Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/751

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731
THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.

Thus we have the Academy pandering to the popular feeling. The ebullitions of a patriotic sentiment which it is the misfortune of France to possess, in too great a degree, are not checked by the Academy, but encouraged by it, even at the expense of good taste.

And then, lastly, observe that some of the most cultivated Frenchmen, not so well satisfied with institutions of the Academy-type as Mr. Arnold seems to be, have recently established, on an English model, a French Association for the Advancement of the Sciences. Here are passages from their prospectus, published in La Revue Scientifique, 20 Janvier, 1872; commencing with an account of the founding of the Royal Institution:

"There were at this meeting fifty-eight members. Each one of these put down his name without more ado for fifty guineas, or nearly 1,300 francs of our money—equal to 2,000 francs at the present day. On the morrow the Royal Institution of London was established. We know what it came to be afterward.
"What Englishmen did, in 1799, some eminent savants of our own country would repeat to-day in France. Like Rumford, in the last century, they thought that the ancient supremacy of the French name in all branches of science was beginning to decay, and threatened one day to fall.
"God forbid that they should charge this decay upon the French Academy, of which they are themselves nearly all members! But the Academy, though it maintains the prestige of its name in Europe, is growing weak in the majesty of its greatness. It neither possesses sufficient means of action, nor is its energy sufficiently active to use those it has. The sinews of war—money—are lacking, but, what the Academy lacks still more, is bold and intelligent enterprise. It has fallen asleep upon the honors secured to it in the traditions of centuries."

Thus, curiously enough, we find another contrast parallel to that noted above. While Mr. Arnold is lauding French institutions, Frenchmen, recognizing their shortcomings, are adopting English institutions. From which we may fairly infer that, great as is Mr. Arnold's desire "to see the object as in itself it really is," he has not in this case succeeded; and that, endeavoring to escape the bias of patriotism, he has been carried too far the other way by the bias of anti-patriotism.

One more illustration of the effect of this bias on Mr. Arnold calls for brief comment. Along with his over-valuation of foreign regulative institutions, there goes an under-valuation of institutions at home which do not exhibit the kind of regulation he thinks desirable, and stand in the way of authoritative control. I refer to those numerous Dissenting organizations characterizing this "anarchy" of ours, which Mr. Arnold curiously makes the antithesis to "culture."

Mr. Arnold thinks that, as a nation, we show undue faith in machinery

"Faith in machinery is, I said, our besetting danger. . . . What is freedom but machinery? what is population but machinery? what is coal but ma-