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Both in the Transvaal and in the Philip- We repeat, neither guerrilla warfare nor pines this course has been pursued in the destruction of private property of order to suppress guerrilla warfare. It is peaceable citizens in order to prevent indefensible. It cannot be defended on guerrilla warfare is war; and neither is the ground that it is war. When an armed justifiable. public contest between nations under the sanction of international law to establish Morality in Fiction justice between them is going on, it does sometimes become necessary to destroy The article by Madame Blanc (Th. Bentprivate property without compensation zon) on “ The French Novel and the Young and to inflict injury upon non-combatants Girl," which appears in this issue of The as the only means of obtaining victory Outlook, is interesting by reason of the over combatants, though even in time of distinction of the writer, the importance of war this is permissible only under the her subject, and the light thrown upon the stress of extreme necessity. But, if we perplexing question of the degree of freeaccept Charles Sumner's definition as dom with which certain matters shall be accurate, there is no longer war either in dealt with in literature. Madame Blanc is the Transvaal or in the Philippines. The one of the foremost women of the time in destruction of private property, the inflict- dignity of life as well as in literary position ing of irretrievable injury upon non-com- and reputation ; she interprets the French batants, cannot be justified, therefore, on attitude towards the young girl with clearthe ground that it is a war necessity. And ness and with authority. The American it certainly cannot be justified on the attitude is entirely different; but both peoground that it is a necessary measure of ples aim at the preservation, not only of government in a community not in a state purity, but of the bloom of the young imagof war. It is the first function of govern- ination. The French believe that this can ment to protect the right of peaceable best be preserved by keeping the girl, so citizens to their persons and their prop far as possible, ignorant of certain aspects erty. Engiand has no right in the Trans- of life; the American does not, if he is vaal, America has no right in the Philip wise, wholly dissent from this view, but pines, unless each can, by the exercise he believes that it is safer to impart the of its sovereignty, protect persons and knowledge gradually than to let it come property in those territories. Our only with a sudden shock, as often happens in justification for our being in the Philip- the experience of French women. If the pines is that we have assumed the responsi- French restrict the reading of young girls bility for exercising such protection, and too rigidly, it is certain that, in many cases, that we cannot transfer this responsibility Americans leave it too completely without to the imperfect government of Aguinaldo. oversight or direction. Destroying the property of non-combatants This question is part of the larger quescan neither be justified as a war measure tion of the proper limits of the disclosure nor as a means of public justice in a com- of evil and of the knowledge of life in munity not at war.
fiction. On that question there is evidently It is said that the guerrillas are practi- great difference of opinion and much concally bands of robbers. Then they should fusion of thought. be treated as bands of robbers. We do In the first place, it must not be forgotten not destroy private property or drive that there are many kinds of immorality. peaceable citizens into exile because their Much, if not most, of the criticism of books country is plundered by robbers. We seems to proceed on the theory that too do not destroy the farms nor cut the tele- frank or too fervent descriptions of sins of graph wires in the far West because train passion are the only qualities which make robbers plunder railroad trains. Neither immoral stories. This is not true ; there on the ground that there is war nor on are many kinds of immorality; and many the ground that there is not war can the stories which are widely accepted as ethidestruction of private property and the cally sound and even religious in their influshooting or exiling of innocent men in ence are essentially immoral. Any book the Philippines and in the Transvaal be which departs from the truth of experience, justified.
and presents a view of life which is not confirmed by the facts, is a false book, and the collision between the will of the inditherefore an immoral book; for nothing vidual and the will of God, as that will is so fundamentally immoral as falsehood. is expressed in the order of the world, the This was not only the fault but the vice institutions of society, and the laws of of a good many so-called Sunday-school civilized peoples. This conflict, in the books, which put before young readers a record of which the spiritual history of view of life which was wholly misleading; the race is largely written and which which substituted self-complacent prigs supplies some of the richest material with for sound, sane, genuinely religious men which the imagination deals, has absorbed and women; which identified the life of the crcative genius of the world and has piety with morbid and unwholesome experi- been the chief theme of much of its subences; which misrepresented the Infinite limest art; for art is at bottom an interby making Him the partisan patron of pretation of the soul of man, of its relagoody-goody children and the partisan tion to the world about it and of the order foe of those children in whom nature was of that world. If morality, as Coleridge more powerful than conventions, and who declared, is “the practice of duty; obediwere often healthy when they were por- ence to the moral law; virtue; goodness," trayed as vicious; and, worse than all, then immorality is the reverse of these which interpreted the moral government qualities, the denial of these virtues, of the world as a system of retail bargains departure from these standards. Now, it of so many good deeds for so many rewards. is precisely these denials and departures Books of this class have largely, though with which great literature deals; because not entirely, disappeared; they were thor- through these inversions, perversions, and oughly bad, fundamentally immoral, and violations of the moral law and the moral intellectually vulgar.
nature the moral structure of the world In this class must also be placed a comes into view and the fathomless siglarge number of stories which are widely nificance of man's life in this world is read by good people because they deal revealed. The Old and a considerable with the moral and religious side of life; part of the New Testament; the serious books which are widely acclaimed as relig- dramas, from Æschylus to Browning and ious literature and are sold in vast quan- Ibsen; dramatic poetry; and, above all, tities because they are supposed to appeal the noblest fiction, have dealt with immoral to the best in their readers. These books acts. Their high significance lies in the are immoral because they exaggerate, mis- fact that they bind such acts to the actors represent, and distort the facts of life; they by the very laws of life and write the turn the struggle between good and evil story of man's career in terms of charinto a lurid melodrama, and vulgarize every acter. The Old Testament, the Greek moral or religious issue they touch. They tragedies, the tragedies of Shakespeare, are to real fiction what yellow journalism Milton's " Paradise Lost,” Scott's “ Heart is to real journalism ; they pander to well- of Midlothian,” Thackeray's “Vanity intentioned but unreflecting people much Fair,” George Eliot's “ Adam Bede," and as the cheap sensational theater panders Hawthorne's “Scarlet Letter” hold their to the frivolous and prurient. They are places securely, not only as works of art, read by hundreds who would not touch but as the great moral text-books of the “Anna Karenina” or“ Resurrection,” and race. yet they are not fit to stand on the shelves The essence of immorality in a novel is beside those tremendous tragedies of the some kind of falsehood. This falsehood moral life.
may take the form of separating the evil In the second place, it must be remem- act from its consequences; this is the sin bered that a book is not immoral because of the novel which portrays the pleasures it deals with an immoral act. Ignorance of sensuality without instantly bringing of this fact has led to a great deal of con- into view its appalling retributions. It may fusion in the minds of many good people. take the form of exaggeration and perverA very large part of the greatest and sion of the place and function of passion most significant art of the world deals in normal experience; this is the offense with immorality. The essence of tragedy of a small class of books like D'Annunzio's is conflict, and conflict is almost always “ Flame of Life,” which is an expansion of passion to the very limits of experience, life should come slowly and with sufficient to the exclusion and repression of rectify- interpretation from experience to give it ing and correcting activities and interests. perspective and rob it of that which feeds It may take the form of a too luxurious a morbid curiosity. To confine all literaand alluring picturing of the sensuous life; ture to the experience of young readers a description which stimulates the imagina. would be manifestly absurd; it is necestion by its warmth, and awakens emotions sary, therefore, to keep back certain kinds to which art ought never to appeal. In of books, not because they are impure, but stories of this kind the falseness consists in because they are too far in advance of a ignoring the essential vulgarity or vileness child's experience. “Adam Bede” and of the sin and its terrible reaction. It “The Scarlet Letter" are stories of stain. may take the form of too great frankness; less purity, but they are not for the youngmany things which are not only good but est readers. “ Vanity Fair" is not for sacred in their place and time become childhood, simply because the experience corrupt and corrupting when the light of of childhood cannot interpret it. It is not publicity falls on them. The Greeks, with easy in every case to draw the line between a true and sensitive instinct, shunned the maturity and immaturity, as it is not easy horrible, and the bloodiest deeds in their in every case to draw the line between tragedies were performed off the stage. prudishness and too great frankness of There are sharp limits to wholesome ex- speech ; it must be drawn, as it is drawn pression; that which is pure in experience every day in countless - homes, by good may lose its sanctity when it is hinted in sense and a knowledge of the individual speech; that which may be rightly sug- reader. A moral book may produce an gested in a story or poem may be intoler- immoral effect upon a mind which is not able on the stage with the added emphasis prepared by experience to receive it; on of acting. If vice is to be wisely and the other hand, it must be remembered wholesomely represented or dealt with in that wholesome boys and girls often read fiction, it must be bound always to its very mature books without an inkling of consequences; it must be pictured with the things which might harm them. The restraint, for serious ends; it must not decision rests with those who are responawaken either sympathy or desire; and it sible for youth, and it is for this reason must observe that law of relation or fitness that the reading of the young ought to which makes men instinctively surround have wise guidance and direction. Knowlsome natural and wholesome things with edge of evil cannot be withheld, but it privacy. Every book which arouses pas- must be imparted when intelligence, exsion, inflames the imagination, makes vice perience, and sound moral instincts have attractive, or portrays it too vividly, stains prepared the mind to receive it. the mind and is to be shunned.
Many books which are entirely moral are not for young readers; this is a prin
Dangerous Foes ciple which it is difficult to apply, but it is clear and fundamental in the whole matter. It was said of Jeremy Taylor that “naThe French go much further in disclosure ture had befriended much in his constiof all kinds of experience than men of tution, for he was a person of most sweet English blood, and there is special reason and obliging humour, of great candour and for keeping a great deal of French fiction ingenuity. ... His soul was made up of out of the hands of young girls. The harmony; and he never spoke but he instinct and the training of the English- charmed his hearer, not only with the speaking race have kept it reticent where clearness of his reason, but all his words, the French have been absolutely frank; and his very tone and cadences, were and it is to be hoped that this deep-going musical.” This disclosure of a winning repugnance to the free handling of the temper in a man of great genius finds its mysteries of life will not wear away. This explanation in part in certain comments instinct is not only moral, but is artistic of the eloquent preacher touching what as well. There is much even in good he calls little vexations: literature which is not proper food for the “... be careful to stifle little things,” he young imagination. The knowledge of writes, " that as fast as they spring they be cut down and trod upon; for if they be suffered steady discomfort ; he is a depressor of to grow by numbers, they make the spirit vitality and therefore a waster of power. perish, and the society troublesome, and the affections loose and easy by an habitual aver
aver. The warm, genial air does not invite delisation. Some men are more vexed with a fly cate things out of the soil more potently than with a wound; and when the gnats dis- than does the man of serene, sunny turb our sleep, and the reason is disquieted nature call forth the best energies of his but not perfectly awakened, it is often seen that he is fuller of trouble than if, in the day.
co-workers. When such a man is in light of his reason, he were to contest with a command, no time need be lost in attempts potent enemy. In the frequent little accidents to make working adjustments with him ; of a family a man's reason cannot always be every man can
every man can put his whole force into awake; and, when the discourses are imperfect, and a trifling trouble makes him yet more
his task. The irritable, peevish spirit in restless, he is soon betrayed to the violence the household, succumbing to every petty of passion."
annoyance, is absolutely fatal to that This goes to the very heart of the un- sweet and deep peace in which alone the doing of fine natures by small discomforts, affections put forth all their tendrils and petty annoyances, little troubles. They bear their most delicate blossoms. There lose serenity, sweetness, and dignity be are women about whom the whole world cause they fail to recognize the fact that blooms; where they are it is always June. a sting may be as dangerous as a wound, There is something pitiful in the defeat and that the trifle which costs a man his of a man by insignificant foes. When a self-respect is as important, so far as he strong nature falls before a powerful an is concerned, as the great provocation tagonist, there is the sense of tragedy, but which throws him into passion.
there may be no sense of humiliation; Character is fundamental in all rela- but when a sting does the work of a tions; without it there is no real, genuine, wound, there comes a certain feeling of effective human intercourse or co-opera- contempt. In the battle of life, which is tion. In all conditions and for all pur- a struggle, not only for integrity, but for poses it is essential that we be able to sweetness, serenity, and peace, every man trust our fellow and to secure and hold owes it to his fellows to make a brave his confidence. Next to character the fight. There is a kind of treason in surmost essential qualities for comfort, peace, render to petty foes. There are so many and happiness are sweetness and serenity great troubles in life, so many appalling of spirit. These qualities are atmospheric calamities, so many heavy burdens to be iu their nature ; they diffuse themselves borne, and such difficult tasks to be perthrough space; they make the weather in formed, that it is cowardly to yield peace which we live ; they flood us with sun- and sweetness to insignificant assaults on light or blight us with chill and gloom. patience and good temper. Cheerfulness and sweetness are commonly We are bound, not only to resist the regarded as temperamental; in many cases things that imperil our integrity and peace, they are the natural expressions of har- but to aid and succor our fellows. The monious and well-balanced natures. But man who flies into a passion because they are quite as often the “lovely fruits some small thing goes wrong, who is of forgotten toil ;" qualities which, by peevish, irritable, and disagreeable when patience, care, and persistence, have been additional work comes unexpectedly or developed out of the most unpromising unforeseen accidents occur, not only soil by refusal to yield to the tyranny makes life harder for every one about of small vexations and the wear of him, but makes it harder at the very time wearisome details which of necessity fill when it is his plain duty to make it easier. a large place in every life.
The moral of the whole matter is that These petty annoyances crowd every there are no small things; that the annoypath of work or pleasure, and one must ance, however apparently insignificant, elect whether he will brush them aside which costs a man his temper, is really with a strong hand or permit them to important; and that we owe our fellows spring up and choke the finer growths in the duty of sweetness and cheerfulness his soul. The irritable man is something quite as much as the duty of fidelity and more than a trial to the men who work honesty. On the eve of Agincourt, the with him and something worse than a quiet hopefulness of Henry V. was worth
A Homily for the New
another army to the decimated English. but an intellectual conception has taken In the ebb and flow of the daily struggle the place of an imaginative picture; a of men in the work of the world, the cheer- theory has been substituted for a Person. ful and sunny are bringers of strength He might not be willing to call himself an and harbingers of victory.
agnostic, and yet inuch that he once fancied he knew concerning God he confesses to himself he no longer knows. He believes in God, but thick darkness is round about
God's throne. If he dared to ask himCentury
self the question, Is God a Person, or
does he transcend personality ? he could Those who have ever read John Fiske's hardly answer. If he seeks to define his portrayal of his childhood conception of thought of God, he finds it is a thought of God will not easily forget it :
a universal, ever-present, all-pervasive I remember distinctly the conception which Energy, immanent in all nature, perhaps Thad formed when five years of age. I im in all history, but personified nowhere. agined a narrow office just over the zenith, with a tall standing desk running lengthwise,
His belief in the divine immanence has upon which lay several open ledgers bound in enlarged the thought of God's majesty coarse leather. There was no roof over this and power, but dimmed the glory of his office, and the walls rose scarcely five feet
person. The childhood form of theistic from the floor, so that a person standing at
belief is lost; and though he would the desk could look out upon the whole world. There were two persons at the desk, and one not say what Professor Clifford, with an of them-a tall, slender man, of aquiline fea- abandon of frankness, has said, yet there tures, wearing spectacles, with a pen in his is something in the sorrowful skeptic's hand and another behind his ear-was God. · The other. whose appearance I do not dis. experience which responds to Clifford's tinctly recall, was an attendant angel. Both lament: “We have felt that the Great were diligently watching the deeds of men Companion is dead." The sense of duty and recording them in the ledgers. To my toward his fellow-man is clearer than ever. infant mind this picture was not grotesque, but ineffably solemn, and the fact that all my
and his desire to fulfill this is stronger and words and acts were thus written down, to more resolute; but his reverence, his trust, confront me at the day of judgment, seemed his worship, is more vague, if not almost naturally a matter of grave concern.
objectless. Frederic Harrison's suggestProbably most of us who have passed ive phrase, “the ghost of religion,” not middle life can recall a somewhat analo inaptly describes the shadowy substitute gous picture of the deity, differing widely which in many a life has taken the place in detail, but essentially analogous in its of the very human awe and reverence for conception of a very human God, generally a very human God which formerly constiroyal or judicial in temper and office. tuted the inspiration of worship, public And probably most of us have lost this and private. For there is but one answer, conception forever. God is no longer to and that a negative one, to Frederic Harus thus localized and personified. Have rison's question : “In the hour of pain, we in this change also lost our faith in a danger, or death, can any one think of the personal God ? Has he ceased to be a Unknowable, hope anything of the UnPerson, and become a Law, a Power, or knowable, or find any consolation therein ?" an Energy? If so, the loss has been incal- One may resent his seeming irreverence culable, for it has been nothing less than and yet one cannot reply to the argument the loss of religion. And it is but a poor which it involves: The formula (x") is the recompense that the conception which exact mathematical expression of the has taken the place of the childish con unknown raised to its highest power of ception has gained in grandeur what it infinity ; but who, when the Unknown has lost in definiteness.
and Unknowable is substituted for his Doubtless such a change has come childhood conception of a human God, over the experience of many a modern can seriously continue his earlier worship, thinker. He still believes that there is a changing its formula into the cry, “O X", Great First Cause, an Infinite and Eternal love us, help us, make us one with thee !" One, a universal Presence, a “ Power not There can be no religion if there be no ourselves that makes for righteousness;" faith in a personal God; for religion is