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markable passages I meet with in my reading, which will serve to fix them on my mind."
These words seem rather old for a boy of ten, but he kept up the plan laid down in them throughout his life, and it was the common saying of statesmen of his day that Adams knew everything, and that what he had not on his tongue he could find in his diary. He had a good memory; it is said that he could quote with precision from works which he had not looked over for forty years. He was familiar with Greek, Latin, French, German, and Italian. His literary loves were in history and literature, moral philosophy and law. His favorite English poet was Shakespeare, and he considered Ovid the Shakespeare of the Romans. Cicero he diligently studied and translated. But he did not much admire the poetry of Byron. Pope was one of his favorites in early life, and in later years he was very fond of Watts' psalms and hymns. It is said that he often rose from his seat as he repeated them, and that among his favorite stanzas was the following:
Sweet fields; beyond the swelling flood,
Andrew Jackson's library, so General Brinkerhoff, who was a tutor at the Hermitage, tells me, showed that he was not a man of high literary
re. His books were chiefly the presents of friends or of publishers, and the library was a conglomeration of all kinds of literary material. Some of the books were good, and many were not worth shelf-room. They ranged from Barlow's "Columbiad" down to small editions of "The Devil on Two Sticks," and from the Penny Cyclopædia to Mrs. Gaston's Cook-Book. The books which
Jackson read were mainly theological, agricultural, and historical. He was a Bible-reader during his later years, and he always had nightly worship in the White House during the time he was President.
John C. Calhoun, like Madison, broke down his health by over-working as a student. He had no opportunity of general reading until he was thirteen years of age, when he visited his brother-inlaw, a Presbyterian clergyman. There was a circulating library in the house, and in fourteen weeks young Calhoun read the whole stock of historical works within it, consisting of Rollin's Ancient History, Robertson's Charles V. and America, and Voltaire's Charles the Twelfth. He did not seem to care for novels, but after finishing these he turned to Cook's Voyages. He was working away at "Locke on the Understanding." when his health gave out. His eyes became sore, he grew pale and thin, and his mother sent for him to come home and turn his attention to hunting, fishing, and other country sports. He passed four years in this way, and then went to Yale
College. He was a man of wide reading, and often surprised specialists by his knowledge of their branch of the professions or sciences. A naval officer once said that he did not like him, because he never liked a man who knew more about his profession than he did. Professor Brady, the noted photographer, once told me that when he took Calhoun's daguerrotype he was surprised by his knowledge of the then comparatively unknown art of photography, and that Mr. Calhoun, in a two hours' conversation, taught him some things. concerning a matter upon which he (Mr. Brady), then the recognized authority of the country, was ignorant.
Aaron Burr was one of the most accomplished men who ever appeared upon the stage of American history. He was throughout his life a student, and it is said that while he studied law he spent twenty hours out of the twenty-four at his books. He was a French scholar, and while he was courting Miss Prevost his favorite authors were Rousseau and Voltaire. He had in after-life a fine library, and he was one of the few men in America who kept an account with a bookseller in London. He bought new books as they came out, and read Gibbon, volume by volume, as it appeared. He was a great admirer of Jeremy Bentham, was fond of Scott, and, like the most cultivated public men of his time, was a student of the Edinburgh Review.
When Franklin was thirty he made it a rule to spend twelve hours a week at his books; it was at this time that he began the study of languages. He soon learned to read French, Italian and Spanish. Italian he learned, says Barton, in company with a friend who was very fond of chess. Franklin proposed that the victor should impose the task upon the vanquished in these games, such as learning a verb or writing a translation, and that the task should be performed after the next meeting. Franklin thought that the modern languages should be acquired first and Latin and Greek later. He says he found his Latin very easy to read after his knowledge of three modern languages. He did not approve of Latin and Greek as a principal means of education, and one of the last acts of his life was to write an able protest against the system,
President William Henry Harrison held directly opposite views as to classical study. He was a great admirer of the classics, his inaugural address being full of allusions to the Greeks and Romans. He allowed Daniel Webster to revise it. Webster on going to a dinner the night after he had completed this work, was asked how he felt. He replied that he was terribly tired, for that he had killed that day about forty proconsuls and two or three Roman emperors, whom the President had brought to life in his inaugural.
Patrick Henry has generally been known as a fiddling, lazy, non-reading genius, and Wirt carries out this idea of him in his biography. It is a question whether this supposition is a true one. Patrick Henry's sisters say that he was a hard student, and that his father's library was large and well selected. Henry was a classical scholar. It is said that he read the Latin as easily as the English. His favorite author was Livy. His Latin Virgin was still in existence a few years ago, and its margins were filled with closely writ
The difficulty of translation from Japanese is great. In the first place, the language is an agglutinative one, and consequently hard for a Westerner to acquire. The poetry is one of form, and does not possess, except in the drama, remarkably deep thought or feeling. There, are, besides, many plays upon words which cannot be transferred into a foreign tongue. The best prose tales and chronicles, which belong to the oldest or classical literature, are written in a dialect differing as widely from the Japanese now spoken as the language of Homer differs from the Romaic of to-day.
It is not making too bold an assertion, therefore to say that the available translations fall far short of the merits of the originals; so much so that the Western reader is apt to underestimate the true value of this literature.
The literary expression of the Japanese may be divided as follows: The classical literature, from the composition of the earliest odes to the opening up of Japan by the Americans in 1853, and the literature from that time to the present. The classical literature is original and characteristic of the Japanese; the modern consists principally of adaptions and translations of foreign works.
The Japanese are almost universally condemned by writers for the imitation practised by them of late years of Western literature, art, science and invention-in fact, of Western civilization. And yet this imitation seems natural and right. Imagine, if possible, the nation of Japan leaping across the civilization of hundreds of years in half a century. Think of her emerging from the darkness of the Middle Ages and standing suddenly forth in the light of the nineteenth century. Surely it would have been worse than madness for her to have said, "This new civilization is better than ours, yet we will not imitate it. We will retain our originality, and perhaps in ages to come we shall reach the enlightened state now enjoyed by the rest of the world."
But fortunately the Japanese did not say this,
but gave themselves up to the acquisition of the wonderful stores of knowledge opened to them.
It is a fact worthy of note that the beginning of almost all literature has been poetry. Prose comes much later. Japanese literature is a partial exception. The earliest written works consist of prose stories, each accompanied by a short poem. I say short, for brevity in Japanese literature composition is considered of the highest importance. Much of the poetry consists of single stanzas of but thirty-one syllables. The prose stories were written, in most cases, by the author of the poem accompanying them. As time went on, the prose story increased in size and importance, and the poem decreased correspondingly. When the poem had disappeared entirely, the Japanese romance was fully developed.
The great mass of classical poetry, as has been said, lacks feeling, It is almost devoid of emotion. This is doubtless due to the personality of the poets, who were either princesses or nobles, writing to gain the favor of the court or as a pasttime.
There was only one poet who came from the humble ranks of life, and he was the greatest Japan has produced. This man, Hitomaro, was but little honored during his life, but in later years his verses became so popular that he was deified by the grateful Japanese. His poetry in its translated form, although superior to the verses of his rivals, is yet too fanciful in thought and imagery to merit very high praise from the practical-minded Westerner.
All that is of merit in the classical poetry has been gathered by Japanese scholars into two large volumes, the book of a "Myriad Leaves," and "Odes Ancient and Modern." These two volumes of early poetry are the most original of all the literature, the rest bears the stamp of Chinese influence. A glance at these volumes reveals two characteristics: the almost total absence of verses on war, the subject of so many masterpieces in other literatures, and the supremacy given by the poet to love between parent and child. This last characteristic is an evidence of the Buddhist influence, which became allpowerful in the later half of the classical period. The native religion of the Japanese, the Shinto creed, has played an unimportant part in the history of the nation. It is nothing more than the worship of ancestors, which the hallowing influence of time has deepened into a spiritual love.
The lack of a true religion is supplemented by a copious mythology and hero worship. The influence of this on the early literature is marked, and is especially evident in the book of Tales and Lyric Drama. This Lyric Drama is perhaps the most interesting department of Japanese literature. in the estimation of the Westerner. In respect to origin and development, it is almost identical with the Greek drama. There are many fine specimens of these old plays still on the stage in Japan, although to the majority of the people the dialect in which they are written is unintelligible.
The conclusions of Professor Fiske in his
"Myths and Myth-Makers" are brought strongly to the mind of a reader of the old dramas. Many of the legends we have cherished as distinctly our own are discovered in these lyrics.
The best of all the dramas in the portrayal of character and excellence of verse is "Nakamitsu." That the Buddhist influence was strong, even at that early period, is made manifest by the keynote of this drama, "Loyalty of Subjects to their Prince." The play of "The Feather Robe" is remarkable for its fancifulness. Some passages are similar to Milton's "L'Allegro."
The production of these dramas, as well as most of the native poetry, ceased upon the opening of Japan to foreigners. Since then the pursuit of literature has been neglected for science and politics.
The literature of Japan was slow in its development, even up to the middle of the nineteenth century the poetry had not passed out of the lyric state. No Japanese epic has been written. The prose developed faster than the poetry, and, contrary to all precedents, romance appeared first.
During the last fifty years the Japanese have been building intellectually. They have stocked their new temples with the knowledge of the West. Within the last three years they have developed an individualism. The war with China has taught them their power. Henceforth, in the words of Virgil, "they will be able because they seem to be able.” Undoubtedly a brilliant future is just unfolding to them, a future which for their literature and art will be Periclean in its splendor.
THE ART OF WRITING IN THE DAYS "OF MOSES.
The discovery of the Tell-el Amarna tablets, and the great number of tablets in the British Museum and the Royal Museums at Berlin, and at Gizeh, obtained from Tyre, Sidon, Gebal, Askelon, Gaza, Lachish and Jerusalem, shows us the universal use of Babylonian writing throughout the East in the time of Moses. In Egypt we have specimens of hieroglyphic and hieratic writing of the "Book of the Dead," from at least 2000 B. C., and written monuments from at least 4000 B. C. Schools and libraries must have existed all over the land. The system of Babylonian writing was one of the most complicated possible, demanding a good memory and years of study. We know that at the time of Moses' sojourn in Egypt it was an age of the highest literary activity.
Canon Girdlestone, in his recent book on "Deuteronomy" gives the following interesting account of the act of writing in the days of Moses.
The view that the Addresses of Moses were taken down by scribes, so that they might be preserved for future use, involves two things: First, that some at least of the hearers had retentive memories; and, secondly, that they had no difficulty in writing down what they heard. The Israelite nation is proverbal for its power of remembering and consequently of according. But
as late as half a century ago it was thought by many that writing was a comparatively modern art, and that in the day of Moses (circ. 1450 B. C.) it would hardly be sufficiently developed for practical purposes.
All such ideas about the age of writing have been rudely overturned by later discoveries in Egypt and the East. I.et us take the matter step by step. The publication of the new volume of papyri by the authorities of the British Museum (Dec., 1898) teaches us that "as far back as the third century B. C. there was a widespread use of writing among all conditions of men for many purposes of life, and writing, too, which is of no recent development. This suggests the possibility that Greek writing may have begun much earlier than is sometimes supposed, and that perhaps the Greek mercenaries who cut their names and other inscriptions on the colossal statue of Abu Simbel were as familiar with the pen as with the chisel;" at any rate, "educated and professional men in very early times wrote as fluently as we do now."
If this is true of Greek, and Professor Flinders Petrie's discoveries amply show us that it is so, what shall we say of Egyptian? There were possibly Greek scribes as far back as the days of Moses. Certainly there were Egyptian scribes centuries earlier. Moses had been brought up in all the learning of the Egyptians. He must have known much of the religion, the history, the arts, the appliances and other signs of civilized life which stare us in the face when we stand in an Egyptian temple and gaze upon its pictured walls. We can take it as a matter of course that he could write as easily as we can. Moreover, the Hebrews are a gifted race, and they were so from the beginning. Those who were in Egypt were doubtless bi-lingual, and many of them must have been writers-some, probably, professional scribes. Moses thus might have had at his command after the Exodus a little army of ready writers.
The style of writing in those days may be illus. trated from the papyrus of "Bek en Amen," which is preserved in the municipal Museum of Bologne (see Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch., June 1, 1880). It is a letter well written in twenty-seven lines of running hieratic characters, rolled up twenty-five times, bent in two, addressed and sealed. It first asks for information about a runaway slave, and then discusses the state of the crops and other matters; it is just such a letter, in fact, as men write nowadays. These papyrus rolls are of varying length. Ordinary ones are from 20 to 40 feet long, but some run on to a 100 feet, or even 144. Mr. Kenyon, of the British Museum, says. "Brittle as the papyrus becomes with age, the dry climate of Egypt has preserved hundreds and thousands of such MSS., the earliest now extant having been written about 2500 B. C." (i. e,, a thousand
years before the time of Moses), "these were the books with which the Israelites became familiar during their residence in Egypt, and it was from these that the form of their own books in later times was derived. The roll form, and to a great extent the papyrus material, were also adopted from by the Greeks, and all the great works of classical literature were written in this manner. It was not until after the beginning of the Christian era that the page form, as in a modern book, came into existence." See also, Col. Conder's "The Bible and the East," pp. 60-64.
It may be well to note that the word sepher translated "book" as far back as Gen. 5, 1, is applicable to a list, letter, or any other document, and subsequently it was used in collections of such documents. Thus we find the word used of the book of generations, the book of the covenant, the bill of divorcement, the book of Jasher, the letter of David, the book of Moses, the register of the genealogies, that which is rolled together as a scroll, the evidence of the purchase, the book of remembrances. The Hebrew name for a scribe (Judges 5, 14 etc.) is derived from the same root.
In accordance with the facts this brought to light, it is safe to conclude that the original records which are contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and also Deuteronomy, were written on papyrus by Hebrew scribes who had been trained after Egyptian fashion. They may have already formed a guide or caste of their own, and if it were necessary to fix the tribe or family which would be specially represented in such a caste, one could easily hazard a guess; many indications would point to the Tribe of Levi, and to the family of Korah-the line represented so honorably in later days by Samuel, Heman and others.
which this discovery throws light on, one is that the language of Canaan was not very far removed from that of the Hebrew. They were cognate languages. Another is that Moses must in all probability have learnt in his young days the use and interpretation of the cuneiform character. Consequently, if the early documents contained in Genesis were written in this character (which is possible if not probable); they could be transliterated into Hebrew under his direction.
But there is another side to the question of writing which must not be overlooked, especially as it also has a bearing on language as well. I refer 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 thence derived (the hieratic and demotic), but in cuneiform, which had already been in use for ages in Babylonia. Each tablet is a little less than 6x4 inches, and is divided into sections by transverse lines. These obviate the confusion which would
otherwise arise from the close packing of the characters. The language in which they are written may be called Canaanite or Aramean (i. e., Syrian), and is practically the same as Assyrian. But the tablets are official letters from Palestine chieftains to the kings of Egypt, who were reigning either at little before or a little after the time of Moses. We thus have a new stream of contemporaneous literature issuing from an unsuspected source, exhibiting the close relationship which existed between Egypt, Canaan, and the East, at the time of Moses, and illustrating in a hundred ways the state of things to be expected by Israel on their entrance into Canaan. Here we meet with Sidomans, Hittites, Arvadites, Gebalites, Amorites and Edonites. Here we meet with the Kings of of Jerusalem and many other towns with which the Book of Joshua familiarizes us; and here we see that even Canaan was not an illiterate land, and that Egyptian lore included a facility in reading cuneiform tablets. Amongst other things Amongst other things
We have yet to learn much about the archives in which ancient books were kept, but for religious books two store places naturally suggest themselves. The receptacles for the dead would be treasure-houses for sacred literature; and so the case containing Joseph's mummy, which was the connecting-link between the patriarchal age and the time of Joshua, would have connected with it a receptacle for clay or papyrus documents. The other place was the Ark, the central object of religious interest, containing specially the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Accordingly, we read that in the sides of the Ark the copy of the Law was deposited by order of Moses (Deut. 21, 26).
It is probable that certain cities became literary centres, as Sippara in the East, and Kirgath Sephir or Debir in Palestine, in very early times. Among the Israelites copies of the sacred documents would gravitate to prophetic centers, and ultimately to Jerusalem, where the official archives are kept, though the two sets of documents would probably be kept distinct.
As to the relationship of the Hebrew language to the other branches of Semitic, I must refer to the late Dr. Wright's lectures on "Comparative Semitic Grammar." The tendency to dialectic variations, and even to tribal and family distinctions in speech, was doubtless exceedingly strong in ancient times; and one can still hear kindred distinctions in the Arabic of North Africa, Egypt and Palestine.
SHAKESPEARE REPRINTS AND THEIR READERS.
The publication of Prof. Dowden's edition of "Hamlet,", forming the first volume of a new Shakespearian series, calls attention to a noticeable fact in the publishing world. Scarcely a month passes but we hear of some new edition of Shakespeare's works. It will soon become a sine qua non for every publisher to have his own edition of the dramatist. At any rate it is evident that he will not find, like the theatrical manager of an earlier date, that Shakespeare "spells ruin." This unceasing stream of reprints suggests some reflections. In the first place, to the bibliophile it is perpetually fascinating to watch the everchanging forms in which Shakespeare is arranged. He will think of those quartos of 16 of the plays stealing into print during the dramatist's lifetime without his sanction, and without putting a penny, as far as we know, into his purse. He will linger over the stately procession of folios coming forth from the 17th-century printing presses, gathering
between two covers the whole riches of Shakespeare, and in the case of the third and fourth folios a good deal that was not Shakespeare's. He will watch throughout the 18th century the long roll of bulky, sedate, critical editions, of from six to nine volumes each, wherein a Pope, a Theobald, a Johnson, or a Malone take their turn at introducing Shakespeare to their contemporaries.
But editions such as these, unwieldy and expensive, made the poet's works the monopoly of the few, and a democratic age has needed and has obtained its Shakespeare in a new form. The last twenty five years have seen a revolution in the fashion of publishing Shakespeare. And yet, like other revolutions, it is a curious instance of a reversion to an original type. The quartos of single dramas issued during Shakespeare's lifetime have their parallel in the series now offered to readers in the form of one play, one volume."
The Clarendon Press first gave this method an extended vogue. But recently there have been variations from the model it set in two directions. The tendency to make a book a thing of beauty has substituted for the sober academic format of the Oxford texts the dainty bindings and artistic frontispieces of the "Temple" series and its imitators. To Mr. Dent and Mr. Gollancz belongs the credit of having originated an edition blending beauty and learning, suited, in euphuistic phrase, both to lie shut in a lady's casket and "open in a scholar's study." The tendency toward embellishment seems likely to go further. We have the Chiswick Shakespeare of Messrs. Bell appearing, with drawings by an accomplished artist; the Temple series is announced in enlarged form, with the illustrations made a more prominent more prominent feature; and we hear, too, of a forthcoming edition of Mr. Lee's "Life" of the dramatist, with an increased number of fac-similes and photographs. Another characteristic of recent editions is the increasing introduction of esthetic criticism. In the Clarendon Press series this was deliberately avoided. But the Warwick edition of Messrs. Blackie is only one of several now in process of issue in which each play is preceded by a literary "appreciation," and in Professor Dowden's volume this feature is obliterated. Thus by a continuous evolution it seems likely that the ideal 10th century will be in the form of "one play, one volume," light in the hand, beautiful to the eye, illustrated either by original drawings or facsimiles, and provided with an introduction and notes, both textual and esthetic, which surely will be most we ome.
For whose benefit do these reprints follow so fast at one another's heels? Perhaps the following classification would not be far wide of the mark. There is, first, the small band of professional students whose business it is to keep an eye on the whole field of Shakespearean criticism at home and abroad. And we may add another smaller professional band who wear their rue with a difference, whose study of Shakespeare has a strong dash of condescension as toward whose work is just a little vieux jeu, a mixture of genius and of the rough-and-tumble of the Eliza bethan theatre, who could be shown a thing or two by Ibsen, Maeterlink, or Pinero.
Then we have the vast array of students at schools and colleges-those who have to "get up" one or more of the plays for examination, and to
whom the handy-volume editions are specially addressed. Fortunately "the open Shakespeare" is an integral part of the educational curriculum of the country.
And then there are the pure amateurs who read Shakespeare (more or less) with no pretence of studying him-either singly or in the joint-stock fashion of Shakespearian societies. And far be it from us to underestimate the joys or benefit of such reading, whether it be an end in itself, or preliminary to seeing a performance on the boards of Daly's.
But what proportion does this composite host of readers bear to the whole population? We have doubts as to whether Shakespeare has as yet a firm hold on the democracy. A newspaper, unfriendly to a certain statesman, once observed that his speeches had begun to be addressed, not to the "masses," but the "classes," that he was turning to Shakespeare for quotations, instead of Dickens. Had this gibe at the tastes of the masses any real foundation? The question is one not to be answered offhand, but our impression is that the "poor in a lump" do not read Shakespeare, that "rough pointsmen" (in Calverley's phrase) do not "cry like children" over the sorrows of Desdemona or Hermione. In any case it is noticeable that democratic leaders have tended to look on Shakespeare with distrust. Walt Whitman described him as "incarnated, uncompromising feudalism in literature," and his more unfriendly critics in his own country are drawn chiefly from the "forward" party. It is true that he is not in the modern sense democratic. He accepted the Elizabethan constitution as he found it, with the throne as its pivot, and he is as far as possible from idealizing a crowd of citizens.
But this is certainly an accidental and not an essential feature of his work. It is its broad humanity that is its cardinal element, and it is this which we believe will increasingly make subjects of "King Shakespeare" those who at present owe him grudging fealty or none at all. We hope so, for the spread of Shakespearian study can be only beneficial to the community. beneficial to the community. In the sphere of ethics, Shakespeare's Weltanchauung, so tolerant yet so profoundly moral, is the best of correctives to a narrow fanaticism on the one hand, a lax code of conduct on the other. Intellectually he is what Matthew Arnold would have called a great civiliser. There are thousands to whom ancient Rome and medieval Italy are chiefly known through "Julius Cæsar" and "Coriolanus," "Romeo and Juliet" and the "Merchant of Venice." Thus, Shakespeare, while in history-plays he stimulates English patriotism, in his tragedies and comedies tempers English insularity. He is an Anglo-Saxon Imperialist, but not a John Bull. And thus it is that he has become the representative poet, not only of England, but of the Teutonic race. America, Germany, Scandinavia, all claim a share in him. Let England cheerfully allow the claim.
It is worth, we believe here, many an army corps to England. Shakespeare has become an imperial heritage of incalculable value to her. "If they asked us," cries Carlyle, "will you give up your Indian Empire or your Shakespeare should we not be forced to answer, 'Indian Empite or no Indian Empire, we cannot do without Shakespeare?""