Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Hoe »

life. The line, too, helps us to understand Markham's (The That the West is not without why «Mary Cameron »* is one of the most rest- Man with the her share of intellectual gifts, ful and refreshing of our summer novels, why

and especially the gifts of the to many readers it is more than a summer

Muses, the interesting collecnovel.

tion of Edwin Markham's poems (New York: It has all the gentle enchantment of life Doubleday & McClure Co.) is a new and further by the summer sea on the picturesque coast of proof. The volume has had the distinction of Maine. It is, however, the wealth of humanity leaping at once into fame, since it contains the that gives it vital touch. The old sea captain author's remarkable poem, «The Man with the and Aunt Hetty are so sympathetically drawn Hoe, suggested by Millet's well-known paintthat we cannot doubt that they are studies ing, a reproduction of which forms a frontisfrom live fisher-folk. But the interest centres piece to the book. The controversy over the about Mary Cameron, the fisherman's daughter. poem, on the score of interpretation, seems to Solitude is a rare experience with most people, us at once needless and unjustifiable. Mr. and the youth of our day who care for nature Markham is surely entitled to his own reading at all are too often self-conscious in her pres- of the painting and even to the socialistic deence. The life of this strong unspoiled maiden, ductions from it which he draws. Nor should just budding into womanhood, alone with na- these deductions, pessimistic though they are ture beside the wintry sea, appeals to us with and little complimentary to the toiler in the peculiar pathos and charm.

fields, excite the resentment of labor, in this

country at least, where the social and class con« The winter came hardest on Mary. Their little ditions are not those of rural France of the house seemed almost to take care of itself. She was too

environment that of the New World's alert, vigorous-natured to sit contentedly sewing seams or knitting all day long. ... Once in a while the strain open-minded, and prosperous husbandman. of the loneliness grew too great to endure in silence. The diversity of opinion in regard to the poem To Mary's passionate complaint, 'I wish something –

is the diversity that arises from mistaking the anything - would happen,'Aunt Hetty, self-centred, unimaginative, replied, 'I call that temptin' Providence. » regional point of view in which the subject is

regarded; in other words, the nationality view Little by little she learned —

of the peasant in the picture and the environ. _«the beginning of that lesson of renunciation whose

ment that «bowed him by the weight of cen. chapters one must study one by one until the lesson of turies,” put “the emptiness of ages in his face. » greater gain is grafted in peace upon our hearts.” «made him dead to rapture and despair » Later in her experience

"A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,

Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox, -«she began to bind nature to herself with fellowships

With clearer notions as to the poet's concepwhich for a time quieted the need of human association. tion of the toiler-figure in the painting, and She watched the quivering waters curled by the breath of the morning under the deepening dawn, each day

remembering that the artist, in his famous bringing a world new-born; she opened her eyes to the picture, has drawn a French, or at least an Old glory of the sunset cloud-worlds, and always she heard World, peasant, there should be little difficulty the mighty sea chanting that mystic and eternal hymn

in admitting the strength and forcefulness of which none may hear without awe, which no musician may learn. She fathomed countless secrets of the air

Mr. Markham's striking lines as well as their and sea, countless signs of the heavens; she saw and terrible reality. Powerful is the poet's arraignheard and felt much of that which, though old as the ment of the crushing social conditions that heavens and earth, is yet eternally new and eternally

have made the bent, soulless creature in Milyoung with the holiness of beauty.”

let's canvas who leans upon his primitive hoe The more conventional people whom Mary

one of the myriad world-toilers, degraded by meets in her visit to Newton are of that genuine

centuries of incessant, unrelieved labor and sort that we like to meet or are always hoping

unelevated by a feeling of human sympathy to meet on some fortunate day. Their culture

and brotherhood. sits lightly upon them. Their conversation « There is no shape more terrible than this shows a thoughtful outlook upon life, an ear- More tongued with censure of the world's blird greed nestness too sane and natural to become hys

O masters, lords, and rulers in all lands, terical or ridiculous. Mary's fresh, strong Is this the handiwork you give to God, character shows its true worth amid such This monstrous thing, distorted and soul-quenched? scenes, and the influence of nature finds in How will you ever straighten up this shape; them a fitting complement.

Touch it again with immortality;

Give back the upward looking and the light; This is the first novel of a young college Rebuild in it the music and the dream; woman who fully appreciates the value of style Make right the immemorial infamies, and of truth to life and nature, and should

Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?” cheer the lovers of sweet wholesome literature Thoughtful and impressive throughout is the with its rich promise of future work.

poem, and high-keyed, especially in its angry E. A. V. questionings, toward the closing lines, as to the

responsibility for shaping the peasant to the *«Mary Cameron : A Romance of Fisherman's Island;

thing he is.” There is, no doubt, exaggeration by Edith Sawyer, Boston: Benjamin H. Sanborn & Co.

in the treatment of the poem, as there is exag. geration in most philippics on labor and in all and Washington Irving. The volume on the earnest protests against injustice and the in- poets contains Mr. Dudley Warner's essay on equalities of man's lot in the world. Nor— if Byron, Prof. Eliot Norton's paper on Dante, we may ourselves be critical and even cap- with articles on Burns, Milton, and Tennyson. tious— is it always and entirely fair to hold Of the novelists, Henry James, Jr., writes on someone, among the “masters, lords, and Hawthorne, Julian Hawthorne on Fenimore rulers of the world,” responsible for the Cooper, while to others are assigned De Balzac, embruted face and figure of labor as repre- Thackeray, and George Eliot. Under the sented both by Millet and by Markham. Not a classification of philosophers and scientists little of the heavy, stolid, and unintellectual there are critiques on Plato, Aristotle, Lord aspect of the field laborer is the result of his Bacon, Charles Darwin, and Herbert Spencer. vocation among the clods of earth, especially In the same volume is the admirable estimate where the peasant allows himself to vegetate of Cardinal Newman by the late Richard Holt merely, without sharpening his intelligence Hutton, of the London “Spectator.” The sein companionship with his kind or exercising ries, we repeat, will be found of great value to his mental faculties in any high and elevating the literary student and of interest to every in. interests, however favorable as well as free telligent and thoughtful reader. G. M. A. may be his environment and plastic the con

☆ ditions that govern his lot. Doubtless Millet Three Historical As Christmas approaches it painted his picture from a living model of the Books for may be well to think betimes of actual class he depicts, or, if not, he at least Young People a judicious selection of books, portrayed a type with which he was familiar. suitable as gifts to the young, which have literIf this be so, neither the artist nor the poet can ary merit and educational value, while at the be blamed, as the first revealed the truth as he same time they afford entertainment. In such saw it, and the second wrote with a scorching a class may be reckoned three volumes by Col. pen the thoughts that must naturally arise from Thomas W. Knox, entitled « Boy's Life of Genthe contemplation of the unintelligent face and eral Grant,» « The Lost Army," and « Captain lumpish attitude of the toiling figure. Were

John Crane.»*

For many years Colonel Knox another justification needed for either picture has been a favorite among writers for boys, for or poem, may it not be found in the evident he knows exactly what boys like and what is lack of ingenuity and reasoning power behind good for them, and he tells his stories in simthe lustreless eyes, which permits the peasant ple yet attractive language. Born in 1835, he to continue, after so many years, to wield the began his career by farming, teaching, and awkward, short-handled, back-breaking imple- newspaper reporting. During the Civil War ment which is shown in the painting? But he saw active service in two campaigns, later whatever its defects, the poem has unques- becoming war correspondent for the New tioned merit — a merit, we may add, much be-. York Herald.) In 1866 he joined an expediyond that to be found in the author's other tion organized to establish a telegraph line productions in the volume.

G. M. A. through Asia. On this trip he journeyed over

5,000 miles through Siberia. During the years Studies of Under the general title, «Stud- 1875 to 1878 he travelled extensively through

Great Authors ies of Great Authors,” the Europe, Africa, and the East, observing, takDoubleday & McClure Co., of New York, have ing notes, and collecting material for his grouped a series of four handy volumes of much future writings, and from that time till his interest to students of literature in the depart- death in 1896 he devoted himself to the writing ments of history, fiction, poetry, philosophy, of books, especially for young people. The and science. The material for the volumes is three books before us are among the last from taken from the introductions prepared for Mr. his pen; yet they show no decline in the vigor Charles Dudley Warner's great enterprise of his earlier writings. The same power of «The Library of the World's Best Literature, description, careful observation, and the pecua series of thirty octavo volumes embracing liarly charming and fascinating style that disselections from the great authors of all coun- tinguish his other books, are equally in evidence tries and ages.

The introductions are written here. The «Boy's Life of Grant » despite its by the most accomplished literary critics of the title, is by no means a book for boys alone, but time, and, though necessarily brief, suffice to will be appreciated by grown people. Colonel give the reader a good general idea of the au- Knox counted General Grant among his perthors described and of the subjects and charac- sonal friends and obtained much anecdotal and ter of their studies. To the literary student historical matter from his own lips. It is an the volumes will prove very acceptable, as a enthusiastic yet authentic picture of the great glance at their contents will show. Under his- general's life and career. It is written in a torians and essayists, for instance, Mr. Lecky light vein, more entertaining than many biogtreats of Edward Gibbon, Leslie Stephen of raphies. Like all of Colonel Knox's stories of Carlyle, Prof. Woodberry of Matthew Arnold, American history a fervent patriotism pervades Prof. McMaster of Macaulay, and Dr. Garnett this book. The author records the family hisof Emerson; followed by critiques on Prescott * Akron, O.: The Werner Company.

ance.

tory from the landing in New England, in more than two hundred and twenty editions. An 1630, of Mathew Grant and his wife Priscilla artistic holiday edition, charmingly illustrated, from Dorchester, England, and gives the reader of an English translation of this work, entitled some glimpses of early colonial life.

<< The Heart of a Boy,” has just appeared from The author tells of Grant's boyhood and the press of Messrs. Laird & Lee, Chicago. youth, and gives a comprehensive picture of The volume will make a very suitable Christhis great military and political career. Though mas gift to a youth who takes pleasure in narthis latter is familiar history, the whole story is ratives of school life and can appreciate the written in such a fascinating though simple impressions of a boy in a happy school environmanner that everybody will read it with plea- ment, where lessons of patriotism, honor, honsure and profit.

esty, and generosity are inculcated, and with «The Lost Army) is a story of the Civil no suspicion or trace of cant. The sketches in War. Its heroes are two Iowa lads who join the work are understood to be genuine impresthe First Iowa Volunteers at the outbreak of sions of a youth of twelve in one of the public the war and partake of the toilsome march of schools of Turin, interspersed with letters from General Samuel R. Curtis through Missouri to relatives, and enlivened and brightened by Arkansas, that included the defeat of Generals stories told by the schoolmaster. The influence Price and McCulloch at Pea Ridge, Ark., and of the work on the young reader cannot but be ended with the occupation of Helena, Ark. Of wholesome and good, while its lessons are those particular value are the numerous dispassion- that appeal strongly to a sympathetic and noble ate explanatory remarks in the opening chap- heart.

G. M. A. ters, that make the cause and object of the Civil War clear to the young reader's mind. It

The Book-Lover: The new book-lovers' magais an excellent war story, stirring and fascinat

A Magazine zine which has so long been ing, without exciting the impressionable fancy

of Book Lore

heralded by Mr. W. E. Price, of the young with blood-curdling details, as

of San Francisco, has at last made its appearso many stories of adventures do.

It bears its title « The Book-Lover >> The third of these three books, «Cap

justly, for it is full of just such matter as every tain John Crane,» deals with incidents of the

book-lover will be interested in. It is a rich War of 1812. The author lets the hero tell his

bookish miscellany, of 128 quarto pages, of own story, which is done simply and unpre

essays, verse, and all kinds of curious and intentiously, yet in an attractive manner. It be

teresting literary information, culled from gins with John Crane's early experiences as a

American and English magazines and other sailor-boy on a merchant vessel bound for Gib

sources. That the articles which Mr. Price has raltar (and a market, in 1800, and later re

here collected are not new or original does not counts his adventures as captain of a privateer

diminish the value to book-lovers, for much in the North Atlantic in 1812, his capture

good material is to be found in the columns of by the English, imprisonment in Dartmoor

our newspapers and magazines, though subprison, and his return to the United States. It

merged in the flood of other matter on different is an excellent sea-story for boys, full of stirring

subjects, and hence lost to many. Mr. Price incidents, narrow escapes, and adventures such

therefore merits praise and encouragement on as would befall a seaman in those troublous

the part of all book-lovers for having saved so times.

E. A.

many of these interesting articles from obliv.

ion, and for having brought them together De Amicis's The Italian soldier-author,

under one cover, to be easily referred to and ( The Heart Edmondo De Amicis, is to

enjoyed. The first number, for Autumn, 1899, of a Boy » American and English readers

appears in an artistic cover printed in black not so well known as he deserves to be, though

and red; the next number, for Winter, will, we his writings have, we believe, been all trans

learn, follow in November. The proof-reading lated. The popularity of his sketches of

in this issue, we regret to note, is very indiffermilitary life, and especially of his delightful

ent, and we trust that more care will be taken narratives of travel, make good his claim upon

in this respect in future issues. the reader's suffrages, while they give him high

E. A. place among the modern writers of continental

☆ Europe. As a traveller nothing can well exceed his enthusiasm for new and novel sights. Little Master- From the Doubleday & McThis is attested in almost every page of his pieces

Clure Co., of New York, we most interesting work on «Holland and its are in receipt of three additional volumes of People, as well as in the volumes that deal their pocket series of «Little Masterpieces, with Spain, Morocco, London, Paris, and Con- edited by Prof. Bliss Perry. The subjects are stantinople. Equally charming is his hearty op- Thackeray, Lamb, and De Quincey. The setimism, his fresh emotional feeling, and the lections from these authors show good judgdepth and power of his enjoyment. These quali. ment and an intimate knowledge of their writties are especially present in his famous school- ings, while the prefatory sketches are pleasant boy's journal, which in Italy has run through reading.

G. M. A.

THE EDUCATIONAL WORLD

THE GERMAN UNIVERSITIES

T

HE German universities are an intermedi. ate type between the English and the French. They are not free corporations

with the right of self-control, and with teachers and students dwelling together in an academic community, like the English universities; nor are they separate schools combined in a symmetrical and uniform system under state control, and governed by a central authority, like the University of France. But in their management there is a combination of state authority and academic independence. They were founded under the authority of the different German States and are maintained by funds provided by these governments. In return the State exercises certain rights of control over them. The most of them were founded by sovereigns, who, in the paternal order of government, felt the obligation resting upon them, as fathers of their people, of providing for the intellectual needs of their subjects. Many of them owe their existence to the feeling of rivalry and separation which was formerly so keenly felt and zealously fostered by the various States now forming the German Empire. The largest States founded institutions in which their young men could receive the highest culture and at the same time be nurtured in patriotism and in the religion of the particular State. This feeling of separation has now fortunately yielded to one of equality. All the universities have equal rank as parts of the general system of education. The State patronage is a great advantage in giving them prestige and relieving them from financial burdens. Beyond compliance with certain statutes of control they are left in practical independence.

The professors are of three grades, ordentlicher professor, ausserordentlicher, and privat-docent. The title does not indicate the grade of work done by the instructors. Those of the lowest grade may have courses as advanced as those of the professors. All of them enter upon a career of teaching as a life-work. They have had a most thorough course of training and have distinguished attainments. The permission to teach rests upon certain rigid requirements, and men of moderate ability are refused or discouraged from entering a pro fession requiring the very best talents. As a rule the privat-docent receives no salary, so that such a position has no attraction as a steppingstone or for temporary employment. The fame and success of the docents depend on their own efforts and they are put on their mettle. They

are the class from whom are chosen the higher professors. By their youth and ambition they infuse life and energy into the whole body of teachers. Realizing that everything depends upon themselves, they are constantly stimulated to their best efforts. Special and significant success in some line of investigation is almost sure to bring speedy advancement. The German professors are first and foremost investigators, and their fame rests more upon their success in research than upon their ability as teachers. Teaching plays a subordinate rôle with them. They do not aim at that, but seem to think that the dignity of their positions raises them above the arts of a schoolmaster.

The German university does not aim to give general culture, but seeks to furnish special preparation in a narrow field of learning. Its students have had their general training in the secondary schools. The mediæval character of instruction, when famous scholars like Abélard gathered their pupils about them, is retained here to a considerable extent. The students study under particular professors as disciples around the master. They form groups according to their special lines of work rather than a general body of students.

The two characteristics par excellence of the German universities are the Lehrfreiheit, freedom of the instructor, and Lernfreiheit, freedom of the student. The Germans are justly proud of these qualities of their universities and lay great stress upon them, because they have been gained by a long struggle. The Lehrfreiheit guarantees to the professor absolute freedom in carrying on his work. He may choose any subject in his department for his course of instruction, may treat it in any way he chooses, and divide it into any number of lectures, - in short the whole matter is left to his discretion. His position is permanent, which makes it attractive, even though the salary is small. There is sufficient safeguard against an abuse of this freedom in the fact that the professor's salary is largely dependent on the tuition from his hearers. He has a certain percentage of the tuition and is therefore anxious to make his lectures attractive. A professor at Halle expresses his opinion in a recent article that 4,000 marks ($1,000) a year would be an average estimate of the professor's share of the tuition in any fairly popular department, although oftentimes it amounts to much more, even to 60,000 marks in the case of two or three very popular professors at Berlin. In any case

the professor cannot afford to disregard the drawing power of his courses.

On the other hand the students are under so little restriction that it amounts to practical independence so long as they commit no flagrant abuses. They may choose any course of lectures, as many or as few as they wish, and are under no compulsion to attend them, to take notes, or to read a single page in any book. They have absolute freedom in the choice of rooms and in their manner of life. The university authorities exercise no watch-care over these matters. This is the elective system carried to its greatest extreme. The theory is that the student, being left to himself, will develop selfdependence and strength of character.

The boy is risked in order that he may become more of a man. The theory of individual freedom prevails in all the matters of academic life. For this reason the students room alone. «Chumming » would not be thought of, as one's personal freedom would be restricted by the presence of a room-mate. The room may be bare and small, but it is the student's castle in which he is supreme, and that is worth more than better quarters with two to share them. One of the striking characteristics of German student life to an American is the entire absence of an esprit de corps. There are no classes, no chapel exercises, no commencements, no athletics, no general meetings of all the student body. Consequently there is no feeling of fellowship among the students. They all exist as individuals, pursuing each his own course in his own way. If he wishes to study, here are libraries and every facility at hand. He may study as many hours as he wishes and live on black bread and coffee, if so inclined, and nobody knows or

The conduct and manners of the German students are characterized by a dignity and stateliness that verge on the ridiculous. There is nothing of the mirthful, rollicking good-nature of our college boys, and little of the good-fellowship common among our stu

dents. They treat one another with the stiffness and dignity of diplomats, to use the expression of a German professor. A stately bow accompanied by the lifting of the hat is the greeting to an acquaintance, and a short promenade in the corridors, or sober conversation during the intervals between the lectures, is the recreation.

The absence of stately buildings and spacious grounds is a marked feature. A large university with complete faculties may begin its work with hardly a building to call its own. The buildings at Strassburg and the new Augusteum and adjacent halls of the University of Leipsic are among the most beautiful in the world, but usually the university buildings are old and plain. One looks in vain for a view like that of the «Yard » at Harvard. The air of seclusion and quiet is entirely absent, for the university stands on the street, perhaps in the midst of the stirring city life. One large building is sufficient for most of the work of instruction. As the lectures are distributed throughout the day from eight o'clock in the morning to nine at night, a small number of halls suffice for the greater part of them. There will probably be other buildings for the library and accessory institutions, but no dormitories, laboratories, law schools, divinity halls, chapels, or gymnasia. The universities pay no regard to the spiritual, social, and physical needs of their students, but they are well equipped to supply all the demands of the intellectual nature. The libraries occupy a prominent place in this regard. They contain hundreds of thousands of volumes. The work of many a monk, the precious manuscripts of the mediæval monasteries, the poems of the ancient bards and minnesingers, as well as the most recent products of the printing-press, are contained in these libraries, which are veritable treasurehouses of learning.

Willis ARDEN CHAMBERLAIN. GRANVILLE, O.

cares.

COLLEGE PROFESSORS, OLD AND NEW *

[ocr errors]

NE result was sometimes attained in the took on the shape and coloring of his mind.

old college which is less easily secured The result of this contact of a master with the in the great university of the present whole membership of a small college is gen

day, a result due, not to any superiority erally considered an indisputable advantage. in organization, but to the limited number of But it is perhaps open to dispute whether it is students then in attendance. It was the power- better for a whole body of students to be thus ful impression of a great teacher on the minds dominated by the doctrines of any one man, and characters of the great mass of students. however eminent, than to have the more cathWhen Eliphalet Nott, or Mark Hopkins, or olic discipline which flows from contact with Francis Wayland had a class of only thirty or excellent teachers of various attainments and forty students in daily contact with him, the temperaments. The great scholars of Germany stamp of the teacher was ineffaceably set upon habitually follow the practice of going from one almost every student, so that the whole college university to another, to sit at the feet of more

* From an address delivered by President James B. Angell, of the University of Michigan, before the TwentyNinth Convocation of Chicago University, July 1, 1899.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »