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thing absolutely new for him, and why we could make correct analysis of the should you desire to do again what has proper relations of learning - learning been done already? If it be a poem,

of the critical, accurate sort - to origithe reviewer's head already rings with nation, of learning's place in literature. the whole gamut of the world's metrical Although learning is never the real parmusic; he can recognize any simile, re- ent of literature, but only sometimes its call all turns of phrase, match every foster-father, and although the native sentiment; why seek to please him anew promptings of soul and sense are its best with old things? If it concern itself and freshest sources, there is always the with the philosophy of politics, he can danger that learning will claim, in every and will set himself to test it by the court of taste which pretends to jurisdicwhole history of its kind from Plato tion, exclusive and preëminent rights as down to Henry George. How can it the guardian and preceptor of authors. but spoil your sincerity to know that An effort is constantly being made to your critic will know everything? Will create and maintain standards of lityou not be tempted of the devil to an- erary worldliness, if I may coin such a ticipate his judgment or his pretensions phrase. The thorough man of the world by pretending to know as much as he? affects to despise natural feeling; does

The literature of creation naturally at any rate actually despise all displays falls into two kinds: that which inter- of it. He has an eye always on his prets nature or phenomenal man, and world's best manners, whether native or that which interprets self. Both of these imported, and is at continual pains to be may have the flavor of immortality, but master of the conventions of society; he the former not unless it be free from will mortify the natural man as much as self-consciousness, and the latter not un- need be in order to be in good form. less it be naïve. No man, therefore, can What learned criticism essays to do is create after the best manner in either to create a similar literary worldliness, of these kinds who is an habitué of the to establish fashions and conventions in circles made so delightful by those in- letters. teresting men,

the modern literati, so- I have an odd friend in one of the phisticated in all the fashions, ready in northern counties of Georgia, a county all the catches of the knowing literary set off by itself among the mountains, world which centres in the city and the but early found out by refined people in university. He cannot always be sim- search of summer refuge from the unple and straightforward. He cannot be healthy air of the southern coast region. always and without pretension himself, He belongs to an excellent family of bound by no other man’s canons of no little culture, but he was surprised in taste in saying or conduct. In the the midst of his early schooling by the judgment of such circles there is but coming on of the war; and education one thing for you to do if you would given pause in such wise seldom begins gain distinction : you must “ beat the again in the schools. He was left, thererecord ;” you must do certain definite fore, to “ finish ” his mind as best he literary feats better than they have yet might in the companionship of the books been done. You are pitted against the in his uncle's library. These books were literary “ field.” You are hastened into of the old sober sort: histories, volumes the paralysis of comparing yourself with of travels, treatises on laws and conothers, and thus away from the health stitutions, theologies, philosophies more of unhesitating self-expression and di- fanciful than the romances encased in rectness of first-hand vision.

neighbor volumes on another shelf. But It would be not a little profitable if they were books which were used to

being taken down and read; they had so never become learned for the sake of been daily companions to the rest of the becoming so; or, second, if it never sugfamily, and they became familiar com gest to one that investigation is better panions to my friend's boyhood. He than reflection. Learned investigation went to them day after day, because leads to many good things, but one of theirs was the only society offered him in these is not great literature, because the lonely days when uncle and brothers learned investigation com mmands, as the were at the war, and the women were first condition of its success, the

represbusy about the tasks of the home. How sion of individuality. literally did he make those delightful His mind is a great comfort to every old volumes his familiars, his cronies ! man who has one; but a heart is not He never dreamed the while, however, often to be so conveniently possessed. that he was becoming learned ; it never Hearts frequently give trouble ; they are seemed to occur to him that everybody straightforward and impulsive, and can else did not read just as he did, in just seldom be induced to be prudent. They such a library. He found out after must be schooled before they will become wards, of course, that he had kept much insensible ; they must be coached before more of such company than had the men they can be made to care first and most with whom he loved to chat at the post for themselves : and in all cases the office or around the fire in the chief vil- mind must be their schoolmaster and lage shops, the habitual resorts of all coach. They are irregular forces ; but who were socially inclined ; but he at the mind may be trained to observe all tributed that to lack of time on their points of circumstance and all motives part, or to accident, and has gone on of occasion. thinking until now that all the books No doubt it is considerations of this that come within his reach are the nat nature that must be taken to explain ural intimates of man.

the fact that our universities are erected will hear him, in his daily familiar talk entirely for the service of the tractable with his neighbors, draw upon his singu- mind, while the heart's only education lar stores of wise, quaint learning with must be gotten from association with the quiet colloquial assurance, “ They its neighbor heart, and in the ordinary tell me," as if books contained current courses of the world. Life is its only rumor, and quote the poets with the easy university. Mind is monarch, whose unaffectedness with which others cite a laws claim supremacy in those lands common maxim of the street ! He has which boast the movements of civilizabeen heard to refer to Dr. Arnold of tion, and he must command all the inRugby as “ that school-teacher over there strumentalities of education. At least in England."

such is the theory of the constitution of Surely one may treasure the image of the modern world. It is to be suspected this simple, genuine man of learning as that, as a matter of fact, mind is one the image of a sort of masterpiece of of those modern monarchs who reign, Nature in her own type of erudition, a but do not govern. That old House perfect sample of the kind of learning of Commons, that popular chamber in that might beget the very highest sort of which the passions, the prejudices, the literature; the literature, namely, of au inborn, unthinking affections long ago thentic individuality. It is only under repudiated by mind, have their full reone of two conditions that learning will presentation, controls much the greater not dull the edge of individuality: first, part of the actual conduct of affairs. if one never suspect that it is creditable To come out of the figure, reasoned and a matter of pride to be learned, and thought is, though perhaps the presiding,

And so you

various purposes,

not yet the regnant force in the world.

tracts to teach, alIn life and in literature it is subordinate. manacs to sell, poetry to make pastry; The future may belong to it; but the but this is the rarest sort of a book, present and past do not. Faith and a book to read. As Dr. Johnson said, virtue do not wear its livery; friendship, “Sir, a good book is one you can hold in loyalty, patriotism, do not derive their your hand, and take to the fire.' Now motives from it. It does not furnish there are extremely few books which the material for those masses of habit, can, with any propriety, be so treated. of unquestioned tradition, and of trea When a great author, as Grote or Gibsured belief which are the ballast of bon, has devoted a whole life of horrid every steady ship of state, enabling it to industry to the composition of a large spread its sails safely to the breezes of history, one feels one ought not to touch progress, and even to stand before the it with a mere hand, - it is not respectstorms of revolution. And this is a fact ful. The idea of slavery hovers over which has its reflection in literature. the Decline and Fall. Fancy a stiffly There is a literature of reasoned thought; dressed gentleman, in a stiff chair, slowbut by far the greater part of those writ- ly writing that stiff compilation in a stiff ings which we reckon worthy of that hand; it is enough to stiffen you for great name is the product, not of rea life.” After all, the central and imporsoned thought, but of the imagination tant point is the preservation of a sinand of the spiritual vision of those who cere, unaffected individuality. see, - writings winged, not with know It is devoutly to be wished that we ledge, but with sympathy, with senti- might learn to prepare the best soils for ment, with heartiness. Even the litera- mind, the best associations and companture of reasoned thought gets its life, not ionships, the least possible sophistication. from its logic, but from the spirit, the We are busy enough nowadays finding insight, and the inspiration which are out the best ways of fertilizing and stimthe vehicle of its logic. Thought pre- ulating mind; but that is not quite the sides, but sentiment has the executive same thing as discovering the best soils powers; the motive functions belong to for it, and the best atmospheres. Our feeling.

culture is, by erroneous preference, of “Many people give many theories of the reasoning faculty, as if that were all literary composition,” says the most nat- of us. Is it not the instinctive discontent ural and stimulating of English critics, of readers seeking stimulating contact " and Dr. Blair, whom we will read, is with authors that has given us the present sometimes said to have exhausted the almost passionately spoken dissent from subject; but, unless he has proved the the standards set themselves by the realcontrary, we believe that the knack in ists in fiction, dissatisfaction with mere style is to write like a human being recording of observation ? And is not Some think they must be wise, some realism working out upon itself the reelaborate, some concise ; Tacitus wrote venge its enemies would fain compass ? like a pair of stays; some startle us, as Must not all April Hopes exclude from Thomas Carlyle, or a comet, inscribing their number the hope of immortality ? with his tail. But legibility is given to The rule for every man is, not to dethose who neglect these notions, and are pend on the education which other men willing to be themselves, to write their prepare for him, — not even to consent own thoughts in their own words, in the to it; but to strive to see things as they simplest words, in the words wherein are, and to be himself as he is. Defeat they were thought. . . . Books are for lies in self-surrender.

Woodrow Wilson.


THE Memoir of Laurence and Alice of the spirit," seemed to reflect light Oliphant, by Mrs. M. O. W. Oliphant, from an unexpected quarter upon the has been eagerly expected, both on ac- helpless bewilderment of some who were count of the social standing and great suffering from a like disability, without personal popularity of that extraordi- perhaps having attained to a similar nary pair and the literary repute of state of grace. There is, alas, no doubt one of them, and because of the rest as to the prevalence of the disease in less curiosity, half sympathetic and half question, and little as to its contagious scornful, of the public mind concern character. But if it be in truth a dising the novel form of mysticism with ease, and not a lasting destitution, it may which their names are associated. The well be susceptible of cure, and Laumost interesting of all persons to his rence Oliphant commands our attention fellow-creatures to-day is the man who as one of those who claim to have found professes to have caught that lost clue a remedy. to the unseen for which so many are There is no need to do more than anxiously groping, and still to shape his briefly review the extraordinarily picturcourse along this increasingly difficult esque career of incessant change and life of ours by faith and not by sight. adventure which brought Laurence OliThere is a passage in the life of Darwin phant, at the age of thirty-five, to the by his son which every reader of the seeming goal of all his worldly ambibook will remember; and a good many, tions, a seat in the British House of it would be safe to say, will long and Commons, and an assured position in clearly remember that passage only. It that fine world of London where he had is where, in his latest years, the great hitherto shone merely as a passing visitor. naturalist confesses, with the candid hu He was born in 1829, at Cape Town, mility which became him so nobly, to Africa, where his father, Sir Anthony that progressive and finally almost com- Oliphant, was then Attorney-General. plete atrophy of the æsthetic and spirit. His pedigree was good, but not specially ual perceptions which had accompanied brilliant. He came, as his kinswoman the intense concentration of his faculties and biographer gracefully says, “of one upon the business of scientific observa of those plain Scotch families in whose tion and induction. Once he had loved absence of distinction so much modest music and the plastic arts; once he had service to their country is implied.” believed in a personal God and a future When about ten years old Laurence went life. Now he found himself powerless with his mother to England, and was to love and believe thus ; but why, he for two years in the private school of indirectly suggests, should a private in one Mr. Parr, at the end of which time capacity, for which he can see a perfect- he was provided with a private tutor in ly natural and sufficient cause, affect in person of a clever youth fresh from any way the existence of a transcen- Oxford, and sent to his parents in Ceydent objective reality? This last word lon, his father having been appointed of the gentlest of unbelievers, whose Chief Justice there. He was not yet daily life had exemplified with peculiar thirteen, but his formal schooling was beauty almost all the accepted “fruits over. He had lessons in Ceylon, after


1 Memoir of the Life of Laurence Oliphant and OLIPHANT W. OLIPHANT. New York: Har. of Alice Oliphant, his Wife. By MARGARET

per & Brothers.



a desultory fashion, along with the sons last chance for an academic course. of Mr. Moydart, a Scottish neighbor at made a fitting début the next year in Colombo ; and from these and the good Rome (it was the memorable winter of society he saw he learned all that a gen. 1847–48) in a far more congenial and tleman's son absolutely needs to know. less hackneyed career. He was in the But the fact cannot be too strongly in thick of the mobs which drove the monks sisted on, whatever bearing it may be out of the Propaganda, tore the arms thought to have on his wonderful after from the front of the Austrian Legacareer, that of mental discipline, in the tion, and compelled the Princess Pamordinary acceptation of the term, he had phili Doria to descend from her carriage simply none. Moral discipline he had, and set fire to the symbols of despotism for his father and mother were both heaped up in the Piazza del Popolo. evangelical pietists of the old-fashioned From these and similar adventures his Scottish type; not gloomy and severe, good luck delivered the eighteen-yearbut strict and earnest, doing all in their old revolutionist without serious consepower to stimulate in their only child quences; and he returned with his parthe activity of a naturally tender con ents to Ceylon, became his father's pri· science. The boy was very responsive vate secretary with appointments to the to their appeals, bold and high-spirited, comfortable amount of £400 a year, and but artless, confiding, and affectionate, was so far associated with him in his with that native grace of bearing which legal business as to be able to boast in no teaching can better, altogether, after time that he had been engaged in then as always, a most lovable creature. twenty-three murder cases before he was His relations with his parents were de as many years old. He was the life lightful, but especially so with his mo of the colonial society, being a special ther, whose incessant preoccupation about favorite with the feminine portion therethe soul of her brilliant son created no of ; and he also found grace in the eyes barrier between them ; whom afterwards, of a native Indian prince, who halted at in the fullness of his manhood, he seems Ceylon on his way back from a visit to easily to have drawn along with him England, and took Laurence in his suite into the strange paths which he elected for a tour through India, introducing to tread ; and who was always more like him almost first among Europeans — an elder sister than a parent, for in to the wild joys and unusual perils of deed, as Laurence himself used fondly an elephant hunt, which the youth deto say, “ there were only eighteen years scribes with great gusto in his letters between them.

to the home circle in Ceylon. But he There was talk, when Laurence was finds room even in these to answer his about seventeen, of having him prepared mother's anxious inquiries about his for Cambridge ; but his father got a spiritual state, remarking with admiraholiday at this time, a part of which he ble naïveté that “it is not easy to pracproposed to spend on the continent of tice self-examination upon an elephant, Europe, in one of those leisurely tours with a companion who is always talking in a big traveling carriage which move or singing within a few feet; but it is the thrall of the locomotive to hopeless otherwise in a palkee, which is certainly envy; and the indulgent pair, having a dull means of conveyance, but forces been assured by their sapient son that one into one's self more than anything." such a trip would be far more advan He returned to England at the close tageous to him than the university, de of 1851, and began “ eating his dincided to take him along: so that then ners in Lincoln's Inn Hall, while soand there, as it proved, vanished his ciety opened wide its arms to the well

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