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the added force of incomparable art, an art that could flood a phrase, or even a single word, with the concentrated riches and splendors of a whole dramatic sit uation. She made words reciprocate; forced them to borrow and lend, empty shades of elusive meaning into one another, light up one another's remote nooks, focus their colors into dazzling iris centres of beauty, passion, and charm.

In fragment 4 this art of verbal squeezing, so that the meaning of one word gushes out into that of another, like musty juice, so to speak, is carried to the furthest, and yet the passage is a piece of simple and apparently artless description:

̓Αμφὶ δὲ ψῦχρον κελάδει δι ̓ ὕσδων
μαλίνων, αἰθυσσομένων δὲ φύλλων
κῶμα καταρρεῖ.

I translate this into prose as best I can: "Coolness steals all around through the apple boughs, and down the shimmering foliage a drowsiness settles gently." The dry grammarian will laugh at my rendering; but it is literally what Sappho meant. In her words, however, is inclosed the dreamy sense of summer in a breezy, slumbrous apple orchard, like the purple juice in a cluster of ripe grapes. Theocritus describes much the same conditions with his παντ ̓ ὦσδεν θέρεος μάλα πίονος, ὦσδε οπώρας, — “ All breathed the odor of rich, fruity summer time." But here again Theocritus thrusts forth only the beautiful fact, while Sappho makes her meaning include a spiritual condition, the drowsy dream of the soul, induced by the coolness, the leaf rustle, and the slumber-bearing weather.


Matthew Arnold has denied that the Greek poets have the magic of expression which belongs to Western genius; but it seems to me that just what he called magic is to be found doubly distilled in some of these pathetic "stray gusts of Sapphic song," and in a few of the happiest flute-scores of Theocritus

1 Symonds renders the phrase thus, "And time slips by;" but I feel that Sappho meant

and some haunting chord fragments of the true Anakreon. There is not a single line of all that Shakespeare wrote which, if left to stray alone through twenty-five centuries, could give the human soul a finer thrill than fragment 33:

Ἠράμαν μὲν ἔγω σέθεν, Ατθι, πάλαι πότα. Indeed I loved thee once, O Atthis, long ago. Our English words do not carry the undertone of that backward cry through the darkness of dead years; they barely suggest it.

Here is a bundle of the fragments, with what seems to me their meaning in English : —

Ἔρος δαὐτέ μ' ὁ λυσιμέλης δόνει
γλυκύπικρον ἀμάχανον ὄρπετον.

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Εσπερε, πάντα φέρων, ὅσα φαίνολις ἐσκέδασ' αἴως, φέρεις οἶν, φέρεις αἶγα, φέρεις ἄπυ ματέρι παῖδα.

(Frag. 95.)

O Evening, thou dost bring, what bright morn sent wandering,

The errant goat, the straying sheep, the child in mother's breast to sleep.

But the English phrasing is pale, sapless, and unsuggestive of that element in the Sapphic equation which in almost every word of the original is subtly personal and magically appealing.

Fragment 109 has a haunting plangency of movement, and a pathos that returns again and again, like a mournful echo:

παρθενία, παρθενία, ποῖ με λίποις αποίχῃ; οὐκέτι ἥξω πρὸς σέ, οὐκέτι ἥξω. Girlhood, girlhood, gone oh where from me? I come, I come never, never again to thee.

So fragment 39 carries a note almost beyond the reach of suggestion in English:

ἦρος ἄγγελος ιμερόφωνος ἀήδων.

Messenger of spring, love-longing-voicèd nightingale.

The tender, love - burdened and joysweetened cry of the song-bird in spring is expressed in absolute terms by the compound word iμepówvos; it is the voice of elemental, unsophisticated desire. I never read that line without thinking of the mocking-birds in May among the blooming haw boskets and wild plum thickets of Georgia.

Sappho had the true song-bird's voice, -the seeking, calling voice of absolute, initial longing, the cry of pristine passion. "Desire," connected with love in its purest and highest human sense, was the key-word of her song. We need not pause to inquire whether, living in an age of hideous moral laxity, she was a bad or a good woman. Her song is not evil in its substance nor vicious in its essence. Her love-desire was that of a burning, music-charmed genius, full of health and vigor, wandering in the springtime groves of song. I have found it interesting to

group together her phrases containing this key-word "desire: "

γελαίσας ιμερόεν. θυμος ἱμέρρει.

ἴμερον ἤ κάλων.

ἔρος δ' ἐπ ̓ ἱμέρτῳ κέκυται προσώπῳ.1
ἱμερόφωνος ἀήδων.

Here we have the laughter of desire; the desiring heart; good-desiring, — that is, a pure love-impulse; a desireful face, in connection with beauty; and the desire-burdened voice of a bird in spring. This note of longing is not a coarse cry of lust, as the fleshly school of critics and poets would have us believe, but a fine human utterance in behalf of the noblest natural, elemental impulse. Sappho, whatever may have been her attitude as a Lesbian woman living some six hundred years before Christ, was, in her poetry, so far as what we have of it goes, a true woman, singing freely the deepest and sweetest as well as the strongest and most burning secrets of woman's heart. She sings the mother and the child, the groom and the bride, the bird in the grove, the maiden's tender dream of love beside her loom, a child girl golden-fair, the love of delicacy, flowers, beautiful colors, the rustic girl and her clever artfulness, a sweetvoiced maiden, her girl friends, as well as the pain and stress and overmastering clutch of love and jealousy and longing and despair. But her key-word is one that belongs exclusively to women,

a word meaning more than our word "longing," and bearing a more spiritual allusion to love than our word "desire." She was not sentimental, but she was a gorgeous fountain of sentiment; beyond this, her music and her colors and her masterly command of sympathy make her verse strangely captivating.

A poet once said to me that Sappho's poetry always seemed to startle immemorial echoes in his mind, and held him breathlessly expectant of some miraculous revelation. It looks to one who 1 This is Weil's reading of fragment 100.

reads as if all the poets had felt this curious effect of the fragments, which so often just reach the line of cleavage between tantalizing suggestion and the full explosion of discovery. What it is that one expects and seems just on the point of realizing is not what is so persistently iterated and reiterated in the Anakreontics, not what the shallower harp sounds monotonously as its only phrase, -epwra μοῦνον ἠχεῖ, - but some immanent, soulpervading, and final expression of human love loosed within by a supreme voice, the far overpassed imerophone, thrilling the ancient sphere with unimaginable melody.

Each master poet has this precious secret of a haunting reserve, this remote, alluring suggestiveness beyond all words; but none like Sappho. Each true genius swings a colored lantern with magic effect across our track, and its light is always characteristic and individual, with a signal flash exclusively its own. Sappho's light is that of absolute, universal womanhood. She knew herself, her sex, and her power; and it is this womanly knowledge, informed with a genius never yet surpassed, that brims her words with imperishable fascination.

Αστέρων παντων ὁ κάλιστος.
Maurice Thompson.



IT has come to be distinctly recognized that any far-reaching educational reform in this country must begin with the secondary schools. The elementary school is helpless if the secondary school refuses to cooperate with it in raising the standard of scholarship and improving the methods of instruction; and but few colleges are strong enough to demand of the secondary schools more and better work than the latter are now doing. Persuasion on the part of the colleges has . in some cases accomplished a good deal, but the improvement has been limited either to one or two subjects of instruction, or to the schools of a relatively small territory. The secondary schools themselves, not always conducted in a wise or generous spirit, have too often sacrificed the necessities of sound training to the local demand for an ambitious programme containing twoscore or more of school subjects, no one of which is pursued far enough or long enough for the pupil to derive from it the educational value it possesses. Or they have

erred on the other side, and in their devotion to a past ideal excluded from the curriculum whole fields of knowledge that have grown up within a century. Thus the secondary school has appeared to many observers not only to scatter a pupil's energies and interests, but to delay him unduly. The consequence is, as President Eliot showed very clearly several years ago, that the American boy of fifteen or sixteen, no whit inferior to his French or German fellow in native ability, is from two to three years behind him in acquired knowledge.

To remedy so apparent an evil as this would be an easy task in France or in Prussia. The minister of education would consult his official advisers, and call the leading educational experts to his council; in a few weeks an order would issue prescribing for the schools a new and reformed procedure. In this way, Lehrpläne and Lehraufgaben for the higher schools of Prussia were issued in 1882, and again in 1892. Similarly, in 1890 the existing Plan d'Études

et Programmes of the secondary schools in France was promulgated. In this country, however, where no central educational administration exists, and where bureaucracy is not popular, educational reforms can be brought about only by persuasion and coöperation, for no official and no institution is empowered to dictate to us. The press, the platform, the teachers' meeting, must be availed of to put forward new ideas, and men and women in large numbers must be reasoned with and convinced in order to secure their acceptance.

For secondary education, and through it for our educational organization generally, a long step has been taken in this direction by the proceedings that led up to the appointment of the Committee of Ten by the National Educational Association, and by the exceedingly valuable report which that committee has just laid before the public.1

For thirty years the National Educational Association has been known as a large body of teachers that assembled annually to listen to addresses and discussions of more or less practical value. It

has come to command an attendance of as many as sixteen thousand teachers, of all classes and from every section of the country. Its power and authority have increased with its size and its representative character. In 1892, the directors of this association determined to pass from the field of mere discussion, and begin an educational investigation, under their own auspices and paid for out of their own funds, that should result in some practical gain to the country at large. They accepted the suggestion, made to them after careful deliberation, that the

1 Published by the Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C., and to be obtained on request.

2 The members of the committee were: President Charles W. Eliot, of Harvard University, chairman; Dr. W. T. Harris, Commissioner of Education; President James B. Angell, of the University of Michigan; President James M. Taylor, of Vassar College; Mr. John Tet

problems connected with secondary education should be vigorously and systematically attacked, and appointed a committee, which has come to be known as the Committee of Ten, to take full charge of the task, at the same time appropri ating twenty-five hundred dollars to pay the expenses of the work. The members of this committee were carefully selected with a view to giving representation to the types of educational organization most interested, and to the various sections of the country.2

As finally constituted, the committee was made up of one president of an Eastern university, two presidents of Western state universities and one of a Southern state university, one president of a college for women, one professor in a Western college open to both sexes, one head - master of an endowed academy, one principal of a public high school for both sexes, one principal of a public high school for girls only, and the Commissioner of Education, whose familiarity with the principles and practice of education in every part of the United States gave representation indirectly both to the elementary school interest and to the special students of education.

The procedure adopted by the Committee of Ten is fully described in the report to which it is the object of this paper to direct attention. It may be briefly stated thus:

After a study of the whole problem, it was decided to appoint nine Conferences of ten members each, one Con

ference for each of the main divisions of work that fall properly to the secondary school. The members of the Conferences were selected equally, as nearly

low, of the Girls' High School, Boston, Mass.; Mr. O. D. Robinson, of the Albany (N. Y.) High School; President James H. Baker, of the University of Colorado; President Richard H. Jesse, of the University of Missouri; Mr. James C. MacKenzie, of the Lawrenceville (N. J.) School; and Professor Henry C. King, of Oberlin College.

as possible, from college and school instructors who had attained a reputation in connection with the subject of their Conference, due regard being had also to the representation of various educational interests and the several sections

of the country. Conferences were appointed, therefore, on Latin; Greek; English; Other Modern Languages; Mathematics; Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry; Natural History (Biology, including Botany, Zoology, and Physiology); History, Civil Government, and Political Economy; and Geography (Physical Geography, Geology, and Meteorology). The several Conferences assembled in December, 1892, at convenient points, and eighty-eight of the ninety members were in attendance. Of these eighty-eight, forty-six were in the ser vice of colleges and universities, fortyone in the service of schools, and one was a government official formerly in the service of a university. So admirable are the lists of members of these Conferences that it is difficult to speak of them without enthusiasm. Among the ninety names will be found many that stand in the foremost rank of American scholarship, and no one of the ninety was without valuable educational experience of some kind. This fact of itself gives great weight to their recommendations, and their exhaustive reports, which are appended to the Report of the Committee of Ten, are a mine of educational information and suggestion of the utmost value.

The nine Conferences were in session for three days, and addressed themselves to the task of preparing answers to the searching questions submitted to them by the Committee of Ten. These questions, eleven in number, were as follows:

"(1.) In the school course of study, extending approximately from the age of six years to eighteen years, a course including the periods of both elementary and secondary instruction, at what age

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(3.) How many hours a week for how many years should be devoted to it during the last four years of the complete course; that is, during the ordinary high school period?

"(4.) What topics, or parts, of the subject may reasonably be covered during the whole course?

"(5.) What topics, or parts, of the subject may best be reserved for the last four years?

"(6.) In what form and to what extent should the subject enter into college requirements for admission? Such questions as to the sufficiency of translation at sight as a test of knowledge of a language, or the superiority of a laboratory examination in a scientific subject to a written examination on a textbook, are intended to be suggested under this head by the phrase 'in what form.'

"(7.) Should the subject be treated differently for pupils who are going to college, for those who are going to a scientific school, and for those who, presumably, are going to neither?

"(8.) At what stage should this differentiation begin, if any be recommended? "(9.) Can any description be given of the best method of teaching this subject throughout the school course?

"(10.) Can any description be given of the best mode of testing attainments in this subject at college admission examinations?

"(11.) For those cases in which colleges and universities permit a division of the admission examinations into a preliminary and a final examination, separated by at least a year, can the best limit between the preliminary and final examinations be approximately defined?"

The first impression produced by a study of the reports of the special Conferences is that their members addressed

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