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to the most prosaic level that she anywhere attains. Her style is nowhere else so hard and cold and unimaginative as in this treatise. The feeling we have always had concerning it is, that it was not shaped in the same mood in which it was conceived. The metal must have waited too long for the mould. For the substance of the book is far superior to its form; and this fact goes far to reconcile us to the hardness of the style. Creation, Henry James informs us, is giving body to a form; a queer notion, which seems less queer the more we think of modern literature, so much of which has form and nothing else. Better formless substance than 'unsubstantial form. The kernel of Miss Cobbe's book will pay the reader for his trouble with its tough and rather tasteless shell. It is full of excellent discriminations. Some of the words which she defines as “religious faults” or “offences" seem to us hardly worth saving. As the devil ought not to have all the best tunes, so ought he not to have all the best words; but the sooner that some go to him the better. The critical portion of this book is very skilfully done. With admirable precision, the writer sticks her pen into this or that time-consecrated bladder, and lets its airy nothingness escape; then loads the word or phrase thus ventilated with something solider, and hurls it whence it came. By this process, a very deep and noble meaning is many times incorporated in a word before quite meaningless, or charged with meanings wholly bad. But the object of this book is less to clarify men's thoughts and definitions than to induce the sentiment of religious duty; and, to obtain this object, it does not impress us as being singularly well-fitted. For that, it is too critical and cold. For the main idea of the work, - viz., that our heavenly affections are rooted in morality, - we have nothing but sympathy. But it is in our personal and social morality that these affections have their root; and, when once this part of ethics has been duly enforced, our attitude to God can be better represented under the aspects of love and need, than under the sterner aspect of duty. Piety is the love of God; and, as such, it works from the centre, not from the circumference, of the soul. It is our duty to admire the sunset splendor and the rolling sea; but not much is gained by insisting upon this. Develop our ästhetic faculty, and we cannot help admiring all such things. So, with the development of social virtue, the thought of God grows mighty in the soul; and henceforth the duties which we owe to him are swallowed up in joy, and become so many needs, not merely asking, but demanding, satisfaction.
Of some of the articles contained in “Studies, Ethical and Social” and “Hours of Work and Play," we have already spoken. They contain many papers of great interest, and some that show a keener sense of form than any of her other works. The first two papers in the “Studies" are, however, most directly in her line, and are the noblest which the volume contains. The first of these, especially, entitled " Christian Ethics and the Ethics of Christ,” is thoroughly excellent. It seizes with great force the salient points of Christ's morality, and contrasts them very sharply with the conventional Christian ethics of to-day. This is the ground where she has always been, and always will be, most at home; and while we heartily rejoice, that, in her “hours of play," she can produce such pleasant papers as some that are contained in these two volumes, and would not have her narrow down such hours too carefully, yet, the more we think of it, the more convinced we are that she had better give her “hours of work” to ethical subjects, or such as are intimately connected therewith.
Miss Cobbe has been engaged for some time, until recently, in writing leaders for a daily paper which is owned by the Marquis of Westminster. And that she is still a monarchist in her theory of government, must be inferred from certain things that she has written. But, from her sympathy with us in our great struggle, it was pleasant to infer that she had otherwise complete faith in government "for the people, by the people,” in her own land. Nor would we be too hasty in concluding that she has not; for the object of the paper which she edited is to apply intuitive morals to social rather than to political affairs. For the sake of her philosophy, we trust that she is all right in this matter; remembering, as we do, the rule of Jesus, that "every tree is known by its fruits.” If her doctrines lead to oligarchy, while those of Mill ultimate in democracy, we are in a fearful “ strait betwixt two;" with no method of deliverance but to accept the premises of the one and the conclusions of the other, which can hardly be considered satisfactory.
In person, Miss Cobbe is large; her face full of expression; her brow very beautiful; her eyes luminous, rather than flashing; her mouth flexible, and quivering with wit, humor, and a power of sarcasm that seldom appears in her writings. She has immense animal spirits, as any reader of her “ Cities of the Past" may know, and great physical courage. Her faith, that she was made for virtue rather than for happiness, does not prevent her from being herself thoroughly happy, and diffusing happiness through every circle that she blesses with her presence. Miss Alcott, in a well-meant but ill-judged letter to the “Independent," calls her “a great sunbeam," and says, “ Wherever she was, people gathered about her as if she was a social fire; and every one seemed to find warmth and pleasure in the attractive circle that surrounded her. It was truly delightful to see a woman so useful, happy, wise, and beloved.” She is eminently a magnetic person, - a very genial, suggestive, and exhilarating talker, without pedantry or fluent rattle. Possessed of marked facility for intercourse with every type of character, her sphere of influence is constantly enlarging. And this influence is of the very noblest sort, because she is a woman, — never so completely any thing else as she is that; never losing, in the sweep of her attain. ments, the peculiar charm that indicates her sex. And, more than any thing else in her,
“The ever womanly draweth us on.”
If she has reached, she surely has not passed, the zenith of her powers. In the course of nature, she has still many years for growth and work. God grant that she may tarry with us long! We do not care to argue the question, whether she has genius. The lack of any high imaginative quality in her thought may justly rob her of that claim. It may be only talent that she has; but it is talent so reverently cultivated, so sincerely used, that we are not dissatisfied. But this distinction applies only to her writings. High above these rises the character,—the woman. Genius for character, genius for womanhood, she has; and, having this, her work is sure of being better done than if, without it, she had many times her present intellectual power.
· Art. II. — YOUMANS ON MODERN CULTURE. The Culture Demanded by Modern Life. E. L. YOUMANS. New
York: D. Appleton & Co., 1867. In editing this book, Dr. Youmans has earned the thanks of all who are interested in the mooted question of the true method of modern culture. The work consists of a series of addresses and arguments on the claims of scientific education. The names of Tyndall, Henfrey, Huxley, Faraday, De Morgan, Barnard, Carpenter, Spencer, and others, are a pledge, at the outset, of good matter within. The selection may, indeed, wear a somewhat partisan look; but it gives assurance, that one side of the question, at least, will be ably presented, and by men animated with earnest convictions. It is a great thing to have thus brought together, within the compass of a single volume, matter that one would have to hunt out at a considerable cost of time and money. Dr. Youmans has before this laid the reading world under obligation, by collecting in a similar manner, in his “Correlation of Forces," the best things that have been written on that fascinating subject in England and in Germany.
In the present work, however, he has not confined himself to the mere task of editing. Two of the ablest articles in the book are from his own pen. His Introduction is especially valuable. It would be hard to point out words that deserve to be more carefully pondered than his remarks on the importance of economizing power by repetition of mental action in the work of education, and of continuity in the nature of the studies pursued. Few American readers of his words but will groan over the disjointed method - or rather absence of method — in which their own education was conducted. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, studied to the point where the brain was just beginning to acquire spontaneity and tenacity in dealing with them, and then these subjects suffered to lapse utterly out of the mind during a year or two of totally different occupation! One section of mental railroad hardly graded and ballasted for smooth running, when it was abandoned to be gullied by rains and torrents ; instead of being kept in constant use for freighting easily the stone and gravel and trusswork needed for advancing farther and farther through the swamps and forests of the yet unsubdued country! One's chemistry or botany or physics gone to wreck, just when one wants to apply it to geology; one's mathematics in like ruin, when he would apply it to astronomy or optics! The same study taken up almost de novo at two or three several periods of life! Who can tell the amount of disgust, weariness, and waste of power, involved in such a course ? Nor will it do for the few who have been educated under happier auspices to take themselves as fair examples of the majority. The rule is the other way in most of our American schools, and in many of our colleges. The young are sent to draw water at the springs of knowledge, not with buckets, but with cullenders. Great attention is paid to pouring in fresh streams, but little to stopping the holes in the bottoms of the vessels. Nor is this philosophy of economizing force by constant repe. tition of mental acts, and logical sequence of subjects, vitally appreciated even in later life. It is most seriously and damagingly lost sight of everywhere.
While nearly all the articles in this collection contain thoughts of real value, those of Professor Henfrey on the Educational Claims of Botanical Science, and of Professor Faraday on the Education of the Judgment, are especially worthy of notice. In following Professor Henfrey through the argument in which he develops the principles on which the rational classifications of botany are based, and the rela
apprecia host sight of eve articles in