open and my heart shut.' bigger boy, all the men being employed get- A more surprising illustration of hereditary ting-in the harvest. The battle of Flodden longevity is furnished by John Golembiewski, a Field was fought September 9th, 1513.
Pole. In 1846 this man was living,age d one Being farther questioned, Jenkins said that hundred and two. His father died at one hunhe had been butler to Lord Conyers of Horn- dred and twenty-one, his grandfather at one by Castle, when Marmaduke Brodelay, lord hundred and thirty. This Pole had been abbot of Fountains, did frequently visit his eighty years a common soldier. He had served lord, and drink a hearty glass with him ; that in thirty-five campaigns under Napoleon ; had
his lord often sent him to inquire how the even survived the terrible Russian campaign in - abbot did, who always sent for him to his lodg- spite of five wounds.
We perceive, then, that capacity for living to all ; worse, a conclusion I come near to is opvery old age tends to be hereditary. It is a posed to the belief of wiser men than I. Nowtalent, so to speak, and, like other talents, it aday insurance actuaries tell us that the marmay be developed or abused. If the question ried state is favourable in the highest degree to be proposed, By what regimen lor.gevity may longevity; but how is this to be reconciled with be most subserved, -the answer would be, A the case of St. Mungo, who died at the astoundtemperate regimen. The reply is indefinite; ing age of one hundred and eighty-five? Being not one whit more precise than are the circum- a saint, of course he was a celibate ; a standing stances that make a bonâ fide traveller. proof of old bachelordom vitality.
I cannot discover in the annals of extreme One swallow makes not a summer : I fancy old age any sort of testimony favourable to the most of the antique people whose records I views of total abstainers. As little does the have scanned were, in some sense, married faculty of long life comport with excess, either Mr. Parr was so little of a celibate, that, arrived in food or drink. Gluttony and drunkenness at the age of one hundred and five, they made are both unfavourable to longevity ; but glut- him undergo penance at church, as we already tony, as it would seem, in a higher degree than know, to atone for a youthful indiscretion : alcoholic drinking. Buffon places the moun- setting him up as an example to be avoided by tainous districts of Scotland in the very first other young men. rank for longevity, and we all know that John Thus it seems that, fearfully and wonderfully Highlandman is not a teetotaller. Whether made, the chances of dying from the effects of total-abstinence people would like to argue, that ' mere old age-the condition of euthanasiathough John Highlandman lives long, yet but are so much against us as well nigh to bar the for 'whisky' he would live longer still, I know hope. On the most favourable computation, it not. To support that argument they might only happens to one in a thousand; and out of adduce St. Mungo, otherwise called Kentigern, that thousand, the one can only belong to founder of the bishopric of Glasgow. This some seventy-seven or seventy-eight. worthy is said to have lived to one hundred and Is euthanasia-death without disease-coneighty-five, eleven years older than Jenkins, ing when life has been prolonged to the utterthirty-three years the senior of Old Parr. | most, a result to be desired ? Perhaps not.
In respect to sex, I do not find that women The optimist, believing all things to be for the figure as supra-centenarians in any way compa- : best, must fain believe not. rable to men. Old women of eighty-five or When hearing fails, and taste flags, and ninety are plentiful enough, but not antique sight grows dim ; when memory of things fast women-female old Parrs and Jenkinses. This mingles, wavering, with visioned thoughts of rather unsettles the somewhat common belief- the change to come ; when the lifelong-palpor is it a petulant outburst only ?-that old wo- tating heart pauses in its beat as if worn asu men never die.
weary,-is it not better then that the sile: Married life or celibacy-what shall we say? string should be cut in twain, and the pitcher Unfortunately I can come to no conclusion at broken at the well ?
ART AND MORALITY.
From Macmillan's Magazine for October. PINOSA says somewhere that our passions that passion and art must be enemies, so far as
all imply confusion of thought; and of passion is a temptation, and so far as art :3 course he proves this with all the parade of geo- perfect ; for certainly everyone would agree metrical method which is so satisfying to some that it is a perfection of art to present, and and so tedious to others. But everybody can ve- therefore to conceive, its subject as clearly and rify the aphorism for himself by observing that as adequately as may be. The subject of the he becomes calm as soon as he can attend to what Epithalamium of Mallius, or of the Vigi of it is that has disturbed him. And this suggests , Venus, is full in one sense of danger to meta
lity, but the danger is that our feeling for the groaneth and travaileth in pain together. It is subject should be too strong for the poetry not required of art to be cheerful, neither is it which inspired it, that we should abandon our required of morality as such. Marcus Aurelius selves to a blind glow of pleasurable emotion and George Eliot present “altruism" under a and lose sight of the vivid train of clear, arti- form that makes the Epicurean burden—"Let culate images which set our hearts on fire at us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die "-glad first. And there is another safeguard to mora- tidings of great joy to flesh and blood. But lity; perfect art must be more than adequate, it though George Eliot's fascination is painful, it must be satisfactory; it is condemned by its own is complete, there is nothing to disgust and standard till it can produce a type which can emancipate us : for her art rests upon the acbe contemplated upon all sides and throughout knowledgment of an order to which all must be all time. The situation of Maggie Tulliver, in subject whether they will or no, though the orthe boat with her cousin's betrothed, has many der exists for other ends than the happiness, or elements of artistic beauty; it is romantic, in- even the perfection, of the creatures under it. tense, and elevated; but it is not satisfactory We need not inquire whether such a morality ideally because it is not satisfactory morally: is enough for life, but, in its obedience, art finds like Maggie, we cannot forget the beginning, perfect freedom. Or rather, absolute art is not we cannot but look forward to the end. It is subject to absolute morality, but both are exwell that the dream should be broken; though pressions of one ideal order which must always the voyage on the flood to Tom and to death be conceived as holy, just, and good, though it has less charm, it has more peace; the imagi- is not always conceived as giving life and peace. nation can dwell upon it.
The new pagan
The art which is always claiming to be emantreatment of the Tannhäuser legend seems ca- cipated from morality is not the absolute art; pable of a more musical intensity than the tra- perhaps the morality which it rebels against is ditional Christian treatment, yet it can hardly hardly the absolute morality. The practical be doubted that Heine was right on purely question has to be discussed on a lower level, artistic grounds in giving up this intensity, and but it is not to be dismissed as though the art following his own temper, and turning all to which comes into conflict with morality were irony. Mr. Swinburne has to undertake the spurious because it is not the highest. True, impossible task of reconciling us to the thought the perfections of art are its safeguards, but art of a Hell, too intensely realized to be poetical ; may be so much without being perfect. Its the knight has to promise that he will remem- perfection exists rather for itself than for us, ber and rejoice in Venus there--we could not though we rejoice in it afar off ; what we need have believed it of a saint. Perfect art does not is that it should be stimulating, and this too is deal in paradoxes. This carries us a step fur- what the artist needs, for he too is of the same ther. In order that art may be adequate and clay as we. Like us, he desires fresher emotions satisfactory it must be sane and rational, it than the ordinary round of life supplies, though must be the expression not of revolt but of har- this too has a satisfaction of its own for those mony, it must assume and reflect an ideal order who cherish its affections. And the craving in the world. The impulse of revolt is strong which is occasional with us is habitual with both in Byron and Shelley, and they are among
him. He refuses the false gratification that the greatest of poets, but the law holds good in might be found for it if he would make virtue them. The grandest canto of Childe Harold is always culminate in some kind of Lord Mayor's the last, where despair and disdain are passing Show; life loses such flavour as it has in the atinto a calm that at least is half-resigned. Shel- tempt to make it just a little better, a little easier ley's anguish for himself and for mankind goes and a little prettier. If the artist will not idealize off incessantly into mere shrieking whenever it ordinary life by falsifying it, and cannot ideatakes the form of a revolt against the tyranny lize it in the light of the higher law, or sustain of kings and priests, it becomes musical again himself upon the level of ideal action, it remains when it blends with the mute sorrow of “the for him to go beyond the world since he cannot World's Wanderers," and becomes a voice in rise above it. He tries to escape from the the universal chorus of the whole creation that hackneyed routine of domestic duties and feli
cities into an unsatisfactory fairy-land of ex- and life illuminated by art. It never occurred treme passions, of untried desires, of unfettered to Shakespeare, or Titian, or Leonardo, that impulses, working themselves out within the the choice of Hercules lay between life and art: exciting complexities of abnormal situations. art in its supreme epochs has always been Since he cannot have the true ideal, and will nourished and exalted by the chastened or un. not put up with the false, he demands the chastened pride of life. When we speak of whole range of the real, and chooses to be al- choosing art for art, we acknowledge that the ways gleaning on the outskirts of possibility. pride of life does not need any longer to be The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and mortified, because it is dead. When life and the pride of life are not really ideal, but they art are parted, have their ideal moments (or they could not “Stratus humi palmes viduas desiderat ulmos." tempt us), and there comes a time when art But the gleaning of the vintage still is sweet ; finds it hard to part with one of these. The only when a man has renounced the rewards only justification that has yet been put forward of life for art, he has not escaped its obligafor the persistent attempt to pluck the “ flowers tions; if any were mad enough to lose his soul of evil” is that the artist shares the general for art, he would find he had lost art too. We dislike to their fruit, and that, whether he plucks cannot expect an ideal answer to a question or no, the world is sure to wear them. There which it is a misfortune to have to ask. Artists are very few like John Foster, to whom almost who have not attained the vision of eternal and all art, especially all classical art, was essen ideal beauty have no right to an ideal liberty, tially immoral because it nourished the pride of "and we have no right to try their work by an life : art that appeals merely to curiosity or to ideal standard till we have tried ourselves. the extreme sense of beauty is always thought Every one must apply as he can the principle safe and respectable; when we speak of im- that all art is lawful for a man which can be moral art we mean art that deals with sensual produced or enjoyed within the limits of a safe impulses, or rouses rebellion against the order and wholesome life. When we know that Etty of society; perhaps too there are many who lived quietly and soberly with his sister, and object to the first because it results in the se- was grateful to her for finding him respectable cond. And even on this point public opinion models, we know that he had succeeded for is rather emphatic than clear. It would be hard himself in finding a true relation between morto find a popular definition of literary immora- ality and art. Yet we should think hardly of a lity which would not condemn the episode of man who collected exclusively what Etty proPaolo and Francesca; it is almost as if Dante duced exclusively. An idle man might get all had come to curse them, and lo! he blessed the pleasure from Etty's pictures that they can them altogether : they are always together, and give, and that is not a safe pleasure for an idle they always love ; there are more who could man, but the pictures themselves were the work learn to look to such a hell with yearning than of honest labour—and qui laborat’orat. The choose to enter the purgatory of Gerontius. The safeguard that the artist has in the very necesLaureate may seem as unimpeacheable on this sity of working we may bring from our own score as Dante, yet it is hard not to think work, and then we shall be most likely to find Aylmer's Field an immoral poem. The wrath it anew in strenuous sympathy with his. To of man worketh not the righteousness of God, the pure all things are pure ; it is recorded of and the only outcome of Aylmer's Field is the one of the best public men of America that even wrath of man. We have an evil action repre- the ballet always filled him with religious rapsented in an evil spirit ; if we are not to con- ture. demn this, how are we to condemn such a poem
It is fortunate to possess such a temper, is as “The Leper," à priori, merely because Mr. would be silly and dangerous to aim at it; itSwinburne follows Luther's maxim, pecca forti- dividuals must be guided by their own desire ter? In truth, the question within what limits for virtue, and by the consent of virtuous and it is safe to pursue “art for art," is hardly one cultivated men. It is suggestive to observe that could be asked in an ideal state of things. that the limits of their toleration vary accordThen art would be continually enriched by life, ing to the medium in which the artist works