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HE tradition of the stage is a tradition of villains and heroes. Shakespeare was a devout believer in the existence of the true villain-the man whose terrible secret is that his fundamental moral impulses are by some freak of nature inverted, so that not only are love, pity, and honor loathsome to him, and the affectation of them which society imposes on him a constant source of disgust, but cruelty, destruction, and perfidy are his most luxurious passions. This is a totally different phenomenon from the survivals of the ape and tiger in the normal man. The average normal man is covetous, lazy, selfish; but he is not malevolent, nor capable of saying to himself, "Evil: be thou my good." He only does wrong as a means to an end, which he always represents to himself as a right end. The case is exactly reversed with a villain; and it is my melancholy duty to add that we sometimes find it hard to avoid a cynical suspicion that the balance of social advantage is on the side of gifted villainy, since we see the able villain, Mephistopheles-like, doing a huge amount of good in order to win the power to do a little daring evil, out of which he is as likely as not to be cheated in the end; whilst your normal respectable man will countenance, connive at, and grovel his way through all sorts of meanness, baseness, servility, and cruel indifference to suffering in order to enjoy a miserable
tuppence worth of social position, piety, comfort, and domestic affection, of which he, too, is often ironically defrauded by Fate.-George Bernard Shaw.
WAS passing along the street when a beggar, a decrepit old man, stopped me. ¶ Swollen, tearful eyes, blue lips, bristling rags, unclean sores. . . .. Oh, how horribly had poverty gnawed that unhappy being! He stretched out to me a red, bloated, dirty hand... He moaned, he bellowed for help. I began to rummage in all my pockets.. Neither purse, nor watch, nor even handkerchief did I find... I had taken nothing with me. And the beggar still waited...and extended his hand, which swayed and trembled feebly. Bewildered, confused, I shook that dirty, tremulous hand heartily. . . . "Blame me not, brother; I have nothing, brother.”
The beggar man fixed his swollen eyes upon me; his blue lips smiled-and in his turn he pressed my cold fingers. "Never mind, brother," he mumbled. "Thanks for this also, brother.-This also is an alms, brother."
I understood that I had received an alms from my brother." The Beggar Man," by Turgenef.
I do abhor;
And yet how sweet
The sound along the marching street
Without a soul-save this bright treat
Oh, it is wickedness to clothe
Drudgery is as necessary to call out the treasurers of the mind as harrowing and planting those of the earth.
O make my readers realize what a philosopher is, I can only say that I am a philosopher. If you ask incredulously, "How, then, are your articles so interesting?" I reply that there is nothing so interesting as philosophy, provided its materials are not spurious.
For instance, take my own materialshumanity and the fine arts. Any studious, timorously ambitious bookworm can run away from the world with a few shelves full of history, essays, descriptions, and criticisms, and, having pieced an illusory humanity and art out of the effects produced by his library upon his imagination, build some silly systematization of his worthless ideas over the abyss of his own nescience. Such a philosopher is as dull and dry as you please; it is he who brings his profession into disrepute, especially when he talks much about art, and so persuades people to read him. Without having looked at more than fifty pictures in his life, or made up his mind on the smallest point about one of the fifty, he will audaciously take it upon himself to explain the development of painting from Zeuxis and Apelles to Raphael and Michelangelo s☛☛
As to the way he will go on about music, of which he always has an awe-stricken conceit, it spoils my temper to think of it, especially when one remembers that musical composition is taught (a monstrous pretension) in this country by people who read scores, and never by any chance listen to performances. Now, the right way to go to workstrange as it may appear-is to look at pictures until you have acquired the power of seeing them. If you look at several thousand good pictures every year, and form some sort of practical judgment about every one of themwere it only that it is not worth troubling over-then at the end of five years or so you will, if you have a wise eye, be able to see what is actually in a picture, and not what you think is in it. Similarly, if you listen critically to music every day for a number of years, you will, if you
have a wise ear, acquire the power of hearing music. And so on with all the arts
When we come to humanity it is still the same: only by intercourse with men and women can we learn anything about it. This involves an active life, not a contemplative one; for, unless you do something in the world, you can have no real business to transact with men; and unless you love and are loved, you can have no intimate relations with them. And you must transact business, wirepull politics, discuss religion, give and receive hate, love, and friendship with all sorts of people before you can acquire the sense of humanity.
If you are to acquire the sense sufficiently to be a philosopher, you must do all these things unconditionally. You must not say that you will be a gentleman and limit your intercourse to this class or that class; or that you will be a virtuous person and generalize about the affections from a single instance-unless, indeed, you have the rare happiness to stumble at first upon an all-enlightening instance. You must have no convictions, because as Nietzsche puts it, convictions are prisons." Thus, I blush to add, you can not be a philosopher and a good man, though you may be a philosopher and a great one.
You will say, perhaps, that if this be so, there should be no philosophers; and perhaps you are right; but though I make you this handsome concession, I do not defer to you to the extent of ceasing to exist.
HE summits of the Alps.... A whole chain of steep cliffs ... The very heart of the mountains.
Overhead a bright, mute, pale-green sky. A hard, cruel frost; firm, sparkling snow; from beneath the snow project grim blocks of ice-bound, windworn cliffs.
Two huge masses, two giants rise aloft, one on each side of the horizon: the Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn. And the Jungfrau says to its neighbor: "What news hast thou to tell? Thou canst see better.-What is going on there below? "
Several thousand years pass by like one minute. And the Finsteraarhorn rumbles in reply: "Dense clouds veil the earth ... Wait!"
More thousands of years elapse, as it were one minute.
"Well, what now?"inquires the Jungfrau. "Now I can see; down yonder, below, everything is still the same: partycolored, tiny. The waters gleam blue; the forests are black; heaps of stones piled up shine gray. Around them small beetles are still bustling,-thou knowest, those two-legged beetles who have as yet been unable to defile either thou or me.” "Men?"
Thousands of years pass, as it were one minutes
"Well, and what now?" asks the Jungfrau
"I seem to see fewer of the little beetles," thunders the Finsteraarhorn. "Things have become clearer down below; the waters have contracted; the forests have grown thinner."
More thousands of years pass, as it were one minute.
"What dost thou see?" says the Jung
"Things seem to have grown clearer round us, close at hand," replies the Finsteraarhorn; "well, and yonder, far away, in the valleys there is still a spot, and something is moving." "And now?" inquires the Jungfrau, after other thousands of years, which are as one minute.
E said, "I see." And they said: "He's crazy; crucify him." He still said: "I see." And they said: " He 's an extremist." And they tolerated him. And he continued to say: "I see.” And they said: "He 's eccentric." And they rather liked him, but smiled at him. And he stubbornly said again: "I see." And they said: "There's something in what he says." And they gave him half an ear. But he said as if he'd never said it before: "I see." And at last they were awake; and they gathered about him and built a temple in his name. And yet he only said: I see." ." And they wanted to do something for him. " What can we do to express to you our regret?" He only smiled. He touched them with the ends of his fingers and kissed them. What could they do for him?" Nothing more than you have done,” he answered. And what was that? they wanted to know. "You see," he said, "that's reward enough; you see, you see."-"The Prophet," by Horace Traubel.
EMBRANDT belongs to the breed of artists which can have no posterity. His place is with the Michelangelos, the Shakespeares, the Beethovens. An artistic Prometheus, he stole the celestial fire, and with it put life into what was inert, and expressed the immaterial and evasive sides of nature in his breathing forms.-Emile Michel.
TEP by step my investigation of blindness led me into the industrial world. And what a world it is! I must face unflinchingly a world of facts a world of misery and degradation, of blindness, crookedness, and sin, a world struggling against the elements, against the unknown, against itself. How reconcile this world of fact with the bright world of my imagining? My darkness had been filled with the light of intelligence, and, behold, the outer day-lit world was stumbling and groping in social blindness. At first I was most unhappy; but deeper study restored my confidence By learning the sufferings and burdens of men, I became aware as never before of the lifepower that has survived the forces of darkness-the power which, though never completely victorious, is continuously conquering. The very fact that we are still here carrying on the contest against the hosts of annihilation proves that on the whole the battle has gone for humanity. The world's great heart has proved equal to the prodigious undertaking which God set it. Rebuffed, but always persevering; self-reproached, but ever regaining faith; undaunted, tenacious, the heart of man labors towards immeasurably distant goals. Discouraged not by difficulties without, or the anguish of ages within, the heart listens to a secret voice that whispers: "Be not dismayed; in the future lies the Promised Land."
Life! we've been long together Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'T is hard to part when friends
Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a
HERE has arisen in society a figure
which is certainly the most mournful, and in some respects the most awful, upon which the eye of the moralist can dwell. That unhappy being whose very name is a shame to speak; who counterfeits with a cold heart the transports of affection, and submits herself as the passive instrument of lust; who is scorned and insulted as the vilest of her sex and doomed, for the most part, to disease and abject wretchedness and an early death, appears in every age as the perpetual symbol of the degradation and sinfulness of man ☛
Herself the supreme type of vice, she is ultimately the most efficient guardian of virtue.
But for her, the unchallenged purity of countless happy homes would be polluted, and not a few who, in the pride of their untempted chastity, think of her with an indignant shudder, would have known the agony of remorse and despair. On that one degraded and ignoble form are concentrated the passions that might have filled the world with shame. She remains, while creeds and civilizations rise and fall, the eternal priestess of humanity, blasted for the sins of the people.-William E. H. Lecky.
Then steal away, give little
Choose thine own time;
"Life," by Anna Letitia Barbauld
Man is the merriest species of the creation; all above or below him are serious. -Addison.
N the Twentieth Century war will be dead, the scaffold will be dead, hatred will be dead, frontier boundaries will be dead, dogmas will be dead; man will live. He will possess something higher than all these a great country, the whole earth, and a great hope, the whole heaven.-Victor Hugo.
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.-Margaret Fuller.
The men who felled the forests, cultivated the earth; spanned the rivers with bridges of steel, built the railways and canals, the great ships, invented the locomotives and engines, supplying the countless wants of civilization; the men who invented the telegraphs and cables, and freighted the electricspark with thought and love; the men who invented the looms and spindles that clothe the world, the inventors of printing and the great presses that fill the earth with poetry, fiction and fact, that save and keep all knowledge for the children yet to be; the inventors of all the wonderful machines that deftly mold from wood and steel the things we use; the men who explored the heavens and traced the orbits of the stars-who have read the story of the world in mountain range and billowed sea; the men who have lengthened life and conquered pain; the great philosophers and naturalists who have filled the world with light; the great poets whose thoughts have charmed the soul, the great painters and sculptors who have made the canvas speak, the marble live; the great orators who have swayed the world, the composers who have given their souls to sound, the captains of industry, the producers, the soldiers who have battled for the right— these are our Christs, apostles and saints. The books filled with the facts of Nature are our sacred scriptures, and the force that is in every atom and in every starin everything that lives and grows-is the only possible god.-R. G. Ingersoll.
offers the acme of human
delight; it offers the nectar that Jupiter sips; it offers the draft that intoxicates the gods, the divine felicity of lifting up and swaying mankind. There is nothing greater on this earth. 'T is the breath of the Eternal-the kiss of the Immortal e
Oratory is far above houses and lands, offices and emoluments, possessions and power. While it may secure all of these it must not for a moment be classed with them. These things offer nothing that is worthy of a high ambition. Enjoyed to their fullest, they leave you hard, wrinkled and miserable. Get all they can give and the hand will be empty, the mind hungry, and the soul shriveled
The golden poppy is God's gold, The gold that lifts, nor weighs us down,
The gold that knows no miser's hold,
The gold that banks not in the town,
But singing, laughing, freely
Its hoard far up the happy hills; Far up, far down, at every turn— What beggar has not gold to
Oratory is an individual accomplishment, and no vicissitudes of fortune can wrest it from the owner. It points the martyr's path to the future; it guides the reaper's hand in the present, and it turns the face of ambition toward the delectable hills of achievement. One great speech made to an intelligent audience in favor of the rights of man will compensate for a life of labor, will crown a career with glory, and give a joy that is born of the divinities. There is no true orator who is not also a hero.
-John P. Altgeld.
"The California Poppy," by Joaquin Miller
one has success until he has the
abounding life. This is made up of the many-fold activity of energy, enthusiasm and gladness. It is to spring to meet the day with a thrill at being alive. It is to go forth to meet the morning in an ecstasy of joy. It is to realize the oneness of humanity in true spiritual sympathy.-Lillian Whiting.