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one o'clock in the afternoon of that day, the Cathedral of Caracas, where his anhis soul, “too great for what contained cestors had been buried. There, a splenit,” passed into the life beyond. Pre- did sarcophagus, made in Italy at the exmaturely old, he had reached only the age pense of the Republic of Venezuela, has of forty-seven years and five months. been erected. “A beautiful though tardy

He was honored with a public military reparation,” says Señor Don José Manuel funeral at Santa Martha, but only in 1842 Restrepo, the eminent Colombian hisdid the joint commissioners of Colombia torian, “for the insults to which he was and Venezuela exhume his remains and subjected during his life by the sons of have them transported in a Venezuelan Venezuela and Caracas on whom Bolivar warship to La Guayra, whence they were had conferred so much luster and distaken overland to Caracas, his birthplace, tinction, and to whom he had rendered where, on the 17th of December, the an- so many incalculable benefits!” niversary of his death, they were deposited

FREDERIC M. Noa. amid the most imposing ceremonies in Malden, Mass.

WHAT OUR UNIVERSITIES ARE DOING FOR AMERI

CAN LITERATURE.

By EDWIN DAVIES SCHOONMAKER,

Author of The Sazons.

“W!

E ARE living our epic," said a erature comes with leisure and as yet we

professor some years ago in have no leisure. We are a business peoanswer to a question as to the cause for ple. We are taking out our iron and the dearth in America of literary works coal, building our highways and cities. of the first order. This reply, reaching You saw New York and Chicago, how the public through various channels, they tower up into heaven? Then you assuaged in a large measure the mortifi- have seen upon what it is that the swellcation which the nation felt. And how ing brain of the American Titan is at deep this had been was apparent in the work. With us it is still the age of the delight with which the phrase was taken hammer. The pen will come later. up and in the alacrity with which it was First the battle, then the song. Agatossed from shore to shore. To-day, if memnon, then Homer. We are living a foreigner should ask of educated men our epic.” and women in any part of our country, What is meant by “living our epic”? "What is the matter with American lit- Obviously that we are sailing our Ægean erature? Why is it that you people, or pounding the walls of some new Troy admittedly leading the world in so many for the rescue of some new Helen. What lines of intellectual activity, lag so far is our Ægean? Our troubled industrial behind in this particular line, literature ?" And our Troy that must be bathe is certain to be met with: "Ah, but tered down? The old-world idea of you do not consider the place of literature king and peasant carried into the new in the order of development. You are régime of industry. And our Helen? looking for blossoms at a time when the That beautiful social harmony which trunk is just dividing into branches. the seers of all ages have foreseen and We have not yet mastered the valleys for which martyrs have died and are still and mountains of our great land. Lit- dying. It is unquestionably true that this great work, for which our new hu- fountain in the age. If the Church is manity is just taking up arms, must first venal, it is the age that has made it so. be accomplished before it can be sung. And if the young men and women of In this sense and in this sense alone is America, in whom burn the fires of Apolthe fact that we are “living our epic” an lo, go down the iron way and are heard excuse for our not writing it. When in- of no more, "The age, Lord, which thou dustry that is now drudgery shall have gavest us, she did it.” Strange how our become romance, then, and not till then, fathers ever got along without this allwill our Homer appear and begin his cleansing absolution. song. But before there can be romance Is it true that we have no leisure ? there must first be victory, and victory is Dare we say so when we have in abundsomething which we have not yet achiev- ance that which makes leisure possible, ed. We are still encamped upon our

sea.

wealth? Do we not boast that we are Troad.

the richest nation in the world? And if But the apologist for our disease of we are the richest, have we not potentially sterilty in great literature does not deal the most leisure? If leisure were all that squarely with us. When he

says:

“We were needed, could we not, with our surare living our epic,” he uses the word plus bank-stock, purchase a golden age epic in the sense in which it is applied to far surpassing the age of Pericles or of the Iliad, a narrative of an heroic enter- Elizabeth? Why do we not do it ? Beprise, or to the historical plays of Shakes- cause we know that it is not leisure, but peare which have been called the real leisure plus a knowledge of how to use English epic. The Wars of the Roses leisure, that has built the golden ages of and the French wars must be 'fought the world. And do we know how to use before the great kings can move in spir- leisure? Suppose we should purchase itual majesty through the plays. And it, what would we do with it? We would we who are engaged in a still more heroic be in the position of a man who has purenterprise must fight out our industrial chased a musical instrument which he battle before we can marshal its heroes knows not how to play. And we are too upon the pages of immortal verse. But familiar with the ridiculousness of the in the suppressed half of the sentence, Bourgeois turned Gentleman ever as a “and therefore we can not be expected nation to wish to imitate him. We are to be writing our epic,” the word epic is too proud to love being laughed at. used in its broader, derivative sense which If we prefer to spend our money for includes all literature in its higher forms. lumber and iron and hogs, which we Else how should the phrase serve the know how to use, rather than for leisure, purpose for which it was coined, the gen- which we know not how to use, are we eral propping up of the national pride? therefore sordid ? There would be some For it is not alone our epic that is lacking, foundation for the charge were it not for but our drama and novel as well.

the fact that we have astonished the world And the cause for this, we are told, is by the vast sums which we have spent in that we have no leisure, that we are living our efforts to learn how to use leisure. in a business age. What a clearing-house Phillip of Macedon was not more solicifor the sins of the nation is this business tous for the education of his son than are age of ours! How naked, how unpre- we for the education of young America. sentable we would appear were it not for We have reared and swung wide the doors some such wide-flowing mantle. Is there of scores of universities. We have proa vice, is there a shortcoming at which vided them with equipment the like of fingers are pointed from oversea that does which the world has never seen. Have not disappear under its great folds? If they asked for buildings, we have piled government is corrupt, the poison has its them up until they have become cities in

or

themselves. Have they asked for fields work done by these departments one where the body of the nation might be would perhaps be a little over-exacting made more beautiful and efficient, we to complain. But what these have done have laid out ample stadia and have only renders more conspicuous what the pointed our young men to the Greeks. others have not done. Can we overlook Have they mentioned club-houses where the fact that our statue has no head? the new social sense might come to flower, Where in the field of glory are the repwe have supplied them. Theaters, have resentatives of that large department they not had them ? And to aid our wise which presides over the arts and whose men in their work of instruction, have task it is to develop the literary genius we not imported masters from oversea ? of the nation? Why is it that we have What is it that we have left undone ?

no poets to compare with our athletes, We are told that this is a business age; no novelists to match our engineers, no then let us be business-like. If a manu- dramatists to stand

up

with our scientists ? facturing enterprise is not paying divi- Something is wrong. What is it? The dends, the owners overhaul it, examine age ? it, and find out why. If it is discovered No, distinguished gentlemen of the that it is a particular department that arts department, it is not the age that is has occasioned the loss and, by its un- to blame: it is you. You receive each satisfactory work, has injured the repu- year into your classrooms young men and tation of the plant, that department is women as brainy and as bright as any at once renovated and new methods are that find their their way into the mechaninstalled and, if necessary, new men. ical schools the laboratories. As We have put millions into our universi- hungry for fame as those who seek it with ties and each year we are putting millions the microscope or in the paths of commore. Is it not about time we were look- mercial life they come to you, as those ing into this investment to see if these who know can testify, on fire with divine institutions or any part of them are run- enthusiasm and hopeful of some day ning at a loss? Or is it of more impor- producing works which their country tance to know that the shoes of the nation “will not let die," and after years of inare being well made than it is to know struction under you, go away with their that its brain is being properly trained ? dream fabrics disintegrated and falling At least, as Yankees, we ought to want down. Is it not true? Have you not to know if we are getting our money's for years watched the horizon hoping to worth.

see those bright minds rise and shed their Using as a criterion of excellence the glory? Have they done so ? Run over recognition of Europe, for our own judg- the roll of those whose books have atment is apt to be a little warped, what tracted the attention not of Europe but have our universities done to justify this simply of our own land and note what a vast outlay? Do we know any more of small proportion of them have had their how to use leisure than we knew before training under you. Add to this the fact they were established ? Are we any that our painters and sculptors, whose nearer to self-expression? What have works are honored abroad as equal to they done? They have sent forth ath- the best, are the products of European letes who have met and vanquished the schools, and you have before you facts best. Their technical schools have pro- that should make you pause and seriously duced engineers and mechanics who have consider if there may not be something built monuments to their skill in every wrong with

your methods. land. In science, too, their graduates In spite of all this, in spite of the fact are making a name not only for them- that this department of our universities selves but for their country. Of the has done little or nothing to loosen the tongue of our great democracy, success- behind the scenes when the gold has been ful business men go on year after year handed out? Or is this one of those furnishing funds for carrying on the work things which are simply understood ? in the same old way. Were it a mining Are our universities being operated as company or a manufacturing enterprise, by-plants of the trusts, shaping their does any one imagine that the vein would product to the order of the masters ? not long ago have been abandoned or the And are we to be left no alternative but plant shut down or at least that a rigid believe that the young men and women investigation would not have been made ? of America who might be writing our Then why this laxity with regard to edu- drama and novel have been sold to our cation? How are we to explain this czars of trade and, shipped off to the apparently unbusiness-like procedure of firing-line, are bombarding some outpost our business men ? Possibly from their for the Beef-Trust or serving as spies view-point the procedure is not unbusi- for the Standard Oil Company? Cerness-like. Let us see.

tainly no better method could be found of Each year our great commercial or- "botching their brains" and forcing into ganizations are calling louder and louder the commercial those who are ambitious for brains. The cry is raised that they for the literary life than that employed cannot get efficient help. Our export by the instructors in our universities. trade, which is making its way into every What is the process by which great litmart and jungle of the known world, is erature is produced ? Synthesis. What meeting each year with a resistance that is the process taught by our universities? is fast becoming an attack. Never be- Analysis. The poem is studied as a flower fore has our trade line been so hacked at. is studied not by the artist but by the botaThe conflict is on in deadly earnest and nist, torn apart petal and ovule. That the nation which throws the most brains splendid piling up of golden stone on goldinto the battle is going to win. At such en stone, the natural process in creation, a crisis to allow a young man or woman is never seen in the classroom. How the of ability to idle with art would be the “cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palheight of folly. Write literature when aces” arise is never dealt with. The our dividends are in danger! If our div- lightning of genius, that is now here, idends are decreased where are you uni- now there, building in an instant for eterversities going to get your endowments ? nity, is, it would seem, either feared as Do you hear? If our dividends are de- something elemental and therefore decreased where are you universities going structive, or else it is passed over as someto get your endowments? Do as we say thing of too little importance to engage and you shall have all the millions you the attention of serious men. The stones want. Turn us our business men, men are the thing, and the mortar between whom we can use as bolts and screws in them, not the art of the builder. That our great trade-machines, engineers and has to do with the mechanic. Univermechanics: our contracts are terribly sities are places of education. Educabehind. Yes, and scientists: they dis- tion is the finding of truth, and truth is cover devices and chemicals and keep found by analysis. Why our professors our factories up to date. Your athletes, of literature have followed this will-o'too, make good stuff; they do n't get the-wisp is easily perceived. Peering crazy notions in their heads. What

over into the department of science and shall we do with those in our arts depart- beholding the wonders there wrought ment? Send the sharp ones to us. But by analysis they have imagined that the they want to write. Botch their brains

same process would give similar results so they can ’t.

in literature. It seems

never to have Has something like this been whispered occurred to these learned men that science and literature are two very different men have nothing to do. That belongs things; that whereas the discovery of a to God. But of that which belongs to new element in matter may mean the man no part has been overlooked. Skellaying hold on a vital law, a new element eton, veins, pigment-centers, corpuscles, discovered in the works of a poet can' not an atom but has passed under the never be anything more than a dead fact. lens. And this work, the pride of our And so we have the spectacle of the poem rhetors, has been rendered august by dissected by the knife and the drama giving it that name which science has examined under the microscope. It is made illustrious, original research. Orig. idle to expostulate that the life principle inal, indeed. And applied to the study in literature is beauty, and that to dis- of literature, surpassingly original. A cover beauty there is no need of the sculptor is envious of a warrior and bemicroscope or the knife. They know cause the warrior has won glory with the what they are doing. They are seeking sword the sculptor uses the same instruthe color-scheme in Tennyson or what ment in the carving of his statue. And odors appealed most to Baudelaire. It when his Venus turns out a hitching-post is not to be expected, of course, that stu- he looks about and does not know what dents entering the classroom for the first the trouble is. Finally he concludes time should immediately perceive the that it is because he is living in a military importance of this. And so, if they go age. A professor of science has won on for a while idling their time away glory and a professor of literature has producing stories and poems and frag- had his eye open. Eureka! Now we ments of dramas, we must be patient have it. This is the way to teach literawith them. Sooner or later they will ture. Out with your microscopes, young come to see how they are wasting their Let us discover something. And golden youth. Meanwhile everything these learned gentlemen do not see that possible is done to discourage them from it is not Hamlet who is mad! such practices and to turn their minds This, then, is the education of our youth to worthy objects. In order that there This is the training those undergo to may be no doubt in the minds of the whom the nation is looking for immortal students as to the purpose of the instruc- books. Is it any wonder that our poets tion, fellowships and other university lack the divine fire and look more to their honors are never awarded to those who words than to their thoughts, that our show a genius for creating but only to drama is impotent and cannot soar, that those who show an aptitude for dissect- our novel gropes and cannot find its way? ing literature. Figure out the time Is it any wonder that, while our athletes scheme of Faust. Write a thesis show- return from the games with the Olympic ing how much Wordsworth owed to crown, while our engineers are summoned Percy's Reliques. Trace the beginnings abroad to give advice to kings, while our of romanticism as shown by the love of statesmen are admitted as peers in the wild flowers in the age of Anne.

of Anne. Is councils of the nations, while our painters Hamlet mad? A prize to him who first and sculptors stand four square and look finds the germ. The recitation becomes a the world in the face, is it any wonder clinic. The Prince of Denmark is stretch- that our literary lights burn low? Taught ed

upon the table and the search begins. to unravel the brains of others, is it any And so it goes.

If one class has immor- wonder that our young authors enter talized itself by discovering that the upon their work with their own brains favorite color of Tennyson is purple, unraveled? And if, after years of struganother wins equal honor by showing gling with a demon that forces them to what bird is most often mentioned by pick apart when they would put together, Milton. With the soul of literature these pause and consider when they should

men.

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