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notable figure in the family. The conditions of life in an agricultural community, where there was but the faintest shadow of serfdom to accentuate the pride of mastery, and where a certain geographical isolation aided in the development of local self-dependence, afforded an admirable opportunity for the cultivation of family society out of such materials of character as we have intimated prevailed in Rhode Island. Miss Hazard states that the first of her name in this country came to Newport from Boston, probably with Mrs. Hutchinson, and that his son, Robert Hazard, bought land in Narragansett in 1671, and thus laid the foundations of the family estate. "He left five sons," Miss Hazard writes, "the eldest named Thomas after his grandfather,- a custom which was continued for seven generations, each eldest son of an eldest son being named after his grandfather, making a succession of alternate Thomas and Robert Hazards. At first blush this would seem to lighten the labors of the student of heredity, but, unfortunately for his research, Robert Hazard had not only a Thomas for eldest son, but a Robert for third son. His second son, George, had an eldest son Robert, and also a son Thomas. Though the family rule was adhered to, each son, with characteristic individuality, founded a family of his own, using the names of the older branch whenever he chose. By the end of the eighteenth century there were, in this way, some thirty Thomas Hazards, of various degrees of kinship, all calling each other 'loving cousin.'” To distinguish these several Thomases nicknames were used, and the College Tom of this narrative was so called because he enjoyed the unusual distinction of a collegiate eduIcation which he received at Yale.
With that English passion for land which in persons has made great landlords, and in the state great colonial possessions, the Hazard family early acquired large tracts of the Narragansett
country. Land was indeed at once the sign and the cause of wealth. In the delightfully genealogical language of these annals it is told of Robert Hazard, great-grandson of the first immigrant, "by his great-grandson Isaac Peace Hazard, on the authority of his grandmother," that he had "twelve negro women as dairywomen, each of whom had a girl to assist her, making from twelve to twenty-four cheeses a day, . . . one hundred and fifty cows being about the number he generally kept. He kept about four thousand sheep, manufacturing most of the clothing, both woolen and linen, for his household, which must have been very large, as I have heard my grandmother say that after he partially retired from his extensive farming operations, or curtailed them by giving up part of his lands to his children, he congratulated his family and friends on the small number to which he had reduced his household for the coming winter, being only seventy in parlor and kitchen." This patriarch was the father of College Tom, and the man whose career is recorded in these pages was the inheritor of the estate. He inherited also the religious opinions of his fathers, who since the coming of George Fox had been Friends, and it is clear that he derived from his forbears and fortified in his own experience a character upright and scrupulous, and a will strengthened by intellectual exercise. From the family papers preserved, but unopened since 1827, Miss Hazard has traced his life from his marriage in 1742 until his death in 1798.
It is the story of one American of what may fairly be called the better class living in the period which immediately preceded and immediately followed the disruption of political allegiance to England; and although Miss Hazard has little to say of political history, the silence of the records from which she draws is all the more expressive. That is to say, we are shown in
the minute details of country life how self-centred and independent that life was; and it is easy to see in the instance of this particular family, especially as it was unentangled in ecclesiastical affairs, how there had been growing up a community which realized in its own relations the conditions of a miniature state, and would be ready, without violence, to enter finally into the larger life of a new nation. We are apt to put in the foreground the political and ecclesiastical elements of American society in the latter half of the eighteenth century, just as now we emphasize politics; but then, as now, the industrial element had the greater significance, and in the dairy, the sheepfold, the farm, by the spinningwheel and the loom, there was such real possession of the land as assured permanence and stability.
If politics in the way of the administration of government is lightly touched on, it must not be supposed that the records used by Miss Hazard are silent as regards the nobler estate of man. With great skill and insight she has drawn forth College Tom's awakening to the iniquity of slavery, his interest in common education, his religious life, and the peculiar trials which he and his family and neighbors were called upon to endure through the war for independence because of their principles as members of the Society of Friends. It is the intermingling of all these intimations of character and moral purpose with the homely details of a pastoral and agricultural life that serves most completely to explain the sturdy, independent, and self-sustained community upon which, as upon multitudes of others, rested the real hopes of the nascent Union.
Miss Hazard, therefore, in her admirable book, which seems at first glance merely the antiquarian record of a single family, has, without saying it in so many words, really contributed a valuable monograph to the better comprehension of American history. Her task,
fulfilled patiently and with scrupulous aim at accuracy, is one which might well be imitated by others. The life of the nation is in the integrity, first of its members, and then, scarcely less significantly, of those members in their family relation; and every contribution of the nature of Miss Hazard's book is a distinct aid toward that last, finest result of historical research, the grasp of the very consciousness of the nation. In another field the historical spirit finds exercise of a lighter sort, but distinctly valuable. Documents and institutions form so very large a part of our resources in history in America that we scarcely consider how much we miss in that other great testimony, the witness of monuments. Old World history is written with great vividness, architecturally and epigraphically, but with us the earliest monuments are painfully near our own day, and the few that have any existence are rather illustrations of what we know from other sources than very illuminating themselves. Yet allied with the interpretation of monuments is that study which may be called the reconstruction of wholes from fragments; and as a German scholar could show the modern eye just how the Parthenon actually looked, so the student of American history, if he will scrutinize closely geographical features and examine relics, architectural or domestic, may still do much toward enabling the reader to make the narrative of history real and to modify traditional acceptations. Such a service in a light way has been rendered by Mr. Bliss in some of the papers in his agreeable book of which The Old Colony Town is the leading number. He visits Plymouth with his mind well furnished with the historical incidents which have made the place famous, his knowledge covering an acquaintance with the town records, and
1 The Old Colony Town, and Other Sketches. By WILLIAM ROOT BLISS. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1893.
in a simple, direct way, all the more effective that it does not seem to imply any very deliberate intention, he looks over the ground, examines the sites and the few relics in Pilgrim Hall, and proIceeds to touch one fabric after another of merely traditional structure, with the result that they crumble into dust, and in a few easy sentences to reconstruct the ordinary life of the town. In this reconstruction he also effects a dissipation of illusions, and turns the hard, dry, rather unlovely, but clearly truthful side of that early life to the eye of the readMr. Bliss's picture is without much atmosphere, and one instinctively feels that it is accurate in details so far as ordinary life goes, but takes no account of heroism, latent or expressed. Its value lies in its correction of false notions, its insistence upon actualities, its calling back the mind from vain imaginations. In another paper, The Ambit of Buzzard's Bay, he is equally successful in making the reader share with him the illustrative knowledge of history which comes from a familiarity with localities identified with historic life, and such a vivid acquaintance with that life that his eye scarcely sees the overlying growth of modern days. It is as if he swept the ground clear of whatever obstructed the view of a New England antiquity.
Such contributions as these by Mr. Bliss suggest how much may be done by the historic imagination under guidance of a well-trained memory. The test of sight and touch is applied, and a too exclusive absorption in records and documents corrected and adjusted. It is by such detailed investigation as Miss Hazard and Mr. Bliss carry on that the facts of history are made available and placed in a clear light. Yet the historical spirit, after all, is not content with these forms of assertion. Without depreciating these heaps of accurate fact, it demands still further the generalization of the facts, the association of them under laws, and that interpretation of
human life which is in itself a contribution toward the perfecting of life.
Mr. Charles Francis Adams, in his Three Episodes of Massachusetts History, has shown himself a master in the art of patient research resulting in a valuable aggregation of particulars. Nor is the book lacking in a strong sense of the laws which govern society; his very selection and grouping of materials bear witness to this, as well as his frequent impressive inferences. He has, however, in his latest book, to which we referred at the outset, more deliberately undertaken to set forth in brief the results of his study in this field. The contention of his forcible essay is that "so far as the principles of civil liberty and human rights are concerned, Massachusetts has always been at the front;" but that as respects religious toleration "not only has Massachusetts failed to make herself felt, but her record as a whole, and until a comparatively recent period, has been scarcely even creditable;" and finally, that from 1637 onward the historians of Massachusetts have had recourse to all manner of sophistry to evade the plain teachings of history on this point.
"To see history truly and correctly," Mr. Adams well says, "it must be viewed as a whole;" and when making his sweeping indictment of Massachusetts historians, he excepts one writer, Mr. Brooks Adams, who, in his Emancipation of Massachusetts, has perceived the contrast between the political independence and spiritual servitude of the people, just as in treating of historians generally he accords Mr. Buckle the position of being the one writer who has addressed himself in a comprehensive spirit to that subject which is the great theme of modern history, namely, Freedom of Conscience and the Equality of Man before the Law. These two exceptions throw some light on Mr. Adams's attitude toward Massachusetts history, and help to explain his general theory of historic writing. He educes from the
movements of modern history certain general laws, and proceeds to examine the particular history of a somewhat isolated community in the light of these laws. By this process of concentration, he simplifies the problem, narrows the field, and heightens the effect of the results secured. The general laws to be illustrated are large and cover great tracts of human endeavor; so that the inquiry is no mean one, and the historian, fascinated by his pursuit, grows constantly more bold and confident. Mr. Adams, with his masculine habit of mind, holds his conceptions so firmly that he makes a most telling argument in support of his position; so that the reader is forced almost to the conclusion that Massachusetts was built up for the purpose of demonstrating the possibility of a steady growth in political freedom all the while that she was suffering an atrophy of religion.
We do not purpose entering a defense of Massachusetts historians. A writer who sets up an exclusively truthful interpretation of history is himself on the defense when he is most aggressive. Nor are we disposed to quarrel greatly with Mr. Adams's general inference that religious toleration in Massachusetts under the leadership of her divines lagged far behind the advance of political liberty under the same leadership. Our inquiry turns rather upon the spirit in which Mr. Adams has illustrated his admirable saying, that "to see history truly and correctly, it must be viewed as a whole." If history may be resolved into the illustration of the development of political liberty and religious toleration, then Mr. Adams, in this little book, is both scientific and philosophical, for he confines himself to those facts which have immediate relation to the law of development, and he makes his theme comprehend the life of a community throughout its entire period of independent history.
In point of fact, Mr. Adams has availed himself of an interesting work
ing hypothesis of historic development, and has applied it to a community somewhat integral in character and exceptional in circumstance. He has found abundant facts for the support of his theory, and in his triumphant display of them he has vehemently criticised all other historians who have been disposed to interpret the facts otherwise. He has, by the forcible presentation of his thesis, unquestionably aided in the cause of a truthful interpretation of Massachusetts history; his point of view will serve to correct the errors of other points of view; but we do not think he has demonstrated his claim to an exclusive explanation of the history of Massachusetts.
Mr. Adams, in a very striking pas sage, maintains that all modern history is the explication of a drama, the Emancipation of Man from Superstition and Caste; he treats the history of Massachusetts as one scene in that drama. The conception is a large and fascinating one, and in the light of it he finds an instructive parallel between Massachusetts and Spain, an equally instructive contrast between Massachusetts and Holland; ignoring the teaching of history which requires in the former instance that the ultimate fate of a nation, as of a person, shall determine the corruption of the will at any one period in the formation of character, and in the latter that national relations have a vast deal of influence in the determination of national policy, Holland set in the network of European states was a very different body from Massachusetts in the wilderness. But when one is setting forth a drama, he must use high lights and strong situations.
It is very true that Massachusetts cannot be studied as an abstracted state. Nevertheless, we conceive that no study of its history can approach finality which does not lay hold with great tenacity of the proposition that it was a plantation in the wilderness by Englishmen who carried with them the seeds, but not the
mature stock of democracy; that its relation both with the mother country and with the neighboring colonies was far less an important factor in its development than its interior growth out of principles and ideals which were the moving cause of the plantation itself; and that to reach the consciousness of a state which is the last and finest result of historical research, one need not be unmindful of general laws, but he must be exceedingly watchful of those manifestations of personality which differ
entiate the individual. In this view, those historians are not so far wrong as Mr. Adams would have us believe who see in the attitude which Massachusetts took toward dissidents an instinct of self-preservation. The leaders in the colony were not just then considering how they might emancipate man from caste and superstition, but they were very vitally interested in considering how they might preserve intact what they would very likely have called the Ark of the Covenant.
A NEW READING OF LEONARDO DA VINCI.
THERE is a fascination in the incomplete. In art this is a commonplace; in life and history it is none the less true. Great men have more than once consciously increased their renown by enveloping themselves in a mystery. Petrarch confesses to have obliterated himself from the world in the hermitage of Vaucluse not for the sake of solitary meditation, but that the world might wonder what he was up to. And the result was that in his own day Petrarch was, if possible, less talked of as the singer of Laura or as the humanist than as the man-of-mystery, the mage. None, however, have exerted upon the imaginations of contemporaries and of posterity this witchery of the half understood more than the painter of Mona Lisa. At first sight, one is tempted to exclaim of Leonardo da Vinci that he seems to be a veritable definition of the incomplete. His contemporaries never tired of bemoaning his wasted talents; and even so clear sighted a modern as Michelet speaks of him as "the Italian brother of Faust." Both saw only his incompleteness. Illegitimate in birth; slighted by his native Florence; favored only, it would seem, by such infamous tyrants as
Ludovico il Moro and Cesare Borgia, or his natural enemy France; his one masterpiece, the Cena, destined to become a total wreck from time and the swifter vandalism of monks, soldiers, and renovators; his other masterpiece, the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza, destined never to grow beyond his model; his encyclopædic labors in nearly all the sciences destined to rot for years, an undecipherable litter, in the garret of an unintelligent beneficiary, and then in no small part to perish utterly; and finally to die in exile, leaving behind him little but the shadow of a great name, — surely here is a life all the more pitiably a fragment just because it might have been, nay should have been, so grandly complete. Such has been the threnody over da Vinci up to our own day. Yet there has been always something ambiguous, something troublant, about this incompleteness of the enigmatic master. Just as the historical critic has comfortably housed him in the pigeonhole of the incomplete, there comes the same doubt, the same shake of the head, as must follow the attempt to interpret and catalogue that very same Mona Lisa of his with her bewildering smile. Hence it is that we