Imagens das páginas

thought must exist before the birth of poetry. But mankind loves the imaginative. It idealizes life, and amuses them. It is first committed to letters. Men give themselves up to its fascination without much thought about reality. Nevertheless when recalled to a sober verdict they recognize it as imagination. Reason sits calmly as judge and says with Socrates: "Search among Greeks and Barbarians," from revelation or from science, "for the word" that shall give us the truth.

The contemporaries of Hesiod believed him just as the contemporaries of Dante believed him, just as the contemporaries of Milton believed him, and just as we believe our own poets to-day.

But Mr. Huxley! Unlike Mr. White, he thinks that science has let in light enough to sweep away the whole fabric of Christianity. And in Genesis, what with Mr. White is 'impressive poetry," with Mr. Huxley is utter fable. Here is a lack of harmonious coöperation of attack in the "warfare of science." Union is strength. In true Homeric style, Mr. Huxley boasts himself to belong to the "enfants perdus of the forces of science."

He has much to say of historical and scientific criticism. But his criticism begins and ends with "is it true or is it false." His only standard of truth seems to be a certain historic realism. Conceive Mr. Huxley approaching the parable of the prodigal son. "Is it true or is it false?" But we forbear. Jesus Christ was the greatest story teller the world has ever seen. But it is generally admitted that no one has brought more truth into the world than he.

The leading question at present with regard to the Old Testament is, how much of the parable there is in it. The habit of constantly looking for material facts in natural science does not seem to fit a man in the best possible manner to treat such questions. Nature is a great and wonderful field, but the field of human thought is greater. The successful student of natural science is a great benefactor of his race; but he who can interpret aright the thought of far off ages is none the less a great benefactor. Ancient literature can best be interpreted by men who have made letters a life-long study, just as Mr. Huxley has made a life-long study of science. And if the

literary camp is not kept too busy in defending the right to exist of the memorials of ancient thought against the doughty warriors of science, they will probably be able in due time to give the world a satisfactory account of their contents. The time was, and not very far back, when the parts of the Old Testament which are undeniably in historic form were scouted in the name of historical criticism, but these are now well confirmed and understood. A correct understanding of the remaining portions, we doubt not, will ere long be reached.

But, under a flag of truce, we beg leave to say that this result will not be reached by such hands as Mr. Huxley's. He reminds one of a butcher setting himself to remove a cataract from the eye. He is going to let in light! If he has such a passion for clearness, as he says, he would better confine himself to things which can be made absolutely clear, as many things relating to very ancient letters cannot. In their time they were understood and did their work. It is not strange that coming down through ages of violence and ignorance their original character should have become more or less obscure, and be often mistaken. It is no easy matter to reproduce all the original conditions, and see things exactly in their first light. It requires a great deal more than the mere question: "Is it true or is it false?" If the "plagues of Egypt" were illustrative literature instead of narrative, the account none the less did its useful work. It may be that for oral transmission, in the main, an epic style was the best in which to convey the truth that God so disturbed the Egyptian State that the Hebrews were enabled to make their escape. It postulates an historic exodus none the less. The question does not become that of the truth or falsity of the Bible, nor that of the inspiration or non-inspiration of the Bible, but, as we have intimated, of the character of the literature employed for the instruction of those to whom it was first addressed.

As to Mr. Huxley's discussion of Noah's flood, until certain things are better determined concerning it, as e. g. the literary form designed by the original author or authors, its geologic date, its relation to the earliest monotheism, it does not help very much to say that water will run down hill very fast over the present topographical elevation around the present Ararat.

And is such a demonstration historical criticism? We may readily admit that it is scientific, for it is based on gravitation.

The "flood of Noah" was certainly better arranged to convey moral truth than that of Deucalion. Suppose that this is its only advantage in describing the facts of a cataclysmal age; this is not one to be lightly cast away; and whence did this difference come? We would trust Mr. White to answer this question much sooner than Mr. Huxley.

As examples of what can be done in the literary camp, when it enjoys peace, we mention President Warren's Arctic Paradise. We do not propose to say much about this, but the discoveries in paleontology made in the New Siberia islands and elsewhere somewhat prepare the mind for it.

But in 1880, Prof. McWhorter of New Haven admonished the men of science that they had not yet met the demands of Genesis in respect to the antiquity of man upon the earth. He places the advent of man according to the Bible in the preTertiary, along with the "air-breathing mammals." His Article in the July Princeton Review for that year reads much more like historical or scientific criticism than Mr. Huxley's. But Prof. McWhorter was a clergyman and an erudite Orientalist.

Another clergyman* and a missionary who has had rare opportunities to study eastern literature makes the patriarchal genealogies to have covered a period of ten thousand five hundred years. We don't claim that this is made out with perfect “clearness," but we are struck by its coincidence with Prof. Wright's exploitation of the Tertiary age.

Apropos of light. "The light of the body is the eye, but if thine eye be poor how great is that darkness."

Finally, it is a pleasure to turn again from Mr. Huxley to Mr. White, and welcome his closing words as the meditation and instruction of real truth. One is almost tempted to say that "all is well that ends well."


* Crawford's Patriarchal Dynasties. Richmond, 1878.



IF Dr. Samuel Johnson may be regarded as a representative Englishman, Dr. Noah Webster was no less truly a representative American. Born in Connecticut in 1758; descended, on his father's side, from John Webster, who, about a century before (1656), was governor of the colony of Connecticut, and, on his mother's side, from William Bradford, who, between 1620 and his death in 1657, was thirty times chosen governor of Plymouth colony; graduated at Yale College during the Revolutionary war (1778), having been, for a part of his Junior year, in actual service under his father, Capt. Noah Webster, as a volunteer soldier on the "alarm list;" he breathed the air of freedom from his youth, and early became a political leader in the country. It was natural that he should be self-reliant and impatient of English dictation. He had no sympathy with the toryism of Johnson, no special veneration for institutions or modes because they were of ancient date or were favored by the king and the court. He looked into the reasonableness of things, and made much use of the common sense which formed a considerable part of his inheritance. He was therefore not restrained, by any deference to leaders in English society or in English universities, from rejecting many of the ideas of Walker as well as of Johnson; and he has secured for himself and still retains an influence second to that of no other lexicographer, English or American.

It is foreign from our purpose, in this notice of the new edition of Webster's Dictionary, to discuss at length the history of English lexicography, or of Webster's Dictionary, or the claims of any, or of all, actual or possible rivals of an older or of the present edition. It is sufficient to say here, that there is room for several "standard" dictionaries of the English language in those great countries whose inhabitants do now, or will soon, use this one language, which has at the present time a fairer prospect than French, or German, or Volapük, or any

other of becoming the universal language of the civilized nations of the earth. And we fully believe also that the publishers have not unduly magnified their office in naming this weighty and comely, but not costly, volume "Webster's International Dictionary of the English Language." This present edition is the legitimate successor of that which was issued sixty-two years ago, in two volumes quarto, as Webster's Dictionary. For the gratification of our readers, we here give a copy-word for word-of the title page of the first edition: "AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: INTENDED TO EXHIBIT, I. The origin, affinities and primary significations of English words, as far as they have been ascertained. II. The genuine orthography and pronunciation of words, according to general usage, or to just principles of analogy. III. Accurate and discriminating definitions, with numerous authorities and illustrations. To which are prefixed, An Introductory Dissertation on the Origin, History and Connection of the Languages of Western Asia and of Europe, and a Concise Grammar of the English Language. By Noah Webster, LL.D. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. [Vol. II.] He that wishes to be counted among the benefactors of posterity, must add, by his own toil, to the acquisitions of his ancestors.-Rambler. New York: Published by S. Converse. Printed by Hezekiah Howe-New Haven. 1828."

As this new "International Dictionary" gives the prefaces of its three leading predecessors which have borne the name of Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language," we shall not need to dwell on the older editions. Dr. Webster's second edition has the same title page and preface as his first with four noticeable differences. 1. After the title comes; First Edition in Octavo, containing the whole Vocabulary of the Quarto, with Corrections, Improvements and several Thousand additional words. 2. After the author's name, comes a list of Societies, American and Foreign of which he was a member. 3. The "General Subjects of this work" are now four, instead of the three, as before: I. Etymologies of English words, deduced from an examination and comparison of words of corresponding elements in twenty languages of Asia and Europe. II. The true orthography of words, as corrected by their

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