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a certain President of the Section for the power of social life and manners,-he Mechanical Science in the British As- can hardly deny that this scheme, though sociation is, in Scripture phrase, “very drawn in rough and plain lines enough, bold," and declares that if a man, in his and not pretending to scientific exactness, mental training, "has substituted litera- does yet give a fairly true representature and history for natural science, he tion of the matter. Human nature is (520 has chosen the less useful alternative." built up by these powers; we have the But whether we go these lengths or not, need for them all. When we have rightly we must all admit that in natural science met and adjusted the claims of them all, the habit gained of dealing with facts (470 we shall then be in a fair way for getting is a most valuable discipline, and that soberness and righteousness, with wisevery one should have some experience of dom. This is evident enough, and the it.
friends of physical science would admit More than this, however, is demanded it. by the reformers. It is proposed to make But perhaps they may not have sufthe training in natural science the main ficiently observed another thing: (530 part of education, for the great majority namely, that the several powers just of mankind at any rate. And here, I mentioned are not isolated, but there is, confess, I part company with the friends in the generality of mankind, a perpetual of physical science, with whom up to (480 tendency to relate them one to another in this point I have been agreeing. In dif- divers ways. With one such way of fering from them, however, I wish to relating them I am particularly concerned proceed with the utmost caution and now. Following our instinct for intellect diffidence. The smallness of my own and knowledge, we acquire pieces of acquaintance with the disciplines of nat- knowledge; and presently, in the genural science is ever before my mind, and erality of men, there arises the desire (540 I am fearful of doing these disciplines an to relate these pieces of knowledge to our injustice. The ability and pugnacity of sense for conduct, to our sense for the partisans of natural science make beauty,—and there is weariness and disthem formidable persons to contra- [490 satisfaction if the desire is baulked. dict. The tone of tentative inquiry, which Now in this desire lies, I think, the befits a being of dim faculties and bounded strength of that hold which letters have knowledge, is the tone I would wish to
upon us. take and not to depart from. At present All knowledge is, as I said just now, it seems to me, that those who are for interesting; and even items of knowledge giving to natural knowledge, as they call which from the nature of the case (550 it, the chief place in the education of the cannot well be related, but must stand majority of mankind, leave one important isolated in our thoughts, have their inthing out of their account: the constitu- terest. Even lists of exceptions have tion of human nature. But I put this (500 their interest. If we are studying Greek forward on the strength of some facts accents, it is interesting to know that not at all recondite, very far from it; facts pais and pas, and some other mono capable of being stated in the simplest syllables of the same form of declension, possible fashion, and to which, if I so do not take the circumflex upon the last state them, the man of science will, I syllable of the genitive plural, but vary, am sure, be willing to allow their due in this respect, from the common rule. (560 weight.
If we are studying physiology, it is inDeny the facts altogether, I think, he teresting to know that the pulmonary hardly can. He can hardly deny, that artery carries dark blood and the pulwhen we set ourselves to enumerate (510 monary vein carries bright blood, dethe powers which go to the building up of parting in this respect from the common human life, and say that they are the rule for the division of labor between the power of conduct, the power of intellect veins and the arteries. But every one and knowledge, the power of beauty, and knows how we seek naturally to combine
the pieces of our knowledge together, those who have the gift thus to employ to bring them under general rules, to (570 them; and they may be disciplines in relate them to principles; and how un- themselves wherein it is useful for every satisfactory and tiresome it would be to one to have some schooling. But it is go on for ever learning lists of exceptions, inconceivable that the generality of men or accumulating items of fact which must should pass all their mental life with stand isolated.
Greek accents or with formal logic. My Well, that same need of relating our friend Professor Sylvester, who is (630 knowledge, which operates here within one of the first mathematicians in the the sphere of our knowledge itself, we world, holds transcendental doctrines as shall find operating, also, outside that to the virtue of mathematics, but those sphere. We experience, as we go on (580 doctrines are not for common men. In learning and knowing the vast majority | the very Senate House and heart of our of us experience,-the need of relating English Cambridge I once ventured, what we have learned and known to the though not without an apology for my sense which we have in us for conduct, profaneness, to hazard the opinion that to the sense which we have in us for for the majority of mankind a little of beauty.
mathematics, even, goes a long way. (640 A certain Greek prophetess of Man- Of course this is quite consistent with tineia in Arcadia, Diotima by name, their being of immense importance as an once explained to the philosopher Soc- instrument to something else; but it is rates that love, and impulse, and (590 the few who have the aptitude for thus bent of all kinds, is, in fact, nothing else using them, not the bulk of mankind. but the desire in men that good should The natural sciences do not, howfor ever be present to them. This desire ever, stand on the same footing with for good, Diotima assured Socrates, is these instrument-knowledges. Experience our fundamental desire, of which funda- shows us that the generality of men will mental desire every impulse in us is only find more interest in learning that, (650 some one particular form. And therefore when a taper burns, the wax is converted this fundamental desire it is, I suppose, - into carbonic acid and water, or in learnthis desire in men that good should be ing the explanation of the phenomenon for ever present to them, -which [600 of dew, or in learning how the circulaacts in us when we feel the impulse for tion of the blood is carried on, than they relating our knowledge to our sense for find in learning that the genitive plural conduct and to our sense for beauty. of pais and pas does not take the cirAt any rate, with men in general the in- cumflex on the termination. And one stinct exists. Such is human nature. piece of natural knowledge is added to And the instinct, it will be admitted, is another, and others are added to that, (660 innocent, and human nature is preserved and at last we come to propositions so by our following the lead of its innocent interesting as Mr. Darwin's famous propinstincts. Therefore, in seeking to gratify osition that “our ancestor was a hairy this instinct in question, we are fol- [610 quadruped furnished with a tail and lowing the instinct of self-preservation pointed ears, probably arboreal in his in humanity.
habits.” Or we come to propositions But, no doubt, some kinds of knowledge of such reach and magnitude as those cannot be made to directly serve the in- which Professor Huxley delivers, when stinct in question, cannot be directly he says that the notions of our forefathers related to the sense for beauty, to the about the beginning and the end of (670 sense for conduct. These are instrument- the world were all wrong, and that nature knowledges; they lead on to other knowl- is the expression of a definite order with edges, which can. A man who passes which nothing interferes. his life in instrument-knowledges is (620 Interesting, indeed, these results of a specialist. They may be invaluable as science are, important they are, and we instruments to something beyond, for should all of us be acquainted with them. But what I now wish you to mark is, reasoning upon it, and has little time or that we are still, when they are pro- inclination for thinking about getting it pounded to us and we receive them, we related to the desire in man for conduct, are still in the sphere of intellect and (680 the desire in man for beauty. He relates knowledge. And for the generality of it to them for himself as he goes along, men there will be found, I say, to arise, so far as he feels the need; and he draws when they have duly taken in the propo- from the domestic affections all the addisition that their ancestor was “a hairy tional solace necessary. But then Darquadruped furnished with a tail and wins are extremely rare. Another great pointed ears, probably arboreal in his and admirable master of natural (740 habits,” there will be found to arise an knowledge, Faraday, was a Sandemanian. invincible desire to relate this proposition That is to say, he related his knowledge to the sense in us for conduct, and to the to his instinct for conduct and to his sense in us for beauty. But this the [690 | instinct for beauty, by the aid of that men of science will not do for us, and respectable Scottish sectary, Robert will hardly even profess to do. They Sandeman. And so strong, in general, is will give us other pieces of knowledge, the demand of religion and poetry to other facts, about other animals and have their share in a man, to associate their ancestors, or about plants, or about themselves with his knowing, and to restones, or about stars; and they may lieve and rejoice it, that probably, (750 finally bring us to those great "general for one man amongst us with the disposiconceptions of the universe, which are tion to do as Darwin did in this respect, forced upon us all,” says Professor Huxley, there are at least fifty with the disposition "by the progress of physical science." [700 to do as Faraday. But still it will be knowledge only which Education lays hold upon us, in fact, they give us; knowledge not put for us into by satisfying this demand. Professor relation withour sense for conduct, our sense Huxley holds up to scorn mediæval educafor beauty, and touched with emotion by tion, with its neglect of the knowledge being so put; not thus put for us, and of nature, its poverty even of literary therefore, to the majority of mankind, after studies, its formal logic devoted to 1760 a certain while, unsatisfying, wearying. "showing how and why that which the
Not to the born naturalist, I admit. Church said was true must be true.” But what do we mean by a born nat- But the great mediæval universities were uralist? We mean a man in whom (710 | not brought into being, we may be sure, the zeal for observing nature is so uncom- by the zeal for giving a jejune and conmonly strong and eminent, that it marks temptible education. Kings have been him off from the bulk of mankind. Such their nursing fathers, and queens have a man will pass his life happily in collect- been their nursing mothers, but not for ing natural knowledge and reasoning this. The mediæval universities came upon it, and will ask for nothing, or hardly into being, because the supposed (770 anything, more. I have heard it said knowledge, delivered by Scripture and that the sagacious and admirable nat- the Church, so deeply engaged men's uralist whom we lost not very long ago, hearts, by so simply, easily, and powerMr. Darwin, once owned to a friend (720 fully relating itself to their desire for conthat for his part he did not experience duct, their desire for beauty. All other the necessity for two things which most knowledge was dominated by this supmen find so necessary to them, --religion posed knowledge and was subordinated and poetry; science and the domestic to it, because of the surpassing strength affections, he thought, were enough. To of the hold which it gained upon the a born naturalist, I can well understand affections of men, by allying itself pro- (780 that this should seem so. So absorbing foundly with their sense for conduct, is his occupation with nature, so strong their sense for beauty. his love for his occupation, that he goes But now, says Professor Huxley, conon acquiring natural knowledge and 1730 | ceptions of the universe fatal to the notions held by our forefathers have been And this is perhaps a case for applying forced upon us by physical science. the Preacher's words: “Though a (840 Grant to him that they are thus fatal, man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not that the new conceptions must and will find it; yea, farther, though a wise man soon become current everywhere, and think to know it, yet shall be not be able that every one will finally perceive (790 to find it."! Why should it be one thing. them to be fatal to the beliefs of our fore- in its effect upon the emotions, to say, fathers. The need of humane letters, as “Patience is a virtue,” and quite another they are truly called, because they serve thing, in its effect upon the emotions, to the paramount desire in men that good say with Homer, should be for ever present to them, the | τλητόν γάρ Μοίραι θυμόν θέσαν ανθρώποισιν-2 need of humane letters to establish a relation between the new conceptions, and "for an enduring heart have the des- (850 our instinct for beauty, our instinct for tinies appointed to the children of men"? conduct, is only the more visible. The Why should it be one thing, in its effect Middle Age could do without humane (800 upon the emotions, to say with the philosletters, as it could do without the study opher Spinoza, Felicitas in eo consistit of nature, because its supposed knowledge quod homo suum esse conservare potestwas made to engage its emotions so power- "Man's happiness consists in his being fully. Grant that the supposed knowl- able to preserve his own essence," and edge disappears, its power of being made quite another thing, in its effect upon the to engage the emotions will of course emotions, to say with the Gospel, “What disappear along with it,-but the emotions is a man advantaged, if he gain (860 themselves, and their claim to be en- the whole world, and lose himself, forgaged and satisfied, will remain. Now feit himself?” How does this difference if we find by experience that humane (810 of effect arise? I cannot tell, and I am letters have an undeniable power of not much concerned to know; the imporengaging the emotions, the importance tant thing is that it does arise, and that of humane letters in a man's training we can profit by it. But how, finally, becomes not less, but greater, in propor- are poetry and eloquence to exercise the tion to the success of modern science power of relating the modern results of in extirpating what it calls "mediæval natural science to man's instinct for conthinking."
duct, his instinct for beauty? And here (870 Have humane letters, then, have poetry again I answer that I do not know how and eloquence, the power here attributed they will exercise it, but that they can and to them of engaging the emotions, (820 will exercise it I am sure. I do not mean and do they exercise it? And if they have that modern philosophical poets and it and exercise it, how do they exercise it, modern philosophical moralists are to so as to exert an influence upon man's come and relate for us, in express terms, sense for conduct, his sense for beauty? the results of modern scientific research Finally, even if they both can and do to our instinct for conduct, our instinct exert an influence upon the senses in for beauty. But I mean that we shall find, question, how are they to relate to them as a matter of experience, if we know (880 the results,--the modern results,--of nat- the best that has been thought and uttered ural science? All these questions may in the world, we shall find that the art be asked. First, have poetry and elo- (830 and poetry and eloquence of men who quence the power of calling out the emo- lived, perhaps, long ago, who had the tions? The appeal is to experience. most limited natural knowledge, who Experience shows that for the vast ma- had the most erroneous conceptions about jority of men, for mankind in general, many important matters, we shall find they have the power. Next, do they that this art, and poetry, and eloquence, exercise it? They do. But then, how have in fact not only the power of refreshdo they exercise it so as to affect man's ing and delighting us, they have also (890 sense for conduct, his sense for beauty? i 1 Ecclesiastes, viii, 17.
? Iliad, xxiv, 49.
the power, -such is the strength and humane letters; not to mention that in worth, in essentials, of their authors' setting himself to be perpetually accriticism of life, they have a fortifying, cumulating natural knowledge, he sets and elevating, and quickening, and sug- himself to do what only specialists have gestive power, capable of wonderfully , in general the gift for doing genially. helping us to relate the results of modern And so he will probably be unsatisfied, science to our need for conduct, our need or at any rate incomplete, and even more for beauty. Homer's conceptions of the incomplete than the student of hu- 1950 physical universe were, I imagine, gro- mane letters only. tesque; but really, under the shock 1900 I once mentioned in a school-report, of hearing from modern science that “the how a young man in one of our English world is not subordinated to man's use, training colleges having to paraphrase and that man is not the cynosure of things the passage in Macbeth beginning, terrestrial,” I could, for my own part, desire no better comfort than Homer's “Canst thou not minister to a mind line which I quoted just now,
diseased?" Tantò yap Moipa Oupòv O'égav av pømOLOW- turned this line into, “Can you not wait
upon the lunatic?"
And I remarked “for an enduring heart have the destinies what a curious state of things it would appointed to the children of men”! be, if every pupil of our national (960
And the more that men's minds (910 schools knew, let us say, that the moon is are cleared, the more that the results of two thousand one hundred and sixty science are frankly accepted, the more miles in diameter, and thought at the that poetry and eloquence come to be same time that a good paraphrase for received and studied as what in truth they really are,-the criticism of life by “Canst thou not minister to a mind gifted men, alive and active with extraor- diseased?" dinary power at an unusual number of points so much the more will the
was, “Can you not wait upon the lunavalue of humane letters, and of art also, tic?” If one is driven to choose, I think which is an utterance having a like (920 I would rather have a young person igkind of power with theirs, be felt and norant about the moon's diameter, but acknowledged, and their place in educa- aware that “Can you not wait upon 1970 tion be secured.
the lunatic?” is bad, than a young person Let us therefore, all of us, avoid indeed | whose education had been such as to as much as possible any invidious com- manage things the other way. parison between the merits of humane Or to go higher than the pupils of our letters, as means of education, and the national schools. I have in my mind's merits of the natural sciences. But when eye a member of our British Parliament some President of a Section for Me- who comes to travel here in America, chanical Science insists on making 1930 who afterwards relates his travels, and the comparison, and tells us that "he who shows a really masterly knowledge who in his training has substituted litera- of the geology of this great country 1980 ture and history for natural science has and of its mining capabilities, but who chosen the less useful alternative,” let ends by gravely suggesting that the us make answer to him that the student United States should borrow a prince of humane letters only, will, at least, from our Royal Family, and should make know also the great general conceptions him their king, and should create a House brought in by modern physical science; of Lords of great landed proprietors after for science, as Professor Huxley says, the pattern of ours; and then America, forces them upon us all. But the stu- (940 he thinks, would have her future happily dent of the natural sciences only, will, by and perfectly secured. Surely, in this our very hypothesis, know nothing of case, the President of the Section for 1990