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markable passages I meet with in my reading, College. He was a man of wide reading, and often which will serve to fix them on my mind.”
surprised specialists by his knowledge of their These words seem rather old for a boy of ten,
branch of the professions or sciences. A naval
officer once said that he did not like him, because but he kept up the plan laid down in them through
he never liked a man who knew more about his out his life, and it was the common saying of profession than he did. Professor Brady, the statesmen of his day that Adams knew everything, noted photographer, once told me that when he and that what he had not on his tongue he could
took Calhoun's daguerrotype he was surprised by find in his diary. He had a good memory; it is
his knowledge of the then comparatively unknown
art of photography, and that Mr. Calhoun, in a said that he could quote with precision from works
two bours' conversation, taught him some things which he had not looked over for forty years.
concerning a matter upon which he (Mr. Brady), was familiar with Greek, Latin, French, German, then the recognized authority of the country, was and Italian. His literary loves were in history
ignorant. and literature, moral philosophy and law. His
Aaron Burr was one of the most accomplished
men who ever appeared upon the stage of Amerifavorite English poet was Shakespeare, and he
can history. He was throughout his life a stuconsidered Ovid the Shakespeare of the Romans. dent, and it is said that while he studied law he Cicero he diligently studied and translated. But spent twenty hours out of the twenty-four at his he did not much admire the poetry of Byron.
books. He was a French scholar, and while he Pope was one of his favorites in early life, and in
was courting Miss Prevost his favorite authors
were Rousseau and Voltaire. He had in after-lite later years he was very fond of Watts' psalms
a fine library, and he was one of the few men in and hymns. It is said that he often rose from his
America who kept an account with a bookseller seat as he repeated them, and that anong his fa in London. He bought new books as they came vorite stanzas was the following:
out, and read Gibbon, volume by volume, as it
appeared. He was a great admirer of Jeremy Sweet fields; beyond the swelling food, Stand dressed in living green ;
Bentham, was fond of Scott, and, like the most So to the Jews old Canaan stood,
cultivated public men of his time, was a student While Jordan rolled between.
of the Edinburgh Review. Andrew Jackson's library, so General Brinker
When Franklin was thirty he made it a rule to hoff, who was a tutor at the Hermitage, tells me,
spend twelve hours a week at his books; it was at
this time that he began the study of languages. showed that he was not a man of high literary
He soon learned to read French, Italian and culture. His books were chiefly the presents of Spanish. Italian he learned, says Barton, in comfriends or of publishers, and the library was a con pany with a friend who was very fond of chess. glomeration of all kinds of literary material. Some
Franklin proposed that the victor should impose
the task upon the vanquished in these games, of the books were good, and many were not worth
such as learning a verb or writing a translation, shelf-room. They ranged from Barlow's "Colum
and that the task should be performed after the biad” down to small editions of “The Devil on next meeting. Franklin thought that the modern Two Sticks,” and from the Penny Cyclopædia to languages should be acquired first and Latin and Mrs. Gaston's Cook-Book. The books which
Greek later. He says he found his Latin very Jackson read were mainly theological, agricultur- languages. He did not approve of Latin and
easy to read after his knowledge of three modern al, and historical. He was a Bible-reader during
Greek as a principal means of education, and one his later years, and he always had nightly worship of the last acts of his life was to write an able proin the White House during the time he was Presi test against the system, dent.
President William Henry Harrison held directly John C. Calhoun, like Madison, broke down his
opposite views as to classical study. He was a
great admirer of the classics, his inaugural address health by over-working as a student. He had no
being full of allusions to the Greeks and Romans. opportunity of general reading until he was thir He allowed Daniel Webster to revise it. Webster teen years of age, when he visited his brother-in on going to a dinner the night after he had comlaw, a Presbyterian clergyman. There was a cir
pleted this work, was asked how he felt. He culating library in the house, and in fourteen
replied that he was terribly tired, for that he had
killed that day about forty proconsuls and two or weeks young Calhoun read the whole stock of
three Roman emperors, whom the President had historical works within it, consisting of Rollin's brought to life in his inaugural. Ancient History, Robertson's Charles V. and Patrick Henry has generally been known as a America, and Voltaire's Charles the Twelfth. He
fiddling, lazy, non-reading genius, and Wirt cardid not seem to care for novels, but after finishing question whether this supposition is a true one,
ries out this idea of him in his biography. It is a these he turned to Cook's Voyages. He was Patrick Henry's sisters say that he was a hard working away at "Locke on the Understanding," student, and that his father's library was large when his health gave out. His eyes became sore,
and well selected. Henry was a classical scholar. he grew pale and thin, and his mother sent for
It is said that he read the Latin as easily as the
English. His favorite author was Livy. His him to come home and turn his attention to hunt
Latin Virgin was still in existence a few years ing, fishing, and other country sports. He passed
ago, and its margins were filled with closely writfour years in this way, and then went to Yale ten notes.
THE LITERATURE OF JAPAN. but gave themselves up to the acquisition of the
wonderful stores of knowledge opened to them. BY JOSLYN Z. SMITH.
It is a fact worthy of note that the beginning of There seem to be three ideas which pervade all almost all literature has been poetry. Prose comes general works on Japan-apology for the past, much later. Japanese literature is a partial exwonder at the present, and a glorious prediction ception. The earliest written works consist of for the future. To the Western world Japan's prose stories, each accompanied by a short poem. past is but little known, her present is reflected I say short, for brevity in Japanese literature in the newspapers and periodicals of the day, her composition is considered of the highest importfuture may in part be read between the lines of
ance. Much of the poetry consists of single the present.
stanzas of but thirty.one syllables. The prose Volumes have been written about Japan, yet so stories were written, in most cases, by the author far po comprehensive history of the people, their of the poem accompanying them. As time went literature and arts, has appeared in the English on, the prose story increased in size and importlanguage. Japan is a most interesting and valu ance, and the poem decreased correspondingly. able field for some Grote or Motely of the day. When the poem had disappeared entirely, the
The difficulty of translation from Japanese is Japanese romance was fully developed. great. In the first place, the language is an ag The great mass of classical poetry, as has been glutinative one, and consequently hard for a said, lacks feeling. It is almost devoid of emoWesterner to acquire. The poetry is one of form, tion. This is doubtless due to the personality of and does not possess, except in the drama, re the poets, who were either princesses or nobles, markably deep thought or feeling. There, are, writing to gain the favor of the court or as a pastbesides, many plays upon words which cannot be time. transferred into a foreign tongue. The best prose There was only one poet who came from the tales and chronicles, which belong to the oldest or humble ranks of life, and he was the greatest classical literature, are written in a dialect differ Japan has produced. This man, Hitomaro, was ing as widely from the Japanese now spoken as but little honored during his life, but in later the language of Homer differs from the Romaic years his verses became so popular that he was of to-day.
deified by the grateful Japanese. His poetry in It is not making too bold an assertion, therefore its translated form, although superior to the verses to say that the available translations fall far short of his rivals, is yet too fanciful in thought and of the merits of the originals; so much so that the
imagery to merit very high praise from the prac
tical-minded Westerner. Western reader is apt to underestimate the true
All that is of merit in the classical poetry has value of this literature.
been gathered by Japanese scholars into two The literary expression of the Japanese may be large volumes, the book of a "Myriad Leaves," divided as follows: The classical literature, from and “()des Ancient and Modern." These two the composition of the earliest odes to the opening
volunies of early poetry are the most original of
all the literature, the rest bears the stamp of Chiup of Japan by the Americans in 1853, and the
nese influence. A glance at these volumes reveals literature from that time to the present. The two characteristics: the almost total absence of classical literature is original and characteristic of verses on war, the subject of so many masterthe Japanese; the modern consists principally of pieces in other literatures, and the supremacy
given by the poet to love between parent and adaptions and translations of foreign works.
child. This last characteristic is an evidence of The Japanese are almost universally condemned
the Buddhist influence, which became allpowerful by writers for the imitation practised by them of in the later half of the classical period. The late years of Western literature, art, science and native religion of the Japanese, the Shinto creed, invention-in fact, of Western civilization. And
has played an unimportant part in the history of
the nation. It is nothing more than the worship yet this imitation seems natural and right. Imagine,
of ancestors, which the hallowing influence of if possible, the nation of Japan leaping across the time has deepened into a spiritual love. civilization of hundreds of years in half a century. The lack of a true religion is supplemented by a Think o her emerging from the darkness of the copious mythology and hero worship. The influMiddle Ages and standing suddenly forth in the
ence of this on the early literature is marked, and
is especially evident in the book of Tales and light of the nineteenth century. Surely it would
Lyric Drama. This Lyric Drama is perhaps the have been worse than madness for her to have
most interesting department of Japanese literature said, “This new civilization is better than ours, in the estimation of the Westerner. In respect to yet we will not imitate it. We will retain our
origin and development, it is almost identical with originality, and perhaps in ages to come we shall
the Greek drama. There are many fine speci
mens of these old plays still on the stage in Japan, reach the enlightened state now enjoyed by the
although to the majority of the people the dialect rest of the world.”
in which they are written is unintelligible. But fortunately the Japanese did not say this, The conclusions of Professor Fiske in his
“Myths and Myth-Makers" are brought strongly as late as half a century ago it was thought by to the mind of a reader of the old dramas. Many
many that writing was a comparatively modern of the legends we have cherished as distinctly
art, and that in the day of Moses (circ. 1450 B. C.) our own are discovered in these lyrics.
The best of all the dramas in the portrayal of it would hardly be sufficiently developed for character and excellence of verse is "Nakamitsu.” practical purposes. That the Buddhist influence was strong, even at All such ideas about the age of writing have that early period, is made manifest by the key been rudely overturned by later discoveries in note of this drama, “ Loyalty of Subjects to their Egypt and the East. I.et us take the matter step
” remarkable for its fancifulness. Sonie passages by step. The publication of the new volume of are similar to Milton's "L'Allegro."
papyri by the authorities of the British Museum The production of these dramas, as well as most (Dec., 1898) teaches us that “as far back as the of the native poetry, ceased upon the opening of
third century B. c. there was a widespread use of Japan to foreigners. Since then the pursuit of
writing among all conditions of men for many literature has been neglected for science and politics.
purposes of life, and writing, too, wbich is of no The literature of Japan was slow in its develop recent development. This suggests the possibility ment, even up to the middle of the nineteenth that Greek writing may have begun much earlier ceptury the poetry had not passed out of the
than is sometimes supposed, and that perhaps the lyric state. No Japanese epic has been written.
Greek mercenaries who cut their names and other The prose developed faster than the poetry, and, contrary to all precedents, romance appeared first inscriptions on the colossal statue of Abu Simbel
During the last fifty years the Japanese have were as familiar with the pen as with the chisel;" been building intellectually. They have stocked
at any rate, "educated and professional men in their new temples with the knowledge of the
very early times wrote as fuently as we do now.” West. Within the last three years they have de
If this is true of Greek, and Professor Flinders veloped an individualism. The war with China has taught them their power. Henceforth, in the
Petrie's discoveries amply show us that it is so, words of Virgil, “they will be able because they what shall we say of Egyptian? There were seem to be able." Undoubtedly a brilliant future
possibly Greek scribes as far back as the days of is just unfolding to them, a future which for their
Moses. Certainly there were Egyptian scribes literature and art will be Periclean in its splendor.
centuries earlier. Moses had been brought up in
known much of the religion, the history, the arts, THE ART OF WRITING IN THE DAYS
the appliances and other signs of civilized life OF MOSES.
which stare us in the face when we stand in an The discovery of the Tell-el Amarna tablets, Egyptian temple and gaze upon its pictured walls. and the great number of tablets in the British We can take it as a matter of course that he could Museum and the Royal Museums at Berlin, and write as easily as we can. Moreover, the Hebrews at Gizeb, obtained from Tyre, Sidon, Gebal, Aske
are a gifted race, and they were so from the belon, Gaza, Lachish and Jerusalem, shows us the ginning. Those who were in Egypt were doubtuniversal use of Babylonian writing throughout less bi-lingual, and many of them must have been the East in the time of Moses. In Egypt we writers-some, probably, professional scribes. have specimens of hieroglyphic and hieratic writ Moses thus might have had at his command after ing of the "Book of the Dead,” from at least 2000 the Exodus a little army of ready writers. B. C., and written monuments from at least 4000 The style of writing in those days may be illus.
Schools and libraries must have existed all trated from the papyrus of “Bek en Amen," over the land. The system of Babylonian writing which is preserved in the municipal Museum of
one of the most complicated possible, de Bologne (see Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch., June 1, 1880). manding a good memory and years of study. We It is a letter well written in twenty-seven lines of know that at the time of Moses' sojourn in Egypt running hieratic characters, rolled up twenty-five it was an age of the highest literary activity. times, bent in two, addressed and sealed. It first
Canon Girdlestone, in his recent book on “Deu asks for information about a runaway slave, and teronomy" gives the following interesting account then discusses the state of the crops and other of the act of writing in the days of Moses.
matters; it is just such a letter, in fact, as men The view that the Addresses of Moses were write nowadays. These papyrus rolls are of varytaken down by scribes, so that they might be pre- ing length. Ordinary ones are from 20 to 40 feet served for future use, involves two things: First, long, but some run on to a 100 feet, or even 144. that some at least of the hearers had retentive
Mr. Kenyon, of the British Museum, says. "Britmemories; and, secondly, that they had no diffi
tle as the papyrus becomes with age, the dry cliculty in writing down what they heard. The
mate of Egypt has preserved hundreds and thouIsraelite nation is proverbal for its power of re sands of such MSS., the earliest now extant having membering and consequently of according. But been written about 2500 B. c.” (i. e,, a thousand
years before the time of Moses), “these were the which this discovery throws light on, one is that books with which the Israelites became familiar
the language of Canaan was not very far removed
from that of the Hebrew. They were cognate during their residence in Egypt, and it was from
Another is that Moses must in all these that the form of their own books in later
probability have learnt in his young days the times was derived. The roll form, and to a great use and interpretation of the cuneiform character. extent the papyrus material, were also adopted Consequently, if the early documents contained from by the Greeks, and all the great works of
in Genesis were written in this character (which classical literature were written in this manner.
is possible if not probable); they could be trans
literated into Hebrew under his direction. It was not until after the beginning of the Chris
We have yet to learn much about the archives tian era that the page form, as in a modern book, in which ancient books were kept, but for relicame into existence." See also, Col. Conder's gious books two store places naturally suggest “The Bible and the East," pp. 60-64.
themselves. The receptacles for the dead would It may be well to note that the word sepher be treasure-houses for sacred literature; and so translated "book” as far back as Gen. 5, 1, is appli the case containing Joseph's mummy, which was cable to a list, letter, or any other document, and the connecting link between the patriarchal age subsequently it was used in collections of such
and the time of Joshua, would have connected documents. Thus we find the word used of the with it a receptacle for clay or papyrus docubook of generations, the book of the covenant, the ments. The other place was the Ark, the central bill of divorcement, the book of Jasher, the letter object of religious interest, containing specially of David, the book of Moses, the register of the gen. the tablets on which the Ten Commandments ealogies, that which is rolled together as a scroll,
were written. Accordingly, we read that in the the evidence of the purchase, the book of remem sides of the Ark the copy of the Law was debrances. The Hebrew name for a scribe (Judges 5, posited by order of Moses (Deut. 21, 26). 14 etc.) is derived from the same root.
It is probable that certain cities became literary In accordance with the facts this brought to centres, as Sippara in the East, and Kirgath Selight, it is safe to conclude that the original records phir or Debir in Palestine, in very early times. wbich are contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Num Among the Israelites copies of the sacred docubers, and also Deuteronomy, were written on pa ments would gravitate to prophetic centers, and pyrus by Hebrew scribes who had been trained
ultimately to Jerusalem, where the official archives after Egyptian fashion. They may have already
are kept, though the two sets of documents would formed a guide or caste of their own, and if it were probably be kept distinct. necessary to fix the tribe or family which would
As to the relationship of the Hebrew language be specially represented in such a caste, one could
to the other branches of Semitic, I must refer to easily bazard a guess; many indications would the late Dr. Wright's lectures on "Comparative point to the Tribe of Levi, and to the family of Semitic Grammar." The tendency to dialectic Korah-the line represented so honorably in later variations, and even to tribal and family distincdays by Samuel, Heman and others.
tions in speech, was doubtless exceedingly strong But there is another side to the question of wri. in ancient times; and one can still hear kindred ting which must not be overlooked, especially as distinctions in the Arabic of North Africa, Egypt it also has a bearing on language as well. I refer and Palestine. to the discovery of the celebrated Tell-el-Amarna tablets a few years ago. These clay tablets are written not in hieroglyph, nor in the characters SHAKESPEARE REPRINTS AND THEIR thence derived (the hieratic and demotic), but in
READERS. cuneiform, which had already been in use for ages in Babylonia. Each tablet is a little less than 6x4 The publication of Prof. Dowden's edition of inches, and is divided into sections by transverse
“Hamlet,”, forming the first volume of a new lines. These obviate the confusion which would
Shakespearian series, calls attention to a noticeotherwise arise from the close packing of the characters. The language in which they are written
able fact in the publishing world. Scarcely a may be called Canaanite or Aramean (i. e., Syrian), month passes but we hear of some new edition of and is practically the same as Assyrian. But the Shakespeare's works. It will soon become a sine tablets are official letters from Palestine chieftains
qua non for every publisher to have his own edito the kings of Egypt, who were reigning either a little before or a little after the time of Moses.
tion of the dramatist. At any rate it is evident We thus have a new stream of contemporaneous
that he will not find, like the theatrical manager literature issuing from an unsuspected source,
of an earlier date, that Shakespeare ''spells ruin.” exbibiting the close relationship which existed This unceasing stream of reprints suggests some between Egypt, Canaan, and the East, at the time
reflections. In the first place, to the bibliophile it of Moses, and illustrating in a hundred ways the state of things to be expected by Israel on their
is perpetually fascinating to watch the everentrance into Canaan. Here we meet with Sido
changing forms in which Shakespeare is arranged. mans, Hittites, Arvadites, Gebalites, Amorites He will think of those quartos of 16 of the plays and Edonites. Here we meet with the Kings of stealing into print during the dramatist's lifetime of Jerusalem and many other towns with which without his sanction, and without putting a penny, the Book of Joshua familiarizes us; and here we see that even Canaan was not an illiterate land,
as far as we know, into his purse. He will linger and that Egyptian lore included a facility in
over the stately procession of folios coming forth reading cuneiform tablets. Amongst other things from the 17th-century printing presses, gathering
between two covers the whole riches of Shake whom the handy-volume editions are specially
But editions such as these, unwieldy and ex from us to underestimate the joys or benefit of
the “masses,” but the "classes,” that he was turnThe Clarendon Press first gave this method an ing to Shakespeare for quotations, instead of extended vogue. But recently there have been Dickens. Had this gibe at the tastes of the variations from the model it set in two directions. masses any real foundation? The question is one The tendency to make a book a thing of beauty not to be answered offhand, but our impression is has substituted for the sober academic format of that the “poor in a lump” do not read Shakethe Oxford texts the dainty bindings and artistic speare, that "rough pointsmen" (in Calverley's frontispieces of the Temple" series and its imita phrase) do not "cry like children” over the sortors. To Mr. Dent and Mr. Gollancz belongs the rows of Desdemona or Hermione. In any case credit of having originated an edition blending it is noticeable that democratic leaders have beauty and learning, suited, in euphuistic phrase, tended to look on Shakespeare with distrust. both to lie shut in a lady's casket and "open in a Walt Whitman described him as "incarnated, unscholar's study.” The tendency toward embel compromising feudalism in literature," and his lishment seems likely to go further. We have more unfriendly critics in his own country are the Chiswick Shakespeare of Messrs. Bell appear drawn chiefly from the "forward” party. It is true ing, with drawings by an accomplished artist; the that he is not in the modern sense democratic, Temple series is announced in enlarged form, He accepted the Elizabethan constitution as he with the illustrations made a more prominent found it, with the throne as its pivot, and he is as feature; and we hear, too, of a forthcoming edi. far as possible from idealizing a crowd of citizens. tion of Mr. Lee's “Life” of the dramatist, with an But this is certainly an accidental and not an increased number of fac-similes and photographs. essential feature of his work. It is its broad huAnother characteristic of recent editions is the manity that is its cardinal element, and it is this increasing introduction of esthetic criticism. In which we believe will increasingly make subjects the Clarendon Press series this was deliberately of "King Shakespeare" those who at present owe avoided. But the Warwick edition of Messrs. him grudging fealty or none at all. We hope so, Blackie is only one of several now in process of for the spread of Shakespearian study can be only issue in which each play is preceded by a literary beneficial to the community. In the sphere of "appreciation," and in Professor Dowden's volume ethics, Shakespeare's Weltanchauung, so tolerant this feature is obliterated. Thus by a continuous yet so profoundly moral, is the best of correctives evolution it seems likely that the ideal 10th cen to a narrow fanaticism on the one hand, a lax code tury will be in the form of “one play, one vol of conduct on the other. Intellectually he is what ume,” light in the hand, beautiful to the eye, Matthew Arnold would have called a great civiillustrated either by original drawings or fac liser. There are thousands to whom ancient similes, and provided with an introduction and Rome and mediæval Italy are chiefly known notes, both textual and esthetic, which surely will through "Julius Cæsar" and "Coriolanus," "Robe most welcome.
meo and Juliet” and the "Merchant of Venice." For whose benefit do these reprints follow so Thus, Shakespeare, while in history-plays he fast at one anotber's heels? Perhaps the follow stimulates English patriotism, in his tragedies and ing classification would not be far wide of the comedies tempers English insularity. He is an mark. There is, first, the small band of profes- Anglo-Saxon Imperialist, but not a John Bull. sional students whose business it is to keep an eye
And thus it is that he has become the represenon the whole field of Shakespearean criticism at tative poet, not only of England, but of the Teuhonie and abroad. And we may add another tonic race. America, Germany, Scandinavia, all smaller professional band who wear their rue claim a share in him. Let England cheerfully with a difference, whose study of Shakespeare has allow the claim. a strong dash of coudescension as toward
It is worth, we believe here, many an army whose work is just a little vieux jeu, a mixture of corps to England. Shakespeare has become an genius and of the rough-and-tumble of the Eliza- imperial heritage of incalculable value to her. "If bethan theatre, who could be shown a thing or they asked us,” cries Carlyle, “will you give up two by Ibsen, Maeterlink, or Pinero.
your Indian Empire or your Shakespeare Then we have the vast array of students at should we not be forced to answer, 'Indian Emschools and colleges--those who have to "get up" pire or no Indian Empire, we cannot do without one or more of the plays for examination, and to Shakespeare?'