Page images

The unsuitability of wood as a paving ma- hear a word against its excessive use, but there terial, from the sanitarian's point of view, cannot are a multitude of persons who eat far too much be too frequently insisted upon. It is con- salt; eat it on everything-on meat, fish, pota. tended that the porous nature of the material toes, melons, in butter, on tomatoes, turnips and causes it to absorb readily the moisture which squashes, in bread and on a host of foods too falls upon its surface, and so to become satur- numerous to mention. To so great an extent is ated with the noxious quids and filth common it used that no food is relished which has not a to every road. In order to last as long as possi- salty taste, and this hides more or less the real ble, the blocks are set with the grain of the taste, which is often very delicate. Now, the wood vertical, and this intensifies the propensity amount of salt required in the system is comto absorb moisture. It is said that in dry paratively small, and if the diet has been rightly weather, under the sun's rays, disagreeable compounded, very little is necessary. odors are given off by the saturated wood; and, worse than this, the dust which is produced by

In 1866 steel rails cost $165 per ton. In 1804 the wearing of the blocks carries the germs of

they had dropped to $34, in 1893 they were $21 disease and noxious products into the nostrils to $24 per ton, and in 1897 even less. See how and lungs of the populace. There is reason to

that has expedited the building of railroads think, too, that in narrow streets, fenced in by which now cover the country like a network buildings so high as not to permit of the action

and without which modern enterprise could not of the sun on the surface of the pavement,

be carried on. And the same, is true of steel in the pestilential character of the absorbed filth all its forms. So that to-day we build steel remains still more pronounced than in the bridges, steel vessels, steel cannon, steel frames broader thoroughfares, where the sun and air for cur buildings and for farm implements, and are able to exercise their purifying agency.

use steel nails. Inventions and improvements

have so reduced the cost of steel rails that alThe voice of the American child of to-day, ready, during the year 1897, the United States says a writer in “The Outlook," contrasts un- have sold 100,000 tons to Europe. favorably with that of other nationalities, and why? Aside from the influences of heredity,

The election for civic officers of the first ad. climate, and the tension of life in this country, ministration of the Greater New York resulted the influence of imitation upon the child's voice in a victory for the entire Tammany ticket. cannot be overestimated. This influence begins Van Wyck's (Tam.) pluralities, as nearly as cap with the first word the infant utters, which is

be estimated, are: an imitation of mother, nurse, or other com- Manhattan and the Bronx.

.63, 228 panion, in form and tone. Yet how many of


.11.422 Richmond

3,358 our cultured men or women are fitted thus by


2,095 example to instruct the child during the forma. tive period in the expression of the impressions


80,103 received ? Our language is called harsh, un- Van Wyck polled about 228,688 votes; Low musical, and inexpressive; this is owing to our (Ind.), 148,585; Tracy (Rep.), 101,571, and ignorance in presenting its beauties of tone and George (Jeff. Dem.), 19,864. Though it failed, modulation, as the English know how to do. very gratifying, it will be seen, is the strength Monotony of speech forms the basis of many of the anti-Tammany vote. nerve-tiring voices and much of our poor reading, and should be corrected when it first ap

In 1860 the per capita consumption of iron in

the United States was only 62 pounds. In 1870 pears in the child.

it had increased to 102 pounds; in 1880 it was “No statesman of our time,” says a recent 240 pounds; and in 1890 it rose to 334 pounds — writer, with reference to Prince Bismarck, "has an increase of more than five-fold in thirty made so much history, and none of his con- years. temporaries has learned so much from history.

A report on Spanish finance says that the He has not Mr. Gladstone's knowledge of the classics, his Latin was found deficient in taste

Budget for 1896-97, as finally passed, showed a by his tutor, and he has openly avowed his pref

revenue of £30,771,450, and an expenditure of

£30,456,584, and the estimated surplus was in erence for Russian over Greek. But his famil.

fact slightly exceeded. For the current year iarity with history is probably unrivalled among

the estimated expenditure is £34,954,635 and practical politicians of the first rank. Even as

the revenue £35,331,150. The extraordinary à child he devoured history in the form of stories. He knew the 'tale of Troy divine' off

Budget for 1896-97 gave an expenditure of £9,

360,000, largely intended for naval development. by heart, and entered into the spirit of the narrative with such zest that his schoolfellows

The public debt is £ 353, 265,771, including over

seventy millions of Cuban debt, and the interest christened him the 'Telamonian Ajax.' The uncongenial studies of the University had no

amounts to almost fourteen millions sterling. interest for him, but no sooner had he shaken

Last November an internal loan of £16,000,000 the dust of the schools from off his feet, than

was floated, and was over-subscribed. Among the he devoted all his spare time to independent

new measures for the current year are an in

crease, historical reading. Years after, as the result of

not exceeding ten per cent., on every item his own vast experience, he expressed the opin

in the Budget; a petroleum monopoly and one

of gunpowder and explosives, and a tax on railion that a properly directed study of history was

way and tramway tickets. A loan on the quickthe essential foundation of all true statesman

silver mines of Almaden is also proposed. The ship."

extraordinary Budget for the current year The use of salt as a condiment, says the amounts to nearly nine millions sterling, more "Journal of Hygiene," is so general and so uni- than half going for military and naval expendi. versally believed in as necessary that we rarely ture.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Good History

Readers of SELF CULTURE crusades, the rise of the Guelfs and Ghibellines, of Germany

have more than once desi ed and the gradual breaking up of German unity. of us some information re

These were the days of Frederick Barbarossa, specting the best available history of Germany, Richard Cour de Lion, Saladin, Innocent III., in popular form, for the use of the American and Arnold of Brescia, student. To these inquirers we have pointed to Following the old dynasties we arrive at the several works, such as Menzel's History, issued purely feudal period, the independence of the in the Bohn Library (3 vols.), Baring-Gould's barons, their private wars and their oppressions; “Germany Past and Present," and Bayard Tay- the rise of the cities; the emancipation of Switlor's well-informed sketch, based on David zerland and its struggles for liberty. These Müller's History. We have also referred the were the days when there were at one time three student-inquirer to the notable works dealing rival emperors, and two and sometimes three with epochs in the national history, such as rival popes. The House of Hapsburg had risen Gindely's “The Thirty Years' War,” and to re- in the person of Rudolph. Sigismund and the cent narratives of events, memoirs, etc., that Council of Constance, the violated safe-conduct tell the story of national unification, with biog- and the burning of Huss, pass before us as preraphies of the great characters who have figured cursors of the dawn. Everywhere there was in the later German annals. For the wants of disintegration. The Empire was powerless, the the general student perhaps no better work ex- nobles uncontrolled, the Judicial circles and the ists, however, than the “ History of Germany Imperial Court of Justice impotent, the Diet an from the Earliest Times,” prepared by Prof. additional cause of confusion. Charlton T. Lewis, on the basis of Dr. David Then follow in grand succession the ReformaMüller's “History of the German People tion, the Peasants' Wars, the Thirty Years' (New York: Harper and Brothers, price $1.50). War, the rise of Prussia, with the great Elector Mr. Lewis's work is an interesting and valuable and the greater Frederick, the Seven Years' War, compendium of the history, and to those who the Partition of Poland, the wars of the French are drawn to German annals, in the course of Revolution and Napoleon I., the humiliation of their historical studies, Lewis's manual will be Germany at Austerlitz, Jena and Wagram, the found useful and adequate.

war of Liberation in 1813, and Waterloo. FinApart from the special interest all English- ally, the grand epoch which culminated in the speaking people should feel in the history of establishment of a new German Empire and conGermany, there are weighty reasons why it solidated German unity upon the ashes of ought to occupy a prominent place in any course France. Varied, however, and interesting as of historical reading. Conceding to our own his- the incidents of this history are, they only form tory an educational precedence, we should be a portion of its value. The social life of a peodisposed to rank next and, if possible, parallel to ple where serfdom continued to exist till Stein it, the tangled web of German story. It is to put an end to it at the beginning of this century, the great Teutonic stock we owe the backbone the religious struggles and controversies, orthoof our language and of our laws, the freedom of dox and rationalistic, the philosophy and science, our political system and of our religious wor- the poetry and romance of this deep-thinking ship. Without, however, going farther back and hard-reading people — all form in combinathan the Carlovingian dynasty, what a record is tion a subject unequalled perhaps as a study of that of Germany for more than a millennium! individual, social and national life. Of the four early dynasties, each had its distinc- Mr. Lewis's book is a most praiseworthy effort tive feature and its representative man. Leave to supply a want long felt by English readers. ing Charlemagne out of the reckoning, Arnulf Perhaps with the exception of Kohlrausch, is the man, and the final severance of the Frank which was accepted faut de mieux, we had no and Teuton powers, the characteristic. Of the fairly readable and fairly accurate elementary Saxon Emperors, Otto III., whose fanaticism led manual of German history. Mr. Lewis's history him to seek a foothold in Italy, is the foremost is not too much encumbered with detail; it is figure. Under the Franconians, the deadly clear and lucid in style, orderly in arrangement, struggle with the Popes for supremacy, the war and on the whole accurate in statements of fact. concerning the episcopal investitures with the The author did well to take a good German names of Henry and Gregory VII., and then manual; by doing so he has imparted to the with the Hohenstaufen house, we encounter the narrative the warmth of color and the glow of


venturer. One thing is certain, that to this day Wallenstein is remembered with gratitude by Germany as the first apostle of national unity, and when Schiller, in his two dramas, selected him as the hero of the historical drama, he did so advisedly.

It would perhaps be hypercritical to complain that Mr. Lewis has followed the older writers in censuring Frederick the Great for the first partition of Poland. It is proved beyond question that Frederick's own account of the matter was the correct one. He wanted peace after the terrible struggle of the Seven Years' War, but he wanted the Russian alliance to enable him to secure it.

We have only to repeat our commendation of this history, because we believe it to be, on the whole, the best manual of German history at present before the public.



patriotism which give life to the soulless chronicle of historic deeds. That his work is so useful and so animated we owe to the strong national feeling of Dr. Müller. No man can write a country's history as a native can write it. He may be prejudiced and, consciously or unconsciously, warp the facts occasionally in the interests and for the reputation of his nation. These are blemishes which must be corrected by more extended study; but, after all, they are cheaply purchased when they are attended with the warmth and vitality of a deep, an almost religious love of country. When we read the story of the War of Liberation in this volume, we know that Dr. Müller has left his mark there. In Germany at the present time the fire of patriotism is at its height, and men write history with vigor because they have acted it in earnest, sword in hand. We can read the history of England's great civil war of the Revolution of 1688, and even the triumph at Waterloo, with cold blooded equanimity, without a quickening of the pulse. It is not so in Germany. The struggle of 1813 is not forgotten, and Sadowa, Wörth, Weissenburg, Gravelotte, Sedan and Paris represent in contemporary events the conflict for national unity and national independence and their final triumph. We may partly appreciate if we fail to realize the feelings of Germany when it has at length secured the boon for which generation upon generation has sighed and prayed and bled in vain.

Not the least of the merits of Mr. Lewis's history are the chapters on the state of society at the close of each period. The sketches given of the social condition of the people, the progress of science, art and literature, are models of accuracy and conciseness. Every notable name is represented by a short biography and, in the case of literary men, by a brief account of their chief works. The volume is illustrated by engravings of the effigies of all the emperors from Charlemagne A.D. 800 to William I. A.D. 1871. There are also two maps, representing Germany as it was under the Hohenstaufen dynasty and under Wilhelm I.

A word or two on the other side. It seems to us that the space allotted by Mr. Lewis to the Reformation and to the Thirty Years' War is inadequate. By retrenching the preliminary book, which attempts to cover a vast subject which cannot be fully considered in a work of this sort, the periods of which we speak, infinitely more interesting to the reader, might have had more elbow-room. We do not think that Wallenstein's character has full justice done to it. That he was as bad as Mr. Lewis portrays him there can be no doubt, but we do justice to the Corsican and why not to the Bohemian ad

Prof. Hart's

There has hitherto been no “Composition greater desideratum, in eduand Rhetoric "

cational manuals treating of

the construction mother tongue, than a good and rational textbook on English composition. Many of the ambitious works we have met with have been of little practical value, since the subject cannot effectively be taught from rules - one of the vices bequeathed to us by the old-time study of the Latin and Greek classics. The tendency has been to make the art of writing the language as difficult, rather than as easy, as possible, and to discuss and elaborate general principles, instead of illustrating these by clear and practical examples. To our mind, the most useful method of teaching composition is by setting before the learner good models, and if specimens of bad English are given him, care should be taken to indicate explicitly why they are bad, and wherein they violate the cardinal principle of all composition — the clear, unambiguous transmission of thought from one mind to another. It should also be shown him wherein the examples involve some absurdity, readily perceived by every one who has read much. Of the manuals we have seen, we have always thought highly of Dr. Hart's class-book, being rich in examples. Though comprehensive, it was worked out on perspicuous and intelligent lines. A revised edition of this work (Eldredge and Brother, publishers, Philadelphia) has been issued by Prof. J. M. Hart, of Cornell, who has added no little to the merit of the book and specially adapted it to the practical wants of students. The chief additions are those on Paragraphing and on Composition-writing, which are dealt with by one who has manifestly had much to do with the practical teaching of English.

The volume, as a whole, may safely be put into pens during these visits, and especially relates a the hands of those for whom it is intended. touching story of an orphan child whom Santa

Claus found peering wistfully into a well-filled A First Book in Dr. E. H. Lewis, Professor of

and attractive store window. Writing

What interest English in the University of English" Chicago, has done a good

Santa found in the little chap, and how he disservice to language and literature students in

posed of him, making glad the heart of a child issuing this common-sense text-book on the

of wealthy parents who wished as his Christmas writing of English. The work, which is pub

present the companionship of another child lished by The Macmillan Company, New York

who would belong to him and would be his (price 80 cents) approaches very nearly to the

playmate, the young among our readers must

discover for themselves in the charming little excellence of what, in our judgment, is the best of all aids to students of English - Dr. E. A.

volume to which the kind-hearted authoress has

introduced them. Abbott's “How to Write Clearly.” Dr. Lewis's work is methodical and well arranged, and cites “Little Hearts" Under this attractive title we examples of solecisms and improprieties in the

have one of the most delightconstruction and use of sentences, with aids to ful book issues for the coming holiday season it the avoidance of the same by the learner. has been our fortune to come across. There is Chapters VI and XI, on “Well-Knit Sentences," a pleasing union of pictures and reading matter, and on the “Right Number and Skilful Choice much of the latter being in verse of a tripping of Words "are good instances of the value of the kind, while the pictures (many of them charmbook to the student, as are those on “Gram- ingly colored) form a pretty album likely to matical Phases of Writing English," and on make brighter the little eyes that look at them. “The Mastery of a Writing Vocabulary." The book is the joint product of Florence and “Lessons in

The design of this little vol- Bertha Upton, and is published by George RoutPlant Life" ume is to interest the young

ledge & Sons, W. 23rd St., New York. in Botany, to make plain to “ Voices of Under this title (New York: them, in an entertaining and instructive way,

Doubt and

Brentano's], one of the many

Trust" how plants grow, and to excite wonder and ob

troubled minds of this perservation in the beautiful processes of plant life. plexed age has compiled, under the evident The book is quite elementary, and its methods pseudonym of “Volney Streamer,” an antholthose of child-talks, designed to impart some ogy which gives expression, chiefly in beautiful simple knowledge of the subject with which it and artistic verse, to “a soul's search for Truth, deals, and at the same time to train the power ranging from the darkness of hopeless Doubt to and encourage the habit of observation. The that radiance that fills the heart in sublimest use of the work, by mothers at home as well as Trust.” The collection is unique in its way, by teachers at school, cannot but be interesting grouping, as it does, a choice number of those to young folk, and a delight to those who would finely expressed thoughts, in prose and verse, have their eyes opened to the beauties and from eminent though sometimes fugitive sources, marvellous adaptations of Nature. The work, which have voiced a truth-seeker's aspirations which is usefully illustrated, has been prepared and soul-experiences, now in wistful questionby Mrs. H. H. Richardson, and is published by ings and anon in staying, comforting and trustthe Johnson Publishing Co. of Richmond, Va. ful hopes. The aim of the compiler, as he tells A Holiday

In “Santa Claus's New Cas- us, has been “to give to a larger audience cerBook Gift tle" (Columbus, O., Nitschke tain of those clear, strong words that have been

Brothers), Maude Florence hitherto sounded for the few only,” in the exBellar has provided a delightful holiday treat pectation that "the casual reader may perhaps for little folk, with illustrations that will find some new thought, or some new expression brighten the most drowsy, and gladden the of an older hope, that may revive his sinking most wide-awake eyes. This seasonable little courage, or give him a moment of cheer." The volume is of the type of the Christmas fairy extracts, which are representative of an age of tale, and relates how Santa Claus set off with distracting mental and spiritual problems, are his team of reindeer, “ Blizzard and Whirligig,”

drawn from writers such as Matthew Arnold, to choose a site for a snow castle in the far Robert Browning, Arthur Hugh Clough, EmerNorth. Here, in the last belt of timber near the son, Tennyson, John Morley, Huxley, Omar Pole, he manufactured his toys for Yule Tide and Khayyam, Whitman, Trench, Faber, George made everything ready for his sly annual visits Eliot, Goldwin Smith and others, and will, no to the homes of little children as the good génie doubt, be widely appreciated in their compact of the joyous season. The book tells what hap- form and very tasteful dress. G. M. A.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

In these days of practical money- as applied to the manners of an individ.

seeking men and women ual. It means “inflated to a bulky, these days when the bread- showy appearance, like a quantity of raw winners are many, and the cotton.'

knights and their ladies are We speak of dilapidated houses, and growing to seem but creatures of fancy, the word comes from di, “in different it may sound strange to assert that fig- directions,” and lapis, “a stone" - stones urative language is the language of thrown down or fallen here and there in people in all walks of life. Indeed, different directions. if one of our boys or girls, students Those were wise men who adapted our of etymology, should tell a business words from other languages. Ponder, for man that his style of speech is highly example, is a pleasing word. It implies

, figurative, he would smile and reply that that the mind is a set of scales, on which metaphors and similes are for Whittier to weigh thoughts. "Mary kept all and Longfellow and Tennyson; but if our these sayings and pondered (weighed) student should tell him, as he could in them.” But it is a deplorable fact that truth, that there is a similarity between through prejudice, anger or ignorance, we his language and his business methods, allow the scales to become untrue in their both being concise, vigorous and forceful, records. he would smile again (a different kind of In contrition is to be seen one of our smile) and say:

most forceful faded metaphors, for its "I fear you are trying to flatter literal meaning is, “a grinding to me."

pieces," and perhaps no mental state “Flatter," did he say? Is he not fig- puts us “through the mill," to come out urative when he uses that word ? Flatter ground to such small pieces, as does that in its root means “to stroke with the flat of contrition. of the hand," and suggests the act of Then there is disaster, with its suggessome furry animal. Such stroking is tion of the wave of astrological study that literally (according to the letter, or swept over the land during the Middle “ “spread over" meaning) soothing to the Ages. Dis is a prefix denoting oppositebody, not to the mind.

ness, adverseness (dis-plea se) and when "I detect your meaning” is a common coupled with aster" from astrum "a expression and is suggestive of a house star,” it carries the thought of the asin the Orient, for does not detect mean, trologer - an adverse or unlucky star; literally, “ to unroof” and whither would hence, a disastrous event, is, in its astroyou go, except to the Orient, to find a

logical meaning, one projected under an man lifting a part of the roof to get into unlucky star. An odd variation in its a house, which had proven difficult of meaning lies in the fact that it once access in the usual way? See Mark 2:4. looked to the conditions surrounding the Detect your meaning," then, is, by in- event in its start, while now it looks to terpretation, “I have got at your mean- the outcome of the event. ing only by unroofing it."

A good expression is that one, "a * You inculcate your ideas well,” says cordial greeting," meaning one "from one, but is not inculcate a strong word to the heart.” use here? It means when translated, Town is a word that suggests remote “ To drive in with the heel.”

days, when the tun was the enclosure beYes, a little strong. How would this longing to the lord of the manor, and, do: “Your meaning is obvious"'? That later, a collection of houses, walled in, is better. “Obvious” — merely “thrown for the sake of protection from the surin the way" of the mind. Via, “a way,” rounding tribes. Towns are no longer you see.

towns in the first meaning, for they are Good night” we often say, and what no longer walled. Equally great has do we mean? This is a good “break- been the change in the meaning of the ing away" of the day.

word, extravagant, which once suggested Then there is the word, “bombastic," a wanderer, “ beyond bounds." Vagrant

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »