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safety in audacity. Repeating my order to Cain, and grasping my spear in both hands, I rushed upon the leading shark, and struck it down violently across his nose, – shouting at the same time at the top of my voice, while Cain, in a perfect agony of fear, gave a loud yell and fell at full length in the water! The manæuvre succeeded; the sharks ran off for deep water; and we took the crown of the ridge, nor looked back, until we had accomplished the one hundred and fifty yards over which we had to wade before we regained the bank!
“ To be devoured by sharks is one of the last deaths that I should choose. At this distance of time, I do not think of the adventure without a shudder. The sea is still as transparent as on that day, -- the sea-shells still as bright, – the graceful bass still pants, as he glides doubtingly by, — but these things tempt me not to renew my sport. My mind reverts to other objects : the jagged barb of the stingray, lying in wait for his prey, and the outstretched jaws of the all-devouring shark, in which I had so narrowly escaped being engulfed! Who can endure the thought of being sepulchred in the maw and gulf of the ravening salt-sea shark'? Not I!-- I speak it in all sincerity. This was my last essay, — and I henceforth leave to younger and more adventurous sportsmen the pleasures and perils of bass-fishing in the surf !” – pp. 73, 74.
ART. IV. - Introductory Lectures on Modern History,
delivered in Lent Term, MDCCCXLII., with the Inaugural Lecture, delivered in December, MDCCCXLI. By THOMAS ARNOLD, D. D., Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford, and Head Master of Rugby School. Edited, from the second London Edition, with a Preface and Notes, by HENRY REED, M. A., Professor of English Literature in the University of Pennsylvania. New York : D. Appleton & Co.
THE readers of Stanley's Memoir of Dr. Arnold will remember the intense interest which the delivery of these Lectures is said to have excited, the unprecedented fulness of the audiences which they drew, and the bright expectations entertained with reference to succeeding courses on single departments of modern history. For all this we can account only on one of two grounds : either Oxford lectures had become unspeakably dull and stale, so that a living man in a professor's gown was the greatest of novelties ; or else Dr. Arnold's person and elocution must have added vastly to the impressiveness of his written discourses. In speaking thus, we would by no means disparage these lectures in the esteem of those who have not read them. Our own expectations may have been raised too high. We yield to none in admiration of Dr. Arnold's life and spirit. We deem him even a great man, in the best sense of the word ; that is, a man of singularly extensive and well-earned influence, and of very large powers of usefulness. His letters show a mind at once comprehensive and versatile, profound practical wisdom, and, above all, the most prompt and loving sympathy with every mode of human experience and with every phasis of society. But his great strength lay in bis sympathy. It was this that gave nerve to his style and vigor to his thoughts. A case in hand, a social emergency, a critical posture of circumstances, uniformly called out and concentrated all his resources of genius and learning. Subjects, however remote or ancient, which could be brought to bear on existing questions, grew beneath his pen, and, though jejune at first sight, were made profitable for reproof and instruction. It was manifestly with this utilitarian aim, that he gladly accepted the professorship of Modern History, hoping to hold the torch of earlier experience to all the great political and social problems of his own day and country. This practical purpose made him weary of more general views, and would have fitted him to treat particular historical epochs with peculiar interest and power. But he was not ready to do this; and besides, he thought it necessary in his introductory course to lay out the whole ground, its dimensions and divisions, and the means and modes of exploring it. We therefore trace in these lectures a perpetual passage from general and abstract views to applications of the lessons of history to his own country, and vice versâ, according as his official consciousness and his utilitarian instincts by turns preponderated. Then, too, he wrote this course in an exceedingly short space of time, and in the midst of thronging and engrossing avocations. And he never wrote even with a legitimate degree of regard for his own reputation, and was therefore liable to discharge care
lessly and perfunctorily such portions of his literary labor as had not immediate practical results in view.
The Inaugural Lecture defines history and modern history, and displays to great advantage the author's powers of accurate conception and minute discrimination. maining lectures in the volume point out with great clearness and copiousness of illustration the leading points of inquiry, and the great moral ends to be held in view in the study of modern history, and exhibit the range of materials for this pursuit, the order in which they should be employed, and the kind of instruction to be derived from them respectively. The edition before us is enriched by illustrative extracts, principally from Dr. Arnold's other writings, and is one of the too few instances in which an American reprint can proffer substantial grounds of preference over its English prototype.
As we have in former numbers devoted a large space to Dr. Arnold's life and writings, and as we may yet see fit to call the attention of our readers to his edition of Thucydides, the crowning literary labor of his life, we shall offer no further comment on the work before us; but will beg leave to quote from the Inaugural Lecture a couple of sentences, which may serve as a text for the residue of this article.
“ Modern history appears to be not only a step in advance of ancient history, but the last step; it appears to bear marks of the fulness of time, as if there would be no future history beyond it. For the last eighteen hundred years, Greece has fed the human intellect; Rome, taught by Greece and improving upon her teach. er, has been the source of law and government and social civili. zation; and what neither Greece nor Rome could furnish, the perfection of moral and spiritual truth, has been given by Christianity." - p. 46.
This statement has in it a germ of truth ; but it is vague, superficial, and inadequate ; and so, to our eye, are most of the multiplied attempts to expound the theory and to trace the steps of man's intellectual, social, and moral advance
The tendency of humanity towards perfection is an idea so universal among all nations and individuals sufficiently enlightened to speculate on the future, that we might almost believe it innate, and implanted by the Author of our being to aid its own realization. Yet, when we essay to verify this idea by history, we find ourselves perplexed and bewildered. At first sight, civilization, art, and science seem rather to have transferred their seats, than to have enlarged or enriched them, in successive ages. The early arts and greatness of Egypt have been disinterred from her sepulchres. The monuments of Etruscan taste and skill exhibit marks of high culture and refinement on Italian soil, long before the foundations of Rome were laid. Renowned names and deeds come up from the remotest depths of antiquity to rival more recent fame ; and long-buried cities and empires contest the palm of magnificence, splendor, and prowess with those that now make the glory of Christendom. The migration, on the path of the ages, of all that constitutes national greatness is a salient historical fact, which renders the proof of progress exceedingly difficult. But a small portion of the human race at a time has ever pretended to civilization and refinement; and new spots of earth have been lighted by the torch handed over or snatched from countries left in darkness. Who now will place before us Thebes and Memphis, Athens, Corinth, and Rome, vast and beautiful as they are after the spoliations of lengthened centuries, that we may compare them with the capitals that now give law to art, science, and poetry? Who will bring back for us in their full strength and richness those great minds whose isolated remains still enter into all liberal culture and are reproduced in all generous literature, that we may measure them side by side with the picked men of our own day, the finished circle of whose intellectual activities and achievements lies before us? How many Homers, Platos, Horaces, have the last ten centuries produced ? Where are the forms of art to vie with the Parthenon ? Where is the eloquence that can sway at will the waves of a fickle populace, like that of the great Athenian? Manifestations of art, forms of greatness, have indeed changed. The spirit of our own age, the genius of modern civilization, has few features in common with that of earlier times. And who is to settle for us the doctrine of equivalents ? Who can pronounce with authority, that the elements, which now constitute the cultivation, refinement, and grandeur of Eu-. rope and America, surpass in intrinsic worth the very different, but no less numerous and imposing, elements that were to be traced in Egyptian, Persian, or Athenian civilization ? We must beg the question at the outset, if the comparison of these elements respectively be our only means of answering it.
There is, however, a line of investigation which we may follow more successfully. There is always some single principle that underlies every state of society and form of culture. There is always one ruling idea which gives its tone, and form, and impress to an age ; and our present attempt will be to trace the succession of these ruling ideas, and the growth of our race in that succession.
In the infancy of society, mere physical strength, mere bone and muscle, was deemed the most noble and precious endowment of humanity. This estimate grew from the first recognized exigencies of man's condition. He found himself in a world which was to be subdued, before it could be used. Giant forests blocked up his path, -- a stubborn soil resisted his first rude husbandry, - intractable beasts disputed inch by inch his lordship over nature. Ages elapsed before the invention of such tools and weapons as made the weak man equal to the strong. Under such circumstances, no wonder, that, in the words of Scripture, “a man was famous, according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick
The stalwart frame and sinewy arm first patent of nobility. He, before whom the forest fell the fastest, — he, who could pluck the lamb from the wolf's teeth, — he, on whose cabin-rafters the last won bear-skin was never dry, - easily gained the first place in men's hearts, and left an imperishable name. Öf this state of things the Hebrew scriptures, the earliest authentic records of the race, afford us abundant testimony. The names and exploits of men of remarkable bodily size and strength are written out with scrupulous fidelity. For several generations of Noah's posterity, we have a mere catalogue of names, with Nimrod, the mighty hunter, alone made the subject of special notice.
The only element of Samson's greatness was his enormous power of limb. Lame in counsel, fickle in purpose, at once
puerile and dissolute, with no title to preeminence beyond the brute force that he could wield, he yet “ judged (or ruled] Israel forty years. Saul's athletic proportions are named as his sole qualifications for the throne : “ There was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he ; from his shoulders and upward, he was higher than any of the people.” David commended himself, first to the confidence of Saul by killing the beasts that preyed upon his father's flock, and then to that of his countrymen collectively by the keen aim and Herculean mus