Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/573

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ulties have been imparted for the interpretation of truth and the beautifying of life. The ancient Germans, Tacitus tells us, used to recognize a certain divine power of intuition in their women, and if they did it was probably not without cause. The phenomenon is not an extinct one in our own day, and we venture to say that its frequency will wax or wane according to the respect paid not by man only, but by woman herself, to all in her nature that is most distinctive of womanhood. It is far from certain that woman always recognizes what her own best gifts are; and there is, in our opinion, a specific danger lest, in her new-born zeal for a masculine equipment of knowledge, she relegate to an inferior place that native truth of perception which is of more importance, we may almost say, than all formal knowledge.

The new times call for new virtues; and not too soon has man been awakened—or rather is he being awakened, for the process is far from complete—from what, with acknowledgments to Kant, we may call his "dogmatic slumbers." The Sphinx is at our gate again with its everlasting riddles, and woe betide us if we do not solve them! For this will be needed the combined wit and wisdom of the best men and women of the time, and by the best we mean not those who pride themselves on the most encyclopedic knowledge, but those rather who with sufficient knowledge to understand the world around them can, by the exercise of the deepest human feeling, place themselves at the heart of the social situation, and so give us a clew to "the master knot of human fate." The great remedy for vain rivalry and stupid competition of wits is to join hands and hearts in useful work—in work for that universal humanity which, though not a fit object of worship, is at least an inspiring object of devotion.


Mr. Auberon Herbert, in the May number of the Contemporary Review, discusses in a very philosophical spirit the dynamite outrages that have been occurring of late in Europe, and particularly in France. The dynamiter, he says in effect, is simply a man who, finding that governments are founded on force, and that in many cases they have no higher warrant than their irresistible power for the actions they perform, determines to get even with them by the only means within his reach. He has not learned "the trick of the majority," and so can not proceed openly to impose his will upon others. He can not uniform a policeman and arm him with club and pistol, so he arms himself with a dangerous and easily secreted explosive, and places it with lighted fuse where, from his point of view, it will do most good. At first sight it might seem that Mr. Herbert is maintaining an outrageous paradox; but it is not so: he is entirely serious, and, in our opinion, he fully establishes his thesis that over-government leads to dynamite. He cites France as a conspicuous example of an over-governed country, and cites a multitude of facts which show how little respect, in spite of the republican form of its institutions, is paid to individual liberty, how horribly the omnipresent power of government intrudes into the daily life of the citizens. Mr. Herbert goes on to say:

"What I have said of France might be said, with the necessary difference, of other European countries—each country being vexed and harassed by its bureaucrats, and each being affected in its own way according to the genius of the people. But in each country the general effect is the same. Almost every European government is a legalized manufactory of dynamiters. Vexation piled upon vexation, restriction upon restriction, burden upon burden—the dynamiter is slowly hammered out every-