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narrow stock of Philistine ideas, Anglo-Saxon in our translation: “Then Satan answered ideas, or any other; and some man, some the Lord and said: “Doth Job fear God for Bentham1 or Comte,” who has the real merit of : nought?"" Franklin makes this: “Does having early and strongly felt and helped the your Majesty imagine that Job's good connew current, but who brings plenty of narrow- duct is the effect of mere personal attachment ness and mistakes of his own into his feeling and affection?" I well remember how, when and help of it, is credited with being the author first I read that, I drew a deep breath of relief, of the whole current, the fit person to be en- and said to myself: “After all, there is a trusted with its regulation and to guide the stretch of humanity beyond Franklin's vichuman race.
torious good sense!” So, after hearing The excellent German historian of the my- Bentham cried loudly up as the renovator thology of Rome, Preller, relating the introduc- of modern society, and Bentham's mind tion at Rome under the Tarquins of the wor- and ideas proposed as the rulers of our ship of Apollo, the god of light, healing, and future, I open the Deontology. There I read: reconciliation, will have us observe that it was "While Xenophon was writing his history and not so much the Tarquins who brought to Euclid teaching geometry, Socrates and Plato Rome the new worship of Apollo, as a current were talking nonsense under pretence of talkin the mind of the Roman ople which se ing wisdom and morality. This morality of powerfully at that time towards a new worship theirs consisted in words; this wisdom of of this kind, and away from the old run of theirs was the denial of matters known to Latin and Sabine 4 religious ideas. In a every man's experience.” From the moment similar way, culture directs our attention to of reading that, I am delivered from the bondthe natural current there is in human affairs, age of Bentham ! the fanaticism of his adheand to its continual working, and will not let rents can touch me no longer. I feel the inus rivet our faith upon any one man and his adequacy of his mind and ideas for supplying doings. It makes us see not only his good the rule of human society, for perfection. side, but also how much in him was of neces- Culture tends always thus to deal with the sity limited and transient; nay, it even feels men of a system, of disciples, of a school; a pleasure, a sense of an increased freedom with men like omte, or the late Mr. Buckle, and of an ampler future, in so doing.
or Mr. Mill. However much it may find to I remember, when I was under the influence admire in these personages, or in some of of a mind to which I feel the greatest obliga- them, it nevertheless remembers the text: tions, the mind of a man who was the very “Be not ye called Rabbi !" and it soon passes incarnation of sanity and clear sense, a man on from any Rabbi. But Jacobinism loves a the most considerable, it seems to me, whom Rabbi; it does not want to pass on from its ! America has yet produced, --- Benjamin Rabbi in pursuit of a future and still unFranklin, - I remember the relief with which, reached perfection; it wants its Rabbi and his after long feeling the sway of Franklin's im- ideas to stand for perfection, that they may perturbable common-sense, I came upon a with the more authority recast the world; project of his for a new version of the Book of and for Jacobinism, therefore, culture. – Job, to replace the old version, the style of eternally passing onwards and seeking, – is which, says Franklin, has become obsolete, an impertinence and an offence. But culture, and thence less agreeable. “I give,” he con- just because it resists this tendency of Jacobintinues, “a few verses, which may serve as a ism to impose on us a man with limitations sample of the kind of version I would recom- and errors of his own along with the true ideas mend." We all recollect the famous verse of which he is the organ, really does the world
and Jacobinism itself a service. 1 Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), founder of So, too, Jacobinism, in its fierce hatred of Utilitarianism, the doctrine that virtue consists the past and of those whom it makes liable for in acting for the greatest happiness of the greatest the sins of the past, cannot away with the innumber 2 Auguste Comte (1798-1857), founder of exhaustible indulgence proper to culture, the Positivism, the doctrine that only the verifiable consideration of circumstances, the severe facts of existence are to be attended to in philosophy mythical kings of Rome 4 a race 1 “The theory of what is proper”
rationincorporated with the Romans
judgment of actions joined to the merciful the masses. Plenty of people will try to injudgment of persons. “The man of culture doctrinate the masses with the set of ideas is in politics, cries Mr. Frederic Harrison, and judgments constituting the creed of their “one of the poorest mortals alive!” Mr. own profession or party. Our religious and Frederic Harrison wants to be doing business, political organisations give an example of this and he complains that the man of culture stops way of working on the masses. I condemn him with a “turn for small fault-finding, love neither way; but culture works differently. of selfish ease, and indecision in action.” Of It does not try to teach down to the level of what use is culture, he asks, except for “a critic inferior classes; it does not try to win them of new books or a professor of belles lettres”? for this or that sect of its own, with readyWhy, it is of use because, in presence of the made judgments and watchwords. It seeks fierce exasperation which breathes, or rather, to do away with classes; to make the best I may say, hisses through the whole produc- that has been thought and known in the world tion in which Mr. Frederic Harrison asks that current everywhere; to make all men live in question, it reminds us that the perfection of an atmosphere of sweetness and light, where human nature is sweetness and light. It is they may use ideas, as it uses them itself, of use because, like religion, that other freely, — nourished, and not bound by them. effort after perfection, – it testifies that, This is the social idea; and the men of culwhere bitter envying and strife are, there is ture are the true apostles of equality. The confusion and every evil work.
great men of culture are those who have had The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pur- a passion for diffusing, for making prevail, suit of sweetness and light. He who works for carrying from one end of society to the for sweetness and light, works to make reason other, the best knowledge, the best ideas of and the will of God prevail. He who works their time; who have laboured to divest for machinery, he who works for hatred, works knowledge of all that was harsh, uncouth, only for confusion. Culture looks beyond difficult, abstract, professional, exclusive; to machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has humanise it, to make it efficient outside the one great passion, the passion for sweetness clique of the cultivated and learned, yet still and light. It has one even yet greater ! remaining the best knowledge and thought of the passion for making them prevail. It is the time, and a true source, therefore, of not satisfied till we all come to a perfect man; sweetness and light. Such a man was Abelard1 it knows that the sweetness and light of the in the Middle Ages, in spite of all his imper. few must be imperfect until the raw and un- fections; and thence the boundless emotion kindled masses of humanity are touched with and enthusiasm which Abelard excited. sweetness and light. If I have not shrunk Such were Lessing2 and Herder’ in Germany, from saying that we must work for sweetness at the end of the last century; and their and light, so neither have I shrunk from saying services to Germany were in this way inthat we must have a broad basis, must have estimably precious. Generations will pass, sweetness and light for as many as possible. and literary monuments will accumulate, Again and again I have insisted how those are and works far more perfect than the works the happy moments of humanity, how those of Lessing and Herder will be produced in are the marking epochs of a people's life, how Germany; and yet the names of these two those are the flowering times for literature and men will fill a German with a reverence and art and all the creative power of genius, when enthusiasm such as the names of the most there is a national glow of life and thought, gilted masters will hardly awaken. And when the whole of society is in the fullest why? Because they humanised knowledge; measure permeated by thought, sensible to because they broadened the basis of life and beauty, intelligent and alive. Only it must be intelligence; because they worked powerfully real thought and real beauty; real sweetness to diffuse sweetness and light, to make reason and real light. Plenty of people will try to and the will of God prevail. With Saint give the masses, as they call them, an intellectual food prepared and adapted in the way
1 Pierre Abelard (1079-1142), a brilliant they think proper for the actual condition of teacher and philosopher ? G. E. Lessing (1729the masses. The ordinary popular litera- 1781), famous German dramatist and critic ture is an example of this way of working on 3 J. G. von Herder (1744-1803), poet and critic
Augustine they said: "Let us not leave thee alone to make in the secret of thy knowledge, as thou didst before the creation of the firmament, the division of light from darkness; let the children of thy spirit, placed in their firmament, make their light shine upon the earth, mark the division of night and day, and announce the revolution of the times; for the old order is passed, and the new arises; the night is spent, the day is come forth; and thou shalt crown the year with thy blessing, when thou shalt send forth labourers into thy harvest sown by other hands than theirs; when thou shalt send forth new labourers to new seedtimes, whereof the harvest shall be not yet."
Children dear, was it yesterday (Call yet once) that she went away? Once she sate with you and me,
She said: "I must go, for my kinsfolk pray In the little grey church on the shore to-day. "Twill be Easter-time in the world - ah me! ΤΟ And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee."
I said: "Go up, dear heart, through the
On a red gold throne in the heart of the
And the youngest sate on her knee.
She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it
When down swung the sound of the far-off bell. She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind seacaves."
61 She smil'd, she went up through the surf
in the bay.
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
A long, long sigh.
And the gleam of her golden hair.
Children dear, were we long alone? "The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan. Long prayers,” I said, “in the world they say. Come,” I said, and we rose through the surf in
the bay. We went up the beach, by the sandy down Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white
wall'd town. Through the narrow pav'd streets, where all was still,
70 To the little grey church on the windy hill. From the church came a murmur of folk at
their prayers, But we stood without in the cold blowing airs. We climb'd on the graves, on the stones, worn
with rains, And we gaz'd up the aisle through the small
leaded panes. She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear: “Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here. Dear heart,” I said, “we are long alone. The sea grows stormy, the little ones
Come away, away, children.
But, ah, she gave me never a look,
80 For her eyes were seal'd to the holy book. Loud prays the priest ; shut stands the door. Come away, children, call no more. Come away, come down, call no more.
But, children, at midnight,
And then come back down.
Down, down, down. Down to the depths of the sea. She sits at her wheel in the humming town,
Singing most joyfully. Hark, what she sings; “O joy, O joy, For the humming street, and the child with
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well. For the wheel where I spun,
IN RETURNING A VOLUME OF THE
LETTERS OF ORTIS 1
Yes ! in the sea of life enisl’d,
1 The Last Letters of Jacopo Orlis, a popular sentimental romance (1797) by Ugo Foscolo, an Italian poet and lovelist ? confined to islands