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quire of you, O maidens, who is the sweetest two gifts had existed from the time that of minstrels here about, and in whom do you
the verses of Orpheus had, according to most delight? then make answer modestly, It
the fable, made woods and streams and is a blind man, and he lives in steep Chios.
wild animals to follow him about. Soon, The great poet remained unknown for however, Oratory became the subject of some centuries that is, unknown to a separate art, which was called Rhetoric, what we call fame. His verses and of which the Sophists were the chief cherished by his countrymen, they might masters. Moreover, as Rhetoric was esbe the secret delight of thousands, but pecially political in its nature, it presupthey were not collected into a volume, nor posed or introduced the cultivation of viewed as a whole, nor made a subject of History; and thus the pages of Thucycriticism. At length an Athenian Prince dides became one of the special studies by took upon him the task of gathering to- which Demosthenes rose to be the first gether the scattered fragments of a gen- orator of Greece. ius which had not aspired to immortality, But it is needless to trace out further of reducing them to writing, and of fit- the formation of the course of liberal ting them to be the text-book of ancient education; it is sufficient to have given education. Henceforth the vagrant bal- some specimens in illustration of it. The lad-singer, as he might be thought, was studies, which it was found to involve, submitted, to his surprise, to a sort of lit- were four principal ones, Grammar, erary canonization, and was invested with Rhetoric, Logic, and Mathematics; and the office of forming the young mind of the science of Mathematics, again, was Greece to noble thoughts and bold deeds. divided into four, Geometry, Arithmetic, To be read in Homer soon became the Astronomy, and Music; making in all education of a gentleman; and a rule, seven, which are known by the name of recognized in her free age, remained as the Seven Liberal Arts. And thus a a tradition even in the times of her deg- definite school of intellect was formed, radation. Xenophen introduces to us a founded on ideas and methods of a disyouth who knew both Iliad and Odyssey tinctive character, and (as we may say) by heart; Dio witnesses that they were of the highest and truest character, as far some of the first books put into the hands as they went, and which gradually assoof boys; and Horace decided that they ciated in one, and assimilated, and took taught the science of life better than possession of, that multitude of nations Stoic or Academic. Alexander the which I have considered to represent Great nourished his imagination by the mankind, and to possess the orbis terscenes of the Iliad. As time went on, rarum. other poets were associated with Homer When we pass from Greece to Rome, in the work of education, such as Hesiod we are met with the common remark, and the Tragedians. The majestic les- that Rome produced little that was origsons concerning duty and religion, justice inal, but borrowed from Greece. It is and providence, which occur in Æschylus true; Terence copied from Menander, and Sophocles, belong to a higher school Virgil from Homer, Hesiod, and Theocthan that of Homer; and the verses of ritus; and Cicero professed merely to reEuripides, even in his lifetime, were so produce the philosophy of Greece. But, , familiar to Athenian lips and so dear granting its truth ever so far, I do but to foreign ears, that as is reported, the take it as a proof of the sort of instinct captives of Syracuse gained their free- which has guided the course of Civilizadom at the price of reciting them to tion. The world was to have certain intheir conquerors.
tellectual teachers, and no others; Homer Such poetry may be considered oratory and Aristotle, with the poets and philosoalso, since it has so great a power of per- phers who circle round them, were to be suasion; and the alliance between these the schoolmasters of all generations, and therefore the Latins, falling into the law centuries, of "Virgil, Lucian, Statius, on which the world's education was to be Ovid, Livy Sallust, Cicero, and Quincarried on, so added to the classical li- tilian"; and after the revival of literature brary as not to reverse or interfere with in the commencement of the modern era, what had already been determined. And we find St. Carlo Borromeo enjoining there was the more meaning in this ar- the use of works of Cicero, Ovid, Virgil, rangement, when it is considered that and Horace. Greek was to be forgotten during many I pass thus cursorily over the series of centuries, and the tradition of intellectual informations which history gives us on training to be conveyed through Latin; the subject, merely with a view of recallfor thus the world was secured against ing to your memory, Gentlemen, and imthe consequences of a loss which would pressing upon you the fact, that the literahave changed the character of its civiliza- ture of Greece, continued into, and ention. I think it very remarkable, too, riched by, the literature of Rome, tohow soon the Latin writers became text-gether with the studies which it involves, books in the boys' schools. Even to this has been the instrument of education, and day Shakespeare and Milton are not the food of civilization, from the first studied in our course of education; but times of the world down to this day, the poems of Virgil and Horace, as those and now we are in a condition to answer of Homer and the Greek authors in an the question which thereupon arises, when earlier age, were in schoolboys' satchels we turn to consider, by way of connot much more than a hundred years trast, the teaching which is characteristic after they were written.
of Universities. How has it come to I need not go on to show at length pass that, although the genius of Univerthat they have preserved their place in sities is so different from that of the the system of education in the orbis ter- schools which preceded them, nevertherarum, and the Greek writers with them less the course of study pursued in those down to this day. The induction of schools was not superseded in the midcenturies has often been made. Even dle ages by those more brilliant sciences in the lowest state of learning the tra- which Universities introduced ? It might dition was kept up. St. Gregory the have seemed as if Scholastic TheGreat, whose era, not to say whose influ- ology, Law, and Medicine would have ence, is often considered especially un- thrown the Seven Liberal Arts into the favorable to the old literature, was him-shade, but in the event they failed to do self well versed in it, encouraged purity of so. I consider the reason to be, that the Latinity in his court, and is said figura- authority and function of the monastic tively by the contemporary historian of and secular schools, as supplying to the his life to have supported the hall of the young the means of education, lay deeper Apostolic See upon the columns of the than in any appointment of Charlemagne, Seven Liberal Arts. In the ninth cen- who was their nominal founder, and were tury, when the dark age was close at based in the special character of that hand, we still hear of the cultivation, civilization which is so intimately assowith whatever success (according of ciated with Christianity, that it may even course to the opportunities of the times, be called the soil out of which Christianbut I am speaking of the nature of the ity grew. The medieval sciences, great studies, not of the proficiency of the stu- as is their dignity and utility, were never dents), the cultivation of Music, Dialec- intended to supersede that more real and tics, Rhetoric, Grammar, Mathematics, proper cultivation of the mind which is Astronomy, Physics, and Geometry; of effected by the study of the liberal Arts ; the supremacy of Horace in the schools, and, when certain of these sciences did in "and the great Virgil, Sallust, and Sta- fact go out of their province and did attius." In the thirteenth or following | tempt to prejudice the traditional course
education, the encroachment was in Far indeed am I from denying the exlatter of fact resisted. There were treme attractiveness, as well as the praclose in the middle age, as John of Salis- tical benefit to the world at large, of the ury, who vigorously protested against sciences of Chemistry, Electricity, and le extravagances and usurpations which Geology; but the question is not what ver attend the introduction of any great department of study contains the more ood whatever, and which attended the wonderful facts, or promises the more ise of the peculiar sciences of which brilliant discoveries, and which is in the Universities were the seat; and, though higher and which in an inferior rank; here were times when the old traditions but simply which out of all provides the eemed to be on the point of failing, most robust and invigorating discipline omehow it has happened that they have for the unformed mind. And I conlever failed; for the instinct of Civiliza- ceive it is as little disrespectful to Lord ion and the common sense of Society Bacon to prefer the Classics in this point revailed, and the danger passed away, of view to the sciences which have grown nd the studies which seemed to be go- out of his philosophy as it would be disng out gained their ancient place, and respectful to St. Thomas in the middle vere acknowledged, as before, to be the ages to have hindered the study of the est instruments of mental cultivation, Summa from doing prejudice to the Facind the best guarantees for intellectual ulty of Arts. Accordingly, I anticipate srogress.
that, as in the middle ages both the teachAnd this experience of the past we may ing and the government of the University ipply to the circumstances in which we remained in the Faculty of Arts, in spite find ourselves at present; for, as there of the genius which created or illustrated was a movement against the Classics in Theology and Law, so now, too, what
ever be the splendor of the modern The truth of the Baconian method for philosophy, the marvelousness of its disthe purposes for which it was created, closures, the utility of its acquisitions, and and its inestimable services and inex- the talent of its masters, still it will not haustible applications in the interest of our material well-being, have dazzled the literature and the studies connected with imaginations of men, somewhat in the it from the place which they have held in same way as certain new sciences carried all ages in education. them away in the age of Abelard; and Such, then, is the course of reflection since that method does such wonders in obviously suggested by the act in which its own province, it is not infrequently we have been lately engaged, and which supposed that it can do as much in any we are now celebrating. In the nineother province also. Now, Bacon him-teenth century, in a country which looks self never would have so argued; he out upon a new world, and anticipates a would not have needed to be reminded coming age, we have been engaged in that to advance the useful arts is one opening the Schools dedicated to the thing, and to cultivate the mind an- studies of polite literature and liberal other. The simple question to be con- science, or what are called the Arts, as a sidered is, how best to strengthen, refine, first step towards the establishment on and enrich the intellectual powers; the Catholic ground of a Catholic University, perusal of the poets, historians, and phil- | And while we thus recur to Greece and osophers of Greece and Rome will ac- Athens with pleasure and affection, and complish this purpose, as long experience recognize in that famous land the source has shown; but that the study of the ex- and the school of intellectual culture, it perimental sciences will do the like, is would be strange indeed if we forget to proved to us as yet by no experience look further south also, and there to bow whatever.
before a more glorious luminary, and a more sacred oracle of truth, and the up by the armies of Titus, and the effete source of another sort of knowledge, schools of Athens are stified by the edict high and supernatural, which is seated in of Justinian. So pass away the ancient Palestine. Jerusalem is the fountain- Voices of religion and learning; but they head of religious knowledge, as Athens are silenced only to revive more gloriis of secular. In the ancient world we ously and perfectly elsewhere. Hitherta see two centres of illumination, acting in- they came from separate sources, and per dependently of each other, each with its formed separate works. Each leaves an own movement, and at first apparently heir and successor in the West, and that without any promise of convergence. heir and successor is one and the same Greek civilization spreads over the East, The grace stored in Jerusalem, and the conquering in the conquests of Alexan- gifts which radiate from Athens, are der, and, when carried captive into the made over and concentrated in Rome West, subdues the
This is true as a matter of history. brought it thither. Religion, on the Rome has inherited both sacred and proother hand, is driven from its own fane learning; she has perpetuated and aboriginal home to the North and West dispensed the traditions of Moses and by reason of the sins of the people who David in the supernatural order, and of were in charge of it, in a long course of Homer and Aristotle in the natural. To judgments and plagues and persecutions. separate those distinct teachings, human Each by itself pursues its career and ful- and divine, which meet in Rome is to fills its mission; neither of them recog- retrograde; it is to rebuild the Jewish nizes, nor is recognized by the other. At Temple and to plant anew the groves of length the Temple of Jerusalem is rooted | Academus."
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Among the literary traditions of New England the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882) holds a noble place. Associated with the school of Transcendentalism, he pours into his poetry and essays thoughts at once sublime and mystical, yet filled with a practical philosophy of life. The essay "Illusions,” taken from the volume Conduct of Life (1860), is a plea for man's reliance upon his own convictions.
SOME years ago, in company with an saw high domes and bottomless pits; heard agreeable party, I spent a long summer the voice of unseen waterfalls; paddled day in exploring the Mammoth Cave in three quarters of a mile in the deep Echo Kentucky. We traversed, through spa- | River, whose waters are peopled with the cious galleries affording a solid masonry blind fish; crossed the streams "Lethe" foundation for the town and county and “Styx”; plied with music and guns overhead, the six or eight black miles the echoes in these alarming galleries = from the mouth of the cavern to the in- saw every form of stalagmite and stalacnermost recess which tourists visita tite in the sculptured and fretted chamniche or grotto made of one seamless bers-icicle, orange-flower, acanthus stalactite, and called, I believe, Serena's grapes, and snowball. We shot Bengal Bower. I lost the light of one day. I lights into the vaults and groins of the
sparry cathedrals and examined all the 1A public pleasure ground near Athens
masterpieces which the four combined enwhere Plato taught.
gineers, water, limestone, gravitation, and ? From Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo time could make in the dark. Emerson. Reprinted by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton Mif
The mysteries and scenery of the cave Ain Company, the authorized publishers.
had the same dignity that belongs to all
latural objects, and which shames the cold pond, the switchman at the railway ine things to which we foppishly com- intersection, the farmer in the field, the rare them. I remarked especially the negro in the rice-swamp, the fop in the nimetic habit with which Nature, on new street, the hunter in the woods, the barnstruments, hums her old tunes, making rister with the jury, the belle at the ball, right to mimic day, and chemistry to ape all ascribe a certain pleasure to their emregetation. But I then took notice and ployment, which they themselves give it. till chiefly remember that the best thing | Health and appetite impart the sweetwhich the cave had to offer was an illu- ness to sugar, bread, and meat. We sion. On arriving at what is called the fancy that our civilization has got on
Star-Chamber," our lamps were taken far, but we still come back to our primers. from us by the guide and extinguished or We live by our imaginations, by our put aside, and, on looking upwards, I admirations, by our sentiments. The saw or seemed to see the night heaven child walks amid heaps of illusions, which thick with stars glimmering more or less he does not like to have disturbed. The brightly over our heads, and even what boy, how sweet to him is his fancy! how seemed a comet flaming among them. dear the story of barons and battles! All the party were touched with aston- What a hero he is, whilst he feeds on his ishment and pleasure. Our musical heroes! What a debt is his to imaginafriends sung with much feeling a pretty tive books! He has no better friend or song, “The stars are in the quiet sky," influence than Scott, Shakespeare, Pluetc., and I sat down on the rocky floor to tarch, and Homer. The man lives to enjoy the serene picture. Some crystal other objects, but who dare affirm that specks in the black ceiling high overhead, they are more real? Even the prose of reflecting the light of a half-hid lamp, the streets is full of refractions. In the yielded this magnificent effect.
life of the dreariest alderman, fancy enI own I did not like the cave so well ters into all details and colors them with for eking out its sublimities with this rosy hue. He imitates the air and actheatrical trick. But I have had many tions of people whom he admires, and is experiences like it, before and since; and raised in his own eyes. He pays a debt we must be content to be pleased without quicker to a rich man than to a poor man. too curiously analyzing the occasions. He wishes the bow and compliment of Our conversation with Nature is not just some leader in the state or in society; what it seems. The cloud-rack, the sun- weighs what he says; perhaps he never rise and sunset glories, rainbows and comes nearer to him for that, but dies at Northern Lights are not quite so spheral last better contented for this amusement as our childhood thought them; and the of his eyes and his fancy. part our organization plays in them is The world rolls, the din of life is too large. The senses interfere every- never hushed. In London, in Paris, in where and mix their own structure with Boston, in San Francisco, the carnival, all they report of. Once we fancied the the masquerade is at its height. Nobody earth a plane, and stationary. In admir- drops his domino. The unities, the ficing the sunset we do not yet deduct the tions of the piece it would be an imrounding, coördinating, pictorial powers pertinence to break. The chapter of fas
cinations is very long. Great is paint; The same interference from our organ- nay, God is the painter; and we rightly ization creates the most of our pleasure accuse the critic who destroys too many and pain. Our first mistake is the belief illusions.
illusions. Society does not love its unthat the circumstance gives the joy which maskers. It was wittily if somewhat bitwe give to the circumstance. Life is an terly said by D'Alembert, qu'un état de ecstasy. Life is sweet as nitrous oxide; vapeur était un état très fâcheux, parceand the fisherman dripping all day over a qu'il nous faisait voir les choses comme
of the eye.