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producers, did not themselves find great expression, until after this period of most active appropriation. So, not only would it be idle to look for a parallel course of reading and writing in our youth; it would be an educational mistake to carry our law of imitation into the field of reproduction. That is to say, we may set the highest possible value on the influence which these great writers will have on the expression of boys and girls, but we must not make the mistake of supposing that we can train our pupils into an imitation of their genius. It is a blunder, I am convinced, to set a child to reading Hawthorne's Wonder Book, for instance, and then to direct him to tell the stories over again in his own language. One may do this to great profit where a child has been reading an historic fact or a biographical sketch; but where a piece of literature is a piece of art, the thought, the fancy, and the language in which it is couched are inseparable. Far better may we set the child to copying, carefully and patiently, the whole story or poem, that we may impress upon him the integrity of the production.

For what are all these works of genius but the expression of the men and women who stand behind them? And what are we to expect in the attempts of the young but the expression of their natures with all their limitations? In cultivating, therefore, in them the power of expression, how reasonable it is to ask them, at different stages, to write of the things that concern them most, their sports, their excursions, their little adventures! Now and then, some one, stirred by what he has read, will essay a production imitative of the material, venturing forth thus into a field which may some day be his own; but we should not ask for this. The main thing is that it be spontaneous, and our task is only to correct its grammatical blunders. Consider how, in the whole course of a pupil's writing exercises, a teacher will find but an occasional glimmer of ori

ginality, and one perceives that this is not something to be looked for, to be aimed at. During the period when the boy and girl are opening wide their minds to the reception of great works of imagination, they are giving forth little in the way of written expression. While, therefore, our law of reading requires. abundance, richness, continuous delight," our law of writing calls only for the guidance of the pen, the practice in the manipulation of simple forms, the attainment of accuracy, intelligibility, and di


An analogy may be found in the two exercises of reading aloud and handwriting. As the child goes forward with his reading, entering steadily upon broader paths and making higher flights, the progress should be marked in his reading aloud by a steady gain away from idiosyncrasies, peculiarities of voice and manner, to that noble interpretation of great literature which makes the hearer forget the reader in his admiration for that which is read. This marks the diminution of the reader's personality in the presence of the poet's, the roinancer's personality. The converse is to be said of handwriting. At first the effort is made to conform the child's style to that of a flawless model. Every departure from that model is criticised, every effort made to keep the handwriting true to the copy. But by and by a change begins to come. The personality of the child is becoming more marked; the assertion of self, of an independent mind, seeks an outlet, and the handwriting gradually fixes itself in certain movements of constraint or freedom which subtly manifest the individuality. What was at first mere imitation now develops into expression.

This, then, is the result which we have reached. The imagination, that crowning spiritual faculty of man, is an endowment of childhood, to be cultivated sedulously through its whole school course by giving it, for its growth and

or nothing to it Meanwhile, we Meanwhile, we growing child in

enlargement, the noblest of literature on which to feed with delight. But the creative faculty, which is the constructive side of imagination, we leave for nature to do with what she will, assured that we can add little by training directly. I can and may train the the power of right expression of that which has attained its growth. Thus, the body, during school years, is rapidly approaching its fullest development, and, if we are wise, we attend most carefully to the bodily expression. All the powers of observation, also, are active and alert; we train them in expression through speech and writing, seeking to fit to each child's capacity that splendid instrument, the English language. The powers of reasoning, of discrimination, grow more slowly; but these also we seek to train in expression, not only through mathematical formula, but through the choice of words and the logical structure of sentences. In the order of nature, we have been accumulating for the child the facts, the experience, the objects, upon which he is to exercise that latest power, the guide of his life, the power of an educated reason. At last, if our work has been thorough the two great exponents of life, Divine Imagination and Human Reason, stand revealed: the one nurtured on great emotions and thoughts from childhood up, the other trained by constant effort to guide the child in the expression of his growing powers.

There is now one final educational task in the development of the interaction of the imagination and the reason, a task which is indeed beyond the scope of the common school, and reserved for the college and university; yet it has so intimate a relation to the law we have been elucidating that I cannot forbear to touch upon it ever so lightly.

I have laid great stress upon the absolute necessity of preserving the reading during school years free from the intrusion of analogies or criticism; that it

should be accompanied only by the briefest explanatory comment for the removal of obstacles; that the pupil should be left free to enjoy to the full what was set before him, and should dissociate the idea of a lesson from it. Supposing such a plan pursued year after year, until the student has reached that point to which our minds have been drawn, when his powers of observation, of careful expression, of discrimination, of logic, have been trained in an exercise upon those objects that meet the eye, those facts which come through history, those adventures which are personal. Now, then, his mind is ripe for the exercise of his reason upon this great accumulation of the works of imagination. The hour comes when that analysis which once was an intrusion is a necessity of his nature; when the delight he has known in the reading of great literature is enhanced by the new delight he may have in the study of great literature. Here at last we find the right time for that kind of work which we insisted should not be done. It is the order of nature: first the familiarity with the great art of letters in the glow of generous youth; then the turning of the matured powers of reasoning upon this accumulation for the purpose of ascertaining the sources of beauty; so that at last the student stands side by side with the creator of literature, and enters into his consciousness, the last and finest result of the critical faculty, when it blends with the creative, and scarcely can be distinguished from it.

The years of school life are hardly enough to bring the student to this point, yet I think it highly probable that a course in the high school might be laid out which should be in effect a review of the literature thus far read, with reference to initiating the student into that inquiry as to the nature of works of genius which might well be the delight of maturing years. But such a course would be futile unless, year after year, the students taking it had been acquiring a

friendly, even affectionate acquaintance with the literature upon which they were now to expend their powers of reasoning. The student must make this literature his own before he can hope to use it for purposes of criticism. Consider how wonderful would be the work of a teacher who, undertaking to set forth systematically the great laws of harmony in the composition of works of literary art, should be able to draw from the memories of the class example after example taken from the literature which their school life had made as household words to them.

I have attempted thus to inquire into the educational law of reading and writing, but I have not been solicitous to present it at last in some quotable formula.

Rather, I have been desirous that we should explore those foundations in nature and human reason which may disclose the principles of orderly procedure. We may find it convenient to systematize our knowledge and to reduce it to compact statement, yet in our larger experience we are constantly driven or led into the recognition of the great truth: that nature is the expression of the divine law working under the immanence of the divine love; and that if we would be wise in our training of the young, whether in reading, in writing, or in any other art, science, or philosophy, our first and never ceasing inquiry should be, what is the nature of this child, and how can I best work in sympathy with his laws? Horace E. Scudder.


THE English periodical owes its existence to the essay, the Spectator and Tatler having been the magazines of their day as well as the classics of their century, and it is by a sort of alternate generation in literature that the periodical in turn brings forth essays after its kind; of all kinds, rather, for there are few topics that are not touched upon nowadays in neat little volumes of mosaic contents. With some readers, this connection of essay and periodical exposes the former to a certain disfavor, of the sort with which yesterday's baking is regarded in the South. It is hard to judge rightly of a literature that is slipping past us, and it is well to keep a little of it, if only to find out whether it is worth keeping. Sir Edward Strachey, in the November Atlantic, quotes Maurice as saying "that a man might bring greater honor to his name by writing a great book,

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and writing on, the actual controversies of the day in which men were taking a practical interest." Here the consideration is an ethical one, but even from a literary standpoint there is something to be said in favor of writing on a small scale and for the present moment. In an age when the creative gift is rare and the affirmative force weakened, some of the best and truest work can be done in a loose literary form like the essay, which is without pretension, almost in fact apologetic, lending itself equally to directness or subtlety of treatment. The form may be regarded simply as a vehicle for the expression of the thought, as is commonly the case with the political or speculative essay; or it may be cultivated daintily and for its own sake, as is more apt to be done in the social essay, which demands for its perfection something of the novelist's outfit, or in the personal essay, which is next door to the journal or autobiography, but lays its

author under less rigid vows as to accu- ject viewed in both lights, the literary racy of statement.

Many of the best modern essays are in the line of criticism, and here the supremacy of the French is incontestable. The English miscellaneous writers excel in the discussion of topics political, social, or speculative. The monthly and weekly reviews in England, manned by sturdy, well-informed writers, surpass the French, and leave our performance in that kind far behind. In our own literature, which is still, as a whole, pretty desultory, and about which it behooves us, under Mr. Gosse's recent judgments, to be modest, the essay pure and simple, after the old models, seems to have found a congenial soil. Our high-water mark of thought or literary achievement is Emerson's Essays; and since Addison undertook to bring philosophy down to the club and

the tea-table no one has brewed a finer combination of philosophy and tea than Dr. Holmes.

Mr. Myers' comes to hand as an example of the sturdiness of treatment which we have cited as an English trait. Even when he handles such an impalpable, not to say unprofitable subject as the ghost of psychological research, he does so with a definiteness, vigor, and intellectual conscientiousness that go far to clothe that marrowless creation with dignity, if they do not invest it with life. To speak first of sturdiness, however, in connection with Mr. Myers is to give a wrong impression of his literary personality. He is not a mere topical writer, but a man of letters, who began as a poet, and in whom the poet is still alive. His Saint Paul has passed a little out of sight, but still lingers in many memories. His Classical Essays are more widely known, and have a similar haunting attractiveness. In the present volume, which is made up of essays on both literary and speculative topics, or rather, on one sub

1 Science and a Future Life. With Other Essays. By FREDERICK W. H. MYERS. London and New York: Macmillan. 1893.

interest is throughout intended to be subordinate; but the literary spirit is still dictator, giving to the book the stamp of individual charm, and of another unity than that of theme. It has the high earnestness of the author's Saint Paul; the intelligence, at once active and meditative, of the Classical Essays.

The spiritual attitude which it reveals is in a way a remarkable one. The melancholy but admirable essay on The Disenchantment of France shows how profoundly and sympathetically Mr. Myers has felt that spiritual void and desolation of which, as he acknowledges, France offers a spectacle, not solitary, but more complete than the rest of the world. The paper is poignant with the feeling of one to whom the loss of faith in the world at large is the subject of as deep a regret as the loss of his own. Science is the cause of this misery. Mr. Myers does not attack science nor revolt against its conclusions; he does not, like Signor Valdes's Father Gil, look to faith to give it the lie; he does not, like Robert Elsmere or Mark Rutherford, cling to the best thought that disenchantment has left to him, and make of it a sort of Spartan broth for the nourishment of the spirit. He recognizes that one aspect of the later phases of skepticism is the distrust of emotional guidance, and the very energy of his own emotions quickens this distrust. "Faith, the clinging of the soul to the beliefs and ideals which she feels as spiritually the highest," he considers indispensable; but he goes on to say, "Whereas in all ages a certain nucleus of ascertained fact has been regarded as faith's needful prerequisite, the only difference is that, in our own day, so much of that ancient nucleus has shriveled away that some fresh accession is needed before the flower of faith can spring from it and shed fragrance on the unseen." In other words, it is not religion, but what he calls material for religion, that Mr. Myers feels to be lacking. This

material he is determined to wrest from science. Science speaks now the only recognized language of authority. The highest science is psychology. In the study of psychology, therefore, lies the cure for our ills, and in psychological research, in scientific evidence of a-return to this world after death, Mr. Myers sees the substantial nucleus needed for faith, and an encouragement for hope to spring eternal, as it has temporarily ceased to spring, in the human breast. A new cosmic law, that of interpenetration of spirit and matter, is to bring salvation, and Mr. Myers is confident that the proper material will at once produce the religion. He declares, with a gravity that is disturbed by no undertone of humor, "The negative presumption will therefore be shaken if accepted notions as to man's personality are shown to be gravely defective, while it will be at once overthrown" (his own italics) "if positive evidence to man's survival of bodily death can in any way be acquired." Without attempting to argue on supernatural grounds with the discoverer of a new cosmic law, we would venture to indicate the superiority in point of knowledge of the world of another prediction, made two thousand years ago, which says, "Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

Nothing could be more unlike Mr. Myers's lofty sadness and visionary ardor of hope than the temper with which Mr. Balfour surveys the world as it is, and reckons the probabilities of its fu



He, too, insists upon belief in immortality as necessary to stimulate energy and make life worth living, but he does not press the question of how this belief is to be maintained in a disenchanted world. The world is, after all, not so very disenchanted, to his mind. To Mr. Myers, who is a poet and a man of sentiment, science seems to have said

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the irrefutable word. Mr. Balfour, who has a more practical mind, finds assurance in an attitude of doubt, in the conviction that science has not yet proved her points; in other words, he keeps his mental balance by being skeptical as to skepticism. His Defence of Philosophic Doubt was a brilliant arraignment of scientific infallibility, an employment of the Scotch philosophers' dialectic of common sense for ends the opposite to theirs, and with far more effect. Mr. Balfour does not discuss what would happen if a traveler were to return with absolute proof of immortality, because his interest in the future is in ratio to its probability. Such a traveler would have to deal, however, with human nature, and the Fragment on Progress, which formed Mr. Balfour's rectorial address at Glasgow, shows what he thinks of the likelihood that any argument or proof would essentially alter that leaven. It is interesting, in this and in the entertaining essay on Berkeley, to note the interaction and harmony of the author's political and philosophical creeds and observations. For Berkeley Mr. Balfour has a strong admiration, for which there is every reason, and a peculiar sympathy, for which there are perhaps two special reasons. Berkeley was the author of a system of philosophy which showed that the existence of matter could not be proved, and of a book on Ireland which proved that the Irish question did not exist.

The present collection of addresses and essays is a less elaborate performance than Mr. Balfour's former book, although there are plenty of evidences of the same philosophic acuteness. The leisure product of a mind active in other directions, these essays are at once very able and very light in weight; extremely well written without indicating any special literary gift. They are much more rational than the essays of Mr. Myers, but the impression which they leave upon the mind is much slighter. There is something a trifle Macaulayan in the extraneous and

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