Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of wisdom we can only allude to thank Dr. Kay for speaking so clearly and to the point.

But it becomes necessary to pass over many pages which we had marked for approving comment. In conclusion it may be said that this treatise on Mental Hygiene is full of wholesome rebukes and valuable suggestions. Yet the impression of NewEngland, or even of American life, which a stranger might receive from it, would be lamentably false. In a special department, Dr. Ray is an able scientist. To a wideembracing philosophy he does not always show claims. There has been heart-sickening corruption in all prosperous societies, — especially in such as have been debauched by complicity with Slavery. It is the duty of some men of science and benevolence to be ever probing among the defilements of our fallen nature, to breathe the tainted air of the lazar-house, to consort with madness and crime. Few men deserve our respect and gratitude like these. But let them be cheered by remembering that in the great world outside the hospital there are still elements of worthiness and

nobility. Wealth was never more wisely liberal, talents were never held to stricter accountability, genius has never been more united with pure and high aims, than in the Loyal States to-day. The descendant! of "those much-enduring men and women of colonial times" have not shown themselves altogether "incapable of toil and exposure." From offices and countingrooms, from libraries and laboratories, our young men have gone forth to service as arduous as that which tried their forefathers. How many of them have borne every hardship and privation of war, every cruelty of filthy prisons and carrion-food, yet have breasted the slave-masters' trea' son till its bullet struck the pulse of life! Let us remember that Ihe most divergent tendencies of character, even such as wo cannot associate with an ideal poise of mind, may work to worthiest ends in this ill-balanced world of humanity. The saying of Kovalis, that health is interesting only in a scientific point of view, disease being necessary to individualization, shows one side of the shield of which Dr. Ray presents the other.

RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS

RECEIVED BY THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

The Life of Philidor, Musician and Chessplayer. By George Allen, Greek Professor in the University of Pennsylvania. With a Supplementary Essay on Philidor as Chess-Author and Chess-Player, by Tassilo von Ueydcbrand und der Lasa, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the King of Prussia at the Court of Saxe- Weimar. Philadelphia. E. H. Butler & Co. 12mo. pp. xii., 15G. 81.50.

Spots on the Sun; or, The Plumb-Line Papers. Being a Series of Essays, or Critical Examinations of Difficult Passages of Scripture; together with a Careful Inquiry into Certain Dogmas of the Church. By Rev. T. M. Hopkins, A. M., Geneva, N. Y. Auburn. William J. Moses. IGrno. pp. 367. $1.00.

Frank Warrington. By the Author of "Rntledge." New York. G. W. Carleton, 12mo. pp. 478. $1.50.

Husband and Wife; or, The Science of Human Development through Inherited Tendencies. By the Author of" The Parent's Guide," etc. New York. G. W. Carleton. 12mo. pp. 259. $1.26.

Sermons preached before His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, during his Tour in the East, in the Spring of 1862, with Notices of some of the Localities visited. By Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D. D., Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford, Honorary Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen, etc., otc. New York. C. Scribner. 12mo. pp. 272. $1.50.

Pahnoni; or, The Numerals of Scripture * Proof of Inspiration. A Free Inquiry. By M. Mahan, D. D., St. Marks-in-the-Bowery Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the General Theological Seminary. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 170. 76 eta.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Youxo people are often charged with caring little for the past. The charge is just; and the young are right. If they care little for the past, then it is certain that it is in debt to them, — as for them the past cared nothing. It is wonderful, considering how children used to be treated, that the human race ever succeeded in getting established on earth. Humanity should have died out, there was so little that was humane in its bringing up. Because they had contrived to bring a helpless creature into a world that every one wishes he had never known at least twenty-four times a day, a father and mother of the very old school indeed assumed that they had the right to make that creature a slave, and to hold it in everlasting chains. They had much to say about the duty of children, and very little about the love of parents. The sacrificing of children to idols, a not uncommon practice in some renowned countries of antiquity, the highest-born children being the favorite victims, — for Moloch's appetite was delicate, —could never have taken place in any country where the voice of Nature was heeded; and yet

those sacrifices were but so many prooft> of the existence of a spirit of pride, which caused men to offer up their offspring on the domestic'altar. Son and slave were almost the same word with the Romans; and your genuine old Roman made little ado alxmt cutting off<the head of one of liis boys, perhaps for doing something of a praiseworthy nature. Old Junius Brutus was doubly favored by Fortune, for he was enabled to kill two of his sons in the name of Patriotism, and thereby to gain a reputation for virtue that endures to this day, — though, after all, he was but the first of the brutes. The Romans kept up the paternal rule for many ages, and theoretically it long survived the Republic. It had existed in the Kingdom, and it was not unknown to the Empire. We have an anecdote that shows how strong was the supremacy of paterfamilias at the beginning of the eighth century, when Young Rome had already made more than one audacious display of contempt for the Conscript Fathers. When Pompeius was asked what he would do, if Caesar should resist the requirements of the Senate, he. answered, — " What if my son should raise his stick against me ?" — meaning to imply, that, in his opinion, resistance from Csesar was something too absurd to be thought of. Yet Caesar did resist, and triumphed; and, judging from their after-lives, we should say that the Young Pompeys would have had small hesitation in raising their sticks against their august governor, had he proved too disobedient. A few years earlier, according to Sallust, a Roman, one Fulvius, had caused his son to be put to death, because he had sought to join Catiline. The old gentleman heard what his son was about, and when Young Hopeful was arrested and brought before him, he availed himself of his fatherly privilege, and had him strangled, or disposed of after some other of those charming fashions which were so common in the model republic of antiquity. "This imitation of the discipline of the ancient republic," says Merivale, " excited neither applause nor indignation among the languid voluptuaries of the Senate." They probably voted Fulvius a brute, but they no more thought of questioning the legality of his conduct than they did of imitating it. Law was one thing, opinion another. If he liked to play Lucius Junius, well and good; but they had no taste for the part. They felt much as we used to feel in Fngitive-Slave-Law times: we did not question the law, but we would have nothing to do with its execution.

Entered according to Act of Congren, In the year 1864, by Tiokxor And Fm.nx, In the Clerk's Offloe

of the District Court of the District of UucachuMtts. VOL. XIII. 26

Modern fathers have had no such powers as were held by those of Rome, and if an Englishman of Red-Rose views had killed his son for setting off to join Edward IV. when he had landed at Ravenspur, no one would think of praising the act. What was all right in a Roman of the year 1 of the Republic would be considered shocking in a Christian of the fifteenth century, a time when Christianity had become much diluted from the intermixture of blood. In the next century, poor Lady Jane Grey spoke* of the torments which she had endured at the hands of her parents, who were of the noblest blood of Europe, in terms

that ought to make every young woman thankful that her lot was not cast in the good old times. Roger Ascham was her confidant. He had gone to Brodegatc, to take leave of her, and " found her in her chamber alone, reading Phaedo Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale of Boccace "; and as all the rest of the Greys were hunting in the park, the schoolmaster inquired why she should lose such pastime. The lady answered, that the pleasure they were having in the park was but the shadow of that pleasure she found in Plato. The conversation proceeding, Ascham inquired how it was that she had come to know such true pleasure, and she answered, — "I will tell you, and tell you a truth which perchance ye may marvel at. One of the greatest benefits God ever gave me is that he sent me so sharp and severe parents and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it as it were in such weight, number, and measure, even so perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways, (which I will not name for the honor I bear them,) so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing while I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because whatsoever I do else beside learning is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily more pleasure and more, that in respect of it all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles to me.• The Duke and Duchess of Suffolk were neither better nor worse than other parents who tormented and tyrannized over their children temp. Edward VI., and nothing but the prominence of the most unfortunate of their unfortunate daughters has preserved the memory of their domestic despotism. Throughout all England it was the same, from palace to castle, and from castle to hovel; and father and tyrant were convertible terms. Youth must have been but a dreary time in those old days. Scott's Sir Henry Lee, according to his son, kept strict rule over his children, and he was a type of the antique knight, not of the debauched cavalier, and would be obeyed, with or without reason. The letters and the literature of the seventeenth century show, that, how loose soever became other ties, parents maintained their hold on their children with iron hands. Even the license of the Restoration left fatherly rule largely triumphant and undisputed. When even "husbands, of decent station, were not ashamed to beat their wives," sons and daughters were not spoiled by a sparing of the rod. Harshness was the rule in every grade of life, and harsh indeed was parental rule, until the reader wonders that there was not a general rebellion of women, children, scholars, and apprentices against the savage ascendency of husbands, fathers, pedagogues, and masters.

But the fashions of this world, whether good or evil, pass away. In the eighteenth century we find parents becoming more humane, though still keeping their offspring pretty stiffly bitted. They shared in the general melioration of the age. The father was "honored sir," and was not too familiar with his boys. The great outhreak at the close of the century did much for the emancipation of the young; and by the time that the present century had advanced to a third of its years, youth had so far got the best of the conflict, and treated their elders with so little consideration, that it was thought the latter were rather presumptuous in remaining on earth after fifty. Youth began to organize itself. Young Germany, Young France, and Young England became powers in the world. Young Germany was revo

lutionary and metaphysical, and nourished itself on bad beer and worse tobacco. Young France was full-bearded and decidedly dirty, and so far deferred to the past as to look for models in '93; and it had a strong reverence for that antique sentiment which exhibited itself in the assassination of kings. Young England was gentlemanly and cleanly, its leaders being of the patrician order; and it looked to the Middle Ages for patterns of conduct. Its chief's wore white waistcoats, gave red cloaks and broken meat to old women, and would have lopped off three hundred years from Old England's life, by pushing her back to the early days of Henry VIIL, when the religious houses flourished, and when the gallows was a perennial plant, bearing fruit that was not for the healing of the nations. Some . of the cleverest of the younger members of the aristocracy belonged to the new organization, and a great genius wrote some delightful novels to show their purpose, and to illustrate their manner of how-not-to-do-it in grappling with the grand social questions of the age. In "Coningsby " they sing canticles and carry about the boar's head; in "Sibyl" they sing hymns to the Holy Virgin and the song of labor, and steal title-deeds, after setting houses on fire to distract attention from their immediate object; and in "Tancred" they go on pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre, by way of reviving their faith. All this is so well done, that Young England will survive in literature, and be the source of edification, long after there shall be no more left of the dust of its chiefs than there is of «the dust of Cheops or Caesar. For all these youths are already vanished, leaving no more traces than you would find of the flowers that bloomed in the days of their lives. Young Germany went out immediately after the failure of the rev-olutionists of 1848-9. Young France thought it had triumphed in the fall of the Orleans monarchy, but had only taken the first long step toward making itsown fall complete; and now some of its early members are of the firmest supporters of the new phase of imperialism, the only result of the Revolution of February that has given signs of endurance. Young England went out as soberly and steadily as it had lived. The select few who composed it died like gentlemen, and were as polite as Lord Chesterfield in the article of death. Some of them turned Whigs, and have held office under Lord Palmerston; and others are Tories, and expect to hold office under Lord Derby, when he shall form his third ministry. Young America, the worst of these youths, and the latest born, was never above an assassin in courage, or in energy equal to more than the plundering of a hen-roost. The fruits of his exertions are to be seen in some of the incidents of the Secession War, and they were not worth the gathering.

The world had settled down into the belief, that, after all, a man was not much to be blamed for growing old, and liberal-minded people were fast coming to the conclusion, that years, on the whole, were not dishonorable, when the breaking out of a great war led to the return of youth to consideration. The English found themselves at war with Russia, much to their surprise; and, still more to their surprise, their part in that war was made subordinate to that of the French, who acted with them, in the world's estimate of the deeds of the members of the new Grand Alliance. This is not the place to discuss the question whether that estimate was a just one. We have to do only with the facts that England was made to stand in the background, and that she seemed at first disposed to accept the general verdict. There was, too, much mismanagement in the conduct of the war, some of which might easily have been avoided; and there was not a little suffering, as the consequence of that mismanagement . John Bull must have his scape-goat, like the rest of us; and, looking over the field, he discovered that all his leaders were old men, and forthwith, though the oldest of old fellows himself, he laid all his mishaps to the account of the years of his upper ser

vants. Sir Charles Napier, who never got into St. Petersburg, was old, and had been a dashing sailor forty years before. Admiral Dundas, who did not destroy Sweaborg, but only burned a lot of corded wood there in summer time, was another old sailor. Lord Raglan, who never saw the inside of Sebastopol, was well stricken in years, having served in Wellington's military family during the Peninsular War. General Simpson, Sir C. Campbell, General Codrington, Sir G. Brown, Sir G. Catheart, and others of the leaders of the English army in the Crimea, were of the class of gentlemen who might, upon meeting, furnish matter for a paragraph on "united ages." What more natural than to attribute all that was unpleasant in the war to the stagnated blood of men who had heard the music of that musketry before which Napoleon L's empire had gone down? The world went mad on the subject, and it was voted that old generals were nuisances, and that no man had any business in active war who was old enough to have much experience. Age might be venerable, but it was necessarily weak; and the last place in which it should show itself was the field.

It was not strange that the English should have come to the conclusion that the fogies were unfit to lead armies. They were in want of an excuse for their apparent failure in the war, and they took the part that was suggested to them, — therein behaving no worse than ourselves, who have accounted for our many reverses in many foolish and contradictory ways. But it was strange that their view was accepted by others, whose minds were undisturbed, because unmistified, — and accepted, too, in face of the self-evident fact that almost every man who figured in the war was old. Marechal Pelissier,* to whom the chief

• There are three accounts as to the time of the birth of "St. Arnaud, formerly Leroy." That wbich makes him oldest represents him as being fifty-eight at the Buttle of the Alma. The second makes him fifty-six, and the third fifty-three. In either case he was

« ZurückWeiter »