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HEN the intellectual history of tutions and forms of government, but
W this country during the last their comments on morals and manners,

decades of the nineteenth cen- from the beginning to the end of the
tury is written, that belligerent journal, nineteenth century, will long stand as
The Nation, must be reckoned among sources to the political philosophers.
the most potent influences. It was al- Of Godkin's early life there is little
ways on the battlefieid. A striking to be said. Born in County Wicklow
proof of its political power is shown in (1831), the son of a Presbyterian minister,
the numerous references to its pages a prolific controversial writer, he was
which are made in the recent history of sent to the Queen's College, Belfast,
the United States by J. F. Rhodes. where he acquired distinction as

For thirty years Godkin was The Na- undergraduate. Heredity led him to tion, The Nation was Godkin. Of course editorial and critical observations. To we mean the weekly journal; the Nation, him and his mates John Stuart Mill was in its broader sense, was not with him. a prophet, Grote and Bentham were There were plenty of associates, as edi- daily food, and America was the promtors and as regular or occasional con- ised land. Nearly all that these youth tributors, but one man seemed to the knew about this country came from external world to be the dominant as Tocqueville; and so to this French stuwell as the ultimate authority in the dent of our democracy we may be said expression of opinion. An intimate and to owe the future editor of The Nation. influential colleague during all this Four lines by Miss Godkin, the sister, period was Wendell Phillips Garrison, give a miniature portrait : “ My childish and his services in the literary and edu- recollection of my big brother at this cational departments of the paper have period, when he was twenty years old, been gratefully recognized by American is that he was a very handsome, refined, scholars.

delicate-looking young man, witty, brillIt is now possible, by the perusal of iant, charming, proud, with a fiery temper, the Life and Letters of Mr. Godkin, to but lovable and affectionate.” Having study the influences which made him gone from Belfast to London—the study what he was, to analyze his characteris- of law inviting him—he was taken up tics, and to inquire into the position by the Cassells, publishers, and engaged which he held, and which he is likely to by them to write a history of Hungary, hold, among the writers who have studied a theme made timely by Kossuth's visit. the social and political conditions of this While only twenty-two years of age this country. If excerpts could be made promising young man was sent by the from the columns of The Nation and London Daily News to the Danube from other articles which he contributed and the Crimea, and in this service he to the Reviews, and if they could be com- remained until the last act of the famous bined in a treatise, they would form a tragedy known as the Siege of Sebastovolume which would stand, a worthy peer, pol. beside the “Democracy ” of Tocque- Some eighty pages of the memoir give ville and the “ American Commonwealth” a good impression of the characteristics of Bryce. These three men, born and of the young journalist while he was bred in other lands, have proved to be unconsciously in training for his lifethe keenest observers and the most dis- work. After a short residence in London, cerning critics of American society. Not his impulses brought him, near the end only their study of our democratic insti- of 1856, to New York, destined to be his

home for nearly half a century. One of I The Life and Letters of Edwin Lawrence Godkin.

his first proceedings was to make a tour Edited by Rollo Ogden. The Macmillan Company, New York.

through the Southern States, following

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the course of Frederick Law Olmsted. likeness of Godkin in the days of storm The records of this journey, as sent to and stress, before he found his bearings. the Daily News, are melancholy, and the He had a vocation—that of a writer on reader may pass them by unless he public affairs ; what he wanted wishes to recall the gloomy condition of position. At length this came. The the South before the war as it appeared Nation was established, and from its first to a lover of freedom. The writer did number (which appeared in July, 1865) not see, or at least he did not describe, onward, until his retirement, he was its the sunny side of plantation life. The mainspring. somber picture is drawn with pre- Here the life of Godkin begins. All Raphaelite severity.

previous was preparatory, leading up.to After returning to New York, in the the extraordinary influences which for spring of 1857, Mr. Godkin pursued the nearly forty years he exerted upon the study of law in the office of David Dud- opinions of intellectual people. Many ley Field, was soon admitted to the bar, such would repeat with truth the words and, through his friends Brace and Olm- of William James, who says of him: sted, made many acquaintances in influ

To my generation he was certainly the ential circles, first in New York and towering influence in all thought concerning afterward in Cambridge and New Haven.

public affairs, and indirectly his influence

has certainly been more pervasive than that It was in New Haven that he married

of any other writer of this generation, for he the eldest daughter of Mr. Samuel E. influenced other writers, who never quoted Foote. There was a peculiar charm in him, and determined the whole current of his looks, his bearing, and his conversa

discussion. tion (with its intervals of silence), which A review of the later part of Godkin's endeared him throughout life to these life would require reference to the many early friends, most of them, but not all, stirring events in the political world scholars and writers. In the list which which he observed, and upon which he is given, Charles Eliot Norton, the friend commented; for example, the perils, of Carlyle, Ruskin, FitzGerald, is pre- mistakes, and conclusions of the Reconeminent. Not many men in public life struction period ; the financial condition are referred to in these personal allu- of the country, and its relation to tariff sions.

reforms; the foreign policies of the GovAt the beginning of the Civil War ernment, and the necessities of municipal (1860 to 1862) Godkin was in Europe, reform. It would be superfluous for us driven there by ill health. On his return to dwell in this place upon the wellhis letters to the Daily News were con- known attitudes of the Nation—and that tinued, and naturally related chiefly to means Mr. Godkin—towards these submilitary operations, in respect to which jects. his Crimean experience stood him in Among the best chapters in the memgood stead. He early divined Grant's oir are those which open the second strategy at Vicksburg, and predicted the volume, where the editor, Mr. Rollo failure of Lee's “magnificent raid” into Ogden, is at his best. All his work as Pennsylvania. All his letters in this an editor of the letters is excellent, but period are of permanent interest and here he draws a portrait of Mr. Godkin, value, and they brought at the time and he dwells, with truth and justice, hearty recognition.

upon " the fountain of perpetual laughIt was long before Godkin felt at home ter” which was one of his charming in this country. Of.this he was conscious. characteristics. "His vivacity, his play"I am rather fastidious,” he says to Olm- ful wit, his fund of apposite anecdote, sted, “ about many things which in a new made him a delightful and much sought country it does not do to be fastidious table companion.” In this of about. I am not popular in my manners, overflowing spirits in private life many and could never become so. I am not found it difficult to recognize the grim pushing. I am not a natural orator. I moralist and reformer as he appeared in am not sympathetic, and I am too old to print. Yet in contrast with this domichange now.” Such was the autotype nant cheerfulness may be placed some



letters which refer to his religious senti- It would be easy for us to fill many ments, and one, especially, which reveals, columns with citations from these most after the death of a beloved daughter, interesting volumes. Nothing within our the gentle tenderness of his heart. knowledge compares with them in the

Many letters to Mr. Godkin are given, vivid portrayal of current affairs during twenty pages in one group from Lowell; the last half of the last century. They many from Charles E. Norton, his most will be for a long time to come a reperintimate friend; one from John Stuart tory from which the historian and the Mill. The letters from his pen include essayist will draw thưir facts. many addressed to W. P. Garrison, Nor- As we have already said, Mr. Ogden ton; Olmsted, and others. We must not has admirably discharged his duties as repeat the index.

Godkin's campaign an editor. There is no padding in the against Tammany was one of the most volumes. They are Godkin from beginexciting episodes in the life of a quiet ning to enci-bright, pugnacious, enterman, and the narrative here given revives taining, provoking, instructive, stimulatthe memory of his " fight with the wild ing, and, on the whole, encouraging to beasts” which began with a series of all who are striving for purity in politics biographical notices published in the and for the improvement of American Evening Post,



We are


10 most of us the history of the sarily burdensome and complicated.

Orient is not a history, like ours, They say that we do not comprehend, as

embodying broader and broader they do, what it means to free the soul social ideals. It seems but a succession from the world's trammels. of struggles of king against king or of apparently so intent upon the means of race against race, resulting in no marked life as to be, according to them, not popular development. Today, in con- sufficiently interested in life itself. Cersequence, there is little general political tainly we must admit that we are not as emancipation in Asia; the masses are reverent as are they of reflection and still largely in ignorance as to their servi- meditation. The Oriental mind, theretude. In education and philosophy fore, maintains its age-long and charOriental ideas and ideals have apparently acteristic exaltation above the heat and been so refined that “the man in the struggle of the world.

It charms many street” cannot grasp them. In religion and wins some of us. For a time, at the higher conceptions seem to us to least, we would leave our Occidental have been the exclusive possession of bustle and noise for an 0.iental calm. the few.

The Orient has latterly learned much On the other hand, to most Orientals about the Occident. But the Occident the history of the Occident exemplifies should learn more about the Orient. all that is greedy and materialistic. To An evident means is that of books, writthem our lives seem, consequently, bound ten either by Orientals themselves—such up in the abundance of the things we works as Kakasu Okakura's “ Ideals possess. Not yet, it is true, have we of the East ” and Professor Nitobe's given to the Orientals sufficient general “ Bushido” —or by sojourners for a opportunity to grasp the lofty ideals- long time in the Orient—the late Lafracial, political, educational, religious— cadio Hearn's volumes, for example, and for which many of us are striving. But now Professor Knox's “Japanese Life when we do, and they learn thereby that in Town and Country,” “The Developwe are not altogethergreedy and material- ment of Religion in Japan," above all, istic, our lives seem to them still unneces- his “ Spirit of the Orient.”

In the light of the general psychologiThe Spirit of the Orient. By George William cal distinctions between the Orient and Knox. Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York. $1.50

the Occident, which Professor Knox also.

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affirms, “The Spirit of the Orient" displacement of labor.

displacement of labor. While in all seems a single spirit. In detail, how- that concerns political aggression the ever, the spirit and problems of India, American position with regard to China for instance, seem to differ as widely is better than that of Europe, a too drasfrom those of China as do India's peo- tic exclusion law remains our disgrace. ple and customs from China's and as Professor Knox claims that treaties do China's people and problems from were violated by us when the same subJapan's. Hence our author considers stantial result could have been obtained each of these three countries' needs, by consulting with the Chinese authorieconomic, political, educational, religious, ties. As to reformation of the governclearly and compactly stating and inter- ment itself, we are told that this must preting them.

come, and can be accomplished without He treats first of India. Among the revolution, but that “he is a fool who economic needs of that country he cites attempts to 'hustle' China.” For the the cultivation of scantily peopled re- Flowery Kingdoin can be transformed gions, irrigation on a larger scale, better neither in haste nor by arms. One must agricultural methods, and the exploitation agree with this critic that its developof natural resources as yet practically ment has been too ancient and too slow, untouched. India's chief political need that its people are too numerous and is patent enough—the measure of self- too contented, that its institutions are government necessary to political devel- too weli fitted to their needs, and that opment. England's rule will then be its classic teachings are too expressive unnecessary, and the day will have ar- of the popular mind for any attempt at rived when India can take her place sudden reform or revolution to succeed among independent empires. But this throughout the Empire. One's highest day can hardly be other than distant. wish is, as the author says, that slowly, It will mean unity and solidarity-quali- without revolution or haste or cessaties not yet produced in India as a tion, the people may be educated to new whole. - More important than the politi- ideals. This is also the opinion of some cal is the educational problem, when one of the most trusted missionaries long considers the small percentage of edu- resident in the Empire. It is in large cated men and the infinitesimal number measure due to them that we understand of women in India who can read. As the Chinese at all. Probably in no other to religion, says our author, the introduc- field has such missionary effort been tion of all our notions would probably put forth as in China, and the result bring only confusion. If the people of seems every year more evident and lastIndia need our doctrines, they need them ing. in simplest form. They do need to Japan forms a striking contrast both appreciate the doctrine of God's Father- to India and to China, for the latter hood, for they must be freed from the countries have woefully lacked the power bondage of superstition and from de- of political organization as well as the pendence on ceremonies. Each man attention to detail displayed by the should realize his individual value in a England of the East.” But no matter vital relationship with God. Then, of how much Japan has forged ahead politicourse, comes the logical sequence of cally and economically, her problems the Fatherhood of God—the brotherhood still remain those growing out of the of man.

It is needed to break down ancient principle of loyalty, due to the caste and exclusiveness, to teach men solidarity of the clan, a present loyalty not to call each other common or unclean, to a government increasingly by and for and to make them recognize mutual the people. Until recently Japan was relationships and duties.

not a distinctly commercial country as Turning from Indian aristocracy and regards internaticnal trade. Her coma variety of race and religion to Chi- mercial code was that of the soldier, and nese democracy and homogeneity, our mercantile integrity was not cultivated observer is immediately confronted by as assiduously as at present. Another the economic problem involved in the ethical problem concerns the relation of

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the sexes. Here any apologist is apt with regard to our knowledge of India, also to recognize the persistence of feudal it is more so regarding China, and yet ethics. As to the religious problem, more so regarding Japan. In Professor Professor Knox's experience of many Knox's well-printed volume the still too years in Japan leads him to confirm the ignorant Occidental will find not only a opinion of some other observers, that sympathetic study of the peoples and the country's greatest need is an ethical customs of India, China, and Japan, but cult which must include the doctrines of also an appreciation of the peculiar God's holiness, of the righteousness of spirit and problems of each country. his law, and of the soul's accountability of the three, apparently only Japan to him.

understands the meaning both of the Perhaps the Oriental may be excused Orient and the Occident as signifying, for not knowing the Occident, but the the first, a triumph of the organism, the Occidental can hardly be excused for second, that of the individual. Is she not knowing the Orient. If this be so not uniting them in herself?

Comment on Current Books


As patriotic loyalty was the chief the samurai indifference in money matters. Japanese

feature of Japanese feudalism, so These characteristics elucidated by Morality

it is to-day the secret spring of President Scherer, who has been able to Japanese military strength. Hence in the cram an astonishing amount of information development of Japanese ethics it is impos- in a little volume. His most inspiring obsible to exaggerate the importance of loy- servation concerns the general Japanese attialty. Every ray of education, says President tude towards Christianity. Christ's perfect Scherer,' has been focused upon this as its morality draws them naturally toward it, for object, and even native Shintoism has been they see that he was absolutely loyal to the made a mere tool for the development of Father. In many ways, declares President patriotism through the doctrine that the Scherer, the Japanese are prepared for Emperor is God. The two foreign religious Christianity, and adds that, had we shown systems in Japan, Buddhism and Confucian- one tithe of the energy in supplying them ism, also agree in teaching the supreme im- with our ideals that we have evinced in de portance of loyalty-Buddhism by its doc- veloping our commerce, Japan would be trine of self-repression, and Confucianism nominally Christian to-day. through the law of filialism. Japanese morality, therefore, is not regarded, in accord

The key of Profes

The Hebrew Literature ance with our conception, as including a

of Wisdom

sor Genung's book'

is given in the openvariety of virtues, but as finding its absolute

ing sentence of the preface:

you supexpression in devotion to the Mikado. To

pose Shakespeare meant all that ?' was once fear him and keep his commandments con- asked of a teacher under whose interpretastitutes the whole duty of man. Thus, in a

tive reading the pages of the dramatist nation which makes everything subordinate seemed to glow with new power and suggesto patriotic loyalty, the samurai, the warrior tion. Pausing for an instant's reflection, he class, naturally become pre-eminent, and

replied, “My concern is with what ShakeJapan's ethical system finally becomes known

speare means, not with what he meant.'” It as bushido, “the way of the warrior.” Loy is important to know what the Bible writers alty goes to strange lengths in Japan, and

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meant, but that is for most readers chiefly the Japanese perspective becomes twisted, valuable which enables us to know what the as we see, in the practices of harakiri, or Bible means. The Psalmist says, “Thy bowel-piercing, among the men, and jigai, or word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto throat-cutting, among the women. Moreover, my path.” The main object of the practical the doctrine that loyalty justifies any means interpretation of the Bible is to show how to that may be found useful may be responsible use the book so that it will really illuminate for what many have regarded as a traditional life's path of duty and keep us from straying Japanese attitude toward truth in commer- from it or stumbling in it. This is not to say cial dealings, perhaps further explained by

1 The Hebrew Literature of Wisdom in the Light of To1 What is Japanese Morality? By James A. B. Scherer. The Sunday-School Times Company, Philadelphia. 75 cts.

Day. By John Franklin Genung. Houghton, Trifflin &
Co , Boston. $2, net.

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