Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

con

over most of his English readers, Cardinal Newman must be ranked with Carlyle, Ruskin, and our own Emerson as one of the greatest prose writers in the greatest age of prose in English literature. That such authors as Cardinal Newman, who wrote the wonderful hymn "Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom," and Matthew Arnold, who has written poetry which ranks him next to Tennyson and Browning, should abandon poetry, and devote their lives to the writing of prose is certainly significant. The technique of Victorian poetry is good, but the high spirit of inspiration is lacking. As to our poetry in general, we have specimens of the most elaborate workmanship, as in Tennyson, yet lacking in depth and originality, and poems of great originality and profundity as in Robert Browning, vet crude in expression. The bird-like note of spontaneity, the fine careless rapture of the early years of our century is lacking. For example, you may search through Stedman's Victorian Anthology, and Palgrave's second series of the Golden Treasury of Lyric Poetry, the most recent and most representative volumes of the poetry of our age, and if your search be for å poem coming from the very heart of nature herself, as Shelley's Ode to the Skylark, your search will be in vain. At first one might think that the temptation to win sudden renown by contributing to the popular magazines and newspapers would account for lack of merit in the poetry of the age, but it is not so. A great amount of time and conscientious effort has been expended on poetry, and the amount produced is great, but our poets do not sing to appreciative ears. They are not encouraged and stimulated to higher flights. They appeal to cold hearts, to calculating minds and to deadened ears. Calliope, the name among the Greeks for the muse of poetry and eloquence, has been given hy us to the steam piano. It is the steam whistle and the whirr of factory wheels which make the only sweet music to the ears of most of the money-making men of the present age, and the laws of compensation apply here. Nature says to us in the language of Emerson, "the world is all before you; children, take what you want;

but pay the price for it.” The question becomes a practical one.

Put in a practical way which we are well qualified to understand, are we not paying too great a price for the things in which we so much pride ourselves? Let us hope our eyes may be speedily opened that we may see things as they really are.

Changes have taken place so rapidly, and we have progressed at such a rate that we have grown impatient with what is old. Innovation is almost a ruling passion. Often we are led to give up the old too soon, and to welcome ardently plans which prove not to have been sufficiently wrought out. Good things are demned because they are old, and new things are praised because they are the latest while often they are not superior nor are they the equal of the old. So far as literature is concerned such experiments are not fraught with dangers. We have had artistic fads in the Victorian era. They have been tried by time, and conclusively and speedily relegated to their proper places. Hereafter it will be only the special student of literature who will care to enter into more than a casual reading of the aesthetical school of poets or the works of the Symbolists or Impressionists. So also the extreme realists will

. doubtless prove in the future but “idle singers of an empty day.” All such attempts prove the lack of genuine inspiration. Sometimes the innovators become too bold and the outcry against works such as those of the Naturalistic school is irrepressible. Yet denunciation avails little. Some readers are led through curiosity to read the works so condemned. Any recognition of them is more than they deserve. It is fortunate that the prominence of such works is short. Our literature in general grows cleaner and purer every day--a progress which is due to the development in public taste, for we have no other censorship of the press. The purity of Victorian poetry and prose is one of the great features for which it should be praised. In true literature the element of novelty, mighty and attractive as it is in the periodical, has no legitimate place. What is older than Homer, yet what is more genuinely new? Dante, Ga

briel Rosseti and William Morris soon find he has yielded to the sadness of the age, their place. They appear artificial; they and he has forfeited that which seems his do not satisfy. Kindred souls are at- by virtue of divine gift. The malady of tracted to them but they do not influence the century is seen also in such poets as their age nor are they influenced by it. Arthur Clough. It is the sadness resultThey are treated as Orlando and Rosa- ing from the ruin wrought by the sweeplind each in turn treat the melancholy ing changes in all domains of thought and Jaques in the forest of Arden. When Or- action. In contrast to all other authors of lando is encountered by this type of the the age let us dwell upon Browning and melancholy man who "is sad as night only Emerson. Their voices are so clear and for wantonness” and is bidden by him inspiring, so helpful and ennobling to “sit down with me, and we two will rail all who desire to live in the spirit that against our mistress, the world and all they must ever rank among the most inour misery,” the manly reply comes at fluential writers of this age. Our human once, although Orlando has many causes impulses toward beauty and love, they asto be sad, "I will chide no breather in the sure us, have their true and natural field world but myself, against whom I know of expression. They urge us toward endmost faults” - "Adieu, good monsieur less endeavor; the triumphant optimism melancholy.” And Rosalind says to this of them both is the healthiest and truest same Jacques, “Farewell, monsieur trav- note which has been struck in this era. eller; look you, lisp and wear strange suits; Browning's "God's in His Heaven-All's disable all the benefits of your own coun- Right with the World” awakens an try; be out of love with your nativity and swering echo in our hearts. We read almost chide God for making you that Browning and Emerson in spite of their countenance, you are, or I will scarce obscurity and peculiarity. We learn to love think you have swam in a gondola.” them because they have done so much for

It is here also that Swinburne fails. us, and we defend them when they are He is out of touch with his age. Had he assailed. We even come at last to think continued as he began, and had he ful- their faults are beauties, and battle for filled the expectations of all those who these authors, forgetting that in matters read his early poems, the world would of taste there should be no dispute. have been delighted to place upon his head the wreath of the poet laureate; but

[Concluded in September.]

an

AN INDIANA TEACHER IN CHARLESTON.

P. KATHARINE BEESON.

The National Educational Association has been to Charleston and gone home to talk it over. A more interesting place in itself and its environs could hardly have been chosen. A place more unfitied for taking care of a convention would be hard to find.

Charleston is all untouched by the spirit of progress that is so evident in many parts of the South. There the southern gentleman still lives behind his wall and the visitor rings at the gate for admittance. There the vultures "clean up” the market space when market hours are over. Siege, cyclone, tornado, fire and

earthquake have left their marks on more than one quarter of the city, but the chimes of grand old St. Michael's are just as sweet as when, for one hundred and sixty-two years they rang the curfew for a people living under a social regime more interesting than anything since feudal times.

The N. E. A. had rivals in plenty. Magnolia cemetery is one of the most beautiful of the cities of the dead. Old Fort Sumter, grim guardian of the harbor, with its tremendous guns, is a trifle disappointing in extent, but full of interest for all that. It is interesting to know that, while this old fort retains the show which way the wind of progress is outward appearance that it wore at the blowing. close of the Civil War, the inner walls This from the Charleston News and have been strengthened until they are Courier: practically impenetrable. A shot or shell, "Booker Washington spoke at the Nato reach the men in the gun pits, would tional Educational convention last night have to crush through several hundred and spoke well. He never fails to impress feet of concrete.

himself on his audience, whatever that auPalm Island, which boasts the finest dience. We regard him as one of the surf bathing in the world, attracted hun- greatest men of the South to-day. He is dreds of visitors daily. Chicora Park pro- at once the Moses and the Aaron of his vided amusement of many kinds, and- race—a wise leader and always a forcible this is a fact to which every visitor can speaker. He has accomplished more to testify — the mosquitoes greeted guests set his people in the right way, to lead cordially and, in large armies, guarded them up to an appreciation of true liberty then while they slept.

and civilization, than any other man that But, for all this, Charleston is not an has ever lived and spoken in this land. ideal convention city. No town with but “Mr. Washington is doing a grand one hotel, however delightful its sur- work, not only fcr the uplifting of his roundings, can successfully handle a con- race but for the benefit of the white peovention whose minimum attendance is ple of the South as well. He deserves the three thousand, when the mercury is sympathy and support of all those who, frisking around the hundred mark. Visi- like him, are working for the best solutors are apt to grow ill tempered when tion of the social and political problems they have no place to sleep and not much which confront us. His constructive to eat. Those who were fortunate enough genius, his wise leadership, his thoughtto secure entertainment in one of Charles- ful eloquence, all commend the utterances ton's old homes feel that the people there of this spokesman of the colored people to fully justify their reputation for hospital- the consideration of the white men of the ity, but the committee had too few such country, and should command for him the places on its list. Twenty-four hours support of those of us in the South who spent in looking for a comfortable lodging would promote the welfare of the country place seemed a waste of time. Half that by improving the citizenship of the time spent on the Isle of Palms would

South." have left pleasanter memories.

Indiana had a prominent place in the The convention itself, though smaller program and was liberally remembered in in numbers than any for a great many. the distribution of offices for next year. years, was generally conceded a success. Dr. Swain's paper was regarded as one of The program committee did well to so ar- the strongest productions of the convenrange the exercises that interest in the tion. sessions was sustained to the last. A Charleston, with a commendable courhigher standard of excellence than here- age, urged the convention to come to her tofore in the character of the papers and in order to encourage on the part of the attention of the audiences

southern workers in the educational field reached. This was true of the depart- broader conceptions of the duties and remental meetings as well as those of the sponsibilities of the schoolmaster, a deeper general sessions. The papers presenting appreciation of the demands of the souththe highest ideals, not only in educational ern field. Realizing the need of the cowork, but concerning all matters touching operation of those who live and work in the relations between South and North, other parts of the country in meeting the were received with the highest enthusi- difficulties and overcoming the obstacles asm. The reception accorded to Booker to southern development and progress, T. Washington, the orator of the conven- she reached out for the convention, and tion, is one of the significant straws which

got it.

was

Utterances from many sources in the South indicate that the meeting has already proven of more service than any convention ever held in the South in sup

porting and inspiring a revival of interest in education and particularly in industrial education.

MODERN GEOGRAPHY THE BASIS OF AN ABOLUTE CURRICULUM.

C. A. BOWSHER, CHAMPAIGN, ILL.

The function of the study of geography is to acquaint man with his most general terrestrial world relations and to properly correlate him with them. Modern geography is the general premise from which all other branches of study are derived and co-ordinated. Consequently it furnishes the basis of an absolute curriculum. Its central theme is the general consideration of energy and gravitation in their manifold relations with matter of the terrestrial sphere and their myriads of derived relations known as terrestrial creation.

Modern geography teaches that all terrestrial relations and creation may be classified into objective reality, subjective reality and pure subjective.

Objective reality includes all terrestrial relations independent of man. Subjective reality includes all terrestrial relations dependent on man. Pure subjective includes those relations not wholly controlled by the universal psychological law.

The universal psychological law is as follows: Any two minds may attain identical opinions concerning the same thing, provided they speak the same language, employ the same terminology, use the same units of measurement for contrasting conceptions, classify deductions by the same system of co-ordination and have the same point of view.

Modern geography also teaches that: (a) Anything whatever that may be thought upon may be termed a world relation. (b) That form of thought expressing relations existing between the factors of reality is mathematical. (c) The summation of all possible world relations is termed the universe. (d) The visible universe is termed the world. (e) Man is finite; the word is infinite, and man's conception of the world must ever remain

a relative term. (f) However great man's conception of reality may become, it may be divided into a series of orders of notion such that any order is of an infinitesimal relation to the order following it and of an infinite relation to the order preceding it respectively. Each order of notion possesses a definite measuring unit and limit. The units and limits of the orderare such that the unit of any order is the limit to the unit of the next lower order and the limit of the order is the unit of the next higher order of notions respectively.

All reality may thus be conceived as a summation of the infinite and infinitesimal world relations arranged in a series of orders of notions. The names of the orders of notions as determined by their respective units and limits are, the ethereal, the molecular, the biological, the subjective, the geographical and the astronomical orders of notions respectively.

In the ethereal order of notions, the unit is the particle of ether, the limit is the molecule. Knowledge of this order is obtained by the study of physics.

In the molecular order of notions, the unit is the molecule, the limit is the cell. Knowledge of this order is obtained by the study of chemistry.

In the biological order of notions, the unit is the cell, the limit is man. Knowledge of this order is obtained by the study of biology.

In the subjective order of notions, the unit is man the limit is the earth. Knowledge of this order is obtained by the study of sociology, or the relations existing between the home, church, school, State and vocation.

In the geographical order of notions, the unit of measurement is the earth, the limit is the solar system. Knowledge of

are

A

this order is obtained by the study of unit of measurement and the point of geology and physiography.

view employed to make deductions in In the astronomical order of notions, fundamental relations. Heretofore, the the unit of measurement is the solar sys- geographer and the philosopher (fundatem, the limit is the visible universe. mentally the same) have considered Knowledge of this order is obtained by world relations from the standpoint of the study of astronomy.

the individual. Consequently, the unit Hence, from the ether particles to the of measurement and the point of limits of the visible universe, all possible view have been erroneously taken and world relations may be arranged into a deductions made by them provsystem of co-ordination of notions in ing inadequate for present-day reterms of their units and limits. The six quirements. Modern man is deriving a oriers of notions thus co-ordinated may new geographical science, a new world be expressed in their relations in mathe- philosophy. The spirit of the age can not matical language by taking the geographi- be adequately expressed in the termincal order of notions as a basis and repre- ology of the past. Man finds himself in senting it by the symbol A. Let repre- a maze of new world relations with which sent an infinite relation of the first order. the experiences of his ancestry do not Then - will represent an infinitesimal wholly prepare him to contend. It is the relation of the first order or the unit of

business of the modern geographer to set the next lower order, which in this case the mind of man to right relations, find is the subjective order of notions.

for him the psychological pole-star, conwill represent the unit of the second lower

struct for him a compass for his guidance, order or an infinitesimal relation of the

determine the latitude and longitude of second order below or the biological order

his activities and the haven for which he of notions. Consequently, all world rela

is bound while on this terrestrial sphere. tions may be represented in a series of or

So, in company with his beloved and talders of notions by the following formula:

ented astronomical brother, the modern A+A+A+A+A+A+A 2

geographer, betakes himself to the plane of the ecliptic in the fourth quadrant at

the twentieth celestial hour outside and all possible world relations. A popular near the earth's orbit and there contemrepresentation of the same thing may be plates terrestrial relations for the enlightstated as follows: (Ether particle... enment of man. Here he establishes conmolecule) + (molecule....cell) + (cell.... ceptions of them in the grand system of man) + (man....earth) + (earth....SO- co-ordination of notions, by the aid of his lar system) + (solar system. ... visible uni. other equally beloved brethren, the physiterse) equal all possible world relations cist, the chemist, the biologist and the in terms of their units and limits. If

sociologist—from the ether particles to the last two terms of the above formula the limits of the visible universe. be omitted, the remaining terms express In this wonderland the earth is his unit all possible terrestrial world relations that

of measurement, the plane of the ecliptic may be conceived by mortal man. Thus is his point of view and the solar system it may be demonstrated that the function is his limit to terrestrial world relations. of the study of geography is properly to From this standpoint, the geographer conorient man with his world relations and ceives the earth in its relative dimensions that in doing so he will necessarily be and distances from the sun and its two compelled to agree with the Universal motions. The thin column of energy from Mind in the matter by obeying the dic- the sun is perceived to affect the rotating tates of the universal psychological law. surface in beautiful mathematical rela

In modern geography, man must con- tions around the central and direct eclipsider his world relations from God's tic ray. And as each portion of the surstandpoint; that is, off the earth. The face intercepts this column of celestial pofinite notion of things depends upon the tency, terrestrial relations arise which are

4

[ocr errors]

1

1

1

« ZurückWeiter »