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dozen times a week. These stones present very serious obstacles to the passage of any light vehicle. About half-way through this Poort' was the dreaded 'Slagters Nek; and in turning the sharp bend, care had to be exercised to avoid finding a lodgment in the chasm, which was three hundred feet in sheer descent below.

'Help!' I shouted, more in agony than with the idea of any one hearing me; yet one heard, though I knew it not. 'Help!' again I cried.

I dare not think of it. On, on! I closed my eyes. There was a sudden jerk; I felt myself pitched headlong out of the cart, and-I knew

It was

We had now reached the entrance of the 'Poort,' and were trotting leisurely along, the horses having calmed down somewhat. I had thus far managed to avoid serious contact with rocks and boulders, and as I journeyed over the first three miles, with the moon shining brightly, for the storm had passed away, I felt more light-spirited than I did at the outset. The stupid Dutchman in the cart with me was now sound asleep. No jolting had awakened him, so securely was he wrapped in slumber. But the beauty of the scene made me forget all this. On each side were to be see the silent mountains; before me, far away, was a flowing stream, glistening white in the moonlight; while now and then might be heard the sharp bark of the jackal or the sudden chatter of birds. I was now about a mile from the 'Nek,' and I drew up the horses that I might drink in the scene more vividly. Standing up in the cart, I gazed around me, in order to fill myself, as it were, with the beauty and grandeur of the scene, when I was suddenly startled by a loud growl, quickly followed by a second, louder still. a Cape leopard. I felt my hair rise. To seize my rifle and discharge it was my first thought; but it was underneath my friend at the bottom of the cart. Ere I had time to seize it, I was jerked into my seat. The horses were galloping, wild with fear and excitement, straight for the 'Nek.' I seized hold of the reins, which had been dragged from my grasp, and pulled with all the energy of a man in despair. But I might as well have sat still; for all my pulling was without effect. On they dashed over rocks and boulders, impelled by their wild fear; while I was expecting every moment to be hurled into the chasm below. I made another effort; but it was equally fruitless. I was in imminent danger of being jerked off my seat, and had now to use all my strength to keep my hold of the cart. Still on they rushed, and no help for it. I grew deathly calm, waiting for the doom which seemed so near. We tore on at racehorse speed, nearer, nearer. Now the dark wall of the 'Nek' was distinctly to be seen looming before

us.

no more.

Saved! But how? On the opposite side of the 'Nek,' was toiling up the rather steep ascent, a Dutchman with his bullocks and wagon, returning from a far-off village, where he had been to sell his produce; and as he lay half asleep, he was suddenly aroused by the cry of Help?' At once the thought flashed through his mind that some one was in danger at the 'Nek.' He was but a few hundred yards away, so the usually unwieldy, slow, and phlegmatic Dutchman jumped from the wagon, seized the whip, and

commenced belabouring the poor oxen till they started on a run, passed the bend, when he at once saw my peril. No time was to be lost, so he drew up the oxen across the path, and was in time to receive the full force of the collision.

Yes; I was safe. Could I believe it? I had been for a few minutes unconscious; but the kindly Dutchman's flask had revived me, and here I was. My first thought was for my companion; and, strange to say, there he was still lying at the bottom of the cart, quite unconscious of the risks he had run. The horses were not, beyond a few scratches and bruises, any the worse for their race.

After this, we journeyed slowly home, for the horses were now thoroughly cowed; and when we reached the farm, we were received with open arms, as the family were frantic with fear, knowing not what had become of us. When I related how narrow had been our escape, there were abundant expressions of gratitude. I have travelled since then in various parts of the world, and have gone through perils by land and sea, but never shall I forget my terrible ride with Pietermann and our being saved by bullocks.

SONGLESS.

SWEET little maid, whose golden-rippled head
Between me and my grief its beauty rears,
With quick demand for song-all singing's dead;
My heart is sad; mine eyes are dimmed with tears.

Oh, ask me not for songs! I cannot sing;

My ill-tuned notes would do sweet music wrong;
I have no smile to greet the laughing spring,
No voice to join in summer's tide of song.

More from October's dying glory takes

My heart its hymn; and fuller sympathy
Finds with the Autumn hurricane that makes
The forest one convulsive agony.

Or, when the last brown leaves in Winter fall,
While all the world in grim frost-fetters lies,
I envy them the snowflake's gentle pall,

That hides their sorrows from the frowning skies.

Methinks it would be sweet like them to rest

O'er Life's mad scene to pull the curtain down; Rest, where no weary dream will pierce the breast, Of perished love or unfulfilled renown:

No weariness of patient work uncrowned

By its reward; no early hopes destroyed;
No vain desires, nor thing desired and found
Void of enjoyment when at last enjoyed.

Perchance when mist of intervening years

Softens the Past-as oft at close of day
The far grim range all beautiful appears,

Kissed into brightness by the sunset ray

When the sharp pang of bitter memories born,

Has lost its sting, and this my present pain
Shows like some ill dream in the light of morn,
I'll sing thee o'er the olden songs again.
R. W. BOND.

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LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

No. 981.-VOL. XIX.

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knowledge of the subjects he is required to learn. He goes up to the competitive examination at Woolwich, and finds each question so complicated, that he is utterly puzzled; and when the results of the examination are made known, Brown is nearly last on the list.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1882.

BRAIN-POWER.

WE are supposed to live in an age when bruteforce has ceased to rule, and when brain-power alone is the governing agent. In the good old days, the heavy, strong-armed knight, protected by his impenetrable armour, and skilled in the use of his sword, was almost invincible. A little nearer our own day, the skilled swordsman or dead-shot whose ultimatum was the duel, ruled to a certain extent the society in which he moved. To test which was the most powerful knight, was an easy matter; for a combat between the rivals was easily arranged, and the result was seldom questionable; or if it were uncertain, the relative powers were supposed to be equal.

In the present day, however, the question of brain-power is a far more difficult problem. We cannot weigh brains as we can tea or sugar; we cannot determine their mental capacity as we could the physical powers of knights of old, by setting two of them opposite each other and leaving them to fight it out. We have, however, arranged various tests which we suppose give us a correct estimate of the brain-power of various individuals. These tests may be better than none at all; yet they are far from being perfect; consequently, we too often by such means select men to do work for which they are quite unsuited, and to fill offices for which they have no capacity.

On the other hand, Smith is the son of a wealthy tradesman who wishes his son to enter as a cadet at Woolwich. Young Smith is sent early in life to a successful 'crammer's,' to be fattened with knowledge as turkeys are crammed for Christmas. The crammer does not confine his attention to teaching his pupils; but he watches the examination papers set at Woolwich, and he finds that the examiners have each a peculiar 'fad,' and set their questions in a sort of rotation. He looks carefully over these, and he forms a kind of estimate of the questions which are likely to be set at any particular examination. He therefore trains his pupils for these questions, and is often so successful in his predictions, that at least half the questions have been worked out by these pupils a week before the examination; and this result is obtained without any collusion between the crammer and the examiner. On one occasion that we know of, seven questions out of a paper of thirteen were predicted as 'due;' and the pupils consequently of this crammer were most successful at this 'competitive.' Young Smith is thus trained, and passes say fifth out of a long list, and is con

The present is an age of competitive examina-sidered, as far as this test is concerned, to possess tions, yet these afford but an imperfect test of brain-power far beyond that of the unfortunate brain-power; for after a time, competitive ex- Brown, who was nearly last in this same examaminations become less and less efficient as true ination. tests of intelligence, and sink into a sort of official routine. As examples, we will take the following cases. Brown is the son of an Indian officer who died when his boy was ten years old, and left his widow badly off. Young Brown is intended for the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; but his mother's means do not enable her to send him to a first-class 'crammer's,' so he has to sit beneath the average schoolmaster. He works

Twenty years elapse, and Smith and Brown meet. Smith has jogged on in the usual routine; he may have never either said or done a foolish thing. Brown, on the other hand, is a man of wide reputation, has written clever books, and done many clever things; yet people who know his early history say how strange it was that he was so stupid when he was young, for he was ignominiously 'spun' at Woolwich!

examination at which Smith succeeded, and Brown failed, was a test of their brain-power. It was in reality nothing of the kind; it was merely a test of the relative experience of those who trained Smith and Brown.

What power of intellect would enable us to pronounce 'cough' correctly, even though we knew how 'bough' was spoken? Yet, in spite of these unreasonable laws, classics and modern languages are not unusually referred to, not as stored knowledge, but as tests of mental power. As a rule, it is not the reasoner, or person gifted with great brain-power, who the most quickly learns a language, but the superficial thinker, gifted with ear; and these superficial people are the first to quiz any error made, when a speaker attempts to converse in a foreign language.

Even thus far it will be evident that our present supposed tests are not infallible; but we will go even further, and will examine the actual work itself which is supposed to be the great test of mental capacity, and we can divide this work into two classes-namely, acquired knowledge, and the power to reason. In nearly every case, the training which enables a youth to pass a We may fairly divide the subjects employed competitive examination belongs to the first class in modern mental training into those which store, -acquired knowledge. It consists of a know- and those which strengthen the mind. Languages; ledge of mathematical rules and formulæ, clas- a knowledge of history and geography; the facts sics, modern languages, history, and geography. connected with various sciences, such as chemistry, Mathematics, if properly taught, and especially electricity, astronomy, &c., are stores; but not geometry, tends to strengthen the mind and fit one of these does more than store the mind. Men's it to reason; but it too often happens that a minds were stored with a certain number of youth is crammed with mathematics for a parti- astronomical facts when Galileo attempted to cular examination, and he has not mentally revive the olden belief that the earth rotated; digested what he has thus been crammed with; but their minds had not been strengthened, as and consequently, instead of his mind having it was the leading astronomers who most offered been strengthened by this process, it has in opposition to him. Several men with stored reality become weakened; and ten or fifteen years minds were the great opponents of Stephenson after the examination, the man- then in his when he talked about travelling twenty miles maturity-derives no advantage from his formerly an hour on a railroad. So that it appears that acquired knowledge, be use he has forgotten no matter how well a mind may be stored, it. He merely suffers from the mental reple- if it is incapable of judging correctly on a tion of his younger days, and dislikes mathe-novelty, it cannot be called a strong mind. matics; just as a pastry-cook's boy is said to abhor tarts and buns, because he was crammed with them when he first was placed among such temptations.

Our competitive examinations tend almost entirely to bring to the front those whose minds are the best stored, and many persons therefore have come to the conclusion that by such a course we have obtained for our various services what are termed 'the cleverest youths.' It does not, however, follow that this result has been obtained. The greatest brain-power may actu ally be low down in the list of a competitive examination in which stored knowledge alone has been requisite. There is a certain advantage to be gained by storing the mind with facts, and some people imagine that a knowledge of these facts indicates an educated and strong mind. It, however, merely proves that the mind has been stored; it does not prove it to have been strengthened. We may know what Cæsar did under certain conditions; how Alfred the Great organised his police so that he could hang bracelets of value on signposts without fearing that highwaymen would steal them; and a multitude of other similar facts may have been stored in our minds; but any quantity of such stores would not enable an individual to solve the present Irish difficulty, unless he could find in the past an exactly similar case which had been treated successfully by some particular system.

It is even now considered that by making a boy pass through a long course of mathematics or classics, and then testing his acquired know

A knowledge of modern languages is useful to those who travel, or who wish to become acquainted with the literature of other countries; but as a test of brain-power, the acquisition of any language fails. There is no language in use which is based on anything but arbitrary rules; reason has no influence on languages. The selection in French, for example, of masculines and feminines is most unreasonable. Why should a chair in French be given petticoats, and a stool placed in breeches? Why should the sun be considered masculine, and the moon feminine? In German, the same arbitrary rules exist the masculines, feminines, and neuters have no reason to guide them. Take a child of five years old, and a clever man of twenty-five-let each use only the same exertion to acquire a knowledge of any spoken language, and the child will easily excel the man. This is because ear, and the memory derived from ear, are the means by which languages are acquired. Reason enables us to predict what is probable, when we know that which has previously occurred. If, then, we informed a reasoning individual that a chair, an article made of wood, with four legs, was feminine in French, and then called his attention to a

and his adversary held a necessarily poor hand.

devote three years to the solution of chess problems, as it is to devote a like period to the solution of the higher branches of mathematics. In both instances, the mental exercise is supposed to be for the purpose of strengthening the mind, and the chess problems are certainly as efficient as the mathematical. It is not unusual to find a profound mathematician who is particularly dull in all other subjects, and who fails to comprehend any simple truth which cannot be presented to him in a mathematical form; and as there are a multitude of truths which cannot be treated mathematically, a mere mathematician has but a limited orbit.

In the great battle of life, these conditions are perpetually interfering with the results to be derived from the relative value of brain-power, and are so numerous as to have an extensive influence. For example, a man possessing great brain-power has succeeded in attaining an official position of eminence. He selects a nephew or particular friend to be his assistant. We have competed with this assistant in various things, and there is no doubt as to his inferiority. Time goes on, and this assistant succeeds to the post of his relative merely from what may be called departmental claims, and he is ex officio supposed to be possessed of the talents and knowledge which appertain to his post. Our opinion, if opposed to that of the official, will by the superficial outsiders be considered valueless; yet ours may be correct, and that of our opponent erroneous. It is by such means that very feeble men often occupy official scientific positions to which they are by no means entitled in conse

A chess-player, again, or a solver of chess problems, has always to deal with pieces of a constant value; thus, the knight, bishop, pawn, &c., are of constant values, so that his combinations are not so very varied. A whist-player, however, has in each hand not only cards which vary in value according to what is trump, but during the play of the hand, the cards themselves vary in value; thus, a ten may, after one round of a suit, become the best card in that suit. Brain-quence of their intelligence. power independent of stored knowledge is therefore more called into action by a game of whist than it is by mathematics, chess, or classics; consequently, whilst mathematicians and classical scholars may be found in multitudes, a really first-class whist-player is a rarity; and if we required an accurate test of relative brain-power, we should be far more likely to obtain correct results by an examination in whist, than we should by an examination in mathematics. In the latter, cramming might supply the place of intelligence; in the former, no amount of cramming could guard against one-tenth of the conditions. A first-rate mathematician may on other subjects be stupid; a first-class whist-player is rarely if ever stupid on original matters requiring judgment.

A very large amount of the elements of success consists in the advantages with which an individual may start in life, and over which he himself may have no control. The case of Smith and Brown already referred to may serve to illustrate this fact. When conclusions are arrived at relative to hereditary genius, these advantages may be considered. The son of a judge becomes a judge, and we may claim hereditary genius as the cause. We should, however, be scarcely justified in assuming hereditary genius because the son of a general officer became this general's aide-de-camp. A general officer with five thousand efficient troops gains a complete victory over fifteen thousand indifferently armed and he is looked upon as a hero. Another general with a like number of men is defeated by an army of ten thousand well-armed but unsoldier-like-looking men, and he is regarded as a failure; and yet of the two, the defeated army may have possessed the better general. In order, therefore, to judge of the relative powers of two individuals, we must take into consideration all the advantages or difficulties with which each starts in life, or in any undertaking. The relative success is by no means the only criterion from which to judge of capacity, any more than it would be correct

savages,

When such an event occurs, an immense amount of damage is done to the cause of truth and real science, because the individual thus raised by personal interest to the position of a scientific judge or referee, too often fails to judge of a question on its merits, and condemns it if it be not in accordance with routine. A question thus disposed of, is very difficult to again bring into notice without prejudice. There is no doubt that even among the so-termed educated people, the majority possess only stored minds, and are incapable, consequently, of reasoning on any problem, other than by bringing to bear on it their stock of knowledge, which probably, granting the problem is original, will not apply. No educated person doubts that the earth is a sphere; but few of these can prove that it is so by means of facts with which they are acquainted, though a simple law of geometry is able to prove the fact.

The average occupations of young men require nothing more than stored minds and powers of observation; consequently, our competitive examinations serve to some extent to bring to the front such qualifications. But it is not among such that we obtain our discoverers, inventors, great statesmen, or good generals. The mere routine man will almost invariably bring about a disaster when he has novel conditions to deal with; and as a rule, the routine youth comes out best at an examination.

At the present time, we have apparently no accurate test by which to measure the relative brain-power of individuals. Competitive examinations cannot do so, for the reasons that we have stated. Success in life is, again, dependent on so many influences quite outside of the individual, that this success is no test. The accumulation of money-that is, 'getting rich-is too often but the results of selfishness and cruel bargains, and cannot be invariably accepted as a proof of brain-power.

Considering these facts, therefore, it appears that just as intellect is invisible, so the relative power of intellect is unmeasurable; and instead

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tions, we may perceive that by such means we may be selecting those only who, under certain conditions, have succeeded in storing their minds with the facts required for that examination.

VALENTINE STRANGE.

A STORY OF THE PRIMROSE WAY.

CHAPTER XL.—'GERARD,' HIS MOTHER HAD SAID, LOOKING WITH AN AWFUL FOREBODING FEAR AT HIS FACE, YOU WILL BEAR IT FOR YOUR FATHER'S SAKE. THERE ARE THINGS WORTH LIVING FOR YET.'

6

AND So in the race of love Val Strange won, and Gerard Lumby lost. After the one great outburst of grief, Gerard took things quietly, so very quietly, that those who knew him thought it dangerous. The wedding-party at Lumby Hall broke, as may be easily imagined, into most admired disorder, and took its devious way homeward in much astonishment, indignation, and sympathy.

From the time of her first coming to the county, Constance had been unable to secure the favourable verdict of the feminine population. It would be perhaps too cheap a satire to say that she outshone them all, and to find in that the sole reason for her unpopularity. She was not prouder than other women; but somehow she looked proud, and her beautiful face and figure wore a seeming of haughtiness which was quite an accident of aspect, and had nothing to do with her nature. The ladies, then, went away with a very dreadful impression of her. The graver scandals her elopement might have caused were set at rest by the arrival of a message from her husband. Val had started with a special license in his pocket, and they had been married the day after their flight; not at Swansea, but at a little village on the coast where he had a friend who was a clergyman. Five hundred pounds seems an absurdly large sum to have offered as a bribe to Constance's maid; but the fact was that Constance had flatly refused to move without her, and Mary's obstinacy had driven Val almost to his wits' end. And he was so eager, that, to secure his purpose, ten times the sum would have seemed nothing to him. He gave little Mary the cheque after the wedding; but she did not know what to do with it, and was so miserable and frightened when she thought of facing Hiram, that Constance kept her, and they sailed away together, first to Ireland, and afterwards to the Mediterranean. Val, in a letter to Mr Jolly, proposed to make settlements so liberal upon his wife, that the old gentleman, when the first shock was over, began to regard the matter even complacently. The girl had got married any way, though it had scarcely been done becomingly. And she had married the wealthiest man in the county after all; and what was done being done, Mr Jolly felt it better to say no more about it, but to take the good provided, to ignore the discomforts attendant upon it, and be thankful. But being a man who in all things consulted the dignities and decencies of life, he feigned at first to be stricken quite through and through with grief, and sold the lately-purchased Grange. It was given out that he was quite heart-broken; but he made

a reasonable profit on the transaction, and was back in Paris in a fortnight from the date of his daughter's flight, strolling gaily along the asphalt, and enjoying himself hugely as a widower at large.

Mrs Lumby had at first dreaded the shock this new disaster would probably bring to her husband's weakened mind. But he, reading than she had feared, and indeed accepted the Gerard's quietude wrongly, was less perturbed evil with an equanimity of resignation which would have been impossible to him in the days of mental and physical health. Even Gerard's heart was a little comforted in a little while by the failure of the blow to wound his father. For himself, he bore the blow with amazing fortitude; but those who knew most of him liked his quiet least. To his father and mother and to Milly, and even to the servants, he was gentle and quiet, but there was a resolved sternness in his manner, beneath its gentleness, which was new and alarming. But there was only one who had real warrant for knowing what the quiet of his demeanour covered. This was Hiram.

The terrible night of Hiram's disclosure Gerard passed alone.

"Gerard,' his mother had said, looking with an awful foreboding fear at his face, 'you will bear it for your father's sake. There are things worth living for yet.'

'Yes,' he answered; 'there are things worth living for.' But the foreboding haunted his mother's heart all night, and she lay praying and trembling, and scarcely dared to own her fear even to herself. There are terrors to which even in the recesses of our own hearts we dare scarce give form, and this was one of them. In the morning, when Hiram's story, which had never seemed to need any confirmation, was confirmed, Gerard rang his bell, and summoned last night's messenger to his dressing-room.

6

What set you upon the scent?' he asked. 'Or did you find it out by accident?' His face was gray and hard, like stone, and Hiram had scarcely the heart to answer him.

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'I believe it is,' said Hiram.

'Let me see it,' said Gerard, rising. 'Is the portrait still there?'-Hiram could not say. Let us see,' his master said; and turning to the door, led the way to the room Val Strange had occupied. 'Open it'-glancing at the portmanteau. Hiram obeyed, and tumbled the things over. The portrait was gone, but the envelope was there still, and Hiram held it up. 'It was in this,' he said.

Gerard took it from his outstretched hand, and turned it over, and read the inscription"Thy grace being gained, cures all disgrace in me.' A short hard laugh escaped him, and he folded the envelope with great care and put it in his pocket-book. But half-a-dozen times in the course of the day, Hiram saw him looking at it with an expression which betokened no

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