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The New SpiritByHavelock Ellis
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The New Spirit
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
PRESS OPINIONS ON “THE NEW SPIRIT.”
No alterations have been made in this edition. It is true that three of the figures here studied were living when the book was written; but their genius had matured, their work was for the most part done. Nothing they could produce would seriously modify one’s conception of them as aboriginal personal forces, the outcome of the past, the initiators of the future. Apart from this, it seems to me a mistake to manipulate or add to one’s own completed work. If I were to re-write it, I should doubtless write it differently; the Conclusion, for instance, which is earliest in date, seems to me now rather formal and metaphysical. But for the most part I have nothing seriously to alter or to omit.
I have sometimes been asked why, in a discussion of some of the new influences of the past century, I have left out representative men who have made so great a stir in the world. Goethe, it may possibly be true, stalks through every page, but where are Kant, Hegel, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer? I cannot remember ever proposing to include these names. The reason may be clearer if I mention other names I once wished to include, although—partly doubting my competence to discuss them, partly fearing that their introduction might seem to interfere with the unity of the book—I ultimately refrained.
One was Burne Jones. I shall never forget how, as a youth in the Public Library at Sydney, I turned over the leaves of a volume of etchings and suddenly alighted on “Merlin and Vivien.” Something I knew of Botticelli, Lippi and the rest, and I had brooded over their antique mystery and charm; but here were all the mystery and the charm brought down among us from the world where saints stand stiff and aureoled, and angels walk tip-toe on lily cups. The fifteenth century artists of Flanders and Venice and Florence introduced us into a frankly supernatural world, and they delighted like children to scatter rich fruits on the golden floors, and to stick peacocks’ feathers into the bejewelled walls. It is a rarer and subtler art to suggest that infinitely remote world while accepting the austere conditions of our own earth. The pale ghosts of Puvis de Chavannes’ frescoes are a far-off suggestion of this art; and one thinks too of the modern magician who has brought before us the twinkling of Salome’s feet by the red blood from the Baptist’s head, curdling amid the flowers; the rich-robed daughters of Apollo among the olives; the mystic elephant in solemn festival, gathering the lotus with his trunk as his feet plash slowly in the clear waters of the sacred lake. But the shadowy art of Puvis, the wayward and limited art of Gustave Moreau, come short of the consistent and completely realised art which has been attained by the painter who stands forth in the eyes of Europe as the greatest imaginative artist of England. It is a new synthesis of the world of nature and the world of dreams. The three women who dance in the foreground of “The Mill” tell us of a country where human joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, are set to a different measure, and sung in unknown keys. A strange and troublous art, it seems sometimes,—like the sinuous melodies of Renan, which seem to belong to some far-haunted past, and yet contain the intimate secrets of our own hearts,—but it fascinates and holds us as though music became visible before our eyes. It opens before us a new and delightful pathway into the land of dreams.
Another was Auguste Rodin. To mould the human figure has been an amusement for man since ever he carved wood or indented clay. It was left for the sculptors of Egypt and of Greece and of Italy to form human figures of stone, not as a mere symbol of the reality, but as a revelation of their own moods and visions of beauty or passion; and since then the amusement has fallen back into convention and symbol, although the plastic representation of the modern human body, etiolated and hidden, offers fewer difficulties than its representation in painting which Millet and Degas have in varying ways striven to achieve. Now even the great sculptors of old only suggest to us beauty or grace or strength that has become conventional; they reveal nothing. In this man’s work the form that is closest to us of all forms in the world, that we cling to from the day of birth, and that remains with us, half-seen or divined, until the day of death, has been revealed anew, just as new aspects of light have been revealed by Claude Monet. It is the ancient human way-worn and passion-used form, rendered with pathetic truth, and yet we feel that we have never truly seen the human body before. We marvel how expression can be carried so far without passing the bounds of nature and simplicity. It is far from the method of Michelangelo, Rodin’s immediate predecessor, with whom it has been the fashion to compare him. Michelangelo’s stupendous fantasy twisted the human body into the strange or lovely shapes of his own inverted dreams. In Rodin’s work, it is through a relentless love of nature that we are led to a new and intimate vision of the body. The quiet artist in his simple work-room has been building up through long years his great Gate of Hell; it is the gate of the joy and beauty and terror of life, expressed otherwise than those sober stories of the old world so charmingly told on that gate that was thought worthy of Heaven. But through this gate we are led to a new insight of that figure in the world which is closest to us and most precious, such an insight, it may well be, as Pheidias and Donatello brought to the men of their time.
Another personality that I desired to analyse, and perhaps the greatest, was Richard Wagner. The Leipzig youth, who hated the tawdry tinsel of the theatre, and was so little of a musical prodigy that he could never learn to play the piano, impelled by a strange instinct has yet wrought music and the stage to a poetic height never before approached. Just as our arts rise out of our industries, so the manifold art of Wagner—woven of music and poetry and drama—rises to something that is beyond art. Wagner has made the largest impersonal synthesis yet attainable of the personal influences that thrill our lives, and has built it on the broadest physiological basis of our senses, so that faith has here become sight. Such harmony is what we are accustomed to call Heaven, and such art—to the mere musician cacophony and confusion—is truly called religion. It will take some time yet before we understand its place in life as a new expression of the human soul. Generations must pass before it will be possible for a greater artist, by a still wider sensory appeal, to lift us to any higher Heaven.
It is not the men of one idea—important as these are—who most truly represent the spirit of an age. Such men most often represent the spirit of some earlier generation, which in them has become definitely crystallised. It is the men whose ideas are still free in pungent, penetrating, often confused solution that we may count nearest to the natural forces of an age, and it is these that are most interesting to analyse. In such men the feebler instincts of their fellows are concentrated, and the flaming energy of their spirits attracts few, repels most, of their fellows. It is, no doubt, because of this high degree of emotional exaltation that these men bring us to religion. It all comes to religion. I would point out to those who think that this result needs apology, that such men do not bring before us the pale, animistic children of dreams, who for so many ages have sought with their shadowy arms to beckon men away from the world to a home on the other side of the sky, but the robust children of our working life, the offspring of our living energies and emotions, the harmonised satisfaction of all that we have lived, of all that we have felt.
So the “new spirit” brings us to one of the most ancient modes of human emotion. I sought to emphasise this in my Introduction as well as in the Conclusion, not altogether successfully for some of my readers, who have been led to credit me with virtues of modernity to which I can make no claim. So far from being “an apostle of modernity,” the “new spirit” that I am concerned with is but a quickening in the pulse of life such as may take place in any age, though my tracings are only of a recent acceleration. The greatest manifestation of the new spirit that I know of took place long since in the zoological history of the race when the immediate ancestor of man began to walk on his hind legs, so developing the skilful hands and restless brain that brought sin into the world. That strange and perilous method of locomotion—which carried other diseases and disabilities in its train, more concrete than sin—marked a revolutionary outburst of new life worth contemplating. Yet even among the later and minor movements of life it is not the most recent that to me personally are the most attractive. The Eiffel Tower does not thrill me like the gray towers of Chartres; I find the streets of Zaragoza more interesting than those of Manchester. And, on the other hand, there are modernities which seem to me old, very old, older than life itself.
To say this is no doubt to confess that the personal element has a large place in this study of the “New Spirit.” And it is true that, however honest a piece of mechanism your sphygmograph may be, if it is alive there is a very considerable personal equation which you must make up your mind to reckon with. I believe I am not altogether incapable of slinging facts at the head of the British Goliath (with purely benevolent intentions), but on this occasion I wrote for my own pleasure: let me apologise to Goliath for any annoyance I may so have caused him. I wished to speak for once, so far as might be, in my own voice, glad if here and there a reader cared to follow my impatient track, furnishing from the stores of his own knowledge and intelligence what was lacking in commentaries and pièces justificatives. I wished at the outset to take a bird’s-eye view of the world as it presented itself to me personally, only indicating by mere hints those parts of the field in which I was more specially concerned. And I wished also to indicate—perhaps once for all—my own faith in those large facts of nature which are unaffected by personal equation, and which harmonise all our petty individual activities. Nature is bent on her own ends, and with infinite ingenuity uses all our energies to carry out her idea of increasing and multiplying the countless forms of life. Death itself is but an accidental after-thought, a beneficial adaptation—as Weismann would have us express it—only affecting the body, that servant of the immortal germ-cells which has grown so large and arrogant since the days when we Metazoa were young in the world. That is the one master-thought of Nature, or—shall we say?—her systematised delusion, her délire à forme chronique. But the malady, if it is one, is incurable. A friend of mine, under the influence of nitrous oxide, once found himself face to face with the Almighty. Being a man of earnest and philosophic temperament, he took advantage of the opportunity to demand passionately the meaning and aim of this tangled skein of things in which we find ourselves: “Why have you placed us here? For what purpose have You submitted us to all this strife and misery? What is the solution of the riddle of life?” And then, uttered in a characteristic bass, came in one word the awful reply which my friend will never forget: “Procreation.” I fear that that voice is, or might well have been, divine.
And yet why should one “fear”? We have our brief triumph. Seeking out many curious things, we learn to know and to enjoy the earth. Nature’s naughty children—whether artists or scientists or mystics—we may stand aside, contemplate her great object, and impudently elevate our fingers to our nose. It amuses us, and scarcely hurts her. She cannot refuse us the by-play of her own adaptations. For it all comes of that primitive manifestation of the new spirit, the “Fall,” which raised us on to our hind limbs and enabled us to drink of the Cider of Paradise.
7th October, 1892.
From our earliest days we look out into the world with wide-eyed amazement, trying to discover for ourselves what it is like. Instinctively we must spend a great part of our lives in searching and probing into the nature and drift of the things among which, by a volition not our own, we were projected. To-day, when we stand, as it were, at the beginning of a new era, and when we have been celebrating the centenary of the most significant event in modern history, an individual who, for his own guidance, has done his part in this searching and probing, may perhaps be allowed to present some of the results, not claiming to be an expert, not desiring to impose on others any private scheme of the universe. The pulse of life runs strong and fast; I have tried to bring a sensitive lever to that pulse here and there, to determine and record, as delicately as I could, its rhythms: the papers I now present might be called a bundle of sphygmographic tracings.
A large part of one’s investigations into the spirit of one’s time must be made through the medium of literary personalities. I have selected five such typical individuals; it is the intimate thought and secret emotions of such men that become the common property of after generations.
Whenever a great literary personality comes before us with these imperative claims, it is our business to discover or divine its fundamental instincts; we ought to do this with the same austerity and keen-eyed penetration as, if we were wise, we should exercise in choosing the comrades of our daily life. He poses well in public; he has said those brave words on the platform; he has written those rows of eloquent books—but what (one asks oneself) is all that to me? I want to get at the motive forces at work in the man; to know what his intimate companions thought of him; how he acted in the affairs of every day, and in the great crises of his life; the fashion of his face and form, the tones of his voice. How he desired to appear is of little importance; I can perhaps learn all that it imports me to know from a single involuntary gesture, or one glance into his eyes.
This is the attitude in which I have recorded, as impersonally as may be, these impressions of the world of to-day, as revealed in certain significant personalities; by searching and proving all things, to grip the earth with firmer foothold.
There is a memorable period in the history of Europe which we call the Renaissance. We do well to give pre-eminence to that large efflorescence of latent life, but we forget sometimes that there have been many such new expansions of the human spirit since that primitive outburst of Christianity which is the most interesting of all in modern times. The tree of life is always in bloom somewhere, if we only know where to look. What a great forgotten renascence that is which in the middle of the twelfth century centres around the name of Abelard! It was nothing less than the new birth of the intellect. Abelard had made anew the discovery that reason, too, is the gift of God, and faith was no longer blind; from all Europe thousands of students gathered around the great teacher who dwelt in his rough hermitage on the desert plains of Troyes. It was in the strength of that feast that men wove scholastic cobwebs so diligently that the human spirit itself seemed for awhile suffocated. It was a great renascence of life, a hundred years later, in the wonderful thirteenth century, when Francis of Assisi revealed anew in his own person the ideal charm of Jesus, and a group of fine spirits, his fellows, who bore the Everlasting Gospel,—Jean de Parme, Pierre d’Olive, Fra Dolcino and the rest,—sought to rebuild the edifice of Christendom on the foundation of the Gospels, only in the end to deluge the world with a plague of grey friars. And then a great wave, with Luther on its crest, swept across Europe, reached at last the coast of England, and left on its shores, as a dreary monumental symbol, St. Paul’s Cathedral. There is another great vital expansion about the time of the French Revolution. Since then, and chiefly as a result of that final triumph of the middle-class throughout Europe, of which the French Revolution was the decisive seal, the energy of Europe, and of England especially, has found its main outlets in the development of a huge commercial structure, now, in the opinion of many, slowly and fearfully toppling down. The nineteenth century has seen the rise and fall of middle-class supremacy. What has been the result of it?
One naturally turns first to literature to see the reflection of the life of a period. The man who seems in the eyes of all Englishmen, so far as one can make out, to have represented during this century the claims of humanity, of dignity, of what is called the spiritual side of life, was Carlyle; and Carlyle has been likened again and again to the Joels and Jeremiahs of that most material Hebrew race. The whole of his long day was spent in crying out to a faithless and perverse generation. Therefore Carlyle never attained the serenity and hilarity of those two great spirits, Goethe and Emerson, between whom he stood midway. Nor is it surprising that he was often blinded by the smoke and heat of a land that had become one huge Black Country, and that he fought against freedom, and sometimes mistook his friends for enemies. Nor again is it surprising that of the two great poets who occupy the centre of the century, one found inspiration in the blunders of a Crimean war and the royal representative of respectable middle-class chivalry, while the other gave himself up to marvellous feats of psychological gymnastic. Matthew Arnold, for his part, resolved the discords of his time in the austere calm of Stoicism; the calm of souls
Life well and find it wanting, nor deplore;
But in disdainful silence turn away,
Stand mute, self-centred, stern, and dream no more:”
practically, however, Arnold found it necessary neither to turn away nor to be silent. There was yet another solution for sensitive souls: to hide the heart in a nest of roses away from the world, just as Schopenhauer, who in Germany represented in more philosophic vesture this same vague unrest, resolved it by the aid of his profound religious sense in refined and æsthetic joy. That is the solution sought in what seems to me one of the most exquisite and significant books of the century, “Marius the Epicurean.” For Marius, life is made up of a few rare and lovely visions. All the rough sorrow and gladness of the world, its Dantesque bitterness or its Rabelaisian joy, only reaches him through a long succession of mirrors, and every strong human impulse as an attenuated echo. This serious, sweet, and thoughtful book is the summary of the “sensations and ideas” of the finest natures of an era; as in certain of the distinguished opium-eaters of the beginning of the century, Coleridge or De Quincey, we see a refined development of the passive sensory sides of the human organism with corresponding atrophy of the motor sides. It is clearly impossible to go any farther on that road.
There is no renascence of the human spirit unless some mighty leverage has been at work long previously. Such forces work underground, slowly and coarsely and patiently, during barren periods, and they meet with much contempt as destructive of man’s finer and higher nature; but, in the end, it is by these that the finer and higher is lifted to new levels. No great spiritual eruption can take place without the aid of such levers. What forces have been at work during the century that is now drawing to a close? Three, I think, stand clearly forth.
At the end of the sixteenth century, it was above all the sudden expansion of the world that inspired human effort and aspiration. In later days science has carried on the same movement by revealing world within world. A chief element in the spirit of the French Revolution was, as Taine pointed out, that scientific activity which centred around Newton. In our own time the impulse has come from scientific discoveries much more revolutionary, far-reaching and relative to life, than any of Newton’s. The conception of evolution has penetrated every department of organic science, especially where it touches man. Darwin personally, to whom belongs the chief place of honour in the triumph of a movement which began with Aristotle, has been a transforming power by virtue of his method and spirit, his immense patience, his keen observation, his modesty and allegiance to truth; no one has done so much to make science—that is to say, all inquiry into the traceable causes or relations of things—so attractive. The great and growing sciences of to-day are the sciences of man—anthropology, sociology, whatever we like to call them, including also that special and older development, now become a new thing, though still retaining its antiquated name of Political Economy. It is difficult for us to-day to enter into the state of mind of those who once termed this the dismal science; if the question of a man’s right to a foothold on the earth is not interesting, what things are interesting? Our hopes for the evolution of man, and our most indispensable guide, are bound up with all that we can learn of man’s past and all that we can measure of his present. It was by a significant coincidence that that great modern science which has man himself for its subject was created by Broca, when he founded the Société d’Anthropologie of Paris in the same memorable year of 1859 which first saw “The Origin of Species.” Man has been brought into a line with the rest of life; a mysterious chasm has been filled up; a few fruitful hints have been received which help to make the development of all life more intelligible. This has, on the one hand, given a mighty impulse to the patient study of nature and to the accumulation of facts now seen to bear such infinite possibilities of farther advance; just as the discovery of America in the sixteenth century produced a like spirit of adventure which led men to all parts of the globe. On the other hand, this devotion to truth, this instinctive search after the causes of things, has become what may be called a new faith. The fruits of this scientific spirit are sincerity, patience, humility, the love of nature and the love of man. “Wisdom is to speak truth and consciously to act according to nature.” So spake the old Ephesian, Heraclitus, to whom, rather than to Socrates, men are now beginning to look back as the exponent of the true Greek spirit; and so also speaks modern science. It is a faith that has become a living reality to many; Clifford, for instance, as revealed in his “Lectures and Essays,” has long been a brilliant and inspiring member, often called typical, of the company of those who are filled with the scientific spirit. Huxley, one of the most militant and indefatigable exponents of the scientific spirit during the past half century, has lately set forth its aim, which has been that of his own life:—“To promote the increase of natural knowledge and to forward the application of scientific methods of investigation to all the problems of life to the best of my ability, in the conviction, which has grown with my growth and strengthened with my strength, that there is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is, when the garment of make-believe, by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features, is stripped off.” It is important to note that this spirit is becoming widely diffused; it would be easy to point to manifestations in various departments of this open-eyed, sensitive observation, not pretending to know prematurely, ready to throw away all prepossessions and to follow Nature whithersoever her caprices lead, without crying “Out upon her!” It is impossible to forecast the magnitude of the results that will flow from this growing willingness to search out the facts of things, and to found life upon them, broadly and simply, rather than to shape it to the form of unreasoned and traditional ideals. There was long abroad in the world a curious dread of all attempts to face simply and sincerely the facts of life. This audacious frankness and scarcely less audacious humility aroused horror and suspicion; and those who marched at the front heard with considerable pain many members of the rear black-guard hurling “Materialist!” and other such terms of scorn at their backs. The sting has now died out of these terms. We know that wherever science goes the purifying breath of spring has passed and all things are re-created. We realize that it is, above all, by following the light that is shed by the low and neglected things—the “survivals”—of the world, that the reasonable path of progress becomes clear. We cried for the moon for so many thousand years before we conquered the world. We know at last that it must be among our chief ethical rules to see that we build the lofty structure of human society on the sure and simple foundations of man’s organism.
These three great movements are clearly allied, and certainly the practical applications of this scientific spirit, of which there is more to say immediately, will rest very largely in the hands of women. The great wave of emancipation which is now sweeping across the civilized world means nominally nothing more than that women should have the right to education, freedom to work, and political enfranchisement—nothing in short but the bare ordinary rights of an adult human creature in a civilized democratic state. But many other changes will follow in the train of these very simple and matter-of-fact changes, and it is no wonder that many worthy people look with dread upon the slow invasion by women of all the concerns of life—which are, after all, as much their own concerns as anyone’s—as nothing less than a new irruption of barbarians. These good people are unquestionably right. The development of women means a reinvigoration as complete as any brought by barbarians to an effete and degenerating civilization. When we turn to those early societies, which are as lamps to us in our social progress, we find that the arts of life are in the possession of women. Therefore when the torch of science is placed in the hands of women we must expect them to use it as a guide with audacious simplicity and directness, because of those instincts for practical life which they have inherited.
The rise of women—who form the majority of the race in most civilized countries—to their fair share of power, is certain. Whether one looks at it with hope or with despair one has to recognize it. For my own part I find it an unfailing source of hope. One cannot help feeling that along the purely masculine line no striking social advance is likely to be made. Men are idealists, in search of wealth usually, sometimes of artistic visions; they have little capacity for social organization. It is sometimes said that the fundamental inferiority of women is shown by the very few surpassing women of genius in the world’s history. In their anxiety to combat this argument women have even enlisted Semiramis and Dido into their ranks. But it is a fact. For all great solitary and artistic achievements—the writing of Divine Comedies, the painting of Transfigurations, the construction of systems of metaphysic, the inauguration of new religions—men are without rivals; the more abstract and unsocial an art is, the easier it is for men to attain eminence in it; in music and in the art of erecting philosophies men have had, least of all, any occasion to fear the rivalry of women. Such things are precious, although it may be that what we call “genius” is something abnormal and distorted, like those centres of irritation which result in the pearls we likewise count so precious. Women are comparatively free from “genius.” Yet it might probably be maintained that the average level of women’s intelligence is fully equal to that of men’s. Compare the men and women among settlers in the Australian bush, or wherever else men and women have been set side by side to construct their social life as best they may, and it will often be to the disadvantage of the men. In practical and social life—even perhaps, though this is yet doubtful, in science—women will have nothing to fear. The most important mental sexual difference lies in the relative and absolute preponderance in women of the lower, that is, the more important and fundamental nervous centres. What new forms the influence of women will give to society we cannot tell. Our most strenuous efforts will be needed to see to it that women gain the wider experience of life, the larger education in the full sense of the word, the entire freedom of development, without which their vast power of interference in social organization might have disastrous as well as happy results.
We most of us began in youth with literature; the seeds of art and imagination found a kindly soil in childhood and puberty; and we spent our enthusiasm on Scott or Shelley, on Gautier or Swinburne. As we grew older we tired of these, developing instincts that craved other satisfaction, discovering sometimes even that our idols had clay feet. Then we turned to the things that had seemed to us before so dull and stupid that we had scarcely looked at them; we began to be fascinated by economics and the growth of society, the problem of surplus value turns out to be full of attraction, and the historic development of the relationship between men and women as charming as any novel. In the same way the men of 1859, who were nurtured on “The Origin of Species,” naturally and rightly turned their militant energies against theology and fought over the book of Genesis. To-day, when social rather than theological questions seem to be the legitimate outcome of the scientific spirit, and when all things connected with social organization have become the matters of most vital interest to those who are really alive to the time in which they live, even in youth such questions begin to grow enchanting, and those who are older feel the same fascination; the man who shared with Darwin the honour of initiating a new scientific era becomes a land nationaliser, William Morris a socialist, and the poet laureate who sixty years earlier had sung fantastic poems of a coming Utopia grasps at length the concrete problems with which we have to deal. All this is hopeful, for we have scarcely yet got to the bottom of the questions raised by the growth of democracy.
The influence of science on life is an accomplished fact, and we can distinctly trace its gradual development; the influence of women is on the eve of attaining its outward consummation, and it is not altogether impossible to forecast some of the changes which it will involve. But the influence of democracy, more talked of than either of the others, is much more vague, complex, and uncertain. Once it was thought that we had but to give a vote to every adult—outside the asylum and perhaps the prison—and democracy would be achieved. This crude notion has long since become ridiculous. We see now that the vote and the ballot-box do not make the voter free from even external pressure; and, which is of much more consequence, they do not necessarily free him from his own slavish instincts. We see that enfranchisement does not mean freedom, since the enfranchised are capable of running in a brainless and compact mob after any man who is clever enough to gain despotic influence over them. This is not democracy, though it is doubtless a step towards it. If we test the intelligence of the enfranchised by examining the persons whom they elect as their representatives, we soon realize the trifling character of the step. Even the free and generously democratic colonies of Australia show few brilliant results by this test. It is hard to get rid of the old distinction between a governing class and a governed, and to recognize that every man must be a member of the government.
If democracy means a state in which every man shall be a freeman, neither in economic nor intellectual nor moral subjection, two processes at least are needed to render democracy possible—on the one hand a large and many-sided education; on the other the reasonable organization of life.
The conception of education has within recent times undergone a curious development. Some of us can still remember the time when the word “education” meant as a matter of course the rudiments of intellectual education only, and when such education was regarded as a panacea for many evils; this kind of education has, in consequence, we may take it, been virtually secured to every child in all civilized countries. To this kind of education, however, it is no longer possible to attribute any satisfying sort of virtue. It may produce a very inferior order of clerk; but education—the reasonable development of the individual—it cannot deserve to be called; it merely puts a certain rude intellectual instrument into the hands of a still thoroughly uneducated person. Education, as we understand it now, must be founded on the harmonious exercise of body, senses, and emotions, as well as intellect; the whole environment is the agent of education. That is why we are now extending the meaning of the word indefinitely. Fresh air, good food, manual training, the cultivation of the art instincts, physical exercise and abundant recreation, wholesome home relationships—these are a few of the things which we now recognize as essential parts of the rational education of every boy and girl, and which we are seeking to obtain for all. Nor is education in this sense incompatible with intellectual development; on the contrary, it is the only sound foundation for such development. There is here no need for fear. We seem, indeed, to be rapidly approaching a period in which the excessive intension of knowledge, its confinement to a few persons, will give way to a marked extension of knowledge. Such a process is in the lines of our democratic advance. It is for the advantage of the men of science who have paid for the seclusion of extreme specialism by incapacity to understand popular movements and popular needs; it is to the advantage of all that there should be no impassable gulf between those who know and those who are ignorant. It is well to sacrifice much, if we may thereby help to diffuse the best things that are known and thought in the world, and make the scientific attitude, even more than scientific results, a common possession.
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