not depend even upon the distribution of elementary knowledge, but upon the high-water mark of its educated mind.
Before the permanent tribunal, copyists and popularizers count for nothing, and even the statistics of common schools are of secondary value.
So long as the sources of art and science are mainly Transatlantic, we are still a province, not a nation.
For these are the highest pursuits of man, -higher than trades or professions, higher than statesmanship, far higher than war. Jean Paul said: Schiller and Herder were both destined for physicians, but Providence said, No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body,--and so they both became authors.
It is observable that in English books and magazines everything seems written for some limited circle,--tales for those who can use French phrases, essays for those who can understand a Latin quotation.
But every American writer must address himself to a vast audience, possessing the greatest quickness and common-sense,
le house-breaking, and bigamy is almost impossible, so that we hear delightfully little about them; whereas, if you subtract these from the current English novels, what is there left?
Germany furnishes at present no models of prose style; and all her past models, except perhaps Goethe and Heine, seem to be already losing their charm.
Yet for knowledge we go to Germany, more than ever, and there is a certain exuberant wealth that can even impart fascination to a bad style, as to that of Jean Paul.
Such an author may therefore be very useful to a student who can withstand him, which poor Carlyle could not. There was a time, it is said, when English and American literature seemed to be expiring of conventionalism.
Carlyle was the Jenner who inoculated and saved us all by this virus from Germany, and then died of his own disease.
It is an exciting thing to remember the time when all literature was in the inflammatory stage of this superinduced disorder; but does any one now read Ca
rmer has already emancipated himself from these fancied incompatibilities; and so will the farmer's wife.
In a nation where there is no leisure-class and no peasantry, this whole theory of exclusion is an absurdity.
We all have a little leisure, and we must all make the most of it. If we will confine large interests and duties to those who have nothing else to do, we must go back to monarchy at once.
If otherwise, then the alphabet, and its consequences, must be open to woman as to man. Jean Paul says nobly, in his Levana, that, before and after being a mother, a woman is a human being, and neither maternal nor conjugal relation can supersede the human responsibility, but must become its means and instrument.
And it is good to read the manly speech, on this subject, of John Quincy Adams, quoted at length in Quincy's life of him, in which, after fully defending the political petitions of the women of Plymouth, he declares that the correct principle is, that women are not only justi
ing them as a token of submission to husbands in an unscriptural degree.
It is pleasant to think that there could be an unscriptural extent of such submission, in those times.
But Governor Endicott and Rev. Mr. Williams resisted stoutly, quoting Paul, as usual in such cases; so Paul, veils, and vanity carried the day. But afterward Mr. Cotton came to Salem to preach for Mr. Skelton, and did not miss his chance to put in his solemn protest against veils; he said they were a custom not to be tolPaul, veils, and vanity carried the day. But afterward Mr. Cotton came to Salem to preach for Mr. Skelton, and did not miss his chance to put in his solemn protest against veils; he said they were a custom not to be tolerated; and so the ladies all came to meeting without their veils in the afternoon.
Beginning with the veils, the eye of authority was next turned on what was under them.
In 1675 it was decided, that, as the Indians had done much harm of late, and the Deity was evidently displeased with something, the General Court should publish a list of the evils of the time.
And among the twelve items of contrition stood this: Long hair like women's hair is worn by some men, either their own or others'