Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II
by Andrew Dickson White
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

On Good Friday I visited Mars Hill and mused for an hour over what has come from the sermon once preached there.

Toward the end of April we left the Piraeus, and, after passing through the aegean on a most beautiful day, arrived in Constantinople, where I made the acquaintance of Mr. Straus, our minister at that capital. Thus began a friendship which I have ever since greatly prized. Mr. Straus introduced me to two of the most interesting men I have ever met; the first of these being Hamdi Bey, director of the Imperial Museum at Constantinople. Meeting him at Mr. Straus's table and in his own house, I heard him discuss sundry questions relating to modern art—better, in some respects, than any other person I have ever known. Never have I heard more admirably discriminating judgments upon various modern schools of painting than those which he then gave me.

The other person to whom Mr. Straus introduced me was the British ambassador, Sir William White, who was very hospitable, and revealed to me much in life and literature. One thing especially surprised me—namely, that though a Roman Catholic, he had a great admiration for Renan's writings, of which he was a constant reader. Here, too, I renewed my acquaintance with various members of the diplomatic corps whom I had met elsewhere. Curious was an evening visit to the Russian Embassy, Mrs. Straus being carried in a sedan-chair, her husband walking beside her in evening dress at one door, I at the other, and a kavass, with drawn sword, marching at the head of the procession.

While the Mohammedan history revealed in Constantinople gave me frequent subjects of thought, I was more constantly carried back to the Byzantine period. For there was the Church of St. Sophia! No edifice has ever impressed me more; indeed, in many respects, none has ever impressed me so much. Bearing in mind its origin, its history, and its architecture, it is doubtless the most interesting church in the world. Though smaller than St. Peter's at Rome, it is vastly more impressive. Taking into account the view as one enters, embracing the lofty vaults retreating on all sides, the arches springing above our heads, and, crowning all, the dome, which opens fully upon the sight immediately upon passing the door way, it is certainly the most overpowering of Christian churches. Gibbon's pictures thronged upon me, and very vividly, as I visited the ground where formerly stood the Great Circus, and noted the remains of monuments where the "Blues" and "Greens" convulsed the city with their bloody faction fights, and where squabbling Christian sects prepared the way for that Turkish dominion which has now burdened this weary earth for more than five hundred years.

From Constantinople, by Buda-Pesth, Vienna, Munich, Ulm, and Frankfort-on-the-Main, to Paris, stopping in each of these cities, mainly for book-hunting. At Munich I spent considerable time in the Royal Library, where various rare works relating to the bearing of theology on civilization were placed at my disposal; and at Frankfort added largely to my library—especially monographs on Egypt and illuminated manuscripts of the middle ages.

At Paris the Exposition of 1889 was in full blast. As to the American exhibit, there were some things to be lamented. Our "commission of experts" was in part remarkably well chosen; among them being a number of the best men in their departments that America has produced; but, on the other hand, there were some who had evidently been foisted upon the President by politicians in remote States—so-called "experts," yet as unfit as it is possible to conceive any human beings to be. One of these, who was responsible for one of the most important American departments, was utterly helpless. Day in and day out, he sat in a kind of daze at the American headquarters, doing nothing—indeed, evidently incapable of doing anything. One or two of his associates, as well as sundry Frenchmen, asked me to aid in getting his department into some order; and this, though greatly pressed for time, I did,—devoting to the task several days which I could ill afford.

Very happy was I over one improvement which the United States had made since the former exposition, at which I had myself been a commissioner. Then all lamented and apologized for the condition of the American Art Gallery; now there was no need either of lamentation or apology, for there, in all their beauty, were portraits by Sargent, and Gari Melchers's picture of "A Communion Day in Holland"—the latter touching the deep places of the human heart. As I was sitting before it one day, an English gentleman came with his wife and sat beside me. Presently I heard him say: "Of all the pictures in the entire exposition, this takes the strongest hold upon me." Many other American pictures were also objects of pride to us. I found our minister, Mr. Whitelaw Reid, very hospitable, and at his house became acquainted with various interesting Americans. At President Carnot's reception at the palace of the Elysee I also met several personages worth knowing, and among them, to my great satisfaction, Senator John Sherman.

During this stay in Paris I took part in two commemorations. First came the Fourth of July, when, in obedience to the old custom which I had known so well in my student days, the American colony visited the cemetery of the Rue Picpus and laid wreaths upon the tomb of Lafayette,—the American band performing a dirge, and our marines on duty firing a farewell volley. It was in every way a warm and hearty tribute. A week later was the unveiling of the statue of Camille Desmoulins in the garden of the Palais Royal,—this being the one-hundredth anniversary of the day on which, in that garden,—and, indeed, on that spot, before the Cafe Foy,—he had roused the mob which destroyed the Bastille and begun the whirlwind which finally swept away so much and so many, including himself and his beloved Lucille. Poor Camille, orating, gesticulating, and looking for a new heaven and a new earth, was one of the little great men so important at the beginning of revolutions and so insignificant afterward. It was evident that, in spite of the old legends regarding him, the French had ceased to care for him; I was surprised at the small number present, and at the languid interest even of these.

Among my most delightful reminiscences of this period are my walks and talks with my old Yale and Paris student friend of nearly forty years before, Randall Gibson, who, having been a general in the Confederate service, was now a United States senator from Louisiana. Revisiting our old haunts, especially the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, St. Sulpice, and other monuments of the Latin Quarter, we spoke much of days gone by, he giving me most interesting reminiscences of our Civil War period as seen from the Southern side. One or two of the things he told me are especially fastened in my mind. The first was that as he sat with other officers over the camp-fire night after night, discussing the war and their hopes regarding the future, all agreed that when the Confederacy obtained its independence there should be no "right of secession" in it. But what interested me most was the fact that he, a Democratic senator of the United States, absolutely detested Thomas Jefferson, and, above all things, for the reason that he considered Jefferson the real source of the extreme doctrine of State sovereignty. Gibson was a typical Kentucky Whig who, in the Civil War, went with the South from the force of family connections, friendships, social relations, and the like, but who remained, in his heart of hearts, from first to last, deeply attached to the Union.

Leaving Paris, we went together to Homburg, and there met Mr. Henry S. Sanford, our minister at Belgium during the Civil War, one of Secretary Seward's foremost agents on the European continent at that period. His accounts of matters at that time, especially of the doings of sundry emissaries of the United States, were all of them interesting, and some of them exceedingly amusing. At Homburg, too, I found my successor in the legation at Berlin, Mr. Pendleton, who, though his mind remained clear, was slowly dying of paralysis.

Thence with Gibson and Sanford down the Rhine to Mr. Sanford's country-seat in Belgium. It was a most beautiful place, a lordly chateau, superbly built, fitted, and furnished, ample for the accommodation of a score of guests, and yet the rent he paid for it was but six hundred dollars a year. It had been built by a prince at such cost that he himself could not afford to live in it, and was obliged to rent it for what he could get. Thence we made our way to London and New York.



Arriving at New York in the autumn of 1889, I was soon settled at my accustomed work in the university,—devoting myself to new chapters of my book and to sundry courses of lectures. Early in the following year I began a course before the University of Pennsylvania; and my stay in Philadelphia was rendered very agreeable by various new acquaintances. Interesting to me was the Roman Catholic archbishop, Dr. Ryan. Dining in his company, I referred admiringly to his cathedral, which I had recently visited, but spoke of what seemed to me the defective mode of placing the dome upon the building; whereupon he made one of the most tolerable Latin puns I have ever heard, saying that during the construction of both the nave and the dome his predecessors were hampered by lack of money,—that, in fact, they were greatly troubled by the res angustae domi. Interesting also was attendance upon the conference at Lake Mohonk, which brought together a large body of leading men from all parts of the country to discuss the best methods of dealing with questions relating to the freedmen and Indians. The president of the conference, Mr. Hayes, formerly President of the United States, I had known well in former days, when I served under him as minister to Germany, and the high opinion I had then formed of him was increased as I heard him discuss the main questions before the conference. It was the fashion at one time among blackguards and cynics of both parties to sneer at him, and this, doubtless, produced some effect on the popular mind; but nothing could be more unjust: rarely have I met a man in our own or any other country who has impressed me more by the qualities which a true American should most desire in a President of the United States; he had what our country needs most in our public men—sobriety of judgment united to the power of calm, strong statement.

The two following years, 1890-1891, were passed mainly at Cornell, though with excursions to various other institutions where I had been asked to give addresses or lectures; but in February of 1892, having been invited to lecture at Stanford University in California, I accepted an invitation from Mr. Andrew Carnegie to become one of the guests going in his car to the Pacific coast by way of Mexico. Our party of eight, provided with cook, servants, and every comfort, traveled altogether more than twelve thousand miles—first through the Central and Southern States of the Union, thence to the city of Mexico and beyond, then by a series of zigzag excursions from lower California to the northern limits of Oregon and Washington, and finally through the Rocky Mountains and the canons of Colorado to Salt Lake City and Denver. Thence my companions went East and I returned alone to Stanford to give my lectures. During this long excursion I met many men who greatly interested me, and especially old students of mine whom I found everywhere doing manfully the work for which Cornell had aided to fit them. Never have I felt more fully repaid for any labor and care I have ever given to the founding and development of the university. Arriving in the city of Mexico, I said to myself, "Here certainly I shall not meet any more of my old Cornellians"; but hardly was I settled in my room when a card came up from one of them, and I soon learned that he was doing honor to the Sibley College of the university by superintending the erection of the largest printing-press which had ever been brought into Mexico. The Mexican capital interested me greatly. The cathedral, which, up to that time, I had supposed to be in a debased rococo style, I found to be of a simple, noble Renaissance character, and of real dignity. Being presented to the President, Porfirio Diaz, I was greatly impressed by his quiet strength and self-possession, and then understood for the first time what had wrought so beneficent a change in his country. His ministers also impressed me favorably, though they were evidently overshadowed by so great a personality. One detail struck me as curious: the room in which the President received us at the palace was hung round with satin draperies stamped with the crown and cipher of his predecessor—the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian.

California was a great revelation to me. We arrived just at the full outburst of spring, and seemed to have alighted upon a new planet. Strong and good men I found there, building up every sort of worthy enterprise, and especially their two noble universities, one of which was almost entirely officered by Cornell graduates. To this institution I was attached by a special tie. At various times the founders, Governor and Mrs. Stanford, had consulted me on problems arising in its development; they had twice visited me at Cornell for the purpose of more full discussion, and at the latter of the two visits had urged me to accept its presidency. This I had felt obliged to decline. I said to them that the best years of my life had been devoted to building up two universities,—Michigan and Cornell,—and that not all the treasures of the Pacific coast would tempt me to begin with another; that this feeling was not due to a wish to evade any duty, but to a conviction that my work of that sort was done, and that there were others who could continue it far better than I. It was after this conversation that, on their asking whether there was any one suitable within my acquaintance, I answered, "Go to the University of Indiana; there you will find the president, an old student of mine, David Starr Jordan, one of the leading scientific men of the country, possessed of a most charming power of literary expression, with a remarkable ability in organization, and blessed with good, sound sense. Call him." They took my advice, called Dr. Jordan, and I found him at the university. My three weeks' stay interested me more and more. Evening after evening I walked through the cloisters of the great quadrangle, admiring the solidity, beauty, and admirable arrangement of the buildings, and enjoying their lovely surroundings and the whole charm of that California atmosphere.

The buildings, in simplicity, beauty, and fitness, far surpassed any others which had at that time been erected for university purposes in the United States; and I feel sure that when the entire plan is carried out, not even Oxford or Cambridge will have anything more beautiful. President Jordan had more than fulfilled my prophecies, and it was an inspiration to see at their daily work the faculty he had called together. The students also greatly interested me. When it was first noised abroad that Senator Stanford was to found a new university in California, sundry Eastern men took a sneering tone and said, "What will it find to do? The young men on the Pacific coast who are as yet fit to receive the advantages of a university are very few; the State University of California at Berkeley is already languishing for want of students." The weakness of these views is seen in the fact that, at this hour, each of these universities has nearly three thousand undergraduates. The erection of Stanford has given an impetus to the State University, and both are doing noble work, not only for the Pacific coast, but for the whole country. One of the most noteworthy things in the history of American university education thus far is the fact that the university buildings erected by boards of trustees in all parts of the country have, almost without exception, proved to be mere jumbles of mean materials in incongruous styles; but to this rule there have been, mainly, two noble exceptions: one in the buildings of the University of Virginia, planned and executed under the eye of Thomas Jefferson, and the other in these buildings at Palo Alto, planned and executed under the direction of Governor and Mrs. Stanford. These two groups, one in Virginia and one in California, with, perhaps, the new university buildings at Philadelphia and Chicago, are almost the only homes of learning in the United States which are really satisfactory from an architectural point of view.

The "City of the Saints," which I saw on my way, had much interest for me. I collected while there everything possible in the way of publications bearing on Mormonism, beginning with a copy of the original edition of the "Book of Mormon"; but nothing that I could find in any of these publications indicated any considerable intellectual development, as yet.

More encouraging was a rapid visit, on my way home, to the Chicago Exposition buildings, which, though not yet fully completed, were very beautiful; and still more pleasure came from a visit to the new University of Chicago, which was evidently beginning a most important work for American civilization. Its whole plan is remarkably well conceived, and with the means that it is rapidly accumulating, due to the public spirit of its main benefactor and a multitude of others hardly second to him in the importance of their gifts, it cannot fail to exercise a great influence, especially throughout the Northwestern States. First of all, it will do much to lift the city in which it stands out of its crude materialism into something higher and better. It is a pleasure to note that its buildings are worthy of it: they seem likely to form a fourth in the series of fit homes for great centers of advanced education in the United States,—Virginia, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania being the others.

Having returned to Cornell, I went on quietly with my work until autumn, when, to my surprise, I received notice that the President had appointed me minister to St. Petersburg; and on the 4th of November I arrived at my post in that capital. Of my experience as minister I have spoken elsewhere, but have given no account of two journeys which interested me at that period. The first of these was in the Scandinavian countries. The voyage of a day and night across the Baltic through the Aland Islands was like a dream, the northern twilight making night more beautiful than day, and the approach to the Swedish capital being, next to the approaches to Constantinople and to New York, the most beautiful I know.

Very instructive to me was a visit to Upsala—especially to the university and cathedral. As to the former, the "Codex of Ulfilas," in the library, which I had long desired to see, especially interested me; and visits to the houses of the various "nations" showed me that out of the social needs of Swedish students in the middle ages had been developed something closely akin to the fraternity houses which similar needs have developed in our time at American universities. The cathedral, containing the remains of Gustavus Vasa and Linnaeus, was fruitful in suggestions. By a curious coincidence I was at that time finishing my chapter entitled "From Creation to Evolution," and had been paying special attention to the ancient and mediaeval conceptions of the creation of the world as a work done by an individual in human form, laboring with his hands during six days, and taking needed rest on the seventh; and here I found, at the side entrance of the cathedral, a delightfully naive mediaeval representation of the whole process,—a series of medallions representing the Almighty toiling like an artisan on each of the six days and reposing, evidently very weary, on the seventh.

The journey across Sweden, through the canals and lakes, was very restful. At Christiania Mr. Gade, the American consul, who had served our country so long and so honorably in that city, took me under his guidance during various interesting excursions about the fiords. At Gothenburg I took pains to obtain information regarding their system of dealing with the sale of intoxicating liquors, and became satisfied that it is, on the whole, the best solution of the problem ever obtained. The whole old system of saloons, gin-shops, and the like, with their allurements to the drinking of adulterated alcohol, had been swept away, and in its place the government had given to a corporation the privilege of selling pure liquors in a restricted number of decent shops, under carefully devised limitations. First, the liquors must be fully tested for purity; secondly, none could be sold to persons already under the influence of drink; thirdly, no intoxicant could be sold without something to eat with it, the effects of alcohol upon the system being thus mitigated. These and other restrictions had reduced the drink evil, as I was assured, to a minimum. But the most far-reaching provision in the whole system was that the company which enjoyed the monopoly of this trade was not allowed to declare a dividend greater than, I believe, six per cent.; everything realized above this going into the public treasury, mainly for charitable purposes. The result of this restriction of profits was that no person employed in selling ardent spirits was under the slightest temptation to attract customers. Each of these sellers was a salaried official and knew that his place depended on his adhering to the law which forbade him to sell to any person already under the influence of liquor, or to do anything to increase his sales; and the whole motive for making men drunkards was thus taken away.

I was assured by both the American and British consuls, as well as by most reputable citizens, that this system had greatly diminished intemperance. Unfortunately, since that time, fanatics have obtained control, and have passed an entirely "prohibitory" law, with the result, as I understand, that the community is now discovering that prohibition does not prohibit, and that the worst kinds of liquors are again sold by men whose main motive is to sell as much as possible.

The most attractive feature in my visit to Norway was Throndheim. With my passion for Gothic architecture, the beautiful little cathedral, which the authorities were restoring Judiciously, was a delight, and it was all the more interesting as containing one of those curiosities of human civilization which have now become rare. In one corner of the edifice is a "holy well," the pilgrimages to which in the middle ages were, no doubt, a main source of the wealth of the establishment. The attendant shows, in the stonework close to the well, the end of a tube coming from the upper part of the cathedral; and through this tube pious monks in the middle ages no doubt spoke oracular words calculated to enhance the authority of the saint presiding over the place. It was the same sort of thing which one sees in the Temple of Isis at Pompeii, and the zeal which created it was no doubt the same that to-day originates the sacred fire which always comes down from heaven on Easter day into the Greek church at Jerusalem, the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius in the cathedral at Naples, and sundry camp-meeting utterances and actions in the United States.

Sweden and Norway struck me as possessing, in some respects, the most satisfactory civilization of modern times. With a monarchical figurehead, they are really a republic. Here is no overbearing plutocracy, no squalid poverty, an excellent system of education, liberal and practical, from the local school to the university, a population, to all appearance, healthy, thrifty, and comfortable.

And yet here, as in other parts of the world, the resources of human folly are illimitable. A large party in Norway urges secession from Sweden, and both remain divided from Denmark, though the three are, to all intents and purposes, of the same race, religion, language, and early historical traditions. And close beside them looms up, more and more portentous, the Russian colossus, which, having trampled Swedish Finland under its feet, is looking across the Scandinavian peninsula toward the good harbors of Norway, just opposite Great Britain. Russia has declared the right of her one hundred and twenty millions of people to an ice-free port on the Pacific; why shall she not assert, with equal cogency, the right of these millions to an ice-free port on the Atlantic? Why should not these millions own a railway across Scandinavia, and a suitable territory along the line; and then, logically, all the territory north, and as much as she needs of the territory south of the line? The northern and, to some extent, the middle regions of Norway and Sweden would thus come under the sway of a czar in St. Petersburg, represented by some governor-general like those who have been trying to show to the Scandinavians of Finland that newspapers are useless, petitions inadmissible, constitutions a fetish, banishment a blessing, and the use of their native language a superfluity. The only sad thing in this fair prospect is that it is not the objurgatory Bjornson, the philosophic Ibsen, and the impulsive Nansen, with their compatriots, now groaning under what they are pleased to call "Swedish tyranny," who would enjoy this Russian liberty, but their children, and their children's children.

At Copenhagen I was especially attracted by the Ethnographic Museum, which, by its display of the gradual uplifting of Scandinavian humanity from prehistoric times, has so strongly aided in enforcing on the world the scientific doctrine of the "rise of man," and in bringing to naught the theological doctrine of the "fall of man."

A short stay at Moscow added to my Russian points of view, it being my second visit after an interval of nearly forty years. Although the city had spread largely, there was very little evidence of real progress: everywhere were filth, fetishism, beggary, and reaction. The monument to Alexander II, the great emancipator, stood in the Kremlin, half finished; it has since, I am glad to learn, been completed; but this has only been after long and slothful delays, and the statue in St. Petersburg has not even been begun. It is well understood that one cause of this delay has been the reluctance of the reactionary leaders in the empire to glorify so radical a movement as the emancipation of the serfs.

I had one curious experience of Muscovite ideas of trade. Moscow is one of the main centers for the manufacture of the church bells in which the Russian peasant takes such delight; and, being much interested in campanology, I visited several of the principal foundries, and was delighted with the size and workmanship of many specimens. Walking one morning to the Kremlin, I saw at the agency of one of these establishments a bell weighing about two hundred and fifty pounds, most exquisitely wrought, and such a beautiful example of the best that Russians can do in this respect that I went in and asked the price of it. The price being named, I said that I would take it. Thereupon consternation was evident in the establishment, and presently the head of the concern said to me that they were not sure that they wished to sell it. But I said, "You HAVE sold it; I asked you what your price was, you told me, and I have bought it." To this he demurred, and finally refused altogether to sell it. On going out, my guide informed me that I had made a mistake; that I was myself the cause of the whole trouble; that if I had offered half the price named for the bell I should have secured it for two thirds; but that, as I had offered the entire price, the people in the shop had jumped to the conclusion that it must be worth more than they had supposed, that I had detected values in it which they had not realized, and that it was their duty to make me pay more for it than the price they had asked. The result was that, a few weeks afterward, a compromise having been made, I bought it and sent it to the library of Cornell University, where it is now both useful and ornamental.

The most interesting feature of this stay in Moscow was my intercourse with Tolstoi, and to this I have devoted a separate chapter.[14]

[14] See Chapter XXXVII.

One more experience may be noted. In coming and going on the Moscow railway I found, as in other parts of Europe, that governmental control of railways does not at all mean better accommodations or lower fares than when such works are under individual control. The prices for travel, as well as for sleeping-berths, were much higher on these lines, owned by the government, than on any of our main trunk-lines in America, which are controlled by private corporations, and the accommodations were never of a high order, and sometimes intolerable.

During this stay in Russia my sympathies were enlisted for Finland; but on this subject I have spoken fully elsewhere.[15]

[15] See Chapter XXXIV.

Having resigned my position at St. Petersburg in October of 1894, the first use I made of my liberty was to go with my family to Italy for the winter; and several months were passed at Florence, where I revised and finished the book which had been preparing during twenty years. Then came a rapid run to Rome and through southern Italy, my old haunts at Castellammare, Sorrento, and Amalfi being revisited, and sundry new excursions made. Among these last was one to Palermo, where I visited the Church of St. Josaphat. This edifice greatly interested me as a Christian church erected in honor of a Christian saint who was none other than Buddha. The manner in which the founder of that great world-religion which preceded our own was converted into a Christian saint and solemnly proclaimed as such by a long series of popes, from Sixtus V to Pius IX, inclusive, by virtue of their infallibility in all matters relating to faith and morals, is one of the most curious and instructive things in all history.[16]

[16] A full account of this conversion of Buddha (Bodisat) into St. Josaphat is given, with authorities, etc. in my "History of the Warfare of Science with Theology," Vol. II, pp. 381 et seq.

At first I had some difficulty in finding this church; but, finally, having made the acquaintance of an eminent scholar, the Commendatore Marzo, canon of the Cappella Palatina and director of the National Library at Palermo he kindly took me to the place. Over the entrance were the words, "Divo Josaphat"; within, occupying one of the places of highest honor, was an altar to the saint, and above it a statue representing him as a young prince wearing a crown and holding a crucifix. By permission of the authorities I was allowed to send a photographer, who took a negative for me. A remark of the Commendatore Marzo upon the subject pleased me much. When, one day, after showing me the treasures of his great library, he was dining with me, and I pressed him for particulars regarding St. Josaphat, he answered, "He cannot be the Jehoshaphat of the Old Testament, for he is represented as a very young man, and contemplating a crucifix: e molto misterioso." It was, after all, not so very mysterious; for in these later days, now that the "Life of Barlaam and Josaphat," which dates from monks of the sixth or seventh century, has been compared with the "Life of Buddha," certainly written before the Christian era, the constant coincidence in details, and even in phrases, puts it beyond the slightest doubt that St. Josaphat and Buddha are one and the same person.

Very suggestive to thought was a visit to the wonderful cathedral of Monreale, above Palermo; for here, at this southern extreme of Europe, I found a conception of the Almighty as an enlarged human being, subject to human weakness, identical with that shown in the sculptures upon the cathedral of Upsala, at the extreme north of Europe. The whole interior of Monreale Cathedral is covered with a vast sheet of mosaics dating from about the twelfth century, and in one series of these, representing the creation, the Almighty is shown as working, day after day, like an artisan, and finally, on the seventh day, as "resting,"—seated in almost the exact attitude of the "weary Mercury" of classic sculpture, with a marked expression of fatigue upon his countenance and in the whole disposition of his body.[17]

[17] I have given a more full discussion of this subject in my "History of the Warfare of Science with Theology," Vol. I, p. 3.

During this journey, having revisited Orvieto, Perugia, and Assisi, I returned to Florence, and again enjoyed the society of my old friends, Professor Willard Fiske, Professor Villari, with his accomplished wife, and Judge Stallo, former minister of the United States in Rome.

The great event of this stay was an earthquake. Seated on a pleasant April evening in my rooms at the house built by Adolphus Trollope, near the Piazza dell' Independenza, I heard what seemed at first the rising of a storm; then the rushing of a mighty wind; then, as it grew stronger, apparently the gallop of a corps of cavalry in the neighboring avenue; but, almost instantly, it seemed to change into the onrush of a corps of artillery, and, a moment later, to strike the house, lifting its foundations as if by some mighty hand, and swaying it to and fro, everything creaking, groaning, rattling, and seeming likely to fall in upon us. This movement to and fro, with crashing and screaming inside and outside the house, continued, as it seemed to me, about twenty minutes—as a matter of fact, it lasted hardly seven seconds; but certainly it was the longest seven seconds I have ever known. At the first uplift of the seismic wave my wife and I rose from our seats, I saying, "Stand perfectly still." Thenceforward, not a word was uttered by either of us until all was over; but many thoughts came,—the dominant feeling being a sense of our helplessness in the presence of the great powers of nature. Neither of us had any hope of escaping alive; but we calmly accepted the inevitable, thinking each moment would be, the last. As I look back, our resignation and perfect quiet still surprise me. That room, at the corner of the Villino Trollope, which an ill-founded legend makes the place where George Eliot wrote "Romola," is to me sacred, as the place where we two passed "from death unto life."

Nearly all that night we remained near the doors of the house, ready to escape any new shocks; but only one or two came, and those very light. Crowds of the population remained out of doors, many dwellers in hotels taking refuge in carriages and cabs, and staying in them through the night.

Next morning I walked forth to find what had happened,—first to the cathedral, to see if anything was left of Giotto's tower and Brunelleschi's dome, and, to my great joy, found them standing; but, as I entered the vast building, I saw one of the enormous iron bars which take the thrust of the wide arches of the nave pulled apart and broken as if it had been pack-thread; there were also a few cracks in one of the piers supporting the dome, but all else was as before.

At the Palazzo Strozzi a crowd of people were examining sundry crevices which had been made in its mighty walls: and at various villas in the neighborhood, especially those on the road to San Miniato, I found that the damage had been much worse. A part of the tower of one villa, occupied by an English lady of literary distinction, had been thrown down, crashing directly through one of the upper rooms, but causing no loss of life; the villa of Judge Stallo, at the Porta Romana, was so wrecked that he was obliged to leave it; and in the house of another friend a heavy German stove on the upper floor, having been thrown over, had come down through the ceiling of the main parlor, crashing through the grand piano, and thence into the cellar, without injury to any person. One of the professors whom I afterward met told me that he was giving a dinner-party when, suddenly, the house was lifted and shaken to and fro, the chandeliers swinging, broken glass crashing, and the ladies screaming, and, in a moment, a portion of the outer wall gave way, but fortunately fell outward, so that the guests scrambled forth over the ruins, and passed the night in the garden. Perhaps the worst damage was wrought at the Convent of the Certosa, where some of the beautiful old work was irreparably injured.

It was very difficult next morning to get any real information from the newspapers. They claimed that but three persons lost their lives in the city: it was clearly thought best to minimize the damage done, lest the stream of travel might be scared away. I remarked at the time that we should never know fully what had occurred until we received the American papers; and, curiously enough, several weeks afterward a Californian showed me a very full and minute account of the whole calamity, with careful details, given in the telegraphic reports of a San Francisco newspaper on the very morning after the earthquake.

On the way to America I passed a short time, during the month of June, in London, meeting various interesting people, a most pleasant occasion to me being a dinner given by Mr. Bayard, the American minister, at which I met my classmate Wayne MacVeagh, formerly attorney-general of the United States, minister to Constantinople and ambassador to Rome, full, as usual, of interesting reminiscence and witty suggestion. Very interesting also to me was a talk with Mr. Holman Hunt, the eminent pre-Raphaelite artist. He told me much of Tennyson dwelling upon his morbid fear that people would stare at him. He also gave an account of his meeting with Ruskin at Venice, when Ruskin took Hunt to task for not having come to see him more frequently in London; to which Hunt replied that, for one reason, he was very busy, and that, for another, he did not wish to be classed with the toadies who swarmed about Ruskin. Whereupon Ruskin said that Hunt was right regarding the character of most of the people about him. Hunt also spoke of the ill treatment of his beautiful picture, "The Light of the World." From him, or from another source about that time, I learned that formerly the Keble College people had made much of it; but that, some one having interpreted the rays passing through the different openings of the lantern in Christ's hand as typifying truth shining through different religious conceptions, the owners of the picture distrusted it, and had recently refused to allow its exhibition in London.

It surprised me to find Holman Hunt so absorbed in his own art that he apparently knew next to nothing about that of other European masters,—nothing of Puvis de Chavannes at Paris; nothing of Menzel, Knaus, and Werner at Berlin.

Having returned to America, I was soon settled in my old homestead at Cornell,—as I supposed for the rest of my life. Very delightful to me during this as well as other sojourns at Cornell after my presidency were sundry visits to American universities at which I was asked to read papers or make addresses. Of these I may mention Harvard, Yale, and the State universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, at each of which I addressed bodies of students on subjects which seemed to me important, among these "The Diplomatic Service of the United States," "Democracy and Education," "Evolution vs. Revolution in Politics," and "The Problem of High Crime in the United States." To me, as an American citizen earnestly desiring a noble future for my country, it was one of the greatest of pleasures to look into the faces of those large audiences of vigorous young men and women, and, above all, at the State universities of the West, which are to act so powerfully through so many channels of influence in this new century. The last of the subjects above-named interested me painfully, and I was asked to present it to large general audiences, and not infrequently to the congregations of churches. I had become convinced that looseness in the administration of our criminal law is one of the more serious dangers to American society, and my earlier studies in this field were strengthened by my observations in the communities I had visited during the long journey through our Southern and Pacific States, to which I have just referred. Of this I shall speak later.

Returning to Washington in February of 1897, I joined the Venezuela Commission in presenting its report to the President and Secretary of State, and so ended my duties under the administration of Mr. Cleveland. Of my connection with the political campaign of 1896 I have spoken elsewhere. In May of 1897, having been appointed by President McKinley ambassador to Berlin, I sailed for Europe, and my journeys since that time have consisted mainly of excursions to interesting historical localities in Germany, with several short vacations in the principal towns of northern Italy, upon the Riviera, and in America.





The traveler from New York to Niagara by the northern route is generally disappointed in the second half of his journey. During the earlier hours of the day, moving rapidly up the valleys, first of the Hudson and next of the Mohawk, he passes through a succession of landscapes striking or pleasing, and of places interesting from their relations to the French and Revolutionary wars. But, arriving at the middle point of his journey,—the head waters of the Mohawk,—a disenchantment begins. Thenceforward he passes through a country tame, monotonous, and with cities and villages as uninteresting in their appearance as in their names; the latter being taken, apparently without rhyme or reason, from the classical dictionary or the school geography.

And yet, during all that second half of his excursion, he is passing almost within musket-shot of one of the most beautiful regions of the Northern States,—the lake country of central and western New York.

It is made up of a succession of valleys running from south to north, and lying generally side by side, each with a beauty of its own. Some, like the Oneida and the Genesee, are broad expanses under thorough cultivation; others, like the Cayuga and Seneca, show sheets of water long and wide, their shores sometimes indented with glens and gorges, and sometimes rising with pleasant slopes to the wooded hills; in others still, as the Cazenovia, Skaneateles, Owasco, Keuka, and Canandaigua, smaller lakes are set, like gems, among vineyards and groves; and in others shimmering streams go winding through corn-fields and orchards fringed by the forest.

Of this last sort is the Onondaga valley. It lies just at the center of the State, and, although it has at its northern entrance the most thriving city between New York and Buffalo, it preserves a remarkable character of peaceful beauty.

It is also interesting historically. Here was the seat—the "long house"—of the Onondagas, the central tribe of the Iroquois; here, from time immemorial, were held the councils which decided on a warlike or peaceful policy for their great confederation; hither, in the seventeenth century, came the Jesuits, and among them some who stand high on the roll of martyrs; hither, toward the end of the eighteenth century, came Chateaubriand, who has given in his memoirs his melancholy musings on the shores of Onondaga Lake, and his conversation with the chief sachem of the Onondaga tribe; hither, in the early years of this century, came the companion of Alexis de Tocqueville, Gustave de Beaumont, who has given in his letters the thoughts aroused within him in this region, made sacred to him by the sorrows of refugees from the French Revolution.

It is a land of peace. The remnant of the Indians live quietly upon their reservation, Christians and pagans uniting harmoniously, on broad-church principles, in the celebration of Christmas and in the sacrifice of the white dog to the Great Spirit.

The surrounding farmers devote themselves in peace to their vocation. A noted academy, which has sent out many of their children to take high places in their own and other States, stands in the heart of the valley, and little red school-houses are suitably scattered. Clinging to the hills on either side are hamlets like Onondaga, Pompey, and Otisco, which in summer remind one of the villages upon the lesser slopes of the Apennines. It would be hard to find a more typical American population of the best sort—the sort which made Thomas Jefferson believe in democracy. It is largely of New England ancestry, with a free admixture of the better sort of more recent immigrants. It was my good fortune, during several years, to know many of these dwellers in the valley, and perhaps I am prejudiced in their favor by the fact that in my early days they listened very leniently to my political and literary addresses, and twice sent me to the Senate of the State with a large majority.

But truth, even more than friendship, compels this tribute to their merits. Good influences have long been at work among them: in the little cemetery near the valley church is the grave of one of their early pastors,—a quiet scholar,—the Rev. Caleb Alexander, who edited the first edition of the Greek Testament ever published in the United States.

I have known one of these farmers, week after week during the storms of a hard winter, drive four miles to borrow a volume of Scott's novels, and, what is better, drive four miles each week to return it. They are a people who read and think, and who can be relied on, in the long run, to take the sensible view of any question.

They have done more than read and think. They took a leading part in raising regiments and batteries for the Civil War, and their stalwart sons went valiantly forth as volunteers. The Onondaga regiments distinguished themselves on many a hard-fought field; they learned what war was like at Bull Run, and used their knowledge to good purpose at Lookout Mountain, Five Forks, and Gettysburg. Typical is the fact that one of these regiments was led by a valley schoolmaster,—a man who, having been shot through the body, reported dead, and honored with a public commemoration at which eulogies were delivered by various persons, including myself, lived to command a brigade, to take part in the "Battle of the Clouds," where he received a second wound, and to receive a third wound during the march with Sherman to the sea.

Best of all, after the war the surviving soldiers returned, went on with their accustomed vocations, and all was quiet as before.

But in the autumn[18] of 1869 this peaceful region was in commotion from one end to the other. Strange reports echoed from farm to farm. It was noised abroad that a great stone statue or petrified giant had been dug up near the little hamlet of Cardiff, almost at the southern extremity of the valley; and soon, despite the fact that the crops were not yet gathered in, and the elections not yet over, men and women and children were hurrying from Syracuse and from the farm-houses along the valley to the scene of the great discovery.

[18] October 16.

I had been absent in a distant State for some weeks, and, on my return to Syracuse, meeting one of the most substantial citizens, a highly respected deacon in the Presbyterian Church, formerly a county judge, I asked him, in a jocose way, about the new object of interest, fully expecting that he would join me in a laugh over the whole matter; but, to my surprise, he became at once very solemn. He said, "I assure you that this is no laughing matter; it is a very serious thing, indeed; there is no question that an amazing discovery has been made, and I advise you to go down and see what you think of it."

Next morning, my brother and myself were speeding, after a fast trotter in a light buggy, through the valley to the scene of the discovery; and as we went we saw more and more, on every side, evidences of enormous popular interest. The roads were crowded with buggies, carriages, and even omnibuses from the city, and with lumber-wagons from the farms—all laden with passengers. In about two hours we arrived at the Newell farm, and found a gathering which at first sight seemed like a county fair. In the midst was a tent, and a crowd was pressing for admission. Entering, we saw a large pit or grave, and, at the bottom of it, perhaps five feet below the surface, an enormous figure, apparently of Onondaga gray limestone. It was a stone giant, with massive features, the whole body nude, the limbs contracted as if in agony. It had a color as if it had lain long in the earth, and over its surface were minute punctures, like pores. An especial appearance of great age was given it by deep grooves and channels in its under side, apparently worn by the water which flowed in streams through the earth and along the rock on which the figure rested. Lying in its grave, with the subdued light from the roof of the tent falling upon it, and with the limbs contorted as if in a death struggle, it produced a most weird effect. An air of great solemnity pervaded the place. Visitors hardly spoke above a whisper.

Coming out, I asked some questions, and was told that the farmer who lived there had discovered the figure when digging a well. Being asked my opinion, my answer was that the whole matter was undoubtedly a hoax; that there was no reason why the farmer should dig a well in the spot where the figure was found; that it was convenient neither to the house nor to the barn; that there was already a good spring and a stream of water running conveniently to both; that, as to the figure itself, it certainly could not have been carved by any prehistoric race, since no part of it showed the characteristics of any such early work; that, rude as it was, it betrayed the qualities of a modern performance of a low order.

Nor could it be a fossilized human being; in this all scientific observers of any note agreed. There was ample evidence, to one who had seen much sculpture, that it was carved, and that the man who carved it, though by no means possessed of genius or talent, had seen casts, engravings, or photographs of noted sculptures. The figure, in size, in massiveness, in the drawing up of the limbs, and in its roughened surface, vaguely reminded one of Michelangelo's "Night and Morning." Of course, the difference between this crude figure and those great Medicean statues was infinite; and yet it seemed to me that the man who had carved this figure must have received a hint from those.

It was also clear that the figure was neither intended to be considered as an idol nor as a monumental statue. There was no pedestal of any sort on which it could stand, and the disposition of the limbs and their contortions were not such as any sculptor would dream of in a figure to be set up for adoration. That it was intended to be taken as a fossilized giant was indicated by the fact that it was made as nearly like a human being as the limited powers of the stone-carver permitted, and that it was covered with minute imitations of pores.

Therefore it was that, in spite of all scientific reasons to the contrary, the work was very generally accepted as a petrified human being of colossal size, and became known as "the Cardiff Giant."

One thing seemed to argue strongly in favor of its antiquity, and I felt bound to confess, to those who asked my opinion, that it puzzled me. This was the fact that the surface water flowing beneath it in its grave seemed to have deeply grooved and channeled it on the under side. Now the Onondaga gray limestone is hard and substantial, and on that very account used in the locks upon the canals: for the running of surface water to wear such channels in it would require centuries.

Against the opinion that the figure was a hoax various arguments were used. It was insisted, first, that the farmer had not the ability to devise such a fraud; secondly, that he had not the means to execute it; third, that his family had lived there steadily for many years, and were ready to declare under oath that they had never seen it, and had known nothing of it until it was accidentally discovered; fourth, that the neighbors had never seen or heard of it; fifth, that it was preposterous to suppose that such a mass of stone could have been brought and buried in the place without some one finding it out; sixth, that the grooves and channels worn in it by the surface water proved its vast antiquity.

To these considerations others were soon added. Especially interesting was it to observe the evolution of myth and legend. Within a week after the discovery, full-blown statements appeared to the effect that the neighboring Indians had abundant traditions of giants who formerly roamed over the hills of Onondaga; and, finally, the circumstantial story was evolved that an Onondaga squaw had declared, "in an impressive manner," that the statue "is undoubtedly the petrified body of a gigantic Indian prophet who flourished many centuries ago and foretold the coming of the palefaces, and who, just before his own death, said to those about him that their descendants would see him again."[19] To this were added the reflections of many good people who found it an edifying confirmation of the biblical text, "There were giants in those days." There was, indeed, an undercurrent of skepticism among the harder heads in the valley, but the prevailing opinion in the region at large was more and more in favor of the idea that the object was a fossilized human being—a giant of "those days." Such was the rush to see the figure that the admission receipts were very large; it was even stated that they amounted to five per cent. upon three millions of dollars, and soon came active men from the neighboring region who proposed to purchase the figure and exhibit it through the country. A leading spirit in this "syndicate" deserves mention. He was a horse-dealer in a large way and banker in a small way from a village in the next county,—a man keen and shrewd, but merciful and kindly, who had fought his way up from abject poverty, and whose fundamental principle, as he asserted it, was "Do unto others as they would like to do unto you, and—DO IT FUST."[20] A joint-stock concern was formed with a considerable capital, and an eminent show man, "Colonel" Wood, employed to exploit the wonder.

[19] See "The Cardiff Giant Humbug," Fort Dodge, Iowa, 1870, p. 13.

[20] For a picture, both amusing and pathetic, of the doings of this man, and also of life in the central New York villages, see "David Harum," a novel by E. N. Westcott, New York, 1898.

A week after my first visit I again went to the place, by invitation. In the crowd on that day were many men of light and leading from neighboring towns,—among them some who made pretensions to scientific knowledge. The figure, lying in its grave, deeply impressed all; and as a party of us came away, a very excellent doctor of divinity, pastor of one of the largest churches in Syracuse, said very impressively, "Is it not strange that any human being, after seeing this wonderfully preserved figure, can deny the evidence of his senses, and refuse to believe, what is so evidently the fact, that we have here a fossilized human being, perhaps one of the giants mentioned in Scripture?"

Another visitor, a bright-looking lady, was heard to declare, "Nothing in the world can ever make me believe that he was not once a living being. Why, you can see the veins in his legs."[21]

[21] See Letter of Hon. Galusha Parsons in the Fort Dodge Pamphlet.

Another prominent clergyman declared with ex cathedra emphasis: "This is not a thing contrived of man, but is the face of one who lived on the earth, the very image and child of God."[22] And a writer in one of the most important daily papers of the region dwelt on the "majestic simplicity and grandeur of the figure," and added, "It is not unsafe to affirm that ninety-nine out of every hundred persons who have seen this wonder have become immediately and instantly impressed with the idea that they were in the presence of an object not made by mortal hands.... No piece of sculpture ever produced the awe inspired by this blackened form.... I venture to affirm that no living sculptor can be produced who will say that the figure was conceived and executed by any human being."[23]

[22] See Mr. Stockbridge's article in the "Popular Science Monthly," June, 1878.

[23] See "The American Goliath," Syracuse, 1869, p. 16.

The current of belief ran more and more strongly, and soon embraced a large number of really thoughtful people. A week or two after my first visit came a deputation of regents of the State University from Albany, including especially Dr. Woolworth, the secretary, a man of large educational experience, and no less a personage in the scientific world than Dr. James Hall, the State geologist, perhaps the most eminent American paleontologist of that period.

On their arrival at Syracuse in the evening, I met them at their hotel and discussed with them the subject which so interested us all, urging them especially to be cautious, and stating that a mistake might prove very injurious to the reputation of the regents, and to the proper standing of scientific men and methods in the State; that if the matter should turn out to be a fraud, and such eminent authorities should be found to have committed themselves to it, there would be a guffaw from one end of the country to the other at the expense of the men intrusted by the State with its scientific and educational interests. To this the gentlemen assented, and next day they went to Cardiff. They came; they saw; and they narrowly escaped being conquered. Luckily they did not give their sanction to the idea that the statue was a petrifaction, but Professor Hall was induced to say: "To all appearance, the statue lay upon the gravel when the deposition of the fine silt or soil began, upon the surface of which the forests have grown for succeeding generations. Altogether it is the most remarkable object brought to light in this country, and, although not dating back to the stone age, is, nevertheless, deserving of the attention of archaeologists."[24]

[24] See his letter of October 23, 1869, in the Syracuse papers.

At no period of my life have I ever been more discouraged as regards the possibility of making right reason prevail among men.

As a refrain to every argument there seemed to go jeering and sneering through my brain Schiller's famous line:

"Against stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain."[25]

[25] "Mit der Dummheit kampfen Gotter selbst vergebens." Jungfrau von Orleans, Act III, scene 6.

There seemed no possibility even of SUSPENDING the judgment of the great majority who saw the statue. As a rule, they insisted on believing it a "petrified giant," and those who did not dwelt on its perfections as an ancient statue. They saw in it a whole catalogue of fine qualities; and one writer went into such extreme ecstatics that he suddenly realized the fact, and ended by saying, "but this is rather too high-flown, so I had better conclude." As a matter of fact, the work was wretchedly defective in proportion and features; in every characteristic of sculpture it showed itself the work simply of an inferior stone-carver.

Dr. Boynton, a local lecturer on scientific subjects, gave it the highest praise as a work of art, and attributed it to early Jesuit missionaries who had come into that region about two hundred years before. Another gentleman, who united the character of a deservedly beloved pastor and an inspiring popular lecturer on various scientific topics, developed this Boynton theory. He attributed the statue to "a trained sculptor . . . who had noble original powers; for none but such could have formed and wrought out the conception of that stately head, with its calm smile so full of mingled sweetness and strength." This writer then ventured the query, "Was it not, as Dr. Boynton suggests, some one from that French colony, . . . some one with a righteous soul sighing over the lost civilization of Europe, weary of swamp and forest and fort, who, finding this block by the side of the stream, solaced the weary days of exile with pouring out his thought upon the stone?"[26] Although the most eminent sculptor in the State had utterly refused to pronounce the figure anything beyond a poor piece of carving, these strains of admiration and adoration continued.

[26] See the Syracuse daily papers as above.

There was evidently a "joy in believing" in the marvel, and this was increased by the peculiarly American superstition that the correctness of a belief is decided by the number of people who can be induced to adopt it—that truth is a matter of majorities. The current of credulity seemed irresistible.

Shortly afterward the statue was raised from its grave taken to Syracuse and to various other cities, especially to the city of New York, and in each place exhibited as a show.

As already stated, there was but one thing in the figure, as I had seen it, which puzzled me, and that was the grooving of the under side, apparently by currents of water, which, as the statue appeared to be of our Onondaga gray limestone, would require very many years. But one day one of the cool-headed skeptics of the valley, an old schoolmate of mine, came to me, and with an air of great solemnity took from his pocket an object which he carefully unrolled from its wrappings, and said, "There is a piece of the giant. Careful guard has been kept from the first in order to prevent people touching it; but I have managed to get a piece of it, and here it is." I took it in my hand, and the matter was made clear in an instant. The stone was not our hard Onondaga gray limestone, but soft, easily marked with the finger-nail, and, on testing it with an acid, I found it, not hard carbonate of lime, but a soft, friable sulphate of lime—a form of gypsum, which must have been brought from some other part of the country.

A healthful skepticism now began to assert its rights. Professor Marsh of Yale appeared upon the scene. Fortunately, he was not only one of the most eminent of living paleontologists, but, unlike most who had given an opinion, he really knew something of sculpture, for he had been familiar with the best galleries of the Old World. He examined the statue and said, "It is of very recent origin, and a most decided humbug.... Very short exposure of the statue would suffice to obliterate all trace of tool-marks, and also to roughen the polished surfaces, but these are still quite perfect, and hence the giant must have been very recently buried.... I am surprised that any scientific observers should not have at once detected the unmistakable evidence against its antiquity."[27]

[27] See Professor Marsh's letter in the "Syracuse Daily Journal," November 30, 1869.

Various suspicious circumstances presently became known. It was found that Farmer Newell had just remitted to a man named Hull, at some place in the West, several thousand dollars, the result of admission fees to the booth containing the figure, and that nothing had come in return. Thinking men in the neighborhood reasoned that as Newell had never been in condition to owe any human being such an amount of money, and had received nothing in return for it, his correspondent had, not unlikely, something to do with the statue.

These suspicions were soon confirmed. The neighboring farmers, who, in their quiet way, kept their eyes open, noted a tall, lank individual who frequently visited the place and seemed to exercise complete control over Farmer Newell. Soon it was learned that this stranger was the man Hull,—Newell's brother-in-law,—the same to whom the latter had made the large remittance of admission money. One day, two or three farmers from a distance, visiting the place for the first time and seeing Hull, said, "Why, that is the man who brought the big box down the valley." On being asked what they meant, they said that, being one evening in a tavern on the valley turnpike some miles south of Cardiff, they had noticed under the tavern shed a wagon bearing an enormous box; and when they met Hull in the bar-room and asked about it, he said that it was some tobacco-cutting machinery which he was bringing to Syracuse. Other farmers, who had seen the box and talked with Hull at different places on the road between Binghamton and Cardiff, made similar statements. It was then ascertained that no such box had passed the toll-gates between Cardiff and Syracuse, and proofs of the swindle began to mature.

But skepticism was not well received. Vested interests had accrued, a considerable number of people, most of them very good people, had taken stock in the new enterprise, and anything which discredited it was unwelcome to them.

It was not at all that these excellent people wished to countenance an imposture, but it had become so entwined with their beliefs and their interests that at last they came to abhor any doubts regarding it. A pamphlet, "The American Goliath," was now issued in behalf of the wonder. On its title-page it claimed to give the "History of the Discovery, and the Opinions of Scientific Men thereon." The tone of the book was moderate, but its tendency was evident. Only letters and newspaper articles exciting curiosity or favoring the genuineness of the statue were admitted; adverse testimony, like that of Professor Marsh, was carefully excluded.

Before long the matter entered into a comical phase. Barnum, King of Showmen, attempted to purchase the "giant," but in vain. He then had a copy made so nearly resembling the original that no one, save, possibly, an expert, could distinguish between them. This new statue was also exhibited as "the Cardiff Giant," and thenceforward the credit of the discovery waned.

The catastrophe now approached rapidly, and soon affidavits from men of high character in Iowa and Illinois established the fact that the figure was made at Fort Dodge, in Iowa, of a great block of gypsum there found; that this block was transported by land to the nearest railway station, Boone, which was about forty-five miles distant; that on the way the wagon conveying it broke down, and that as no other could be found strong enough to bear the whole weight, a portion of the block was cut off; that, thus diminished, it was taken to Chicago, where a German stone-carver gave it final shape; that, as it had been shortened, he was obliged to draw up the lower limbs, thus giving it a strikingly contracted and agonized appearance; that the under side of the figure was grooved and channeled in order that it should appear to be wasted by age; that it was then dotted or pitted over with minute pores by means of a leaden mallet faced with steel needles; that it was stained with some preparation which gave it an appearance of great age; that it was then shipped to a place near Binghamton, New York, and finally brought to Cardiff and there buried. It was further stated that Hull, in order to secure his brother-in-law, Farmer Newell, as his confederate in burying the statue, had sworn him to secrecy; and, in order that the family might testify that they had never heard or seen anything of the statue until it had been unearthed, he had sent them away on a little excursion covering the time when it was brought and buried. All these facts were established by affidavits from men of high character in Iowa and Illinois, by the sworn testimony of various Onondaga farmers and men of business, and, finally, by the admissions and even boasts of Hull himself.

Against this tide of truth the good people who had pinned their faith to the statue—those who had vested interests in it, and those who had rashly given solemn opinions in favor of it—struggled for a time desperately. A writer in the "Syracuse Journal" expressed a sort of regretful wonder and shame that "the public are asked to overthrow the sworn testimony of sustained witnesses corroborated by the highest scientific authority"—the only sworn witness being Farmer Newell, whose testimony was not at all conclusive, and the highest scientific authority being an eminent local dentist who, early in his life, had given popular chemical lectures, and who had now invested money in the enterprise.

The same writer referred also with awe to "the men of sense, property, and character who own the giant and receive whatever revenue arises from its exhibition"; and the argument culminated in the oracular declaration that "the operations of water as testified and interpreted by science cannot create falsehood."[28]

[28] See letter of "X" in the "Syracuse Journal," republished in the Fort Dodge Pamphlet, pp. 15 and 16.

But all this pathetic eloquence was in vain. Hull, the inventor of the statue, having realized more money from it than he expected, and being sharp enough to see that its day was done, was evidently bursting with the desire to avert scorn from himself by bringing the laugh upon others, and especially upon certain clergymen, whom, as we shall see hereafter, he greatly disliked. He now acknowledged that the whole thing was a swindle, and gave details of the way in which he came to embark in it. He avowed that the idea was suggested to him by a discussion with a Methodist revivalist in Iowa; that, being himself a skeptic in religious matters, he had flung at his antagonist "those remarkable stories in the Bible about giants"; that, observing how readily the revivalist and those with him took up the cudgels for the giants, it then and there occurred to him that, since so many people found pleasure in believing such things, he would have a statue carved out of stone which he had found in Iowa and pass it off on them as a petrified giant. In a later conversation he said that one thing which decided him was that the stone had in it dark-colored bluish streaks which resembled in appearance the veins of the human body. The evolution of the whole affair thus became clear, simple, and natural.

Up to this time, Hull's remarkable cunning had never availed him much. He had made various petty inventions, but had realized very little from them; he had then made some combinations as regarded the internal-revenue laws referring to the manufacture and sale of tobacco, and these had only brought him into trouble with the courts; but now, when the boundless resources of human credulity were suddenly revealed to him by the revivalist, he determined to exploit them. This evolution of his ideas strikingly resembles that through which the mind of a worthless, shiftless, tricky creature in western New York—Joseph Smith—must have passed forty years before, when he dug up "the golden plates" of the "Book of Mormon," and found plenty of excellent people who rejoiced in believing that the Rev. Mr. Spalding's biblical novel was a new revelation from the Almighty.

The whole matter was thus fully laid open, and it might have been reasonably expected that thenceforward no human being would insist that the stone figure was anything but a swindling hoax.

Not so. In the Divinity School of Yale College, about the middle of the century, was a solemn, quiet, semi-jocose, semi-melancholic resident graduate—Alexander McWhorter. I knew him well. He had embarked in various matters which had not turned out satisfactorily. Hot water, ecclesiastical and social, seemed his favorite element.[29] He was generally believed to secure most of his sleep during the day, and to do most of his work during the night; a favorite object of his study being Hebrew. Various strange things had appeared from his pen, and, most curious of all, a little book entitled, "Yahveh Christ," in which he had endeavored to demonstrate that the doctrine of the Trinity was to be found entangled in the consonants out of which former scholars made the word "Jehovah," and more recent scholars "Yahveh"; that this word, in fact, proved the doctrine of the Trinity.[30]

[29] The main evidence of this is to be found in "Truth Stranger Than Fiction: A Narrative of Recent Transactions involving Inquiries in Regard to the Principles of Honor, Truth, and Justice, which Obtains in a Distinguished American University," by Catherine E. Beecher, New York, 1850.

[30] See "Yahveh Christ, or the Memorial Name," by A. McWhorter, Boston, 1857.

He now brought his intellect to bear upon "the Cardiff Giant," and soon produced an amazing theory, developing it at length in a careful article.[31]

[31] See McWhorter, "Tammuz and the Mound-builders," in the "Galaxy," July, 1872.

This theory was simply that the figure discovered at Cardiff was a Phenician idol; and Mr. McWhorter published, as the climax to all his proofs, the facsimile and translation of an inscription which he had discovered upon the figure—a "Phenician inscription," which he thought could leave no doubt in the mind of any person open to conviction.

That the whole thing had been confessed a swindle by all who took part in it, with full details as to its origin and development, seemed to him not worthy of the slightest mention. Regardless of all the facts in the case, he showed a pathetic devotion to his theory, and allowed his imagination the fullest play. He found, first of all, an inscription of thirteen letters, "introduced by a large cross or star—the Assyrian index of the Deity." Before the last word of the inscription he found carved "a flower which he regarded as consecrated to the particular deity Tammuz, and at both ends of the inscription a serpent monogram and symbol of Baal."

This inscription he assumed as an evident fact, though no other human being had ever been able to see it. Even Professor White, M.D., of the Yale Medical School, with the best intentions in the world, was unable to find it. Dr. White was certainly not inclined to superficiality or skepticism. With "achromatic glasses which magnified forty-five diameters" he examined the "pinholes" which covered the figure, and declared that "the beautiful finish of every pore or pinhole appeared to me strongly opposed to the idea that the statue was of modern workmanship." He also thought he saw the markings which Mr. McWhorter conjectured might be an inscription, and said in a letter, "though I saw no recent tool-marks, I saw evidences of design in the form and arrangement of the markings, which suggested the idea of an inscription." And, finally, having made these concessions, he ends his long letter with the very guarded statement that, "though not fully DECIDED, I INCLINE TO THE OPINION that the Onondaga statue is of ancient origin."[32]

[32] The italics are as in the original.

But this mild statement did not daunt Mr. McWhorter. Having calmly pronounced Dr. White "in error," he proceeded with sublime disregard of every other human being. He found that the statue "belongs to the winged or 'cherubim' type"; that "down the left side of the figure are seen the outlines of folded wings—even the separate feathers being clearly distinguishable"; that "the left side of the head is inexpressibly noble and majestic," and "conforms remarkably to the type of the head of the mound-builders"; that "the left arm terminates in what appears to be a huge extended lion's paw"; that "the dual idea expressed in the head is carried out in the figure"; that "in the wonderfully artistic mouth of the divine side we find a suggestion of that of the Greek Apollo." Mr. McWhorter also found other things that no other human being was ever able to discern, and among them "a crescent-shaped wound upon the left side," "traces of ancient coloring" in all parts of the statue, and evidences that the minute pores were made by "borers." He lays great stress on an "ancient medal" found in Onondaga, which he thinks belongs "to the era of the mound-builders," and on which he finds a "circle inclosing an equilateral cross, both cross and circle, like the wheel of Ezekiel, being full of small circles or eyes." As a matter of fact, this "ancient medal" was an English penny, which a street gamin of Syracuse said that he had found near the statue, and the "equilateral cross" was simply the usual cross of St. George. Mr. McWhorter thinks the circle inclosing the cross denotes the "world soul," and in a dissertation of about twenty pages he discourses upon "Baal," "Tammuz," "King Hiram of Tyre," the "ships of Tarshish," the "Eluli," and "Atlas," with plentiful arguments drawn from a multitude of authorities, and among them Sanchoniathon, Ezekiel, Plato, Dr. Dollinger, Isaiah, Melanchthon, Lenormant, Humboldt, Sir John Lubbock, and Don Domingo Juarros,—finally satisfying himself that the statue was "brought over by a colony of Phenicians," possibly several hundred years before Christ.[33]

[33] See the "Galaxy" article, as above, passim.

With the modesty of a true scholar he says, "Whether the final battle at Onondaga . . . occurred before or after this event we cannot tell"; but, resuming confidence, he says, "we only know that at some distant period the great statue, brought in a 'ship of Tarshish' across the sea of Atl, was lightly covered with twigs and flowers and these with gravel." The deliberations of the Pickwick Club over "Bill Stubbs, His Mark" pale before this; and Dickens in his most expansive moods never conceived anything more funny than the long, solemn discussion between the erratic Hebrew scholar and the eminent medical professor at New Haven over the "pores" of the statue, which one of them thought "the work of minute animals," which the other thought "elaborate Phenician workmanship," which both thought exquisite, and which the maker of the statue had already confessed that he had made by rudely striking the statue with a mallet faced with needles.

Mr. McWhorter's new theory made no great stir in the United States, though some, doubtless, took comfort in it; but it found one very eminent convert across the ocean, and in a place where we might least have expected him. Some ten years after the events above sketched while residing at Berlin as minister of the United States, I one day received from an American student at the University of Halle a letter stating that he had been requested by no less a personage than the eminent Dr Schlottmann, instructor in Hebrew in the theological school of that university,—the successor of Gesenius in that branch of instruction,—to write me for information regarding the Phenician statue described by the Rev Alexander McWhorter.

In reply, I detailed to him the main points in the history of the case, as it has been given in this chapter, adding, as against the Phenician theory, that nothing in the nature of Phenician remains had ever been found within the borders of the United States, and that if they had been found, this remote valley, three hundred miles from the sea, barred from the coast by mountain-ranges, forests, and savage tribes, could never have been the place chosen by Phenician navigators for such a deposit; that the figure itself was clearly not a work of early art, but a crude development by an uncultured stone-cutter out of his remembrance of things in modern sculpture; and that the inscription was purely the creation of Mr. McWhorter's imagination.

In his acknowledgment, my correspondent said that I had left no doubt in his mind as to the fact that the giant was a swindle; but that he had communicated my letter to the eminent Dr. Schlottmann, that the latter avowed that I had not convinced him, and that he still believed the Cardiff figure to be a Phenician statue bearing a most important inscription.

One man emerged from this chapter in the history of human folly supremely happy: this was Hull, the inventor of the "giant." He had at last made some money, had gained a reputation for "smartness," and, what probably pleased him best of all, had revenged himself upon the Rev. Mr. Turk of Ackley, Iowa, who by lung-power had worsted him in the argument as to the giants mentioned in Scripture.

So elate was he that he shortly set about devising another "petrified man" which would defy the world. It was of clay baked in a furnace, contained human bones, and was provided with "a tail and legs of the ape type"; and this he caused to be buried and discovered in Colorado. This time he claimed to have the aid of one of his former foes—the great Barnum; and all went well until his old enemy, Professor Marsh of Yale, appeared and blasted the whole enterprise by a few minutes of scientific observation and common-sense discourse.

Others tried to imitate Hull, and in 1876 one—William Buddock of Thornton, St. Clair County, Michigan—manufactured a small effigy in cement, and in due time brought about the discovery of it. But, though several country clergymen used it to strengthen their arguments as to the literal, prosaic correctness of Genesis, it proved a failure. Finally, in 1889, twenty years after "the Cardiff Giant" was devised, a "petrified man" was found near Bathurst in Australia, brought to Sydney, and exhibited. The result was, in some measure, the same as in the case of the American fraud. Excellent people found comfort in believing, and sundry pseudo-scientific men of a cheap sort thought it best to pander to this sentiment; but a well-trained geologist pointed out the absurdity of the popular theory, and finally the police finished the matter by securing evidences of fraud.[34]

[34] For the Ruddock discovery see Dr. G.A. Stockwell in the "Popular Science Monthly" for June, 1878. For the Australian fraud see the London "Times" of August 2, 1889.

To close these annals, I may add that recently the inventor of "the Cardiff Giant," Hull, being at the age of seventy-six years, apparently in his last illness, and anxious for the glory in history which comes from successful achievement, again gave to the press a full account of his part in the affair, confirming what he had previously stated, showing how he planned it, executed it and realized a goodly sum for it; how Barnum wished to purchase it from him; and how, above all, he had his joke at the expense of those who, though they had managed to overcome him in argument, had finally been rendered ridiculous in the sight of the whole country.[35]

[35] For Hull's "Final Statement" see the "Ithaca Daily Journal," January 4, 1898.



Among those who especially attracted my youthful admiration were authors, whether of books or of articles in the magazines. When one of these personages was pointed out to me, he seemed of far greater stature than the men about him. This feeling was especially developed in the atmosphere of our household, where scholars and writers were held in especial reverence, and was afterward increased by my studies. This led me at Yale to take, at first, much interest in general literature, and, as a result, I had some youthful successes as a writer of essays and as one of the editors of the "Yale Literary Magazine"; but although it was an era of great writers,—the culmination of the Victorian epoch,—my love for literature as literature gradually diminished, and in place of it came in my young manhood a love of historical and other studies to which literature was, to my mind, merely subsidiary. With this, no doubt, the prevailing atmosphere of Yale had much to do. There was between Yale and Harvard, at that time, a great difference as regarded literary culture. Living immediately about Harvard were most of the leading American authors, and this fact greatly influenced that university; at Yale less was made of literature as such, and more was made of it as a means to an end—as ancillary in the discussion of various militant political questions. Yale had writers strong, vigorous, and acute: of such were Woolsey, Porter, Bacon, and Bushnell, some of whom,—and, above all, the last,—had they devoted themselves to pure literature, would have gained lasting fame; but their interest in the questions of the day was controlling, and literature, in its ordinary sense, was secondary.

Harvard undoubtedly had the greater influence on leading American thinkers throughout the nation, but much less direct influence on the people at large outside of Massachusetts. The direct influence of Yale on affairs throughout the United States was far greater; it was felt in all parts of the country and in every sort of enterprise. Many years after my graduation I attended a meeting of the Yale alumni at Washington, where a Western senator, on taking the chair, gave an offhand statement of the difference between the two universities. "Gentlemen," said the senator, "we all know what Harvard does. She fits men admirably for life in Boston and its immediate neighborhood; they see little outside of eastern Massachusetts and nothing outside of New England; in Boston clubs they are delightful; elsewhere they are intolerable. And we also know what Yale does: she sends her graduates out into all parts of the land, for every sort of good work, in town and country, even to the remotest borders of the nation. Wherever you find a Yale man you find a man who is in touch with his fellow-citizens; who appreciates them and is appreciated by them; who is doing a man's work and is honored for doing it."

This humorous overstatement indicates to some extent the real difference between the spirit of the two universities: the influence of Harvard being greater through the men it trained to lead American thought from Boston as a center; the influence of Yale being greater through its graduates who were joining in the world's work in all its varied forms. Yet, curiously enough, it was the utterance of a Harvard man which perhaps did most in my young manhood to make me unduly depreciate literary work. I was in deep sympathy with Theodore Parker, both in politics and religion, and when he poured contempt over a certain class of ineffective people as "weak and literary," something of his feeling took possession of me. Then, too, I was much under the influence of Thomas Carlyle: his preachments, hortatory and objurgatory, witty and querulous, that men should defer work in literature until they really have some worthy message to deliver, had a strong effect upon me. While I greatly admired men like Lowell and Whittier, who brought exquisite literary gifts to bear powerfully on the struggle against slavery, persons devoted wholly to literary work seemed to me akin to sugar-bakers and confectionery-makers. I now know that this view was very inadequate; but it was then in full force. It seemed to me more and more absurd that a man with an alleged immortal soul, at such a time as the middle of the nineteenth century, should devote himself, as I then thought, to amusing weakish young men and women by the balancing of phrases or the jingling of verses.

Therefore it was that, after leaving Yale, whatever I wrote had some distinct purpose, with little, if any, care as to form. I was greatly stirred against the encroachments of slavery in the Territories, had also become deeply interested in university education, and most of my thinking and writing was devoted to these subjects; though, at times, I took up the cudgels in behalf of various militant ideas that seemed to need support. The lecture on "Cathedral Builders and Mediaeval Sculptors," given in the Yale chapel after my return from Europe, often repeated afterward in various parts of the country, and widely circulated by extracts in newspapers, though apparently an exception to the rule, was not really so. It aimed to show the educational value of an ethical element in art. So, too, my article in the "New Englander" on "Glimpses of Universal History" had as its object the better development of historical studies in our universities. My articles in the "Atlantic Monthly"—on "Jefferson and Slavery," on "The Statesmanship of Richelieu," and on "The Development and Overthrow of Serfdom in Russia"—all had a bearing on the dominant question of slavery, and the same was true of my Phi Beta Kappa address at Yale on "The Greatest Foe of Modern States." Whatever I wrote during the Civil War, and especially my pamphlet published in London as a reply to the "American Diary" of the London "Times" correspondent, Dr. Russell, had a similar character. The feeling grew upon me that life in the United States during the middle of the nineteenth century was altogether too earnest for devotion to pure literature. The same feeling pervaded my lectures at the University of Michigan, my effort being by means of the lessons of history to set young men at thinking upon the great political problems of our time. The first course of these lectures was upon the French Revolution. Work with reference to it had been a labor of love. During my student life in Paris, and at various other times, I had devoted much time to the study of this subject, had visited nearly all the places most closely connected with it not only in Paris but throughout France, had meditated upon the noble beginnings of the Revolution in the Palace and Tennis-court and Church of St. Louis at Versailles; at Lyons, upon the fusillades; at Nantes, upon the noyades; at the Abbaye, the Carmelite monastery, the Barriere du Trone, and the cemetery of the Rue Picpus in Paris, upon the Red Terror; at Nimes and Avignon and in La Vendee, upon the White Terror; had collected, in all parts of France, masses of books, manuscripts, public documents and illustrated material on the whole struggle: full sets of the leading newspapers of the Revolutionary period, more than seven thousand pamphlets, reports, speeches, and other fugitive publications, with masses of paper money, caricatures, broadsides, and the like, thus forming my library on the Revolution, which has since been added to that of Cornell University. Based upon these documents and books were my lectures on the general history of France and on the Revolution and Empire. Out of this came finally a shorter series of lectures upon which I took especial pains—namely, the "History of the Causes of the French Revolution." This part of the whole course interested me most as revealing the strength and weakness of democracies and throwing light upon many problems which our own republic must endeavor to solve; and I gave it not only at Cornell, but at Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Tulane, and Washington. It still remains in manuscript: whether it will ever be published is uncertain. Should my life be somewhat extended, I hope to throw it into the form of a small volume; but, at my present age and with the work now upon me, the realization of this plan is doubtful. Still, in any case, there is to me one great consolation: my collection of books aided the former professor of modern history at Cornell, Mr. Morse Stevens, in preparing what is unquestionably the best history of the French Revolution in the English language. Nor has the collection been without other uses. Upon it was based my pamphlet on "Paper Money Inflation in France: How It Came, What It Brought, and How It Ended," and this, being circulated widely as a campaign document during two different periods of financial delusion, did, I hope, something to set some controlling men into fruitful trains of thought on one of the most important issues ever presented to the American people.

Another course of lectures also paved the way possibly for a book. I have already told how, during my college life and even previously, I became fascinated with the history of the Protestant Reformation. This led to further studies, and among the first courses in history prepared during my professorship at the University of Michigan was one upon the "Revival of Learning" and the "Reformation in Germany." This course was developed later until it was brought down to our own times; its continuance being especially favored by my stay in Germany, first as a student and later as minister of the United States. Most of my spare time at these periods was given to this subject, and in the preparation of these lectures I conceived the plan of a book bearing some such name as "The Building of the German Empire," or "The Evolution of Modern Germany." As to method, I proposed to make it almost entirely biographical, and the reason for this is very simple. Of all histories that I have known, those relating to Germany have been the most difficult to read. Events in German history are complicated and interwoven, to a greater degree than those of any other nation, by struggles between races, between three great branches of the Christian Church, between scores of territorial divisions between greater and lesser monarchs, between states and cities, between families, between individuals. Then, to increase the complication, the center of interest is constantly changing,—being during one period at Vienna, during another at Frankfort-on-the-Main, during another at Berlin, and during others at other places. Therefore it is that narrative histories of Germany become to most foreign readers wretchedly confusing: indeed, they might well be classed in Father Bouhours's famous catalogue of "Books Impossible to be Read." This obstacle to historical treatment, especially as regards the needs of American readers, led me to group events about the lives of various German leaders in thought and action—the real builders of Germany; and this plan was perhaps confirmed by Carlyle's famous dictum that the history of any nation is the history of the great men who have made it. Impressed by such considerations, I threw my lectures almost entirely into biographical form, with here and there a few historical lectures to bind the whole together. Beginning with Erasmus, Luther, Ulrich von Hutten, and Charles V, I continued with Comenius, Canisius, Grotius, Thomasius, and others who, whether born on German soil or not, exercised their main influence in Germany. Then came the work of the Great Elector, the administration of Frederick the Great, the moral philosophy of Kant, the influence of the French Revolution and Napoleon in Germany, the reforms of Stein, the hopeless efforts of Joseph II and Metternich to win the hegemony for Austria, and the successful efforts of Bismarck and the Emperor William to give it to Prussia. My own direct knowledge of Germany at different dates during more than forty-five years, and perhaps also my official and personal relations to the two personages last mentioned, enabled me to see some things which a man drawing his material from books alone would not have seen. I have given much of my spare time to this subject during several years, and still hope, almost against hope, to bring it into book form.

Though thus interested in the work of a professor of modern history, I could not refrain from taking part in the discussion of practical questions pressing on thinking men from all sides and earnestly demanding attention.

During my State senatorship I had been obliged more than once to confess a lack, both in myself and in my colleagues, of much fundamental knowledge especially important to men intrusted with the legislation of a great commonwealth. Besides this, even as far back as my Russian attacheship, I had observed a similar want of proper equipment in our diplomatic and consular service. It was clear to me that such subjects as international law, political economy, modern history bearing on legislation, the fundamental principles of law and administration, and especially studies bearing on the prevention and cure of pauperism, inebriety, and crime, and on the imposition of taxation, had been always inadequately provided for by our universities, and in most cases utterly neglected. In France and Germany I had observed a better system, and, especially at the College de France, had been interested in the courses of Laboulaye on "Comparative Legislation." The latter subject, above all, seemed likely to prove fruitful in the United States, where not only the national Congress but over forty State legislatures are trying in various ways, year after year, to solve the manifold problems presented to them. Therefore it was that, while discharging my duties as a commissioner at the Paris Exposition of 1878, I took pains to secure information regarding instruction, in various European countries, having as its object the preparation of young men for the civil and diplomatic service. Especially was I struck by the thorough equipment for the diplomatic and consular services given at the newly established ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques at Paris; consequently my report as commissioner was devoted to this general subject. On my return this was published under the title of "The Provision for Higher Instruction in Subjects bearing directly on Public Affairs," and a portion of my material was thrown, at a later day, into an appeal for the establishment of proper courses in history and political science, which took the final form of a commencement address at Johns Hopkins University. It is a great satisfaction to me that this publication, acting with other forces in the same direction, has been evidently useful Nothing in the great development of our universities during the last quarter of a century has been more gratifying and full of promise for the country than the increased provision for instruction bearing on public questions, and the increased interest in such instruction shown by students, and, indeed, by the community at large I may add that of all the kindnesses shown me by the trustees of Cornell University at my resignation of its presidency, there was none which pleased me more than the attachment of my name to their newly established College of History and Political Science.

During this same period another immediately practical subject which interested me was the reform of the civil service; and, having spoken upon this at various public meetings as well as written private letters to various public men in order to keep them thinking upon it, I published in 1882, in the "North American Review," an article giving historical facts regarding the origin, evolution, and results of the spoils system, entitled, "Do the Spoils Belong to the Victor?" This brought upon me a bitter personal attack from my old friend Mr. Thurlow Weed, who, far-sighted and shrewd as he was, could never see how republican institutions could be made to work without the anticipation of spoils; but for this I was more than compensated by the friendship of younger men who are likely to have far more to do with our future political development than will the old race of politicians, and, chief among these young men, Mr. Theodore Roosevelt. I was also drawn off to other subjects, making addresses at various universities on points which seemed to me of importance, the most successful of all being one given at Yale, upon the thirtieth anniversary of my class, entitled, "The Message of the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth." It was an endeavor to strengthen the hands of those who were laboring to maintain the proper balance between the humanities and technical studies. To the latter I had indeed devoted many years of my life, but the time had arrived when the other side seemed to demand attention. This address, though the result of much preliminary meditation, was dictated in all the hurry and worry of a Cornell commencement week and given in the Yale chapel the week following. Probably nothing which I have ever done, save perhaps the tractate on "Paper Money Inflation in France," received such immediate and wide-spread recognition: it was circulated very extensively in the New York "Independent," then in the form of a pamphlet, for which there was large demand, and finally, still more widely, in a cheap form.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse