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You must have existed for ages, Born this morning! and last night,
But ne'er in the past you appear
In mystical medical pages;
When suddenly, lol you are here.
Though climates be Arctic or Tropic, The great cruel northern sea,
You come with disease in your train; In its dread immensity.
Seen surely on slide microscopic,
Bacillus our bane.
“ De minimis non curat lex" is Shivering in the sudden gale,
A motto we've all heard before; Shook and filled the broad brown sail,
The tiny Bacillus that vexes, And the coble, ta'en aback,
No medical man can ignore. Foundered, ere the sheet could slack.
The smallest of things in creation
An eminence high may attain;
Bacillus our bane.
Though some folks deny your existence, Few who 'mid their surge go down
Though fierce physiologists fight, See again the red-roofed town.
With painful unpleasing persistence,
Professors bring new ones to light. And among those hands he drowned,
Each boasts of the one he detected, 'Neath whose cottage eaves was found,
Its beauties will gladly explain; When another morning rose
Is our admiration expected ? -
Bacillus our bane.
While knowledge is power, recognition
Of such horrid atoms as these, Born this morning! Little one,
Each like a malefic magician, Life has bitterly begun.
Can scarce be expected to please. Scant the welcome thou canst find,
Although we've endeavored to quiz it, From the heart he lcaves behind,
It smiles vibrionic disdain; Till motherhood, from black despair,
But don't bother us with a visit, Wakens love, to live and bear.
Bacillus our banė.
Punch. Sing his lullaby, O sea! Nurse and playmate thou must be. Husband hast thou ta’en, and brother, From that weeping wife and mother. Hast thou aught of help to say
IF THEY KNEW. To the infant, born to-day?
IF only my mother knew Give the orphan for his dower
How my heart is hurt within me, Something of thy joyous power;
She would take my face in her tender hands Give him of thy quenchless might
And smooth my cheek, as she used to do With the blasts of fate to fight;
In the days that seem so long ago, Teach him in thy ceaseless song,
When childish tears were quick to flow; How to “suffer and be strong.
She would smooth my face with her tender
hands Born this morning, orphaned ere Load of life he came to bear!
If she felt the grief within me. Doomster, healer, soother, take,
If only my lover knew Thread of life to mar or make,
Of the surging, passionate sorrow, Grief and presage, seeing, scorning,
He would hold me close to his sturdy breast, Take the infant, born this morning!
As once he held me the long hours through,-
When we had not learned to live apart,
If he guessed my passionate sorrow.
But it pierces me like a knife
To think that they do not know it; Untouched by our potions and pills, To think they can look in my pleading eyes, You enter to conquer and kill us,
Yet never question my hidden life; The taint that brings terrible ills.
Can touch my lips in the same old place You lurk in the air and the water,
Yet never look for the soul in my face. The presage of peril and pain,
Oh, the tears are bitter that fill my eyes You stride on serene to our slaughter, To know that they do not know it! Bacillus our bane.
From The Fortnightly Review.
understanding, and fortifies and trains the THE STUDY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.
judgment. An eminent English scholar has con. Such an outline map of European hisfessed that he knows no geography save tory the young student has ready to his of those countries over which he has him- hand in Mr. Freeman's “ General Sketch.” self travelled. And there is, in fact, no It owns no charm of picturesque beauty, method of learning geography to compare or dramatic presentment, or philosophical with that of tramping across hill and plain reflection; but it is what it professes to with a knapsack on the shoulders. But be - a clue to a labyrinth. The general to know a country aright, one must know relations of different periods and different it in relation to other lands, and the pedes. countries to another are traced trian traveller might well begin his geo- though a vast tract of time, extending graphical studies by inspecting a map of from the early history of the Aryan nathe globe, and by mastering, not indeed tions to the union of Germany in our own the details, but the broader outlines of days; and this is achieved within the
limits of some three or four hundred In like manner no one can be said to pages. It would be possible by brute know, in the true sense of the word, any force to hammer the contents of this little portion of history until he has made close book into a boy's head in the course of a acquaintance with it in the original sources few weeks or months, and brute force and authorities. Service of high value could hardly be better employed. The may be rendered to him by the modern young student of history would ever after historian ; but the modern historian is at be able to place things aright, and to unbest a trustworthy guide describing the derstand how this thing is related to that. country ; to know the country aright the He might by-and-by proceed to fill in one traveller must breathe its air, live fragment of the great map with topoamongst its inhabitants, become familiar, graphical details, nor rest until he had if possible, with its every height and hol- become intimate with every feature of his low. The historical student, if he be a chosen province. true student, must address himself to the Had I my way in the teaching of Enmastering of contemporary texts. “To glish literature I would have the student the law and to the testimony, to the char- start with a general sketch of European ter and to the chronicle, to the abiding literature somewhat resembling Mr. Freerecords of each succeeding age, writ on man's “General Sketch of European Histhe parchment or graven on the stone - tory” in its aim and scope and manner of it is to these that he must go himself and treatment. Unfortunately no such book must guide others." * But in order to (as far as I am aware) exists, nor does conceive aright his special field of study, one know where to turn in search of a the student should have in his mind a writer competent to trace such an outline. broad outline map of the whole course of If Hallam's “Introduction to the Literahistory, a map not crowded with petty ture of Europe,” admirable as it is for names, but clearly setting forth the facts its learning and good sense, were recast, of prime importance. Having once pos- revised, amended, and reduced from four sessed himself of such an outline map, he large volumes to a single volume of three will ever after be able to place things hundred pages, we should possess somearight, and to understand in some degree thing which might at least serve as a stoptheir true relations. And so he can enter gap until a better book were ready to take on the close study of his particular provo its place. But a large book reduced in ince, to win from it by patient observation, scale is never quite the same as a small research, reflection, that rich knowledge book written with a different purpose ; it of concrete realities which nourishes the is not easy merely by omission or conden
sation to obtain breadth and simplicity of Mr. Freeman, speaking of the duties of the fessor of history, Methods of Historical Study, pp. 16, outline.
Such a general sketch of European lit
erature I would fix once and for all, as | ing a great author, the right method of an outline map, in the brain of the young dealing with a great literary period can student. It is essential that he should be taught, and that to teach this is the conceive the history of English literature most important part of a professor's work. as part of a larger movement. It is essen- And the first lesson which must be ential that he should know where were the forced is that which enables the student headquarters of literature in each succes- to bring home to himself the vast difsive period — now in Florence or in Rome, ference between knowing about an author now in Paris, now in London, now at Wei- or knowing about a book and knowing the
When Boccaccio is spoken of in author or the book. connection with Chaucer, when Tasso or Let us take, then, as our first unit in the Ariosto is spoken of in connection with study of literature one complete work in Spenser, or Boileau in connection with prose or verse. A complete work, not a Dryden and Pope, or Goethe in connec. fragment of a long poem, such as one or tion with Carlyle, he ought at least to two books of " Paradise Lost; " not pasbe able to place Boccaccio and Tasso sages from some famous piece of prose, and Ariosto and Boileau and Goethe such as selections from “Gulliver's Travaright in the general movement of Euro- els." It is well that we should choose a pean literature, and in some measure to great work by a great author, and that conceive aright the relation of each to the author ought himself to belong to a great literary movement in our own country. and fruitful period of literature. A play
The student of English literature ought, of Shakespeare's fulfils all the conditions however, to know a good deal more of the which we require ; let us ask on what side entire course and progress of literature in the professor and his class should attack England than he can know of the course the text before them. and progress of literature in France or My answer is, they should attack it on Spain or Italy or Germany. But it is every side; there is nothing in the play hardly to be expected that he can know which the student ought not to try to English literature from the Cædmon grasp and hold. Some persons seem to poems to Tennyson at first hand. He may fear that a close attention to textual diffibe told that it is well for him to learn a culties, conjectural emendations, obsolete little about many things at second hand, words, allusions to manners and customs, and therefore it is well for him to read and such like, will quench an interest in some short and well-written history of the higher meanings of the play. I have English literature from the first page to not found it so. The saying “ He that is the last. If he fully understands the pro- faithful in that which is least is faithful found difference which there is between also in much " has its just application to first-hand and second-hand knowledge the true scholar. The letter indeed withsuch a history will do him not harm but out the spirit is dead; but to affect to good. In every direction we take some reach the spirit while ignorant of the letof our knowledge provisionally and on ter is the folly either of the dilettante or trust; and if we are slow to put forward the half-witted enthusiast. “Let us not as facts statements which we have not press too liard for spirit and feeling in our verified, and if we refuse to air notions as friends," said Serlo to Wilhelm Meister, our own which we have derived from when they were instructing their troop of others, our second-hand information may actors in the mysteries of “Hamlet ;” be highly serviceable.
“the surest way is first coolly to instruct But no history of English literature them in the sense and letter of the piece ; should be read until the student is made if possible to open their understandings. to perceive and feel what knowledge at Whoever has the talent will then of his first hand indeed is by being put to own accord eagerly adopt the spirited work on an actual text. Whether English feeling and manner of expression ; and literature can be taught or not, I am con. those who have it not will at least be previnced that the right method of approach. I vented from acting or reciting altogether
falsely. And among actors, as indeed in It is the business of the examiner to all cases, there is no worse arrangement ascertain whether this has been done. than for any one to make pretensions to Some of his questions will be mere tests the spirit of a thing, while the sense and of memory; and it is very right that the letter of it are not ready and clear to student should remember accurately what him."
he has read, and that considerable stress What we desire before all else at this should be laid on the cultivation of mere stage of our progress is to form the schol- memory. But, it will be said, this is to arly habit of mind, which is not content give encouragement to the crammer.
I with inaccuracy or slovenliness or blurred am no advocate of cram, but neither am I renderings. If I ask a boy to explain the frightened by the word. A good deal of lines in “ King Lear” –
what is carelessly and ignorantly termed Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
cram I should venture to call sound teachWith every gale and vary of their masters, ing as fur as it goes. When a boy is I put the question not because I think it taught the probable dates of Shakespeare's of much importance that he should know plays, he has learnt something of imporhow formerly the “lytle byrde called the tance, and he has exercised at least his Kings Fysher ” was used as a weather. memory. The chances are that he will cock, it having been supposed that “his always remember that “A Midsummer nebbe or byll wyll be alwayes dyrect or
Night's Dream” is the fairy fantasy of strayght against ye winde. The inner Shakespeare's earlier years as a dramatic meaning of the passage is worth many
craftsman, and that “ The Tempest ” exking-fishers. But I ask the question be- hibits the poet's genius in its maturity, cause I would train the boy to pass over with all the solemn splendor of his moral nothing without trying to understand it, wisdom; and the time may come when and because the chances are that if he the boy will put this piece of knowledge could pass over “ halcyon beaks” without to a worthy use. understanding it, he has passed over a
I am no advocate of cram ; but when hundred other things not understood or
cram means something less than what I misunderstood.
have indicated, it may still have its uses, The value of questions put at examina. if not for literature yet for life. To have tions is often erroneously estimated. It acquired rapidly and accurately the knowlis supposed that because the subject-mat- edge of a mass of facts, and to possess the ter of a question is of little importance, art of skilfully presenting that knowledge therefore the question itself is injudicious to others, even though it be swept out of or trivial. But every sensible examiner the candidate's memory on the morning knows that a question seemingly trivial after his examination, gives evidence of may sometimes serve as an excellent test, considerable aptitude and power. This which shall ascertain whether attention indeed is not to learn literature, but it is has been paid to an important class of in some degree to prepare for life. No topics. When for lack of time or through lethargic or stupid boy can take cram in some other causes, a candidate cannot be this intelligent and vigorous fashion. I expected to give full proof of his knowl- remember how the late Mr. Forster, when' edge, the skilful examiner desires him to chief secretary for Ireland, on each of two exhibit the signs of that knowledge, signs occasions when I happened to converse the presence of which implies that much with him, touched on this topic, and used else is present though all cannot on the his own experience as evidence of the moment be shown. Whether these signs value of cram, or, to speak more precisely, be trivial or not matters less than is com- the value of the power of taking cram. monly supposed.
“I have frequently,” he said, “ to answer I have said that the student should at. at length a question in the House of Comtack the text before him on every side. mons requiring for my answer a knowl
edge of facts which has to be rapidly • B. V., chap. vii. (Carlyle's translation). acquired from others; or I have to make