Monday, June 26, 2017

The Nature and History of Slavery By Shobal Vail Clevenger 1903


The Nature and History of Slavery By Shobal Vail Clevenger 1903

See also: When Blacks Owned Slaves, by Calvin Dill Wilson 1905 and A History of White Slavery by Charles Sumner 1853 and When the Irish were Slaves, article in The Month 1890

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Ants enslave one another and domestication can be a species of slavery; the cuckoo takes advantage of the lack of intelligence of other birds to make them nurses for the cuckoo young. Monkeys make pets of smaller mammals. The oriole and ox-pecker are willing servants of the ox it rids of ticks.

The slave-making instinct is inborn, inherited, habitual; it is part of the grabbing nature which every animal shows in some form. When the animal evolves enough to get his living at the expense of other animals, he proceeds to do so. Man tries to make everything else minister to his comfort, and naturally tries to use his fellow men and women. He can be defined as a two-legged animal who tries to make all other animals and men serve him.

"Slavery exists by the law of nature," says Aristotle, meaning that it was everywhere to be found. "It enabled the thinking and leisure class to rise," says Bagehot.

Slaves universally, of all kinds, political, religious, and otherwise, are required to believe that God gave them to their masters.

Puffendorf had taken the ground that slavery was founded on contract. Voltaire said: "Show me the contract, and if it is signed by the party to be the slave, I may believe you."

Slavery exists from the grossest forms of body stealing to the more subtle forms of mental dominating, in some places abolished but in other places still existing. The ants still capture aphides and the Arabs hunt Africans.

Both England and America passed through degrading periods when slavery, not alone of Africans, but, under various pretexts of all kinds and nationalities, even their own, were practiced.

I personally knew a Baptist clergyman in Nashville, Tennessee, whose mulatto slaves bore an unmistakable resemblance to him, and were recognized as his children, and when the Civil War broke out he was confident that the United States would succeed in freeing all slaves. So he sold his own children to planters living farther South. He suffered no loss of respect among his neighbors, who were aware of the financial stroke.

In the latter years of Henry I. the practice of kidnaping men for the Irish slave market was in full career and formed the most lucrative branch of trade at Bristol. A hundred years later than Dunstan, the wealth of the English nobles was said to have sprung from breeding slaves for the market. It was in the reign of the first Norman king that slavery was suppressed in its last stronghold, the port of Bristol.

In 959 slavery began to be modified, kidnaping and the sale of children were prohibited. The slave was exempt from toil on Sundays and holy days. Athelstane placed free and slaves on the same plane of responsibility for crime. The slave trade from ports was prohibited, and both church and state endeavored to stop slavery altogether. But the decrease of slavery went on side by side with an increasing degradation of the bulk of the people. The freeman became a degraded villein, dependent upon a lord. In America the presence of negro slaves degraded the white peasants until it was proposed in earnest to enslave these white free men also, as they were not fit to be free. The Virginia newspapers of 1858 to 1862 argued in that way.

"Christianity in the early ages never denounced slavery, but filled the minds of both masters and slaves with ideas utterly inconsistent with the spirit of slavery." But the bible as taught in
the Southern States advised the slave to "be content in the lot to which the Lord had called him," and in other ways was expounded as justifying slavery from Christian standpoints. The Spaniards made use of the aboriginal Rahamans to lure them into slavery. They told them that they would take them in ships to the heavenly shores to meet their relatives, and 40,000 were sent to perish in the mines of the island of Hispaniola. Columbus spoke of these natives as gentle, inoffensive and always smiling.

Bartolome de las Casas, who became a priest in 1510, deserves great credit for standing alone in his denunciation of human slavery in the West Indies by the Spaniards. He was hated, thwarted and entrapped in many ways.

The Portuguese introduced slavery into Brazil in the seventeenth century, and it was not abolished until Sept. 28, 1871, long after the American civil war. The terms of the Brazilian emancipation were that "the children of slave mothers were free after serving their owners 21 years as apprentices." A general liberation mania followed, indicating that the people were better than their rulers.

Many are the pretexts for practicing slavery and various are the names under which it exists. Transportation, penal colonies, extradition, contract systems, peonage, villeinage, prisoners of war, apprenticeship, and so on indefinitely, all such terms are connected with slavery pure and simple, however disguised. The present Siberia and the island of Saghalien, colonies of Russia, are horrible slave regions for convicts.

The Spaniards maintained slavery in Cuba up to the time of Weyler's reconcentrado slaughters. Peonage as practiced in Mexico, and also in New Mexico, under the United States government sanction, is slavery. The Boers enslaved the Kaffirs in South Africa, and much of the casus belli there was the freeing of negroes by the English, though the Cornwall mines contain men, women and children who have never seen the sunlight, through being born and dying in Cornish coal mines. A statement that is not recklessly made. There is religious slavery of both mind and body everywhere to enable a privileged class to live upon the labors of the superstitious. Society permits sweatshops to extract the lives of unfortunates, and there are multitudes of other methods of greed being glutted at the expense of others.

The Arabs steal men in Africa for the Eastern market, but England is making headway against this traffic there. In A. D. 1897 the British headed off the slave raiders into Nigeria, and generally through west and South Africa the trade is being suppressed.

Under tricky contracts for labor of convicts South Carolina managed to restore slavery in 1901 to a great extent, even, it is claimed, easily convicting negroes for the sake of making slaves of them.

Penitentiaries and war prison pens, some insane asylums and poor houses are often scenes of brutal opportunity where the slaves are given over to political or military masters, who, being unchecked, reveal their animal ferocity and often resort to abuse of the helpless merely as an exercise. The "Daughters of the Confederacy" are said to have objected to Uncle Tom's Cabin being read or played in the South, as it gave false ante-bellum ideas, such as that slaves were not kindly treated. Slavery favors degeneracy. It places no premium upon generosity or rights of others, individuality or high intelligence; the qualities of manhood, are checked. Slavery reacts badly on the masters by destroying their self-reliance. The most helpless creatures are the red ants, who depend almost wholly upon their black ant slaves. Dependence lessens ability to care for self and tends to helplessness and loss of organs useful to the free state. Luxury degrades and in tropical regions where nature furnishes ease and plenty the mind does not develop readily.

There was slavery among the Hebrews of the old testament, and it was very ancient among the Greeks and Egyptians, and in Rome it was corrupting in the extreme.

There was an uprising of slaves in B. C. 133 in Italy, owing to hunger, cold and general despair.

It was a question whether Rome or Carthage was to afford the slaves to the other. Scipio levelled Carthage in B. C. 146, and enslaved its last inhabitant.

During the seven days of the Saturnalia dedicated to Saturn in ancient Rome, slaves were admitted to equality with their masters.

B. C. 73 there were schools for training gladiators in which there were slaves, abandoned waifs, criminal prisoners and unfortunates generally. Spartacus led seventy escapes from the school at Capua, and gathered a large force of slaves with which he defeated the Roman armies. Finally Spartacus and 35,000 of his insurgents were slain, 6,000 of them being crucified by Pompey. In Gaul slavery of captives was the rule, and under Rome became more systematized and oppressive. Some broke out into brigandage with the free men whose lot was as bad as the slaves. Free may be a mere catch word and not really exist.

In 1085 William of Normandy abolished the death penalty and the slave trade. He loved hunting so much that he swept away villages to make parks for his deer and thousands of peasants were made homeless. He had sixty-eight of these forests. The New Forest in Hampshire was the sixty-ninth, and occasioned the greatest suffering. So it is not likely that his abolition of slavery had any reference to humane considerations.

In A. D. 1100, like all the great revolutions of society, the advance from serfage was a silent one; indeed, its more galling instances of oppression seemed to have slipped unconsciously away. Some, like the eel-fishing, were changed for an easy rent, others like the slavery of the fullers and the toil of flax, simply disappeared. By usage, by omission, by downright forgetfulness, here a little struggle, there by a present to a needy abbott, the town won freedom.

"Mad," as the land owners of England called him, John Ball was, in 1377, the first to preach natural equality. "By what right are they whom we call lords greater folk than we?" "Why do they hold us in serfage?" The popular rhyme of his time asked: "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

In England the numbers of the unfree were swelled by death and crime. Famine drove men to bend the knee in the evil days for meat, the debtor flung on the ground the freeman's sword and spear and took up the laborer's mattock and placed his head, as a slave, in his master's hands. Criminals became crime-serfs of plaintiff or king. Sometimes a father, pressed by need, sold children and wife into bondage. There was a papal doctrine of the condemnation of Jews to perpetual bondage, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In Poland the peasant was always the hereditary property of the lord of the manor, as claimed by the nobles, but this is denied by the common people.

Villeinage serfdom from the seventh to the eleventh centuries was the bondage in which were held those who cultivated the soil.

Rome, Italy and the church patronized slavery down to the sixteenth century. The popes issued edicts of slavery against whole towns and provinces. Boniface VIII, in 1294 to 1348; Clement V, against Venice; Sixtus IV against the Florentines; also Gregory XI against the same people, 1375-1378; Julius II against Bologne and Venice. Whoever captured inhabitants of such places had holy permission to make slaves of them. Rome was the last of Europe to retain slavery. The theological claim was made that original sin deprived man of any right to freedom. By 1450, in the seventy years which had intervened since the last peasant uprising, villeinage had died naturally away before the progress of social changes.

The Barbary States relinquished Moslem slavery of Christians in A. D. 1816. The peasants were freed in Hungary and Austria in 1849. Russian emancipation of serfs occurred by order of Alexander II in 1861, whereby twenty-two million serfs and twenty-six million more peasants who were practically serfs, were "liberated." But their condition is as bad as before.

There is no slavery among the Afghans and some other benighted Asiatics. The institution of slavery appears to have been a step toward civilization, for instead of slaughter of prisoners they were enslaved.

In 1381 what was known as the Wat Tyler rebellion occurred in England, precipitated by a tax gatherer's insult to Tyler's young daughter, though the real cause back of it was the practical
serfdom of the people. With 30,000 men he forced from Richard I, the boy king, letters of emancipation, and the king pretended to favor all their demands. Later, with his army of 40,000, Richard revoked his grant of freedom and said: "In bondage you shall abide, and that not your old bondage, but a worse!" Seven thousand men perished on the gallows, parliament trimmed to any breeze, but the land owners refused consent to free their slaves. So no sooner does William "abolish" slavery than it crops up again later. This has been the world's experience, usually a new name is given it just as tyranny, when overthrown, hides itself behind some new disguise.

In 1382 Wyclif headed a movement for intellectual freedom at the same time Wat Tyler fought for bodily emancipation. The one against taxing the mind out of existence, and the other the body out of sustenance.

A. D. 1395 Richard II till 24 years old was enslaved by his guardian uncle, when he asserted himself. So no human being is less than another liable to slavery in some form or other, mental or physical, peasant or king.

The pride and cunning of the pope in enslaving the English people was the theme of Wyclif and the "Lollards" in the time of Henry IV up to A. D. 1413.

In all this "Christian era" persecution of the Jews went on, especially between the time of Edward to that of Cromwell.

The bastile of Paris was originated to protect against English foes in 1356; it was enlarged by Charles V, and after his death made a prison. Charles VI enlarged it still more, and it was finally destroyed by the enraged people June 14, 1789. The people were inhumanly treated by royalty in this prison.

Soldiers committed suicide under Frederick "the great" to escape the severity of his service.

Queen Catherine of Russia put a guard over a flower in her field, and then forgot both flower and sentinel. Until the time of Nicholas III guards had been placed in the same spot, and all had forgotten why he was stationed there.

Pushkin, the Russian poet, wrote: "A horrible thought fills my soul with gloom; here in the midst of flourishing fields and hills, the lover of humanity sorrowfully notes everywhere the pernicious signs of shameful ignorance. Blind to tears and deaf to moans, a scourge of men decreed by fate, a ruling class, unfeeling, lawless, wild, appropriates with ruthless rod the husbandman's labor, property and time."

As the Chinaman was forced to adopt the pigtail by his Tartar conquerors as an indication of inferiority, and he now considers it a distinction, so women, handicapped with dresses, cling to their ancient attire as slaves sometimes fought to perpetuate their own slavery and as some Mormon women laud polygamy.

Darwin dwells upon the enslavement of women being universal and dating from remote periods, and even today fathers sell their daughters in Circassia to Moslem procurers, who resell them to rich men.

A race will not advance if one-half is held in slavery as women are by men to a gross extent in such places as Turkey, where the Sultan Abdul Hamid, the oppressor, is the son of an Armenian woman, a race that has been terribly oppressed. What can the union of a tyrant and a slave result in but an Abdul Hamid, the fox, the wolf, the coward jackal, who trembles at the idea of his subjects having education or liberty. So Rome has opposed instruction to children as unfitting them to be controlled in their minds and bodies. The revenues of that gigantic political organization, the Catholic church, came from devotion and superstition imposed upon by a luxuriating priesthood among a people too blind to see for themselves.

The greatest freedom should be permitted to women and natural selection will determine what station they are fitted for. No theorist has ever predicted it.

Woman suffrage dates from 1790-1849; since Mary Walland takes high rank in prosperity on account of it. France lacks advance owing to its subordinating women. When they can legislate France will surprise herself by the consequences.

Woman suffrage dates from 1790-1849, since Mary Wallstonecraft published her "Vindication of the Rights of Women" in London, in 1790. the movement has gradually grown. In 1840 a World's Anti-Slavery Convention was held, and woman's enfranchisement was taken up.. The meetings were sometimes mobbed and insulted, and also denounced by the pulpit. The movement was split in two by rejection of women delegates. The following date certain advances:

1842, Women in the medical profession.
1865, Higher education of women in England.
1869, Progress in Europe and America.

The world over, in Damascus and London, New York and St. Petersburg, women are paid about one-half what men receive for the same service; because advantage is taken of their being weak physically, and unable to assert their rights.

Louis XIV schemed to strengthen the position of the royal bastards by imposing a tax on marriage licenses so exorbitant that the matrimonially inclined preferred living in what was wedlock to their consciences, but concubinage in law. The extortion went to coffers by which the extravagances of the Ducs and mademoiselles were supplied.

Sweat shops are many, where starv1ng men, women and children toil, upon eye-straining work, such as sewing and making cigars, underpaid, sick, abused and even robbed of their scanty earnings by men who are "respected members of churches and society."

Homes are multitudinous where servants are deprived of decent comforts, roomed in foul, damp basements, with no time from their work to clean their own sleeping places. Practically many housewives thus unintentionally, but nevertheless effectually, murder their servants, legally and without compunctions. "Doctor, if that girl is sick, please send her at once to a charity hospital; she cannot stay here," is an often heard request from a palatial domicile, concerning some over-worked servant.

Among dangerous handicrafts it has been estimated that the feather workers for women's hats inhale fine feathers and are occasionally suffocated by them, that 70 per cent of needle polishers, 80 of flint workers, 40 of grindstone makers, and 36 per cent of stone cutters end consumptive. Glass workers, diamond cutters, millers, phosphorus and lead workers suffer also in various ways.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the factories tended to prolong the working day, but legislation began in the nineteenth century against it. The usual trick was to knock out the noon rest and then by candle light child and female labor was brought in.

Voltaire held that a government would be worthy of Hottentots in which it permitted to a certain number of men to say: "Let those pay taxes who work; we ought not to pay anything because we are idle."

It is difficult for all and impossible for some to be convinced of our common animal existence. "Fine feathers make fine birds." Strip some of them and what puny, helpless things they are. Similarly with the wealthy, their glitter, finery and power seem to cast them in a better mould than the ordinary. A physician who is familiar with practice among one class of people is often puzzled upon encountering another class as though diseases differed between the rich and poor. Ex-President Benjamin Harrison in a will contest in Richmond, Indiana, asked me on the witness stand if the Chicago asylum was not for the pauper insane, to intimate that knowledge secured among that class could not avail with the wealthy insane. The inability of classes to feel for each other comes of their separation. The miserable sufferings of a pauper dying neglected in a poor house awaken pity only among higher developed persons. Those who can feel sorrow only for tales of pain among wealthy dying amid luxurious surroundings have not evolved to their best capabilities.

In 1903 there were 19,000 slave children estimated in Chicago working 15 to 18 hours a day, and often the parents were to blame. When the Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, miners were asked by the arbitration committee how much they were paid per ton they said they did not know, as the settling was made too complicated for them to understand and they took whatever was given them, which enabled a bare existence. Child slavery is said to be taking the place of former negro slavery in the cotton factories of the south, often controlled by northern capital.


Some Merits of the American Standard Version Bible by William M. Langdon 1913


Some Merits of the American Standard Version by the Reverend William M. Langdon, M.A., Stamford, NY 1913


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Since the American Standard Bible, which will celebrate its twelfth anniversary on August 26th, is still unacceptable to many readers, the attention of those who make the two objections most frequently urged against it is invited to the following suggestions.

I. PARAGRAPH, INSTEAD OF VERSE, FORM.

One objection has reference to the fact that its matter has been printed in logical, paragraph form, like modern books and periodicals. Professor Moulton has said of the King James Version that it is "the worst printed book in the world"! Modern printers of the sacred writers have endeavored to give them the advantage of all known devices for representing thought on the printed page. An analysis of the thought of the writer is essential to its comprehension; and this analysis is expressed partly in the division into logical paragraphs. If you dash a beautiful vase on the ground, you break it into a myriad fragments and destroy its beauty. Can then Moses and Paul and their collaborators feel grateful to the mediaeval blunderers who marred the beauty of their writings by breaking them up into bits, — into illogical divisions of chapter and verse? One would not thank the tailor who brought home a suit in a multitude of strips a few inches in size, instead of in the logical divisions of coat and skirt. Imagine then the feelings of an author who sent the pet child of his brain to a publisher and later sees it mutilated in Bible-verse style; of a teacher whose pupil brings him a composition divided in like fashion; of a friend who receives a letter thus written; or a reader who opens his morning paper to find his daily news served up like minced meat! What an insult to one's intelligence! And then think of the complacency with which the world reads its sacred classic from such a page; yes, marvel at the perverted taste which demands that the publishers shall thus print it!

It is true that the minute division of such a classic is necessary for purposes of reference. But this division is effectively accomplished by marginal or inserted numerals, which do not vitiate the logical representation of the thought, as do the senseless divisions into uniform verses and ill-marked chapters.

A corollary to this objection comes from those who think this Version unsuited for responsive reading, and who have not considered the uses for which different portions of Scripture were intended. Mr. Marion Lawrance, in replying to an inquiry about concert reading in the Sunday school, assumes the advisability of reading the lessons responsively. This mode of reading has long been customary in public and social services, and has proved so acceptable that it has widely spread. Perhaps one reason for its popularity in the church and Sunday school is that it aids in holding the attention of the congregation to the reading. But age and prevalence do not make a custom rational, nor prove that all parts of the Bible were designed to be read responsively. Certain Psalms were written to be sung antiphonally, and many poetical parts of the Bible have, for centuries, in the historic liturgies, been found suitable for such reading. But the historical, biographical, hortatory, and epistolary portions were not meant to be thus read. So, when they are restored to their appropriate and rational form in the Standard Bible, if the paragraph form is found inconvenient by responsive readers, there is no obligation on leader and congregation to read such passages responsively. Why then should not all denominations follow the example of those churches that allow the leader to read such lessons alone, or let all read them in concert, and limit responsive reading to those styles of literature which are suitable, and which are printed in convenient form, for that purpose?

The complaint is also made that the old custom of "reading a verse around" at family prayers, and the finding of a verse by a child in the Sunday-school class, is rendered less convenient by the paragraph arrangement. Here again the question is, whether we should do evil that good may come; whether we should do violence to a sacred text, against all reason, or modify a non-essential custom. We do not cut up the texts of classical authors, of Milton or Shakespeare, in order that they may be studied in school; but only add marginal figures, numbering the lines on the page. Is it a lesser evil to indoctrinate children and their elders with the erroneous idea that the verse arrangement is sensible and appropriate than it is to educate them to locate the verses by the figures in the paragraph? To estimate the injury and misunderstanding that the Scriptures have suffered through this abuse by their friends, or to appraise the benefit and illumination that may accrue from an improved arrangement, is quite impossible.

II. THE RESTORATION OF THE MEMORIAL NAME, "JEHOVAH." 

Another influential reason for the favor shown the American Standard Bible by some, and for the opposition to that Version on the part of others, is its restoration of the name "Jehovah" to the Old Testament.

Scholars tell us that this name is older than Moses, though it was freshly emphasized in his day. On the question of its original form, archaeologists seem to be divided and uncertain. That form may have been "Yahweh"; but that would doubtless seem more uncouth to the English ear than "Jehovah"; and there is slight prospect that the latter can be altered now. For the vowels of "Yahweh," the vowels of adhonai (the Hebrew word for "lord") were substituted, long before Christ, by scribes who thought that human lips were not fit to utter the sacred Name. And so, for many centuries, one word has been forced to do the duty of two entirely different words, — the one a proper noun, a personal name of unique significance; and the other a common noun, a mere title of rank. The title "lord" implies a master, ruler, owner, peer, etc., having dozens of different uses; but it has primarily none of the precious associations of the incomparable name "Jehovah." There are many "lords," but only one Most High God, "whose name alone is JEHOVAH." [Ps. 83:18; in a few passages like this, even the old versions felt obliged to leave the original "Jehovah"; and they print it in large capitals! The Scripture quotations in this article are taken from various versions.] Men have ventured to call their sons by the name of "Jesus," but none would dare thus to use the august Name, "Jehovah," although, to be sure, it is part of the name of "Jesus," as it is of many other compound names.

Much has been written on its import; and every Bible student should be familiar at least with the justification offered by the Revisers in their preface, for restoring this Memorial Name. One thought that the etymology of the name is said to imply should be dear to every devout soul; for it suggests to him the God who fulfills his promises.

To some the sound of "Jehovah" is "most unmusical and distasteful." "De gustibus non disputandum." But the hypercritics who overemphasize the importance of the musical rhythm of a translation may be reminded that it is required of translators, as of stewards, that they be found (not first musical, but) faithful! And it may be suggested that, as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and taste in the tongue of the eater; so music is in the ear of the auditor. What is music to one individual, and to one people, to another is discord and agony. It should surely be admitted that familiarity has much to do with our recognition of sounds as musical and rhythmical; that to some extent what is usual is musical. That which is familiar has worn a certain channel in our brains, and a variant sound does not run smoothly in that channel. If we had been brought up from childhood on "Jehovah" instead of "Lord," would the sound of the former be unpleasant to as many as it is now? Moreover, love for a person begets love for the dear one's name. And it must be recognized that there are unnumbered persons who, before the American Standard Bible was issued, loved the name of "Jehovah"; and there was many a pardoned sinner in whose ears Jehovah Tsidkenu ("Jehovah our Righteousness ") was the sweetest music, just as certainly as there is no one now to whom "Jesus" is unmusical. "Jehovah" has been restored in the missionary translations of the Bible into heathen tongues. No doubt the strange names of the Bible seem unmusical and outlandish to many a heathen ear. But as one grows accustomed to them and learns to love the persons they represent, he will develop an affection for the very names of the persons.

The name "Jehovah" (in over forty instances abbreviated to "Jah") occurs "6,855" times in the Old Covenant. It is of interest to note that the memorial name is dwelt on most constantly in the final books of the Pentateuch and the Old Covenant, — namely, Deuteronomy and Malachi; in the valedictory orations and exhortations of Moses, and in the final prophetic appeal of Jehovah to his chosen people, in the book called "My Messenger." The Pentateuch as a whole leads the Prophetic section in frequent use, but the Psalms are a close second to the Pentateuch. [A cursory view of the oft-recurring name (subject to corrections by any who find a more accurate observation to be of interest) shows that the first, fourth, and fifth books of the Psalms use "Jehovah" eight times as often as the second and third books. In the five books it occurs nearly seven hundred times; in Deuteronomy, about five hundred times. In the other Historical and Prophetical books, it occurs with about equal frequency in each of the two classes, but not half as often as in Deuteronomy. In the other Poetical books, it is less than one third as frequent as in the Historical and Prophetical. In Canticles, Standard Version, it is found once; in Esther, not at all.]

How the Psalmists delight to resound the praises of Jehovah's name! Songs like Ps. cxxxv. begin and end with it; in this Psalm of twenty-one verses, it is repeated eighteen times in eleven verses. In verse 13 the Psalmist assumes the role of prophet, and declares: "Thy name, O Jehovah, endureth forever; thy memorial name, O Jehovah, throughout all generations." See also Ps. cii. 12. And yet a Jewish error was allowed to impair the fulfillment of this prophecy, and to eliminate that name from the greatest book in the world, — the record of the New Dispensation; and also, for the space of a millennium, from the translations of the Old Covenant into our English tongue; and consequently from the hymnology of the church! [Take a popular hymn took, — the "Gospel Hymns": out of 739 hymns, only about five celebrate the name of "Jehovah"; while the name of "Jesus" occurs in innumerable cases,—sometimes a dozen repetitions in single hymns.]

For if the name of "Jehovah" had not disappeared from the early Hebrew Scriptures, it would doubtless have been transliterated into Greek, and have reappeared in the Septuagint version, instead of being supplanted by kurios ("lord"). And would it not then have found a place on the lips of our Lord and in the writings of his followers? As it is, the sacred name does not appear in the New Covenant except by implication. By one translator of these writings into modern English, the name "Jesus" is returned to its Old Covenant form, "Joshua"; so that we read: "Thou shalt call his name Joshua, for he shall save his people from their sins"; and thus, throughout. Of course "Joshua" is a shortened form of the Hebrew for "Jehovah is our salvation"; so that every time we use the name "Jesus," we unconsciously mention "Jehovah," — the name that is so distasteful to the writer quoted above.

The word "lord" occurs some seven hundred times in the New Covenant, and it seems probable that in several scores of these instances "Jehovah" might have been used. The advantages of the restoration of "Jehovah" in the Old Covenant have been noted by various writers. Half a century ago Benjamin Wilson, in his "Emphatic Diaglott New Testament," thought it necessary to a translation of kurios in at least eighteen passages to use the name "Jehovah."

In an article that appeared in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1902 (doubtless written before he had seen the American Standard Version), an anonymous writer presented a clear and elaborate argument for the necessity of reading "Jehovah" in such New Testament passages as: "Prepare a way for Jehovah"; "The Angel of Jehovah said"; "There is born to you a Saviour who is Messiah-Jehovah"; "Thou shalt not presume upon Jehovah thy God"; "Jehovah, thy God, alone shalt thou worship"; "The Spirit of Jehovah is upon me,... to proclaim the year of Jehovah"; "God made Jesus to be Jehovah-Messiah"; "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is Jehovah"; "No man can say that Jesus is Jehovah"; "Every tongue shall confess that Jesus-Messiah is Jehovah"; "The Day of Jehovah comes as a thief," etc.

If it were possible, we would reproduce here the fourteen pages of this article entire, for the convenience of the reader; but we can only recommend him to the study of this illuminating discussion. Its perusal must suggest that, when the Old Covenant was robbed of the divine Name by pious Jews, and in consequence a mere title, indicating a function, was substituted in the New Covenant, the Scriptures lost one of their strong supports for the divinity of Christ. If "Jesus" had been as constantly identified with "Jehovah" as the New Testament writers did identify him in their thought when they wrote the word kurios, would it have been possible for Unitarian views to develop as they did? What a convincing argument for his deity would have been here available for the defense of that truth! And would it not strengthen the bond between the two Covenants to find that our God had the same name in both parts of his Word; to find that God has made Jehovah (to be incarnate in) Jesus?

It is true that "a rose by any other name will smell as sweet"; and so "Lord" may suggest the same person and attributes to an informed reader as "Yahweh" does. But how many would be willing to surrender the names of their dearest ones, to forget them forever, and substitute therefor such titles as "husband," "wife," "brother," etc.? It is often necessary to distinguish between what words properly mean and what they actually suggest. Christ is the Greek for Messiah, but multitudes in the church as well as outside do not know it, and the two words suggest quite different ideas to their minds. Wilson recognizes this fact when, in his "Diaglott," he frequently uses Messiah or Anointed instead of Christ. And he might well use it still more frequently than he does. Likewise, although "Lord" stands for "Jehovah" in the Old Testament, the two words suggest very different ideas to the ordinary reader. And when "Lord" is quoted in other literature, the distinguishing small capitals are very commonly forgotten, the printer uses the lower-case letters, and the reader has not the faintest suggestion of the name which God told Moses was to be his Name forever, his memorial unto all generations (Ex. iii. 15).

One easily accessible article on this point is that by the late Rev. Theodore J. Cooper, reprinted from the Anglican Church Magazine, December, 1906. This is especially noteworthy, coming as it does from one of our conservative English cousins.

One passage that will bear a little further notice is Ps. cx. 1, where "Jehovah said unto my Lord" seems incomparably preferable to the tautological obscurity that has resulted from the abnormal reverence of ancient Jewish scribes, and the excessive conservatism of generations of English translators. When "Jehovah" is named, the passage becomes far more intelligible, as referring to a known personage, — the Covenant-maker, — speaking to the Lord and Son of David. This classic text is quoted four times in the New Testament: by each Synoptist, and by Luke again, in his report of Peter's Pentecostal sermon; while two similar portions of the Psalm are repeated in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The most frequent users of "Lord" in the New Testament where "Jehovah" might have been used, seem to be Luke, Matthew, and the writers to the Hebrews and the Romans. Moreover, how appropriate, and suggestive of the Burning Bush, it would be to read in John's Revelation (i. 8): "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says Jehovah, God; he who is, and was, and is to come, — the Almighty."

The use of "Jehovah" in these New Testament passages will not of course be admitted to be a translation of the Greek kurios unless this word is recognized as meaning "Jehovah"; which is the claim of the nameless writer above mentioned. But is it not clear to all that as a commentary such suggestions are all-important, in addition to translation, and that they illuminate and glorify the divine Word? It would seem fruitful to consider these scores of New Testament passages in this added light, where the gain in meaning is as obvious as in the Old Testament.

As a parallel, suppose the Christian church were asked to refrain from the use of the name "Jesus" in the New Testament and elsewhere, and to substitute everywhere the title "Saviour," on the ground that "Jesus" was too sacred a name for ordinary use, and that such common utterance tended to diminish our reverence for the divine Person. Recall all the hymns which sound the praises of the "sweetest name on mortal tongue"; would we consent to replace that name by some mere title, — even though more significant than "Lord"? Then imagine that after centuries had passed in which the name of "Jesus" had been rarely used, it were proposed to restore the name to its original place in the New Covenant: should not the Christian church welcome such a proposal? And should not the English-speaking world to-day equally congratulate itself that it can read in the American Standard Old Testament, as the heathen world does in the many tongues into which the Hebrew has been rendered, the inspired Memorial Name that Moses and the Prophets wrote? Many such improvements in this Version render a commentary unnecessary for the ordinary wayfarer through passages where he has previously been as a blind man in the catacombs!

When the Standard Bible was issued in 1901, it met with a very discouraging reception from the public; and although a large proportion of the church still seem to be little acquainted with it, and to prefer an imperfect and partial version, yet it has grown in popular favor steadily, and lately by leaps and bounds. Perhaps as good an evidence as any of its appreciation is its increasing use by the Sunday-school lesson commentators. Reviewing the stages of this growth, we observe that at first the lesson papers printed the King James text, and put the Standard variations in footnotes. Next the varying portions were printed in small type in the same line with the parts that coincided. Later, the Standard text was printed in full, but in smaller type, after the King James. Then it was printed in larger type and given the leading place. The King James was afterwards relegated to the footnotes; and finally, by some periodicals has been dropped altogether; thus justifying the reference that has been made in some clerical circles to "The Passing of the Old Revised Bible of 1611."

Other editions of the Bible have applied the printer's art, to a still fuller degree, to the exhibition of the Scriptural meaning. If an edition of the "Modern Reader's Bible" with the Standard, or some yet more advanced, text were issued, it would promote the popular comprehension of the Book. For while our conservatism may uphold the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin for scholars, and the early English and King James versions for antiquarians and students of literature, the churchman of to-day and the "man in the street" (of whom the latter has the greater claim to consideration on the score of numbers) need a living Word in their own tongue, and not in Elizabethan English — the tongue of their forebears many generations removed. The English version is not finished, for the English language is not dead. It may consist with the attitude of the Church of Rome toward the Book to read it to the people in an unknown tongue, a dead language; but should the Protestant church relax its principles in even a small degree, or fall behind the times? While there are advantages in having one standard Bible, there are advantages also in using various styles of English, a la chinoise, for people of different grades of education and taste; and there are uses for paraphrases of varying degrees. As the late Professor H. M. Whitney said: "The Bible, as we have it, is a wonderful book. But it can be better. At a thousand points it can yet be touched by the chisel of the master, and with each touch it can come nearer to a perfect form: the angel can be yet more fully released from the stone."

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Forgeries in Literature by Andrew Lang 1884



Literary Forgeries by Andrew Lang

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In the whole amusing history of impostures, there is no more diverting chapter than that which deals with literary frauds. None contains a more grotesque revelation of the smallness and the complexity of human nature, and none—not even the records of the Tichborne trial, and its results—reveals more pleasantly the depths of mortal credulity. The literary forger is usually a clever man, and it is necessary for him to be at least on a level with the literary knowledge and critical science of his time. But how low that level commonly appears to be! Think of the success of Ireland, a boy of eighteen; think of Chatterton; think of Surtees of Mainsforth, who took in the great Magician himself, the father of all them that are skilled in ballad lore. How simple were the artifices of these ingenious impostors, their resources how scanty; how hand-to-mouth and improvised was their whole procedure! Times have altered a little. Jo Smith's revelation and famed “Golden Bible" only carried captive the polygamous “populus qui vult decipi," reasoners a little lower than even the believers in Anglo-Israel. The Moabite Ireland, who lately gave Mr. Shapira the famous MS. of Deuteronomy. but did not elude M. Clermont Ganneau, was doubtless a smart man: he was, however, a little too indolent, a little too easy satisfied, He might have procured better and less recognizable materials than his old "synagogue roll;" in short, he took rather too little trouble, and came to the wrong market. A literary forgery ought first, perhaps. to appeal to the credulous, and only slowly should it come with the prestige of having already won many believers before the learned world. The inscriber of the Phenician inscriptions in Brazil (off all places) was a clever man. His account of a voyage to South America probably gained some credence in Brazil while in England it only carried captive Mr. Day. author of “Pre-historic Use of Iron and Steel." But the Brazilians, from lack of energy, have dropped the subject, and the Phenician inscriptions of Brazil are less successful, after all, than the Moabite stone, about which one begins to entertain disagreeable doubts.

The motives of the literary forger are curiously mixed; but they may, perhaps, be analyzed roughly into piety, greed, "push," and love of fun. Many literary forgeries have been pious frauds, perpetrated in the interests of a church, a priesthood, or a dogma. Then we have frauds of greed, as if, for example, a forger should offer his wares for a million of money to the British Museum; or when he tries to palm off his Samaritan Gospel on the “Bad Samaritan" of the Bodleian. Next we come to playful frauds, or frauds in their origin playful, like (perhaps) the Shakespearian forgeries of Ireland, the supercheries of Prosper Mérimée, the sham antique ballads (very spirited poems in their way) of Surtees, and many other examples. Occasionally it has happened that forgeries, begin for the mere sake of exerting the imitative faculty, and of raising a laugh against the learned, have been persevered with in earnest. The humorous deceits are, of course, the most pardonable, though it is difficult to forgive the young archaeologist who took in his own father with false Greek inscriptions. But this story may be a mere fable amongst archaeologists, who are constantly accusing each other of all manner of crimes. There are forgeries by "pushing" men, who hope to get a reading for poems which, if put forth as new would be neglected. There remain forgeries of which the motive is so complex to remain for ever obscure. We may generally ascribe them love of notoriety in the forger; such notoriety as Macpherson won by his dubious pinchbeck Ossian. More difficult to understand are the forgeries which real scholars have commited or connived at for the purpose of supporting some opinion which they held with earnestness. There is a vein of madness and self-deceit in the character of the man who half persuades himself that his own false facts are true. The Payne Collier case is thus one of the most difficult in the world to explain, for it is equally hard to suppose that Mr. Payne Collier was taken in by the notes on the folio he gave the world, and to hold that he was himself guilty of forgery to support his own opinions.

The further we go back in the history of literary forgeries. the more (as is natural) do we find them to be of a pious or priestly character. When the clergy alone can write, only the clergy can forge. In such ages people are interested chiefly with prophecies and warnings, or, if they are careful about literature, it is only when literature contains some kind of title-deeds. Thus Solon is said to have forged a line in the Homeric catalogue of the ships for the purpose of proving that Salamis belonged to Athens. But the great antique forger, the “Ionian father of the rest," is, doubtless, Onomacritus. There exists, to be sure, an Egyptian inscription professing to be of the fourth, but probably of the twenty-sixth dynasty. The Germans hold the latter view; the French, from patriotic motives, maintain the opposite opinion. But this forgery is scarcely “literary." I never can think of Onomacritus without a certain respect; he began the forging business so very early, and was, apart from this failing, such an imposing and magnificent respectable character. The scene of the error and the detection of Onomacritus presents itself always to me in a kind of pictorial vision. It is night, the clear windless night of Athens, not of the Athens whose ruins remain, but of the ancient city that sank in ashes during the invasion of Xerxes. The time is the time of Pisistratus the successful tyrant, the scene is the ancient temple, the stately house of Athens, the fane where the sacred serpent was fed on cakes, and the primeval olive tree grew beside the well of Posidon. The darkness of the temple's inmost shrine is lit by the ray of one earthen lamp. You dimly discern the majestic form of a venerable man stooping above a coffer of cedar and ivory, carved with the exploits of the goddess, and with boustrophedon inscriptions. In his hair this archaic Athenian wears the badge of the golden grasshopper. You never saw a finer man. He is Onomacritus, the famous poet, and the trusted guardian of the ancient oracles of Musaeus and Bacis. What is he doing? Why, he takes from the fragrant cedar coffer certain thinned sheets of lead, whereon are scratched the words of doom, the prophecies of the Greek Thomas the Rhymer. From his bosom he draws another thin sheet of lead, also stained and corroded. On this he scratches, an imitation of the old "Cadmeian letters," a prophecy that the isles near Lemnos shall disappear under the sea. So busy is he in this task, that he does not hear the rustle of a chiton behind, and suddenly a man's hand is on his shoulder! Onomacritus turns in horror. Has the goddess punished him for tampering with the oracles? No; it is Lasus, the son of Hermiones, a rival poet, who has caught the keeper of the oracles in the very act of a pious forgery. (Herodotus vii. 6.) Pisistratus expelled the learned Onomacritus from Athens, but his conduct proved, in the long run, highly profitable to the reputations of Musaeus and Bacis. Whenever their oracles were not fulfilled, people said, “Oh, that is merely one of the interpolations of Onomacritus!" and the matter was passed over. This Onomacritus is said to have been one of the original editors of Homer under Pisistratus. He lived long, never repented, and, many years later, deceived Xerxes into attempting his disastrous expedition. This he did by “keeping back the oracles unfavorable to the barbarians," and putting forward that whatt seemed favorable. The children of Pisistratus beheld in him, as spiritualists go on giving credit to exposed and established "mediums."

Having once practiced deceit, it is to be feared that Onomacritus acquired a liking for the practice of literary forgery, which, as will be seen in the case of Ireland, grows on a man like dram-drinking. Onomacritus is generally charged with the authorship of the poems which the ancients usually attributed to Orpheus, the companion of Jason. Perhaps the most interesting of the poems of Orpheus to us would have been his “Inferno,” in which the poet gave his own account of his descent to Hades in search of Eurydice. But only a dubious reference to one adventure in the journey is quoted by Plutarch. Whatever the exact truth about the-Orphic poems may be (the reader may pursue the hard and fruitless quest in Lobeck's “Aglaophanus”, it seems certain that the period between Pisistratus and Pericles, like the Alexandrian time, was a great age for literary forgeries. But of all these frauds the greatest (according to the most "advanced" theory on the subject) is the “Forgery of the Iliad and Odyssey!" The opinions of the scholars who hold that the Iliad and Odyssey which we know and which Plato knew, are not the epics known to Herodotus, but later compositions, are not very clear nor consistent. But it seems to be vaguely held that about the time of Pericles there arose a kind of Greek Mcpherson. This ingenious impostor worked on old epic materials, but added many new ideas of his own about the gods, converting the Iliad (the poem which we now possess) into a kind of mocking romance, a Greek Don Quixote. He also forged a number of pseudo-archaic words, tenses, and expressions, and added the numerous references to iron, a metal practically unknown, it is asserted, to Greece before the sixth century. If we are to believe, with Professor Paley, that the chief incidents of the Iliad and Odyssey were unknown to Sophocles, Eschylus, and the contemporary vase-painters, we must also suppose that the Greek Macpherson invented most of the situations in the Odyssey and Iliad. According to this theory the "cooker" of the extant epics was far the greatest and most successful of all literary impostors, for be deceived the whole world, from Plato downwards, till he was exposed by Mr. Paley. There are times when one is inclined to believe that Plato must have been the forger himself, as Bacon (according to the other hypothesis) was the author of Shakspeare's plays. Thus “Plato the wise, and large-browed Verulam," would be “the first of those who" forge! Next to this prodigious imposture, no doubt, the false "Letters of Phalaris" are the most important of classical forgeries. And these illustrate, like most literary forgeries, the extreme worthlessness of literary taste as a criterion of the authenticity of writings. For what man ever was more a man of taste than Sir William Temple, “the most accomplished writer of the age," whom Mr. Boyle never thought of without calling to mind those happy lines of Lucretius,

Quem tu, dea, tempore in omni Omnibus ornatum voluisti excellere rebus.

Well, the ornate and excellent Temple held that “the Epistles of Phalaris have more race, more spirit, more force of wit and genius, than any others he had ever seen, either ancient or modern." So much for what Bentley calls Temple's “Nicety of Tast." The greatest of English scholars readily proved that Phalaris used (in the spirit of prophecy) an idiom which did not exist to write about matters in his time not invented, but “many centuries younger than be." So let the Nicety of Temple's Tast and its absolute failure be a warning to us when we read (if read we must) German critics who deny Homer's claim to this or that passage, and Plato's right to half his accepted dialogues, on grounds of literary taste. And farewell, as Herodotus would have said, to the Letters of Phalaris, of Socrates, of Plato; to the Lives of Pythagoras and of Homer, and to all the other uncounted literary forgeries of the classical world, from the Sibylline prophecies to the battle of the frogs and mice.

Early Christian forgeries were, naturally, pious. We have the apocryphal Gospels, and the works of Dionysius the Areopagite, which were not exposed till Erasmus's time. Perhaps the most important of pious forgeries (if forgery be exactly the right word in this case), was that of “The False Decretals." “On a sudden,” says Milman, speaking of the pontificate of Nicholas I. (ob. 867 A.D.), “Of a sudden was promulgated, unannounced, without preparation, not absolutely unquestioned, but apparently overawing at once all doubt, a new Code, which to the former authentic documents added fifty-nine letters and decrees of the twenty oldest Popes from Clement to Melchiades, and the donation of Constantine, and in the third part, among the decrees of the Popes and of the Councils from Sylvester to Gregory II., thirty-nine false decrees, and the acts of several unauthentic Councils." "The whole is composed," Milman adds, “with an air of profound piety and reverence." The False Decretals naturally assert the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. "They are full and minute on Church Property" (they were sure to be that); in fact, they remind one of another forgery, pious and Aryan, "The Institutes of Vishnu." “Let him not levy any tax upon Brahmans," says the Brahman forget of the Institutes, which “came from the mouths of Vishnu." as he sat “clad in a yellow robe, imperturbable, decorated with all kinds of gems, while Lakshmi was stroking his feet with her soft palms." The Institutes took excellent care of Brahmans and cows, as the Decretals did of the Pope and the clergy, and the earliest Popes had about as much hand in the Decretals as Vishnu had in his Institutes. The most that can now be done by the devout for the Decretals is "to palliate the guilt of their forger," whose name, like that of the Greek Macpherson, is unknown.

If the Early Christian centuries, and the Middle Ages, were chiefly occupied with pious frauds, with forgeries of gospels, epistles, and Decretals, the impostors of the Renaissance were busy with classical imitations. After the Turks took Constantinople, when the learned Greeks were scattered all over Southern Europe, when many genuine classical MSS. were recovered by the zeal of scholars, when the plays of Menander were seen once, and then lost for ever, it was natural that literary forgery should thrive. As yet scholars were eager rather than critical; they were collecting and unearthing, rather than minutely examining the remains of classic literature. They had found so much, and every year were finding so much more, that no discovery seemed impossible. The lost books of Livy and Cicero, the songs of Sappho, the perished plays of Sophocles and AEschylus might any day be brought to light. This was the very moment for the literary forger; but it is improbable that any forgery of the period has escaped detection. Three or four years ago some one published a book to show that the “Annals of Tacitus" were written by Poggio Bracciolini. This paradox gained no more converts than the bolder hypothesis of Hardouin. The theory of Hardouin was that all the ancient classics were productions of a learned company which worked, in the thirteenth century, under Severus Archontius. Hardouin made some exception to his sweeping general theory. Cicero’s writings were genuine, he admitted, so were Pliny's, or Virgil the Georgics; the satires and epistles of Horace, Herodotus, and Homer. All the rest of the classics were a magnificent forgery of the illiterate thirteenth century, which had scarce any Greek, and whose Latin, abundant in quantity, in quality left much to be desired.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Development of the Ghost Story by Marjory MacMurchy 1902


THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODERN GHOST by Marjory MacMurchy 1902

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THERE is a curious distinction to be drawn between the modern ghost in life and in literature. The literary ghost accommodates itself to the requirements of the age; but the ghost in social intercourse remains unchanged. Take the earliest instances on record of supernatural appearances and you will find the same unsubstantial forms and lamenting voices, the same inability to forsake scenes of past violence and crime as may be discovered in any collection of modern records of the ghost, such, for instance, as the autobiography of Mr. Augustus J. C. Hare. But it is not so in literature. The student of the literary ghost will find in its history a gradual development, although the law of this development may not always hold good for the ghost-story in art is not a thing that has been easily come by in any generation. There is but one step between the jocose familiar and the awe-inspiring in supernatural literature; and a very slight touch of imagination will turn a thrill into a jest. Human nature cannot be terrified by the same stage property for any extended period of time; and the domination of brimstone is likely to become in a few years Charles Kingsley's thunder-box. There are, of course, shining exceptions; but the power of such imaginary scenes lies in the fact that the ghostly appearance has been united with no ordinary appeal to the heart of human nature; by a poignant reminder of the fact that these apparitions have been what men are now, and that the living at any moment may pass across that boundary. The real power of the ghost story lies in the fact that we are ignorant of so much that must lie before us. We cannot be certain that when daylight is past someone we know may not be in the dark. When we read in Homer how the Shades were driven away from the stream of blood till Ulysses could hear news of his distant home no living being can fail to recognize that inextinguishable claim that comes from being kindred.

The world has not yet outgrown the feeling of the dark any more than it can better the story of the Witch of Endor, which, whether it is considered as history or literature, maintains its position in the realm of the supernatural to this day: the frightened woman—"An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle,"— and the king, at the end of his little magnificent scope, lying all along upon the ground after the last word had been spoken, because he had no expedient left.


Beginning with the treatment of the devil in the miracle-plays, which was a kind of whistling in the dark to keep up the spirits of our sorely tried ancestors, we find the element of comedy in the supernatural. The miracle-play devil was apparently the predecessor of the modern clown in the circus. But the essence of the real ghost-story is not humorous. The Middle Ages could afford to treat the "Auld Ane" humorously, they had so many things to frighten them; we think we have so few, comparatively speaking, that it has produced a more economical treatment of the uncanny amongst our writers, with the possible exception of Miss Marie Corelli, who may not have meant to present Satan humorously, but who has not altogether failed in doing so. Mr. Stockton seems to own at present the humorous, quasi benevolent ghost, with an occasional "look-in" from Miss Carolyn Wells; but it is "a far cry" from belaboring the devil with a stick on a stage set up under the sky to the surreptitious presentation of pies in the dark. Such exploitations, however, are tours de force; they tickle the intellect, but they do not appeal to the inner fortress of man's being: it is the inner fortress only that the real ghost story is bent on storming.

It would be extremely useful to the present comparison if we could know what impression Shakespeare's ghosts made on an Elizabethan audience. Were they chilled with that sense of the presence of something fatal which ought to accompany the presentment of a visionary being, or were they only aware of how vital the ghost was to Hamlet or to Caesar, all admiring but not trembling, wrapt but not panic-stricken, as we are to-day? Certainly the witches in Macbeth afford the most humorous delight now to the exploring youngster who hunts out scene after scene to repeat their scarcely polite exhortations, leaving by choice the rest of the play unread.

As might be expected, ghosts were not popular in the late seventeenth, or in any part of eighteenth-century literature. It might be worth while for someone who is interested in the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy to look up Bacon's attitude toward the supernatural; but the whole fabric of that discussion is impervious to proof on the one side and the other. Dryden and Pope could find no use for ghosts other than merely intellectual superstructures; nor could any of these gay dramatists (using the adjective in the sense of Mr. Pinero's "The Gay Lord Quex") whose works no really proper person is supposed to have read. Ghosts came in again with the romantic revival; but during this period they are too picturesque to be terrifying to a present-day audience, whatever they were to the squires and ladies who read "The Mystery of Udolpho." We cannot help sympathizing with Miss Austen, who, with malice of forethought, laid a washing bill with emendations written in red ink in the secret hiding-place which the amiable young heroine of Northanger Abbey was so certain of finding. Scott's ghosts are all romantic; but one can find few better things than romance when it is associated with genius. The figure of Claverhouse in "Wandering Willie's Tale," sitting at the nameless banquet with his hand over the place where the silver bullet had gone in has not yet been dimmed by time. Stevenson chose that tale from Scott as one of the finest short stories that had ever been written; and when he came to write his own of the tailor, the appearance of whose body danced on the rock surrounded by the sea while he still seemed to his neighbors to be sleeping at his work, Scott's story was not far from his mind.

The ghost romantic was followed by a return to the ghost jocular, although it is not clear that Dickens did not mean to frighten his audience as well as his miser when he brought Scrooge up to Marley's ghost in the first place. But the coat-tail buttons settled that question; no modern public could be terrified of a ghost the appearance of whose visionary buttons was of more consequence than the spirit himself.

A writer in the Spectator once affirmed that thousands of people would welcome any proof of the appearance of a ghost, since it would be an indubitable indication of the continuance of existence. This attitude is, perhaps, responsible for a later development of the supernatural in literature, the ghost heavenly, of whom no one has written more vividly than Mrs. Oliphant. Her account of a visitation of spirits to a town in France, which is to be found in "A Beleaguered City," is supposed by good authorities to be her strongest bid for immortality. The very tremor of anxious souls presses out from the book; but sweetly, as if an angel had sobbed. Those who have a liking for good ghosts, the ghost in high places, cannot do better than read Mrs. Oliphant's "Stories of the Unseen"; and after making the acquaintance of "A Little Pilgrim," no one of discernment could think poorly of the spiritual insight of a generation that produced an author who could imagine such a country and people who found a keen degree of satisfaction in reading of it.

It is evident that as the modern ghost in literature develops it becomes more subtle, suggestive, and mysterious. The writer of a modern ghost-story has a far more difficult task than he would have had a hundred years ago, or any number of hundred years that one can count. But when the effect of the supernatural is once produced in modern times it is more lasting and cannot be so readily shaken off, because a ghost-story has now to be psychically true. The ghost-story in any age must be aimed at what men believe in that age. To-day we believe in the soul, and in the effect of sin and virtue; we are not supposed to believe in many things, but we do believe in that with ever-increasing earnestness. For the effect of virtue we have the work of Mrs. Oliphant. For the consideration of what men can reach, if they let themselves go long enough, we find at least one example in the work of Mr. Henry James. What shall we call Peter Quint and "the woman with the dreadful face" — the ghost intensive? There is no later development at present than Peter Quint, nor is there any sign that & later development will be needed for some years: we have not got accustomed to his horror yet. He belongs to the essence of a ghost-story and would daunt—well, anyone who thought about him. It is significant that there is not a hint in "The Turn of the Screw" that Peter Quint lives anywhere but where he used to live when he was supposed to be, at least, more materiaL How modern that is, and how sufficient to make us stop and wonder! There is no hint of any punishment, or, indeed, of any explanation; but a furtive watching and an endeavor to keep some power. What a world Peter Quint and his companion are away from Mr. Stockton's amiable quiddity, the pieman! Mr. James's is the real ghost, the legitimate descendant of "the sheeted dead who did squeak and gibber about the streets of Rome." Pete Quint establishes at least one thing, that the modern ghost has become an appeal to a spiritual condition, not to a physical one. The modern ghost is what we have been taught to call a soul; and that, even in the present generation, affords an inexhaustible theme for consideration. We know so little about spiritual eye; and it means so much. One of the strongest canons of art calls for reticence, a canon, indeed, which Mr. James does not violate. The next development of the ghost-story in literature scarcely foreshadows itself; but if the work of the Psychical Society is to count for anything, the plot ought to be found in the regions of spiritualism— spirit-writing, perhaps.
Marjory MacMurchy.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

The Root of Socialism is Cowardice by Frederick Millar 1907


The Root of Socialism is Cowardice by Frederick Millar

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The root of socialism is cowardice. Here is the real source of the whole movement. It is the whine and the dream of the weakling’s base fear of rivalry, of competition. It is the duty of real men to circumvent and defeat, by war if necessary, by invasion if necessary, by conquest if necessary, by extermination if necessary, the despicable effeminacy of creatures unworthy of the name of men, because they fear to carry on the competitive struggle in which the true life of manhood consists. The socialist movement is popular because it appeals to these numerous creatures; panders to their baseness; promises them what they would be ashamed to desire or seek if they were men; and fools them to the top of their bent, while it misleads them into the pit of destruction. But who among the leaders of their political parties has the manliness to tell them the truth about this matter?

That the animating spirits of this movement fear to carry on the struggle for existence in its highest form—that they fear, in other words, the commercial and industrial competition which necessarily must exist, in so far as freedom exists—is about as certain as any fact concerning the minds of others can be; and it may be proved by their own teachings. And yet these people want us to believe that they are prepared, if parliamentary means fail them, to head a violent revolution to carry out their schemes. “Peaceably if possible, forcibly if necessary,” are the words used. It is absolutely certain that they are not prepared to do anything of the kind. Persons who cannot stomach commercial and industrial competition would not stomach lead and cold steel. They would not stomach anything that placed their precious skins in danger. Fear of competition in its commercial and industrial form necessarily means fear of it in its more deadly shapes. In seeking to abolish competition these agitators reveal their true character, and prove that, however good they may be at barking, they are not likely to do much biting if danger is about. If parliamentary means fail them, all means will fail them, for they have nothing else, and never will have anything else.

Yes, you will doubtless say, but socialism is gaining ground in England, is coming more and more into favour with the masses, and whatever becomes popular with them cannot be a bad thing. We do not dispute the growing popularity of the movement. We only point out that England is not the world—that even the whole of Europe is not the world—that America is not the world. Survival in the struggle for existence is not, and cannot be, for those peoples who are afraid of the struggle itself. Slothful love of ease and fear of rivalry will, sooner or later, deservedly go down before whatever is animated by a manlier spirit. Rotten principles will destroy millions as surely as they will destroy units. The time required may be longer, but there are reckoning days for nations and empires as well as for individuals. When crowds go wrong there are means in existence for dealing with them. Democracy does not rule the process of the suns. We can conceive of a democracy animated by sound principles and noble aims, but it does not exist in this country to-day. This process makes for the victory of the best and the overthrow of the worst, let massed ignorance vote as it may, let its flattering misleaders promise what they may, let the dreams of both be as rosy as they may. Realities will disturb them rudely.

It is not so much the form as the spirit of socialism, or, rather its want of spirit, which disgusts one. Its note is always the note of baseness, of unworthy dread of individual freedom, which it is ready to sacrifice to any extent for the sake of collective insurance in everlasting food, etc., with beer and skittles thrown in, which it promises to all without being in a position to keep its word. It is ever the cry of the laziness that wants to have everything done for it by others, and that abhors having to exert itself to do anything for itself. Socialism is the cry of adult babyhood for public nurses and public pap-bottles.

Government is to do everything for the lazy socialist without charging him anything for it! In fact, its numerous functionaries, its vast armies of inspectors, and inspectors of inspectors, and inspectors of inspectors of inspectors; its crowds of officials of all kinds, swarming everywhere like locusts to eat the people out of house and home, are to live and work, on the dreamer’s theory, without consuming anything at all; so that the socialist may be able to obtain everything he wants free, absolutely free! For how else is this model of altruism to have so much gratuitously done for him? Even the functionaries of a socialist State could not live on nothing. They will not be workers of miracles, and even those who profess to perform such wonders seldom appear to be able to do the miracle of living for long without eating; and many of them are very costly beggars, until they become still more costly robbers and spiritual despots.

In this place it will be useful to clear away a misunderstanding. When the need for the struggle for existence, for the survival of the fittest and for the disappearance of their opposites, is insisted upon, the inference is sometimes drawn that those who insist on this need affirm by implication that nothing whatever should under any circumstances be done by the strong to soften the lot of the weak. Such an inference, however, is not warranted. There is room for love in the service of reason. Love is not the highest, but it comes near to the highest in proportion as it serves the highest. But the ideal of reason is strength, the greatest possible activity of mind and body for the greatest possible number of persons for the longest possible time. Towards this ideal the love that is guided by reason will ever work; and the love that is not guided by reason had better not exist. So long as the help which strength gives voluntarily to weakness—gives without governmental or collective compulsion in any shape or form—is not of such a character as to enable and encourage mental, moral, or physical weakness to multiply and extend itself in the country and in the world, but is of such a character as to lessen the mischief to which it ministers, no harm is done to society considered as a continuing succession of generations, and posterity is not injured by so wisely-governed a form of benevolence. But benevolence greatly needs to be wisely governed if it is to avoid sinning against the light of science, the only means of salvation, social and individual alike, and the only light of man. The essential thing is that there shall be a steady advancement towards reason’s ideal. The essential thing is that every kind of mental, moral, and physical inefficiency shall steadily grow less rather than more.

This brings us to another point. A violent, sudden, and wholesale destruction of the weak by the strong, which is sometimes said by socialists and communists to be the logic of the individualist position, would promote no steady improvement. It would produce only reaction, the natural fruit of violence and haste. Consequently it would only be less of a curse to its country, and to the world at large, than the blind, irrational sentimentalism now working so much evil in our midst by thoughtlessly providing facilities for, and encouraging the multiplication of, all forms of inefficiency; thus spreading the very mischief to which it ministers, and which it is the endeavour of all rational minds to steadily and surely remove.

When we urge that socialism is bad, we do not want it to be understood that we are contending that the system under which we are now living, which is largely socialistic, and a great part of the evil in which is, to a considerable extent, due to its socialistic laws and institutions, is the best of all possible systems for all possible time. On the contrary, we say, reform the present system in the direction of justice; of equal, even-handed justice, without class favour, and without class partiality; of justice for each and justice for all. This will mean getting rid of most, if not all, of its socialism. We do not say that human intelligence allied with political power will never devise better laws and institutions than those we have now to put up with. We do not oppose any change which is really for the better for this or subsequent generations. But socialism, or rather a larger dose of it, is not a change for the better; it is a change for the worse, as the facts about it clearly demonstrate. Whatever else the good and lasting system of the future may be, it will assuredly not be socialism. It will be a system in which there is far greater scope for healthy and bracing competition than exists now, as well as far greater security for the private property which such competition requires. In short, it will be an individualist system. Those are the best laws, those are the best institutions, which lead men to put forth their best faculties of mind and body to the uttermost, without injury to their health and without injustice to each other. This is a position of reason, which is that of men prepared to take the risks of personal freedom, instead of embracing collective slavery and then looking to the State to dry-nurse and molly-coddle them into adult babyhood.

But an economic and social gospel based upon fear of rivalry, fear of competition, fear of being killed with work, fear of paternal and maternal duties and responsibilities—fear, in short, of everything that makes a man a man or a woman a woman—cannot be entertained seriously by men who have any respect for themselves, or any desire for the lasting good of their species. Socialism is damned because it seeks to do by political means what cannot be done by such means. It would raise the poor, but no class in this world is really benefited without a change in its character as well as in its material circumstances; and no class in this world can be really elevated to a higher plane of mental, moral, and physical life without the constant exercise of personal economy, thrift, industry, valour, continence, and the other virtues. Nor is it desirable that the state of things should be otherwise. Outward prosperity that corresponds to no inward worth, to no nobility of mind and action, is a vain and empty thing. A good mind is the only good for itself, and other things are good just in so far as they make for it.

Those who seek to help the poor by taking from the rich merely because they are rich, only sink the poor lower in their own self-respect and in the respect of the rest of the world. They produce paupers, but not men. Those who seek to help the poor by relieving them of their duties and responsibilities as parents, only debase and enslave them. They produce loose, vicious, careless, shallow, idle characters, but not men, not women. They will sink their protégés low enough if they are but allowed to do so. This is why, far more in the interests of the poor than in those of the rich, the deadly poison of socialism, wherever it is found, and under whatever disguise it is sought to be concealed, ought to be not merely opposed, but utterly, completely, and for ever destroyed.

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Insane Genius and Johann Sebastian Bach by J. Nisbet 1912


Genius, Insanity and Johann Sebastian Bach by John Ferguson Nisbet 1912

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Pathologically speaking, music is as fatal a gift to its possessor as the faculty for poetry or letters; the biographies of all the greatest musicians being a miserable chronicle of the ravages of nerve-disorder, extending, like the Mosaic curse, to the third and fourth generation. The genealogy of the Bach family has been traced for a period BACH of over 200 years. The founder of the family was a baker named Veit Bach, who, in the sixteenth century, settled in Saxe-Gotha. He played the guitar, and taught music to his two sons. Prom these sprang numerous descendants, who not only cultivated music, but made it their means of livelihood, filling a number of official posts as organists or town musicians in Germany. Many of them, of course, were mediocrities, but one or two Bachs in every generation gained at least some local distinction. At first sight the growth of this highly musical family, which numbered at one time about 200 members, might be taken to prove the feasibility of producing by means of heredity a specially gifted race of men. If they did not marry in and in, the male Bachs, in many cases, chose musical wives, and music seemed with them to run in the blood. On a closer examination of the family history, however, the prospects of a successful breeding of musical geninses on the system adopted with Derby winners and prize oxen, not only diminish, but become reduced to the vanishing point. Of the great majority of the Bachs little or nothing is known beyond the dates of their births and deaths. Yet the meagreness of the record does not disguise the growing ravages of nerve-disorder in their midst, the evil culminating at the point where the musical genius of the family is at its greatest, namely in the person of Sebastian Bach.

One of the grandsons of old Veit Bach was blind, as well as eccentric enough to be the subject of many strange stories; other Bachs appear to have been addicted to drunkenness, and Spitta, the historian of the family, makes a regretful allusion to the sickness and general misery with which the several generations of Bachs had to contend. Christopher Bach, grandfather of Sebastian, died at forty-eight; he was a court musician, and his wife, herself the daughter of a musician, died the same year. Of his three sons, two were twins, John Ambrosius and John Christopher, born evidently of the same ovum, seeing that they had exactly the same temperament, suffered from the same disorders, and were so remarkably alike that even their wives could not distinguish them except by their clothes. Moreover, they died within two years of each other, and about the same early age as their father, whose feeble constitution they no doubt inherited. A sister of theirs, the aunt consequently of Sebastian, was an idiot. John Christopher had a sickly family, some of whom suffered from weakness of the eyes. It was John Ambrosius, however, who became the father of the most illustrious member of the family in whom, observes Spitta, 'the genius of the Bachs, after having diffused itself more or less widely through whole generations, culminated and exhausted itself.'

In Sebastian Bach the fatal inheritance of nerve-disorder first betrayed itself by short-sightedness in his youth. At sixty-five he became totally blind; a year later he was stricken with apoplexy, from which he died. Strange to say, ten days before his death, his sight was suddenly restored, from which it may be concluded that his blindness arose, not from a defect of the retina or a decay of the optic nerves, but from some disturbance of the visual centre of the brain, which the apoplexy temporarily corrected. Sebastian Bach was twice married, and had no fewer than twenty children. One of these was an idiot boy, who was thought for a time to have 'great genius.' Four other sons were musically gifted. With the whole family nerve-disorder played havoc. The eldest and most gifted son, Wilhelm Friedemann, was a man of obstinate and sombre disposition-more than half insane. He was said to be 'unable to adapt his style to circumstances.' During many years he depended for existence on the bounty of his friends, and died in extreme misery. Only a few of Bach's twenty children survived him, most of them indeed dying in childhood. One alone left issue, and with the death of Sebastian's solitary grandson, Wilhelm, court musician at Berlin, in 1846, the family of the great composer became extinct-a melancholy example of the unfitness of genius to perpetuate itself, or even to hold its own in the battle of life.

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The Sea Serpent by William J Fox 1869


The Sea Serpent by William J Fox 1869

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A familiar passage in Virgil's Aeneid gives a vivid account of two monstrous sea serpents that strangled the priest Laocoon and his two sons during the seige of Troy. This description illustrates the antiquity of the belief in sea-serpents, a tradition which has extended down to the present day, and which is by no means confined to the ignorant or superstitious. Eminent scientists and men of letters have been prone to believe in the existence of such creatures, not only in the past but as late as the nineteenth century. The famous naturalist Philip Henry Gosse firmly believed in the existence of a marine monster still unknown to naturalists, and related to the extinct Enaliosauria, gigantic reptilian animals inhabiting the oceans long before the advent of man, and whose remains occur as evidence in the mesozoic series.

The sea-serpent is pretty fully discussed pro and con in Gosse's "Romance of Natural History," where will be found a reprint ot Sir Richard Owen's controversion, he arguing that if the so-called sea-serpents were saurian in their analogies as claimed, they must be air-breathers, would float when dead, and therefore if such creatures exist their remains would surely be discovered cast up on beaches. But such remains have never been found. And the learned author points out that the coasts of Norway, in which country the belief in the sea-serpent is almost a dogma, have been under scientific research for years, and yet not a single bone assignable to such an animal has ever been found there.

It must not be inferred that no snakes abide in the sea. There are numerous species of ophidians whose home is the boundless ocean, but none approaches the sea-serpent of old in size and fantasy. The true sea-snakes are frequently handsome creatures, variegated with colors, but are very poisonous. The Indian ocean tenants most of the known species, and, it is said, they sometimes congregate in immense numbers. In form they are peculiar by their flattened, broad, oar-like tails, adapted for swimming. Like most aquatic snakes they sometimes leave the sea for land, and there is on record the capture of a specimen in Java at a distance from the sea equalling a day's march.

Pontoppidan gives us the first extended account of the sea-serpent, which is to be found in his Natural History of Norway, of which an English edition appeared in London in 1755. The author was a bishop and should not therefore be guilty of exaggeration. This worthy man himself doubted the reality of the monster until weighty affirmative evidence was produced by Norwegian sailors, fishermen etc., so that the incredulity of Pontoppidan was so overcome that he calls skeptics "enemies of credulity." In his work are the sworn statements of persons who had seen the monster which he calls the Serpens marinus magnus.

That the serpent sheds its skin like other ophidians is affirmed by Pontoppidan, as the skin of one found served as a table cover at Kopperwiig, but as even Pontoppidan doubted the truth of such a statement he made inquiries concerning it but could get no definite information. It was learned, however, that a sea-snake had lain a whole week in a creek nearby, which on its departure, left behind it a skin which his informant declared he saw and handled.

Hans Egede in his natural history of Greenland (Das Alten Gronlandes Neue Perlustration, oder Naturell-Historie, etc., 1742) tells of a wonderful creature observed in Davis Strait in 1742. "It was such an exceedingly large animal, that when it raised itself out of the water its head reached as high as a mast, and the body was throughout as thick as a ship, compared with which it was easily three or four times as long. It had a long pointed muzzle, and spouted like a whale. On the upper part [Oberteil] of the body were two great broad feet or fins, and the very uneven skin seemed armed with scales. Otherwise it had the form of a snake, especially in regard to its posterior part, and when it again went under the water, it threw itself backwards, and stuck its tail out of the water at a height equal to a ships length." Such was the sea-serpent of Hans Egede, and on this description is evidently based the monster figured in the lower portion of the illustration by Pontoppidan. It is likely that Egede in stating the positions of the fins meant anterior instead of upper, for in the illustration the fins are not on the upper part of the body, which would be a curious anomaly. Probably Pontoppidan's figure is simply a reproduction of that of Egede, whose original work, in Danish, contained a picture of the animal described.

Pontoppidan concluded that there are various species of sea-serpents, and indeed, judging from the diversity of the descriptions given us, such a conclusion is unavoidable, unless one is skeptical to all that concerns the creatures. Disregarding size, which as a rule is not a specific characteristic, sea-serpents of various colors have been observed; some possessed a long shaggy mane, which in others is wanting. Observations nearly all coincide in that the creature moves with the head projecting from the water, but usually differ as to mode of locomotion, some simply gliding along, while one observer "distinctly made out three convolutions, which drew themselves slowly through the water."

Of the many explanations suggested by those who believe the sea-serpent to be the fancy of disordered brains or the invention of skippers and seamen who require new material for their stock of yarns, the most amusing and interesting are the reports of the captains of the ships Brazilian and Pekin, who, but not simultaneously, thought they had met with the terrible monster, and with great bravery went to the attack with boat and harpoon, when lo, what was discovered but a huge mass of sea-weed, torn from its fastenings by the roots, the latter as the mass floated along, projecting from the water, in one instance, a distance of sixteen feet, and was first believed by the skipper to be head of the monster, whose neck appeared "surmounted with a huge crest in the shape of a saw."

Ever since the first record of the sea-serpent it has turned-up periodically in one place or another. There are still many who are non-commital on the subject and who would take the side of Goldsmith, who said: To believe all that has been said of the sea-serpent, or kraken, would be credulity; to reject the possibility of their existence would be presumption.

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