Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/868

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846
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

when offered to us at the most advantageous prices, is on the face of it an absurdity. The fundamental idea of trade, whether domestic or foreign, is that you get an article that is of more value to you than the thing you part with; and how a nation can benefit itself by greatly restricting the number of its profitable exchanges is something that no unsophisticated mind can understand. Add to this the bitterness of feeling toward foreign nations and the consequent littleness of mind which the protective system breeds; add to it also the political demoralization which tariff arrangements always involve, the corrupt relations they tend to create between the party in power and the privileged interests, and the conclusion will be inevitable that the system in question can not be a permanent policy for a self-respecting nation.

There are other questions pressing forward in our national affairs which need to be treated with sole regard to the welfare of the nation as a whole, and with views looking to the future rather than being confined to selfish interests and the emergencies of the present. Whatever may be said of the validity of Mr. Wells's arguments, his breadth of view and his method of presenting them may well be commended to all whose work it may be to deal with these subjects.

 


Scientific Literature.
SPECIAL BOOKS.

The object of the Ancient Ideals of Mr. Henry Osborn Taylor[1] is to present a new historical survey of the mental and spiritual growth of mankind in the light of the recent progress of historical research and the modifications of opinion that have been occasioned thereby. The attempt is made to treat human development from the point of view of the ideals of the different races as these ideals disclose themselves in the art and literature, in the philosophy and religion, and in the conduct and political fortunes of each race. The author has endeavored to preserve a unity of plan in setting forth the part taken by each race in the history, to make clear the nature of the contribution made by each to the stages of growth attained before the Christian era, and to indicate in what respects their contributions became permanent elements of humanity and thus elements of its further—possibilities possibilities which he believes find in Christianity the perfect conditions for their final realization. The life of the peoples, if we comprehend the author's thought correctly, is a striving after ideals, which are never quite reached directly by the strivers; and "the complete story of human progress is the story of ideal conception and of endeavor, and the unfailing realization of ideals in the growth of human beings with ideals uplifted and enlarged." This makes the narrative of the enlargement and upraising of human life; it is a history of the growth of human personality; of the age-long development of the characters of men and women. Accordingly, we have in this book the story of the life and


  1. Ancient Ideals: A Stndy of Intellectual and Spiritual Growth from Early Times to the Establishment of Christianity. By Henry Osborn Taylor. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. In two volumes, 8vo. Price, $5.50.