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both the Roman and Jewish engrafted on as a higher and broader subject, which the modern European. Thus the Grecian includes and subordinates civilization as is historically one remove farther from one of the elements of its own developus than either of the others; while the ment. So that we should pronounce the mediæval Italian stands in our immediate religion of any age, nation or sect deneighborhood.
fective, which should not recognize it as In the American phasis of European one of its important functions to civilize civilization, the most modern, the utilita. its adherents. And this is not inconsistrian element is predominant. Under its ent with what we have already said of influence, just then coming into the as- the main scope of religion. Civilization cendency, European civilization was is essential not to the existence but to transplanted to this country. It is there. the perfection of true religion; as, on fore historically as well as practically the other hand, the true religion is essenthe basis of our civilization; next comes tial not to the existence but to the perthe Roman-then the Jewish ; and last fection of civilization. Thus morality of all the Grecian—the beautiful Grecian also has its foundations in the essential -which in fact has in it more of the principles of man's nature, and bas its distinctive character of proper civilization own proper sphere, independently of any than any of the others, the religious ele- positive religion. Yet, on the one hand, ment not excepted. For the main scope morality requires the sanction of religion of religion transcends the direct objects for its full development, and, on the of civilization, and only incidentally other hand, religion includes morality in affects them. Civilization regards, exclu- its own complete idea ; while, for all sively, the present world; religion re this, religion and morality are not idengards, chiefly, the world to come. Ciy. tical. Like the sun in the solar system, ilization regards society, or individuals religion embraces the true centre of the only as composing society ; religion moral, intellectual, and social world of regards individuals, or society only as all human ideas and human institutions; composed of individuals. Each may use and, viewed from that centre, all are the other as a means for the accomplish- seen to move in the harmony of their ment of its peculiar ends; but their ends true relations. being different, the two are radically dis Yet there are other points of observatinguished. So with the Roman element; tion. The spectator may plant himself it is important, yet secondary. Political at another point; and the apparent relainstitutions, laws, regard the rights and tions or movements of the system, as corresponding duties of men chiefly in seen from that point, are facts, and may relation to their external well-being and be recorded as such. Assuming, then, safety ; civilization regards also fitness, one of these subordinate points civilipropriety, beauty, intellectual progress- zation, in the present instance-as our the whole culture of man as a social centre or stand-point; religion, though being: Thus it includes civil law, but in truth the centre, will seem to move in includes it as a subordinate element. some orbit around us. From this point
It is a saying of Guizot, that the dig- of view we may rightly and earnestly nity of civilization never appears in a insist upon moral and religious culture more striking light than when we ob- as essential to the permanence as well as serve that even religion prides itself upon the perfection of our civilization. Uncontributing to its progress. “ Thus doubtedly it is so. It is the element, the facts the most important; facts, of them- only element of certain conservation, selves and independently of their exterior We would not utter this sentiment in a consequences, the most sublime in their
We would make it as emphatic nature, acquire increased importance, as possible. We would repeat it, if reach a higher degree of sublimity, by needful, a hundred times in a hundred their connection with civilization. Such different forms-civilization must look to is the worth of this great principle, that religion as the only element of certain it gives a new value to whatever it conservation. Whatever parallel or contouches.”
trast, if any, might be drawn between In this view religion is made to play a American and European civilization in subordinate part; and in this view Chris- respect to this element, we leave to other tianity may be regarded as a constituent and abler hands. of civilization. But, in general, we But, after all, we think we are right should choose rather to consider religion in placing the classical element nearest
the heart of proper civilization. Let it always correspond either in their centre, not be said we are exalting taste above circumference or axis. Though, without morals, and civilization above religion. arrogance, we may. claim superiority to That is precisely what we are not doing. England in the former sphere, yet she is We are insisting upon being content to so much superior to us in the latter and call things by their right names, and let narrower sphere, that, by the common them pass for what they are worth. consent of the rest of the world, she is Religion is religion ; and civilization is regarded as actually superior to us in civilization—that is, it is what, by com- point of civilization. If Russia and mon usage and under the guidance of Switzerland be compared, the converse common sense, men have agreed to call will be the result; that is, Switzerland civilization. Our
appeal is to facts. will be pronounced more civilized than The Greeks in the age of Pyrrhus are Russia, notwithstanding the superior culuniversally held to have been more civ. ture of a few of the Russian nobility. ilized than the Romans; and in the full The genius of our civilization leads est bloom of the classical spirit, in the us to an undue depreciation of this reAugustan age, Roman civilization is re. stricted sphere: but it is unfair that we garded as having reached its acme. Both should be compared with others in view Greeks and Romans we consider more of this exclusively; though foreigners, civilized than the Jews; and even the seeing only what is most prominent, are Mussulman Saracens more civilized than likely to content themselves with such a the early Christian crusaders—though comparison. Thus much we may safely the latter in both cases were possessed say in our behalf, that civilization has of the true religion and by what rule? nowhere attained its highest, noblest end, Whatever other points of distinction until it has pervaded the whole mass of there may have been ; the prevalence of society with its refining influences. In the classic spirit, of arts, science, philo- respect to other nations, we insist upon sophy, intellectual culture, is the decisive the general diffusion of social and intel. test. The revival of letters awakened lectual culture among us; in respect to Europe from the seini-barbarism of the ourselves we have reason to deplore our dark ages; and the influence of classical deficiency in higher civilization. learning had determined the peculiar type
average correctness and propriety, and refinement of European culture. for instance, with which the English This element had introduced and firmly language is spoken by our whole popuestablished its influence in European so- lation, are incomparably greater than ciety, before the economic-practical or England with all her counties can boast utilitarian element had become expanded of; while it is a rare case that an Amer, with such tremendous energy. The ican has that easy, unconscious, graceful classical element has therefore, in Eu- command of his mother tongue, both in rope, an advantage in its struggle with speaking and writing, which is common its nore modern competitor, which un- among the higher classes in England. fortunately it does not possess in this If American and English society-using country.
the term society in its more trivial sense In comparing ourselves, therefore, with — be compared, the result will be similar. Europeans in respect to intellectual, and Taking the average of all classes—and particularly in respect to classical and American society is really a sort of misæsthetical culture, we should expect to cellaneous aggregate—we are superior find them our superiors. Yet even in to the English; while we have scarcely making this comparison, one important anything to compare with the polished distinction is not to be forgotten. When refinement, the natural ease, propriety we speak of the civilization of a country, and simplicity of the English aristocratic we may refer to the aggregate or average circles." Yet these being the representacondition and culture of society in that tives of England to foreigners, she of country, or taking the term in a more course secures the general voice in favor restricted and, by usage, more appropriate of her absolute superiority. As a nation sense, we may refer to the higher culture we appear abroad in our every-day dress, and social progress of those who take and admit visitors indifferently to any the lead in the community around them- part of our establishment; while both of those who stand as the representatives the English and the French make their of that country in the eyes of the world, appearance only in their holyday suits, These two spheres of civilization do not and receive strangers in their best saloons.
The substantial facts being ascertained as useless in themselves but as agents in respect to both parties, it is a mere and means of tyranny. Is it possible question of words to inquire which is that the genius of democracy is inconthe more civilized ? Yet it is a question sistent with the highest forms of social of some importance ; for we have, and it and intellectual culture ?* Can men in is right we should have, some pride in the highest places have the effrontery to being civilized. But we suppose that, say publicly that the establishment of a according to the general usage and his- national institution for the promotion and torical acceptation of that term, the ques- dissemination of knowledge is abhorrent tion must be answered adversely to our to the principles of freedom, and could claims. For, paradoxical as it may ap serve only to fetter the mind of the peopear, it must yet be admitted that the ple? And that when a benevolent foraverage of mental and social culture may eigner has munificently furnished the be much higher among us than in Eng- means for such a purpose, we must reland ; and, nevertheless, we may be ject them, and say, “we are democrats, rightly accounted less civilized. That and cannot use them ?” is, Society as a whole, as a system, may If the whole object of life be, to get to not be so magnificently and harmoniously the end of it as comfortably as possible; developed to the eye of the spectator, if to eat, drink and sleep, to be clothed and for the purposes of outward impres- and housed in competence in quiet be all sion—just as an ill-officered army, with men want-there is no need of a liberal all its soldiers tolerably versed in tactics, education. If men were made to be good may yet be vastly inferior to another farmers, artisans, traders, and nothing composed of ignorant boors, but led by more--there is no need of a liberal eduable and experienced generals.
cation. In proportion as an occupation Whether our civilization do not want is manual rather than mental, intellectual more in intensity than it surpasses in ex- discipline is, of course, less to the purtension, and whether greater intensity pose—though improvement in all the arts be not necessary to preserve and increase and handicrafts of life may depend much its extension, are questions of vital im- upon such discipline and culture. But portance for our consideration. Elasti- is it not of some importance to be a man city has a limit. The cultivation of the -a civilized man--as well as a good few may indeed be carried to a high artisan or tradesman ? Let us not be degree without requiring, either as a understood as treating these pursuits with condition or a consequence, the general contempt. By no means.
The mere elevation of the community ; but the classical scholar is as deficient in the general elevation of the mass can never full development of manhood as the mere proceed safely, or reach a high degree, farmer or the mere mechanic. Besides, without being preceded and guided by men must eat, drink and sleep, or they the higher culture of a few. There is cannot live to be civilized. Those ordi. no instance of such a phenomenon in his- nary employments of life are necessary to tory, and never will be. The course of the very existence of society as well as nature will not be altered to suit any of man, and their improvement is closely theories of ours, however they may pre- connected with the progress of civiliza. tend to be purely democratic.
tion. It is plain that, although we asHence the importance not only of re- sign the first place to intellectual culture taining but elevating the higher type of among the constituents of proper civilieducation which belongs to our colleges zation, it is not of itself sufficient for the and universities. Hence the peculiar full development of humanity. In our claims of classical education upon the bodily organization the heart is most vigorous defence and jealous protection necessary, but even the heart will not of all enlightened men. If the great perform its functions alone. Practical fountains are neglected or dried up, what habits must more fully draw out and will become of the little streams? Yet invigorate intellectual culture, must lop there are men among us who pretend to off its excrescences and check its vagabe the elect sons of freedom and apostles ries; and, on the other hand, intellectual of progress, and who nevertheless assail as well as moral culture must interpeneall such institutions and studies, not only trate, regulate and refine the practical
* See Senator Allen's Speech on the appropriation of the Smithsonian Bequest.
babits, before the highest type of civili- ment, shall we utterly repudiate that zation can be reached-before we can high discourse of reason which looks have a whole man or a perfect citizen. before and after ?” The wide separation of learning from What has, more than anything else, life, and the unprecedented extent to brought theory and all philosophy into which the division of intellectual labor such discredit among us, is, in fact, the has been carried in Germany, have pre- pretension of a multitude of mere quacks vented the immense erudition of German to be theorists and philosophers, joined scholars from raising their country to a with the popular habit of generalizing corresponding rank in scale civili om the narrow premises of a few preszation. The principle of division of la- ent facts. If we have no closet philosohor, so efficient in promoting the im- phers, we have plenty of street philosoprovement and productiveness of the phers and bar-room philosophers. We mechanic arts, is not less efficient as may have discarded the name of philosoapplied to the various departments of phy, but we have the men who act as if scholarship; but it is attended, in both ihey had mastered and outrun all the cases, with this evil--that, in respect to philosophy and theory in the world. the individuals employed, it cripples, But in truth there neither is nor can be stints anıl mutilates' humanity. What, any rational practice without theory of then, we chiefly object to, is, that a man some kind. Every man who acts with should be so entirely absorbed in any design and plan, who combines means one pursuit as to lose all sympathy with for the accomplishment of an end, is so other pursuits, or to set before himself far a theorist. The question is, shall no higher object than the thrift conse- his theory be a long-sighted or a shortquent upon the skillful and diligent pro- sighted theory? Shall he think patientsecution of his own handicraft. What ly, dig deep and lay its foundations upon we mean, is, that a mere tradesman-if a rock, or shall he erect it upon the shifta mere tradesman can be found—though ing sands of immediate experience? We he excel ever so much in his appropriate are already beginning to reap the long trade, is but the fraction of a man. harvest of bitter fruits, in the shape of
The theorizing philosopher and the indirect consequences, from several of musing poet, though amidst our thrifty our spasmodic, empirical attempts at recommunity they may hardly get a living ligious, moral and social reform. In for themselves, or a hearing from others, political theory we think we are--and contribute infinitely more to the ad. if anywhere we ought to be—especially vancement of the race, to the civiliza- proficient; yet how many among, us, tion of mankind, than multitudes of act even of our legislators, have thought it ive and enterprising men of the various necessary to make themselves acquainted lucrative trades and professions. Many with the established principles of politimen, industrious and successful in their cal science or even of political economy, pursuits, lived comfortably and grew or with the general history of legislation rich, while Milton dictated the Paradise and politics in this and other countries Lost; but has not that single poem con- and ages ? Yet while it is manifest that, tributed more to the culture and elevation without such knowledge as a basis, of the human mind than the ephemeral there can be no sound theory; it is Jabors of them all ?
equally manifest that, without the same It may sound strange to many, yet we knowledge and the theory based upon believe it to be a most serious truth, that it, there can be no safe practice or perwe need more theorizers and fewer em manent progress. pirics—i. e., more men of comprehensive But to say no more of poetry and phi. ihought, and fewer men of mere off-hand losophy—there are certain employments practice. We need eyes well as hands. in society which have a special connec. Because the sense of touch can judge of tion with civilization, and are essential certain immediate properties of things to its proper development, but which better than that of sight, and thus pre. require a higher discipline and more vent or correct many false optical judg- thorough mental training than are needments, are we content to grope our way ful for the manual laborer. The busialong through the world, dispensing with ness of the merchant, taking the appellavision altogether? Because, by a sharp. tion in its higher sense as it has an ened practical instinct, we can determine important bearing upon civilization, so it what is good and profitable for the mo. forms a connecting link in passing for
Civilization : American and European.
ward to those other employments which models of style in poetry, eloquence, we have in view. A portion of the history, philosophy. These together merchants, as of all other, business is with the mathematics are, and should indeed routine, drudgery if you will, but remain-with such additions from the another portion will call every faculty arts and sciences and modern languages into exercise and task his highest pow as may be found practicable—the basis ers. Either, therefore, he must have re of a liberal, that is to say, of a liberalizceived a thorough preparatory mental ing, civilizing education. There is great training, or he must be introduced and danger of endeavoring to combine with carried forward in his pursuit very grad- them too many other things, partly from ually
a laudable desire to enlarge the sphere But who could expect to have good of general knowledge, and partly, by lawyers, good physicians and good di rendering a liberal education more pracvines, without a thorough discipline and tical, lo propitiate popular prejudices. education; and that not only with a par. The consequence of this multifarious ticular reference to their particular pro mass of study compressed into the space fessions, but to the due and well-balanced of half-a-dozen years, is either to crowd development of the whole mind? We out the mathematics and classics, or to might indeed have pettifoggers, quacks cram instead of cultivating the mind-or and ranters; and these might make not more probably both : and the end must only more noise but more money than be to bring our higher institutions of well-educated men. But what becomes, learning into still greater disrepute. If in the mean time, of the interests—we our colleges cannot stand on the simple will not say, of civilization, but of juris- ground of the merits and benefits of a prudence, and of medical and theological mathematical and classical discipline; if science? And when the tree is dead, they must become institutions for the what will become of the parasite plants, communication and acquisition of all which twined luxuriantly around it and sorts of so-called useful knowledge, lived upon its sap?
merely to furnish abundant materials for There are indeed some people who stopping empty bags; in a word, if they think that the learned professions them- must become encyclopedias instead of selves are excrescences upon society, mental gymnasia ; why, then, they canand do more harm than good. Be it so ; not be sustained at all in their true charhow will you remedy it? No civilized acter; they might as well be christened community can exist without them. by a new name. Abolish them to-day, and they will re Let it never be forgotten that such appear in some shape or other to.mor. institutions are designed to furnish facili.
There will be some persons who ties for a fundamental, intellectual dis. will make it their business to tell their cipline, and not for wide, general acquineighbors the law, and prescribe for the sitions, which, under the circumstances, diseases of their souls and bodies. The if attempted, must terminate in a smatonly practical question is, shall those tering of many things and a knowledge professions be filled with learned, able of nothing. We say, they are designed and skillful men, or with ignorant pre- to furnish facilities. They will not tenders ?
communicate mental discipline to a pasIn like manner, if all our higher insti- sive recipient by mere external contact. tutions of learning were annihilated at There is no opus operatum in education. once ; unless all our civilization and Nor is there any so great difference as yearnings after civilization were annihi- some seem to imagine between a publiclated with them, it would not be many ly.educated and a so-called self-educated years before our wants would imperiously man-provided only he be really edudemand, and infallibly bring about, their cated. Every disciplined mind must restoration, or the establishment of some have disciplined itself
. Every educated thing like them. No better general dis. man must have educated himself, and cipline for the whole mind—including must feel that he has disciplined and the reason, imagination, laste—will pro- educated himself. All that others--all bably ever be invented than is furnished that any institutions—can do for him, is, by the classics combined with the ma to furnish facilities, helps, incitements; thematics. The study of language itself he must do the work himself. is a most noble and humanizing disci The man who thirsts for knowledge, pline; and the classics furnish the best who diligently and greedily improves