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clearance. The last run was nearly as well worth seeing as the first, for the engines rushed past us at great speed, the plow throwing up its snow fountains nearly as high as where we sat, fifteen or twenty feet above the top of the cutting. After this, the remaining cuttings offered but little resistance; work had been done upon them by gangs sent out from the other end, and we only had one more dig. out before we reached the plain on which the terminus is situated. When this last obstacle was cleared away, I got into the cab of the plow-engine and rode the last ten or fifteen miles on it at about fifty miles an hour with Hank de Land. We thus reached our journey's end, to the unspeakable satisfaction of all concerned, especially the railway officials, who all agreed that they had had a severe lesson, which must not be repeated. The company will, no doubt, take care to listen to Mr. Doddridge's recommendations as to precautions to be taken against a recurrence of the disaster; for the cost to then during that week in labor, damage, and wear and tear of machinery must have far exceeded the expense which would have been incurred in properly protecting the
From The Spectator.
SILENCE IS GOLD.
IT is the curious fate of the great man whose memoirs have been occupying the reading world for the last few years, to teach, almost as eloquently by his conduct as by his utterance, the lesson of our text. Carlyle's sermons on the duty of selfcontrol in expression, like the sermons of many another preacher, have received their most forcible illustration from his own errors. His wordy wailings have to some extent concealed his character. Never was there a case in which it was truer that half is more than the whole. There is a surplusage of expression which is all the more misleading because it refers to facts; and many an error of detail is less important than the loss of proportion which is inevitable when the biographer unveils all he sees. We know more about our great men than we did in the days before it was the fashion to paint them naked, we do not know them better. But this is a theme we have urged before, and to repeat the hopeless protest would be indeed to illustrate our own warning.
We are now seeking to understand, not to make war upon, the promiscuous expression of our time. The loss of dignified reserve, like almost every other loss, may be minimized by being made conscious. Whatever it be that makes life so much more unclothed than it was in the time of our fathers, it is worth understanding, even if it be something that must be simply accepted; for it concerns the whole of life, and modifies almost every feeling which is stirred by the intercourse of man with man.
It is the result of two important movements of our day; of its rapid progress towards democracy, and of its increasing interest in physical science. But, indeed, truly considered, these two things are one. Democracy is triumphant everywhere, and its triumph in the world of education means the substitution of scientific for literary interest. The old ideal of education was aristocratic. It said:" All knowledge is good, but all knowledge is not, in the same degree, educating. One study has this educating influence in a peculiar degree that which is called literature; and one class of literature has it in a peculiar degree that to which the consent of Europe has accorded the epithet of classi cal, and which the intellect of Europe has for centuries been employed in fashioning into an implement of education. Let there be, therefore, a certain stamp of catholic approval on the knowledge of the two languages containing this literature, which is accorded to no other knowledge; dignifying it with the title of cultivation, and thus raising it on a kind of platform, above the promiscuous crowd of claimants on intellectual attention." Thus it has arisen that this particular knowledge has a kind of prestige shared by no other. For a man to say that he is ignorant of chemistry is to avow a mere idiosyncrasy; to make the same avowal about Greek is to give up all claim to a liberal education. And then, again, the same distinction holds good as to the ignorance respectively of Latin and of German. A certain division of literature, is literature par excellence. It is not that Latin is a casket of more valuable thought than German is. Quite the reverse. No great nation was ever so little original as the one whose records reach us in that language; it would be difficult to cite from them a single striking thought. But the student of Latin literature lives in select society. The student of German must pick and choose for himself. When Europe accepted as its educational instrument a
study of the two languages to which the word classical is given, on the ground that they offer nothing which is not classical, a sanction was given to the principle of aristocracy in knowledge, and its influence still holds to a considerable extent, for its roots went deep. But it is fading under the influence of a rival theory. No thoughtful persons would at any time suppose that the sole business of education is the imparting of knowledge; but the premiss of the old school was that certain knowledge is education in a peculiar sense, in opposition to the modern theory that the pupil is to have his faculties trained to the work of acquiring knowledge, and left to decide for himself what knowledge he requires. The aristocracy of knowledge is to be done away with.
indirectly. Re-read Cicero's literary mas. terpieces, do you find any light thrown on the problems of life, do you gain a single idea that from the point of view of science, taking that word in its largest significa tion, has any value whatever? Not one. If you look at these productions in that light, they are exceedingly commonplace. But the lightness of touch, which is gone as we feel it, just supplies that suggestion, so faint and yet so distinct, which in its power of reviving individual memories, seems to rouse within us the very feelings it describes. A word more, and the spell is broken. What we value is more what is not said than what is said. The words themselves are not striking, what is striking is the quick passing on from a sug gestion that leaves room for memory and imagination to rush in and fill the blank with visions which great genius perhaps could not translate into language. This classic ideal of self-restraint passed into the very life-blood of European literature, and is manifest in those who did not imbibe it at first hand. It is exhibited nowhere with more distinctness than in the work of one who, in her recently published letters, prettily describes herself as the most ignorant writer who ever handled a a pen, Miss Austen. An article on "Style," in one of the reviews for Decem. ber, quotes from her a sentence which seems to us a perfect example of this selfrestraint in expression. "Their union," she says in describing an ideal constancy perhaps modelled on some actual feeling, "could not any more divide her from other men than their final separation." Dilute that idea as it would be diluted by a writer of our own day, and it becomes trite. Nothing is more commonplace than the idea of a devotion irrespective of all requital, whatever the fact may be, and nothing can be more tedious than most descriptions of it. What gives power and meaning to a sentence which makes us feel merely what every novel-writer tries to make us feel is its exceeding reticence. Describing a strength of feeling wonderfully rare in life, and naturally suggesting superlatives, it takes a negative form, and uses the very fewest and faintest words in which the idea can be expressed. Though Jane Austen knew not a line of Latin and Greek, she shows classic influence in that reticence. And, just as the influence of classic training is felt in the writing of This self-restraint, this intellectual tem- those who know nothing of the classics, perance, is the special characteristic of so the influence of literary training is felt classical literature, and of all literature in the behavior of those who know noththat has been much influenced by it evening of literature. It is the principal part
The proclamation of liberty and equality in the world of study appears only to do away with the favored position of literature. But, in fact, it concedes that position to physical science. Equality is an unstable condition; as the obliteration of rank brings out the preponderance of wealth, so the dethronement of literature means the enthronement of science. All practical pursuits stand in immediate relation to physical science; the moment you try to make all studies equal, you make this supreme. This change has many kinds of influence; we are concerned with only one. While there was this precedence given to literature, every one, whether he cared for literature or not, was reminded more or less of the existence of a great world of expression, in which silence had its proper domain. "By what he omits, show me the master in style." Some works which are not at all literary might be made so by mere excision. A great writer, while adding not a single idea, and hardly a word of his own, might sometimes make of an unreadable book a contribution to literature, merely by removing what had better be left out. We have all some experience, some gleam of inspiration, even some thought, which, if we could express that and nothing besides, would be in its degree poetic." But the very power to separate what should be unexpressed from what should be expressed is a part of the literary instinct; and those who lack it may possess the ore to some amount, but have no smelting furnace. And this is the condition of or dinary humanity.
of what we mean by breeding. A man of the world who yawns over a novel or a newspaper shows some trace of inherited cultivation in the criticisms on his neigh bors which he keeps to himself; and even so highly cultivated a man as Carlyle, perhaps, exhibits the lack of that influence in remarks which would seem to us less ill-natured, if we remembered his peasant blood.
that seeks to unfold character has a dou ble principle of rejection, both halves of which are unknown to science. It rejects whatever is trivial, and then, again, it rejects whatever is misleading. Do not tell us your hero's favorite dish; do not describe at any length his bodily ailments; do not dwell on his personal appearance. And further, do not tell us of some inexplicable lapse from the kindness, the honNow science, whatever else it may en- or, or the purity which almost invariably force, certainly drops the literary disci- distinguished him. Not because you will pline of reticence. It concerns that about hurt the feelings of his children, not bewhich the more facts are known the nearer cause you will impair the loyalty of his we get to the truth, in which it is specially disciples - these are not motives that important not to neglect the trivial and should weigh with a biographer - - but bethe imperfect, and in which the mislead- cause you are not, in so doing, helping us ing cannot be said to exist. A study of to know him. In his life this strange exwhich this is true manifestly encourages ception was probably the result of some all expression. Not that it is satisfied combination of circumstances hopelessly with expression. A man of science is beyond our recovery, and hopelessly bevery far from accepting language as an wildering to our attention if it could be adequate vehicle for his study; he would recovered. In our mind it would, from say, indeed, that those who know it only its very strangeness, be the chief thing through the medium of language, do not we should remember about him. Now, know it at all. But still he would allow in any scientific account, the exceptional that the more fully the truth of science is is exactly what it would be most impor put into words the better. It is no exaggeration to say that the less fully the truth of literature is put into words the better. Of poetry this is eminently true, and it is in poetry that we see this opposition at its height. You may agree or disagree with a scientific writer, but if two persons of average intellect, after reading him attentively, differ as to his meaning, he must have expressed him self badly. But poetry guarded against any varying interpretation by different minds would cease to be poetry. We sometimes see the divergent ideals exhibited in the development of a single mind. As time goes on, a man of science is apt to be dissatisfied with all expression that rather suggests than exhausts its subject matter. He is surprised at his own loss of literary taste. He turns back to the poems scored by pencil marks of his youth, and wonders to find their charm is fled, and that he even fails to "understand" them, as he calls it, which, in his sense, is what nobody does. His attention has grown rusty in a certain posture, and he cannot change its focus. He is expecting to carry away from incomplete expression the same kind of intellectual satisfaction that he habitually gains from complete expression. He is looking for the accuracy of science where that kind of accuracy is incompatible with the truth of poetry. And biography in this respect should approach poetry. All narrative
tant to record. To mention the fact that a man of genius and virtue was once found drunk would be the same kind of mistake as to conceal the fact that a highly respectable comet failed to keep its appointment. Science founded a theory of the universe on the exception. Litera ture would find it a mere source of confusion. Where literature is silent, science becomes emphatic.
This principle is essential to literature, but is not confined to it. That person is wonderfully fortunate who has not learned by actual experience that the most accu rately recorded fact on his lips may be come the most hopelessly false theory in his hearers' ears. "The public," it is true, does not distort true fact into false theory quite so much as an individual does, and not quite in the same way. But human character, and the events which unfold and result from it, are never adapt ed to complete expression, in the same way that all other events are. "Action," says the great writer whose works preach the lesson as forcibly as his biography exhibits the danger of neglecting it, "ac tion is solid, narrative is linear." Carlyle's weighty sentences are almost suffi ciently numerous to win oblivion for his unwise utterances; but among them all, and indeed in all literature, we hardly know a warning so pregnant with truth for all time as that implied in those words.
For all time, but especially for our own.
atmosphere impregnated with the prob lems which that fiction presented in a solid form; they were prepared to recog
We have been taught to neglect it by the tendency of general thought and political change, by the temptation of a cheap stim ulus to attention, and lastly, by the teach-nize them by innumerable hints and alluing of a great genius. The narratives sions; they could not take up a magazine, which have combined the interest of dra- and hardly a newspaper, without being matic creation and eloquent preaching, reminded that these were the issues disthe works which have been cited from the puted between thinkers; and when they pulpit and hailed as a new Bible by those found these problems, which to a certain who wished to discard the old, have been extent were familiar, apparently settled in modelled more and more on the new rev. an interesting fiction, the fiction, without erence for physical science. The change losing its own peculiar interest, gained is strikingly apparent when we compare that of philosophy. All this is true only George Eliot with George Sand; and one for a generation. We cannot point to character which we cannot help fancy- any romance of the past as prefiguring ing that the great Englishwoman took what "Daniel Deronda" and "Middlefrom the great Frenchwoman, and in march" may be for the readers of the which, therefore, we can compare the two twentieth century, because the ideal on methods of treatment brings it out very which they are moulded is entirely new. strikingly. Tito Melema, as the incar- But we may safely predict that when nate principle of the Renaissance, is the George Eliot's productions come to be creation of George Eliot; but as the faith-read by our grandchildren, her readers less, frivolous, luxury-loving admirer of will turn most eagerly to those which enRomola, he reminds us of Angiolo, the ter on ground where expression is conVenetian singer, who has a similar relation towards Consuelo. But we know Tito as a patient in a hospital; Angiolo as a personage in a drama. We follow the downfall of the perfidious Greek with the interest with which we study a remarkable case in pathology; while the perfidious Venetian is known to us as a passing acquaintance is, and leaves us without any feeling that we have before us the complete analysis of his condition. We know him, that is, from a literary, not a scientific, point of view.
"Well," it may be objected, "that, so far as it goes, is all on the side of the scientific ideal of fiction, for George Eliot's creation is a more powerful one than George Sand's." To the countrymen of George Eliot, and at the very time of publication it certainly is. Beyond this limit of time and space we doubt. We have a profound faith in the conser vative influence of pure literature, and some distrust of instantaneous impressiveness. The contrast seems to us for cibly exhibited in the earlier and later style of George Eliot herself. "Adam Bede" was a study of moral aspects, not an analysis of moral conditions; and it had not so large an audience as its successors had; perhaps it was not read with the same keen interest as they were, for the author's power of description and creation remained undimmed, and to these attractions was afterwards added that of a kind of mental stimulus peculiarly flat tering to the ordinary intellect. The readers of "Daniel Deronda" breathed an
fessedly incomplete always, rather than to those which change of time can rob of a completeness apparently attempted by their author. Nothing exhaustive, we firmly believe, can ever be perennial.
It may be objected that when we have settled how much detail a writer of fiction had better invent, that does not help to decide how much fact a biographer had better reveal. The objection, however plausible it sound, is a part of the very heresy against which our whole polemic is directed. The aim of biography is to reveal a character. The character is not to be invented. But the biographer should feel his task just as much one of selection as the writer of fiction does. Only very rarely will he reveal the character he seeks to reveal by telling everything he knows. The most popular biography in the language is an example of just such a fortunate chance as this. Boswell could not have painted a character that needed selective treatment; Johnson could not have been so vividly known to us by any one who had aimed at selective treatment. Another popular biography — Stanley's "Life of Arnold"-seems to us to have carried the principle of selection too far, and to lose interest with its lack of shadow. But the most erroneous specimens of the kind of biography which embody the aim of revealing a character as a different endeavor from that of describing a thing, seem to us to do more ultimately to further true views of mankind than the most elaborate attempts which ignore this difference, and suppose that what the bi
ographer has to do is to empty his wallet, longs to the literary spirit, that even here of information. The biographer who forgets his kindred to the poet, and enters into partnership with the student of physiology, starts from an assumption more false than any that could be put into a narrative form. Only he who creates can fully reveal, and he who remembers that truth will reveal least inadequately.
The case in which the scientific ideal is least hurtful to literature is one in which the exception proves the rule, for as memory is a bridge between the regions of sense and imagination, so is history between those of science and literature. Here, no doubt, the two ideals must blend. And yet so intimate, so indissoluble is the connection between the truth of human life, and that selective feeling which be
it seems to us the muse of history descends from her pedestal when she would approach closely to science; nor should we desire a better illustration of this truth than the two historic works of the great man from whose biography we took our start. The history written in his youth is an original and vivid picture of human life; the history written in his age is an exhaustive account of the greatness of a military nation, which that nation finds itself obliged to study as the best source of accurate information, and we feel no more doubt as to which of these works will be best known to posterity, than we do as to its verdict on the contrast be tween the purport of his teaching and the disclosures of his biography.
THE ORIGIN OF SILK. If we put any trust India, and was at last brought to Europe. The in tradition, says an English journal, there is a soldiers of Crassus, B.C. 56, saw silken standlegend that Tchin, the eldest son of Japhet, ards among the Parthians, and a few years father of the Asiatic race, taught his children later an immense velarium of silk protected the art of preparing silk, as well as the arts of the spectators in the Roman circus from the painting and sculpture. Be this as it may, it rays of the sun. From this time the Romans is certain that about three thousand years were always provided with the beautiful textbefore the Christian era a Chinese book, ures which were the admiration of their the Chou-King, described silken cords, which legions. Yet silk was still the privileged poswere stretched upon a musical instrument in- session of the rich, and in the time of Aurevented by the emperor Fo-Hi. One of his lian, who flourished in the third century, was successors, Chin Nong, reputed inventor of worth about forty times its present value. the plough, explained to his contemporaries This enormous price, when considered with what beautiful stuffs could be obtained by cul- the fact that there was at that time no comtivation of the mulberry tree, and about the merce between Rome and the Orient, goes far year B.C. 2600 an empress, to whom a grateful towards explaining the great hoarding of treas posterity assigned a place in a celestial con- ure and jewellery which has since that time stellation, perfected the art of unravelling the gone on in India. There is a dispute between cocoon and weaving. From that time silk tradition and history as to the period when the culture had its principal seat near the northern genuine cocoon was brought from China to portion of the Yellow River, in the province Europe. How was the vigilance of the Ceof Chan-Tong. There was produced silk for lestials thwarted, since exportation of the silkthe royal household. Yellow was the chosen worm from the flowery kingdom was forbidden color for the emperor, empress, and prince under the severest penalties? One account imperial; violets for the other wives of the states that in A.D. 552 two monks sent to Ko emperor, blue for distinguished officers, red than by Justinian succeeded in bearing away for those less conspicuous, and black for every their booty concealed in a stalk of bamboo. one else. In the book of rites, Li-Ki, the cer- The legend says that once upon a time, when emonies performed at the harvest are carefully Kothan did not yet possess the precious bomdescribed. Even the empress did not disdain byx, the king of one of the provinces sought to gather the leaves of the mulberry with her and obtained a daughter of the Chinese emown dainty fingers, and watched over the rear-peror in marriage. Before quitting her native ing of the busy toilers of the cocoon. For a long time this invaluable industry remained the exclusive property of the Chinese Empire, but about the third century before the Christian era a military expedition from China bore the results of its civilization to the startled Occident. Silk became known in Persia and
land she hid seeds of the mulberry and silkworms' eggs in her hair, where it would escape the vigilance of the customs officers on the frontier. When she reached her new home she planted the seeds of the mulberry in order that suitable nourishment might be provided in the leaf for the worms.