« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of militant activity and the growth of industrial activity the occupations once disgraceful have become honorable. The duty to work has taken the place of the duty to fight; and in the one case as in the other the ideal of life has become so well established that scarcely anybody dreams of questioning it. Practical business has been substituted for war as the purpose of existence.
Is this modern ideal to survive throughout the future? I think not. While all other things undergo continuous change, it is impossible that ideals should remain fixed. The ancient ideal was appropriate to the ages of conquest by man over man and spread of the strongest races. The modern ideal is appropriate to ages in which conquest of the earth and subjection of the powers of Nature to human use is the predominant need. But hereafter, when both these ends have in the main been achieved, the ideal formed will probably differ considerably from the present one. May we not foresee the nature of the difference? I think we may.
Some twenty years ago, a good friend of mine and a good friend of yours, too, though you never saw him, John Stuart Mill, delivered at St. Andrew's an inaugural address on the occasion of his appointment to the Lord Rectorship. It contained much to be admired, as did all he wrote; there ran through it, however, the tacit assumption that life is for learning and working. I felt at the time that I should have liked to take up the opposite thesis. I should have liked to contend that life is not for learning nor is life for working, but learning and working are for life. The primary use of knowledge is for such guidance of conduct under all circumstances as shall make living complete all other uses of knowledge are secondary. It scarcely needs saying that the primary use of work is that of supplying the materials and aids to living completely; and that any other uses of work are secondary. But in men's conceptions the secondary has in great measure usurped the place of the primary.
The apostle of culture, as culture is commonly conceived, Mr. Matthew Arnold, makes little or no reference to the fact that the first use of knowledge is the right ordering of all actions; and Mr. Carlyle, who is a good exponent of current ideas about work, insists on its virtues for quite other
reasons than that it achieves sustentation. We may trace everywhere in human affairs a tendency to transform the means into the end. All see that the miser does this when making the accumulation of money his sole satisfaction; he forgets that money is of value only to purchase satisfactions. But it is less commonly seen that the like is true of the work by which the money is accumulated—that industry, too, bodily or mental, is but a means, and that it is as irrational to pursue it to the exclusion of that complete living it subserves as it is for the miser to accumulate money and make no use of it. Hereafter when this age of active material progress has yielded mankind its benefits there will, I think, come a better adjustment of labor and enjoyment. Among reasons for thinking this there is the reason that the processes of evolution throughout the world at large bring an increasing surplus of energies that are not absorbed in fulfilling material needs and point to a still larger surplus for humanity of the future. And there are other reasons which I must pass over. In brief, I may say that we have had somewhat too much of the “ gospel of work.” It is time to preach the gospel of relaxation.
This is a very unconventional after-dinner speech. Especially it will be thought strange that in returning thanks I should deliver something very much like a homily. But I have thought I could not better convey my thanks than by the expression of a sympathy which issues in a fear. If, as I gather, this intemperance in work affects more especially the Anglo-American part of the population, if there results an undermining of the physique not only in adults, but also in the young, who as I learn from your daily journals are also being injured by overwork—if the ultimate consequence should be a dwindling away of those among you who are the inheritors of free institutions and best adapted to them, then there will come a further difficulty in the working out of that great future which lies before the American nation. To my anxiety on this account you must please ascribe the unusual character of my remarks.
And now I must bid you farewell. When I sail by the Germanic on Saturday, I shall bear with me pleasant remembrances of my intercourse with many Americans, joined with regrets that my state of health has prevented me from seeing a larger number.
ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY
(Speech of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster, at the breakfast given by the Century Club, New York City, November 2, 1878.)
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:—The hospitality shown to me has been no exception to that with which every Englishman meets in this country, in the endless repetition of kind words and the overwhelming pressure of genial entertainment which has been thrust upon me.
That famous Englishman, Dr. Johnson, when he went from England to Scotland, which, at that time, was a more formidable undertaking than is a voyage from England to America at the present time, met at a reception at St. Andrew's a young professor who said, breaking the gloomy silence of the occasion: “I trust you have not been disappointed!” And the famous Englishman replied: “No; I was told that I should find men of rude manners and savage tastes, and I have not been disappointed.” So, too, when I set out for your shores I was told that I should meet a kindly welcome and the most friendly hospitality. I can only say, with Dr. Johnson, I have not been disappointed.
But in my vivid though short experience of American life and manners, I have experienced not only hospitality, but considerate and thoughtful kindness, for which I must ever be grateful. I can find it in my heart even to forgive the reporters who have left little of what I have said or done unnoted, and when they have failed in this, have invented fabulous histories of things which I never did and sayings which I never uttered. Sometimes when I have been questioned as to my impressions and views of America, I have been tempted to say with an Englishman who was hard
pressed by his constituents with absurd solicitations: “Gentlemen, this is the humblest moment of my life, that you should take me for such a fool as to answer all your questions.” But I know their good intentions and I forgive them freely.
The two months which I have spent on these shores seem to me two years in actual work, or two centuries rather, for in them I have lived through all American history. In Virginia I saw the era of the earliest settlers, and I met John Smith and Pocahontas on the shores of the James River. In Philadelphia I lived with William Penn, but in a splendor which I fear would have shocked his simple soul. At Salem I encountered the stern founders of Massachusetts; at Plymouth I watched the Mayflower threading its way round the shoals and promontories of that intricate bay. On Lake George and at Quebec I followed the struggle between the English and the French for the possession of this great continent. At Boston and Concord I followed the progress of the War of Independence. At Mount Vernon I enjoyed the felicity of companionship with Washington and his associates. I pause at this great name, and carry my recollections no further. But you will understand how long and fruitful an experience has thus been added to my life, during the few weeks in which I have moved amongst the scenes of your eventful history.
And then, leaving the past for the present, a new field opens before me. There are two impressions which are fixed upon my mind as to the leading characteristics of the people among whom I have passed, as the almanac informs me, but two short months. On the one hand I see that everything seems to be fermenting and growing, changing, perplexing, bewildering. In that memorable hour—memorable in the life of every man, memorable as when he sees the first view of the Pyramids, or of the snow-clad range of the Alps -in the hour when for the first time I stood before the cataracts of Niagara, I seemed to see a vision of the fears and hopes of America. It was midnight, the moon was full, and I saw from the Suspension Bridge the ceaseless contortion, confusion, whirl, and chaos, which burst forth in clouds of foam from that immense central chasm which divides the American from the British dominion; and as I looked on
that ever-changing movement, and listened to that everlasting roar, I saw an emblem of the devouring activity, and ceaseless, restless, beating whirlpool of existence in the United States. But into the moonlight sky there rose a cloud of spray twice as high as the Falls themselves, silent, majestic, immovable. In that silver column, glittering in the moonlight, I saw an image of the future of American destiny, of the pillar of light which should emerge from the distractions of the present-a likeness of the buoyancy and hopefulness which characterize you both as individuals and as a nation.
You may remember Wordsworth's fine lines on “Yarrow Unvisited," “ Yarrow Visited,” and “ Yarrow Revisited.” “America Unvisited ”-that is now for me a vision of the past; that fabulous America, in which, before they come to your shores, Englishmen believe Pennsylvania to be the capital of Massachusetts, and Chicago to be a few miles from New York—that has now passed away from my mind forever. “America Visited"; this, with its historic scenes and its endless suggestions of thought, has taken the place of that fictitious region. Whether there will ever be an “America Revisited ” I cannot say; but if there should be, it will then be to me not the land of the Pilgrim Fathers and Washington, so much as the land of kindly homes, and enduring friendships, and happy recollections, which have now endeared it to me. One feature of this visit I fear I cannot hope to see repeated, yet one without which it could never have been accomplished. My two friends, to whom such a pleasing reference has been made by Dr. Adams, who have made the task easy for me which else would have been impossible; who have lightened every anxiety; who have watched over me with such vigilant care that I have not been allowed to touch more than two dollars in the whole course of my journey—they, perchance, may not share in
America Revisited.' But if ever such should be my own good fortune, I shall remember it as the land which I visited with them; where, if at first they were welcomed to your homes for my sake, I have often felt as the days rolled on that I was welcomed for their sake. And you will remember them. When in after years you read at the end of some elaborate essay on the history of music or on Biblical geog