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larges his sphere'of influence in a way that is not easy to estimate. Clearly an earnest lecturer, of commanding intelligence and charming manner, with a great subject to teach, must have an opportunity for sowing seeds that will presently ripen in a change of opinion or sentiment, in an altered way of looking at things on the part of whole communities. No lecturer has ever had a better opportunity of this sort than Edward Youmans, and none ever made a better use of his opportunity. His gifts as a talker were of the highest order. The commonest and plainest story, as told by Edward Youmans, had all the breathless interest of the most thrilling romance. Absolutely unconscious of himself, simple, straightforward, and vehement, wrapped up in his subject, the very embodiment of faith and enthusiasm, of heartiness and good cheer, it was delightful to hear him. And when we join with all this his unfailing common sense, his broad and kindly view of men and things, and the delicious humor that kept flashing out in quaint, pithy phrases such as no other man would have thought of, and such as are the despair of any one trying to remember and quote them, we can seem to imagine what a power he must have been with his lectures.
When such a man goes about for seventeen years, teaching scientific truths for which the world is ripe, we may be sure that his work is great, albeit we have no standard whereby we can exactly measure it. In hundreds of little towns with queer names did this strong personality appear and make its way and leave its effects in the shape of new thoughts, new questions, and enlarged hospitality of mind, among the inhabitants. The results of all this are surely visible to-day. In no part of the English world has Herbert Spencer's philosophy met with such a general and cordial reception as in the United States. This may, no doubt, be largely explained by a reference to general causes; but as it is almost always necessary, along with our general causes, to take into the account some personal influence, so it is in this case. It is safe to say that among the agencies which during the past fifty years have so remarkably broadened the mind of the American people, very few have been more potent than the gentle and subtle but pervasive work done by Edward Youmans with his lectures, and to this has been largely due the hospitable reception of Herbert Spencer's ideas.
It was in 1856 that Mr. Youmans fell in with a review of Spencer's Principles of Psychology, by Dr. Morell, in the MedicoChirurgical Review. This review impressed him so deeply that he at once sent to London for a copy of the book, which had been published in the preceding year. It will be observed that this was four years before the Darwinian theory was announced to the world in the first edition of the Origin of Species. Toward the end of that book Mr. Darwin looked forward to a distant future when the conception of gradual development might be applied to the phenomena of conscious intelligence. He had not then learned' of the existence of such a book as the Principles of Psychology. In later editions he was obliged to modify his statement and confess that, instead of looking so far forward, he had better have looked about him. I have more than once heard Mr. Darwin laugh merrily over this, at his own expense.
After struggling for a while with the weighty problems of this book—the most profound treatise upon mental phenomena that any human mind has ever produced—Mr. Youmans saw that the theory expounded in it was a long stride in the direction of a general theory of evolution. His interest in this subject received a new and fresh stimulus. He read Social Statics, and began to recognize Mr. Spencer's hand in the anonymous articles in the quarterlies in which he was then announcing and illustrating various portions or segments of his newly discovered law of evolution. One evening in February, 1860, as Mr. Youmans was calling at a friend's house in Brooklyn, the Rev. Samuel Johnson, of Salem, handed him the famous prospectus of the great series of philosophical works which Mr. Spencer proposed to issue by subscription. Mr. Johnson had obtained this from Edward Silsbee, who was one of the very first Americans to become interested in Spencer. The very next day Mr. Youmans wrote a letter to Mr. Spencer, offering his aid in procuring American subscriptions and otherwise aiding in every possible way the progress of the enterprise. With this letter and Mr. Spencer's cordial reply began the life-long friendship between the two men. It was in that same month that I first became aware of Mr. Spencer's existence, through a single paragraph quoted from him by Mr. Lewes, and in that paragraph there was immense fascination. I had been steeping myself in the literature of modern philosophy, starting with Bacon and Descartes, and was then studying Comte's Philosophie Positive, which interested me as suggesting that the special doctrines of the several sciences might be organized into a general body of doctrine of universal significance. Comte's work was crude and often wildly absurd, but there was much in it that was very suggestive. In May, 1860, in the Old Corner Bookstore in Boston, I fell upon a copy of that same prospectus of Mr. Spencer's works, and read it with exulting delight, for clearly there was to be such an organization of scientific doctrine as the world was waiting for. It appeared that there was some talk of Ticknor & Fields undertaking to conduct the series in case subscriptions enough should be received. Mr. Spencer preferred to have his works appear in Boston; but when in the course of 1860 his book on Education was offered to Ticknor & Fields, they declined
to publish it, which was, of course, a grave mistake from the business point of view. Mr. Youmans, however, was not sorry for this, for it gave him the opportunity to place Mr. Spencer's books where he could do most to forward their success.
Some years before, during his blindness, his sister had led him one day into the store of Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. in quest of a book, and Mr. William H. Appleton had become warmly interested in him. I believe the firm now look back to this chance visit as one of the most auspicious events in their annals. He became by degrees a kind of adviser as regarded matters of publication, and it was largely through his far-sighted advice that the Appletons entered upon the publication of such books as those of Buckle, Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Haeckel, and others of like character, always paying a royalty to the authors, the same as to American authors, in spite of the absence of an international copyright law. As publishers of books of this sort the Appletons have come to be pre-eminent. It is obvious enough nowadays that such books are profitable from a business point of view. But thirty years and more ago this was by no means obvious. We were very provincial. Reprints of English books, translations from French and German, were sadly behind the times. In the Connecticut town where I lived people would begin to wake up to the existence of some great European book or system of thought after it had been before the world anywhere from a dozen to fifty years. In those days, therefore, it required some boldness to undertake the reprinting of new scientific books, and none have recognized more freely than the Appletons the importance of the part played by Mr. Youmans in this matter. His work as adviser to a great publishing house and his work as lecturer re-enforced each other, and thus his capacity for usefulness was much increased.
When Mr. Spencer's book on Education failed to find favor in Boston, the Appletons took it, and thus, presently secured the management of the philosophical series. This brought Mr. Youmans into permanent relations with Mr. Spencer and his work. In 1861 Mr. Youmans was married, and in the course of the following year made a journey in Europe with his wife. It was now that he became personally acquainted with Mr. Spencer, and found him quite as interesting and admirable as his books. Friendships were also begun with Huxley and other foremost .men of science. From more than one of these men I have heard the warmest expressions of personal affection for Mr. Youmans, and of keen appreciation of the aid that they have obtained in innumerable ways from his intelligent and enthusiastic sympathy. But no one else got so large a measure of this support as Mr. Spencer. As fast as his books were republished, Mr. Youmans wrote reviews of them, and by no means in the usual perfunctory way; 'his reviews and notices were turned out by the score, and scattered about in the magazines and newspapers where they would do the most good. Whenever he found another writer who could be pressed into the service, he would give him Spencer's books, kindle him with a spark from his own magnificent enthusiasm, and set him to writing for the press. The most indefatigable vender of wares was never more ruthlessly persistent in advertising for lucre's sake than Edward Youmans in preaching in a spirit of the purest disinterestedness the gospel of evolution. As long as he lived, Mr. Spencer had upon this side of the Atlantic an alter ego ever on the alert with vision like that of a hawk for the slightest chance to promote his interests and those of his system of thought.
Among the allies thus enlisted at that early time were Mr. George Ripley and Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, both of whom did good service, in their different ways, in awakening public interest in the doctrine of evolution. In those days of the civil war it was especially hard to keep up the list of subscribers in an abstruse philosophical publication of apparently interminable length. Mr. Youmans now and then found it needful to make a journey in the interests of the work, and it was on one of these occasions, in November, 1863, that I made his acquaintance. I had already published, in 1861, an article in one of the quarterly reviews in which Mr. Spencer's work was referred to; and another in 1863, in which the law of evolution was illustrated in connection with certain problems of the science of language. The articles were anonymous, as was then the fashion, and Mr. Youmans's curiosity was aroused. There were so few people then who had any conception of what Mr. Spencer's work meant, that they could have been counted on one's fingers. At that time I knew of only three
—the late Prof. Gurney, of Harvard; Mr. George Roberts, now an eminent patent lawyer in Boston; and Mr. John Clark, now of the Prang Educational Company. I have since known that there were at least two or three others about Boston, among others, my learned friend the Rev. W. R. Alger, besides several in other parts of the country. When we sometimes ventured to observe that Mr. Spencer's work was as great as Newton's, and that his theory of evolution was going to remodel human thinking upon all subjects whatever, people used to stare at us and take us for idiots. Any one member of such a small community was easy to. find; and I have always dated a new era in my life from the Sunday afternoon when Mr. Youmans came to my room in Cambridge. It was the beginning of a friendship such as hardly comes but once to a man. At that first meeting I knew nothing of him except that he was the author of a text-book of chemistry
which I had found interesting, in spite of its having been crammed down my throat by an old-fashioned memorizing teacher who, I am convinced, never really knew so much as the difference between oxygen and antimony. At first it was a matter of breathless interest to talk with a man who had seen Herbert Spencer. But one of the immediate results of this interview was the beginning of my own correspondence with Mr. Spencer, which led to manifold results. And from that time forth it always seemed as if, whenever any of the good or lovely things of life came to my lot, somehow or other Edward Youmans was either the cause of it or at any rate intimately concerned with it. The sphere of his unselfish goodness was so wide and its quality so potent that one could not come into near relations with him without becoming in all manner of unsuspected ways strengthened and enriched.
In the autumn of 1865 we were dismayed by the announcement that Mr. Spencer would no longer be able to go on issuing his works. In London they were published at his own expense and risk, and those books which now yield a handsome profit did not then pay the cost of making them. By the summer of 1865 there was a balance of £1,100 against Mr. Spencer, and his property was too small to admit of his going on and losing at such a rate. As soon as this was known, John Stuart Mill begged to be allowed to assume the entire pecuniary responsibility of continuing the publication; but this, Mr. Spencer, while deeply affected by such noble sympathy, would not hear of. He consented, however, with great reluctance, to the attempt of Huxley and Lubbock, and other friends, to increase artificially the list of subscribers by inducing people to take the work just in order to help support it. But after several months the sudden death of Mr. Spencer's father added something to his means of support, and he thereupon withdrew his consent to this arrangement, and determined to go on publishing as before, and bearing the loss.
But, as soon as the first evil tidings reached America, Mr. Youmans made up his mind that $5,500 must be forthwith raised by subscription, in order to make good the loss already incurred. It is delightful to remember the vigor with which he took hold of this work. The sum of $7,000 was raised and invested in American securities in Mr. Spencer's name. If he did not see fit to accept these securities, they would go without an owner. The best Waltham watch that could be procured was presented to Mr. Spencer by his American friends; a letter, worded with rare delicacy and tact, was written by the late Robert Minturn; and Mr. Youmans sailed for England to convey the letter and the watch to Mr. Spencer. It was a charming scene on a summer day in an English garden when the great philosopher was apprised of what had