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been lost in the Translation here. Yet or coherence; they are not shaped at all, with every allowance, one feels it diffi- these thoughts of his; flung-out unshaped, cult to see how any mortal ever could as they struggle and tumble there, in consider this Koran as a Book written in their chaotic inarticulate state. We said Heaven, too good for the Earth; as a “stupid”: yet naturally stupidity is by no well-written book, or indeed as a book at means the character of Mahomet's Book; all; and not a bewildered rhapsody; writ- it is natural uncultivation rather. The ten, so far as writing goes, as badly as al- man has not studied speaking; in the haste most any book ever was! So much for and pressure of continual fighting, has national discrepancies, and the standard not time to mature himself into fit speech. of taste.
The panting breathless haste and vehemYet I should say, it was not unintel- ence of a man struggling in the thick of ligible how the Arabs might so love it. battle for life and salvation; this is the When once you get this confused coil of mood he is in! A headlong haste; for a Koran fairly off your hands, and have it very magnitude of meaning, he cannot get behind you at a distance, the essential himself articulated into words. The suctype of it begins to disclose itself; and in cessive utterances of a soul in that mood, this there is a merit quite other than the colored by the various vicissitudes of literary one. If a book come from the three-and-twenty years; now well uttered, heart, it will contrive to reach other, now worse: this is the Koran. hearts; all art and authorcraft are of
to consider Mahomet, small amount to that. One would say through these three-and-twenty years, as the primary character of the Koran is the centre of a world wholly in conflict. this of its genuineness, of its being a Battles with the Koreish and Heathen, bona-fide book. Prideaux, I know, and quarrels among his own people, backslidothers have represented it as a mere bun
ings of his own wild heart; all this kept dle of juggleries; chapter after chapter him in a perpetual whirl, his soul knowgot-up to excuse and varnish the author's ing rest no more.
In wakeful nights, as successive sins, forward his ambitions and one may fancy, the wild soul of the man, quackeries: but really it is time to dismiss tossing amid these vortices, would hail all that. I do not assert Mahomet's con- any light of a decision for them as a tinual sincerity: who is continually sin- veritable light from Heaven; any makingcere? But I confess I can make nothing up of his mind, so blessed, indispensable of the critic, in these times, who would for him there, would seem the inspiration accuse him of deceit prepense; of con
of a Gabriel. Forger and juggler? No, scious deceit generally, or perhaps at all; no! This great fiery heart, seething, sim-still more, of living in a mere element mering like a great furnace of thoughts, of conscious deceit, and writing this was not a juggler's. His Life was a Koran as a forger and juggler would Fact to him; this God's Universe an awhave done! Every candid eye, I think,
ful Fact and Reality. He has faults will read the Koran far otherwise than enough. The man was an uncultured so. It is the confused ferment of a great semi-barbarous Son of Nature, much of rude human soul; rude, untutored, that the Bedouin still clinging to him: we cannot even read; but fervent, earnest, must take him for that. But for a struggling vehemently to utter itself in wretched Simulacrum, a hungry Imposwords. With a kind of breathless inten- ter without eyes or heart, practising for sity he strives to utter himself; the mess of pottage such blasphemous thoughts crowd on him pellmell: for very swindlery, forgery of celestial documents, multitude of things to say, he can get continual high-treason against his Maker nothing said. The meaning that is in and Self, we will not and cannot take him. him shapes itself into no form of compo- Sincerity, in all senses, seems to me the sition, is stated in no sequence, method, merit of the Koran; what had rendered it precious to the wild Arab men. It is, with wearisome iteration; has never done after all, the first and last merit in a repeating them. A brave Samuel Johnbook; gives rise to merits of all kinds, - son, in his forlorn garret, might connay, at bottom, it alone can give rise to over the Biographies of Authors in that merit of any kind. Curiously, through way! This is the great staple of the these incondite masses of tradition, vitu- Koran. But curiously, through all this, peration, complaint, ejaculation in the comes ever and anon some glance as of the Koran, a vein of true direct insight, of real thinker and seer. He has actually what we might almost call poetry, is an eye for the world, this Mahomet : found straggling. The body of the Book with a certain directness and rugged is made-up of mere tradition, and as it vigor, he brings home still, to our heart, were vehement enthusiastic extempore the thing his own heart has been opened preaching. He returns forever to the to. I make but little of his praises of old stories of the Prophets as they went Allah, which many praise; they are borcurrent in the Arab memory: how rowed I suppose mainly from the Hebrew, Prophet after Prophet, the Prophet at least they are far surpassed there. But Abraham, the Prophet Hud, the Prophet the eye that flashes direct into the heart Moses, Christian and other real and of things, and sees the truth of them; fabulous Prophets, had come to this Tribe this is to me a highly interesting object. and to that, warning men of their sin; Great Nature's own gift; which she beand been received by them even as he stows on all; but which only one in the Mahomet was, which is a great solace to thousand does not cast sorrowfully away: him. These things he repeats ten, per- it is what I call sincerity of vision; the haps twenty times; again and ever again, test of a sincere heart.
CHRISTIANITY AND LETTERS
John HENRY NEWMAN John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was one of England's prominent religious writers. By nature a conservative, he believed in reverent submission to long-established religious authority, and took a leading part in the well-known Oxford Movement. At the age of forty-four he became a Roman Catholic, and later was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. It was as rector of a Catholic university in Dublin that he conceived his idea of a University (1852-1858). The selected passage deals with a problem still discussed by educators: the place of the Classics in modern education; and Newman sets forth with clearness and beauty the conservative attitude.
When we survey the stream of human found in the race of man during the affairs for the last three thousand years, long period I have mentioned, a certain we find it to run thus: At first sight formation amid the chaos,-one and one there is so much fluctuation, agitation, only,—and extending, though not over the ebbing and flowing, that we may despair whole earth, yet through a very considto discern any law in its movements, tak- erable portion of it. Man is a social ing the earth as its bed, and mankind as being, and can hardly exist without soits contents; but, on looking more closely ciety, and in matter of fact societies have and attentively, we shall discern, in spite ever existed all over the habitable earth. of the heterogeneous materials and the The greater part of these associations various histories and fortunes which are have been political or religious, and have
been comparatively limited in extent, and From The idea of a University Defined temporary. They have been formed and and Illustrated by John Henry Newman. Published by Longmans, Green and Co. Re
dissolved by the force of accidents or by printed by permission.
inevitable circumstances; and, when we
have enumerated them one by one, we Gentlemen, let me here observe that I have made of them all that can be made. am not entering upon the question of But there is one remarkable association races, or upon their history. I have nothwhich attracts the attention of the ing to do with ethnology. I take things philosopher, not political nor religious, as I find them on the surface of history, or at least only partially and not essen- and am but classing phenomena. Looktially such, which began in the earliest ing, then, at the countries which surtimes and grew with each succeeding round the Mediterranean Sea as a whole, age, till it reached its complete develop- | I see them to be, from time immemorial, ment, and then continued on, vigorous the seat of an association of intellect and and unwearied, and which still remains as mind, such as to deserve to be called the definite and firm as ever it was. Its Intellect and the Mind of the Human bond is a common civilization; and, Kind. Starting as it does and advancing though there are other civilizations in the from certain centres, till their respective world, as there are other societies, yet this influences intersect and conflict, and then civilization, together with the society at length intermingle and combine, a comwhich is its creation and its home, is so mon Thought has been generated, and a distinctive and luminous in its character, common Civilization defined and estabso imperial in its extent, so imposing in lished. Egypt is one such starting point, its duration, and so utterly without rival Syria another, Greece a third, Italy a upon the face of the earth, that the asso' fourth, and North Africa a fifth,-afterciation may fitly assume to itself the title ward France and Spain. As time goes of “Human Society," and its civilization on, and as colonization and conquest the abstract term "Civilization.”
work their changes, we see a great assoThere are indeed great outlying por- ciation of nations formed, of which the tions of mankind which are not, perhaps Roman empire is the maturity and the never have been, included in this Human most intelligible expression; an associaSociety; still they are outlying portions tion, however, not political, but mental, and nothing else, fragmentary, unsocia- based on the same intellectual ideas, and ble, solitary, and unmeaning, protesting advancing by common intellectual methand revolting against the grand central ods. And this association or social comformation of which I am speaking, but monwealth, with whatever reverses, not uniting with each other into a second changes, and momentary dissolutions, conwhole. I am not denying of course the tinues down to this day; not, indeed, precivilization of the Chinese, for instance, cisely on the same territory, but with such though it be not our civilization; but it is only partial and local disturbances, and a huge, stationary, unattractive, morose on the other hand, with so combined and civilization. Nor do I deny a civiliza- harmonious a movement, and such a visition to the Hindoos, nor to the ancient ble continuity, that it would be utterly Mexicans, nor to the Saracens, nor (in unreasonable to deny that it is througha certain sense) to the Turks; but each out all that interval but one and the of these races has its own civilization, as separate from one another as from ours. In its earliest age it included far more I do not see how they can be all brought of the eastern world than it has since; in under one idea. Each stands by itself, these later times it has taken into its as if the other were not; each is local; compass a new hemisphere; in the middle many of them are temporary; none of ages it lost Africa, Egypt, and Syria, and them will bear a comparison with the extended itself to Germany, Scandinavia, Society and the Civilization which I have and the British Isles. At one time its described as alone having a claim to territory was flooded by strange and barthose names, and on which I am going to barous races, but the existing civilization dwell.
was vigorous enough to vivify what
hreatened to stifle it, and to assimilate to be the seat also of that supernatural sohe old social forms what came to expel ciety and system which our Maker has hem; and thus the civilization of modern given us directly from Himself, the Christimes remains what it was of old, not tian Polity. The natural and divine asChinese, or Hindoo, or Mexican, or sociations are not indeed exactly coinciSaracenic, or of any new description hith- dent, nor ever have been. As the terrierto unknown, but the lineal descendant, tory of Civilization has varied with itor rather the continuation, mutatis mutan- self in different ages, while on the whole dis, of the civilization which began in it has been the same, so, in like manner, Palestine and Greece.
Christianity has fallen partly outside Considering, then, the characteristics of Civilization, and Civilization partly outthis great civilized Society, which I have side Christianity; but, on the whole, the already insisted on, I think it has a claim two have occupied one and the same orbis to be considered as the representative So- terrarum. Often, indeed, they have even ciety and Civilization of the human race, moved pari passu," and at all times there as its perfect result and limit, in fact; has been found the most intimate conthose portions of the race which do not nection between them. Christianity coalesce with it being left to stand by waited till the orbis terrarum attained its themselves as anomalies, unaccountable most perfect form before it appeared; and indeed, but for that very reason not in- it soon coalesced, and has ever since coterfering with what on the contrary has operated, and often seemed identical, with been turned to account and has grown the Civilization which is its companion. into a whole. I call then this common- There are certain analogies, too, which wealth preëminently and emphatically hold between Civilization and ChristianHuman Society and its intellect the ity. As Civilization does not cover the Human Mind, and its decisions the sense whole earth, neither does Christianity; of mankind, and its disciplined and culti- but there is nothing else like the one, and vated state Civilization in the abstract, nothing else like the other. Each is the and the territory on which it lies the orbis only thing of its kind. Again, there are, terrarum, or the World. For, unless the as I have already said, large outlying porillustration be fanciful, the object which tions of the world in a certain sense culI am contemplating is like the impression tivated and educated, which, if they could of a seal upon the wax; which rounds off exist together in one, would go far to and gives form to the greater portion of constitute a second orbis terrarum, the the soft material, and presents something home of a second distinct civilization; definite to the eye, and preoccupies the but every one of these is civilized on its space against any second figure, so that we own principle and idea, or at least they overlook and leave out of our thoughts are separated from each other, and have the jagged outline or unmeaning lumps not run together, while the Civilization outside of it, intent upon the harmonious and Society which I have been describing circle which fills the imagination within is one organized whole. And, in like it.
manner, Christianity coalesces into one Now, before going on to speak of the vast body, based upon common ideas; yet education, and the standards of education, there are large outlying organizations of which the Civilized World, as I may now religion independent of each other and of call it, has enjoined and requires, I wish Moreover, Christianity, as is the case to draw your attention, Gentlemen, to in the parallel instance of Civilization, the circumstance that this same orbis ter- continues on in the world without interrarum, which has been the seat of Civil- ruption from the date of its rise, while ization, will be found, on the whole, to other religious bodies, huge, local, and isolated, are rising and falling, or are which the process of Civilization has ever helplessly stationary, from age to age, on
1“With the necessary changes."
2"Side by side."
consisted. all sides of it.
In the country which has been the There is another remarkable analogy fountain head of intellectual gifts, in the between Christianity and Civilization, age which preceded or introduced the and the mention of it will introduce my first formations of Human Society, in an proper subject, to which what I have hith- era scarcely historical, we may dimly diserto said is merely a preparation. We cern an almost mythical personage, who, know that Christianity is built upon putting out of consideration the actors definite ideas, principles, doctrines, and in Old Testament history, may be called writings, which were given at the time the first Apostle of Civilization. Like of its first introduction, and have never an Apostle in a higher order of things, been superseded, and admit of no addi- he was poor and a wanderer, and feeble tion. I am not going to parallel any- in the Aesh, though he was to do such thing which is the work of man, and in great things, and to live in the mouths of the natural order, with what is from a hundred generations and a thousand heaven, and in consequence infallible, and I tribes. A blind old man; whose wanirreversible, and obligatory; but, after derings were such that, when he became making this reserve, lest I should possibly famous, his birth-place could not be asbe misunderstood, still I would remark certained, so that it was said that, in matter of fact, looking at the state of the case historically, Civilization, Seven famous towns contend for Homer dead, too, has its common principles, and views, Through which the living Homer begged his and teaching, and especially its books,
bread. which have more or less been given from the earliest times, and are, in fact, in
Yet he had a name in his day; and, litequal esteem and respect, in equal use
tle guessing in what vast measures his now, as they were when they were re
wish would be answered, he supplicated, ceived in the beginning. In a word, the
with a tender human sentiment, as he Classics, and the subjects of thought and
wandered over the islands of the Ægean the studies to which they give rise, or, to
and the Asian coasts, that those who had use the term most to our present purpose,
known and loved him would cherish his the Arts, have ever, on the whole, been memory when he was away. Unlike the the instruments of education which the proud boast of the Roman poet, if he civilized orbis terrarum has adopted ; just
spoke it in earnest, Exegi monumentum as inspired works, and the lives of saints, are perennius, he did but indulge the and the articles of faith, and the cate
hope that one, whose coming had been exchism, have ever been the instruments of pected with pleasure, might excite regret education in the case of Christianity.
when he had departed, and be rewarded And this consideration, you see, Gentle- by the sympathy and praise of his friends men (to drop down at once upon the sub- even in the presence of other minstrels. ject proper to the occasion which has A set of verses remains, which is ascribed brought us together),' invests the open
to him, in which he addresses the Delian ing of the School of Arts with a solem- women in the tone of feeling which I nity and moment of a peculiar kind, for have described. we are but reiterating an old tradition, and carrying on those august methods of
Farewell to you all she says) and remem
ber me in time to come, and when any one of enlarging the mind, and cultivating the
men on earth, a stranger from far, shall inintellect, and refining the feelings, in
The opening of the School of Philosophy 3“I have built myself a monument more and Letters at the Catholic University in Dub- lasting than bronze." Said by Horace of his lin.