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EARLY GERMAN LITERATURE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
BY THE EDITOR.
The early English literature of America has been carefully studied. No such labor of love, if we except a few scattered addresses and essays, has yet been performed in behalf of the sturdy German pioneers who, more than a century ago, sought to create an American literature in their native language. A brief sketch of their labors may, therefore, not prove uninteresting to our readers.
It was in 1730, the year in which Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Library, that the celebrated printer was visited by several Germans, wearing long beards, and dressed like Capuchin monks, who commissioned him to print a German hymn-book. This was no small undertaking; but "Poor Richard" was not the man to neglect an opportunity of turning an honest penny, and he succeeded in completing the volume, though it is not surprising that its typography should not have been greatly to his credit.
The book itself was a small 12mo., printed in Roman characters, and consisting of mystical, poetical compositions, emanating from the curious sect of "Seventh-Day Baptists" which, under the leadership of Conrad Beissel, had recently founded a monastic establishment at Ephrata, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. They were Pietists of the extreme mystical school, and a schism from the sect of "Dunkers," founded in 1708, by Alexander Mack.
This peculiar people appears to have been very fond of hymnology, for, in 1732 and 1733, they issued two similar volumes, which, if not possessing a high order of literary merit, are at least interesting as expressing the peculiar chiliastic views and aspirations of their authors.
By this time, the Germans in Pennsylvania had beco ne very numerous, and naturally required more books in their native language than Franklin, with his limited facilities, was able to provide. Their wants, were, however, well met by Christopher Saur (or Sower) who, in 1739, founded a printing estab
lishment at Germantown, which became the most extensive in the colonies. After the death of the elder Saur, in 1758, the business was conducted by his son, who bore precisely the same name.
For about forty years, the Saurs, father and son, managed their affairs with eminent success, printing not only German books, almanacs, and newspapers, but also various publications in the English language. The whole number of their German books and pamphlets, of which many are sufficiently curious, was probably not less than two hundred. Their first publication was issued, like Franklin's earliest German books, in the interest of the Ephrata Society. The principal title, translated, reads: "Zion's Hill of Incense, or Mountain of Myrrh," Germantown, 1739. This was the earliest book printed in America in German characters.
The most important enterprise of Christopher Saur,* the elder, was the publication of a 4to. German Bible, of which the first edition was printed in 1743. This, it will be remembered, was the first edition of the Bible in a European language which had yet appeared in America, and its publication must have been regarded as a stupendous undertaking. A second edition appeared in 1763, and proved so profitabie that the publisher felt justified in devoting a part of the proceeds to the gratuitous circulation of the "Geistliches' Magazin," which is said to have been the earliest American, religious periodical. A third edition of the Bible was printed in 1776; but, as many of the unbound sheets were seized and made into cartridges at the battle of Germantown, it is now quite rare, and known as the "Cartridge Bible."
In the mean time, the monks of Ephrata had not been idle. Having quarrelled with the elder Saur, whose wife had left him and joined their order, they, in 1742, imported a press from Germany, and began the publication of a series of volumes, principally devoted to the propagation of their pe
The earliest appears to be Sauer, but in Ger *The family name appears in various forms. man publications it was generally printed Saur, and finally it was anglicized into Sower
culiar tenets. Among these were "The the German pioneers did so little for literature, but that, in their poverty and isolation, they succeeded in accomplishing so much.
Song of the Solitary Turtle Dove," "The Pleasant Odor of Roses and Lilies in the Valley of Humility," and "Miraculous Melodies of Paradise "titles which were, no doubt, intended to be exceedingly attractive, but whose sweetness is cloying to our modern taste. More important than these were translations of the "Pilgrim's Progress," printed in 1754, a huge folio on "Baptist Martyrology," and a history of the order called "Chronicon Ephratense."
Unwilling to suffer the German booktrade to pass entirely out of his hands, Franklin, in 1749, formed a partnership with John Boehm, a German printer, and soon afterwards published several German books, among which was a fine edition of Arndt's " Wahres Christenthum," a work which has been a favorite with pious Germans all the world
We must not, however, neglect to notice the very creditable poetical compositions of Helmuth and Kunze, and the scientific labors, at a somewhat later period, of Muhlenberg, the botanist, and of Melsheimer, the entomologist.
SCHOOLS IN JAPAN.
There has been a very general impression that German Pennsylvania, in its earlier days, at least, was a sort of Bootia, given over to hopeless ignorance, and despising literature and art, as proper works of the devil. The facts of the case, we think, will hardly justify such an impression. The wonder is not that
BY MASATAKA YAMANAKA.
There were many other German publishers, besides those we have mentioned; so that the whole number of German
books, issued in Pennsylvania during the last century, may be safely stated at more than five hundred. Nor should it be forgotten, that some of the best German writers sent their manuscript to the Fatherland, to be published there. This was especially the case with the Luther
When the children become six or seven years old, although it is not compulsory, they commence to go to school where they learn to write and read Iroha, the alphabet or Phonetic syllabarium, from which the words are composed, is the first lesson. It is of more recent invention than the ideographic
ries, whose Reports, as published in Europe, were voluminous and valuable.
The greater portion of the publication of this early period consisted, as we have seen, of sermons, or of moral and relig
"Dull, doubtless, but with here and there a flash."
an, Reformed, and Moravian missiona-system of Chinese hieroglyphic symbols which came into use in the 2nd centuries A. D. Prior to these it is supposed that the Japanese possessed an ancient form of writing to the time of the introduction of the study of Chinese written language. It has certainly not been used for many centuries and there are no books now remaining written in this character. This alphabet is said to have been invented by Kibi-Daishi, a man of high rank in the time of the emperor Kojin Tenno in the 7th centuries A. D. is known as the Hirakana, consisting 47 letters. In the course of time, these characters were rendered more complex by the addition of variations; and then another alphabet or simpler form was introduced which is known as the Katakana or side-letters. Some schools are open to both sexes, the others only to the male sex. Each scholar own his own desk a yard long, a foot wide, and a foot and half in height, and also a box for keeping
[The following article was written, at our request, by Mr. Yamanaka, a Japanese student in Franklin & Marshall College. We have left it unchanged, so that our readers may be able to judge of the progress which the writer has made in the acquisition of the English language. There are still, of course, imperfections; but we think there are few persons who, under the circumstances, would have done so well.-ED. GUARDIAN.]
ducted usually in private dwellingCommon schools in Japan are conhouses rather than in suitable schoolhouses, and are almost in every other square.
books, papers, writing implement in, which are generally varnished or painted in red. The teacher comes behind scholars and take hold of their hands, instruct them how to make and read these characters individually once in the morning, they continually study the same lesson a duration of three
days. Then they write their lessons THE INDIAN BRAVE AND THE MISfor finishing in neat papers which are made from the bark of mulberry trees, but write on one side only on account of their thin papers; the teacher gives them marks accordingly, and at the end of school year he gives a banquet to the scholars and also gifts according to their grade such as Indian ink, writing brushes, papers, and fans so on. Schools take in at 8 o'clock in the morning and continue until at the noon, but those who misbehaved during the session are kept in as long as they do not obey the orders of teachers, sometimes are kept in the whole afternoon without having a dinner. Teachers in Japan are very highly respected, not only by their scholars but also by all who are generally the best scholars among all the classes of people. Children are taught especially morality, the duty of a man, and obedience to their parents such as are the principle branches of instruction in schools. But those of wealthy parents have also a private tutor, whose duty it is to watch over them when out of school and is always with them wherever they go. He is rather a guar
dian than a teacher.
Public schools including the high schools, colleges or universities are now established in cities and towns throughout the empire. They are founded precisely the same as the school system in the United States.
Those wh wish to continue the studies, go to high schools where they are taught the Confucian literature, philosophy, logic, history, political economy and poetry, etc. The education is not neglected, although there are comparatively a few who receive a high education and the majority of children, as soon as they become 14 or 15 years old learn a trade so that they can assist their parents in making a living.
There are also gymnasiums or schools for exercise as well as the intellectual training of youth. The exercises consist of horse racing, targeting, wrestling and boxing, using the spear and sword, shooting the bow and arrow so as to cultivate physical strength and thus to make the youth able-bodies soldiera when their military services are needed.
BY REV. J. MAX HARK.
About a century and a quarter ago, the little Moravian town of Nazareth was a centre of misssonary influence and activity among the Indians of Pennsylvania. From here the brethren went forth in every direction through the primeval forest to preach the giad tidings of a crucified Saviour to the fierce and untamed natives. And God so graciously blessed their efforts, that entire Indian villages throughout the State were converted into true Christian congregations. The history of those times is like a thrilling romance. Incidents like the following may be found on many a page of the records of that heroic period.
Along the ledge that skirts the southern border of the Long Meadow, which stretches its velvety expanse of green eastward from Nazareth, there wound in those days a little path worn by the feet of the Indian hunter. It led through forest and glen to the banks of the Bushkill or Lehieton creek, where, some two miles from the town, stands an old stone grist-mill, which then belonged to Here Indians and white the brethren. settlers would often assemble to listen to the words of life from the mouth of some missionary brother from the town.
One evening in the perilous times of the French and Indian War, about the year 1757, as the sun was just sinking to its rest in the western hills, and flooding the landscape with a purple, hazy light, a painted warrior might have been seen stealthily creeping along this secluded path. Every now and then he stopped and bent his ear to the ground. No sound was heard but the distant barking of the gray squirrel or the twang of the nighthawk's wing as he circled swiftly over the meadow.
Again and again the young brave
stopped and listened intently. A dark and sinister scowl was on his dusky face. The fre-h notches cut into the stock of his long rifle showed that he had already laid low in death by it no less than eleven foes. Only one more was wanting to complete the dozen to make him a captain in his tribe. He had vowed that day not to return to his lodge without the number complete, and knowing that one of the preachers from Nazareth was to come to the mill that night, he had determined to waylay him on his path.
Suddenly his trained ear detects the sounds of approaching footsteps. It is the tread of a white man too. With quick and panther-like movement he glides into the shadow of a hazel thicket, and with rifle cocked and primed, stands ready to carry out his murderous design.
The footsteps come nearer. The sound is heard, too, of a sweet hymn softly chanted by devout lips. A few steps further and the missionary's form appears clearly outlined on the hill against the golden evening sky.
Now is the warrior's time! Why does he not fire? Why does he hesitate so long?
Look at him! His rifle rests by his side! He is bewildered and confused. He has recognized in the missionary the same preacher whom months before he had seen on the banks of the distant Mahoning, and there heard telling the story of the cross, and pleading even with him to accept the meek and lowly Jesus as his Saviour. The recollection has dimmed the youthful warrior's eyes for the moment, and he cannot shoot.
But it is only for one moment. The next, fierce ambition again asserts its sway. He grasps his rifle, and stealthily follows the unsuspecting brother into the dark glen just ahead. Here another opportunity offers to slay his victim. But again the youth's heart fails him. A third time ambition hardens the heart for the bloody deed. But a third time conscience unnerves him, and he lets the opportunity pass. It is a terrible struggle between the good and the bad in his soul. Finally, however, the evil seems to conquer. Ambition reproaches him for womanly weakness and unworthy cowardice. To strengthen his fierce
resolution, he runs his hand over the eleven notches of his rifle. "Only one more and I am captain!" he murmurs. With an oath he hastens forward now, calling on the "Great Spirit" for ever to palsy his arm if again it refuses to fulfill the deed.
With an effort he raises his rifle. He takes a steady aim. He is just about to pull the trigger, when lo, the weapon itself drops from his grasp! His right arm sinks helpless to his side. It is palsied! Or at least to him it seems as though it were.
The missionary, all unconscious of the fate he has escaped through God's gracious interposition, still chanting his hymn of trust and praise, goes tranquilly on his way, and reaches the old stone mill in the "Vale of Peace."
The young warrior never became a captain of his tribe, but soon after was converted to Christ, and lived many years a fervent and faithful assistant in the missionary work of the Brethren's Church among the Indians.
SIGNS OF PROSPERITY.
FROM THE CHINESE.
Where spades grow bright, and idle swords
Law court-yards weedy, silent, and forlorn; Where doctors foot it, and where farmers ride; Where these signs are, they clearly indicate Where age abounds, and youth is multiplied; A happy people, and well-governed state.
LONGFELLOW aptly says: "The little I have seen of the world teaches me to look upon the errors of others in sorrow, not in anger. When I take the history of one poor heart that has sinned and suffered, and represent to myself the struggles and temptations it has passed through, the brief pulsations of joy, the feverish inquietude of hope and fear, the pressure of want, the desertion of friends, I would fain leave the erring soul of my fellow-man with Him from whose hand it came."
WORDS OF CHEER.
We feel very grateful for the kind words which our exchanges have so freely bestowed upon THE GUARDIAN and its new editor. These cordial greetings encourage us to persevere in a work which is, in every sense, a labor of love. It is very evident that THE GUARDIAN has made many friends, and we sincerely hope that it may be our privilege to retaiù them, and to increase their number.
faithful service it must not be allowed to suffer for want of adequate support. At present its prospects are bright and cheering, but by a little labor its influence might be greatly extended.
OUR BOOK SHELVES.
We have recently read "The Artist and His Mission; A Study in Aesthetics, by Rev. William M. Reily, Ph. D., Professor of Ancient Languages in Palatinate College." It is a book of the utmost value to all who desire to study Aesthetics, in the proper sense of that much abused word. If the tastes of our people were properly cultivated, according to the principles laid down in this volume, they would be less ready to be led astray by pretended "apostles of the beautiful." We hope that Prof. Reily's book may enjoy an extensive circulation.
There is, indeed, no reason why THE GUARDIAN should not be a welcome guest in every Sunday-school and in every Christian household. It has never been engaged in religious controversy, and its highest endeavor has been to be faithful to its beautiful motto. Though published under the auspices of the Reformed Church, many of its friends and subscribers belong to other Christian churches, and we have From D. Lothrop & Co., Boston, we every reason to believe that the latter have received "The Might of Right, have always been satisfied with the from the writings of William Ewart manner in which it has been conducted. Gladstone, selected by E. E. Brown." We call upon the friends of THE This book is one of the "Spare Minute GUARDIAN to aid in increasing its cir- Series." It is not intended for conculation. Many Sunday-schools subsecutive reading; but, as its title indiscribe for a copy for each teacher, pay- cates, is made up of selections from the ing the subscription out of the general writings of England's greatest statestreasury. The expense is not great, man. "Spare minutes" could hardly and the effect is found to be excellent. be better employed than by opening the The teachers are bound to the school book almost anywhere, and reading the by an additional tie, and are greatly excellent sentiments which it conaided in their work. Many of them tains. preserve the numbers, and subsequently have them bound into volumes, as mementoes of their labors in the Sundayschool cause. There are many additional schools in which this plan might be successfully introduced. To the young, especially, and to every Christian family, THE GUARDIAN seeks to be a faithful friend. After its long and
The same firm has sent us "So as by Fire," by Margaret Sidney; a story which bas been read with pleasure by several members of our family. As this book has already been approved by the Sunday-school Bureau, it is not necessary that we should say anything further in its praise. We are also indebted to Dr. J. Z. Gerhard for