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THE SOURCE OF NATIONAL
•■•••*• N reading the history • *W | of nations, their man- JL 1 ners and customs, .g their sciences and re ligions, no fact is » II ■ more evident than that those manners and customs, those sciences and religions, are formed and regulated and governed by tlm leading spirits of society. -Those spirits, upon whom nature has lavished her choicest gifts and pointed out the spheres of their operation, are continually working in society—whether it be in the land of the civilized or barbarous —moulding, changing and revo lutionizing thecustomsand habits; introducing new theories and re modeling old ones; exploding an cient systems and superseding them with those more novel, if not more true. It is through the plastic influ ence of such minds that the char acter of a nation is determined. Bonaparte made the French all warriors; Volt Hire and Rousseau made them infidels. The former inspired them with a love of mili tary glory; the latter flattered them with the idea that it was profound philosophy to.deny the God that made them. Cadmus inspired his countrymen with a love of litera ture, and by the skill of his genius the germ of his assertions has be come a tree of towering height whose branches encircle the na tions and whose Truit is the hap piness of mankind, while the mys ticism of Mahomet and the intricate meshes of the net of Zoroaster are blinding millions on millions of men and women. In no nation and in no age of the world has the human race been wanting in men remarkable for their energetic and comprehensive minds. The most barbarous na tions, nations upon which the arts have shed no resplendent rays, through which the bright and crystal streams of science have never run, where the heavenly freeze of Christian philanthropy ’was never felt; there, among the precincts of barbarous customs, where the masses are enshrouded in a veil, deep and dark as that the future, we find specimens of human genius break ing through the shackles of cus tom and rending the veil that covers the multitude. And if they do not enjoy the glorious sunlight of civilization, they at least act like Pollock's daughters of beauty, as light of the darksome world, as stars to night, shedding around them a halo of intellectual glory which serves to light the pathway of the multitude. The philosophy of Zoroaster and *the religion of Mahomet, the mili tary skill of a Hannibal, and a Bonaparte require as great an as sertion of intellect, a mind as pow erful and a perseverance as untiring as is necessary in the acquisition of the most abstruse sciences of the present day, or in the prosecution of the greatest enterprises of the modern enlight ened nations. Did the Grecians and Homans serve their imaginary deities because they had not minds -capable of grasping truth? No. The mysticisms of mythology were more complicated in their nature than Christian theology. Did they educate their youth in the exercise of athletic games, excita tion of the gymnasium and teach them to fondly dream of elysian joys as the reward of success be cause intellect was deficient? No! Their poets and philosophers, their INDIVIDUALITY. statesmen and orators, will ever remain as monuments of wonder working intellect. They had been taught to the “summit of their faculties;” their minds were filled with lore. “But their poets drank from the fountain of vice and the poison was instilled into the minds of the populace.” Taste was vitiated and corrupted, which turned art and wisdom into im proper channels and sunk man in the scale of being. Jt was corrupt taste that led them from the proud eminence of mental great ness down the winding way to degrading sensuality and soul withering vice. Tho intellect differed in different individuals, y6t, from the emperor to the plebeian, the highest object of their aspirations was to excel in the sports and feats. England, France and America may now boast of their refined systems of ethics, their poets and sages. England may point to a Pitt, a Fox and a Sheridan; France to her Massillion and Bourdaloue and America to her Henry, her Wirt and her Lee in revolutionary days, and may boast of her Clay, Calhoun, Webster, Lincoln, Blaine, 'Garfield and others; but the language of the moderns is not so perfect, their orators are inferior, and their poets attempt in vain to vie with Homer, Virgil or even Anacreon. Yet as strong and as ardent as was the Greek’s love for science and belles-lettres, it was equally ardent to vie with competitors in the meanest amusements, in crimes that would “out-Herod Herod.” The ancient Grecians and Ro mans rank highest among the nations in literary acquirements, while in horrid contrast they pre sent us with specimens of puerile weakness, of rude, uncultivated habits and a continual scene of crime; and these extravagant con trasts were found combined in the same character, as antagonistical and as belligerent as the refined charity of a Howard united with the savage forocity .of Caligula. The modern nations aspire after their literature, their fine arts, in which arc exhibited superior and refined talents; while their games and sports, the glory of the an cients, are now spurned and re jected as unfitted to another, and, as we believe, a better taste. Thus do we perceive that all nations pursue that course of life which they are taught to love. It is this principle that determines the character of a nation. It is this that makes the civilized life one of refinement, of gentility and sociability, and the savage life a theatre of sports and games, of ferocity and war. It is this that makes the native Indian of the forest bound like the wild deer over the western mountains in pursuit of the panther and the bear. In" this his soul delights. To range the woodland, to submit to toil, to guide his frail bark upon the bosom of the lake, to brave danger in the din of war, to rouse for fight at the war whoop or the clarion blast, is the elysium of a savage iife. This they have been taught to love, and their taste has moulded their minds to the adap tation of such novel occupations. Yet in those very occupations which our taste pronounces rude and uninstructed are exhibited an ingenuity and a skill which, if brought to bear on the arts of civil life, could construct an engine, draw a landscape or paint the por trait of the fairest damsel. It is upon this principle, which we term taste, that the leading spirits of society acf upon its members. It is the cultivation of this principle that fashions and forms the customs and habits, morals and manners of nations, produces their indescribable con trasts and fastens upon them, I,had almost said with the chain of des tiny, a character as indelible as Egyptian hieroglyphics. Jhis principle not only explains the vast difference in natural charac ter from the brightest sunlight of civilization down to the darkest shade of barbarism, but true as the native magnet, it serves as an in dex to the character, habits and manners of individuals in civil society. A correct and discrimi nating moral and intellectual taste is the fundamental principle of a useful education. A. R. S. Education and Crime. Agitation is always good. Noth ing is so conducive to better knowl edge of mankind than a diversity of opinion, providing such opin ions are more than mere platitudes. Theorists may lay down principles admirably; they have a blind pas sion for propounding logic with such a fine mathematical precis ion that it is simply bewildering, and not infrequently fascinating, to the ordinary mortal; but such theorists as a rule have no experi ence in the practical workings of their principles. They may pre sent their deductions concretely and in a measure may, by their simple rule of mathematics, be able to prove certain of their con tentions, but in every case it is always the theoretical opinion. Some time ago there appeared in The Mirror an article entitled, “Crime and Its Causes,” in which the author admirably presents his contentions in their proper spheres; but here again do we see the in tellectual profundity of the theo rist, for* in no instance has he been able to produce facts of a practical nature, or penetrate the real or vital point of his subject. Around an imaginative retrospection he has evolved certain well-meant theories. These he has presented to his readers in concrete form, but they are palpably those of the theorist. Education is a very beautiful and desirable thing to possess, and, in one way or another, it is a uni versal aim and purpose. Ambition and energy are its potent factors, and these are all of various and varying degrees of excellence ac cording to the specific aim in view. Education itself, therefore, is merely a representative form or term and may be used regarding almost every variety of achieve ment, from the attainment of professional or political rank, the acquirement of world-wide fame, the achievement of character that is potent for fine and ennobling influence; or education can, and is, acquired for unscrupulous and vicious achievements. The gen eral hypothesis that scholastic attainment is a basis upon which the individual may rely with the greatest measure of surety to guide and protect him from the multitu dinous vicissitudes that beset the average mortal in the ordinary walks of life, is false ancf mislead ing. To presume that ignorance is one of the potent factors from which crime and the vicious de rive their inspiration is too absurd ly palpable to even dwell upon. Education is typical of civilization and progress, and while it involves a vast amount of labor and com petition, of selfishness, of greed, of injustice, it is yet something that each individual should strive after as the highest form of at tainment . that b© is capable of conceiving. In the long run, and as a general principle, this is ad vantageous and desirable. It in volves, and indeed develops, many of the lower and baser qualities, but these are the tares among the wheat, and the wheat is essential. Education, as we have stated above, is typical of civilization; it is the one real factor of national unity and greatness, provided such education has for its specific aim a career that will not only re dound to the credit of the indi vidual, but also assures the great est amount of financial success. We should not use the term edu cation in its literal sense when applied to men and women who are illiterate or are only able to pass an ordinary examination in reading and writing, but we should use the term in its broad sense. Public schools are maintained in this country for the purpose of fitting our youth to become use ful and honorable citizens. The theory on which most —if not all —of our schools below the uni versity are conducted is that in tellectual training constitutes a sufficient preparation for citizen ship. As a consequence, the graduates of our common and high schools and universities leave school with an intellectual culture which does not fit them to enter upon the practice of any or profession. The man or woman, who, by his or her ability to mas ter the higher sciences of intel lectual attainment, is rewarded with the title “L.L.D.,” “Litt. D,” “D.C.L.,” “A.M., “Pli. D.,” or “D. D.” is looked upon as a dignified personage, but of what avail are all these titles to him or her if they fail to bring success? Let such a person be in financial dif ficulties and it is only a matter of time until he or she must choose between right or wrong, and fre quently they choose wrong per force. But from what strata of society are these men and women with elongated titles recruited? Do they represent the poorer class of our social fabric? Hardly; they are the sons and daughters of wealth, born in the lap of luxury; they have special opportunities in childhood to learn the A. B. C’s., a good preparatory school to pre pare them in youth for their en trance into the great institutions of advanced learning. The mid dle class, on the other hand, go in for education with the true phil osophy that it holds out to man kind. After their course in the graded schools, they begin to pre pare for the real battle in life — for it has been proven time and time again that without this prep aration education is an empty dignity. And what is this prep aration? It is the real and only antidote for crime. Unless you have this preparation, you are a failure intellectually. I refer to an industrial education combined with an ordinary education. Ed ucation does not always enable one to start higher on the ladder, but it invariably hastens the as cent. Let an educated man start in life as a liodcarrier and it will not be long till he is boss, while an ignorant fellow is very likely to stay where he started. The mid dle class of our social fabric are the only ones who thoroughly ap preciate the value of such a com bined education, for the rich do not need it. After the poor boy and girl have passed through the graded schools, they are forced to earn their own livelihood and, in many cases, that of those who are dependent upon them; and what can they do? Ac cept only what is offered them at low wages. I maintain that the ordinary rudiments of an element ary education are not sufficient to prevent crime, but Ido believe that when such an education is combined with a good manual training, that will enable a young man or woman to earn a decent living, there. will be, there must be, a perceptible decrease in crime. Let us teach our youth—and by all means put an industrial education within the reach of all—the dig nity of labor, and you will have dealt the influence of crime its deadliest blow. While we are pay ing so much to polish the minds of our youth, let us also polish and educate his and her hands to do what the mind dictates. “The Slanderer.” “Who steals my purse steals trash: ’tis some thing, nothing; But he who filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.” As the author wrote the above words, could he have had in mind the gossip of the twentieth cen tury? What paragon of our age stands aloof and plays the part of critic or commentator on our acts, accumulating facts which aided by fancies be peddles abroad for the remuneration”of the interest and curiosity which he awakens in other minds and especially among our friends ? f* uch a one easily becomes a malicious slanderer as well as a pilferer of other men’s reputa tions, as a result of which hearth stones are made desolate, reputa tions shredded by lips that speak in idle babble or with spite worse than the knife of the assassin. Thus passing over the line of its milder form, becomes in slander—robbery —and that word reaches a higher meaning when we stop to realize what one’s reputation really means to him. It is his all in all which he has to offer the world. It is, judged by the world’s standard, the highest goal to which he can at tain by following the rules laid down by society for its culture and advancement. It brings to him, followed rightly, success, prosper ity and material happiness. Yet that is not all —for reputa tion is open to the social klepto maniac. It is something he can plunder, deface by his vandalism and possibly almost destroy en tirely; but he must of necessity leave something in the wreck over looked, and that is the character of the person assailed. This is something which neither the gos sip nor slanderer can touch, for character is what a man is; not what he has been, nor what he may be, but what he is. It is the sum total of his life, which comes from the combination of all his thoughts, acts and deeds. Char acter is the autobiography of the soul, written in sight of God alone. The gossip and the slan derer cannot touch this inner life, but they can touch that more ex ternal attribute of life —reputation. How great a matter then is the use of the tongue. How carefully its use should be guarded, for all social life depends upon it. King doms or republics owe their strength or weakness not to army and navy alone, but to public opin ion, and public opinion and repu tation are not basedjupon what the people think, but upon what the people say. For, after all, the world is builded] out of words, CONCLUDED ON PAGE 3 L. W. LEITHHEAD DRUG GO. WHOLESALE DRUGGISTS AND IMPORTERS. 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