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historical investigation and criticism, we might, ere this, have been led to enquire, on our own account, whether “ this player here," who brought them out, might not possibly, in an age like that, like the player in Hamlet, have had some friend, or “friends," who could, “an' if they would,” or “an' if they might,” explain his miracles to us, and the secret of his "poor cell."
If we had accepted this suggestion, the true Shakespeare would not have been now to seek. In the circle of that patronage with which this player's fortunes brought him in contact, in that illustrious company of wits and poets, we need not have been at a loss to find the philosopher who writes, in his prose as well, and over his own name also,
" In Nature's infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read”
we should have found one, at least, furnished for that last and ripest proof of learning which the drama, in the unmiraculous order of the human development, must constitute; that proof of it in which philosophy returns from history, from its noblest fields, and from ber last analysis, with the secret and material of the creative synthesis-with the secret and material of art. With this direction, we should have been able to identify, ere this, the Philosopher who is only the Poet in disguise—the Philosopher who calls himself the New Magician-the Poet who was toiling and plotting to fill the globe with his Arts, and to make our common, every-day human lifo poetical—who would have all our life, and not a part of it, learned, artistic, beautiful, religious.
We should have found, ere this, ONE, with learning broad enough, and deep enough, and subtle enough, and comprehensive enough, one with nobility of aim and philosophic and poetic genius enough, to be able to claim his own, his own immortal progeny—undwarfed, unblinded, undeprived of one ray or dimple of that all-pervading reason that informs them; one who is able to reclaim them, even now,"cured and perfect in their limbs, and absolute in their numbers, as he conceived them."
John William Draper.
BORN at St. Helen's, near Liverpool, England, 1811. Died at Hastings-on-Hudson, N. Y., 1882.
THE ORGANIZATION OF PUBLIC INTELLECT.
(History of the Intellectual Development of Europe. — Revised Edition. 1876.] NA
ATIONS, like individuals, are born, pass through a predestined
growth, and die. One comes to its end at an early period and in an untimely way; another, not until it has gained maturity. One is cut off by feebleness in its infancy, another is destroyed by civil disease, another commits political suicide, another lingers in old age. But for every one there is an orderly way of progress to its final term, whatever that term may be.
Now, when we look at the successive phases of individual life, what is it that we find to be their chief characteristic? Intellectual advancement. And we consider that maturity is reached when intellect is at its maximum The earlier stages are preparatory; they are wholly subordinate to this.
If the anatomist be asked how the human form advances to its highest perfection, he at once disregards all the inferior organs of which it is composed, and answers that it is through provisions in its nervous structure for intellectual improvement; that in succession it passes through stages analogous to those observed in other animals in the ascending scale, but in the end it leaves them far behind, reaching a point to which they never attain. The rise in organic development measures intellectual dignity.
In like manner, the physiologist, considering the vast series of animals now inhabiting the earth with us, ranks them in the order of their intelligence. He shows that their nervous mechanism unfolds itself upon the same plan as that of man, and that, as its advancement in this uniform and predetermined direction is greater, so is the position attained to higher.
The geologist declares that these conclusions hold good in the history of the earth, and that there has been an orderly improvement in intellectual power of the beings that have inhabited it successively. It is manifested by their nervous systems. He affirms that the cycle of transformation through which every man must pass is a miniature representation of the progress of life on the planet. The intention in both cases is the same.
The sciences, therefore, join with history in affirming that the great aim of nature is intellectual improvement. They proclaim that the successive stages of every individual, from its earliest rudiment to maturity -the numberless organic beings now living contemporaneously with us, and constituting the animal series—the orderly appearance of that grand succession which, in the slow lapse of time, has emerged—all these three great lines of the manifestation of life furnish not only evidences, but also proofs, of the dominion of law. In all the general principle is to differentiate instinct from automatism, and then to differentiate intelligence from instinct. In man himself the three distinct modes of life occur in an epochal order through childhood to the most perfect state. And this holding good for the individual, since it is physiologically impossible to separate him from the race, what holds good for the one must also hold good for the other. Hence man is truly the archetype of society. His development is the model of social progress.
What, then, is the conclusion inculcated by these doctrines as regards the social progress of great communities? It is that all political institutions—imperceptibly or visibly, spontaneously or purposely-should tend to the improvement and organization of national intellect.
The expectation of life in a community, as in an individual, increases in proportion as the artificial condition or laws under which it is living agree with the natural tendency. Existence may be maintained under very adverse circumstances for a season ; but, for stability and duration, and prosperity, there must be a correspondence between the artificial conditions and the natural tendency.
Europe is now entering on its mature phase of life. Each of its nations will attempt its own intellectual organization, and will accomplish it more or less perfectly, as certainly as that bees build combs and fill them with honey. The excellence of the result will altogether turn on the suitability and perfection of the means.
There are historical illustrations which throw light upon the working of these principles. Thus, centuries ago, China entered on her Age of Reason, and instinctively commenced the operation of mental organization. What is it that has given to her her wonderful longevity? What is it that insures the well-being, the prosperity of a population of three hundred and sixty millions—more than one-fourth of the human race -on a surface not by any means as large as Europe? Not geographical position ; for, though the country may in former ages have been safe on the East by reason of the sea, it has been invaded and conquered from the West. Not a docility, want of spirit, or submissiveness of the people, for there have been bloody insurrections. The Chinese empire extends through twenty degrees of latitude; the mean annual temperature of its northern provinces differs from that of the southern by twenty-five Fahrenheit degrees. Hence, with a wonderful variety in its vegetation, there must be great differences in the types of men inhabiting it. But