This book treats of the Influence of the Greek Mind on Modern Life.
"The vital power of the Greek spirit was indeed not fully disclosed until, after suffering a partial eclipse in the Macedonian age, it emerged in a new quality, as a source of illumination to the Italian masters of the world. Under the plastic touch of conquered Greece, the Latin language was gradually moulded into an apter instrument of literature, while the Roman intellect itself acquired, in some measure, a flexibility not native to it. Through Rome, the Greek influence was transmitted to mediæval Europe in a form which obscured much of its charm, yet also served to extend its empire. In the earlier period of the Renaissance, the scholars of Italy, where the revival had its chief seat, were engrossed with Latin literature; they regarded it as their Italian heritage, restored to them after long deprivation..."
This book presents the history of Erasmus, an European humanist; and his essay against war.
"With Erasmus a new period opens. Two things broadly distinguish him, as a scholar, from the men before and after him. First, he was not only a refined humanist, writing for the fastidious few, and prizing no judgment but theirs; he took the most profitable authors of antiquity,-profitable in a moral as well as a literary sense,-chose out the best things in them,-and sought to make these things widely known,-applying their wisdom or wit to the circumstances of his own day. Secondly, in all his work he had an educational aim,-and this of the largest kind. The evils of his age,-in Church, in State, in the daily lives of men,-seemed to him to have their roots in ignorance,-ignorance of what Christianity meant,-ignorance of what the Bible taught,-ignorance of what the noblest and most gifted minds of the past, whether Christian or pagan, had contributed to the instruction of the human race. Let true knowledge only spread, and under its enlightening and humanizing influence a purer religion and a better morality will gradually prevail. Erasmus was a man of the world; but with his keen intellect, so quickly susceptible to all impressions, he made the mistake, not uncommon for such temperaments, of overrating the rapidity with which intellectual influences permeate the masses of mankind. However, no one was ever more sistently or brilliantly true to an idea than Erasmus was to his; and it is wonderful how much he achieved..."
Caroline Lucretia Herschel was the first woman who received full recognition as astronomer by discovering several comets. She was also the first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and to be named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society.
"Most people in this country have heard of Miss Caroline Herschel the astronomer. Without knowing much about her, she has been vaguely regarded by the public as a profound scientific genius, the strong-minded peer and coadjutor of her brother, the illustrious Sir William Herschel. It is supposed that she rose above the narrow sphere of woman's usual domestic life, and spent her time in studying the universe and making astronomical discoveries. She has been often cited, in the recent discussions of the woman question, as an illustration of the intellectual equality of the sexes and as demonstrating to the world what woman is capable of doing in science when she gets a fair opportunity...
The lesson of this book is very important to ambitious girls who despise domestic concerns, and long for an "intellectual" career. Her science, as such, gave Miss Herschel no great enjoyment; her happiness came from her womanly devotion to her brother's ambitious work; and the book will be found painfully interesting as it discloses the suffering she also experienced as the penalty of this unselfish devotion."
"The new dominant class warped the old institutions to its own purposes, introduced a new method of production and exchange, imposed its will upon the balance of society and thereby established a new civilization. The Chattel Slave System of the Roman Patriciate gave way to Serf System of the Feudal Lords. Feudalism disappeared before Capitalism with its Wage Slave System of factory and machine production. The lesser Capitalism now moves aside for Plutocracy with its highly centralized form of Corporate Ownership and Industrial Control, and we seem about to enter upon a new era-the age of Industrial Feudalism. ... The breaking up of the Feudal relations changed the method of land tenure. Many of the serfs became peasant proprietors, while others were transformed into mere farm laborers, or drifted into the factory towns. The handicraftsmen thronged the factories and under the new "divine" (?) right of contract, sold their labor-power at whatever price the Capitalists chose to pay for it. Property in the lands and tools of production still continued. The Wages System was, in essence, another form of servitude, and fiercely aggravated by the fact that the payment of the stipulated wage cancelled all the obligations between the man and his master. The freedom so loudly proclaimed was, for the workers merely a freedom to change from a bad master to a worse one, or at the worst to starve. Realization of PROFITS was the sole consideration for continuing production. When profits ceased, industry ceased, or the scale of wages went down until there was a sufficient margin of surplus value to induce the proprietor to again open the factory doors." This books deals with the evolution of the Working Class from Wage Slavery to Freedom.
This book deals with how the Standard or Universal time is obtained; and What is the Accurate Measurement of Time."Almost everybody knows that observatories are the places from which standard time is sent out and corrected daily or hourly. But comparatively few have more than the vaguest idea of the means used at the observatories for obtaining it. Probably the majority of people suppose that the observatories obtain the correct time from the sun. When the average man wishes to give his watch the highest praise he says, "It regulates the sun," not being aware that a watch which would keep with the sun around the year would have to be nearly as bad as Sam Weller's. The farmer may safely decide when to go in to dinner by the sun, but if the mariner was as confident that the sun marked always the correct time as the farmer is he would be sure to be at times two or three hundred miles from where he thought he was. In other words, the sun-that is, a sundial-is only correct on a few days in each year, and during the intervening times gets as far as a whole quarter hour fast or slow. These variations of the sun from uniform time caused no end of trouble between the astronomers and the fine clockmakers before it was discovered that sun time is subject to such irregularities. The better the clock, the worse it often seemed to go..."
This book deals with the life and works of Victor Hugo, one of the great and best-known french writer. His romances occupy an important position in the history of literature. "Men like Victor Hugo can be killed or they may be banished, but they cannot be bought; neither can they be intimidated into silence. He resigned his pension and boldly expressed himself in his own way.He knew history by heart and toyed with it; politics was his delight. But it is a mistake to call him a statesman. He was bold to rashness, impulsive, impatient and vehement. Because a man is great is no reason why he should be proclaimed perfect. Such men as Victor Hugo need no veneer-the truth will answer: he would explode a keg of powder to kill a fly. He was an agitator. But these zealous souls are needed-not to govern or to be blindly followed, but rather to make other men think for themselves. Yet to do this in a monarchy is not safe.The years passed, and the time came for either Hugo or Royalty to go; France was not large enough for both. It proved to be Hugo; a bounty of twenty-five thousand francs was offered for his body, dead or alive. Through a woman's devotion he escaped to Brussels. He was driven from there to Jersey, then to Guernsey.It was nineteen years before he returned to Paris-years of banishment, but years of glory. Exiled by Fate that he might do his work!..."
This book deals with the story of Thomas Edison. This remarkable inventor, of whom the public has heard so much, was born in 1847 at the little village of Milan, Ohio. His mother was of Scotch parentage, but born in Massachusetts; she was finely educated, literary and ambitious, and had been a teacher in Canada. Young Edison's only schooling came from his mother, who taught him spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic. He lost his mother in 1862, but his father, a man of vigorous constitution, is still living, aged seventy-four. When he was seven years old, his parents removed to Port Huron, Michigan. The boy disliked mathematics, but was fond of reading, and, before he was twelve years old, had read the "Penny Cyclopædia," Hume's "England," and Gibbon's "Rome." He early took to the railroad, and became a newsboy on the Grand Trunk line, running into Detroit. Here he had access to a library, which he undertook to read through; but, after skimming over many hundred miscellaneous books, he adopted the plan of select reading on subjects of interest to him...
Henry David Thoreau was the last male descendant of a French ancestor who came to this country from the Isle of Guernsey. His character exhibited occasional traits drawn from this blood in singular combination with a very strong Saxon genius. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on the 12th of July, 1817. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1837, but without any literary distinction. An iconoclast in literature, he seldom thanked colleges for their service to him, holding them in small esteem, whilst yet his debt to them was important. After leaving the University, he joined his brother in teaching a private school, which he soon renounced. His father was a manufacturer of lead-pencils, and Henry applied himself for a time to this craft, believing he could make a better pencil than was then in use. After completing his experiments, he exhibited his work to chemists and artists in Boston, and having obtained their certificates to its excellence and to its equality with the best London manufacture, he returned home contented. His friends congratulated him that he had now opened his way to fortune. But he replied, that he should never make another pencil. "Why should I? I would not do again what I have done once." He resumed his endless walks and miscellaneous studies, making every day some new acquaintance with Nature, though as yet never speaking of zology or botany, since, though very studious of natural facts, he was incurious of technical and textual science...
The causation of all psychopathic diseases can be referred to one fundamental instinct, the instinct of fear with its concomitant manifestation, the feeling of anxiety. Fear is one of the most primitive instincts of animal life. What we find on examination of the psychogenesis of psychopathic cases, and especially of psychoneurotic cases, is the presence of the fear instinct which may become associated with some important interest of life. This interest may be physical in regard to the bodily functions, or the interest may be sexual, social, it may be one of ambition in life, or it may be of a general character referring to the loss of personality or even to the loss of mind...
This book deals with the stuff that dreams are made of and the symbolism of dreams."Our dreams begin to seem to us an allied subject of study, inasmuch as they reveal within ourselves a means of entering sympathetically into ideas and emotional attitudes belonging to narrow or ill-adjusted states of consciousness which otherwise we are now unable to experience. And they have this further value, that they show us how many abnormal phenomena-possession, double consciousness, unconscious memory, and so forth-which have often led the ignorant and unwary to many strange conclusions, really have a simple explanation in the healthy normal experience of all of us during sleep. Here, also, it is true that we ourselves and our beliefs are to some extent "such stuff as dreams are made of."
This book deals with the history and migrations of Celtic people. In that remote age of which no personal records remain, but whose history may be derived from the known dispersion of men and languages, we find that the Celtics, first of the Indo-European nations, fled from their primitive homes in Central Asia, and, by the succeeding waves of emigration, were forced further and further to the West. It does not necessarily follow that their migrations, in the ante-historical period, were caused by war; although, amongst the races of men, whilst in an imperfect state of development, the tie of country is so strong that nothing but the most positive evils of war, pestilence, and famine will compel them to abandon their native land. But the early migrations of the Celts may have been also caused by the pressure of the new Eastern populations forcing the tribes least willing or able to labor into new and virgin soils, producing a greater return in proportion to the farmer's toil. It has been conclusively established by Pritchard and Donaldson, following in the track of many continental ethnologists and philologists, that the Celtic and German languages, with their derivatives, as well as the ancient Greek and Latin, all belong to the same family with the Sanscrit, and are in fact different modifications of the same language. From this, coupled with the slender traditions of the ante-historical period, it is concluded that the Celtic people of are Eastern origin-a kindred tribe with the nations who have settled on the Indus, as well as on the shores of the Mediterranean and Baltic. In the most ancient times, they possessed the greater part of Europe. In Spain, at the Roman conquest, the population was almost wholly Celtic. To the north of Italy, they gave the name of Cisalpine Gaul. Modern Germany was long the seat of powerful Celtic communities Thrace was in their possession, and, under another Brennus, they plundered Greece. Asia Minor they long possessed, and left there the name of Galatia. It may be observed that the Celtic races have ever been remarkable for sudden migrations. We do not find them well known to the early historians. Herodotus places them in the extreme West of Europe, beyond the pillars of Hercules. In the fourth century before the Christian Era, the Celts of Gaul crossed the Apennines and overran Central and Southern Italy. According to Livy, two hundred years before that period, one multitude of the Gauls crossed the Rhine, and settled in the Hercynian Forest; another crossed the Alps, settled in the valley of the Po, and founded Milan. In the Gaelic invasion of Italy, they defeated the Romans in the battle of the Allia, and were in possession of Rome for six months, with the exception of the Capitol. But, unlike the northern invaders, during the decline of the Roman Empire, they established no states in Central or Southern Italy, and retired loaded with booty...
This book deals with the life and the writings of Blaise Pascal, French inventor, writer and scientist. When we think of the achievements which he crowded into a brief space, and which have made his name famous to all generations, we may well exclaim with Corneille: "à peine a-t-il vecu, quel nom il a laissé!" (Barely lived, what a great name he left!).
Perhaps no single feature so markedly sets off man from the rest of the animal world as the gift of speech, which he alone possesses. No community of normal human beings, be their advance in culture ever so slight, has yet been found, or is ever likely to be found, who do not communicate among themselves by means of a complex system of sound symbols; in other words, who do not make use of a definitely organized spoken language. It is indeed one of the paradoxes of linguistic science that some of the most complexly organized languages are spoken by so-called primitive peoples, while, on the other hand, not a few languages of relatively simple structure are found among peoples of considerable advance in culture... We can thus safely make the absolute statement that language is typical of all human communities of today, and of such previous times as we have historical knowledge of, and that language, aside from reflex cries, is just as untypical of all non-human forms of animal life. Like all other forms of human activity, language must have its history... Taking up the history of language in the sense in which it was first defined, we find that there are two methods by which we can follow the gradual changes that a language has undergone.
"I purpose to present an outline of the great, sacred struggle for the liberty of science - a struggle which has lasted for so many centuries, and which yet continues. A hard contest it has been; a war waged longer, with battles fiercer, with sieges more persistent, with strategy more shrewd than in any of the comparatively petty warfares of Cæsar or Napoleon or Moltke.I shall ask you to go with me through some of the most protracted sieges, and over some of the hardest-fought battle-fields of this war. We will look well at the combatants; we will listen to the battle-cries; we will note the strategy of leaders, the cut and thrust of champions, the weight of missiles, the temper of weapons."
Reversions in Modern Industrial Life. If the law of reversion holds true of physical life, it holds equally true of industrial life. Under its operation is revived the career of institutions as indicative of conditions long passed away as any deformity that may once have saved from extinction a race of brutes. However useful in the elevation of man from degradation and savagery, they contributed, after the completion of their purpose, no further service than one of evil. To many social reformers, the legislation in revival of the old trade and professional corporations, whose noble achievements fill one of the lighter pages of history, seems important and beneficent. But an error more alluring and dangerous was never current. Such legislation will not, as Herbert Spencer has often shown, further human welfare. On the contrary, it will undo the work of civilization, and renew the ravages of barbarism...
This book deals with the cause and cure of the nervous ills. As I carry on my work on nervous ills I become more and more convinced that a knowledge of Social Psychology is essential to a clear comprehension of nervous ills. The number of cases given in the volume will, I am sure, be of great help to the reader. For the concrete cases, carefully studied by me, bring out distinctly the mechanism, the factors, and the main principles of nervous ills...In nervous ills we find the same fundamental factors: the fear instinct and the Self-preservation which is the central aim of all life-activities.
"There are two grand stages of philosophy the mythologic-and the scientific. In the first, all phenomena are explained by analogies derived from subjective human experiences; in the latter, phenomena are explained as orderly successions of events. In sublime egotism man first interprets the cosmos as an extension of himself; he classifies the phenomena of the outer world by their analogies with subjective phenomena; his measure of distance is his own pace, his measure of time his own sleep, for he says, "It is a thousand paces to the great rock," or, "It is a hundred sleeps to the great feast." Noises are voices, powers are hands, movements are made afoot. By subjective examination discovering in himself will and design, and by inductive reason discovering will and design in his fellow men and in animals, he extends the induction to all the cosmos, and there discovers in all things will and design. All phenomena are supposed to be the acts of someone, and that someone having will and purpose. In mythologic philosophy the phenomena of the outer physical world are supposed to be the acts of living, willing, designing personages. The simple are compared with and explained by the complex. In scientific philosophy, phenomena are supposed to be children of antecedent phenomena, and so far as science goes with its explanation they are thus interpreted. Man with the subjective phenomena gathered about him is studied from an objective point of view, and the phenomena of subjective life are relegated to the categories established in the classification of the phenomena of the outer world; thus the complex is studied by resolving it into its simple constituents..."
-The Conquest of Canada (Vol.2)-"One of the most momentous political questions that has ever yet moved the human race was decided in the Canadian war. When a few English and French emigrants first landed among the Virginian and Canadian forests, it began; when the British flag was hoisted on the citadel of Quebec, it was decided. From that day the hand of Providence pointed out to the Anglo-Saxon race that to them was henceforth intrusted the destiny of the New World."
The Conquest and History of Canada. "England and France started in a fair race for the magnificent prize of supremacy in America. The advantages and difficulties of each were much alike, but the systems by which they improved those advantages and met those difficulties were essentially different. New France was colonized by a government, New England by a people. In Canada the men of intellect, influence, and wealth were only the agents of the mother country; they fulfilled, it is true, their colonial duties with zeal and ability, but they ever looked to France for honor and approbation, and longed for a return to her shores as their best reward. They were in the colony, but not of it. They strove vigorously to repel invasion, to improve agriculture, and to encourage commerce, for the sake of France, but not for Canada.The mass of the population of New France were descended from settlers sent out within a short time after the first occupation of the country, and who were not selected for any peculiar qualifications. They were not led to emigrate from the spirit of adventure, disappointed ambition, or political discontent; by far the larger proportion left their native country under the pressure of extreme want or in blind obedience to the will of their superiors. They were then established in points best suited to the interests of France, not those best suited to their own. The physical condition of the humbler emigrant, however, became better than that of his countrymen in the Old World; the fertile soil repaid his labor with competence; independence fostered self-reliance, and the unchecked range of forest and prairie inspired him with thoughts of freedom. But all these elevating tendencies were fatally counteracted by the blighting influence of feudal organization. Restrictions, humiliating as well as injurious, pressed upon the person and property of the Canadian..."
"Psychological science has reached a sort of understanding in these recent years of the individual and of the social setting in which he customarily disports himself; and the duty now devolves upon it of dealing with the exceptions to the rule. No one will be disposed to deny certainly that the genius is in some way exceptional; and if any instance can, by showing what society is not, cast light on what it is, the genius is the man to question. So it is my purpose in this paper to endeavor to understand him, as far as may be, without putting ourselves in his shoes; for apart from the inherent difficulty of assuming his exceptional role, it may for another reason be more comfortable not to do so, for under the exceptions to our social rule we are forced to include also these other extremes found in the weak-minded and the insane..."
This book treats of the Evolution and the Distribution of Animals"No one with good eyes and brains behind them has ever looked forth on the varied life of the world-on forest or field or brook or sea-without at least once asking himself this question: "What is the cause of nature's endless variety?" We see many kinds of beasts and birds and trees and flowers and insects and blades of grass, yet when we look closely we find not one grass-blade in the meadow quite like another blade. Not one worm is like its fellow-worm, and not one organism in body or soul is the measure of its neighbor. You may search all day to match one clover-leaf, and, should you succeed, even then you have failed; for, if the two leaves agree in all physical respects, they may still be unlike in that which we cannot see, their ancestries, their potentialities. Again, with each change of conditions, of temperature, of moisture, of space, of time, with each shifting of environment, the range in variety increases. "Dauer in Wechsel" (persistence in change); "this phrase of Goethe," says Amiel, "is a summing up of nature." And the naturalist will tell you that the real variety is far greater than that which appears. He will tell you that, where commonness seems to prevail, it is the cover of variety..."
It must be owned that man, in most of his struggles with the world around him, has fought blindly for his own ultimate interests. His contest, successful for the moment, has too often led to sure and sad disaster. Stripping forests from hill and mountain, he has gained his immediate object in the possession of their abundant stores of timber; but he has laid open the slopes to be parched by drought, or to be swept bare by rain. Countries once rich in beauty, and plenteous in all that was needful for his support, are now burned and barren, or almost denuded of their soil. Gradually he has been taught by his own bitter experience, that while his aim still is to subdue the earth, he can attain it, not by setting Nature and her laws at defiance, but by enlisting them in his service. He has learned at last to be the minister and interpreter of Nature, and he finds in her a ready and unrepining slave. In fine, looking back across the long cycles of change through which the land has been shaped into its present form, let us realize that these geographical revolutions are not events wholly of the dim past, but that they are still in progress. So slow and measured has been their march, that even from the earliest times of human history they seem hardly to have advanced at all. But none the less are they surely and steadily transpiring around us. In the fall of rain and the flow of rivers, in the bubble of springs and the silence of frost, in the quiet creep of glaciers and the tumultuous rush of ocean-waves, in the tremor of the earthquake and the outburst of the volcano, we may recognize the same play of terrestrial forces by which the framework of the continents has been step by step evolved.
"What are the causes that make communities change from generation to generation, - that make the England of Queen Anne so different from the England of Elizabeth, the Harvard College of today so different from that of thirty years ago?I shall reply to this problem. The difference is due to the accumulated influences of individuals, of their examples, their initiatives, and their decisions..."
Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment.
History of the Mexican Empire and Mexico after the Empire (with illustrations)."South of the United States, stretching away towards Central America, lies the country of Mexico...It is difficult to choose whether to follow first the history of these most ancient of people, or to commence with those that have filled a more prominent place in more recent times. Let us go up into that vast table-land and seek out the abiding-place of the nation that ruled Mexico when first this country was discovered by Europeans, by white men. We shall find ourselves in the valley of Mexico, enclosed on all sides by spurs of mountains from that mighty chain that strides the whole length of the continent..."