The Story of Mankind
by Hendrik van Loon
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But as Parliament was no longer dominated by the old landed aristocracy (which had despised the upstart factory-owners with their money bags and had treated them with open contempt), but was under control of the representatives from the industrial centres, and as long as the law did not allow workmen to combine in labour-unions, very little was accomplished. Of course the intelligent and decent people of that time were not blind to these terrible conditions. They were just helpless. Machinery had conquered the world by surprise and it took a great many years and the efforts of thousands of noble men and women to make the machine what it ought to be, man's servant, and not his master.

Curiously enough, the first attack upon the outrageous system of employment which was then common in all parts of the world, was made on behalf of the black slaves of Africa and America. Slavery had been introduced into the American continent by the Spaniards. They had tried to use the Indians as labourers in the fields and in the mines, but the Indians, when taken away from a life in the open, had lain down and died and to save them from extinction a kind-hearted priest had suggested that negroes be brought from Africa to do the work. The negroes were strong and could stand rough treatment. Besides, association with the white man would give them a chance to learn Christianity and in this way, they would be able to save their souls, and so from every possible point of view, it would be an excellent arrangement both for the kindly white man and for his ignorant black brother. But with the introduction of machinery there had been a greater demand for cotton and the negroes were forced to work harder than ever before, and they too, like the Indians, began to die under the treatment which they received at the hands of the overseers.

Stories of incredible cruelty constantly found their way to Europe and in all countries men and women began to agitate for the abolition of slavery. In England, William Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay, (the father of the great historian whose history of England you must read if you want to know how wonderfully interesting a history-book can be,) organised a society for the suppression of slavery. First of all they got a law passed which made "slave trading" illegal. And after the year 1840 there was not a single slave in any of the British colonies. The revolution of 1848 put an end to slavery in the French possessions. The Portuguese passed a law in the year 1858 which promised all slaves their liberty in twenty years from date. The Dutch abolished slavery in 1863 and in the same year Tsar Alexander II returned to his serfs that liberty which had been taken away from them more than two centuries before.

In the United States of America the question led to grave difficulties and a prolonged war. Although the Declaration of Independence had laid down the principle that "all men were created free and equal," an exception had been made for those men and women whose skins were dark and who worked on the plantations of the southern states. As time went on, the dislike of the people of the North for the institution of slavery increased and they made no secret of their feelings. The southerners however claimed that they could not grow their cotton without slave-labour, and for almost fifty years a mighty debate raged in both the Congress and the Senate.

The North remained obdurate and the South would not give in. When it appeared impossible to reach a compromise, the southern states threatened to leave the Union. It was a most dangerous point in the history of the Union. Many things "might" have happened. That they did not happen was the work of a very great and very good man.

On the sixth of November of the year 1860, Abraham Lincoln, an Illinois lawyer, and a man who had made his own intellectual fortune, had been elected president by the Republicans who were very strong in the anti-slavery states. He knew the evils of human bondage at first hand and his shrewd common-sense told him that there was no room on the northern continent for two rival nations. When a number of southern states seceded and formed the "Confederate States of America," Lincoln accepted the challenge. The Northern states were called upon for volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of young men responded with eager enthusiasm and there followed four years of bitter civil war. The South, better prepared and following the brilliant leadership of Lee and Jackson, repeatedly defeated the armies of the North. Then the economic strength of New England and the West began to tell. An unknown officer by the name of Grant arose from obscurity and became the Charles Martel of the great slave war. Without interruption he hammered his mighty blows upon the crumbling defences of the South. Early in the year 1863, President Lincoln issued his "Emancipation Proclamation" which set all slaves free. In April of the year 1865 Lee surrendered the last of his brave armies at Appomattox. A few days later, President Lincoln was murdered by a lunatic. But his work was done. With the exception of Cuba which was still under Spanish domination, slavery had come to an end in every part of the civilised world.

But while the black man was enjoying an increasing amount of liberty, the "free" workmen of Europe did not fare quite so well. Indeed, it is a matter of surprise to many contemporary writers and observers that the masses of workmen (the so-called proletariat) did not die out from sheer misery. They lived in dirty houses situated in miserable parts of the slums. They ate bad food. They received just enough schooling to fit them for their tasks. In case of death or an accident, their families were not provided for. But the brewery and distillery interests, (who could exercise great influence upon the Legislature,) encouraged them to forget their woes by offering them unlimited quantities of whisky and gin at very cheap rates.

The enormous improvement which has taken place since the thirties and the forties of the last century is not due to the efforts of a single man. The best brains of two generations devoted themselves to the task of saving the world from the disastrous results of the all-too-sudden introduction of machinery. They did not try to destroy the capitalistic system. This would have been very foolish, for the accumulated wealth of other people, when intelligently used, may be of very great benefit to all mankind. But they tried to combat the notion that true equality can exist between the man who has wealth and owns the factories and can close their doors at will without the risk of going hungry, and the labourer who must take whatever job is offered, at whatever wage he can get, or face the risk of starvation for himself, his wife and his children.

They endeavoured to introduce a number of laws which regulated the relations between the factory owners and the factory workers. In this, the reformers have been increasingly successful in all countries. To-day, the majority of the labourers are well protected; their hours are being reduced to the excellent average of eight, and their children are sent to the schools instead of to the mine pit and to the carding-room of the cotton mills.

But there were other men who also contemplated the sight of all the belching smoke-stacks, who heard the rattle of the railroad trains, who saw the store-houses filled with a surplus of all sorts of materials, and who wondered to what ultimate goal this tremendous activity would lead in the years to come. They remembered that the human race had lived for hundreds of thousands of years without commercial and industrial competition. Could they change the existing order of things and do away with a system of rivalry which so often sacrificed human happiness to profits?

This idea—this vague hope for a better day—was not restricted to a single country. In England, Robert Owen, the owner of many cotton mills, established a so-called "socialistic community" which was a success. But when he died, the prosperity of New Lanark came to an end and an attempt of Louis Blanc, a French journalist, to establish "social workshops" all over France fared no better. Indeed, the increasing number of socialistic writers soon began to see that little individual communities which remained outside of the regular industrial life, would never be able to accomplish anything at all. It was necessary to study the fundamental principles underlying the whole industrial and capitalistic society before useful remedies could be suggested.

The practical socialists like Robert Owen and Louis Blanc and Francois Fournier were succeeded by theoretical students of socialism like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Of these two, Marx is the best known. He was a very brilliant Jew whose family had for a long time lived in Germany. He had heard of the experiments of Owen and Blanc and he began to interest himself in questions of labour and wages and unemployment. But his liberal views made him very unpopular with the police authorities of Germany, and he was forced to flee to Brussels and then to London, where he lived a poor and shabby life as the correspondent of the New York Tribune.

No one, thus far, had paid much attention to his books on economic subjects. But in the year 1864 he organised the first international association of working men and three years later in 1867, he published the first volume of his well-known treatise called "Capital." Marx believed that all history was a long struggle between those who "have" and those who "don't have." The introduction and general use of machinery had created a new class in society, that of the capitalists who used their surplus wealth to buy the tools which were then used by the labourers to produce still more wealth, which was again used to build more factories and so on, until the end of time. Meanwhile, according to Marx, the third estate (the bourgeoisie) was growing richer and richer and the fourth estate (the proletariat) was growing poorer and poorer, and he predicted that in the end, one man would possess all the wealth of the world while the others would be his employees and dependent upon his good will.

To prevent such a state of affairs, Marx advised working men of all countries to unite and to fight for a number of political and economic measures which he had enumerated in a Manifesto in the year 1848, the year of the last great European revolution.

These views of course were very unpopular with the governments of Europe, many countries, especially Prussia, passed severe laws against the Socialists and policemen were ordered to break up the Socialist meetings and to arrest the speakers. But that sort of persecution never does any good. Martyrs are the best possible advertisements for an unpopular cause. In Europe the number of socialists steadily increased and it was soon clear that the Socialists did not contemplate a violent revolution but were using their increasing power in the different Parliaments to promote the interests of the labouring classes. Socialists were even called upon to act as Cabinet Ministers, and they co-operated with progressive Catholics and Protestants to undo the damage that had been caused by the Industrial Revolution and to bring about a fairer division of the many benefits which had followed the introduction of machinery and the increased production of wealth.



THE Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, the Greeks and the Romans, had all contributed something to the first vague notions of science and scientific investigation. But the great migrations of the fourth century had destroyed the classical world of the Mediterranean, and the Christian Church, which was more interested in the life of the soul than in the life of the body, had regarded science as a manifestation of that human arrogance which wanted to pry into divine affairs which belonged to the realm of Almighty God, and which therefore was closely related to the seven deadly sins.

The Renaissance to a certain but limited extent had broken through this wall of Mediaeval prejudices. The Reformation, however, which had overtaken the Renaissance in the early 16th century, had been hostile to the ideals of the "new civilisation," and once more the men of science were threatened with severe punishment, should they try to pass beyond the narrow limits of knowledge which had been laid down in Holy Writ.

Our world is filled with the statues of great generals, atop of prancing horses, leading their cheering soldiers to glorious victory. Here and there, a modest slab of marble announces that a man of science has found his final resting place. A thousand years from now we shall probably do these things differently, and the children of that happy generation shall know of the splendid courage and the almost inconceivable devotion to duty of the men who were the pioneers of that abstract knowledge, which alone has made our modern world a practical possibility.

Many of these scientific pioneers suffered poverty and contempt and humiliation. They lived in garrets and died in dungeons. They dared not print their names on the title-pages of their books and they dared not print their conclusions in the land of their birth, but smuggled the manuscripts to some secret printing shop in Amsterdam or Haarlem. They were exposed to the bitter enmity of the Church, both Protestant and Catholic, and were the subjects of endless sermons, inciting the parishioners to violence against the "heretics."

Here and there they found an asylum. In Holland, where the spirit of tolerance was strongest, the authorities, while regarding these scientific investigations with little favour, yet refused to interfere with people's freedom of thought. It became a little asylum for intellectual liberty where French and English and German philosophers and mathematicians and physicians could go to enjoy a short spell of rest and get a breath of free air.

In another chapter I have told you how Roger Bacon, the great genius of the thirteenth century, was prevented for years from writing a single word, lest he get into new troubles with the authorities of the church. And five hundred years later, the contributors to the great philosophic "Encyclopaedia" were under the constant supervision of the French gendarmerie. Half a century afterwards, Darwin, who dared to question the story of the creation of man, as revealed in the Bible, was denounced from every pulpit as an enemy of the human race.

Even to-day, the persecution of those who venture into the unknown realm of science has not entirely come to an end. And while I am writing this Mr. Bryan is addressing a vast multitude on the "Menace of Darwinism," warning his hearers against the errors of the great English naturalist.

All this, however, is a mere detail. The work that has to be done invariably gets done, and the ultimate profit of the discoveries and the inventions goes to the mass of those same people who have always decried the man of vision as an unpractical idealist.

The seventeenth century had still preferred to investigate the far off heavens and to study the position of our planet in relation to the solar system. Even so, the Church had disapproved of this unseemly curiosity, and Copernicus who first of all had proved that the sun was the centre of the universe, did not publish his work until the day of his death. Galileo spent the greater part of his life under the supervision of the clerical authorities, but he continued to use his telescope and provided Isaac Newton with a mass of practical observations, which greatly helped the English mathematician when he dis-covered the existence of that interesting habit of falling objects which came to be known as the Law of Gravitation.

That, for the moment at least, exhausted the interest in the Heavens, and man began to study the earth. The invention of a workable microscope, (a strange and clumsy little thing,) by Anthony van Leeuwenhoek during the last half of the 17th century, gave man a chance to study the "microscopic" creatures who are responsible for so many of his ailments. It laid the foundations of the science of "bacteriology" which in the last forty years has delivered the world from a great number of diseases by discovering the tiny organisms which cause the complaint. It also allowed the geologists to make a more careful study of different rocks and of the fossils (the petrified prehistoric plants) which they found deep below the surface of the earth. These investigations convinced them that the earth must be a great deal older than was stated in the book of Genesis and in the year 1830, Sir Charles Lyell published his "Principles of Geology" which denied the story of creation as related in the Bible and gave a far more wonderful description of slow growth and gradual development.

At the same time, the Marquis de Laplace was working on a new theory of creation, which made the earth a little blotch in the nebulous sea out of which the planetary system had been formed and Bunsen and Kirchhoff, by the use of the spectroscope, were investigating the chemical composition of the stars and of our good neighbour, the sun, whose curious spots had first been noticed by Galileo.

Meanwhile after a most bitter and relentless warfare with the clerical authorities of Catholic and Protestant lands, the anatomists and physiologists had at last obtained permission to dissect bodies and to substitute a positive knowledge of our organs and their habits for the guesswork of the mediaeval quack.

Within a single generation (between 1810 and 1840) more progress was made in every branch of science than in all the hundreds of thousands of years that had passed since man first looked at the stars and wondered why they were there. It must have been a very sad age for the people who had been educated under the old system. And we can understand their feeling of hatred for such men as Lamarck and Darwin, who did not exactly tell them that they were "descended from monkeys," (an accusation which our grandfathers seemed to regard as a personal insult,) but who suggested that the proud human race had evolved from a long series of ancestors who could trace the family-tree back to the little jelly-fishes who were the first inhabitants of our planet.

The dignified world of the well-to-do middle class, which dominated the nineteenth century, was willing to make use of the gas or the electric light, of all the many practical applications of the great scientific discoveries, but the mere investigator, the man of the "scientific theory" without whom no progress would be possible, continued to be distrusted until very recently. Then, at last, his services were recognised. Today the rich people who in past ages donated their wealth for the building of a cathedral, construct vast laboratories where silent men do battle upon the hidden enemies of mankind and often sacrifice their lives that coming generations may enjoy greater happiness and health.

Indeed it has come to pass that many of the ills of this world, which our ancestors regarded as inevitable "acts of God," have been exposed as manifestations of our own ignorance and neglect. Every child nowadays knows that he can keep from getting typhoid fever by a little care in the choice of his drinking water. But it took years and years of hard work before the doctors could convince the people of this fact. Few of us now fear the dentist chair. A study of the microbes that live in our mouth has made it possible to keep our teeth from decay. Must perchance a tooth be pulled, then we take a sniff of gas, and go our way rejoicing. When the newspapers of the year 1846 brought the story of the "painless operation" which had been performed in America with the help of ether, the good people of Europe shook their heads. To them it seemed against the will of God that man should escape the pain which was the share of all mortals, and it took a long time before the practice of taking ether and chloroform for operations became general.

But the battle of progress had been won. The breach in the old walls of prejudice was growing larger and larger, and as time went by, the ancient stones of ignorance came crumbling down. The eager crusaders of a new and happier social order rushed forward. Suddenly they found themselves facing a new obstacle. Out of the ruins of a long-gone past, another citadel of reaction had been erected, and millions of men had to give their lives before this last bulwark was destroyed.



WHEN a baby is perfectly healthy and has had enough to eat and has slept all it wants, then it hums a little tune to show how happy it is. To grown-ups this humming means nothing. It sounds like "goo-zum, goo-zum, goo-o-o-o-o," but to the baby it is perfect music. It is his first contribution to art.

As soon as he (or she) gets a little older and is able to sit up, the period of mud-pie making begins. These mud-pies do not interest the outside world. There are too many million babies, making too many million mud-pies at the same time. But to the small infant they represent another expedition into the pleasant realm of art. The baby is now a sculptor.

At the age of three or four, when the hands begin to obey the brain, the child becomes a painter. His fond mother gives him a box of coloured chalks and every loose bit of paper is rapidly covered with strange pothooks and scrawls which represent houses and horses and terrible naval battles.

Soon however this happiness of just "making things" comes to an end. School begins and the greater part of the day is filled up with work. The business of living, or rather the business of "making a living," becomes the most important event in the life of every boy and girl. There is little time left for "art" between learning the tables of multiplication and the past participles of the irregular French verbs. And unless the desire for making certain things for the mere pleasure of creating them without any hope of a practical return be very strong, the child grows into manhood and forgets that the first five years of his life were mainly devoted to art.

Nations are not different from children. As soon as the cave-man had escaped the threatening dangers of the long and shivering ice-period, and had put his house in order, he began to make certain things which he thought beautiful, although they were of no earthly use to him in his fight with the wild animals of the jungle. He covered the walls of his grotto with pictures of the elephants and the deer which he hunted, and out of a piece of stone, he hacked the rough figures of those women he thought most attractive.

As soon as the Egyptians and the Babylonians and the Persians and all the other people of the east had founded their little countries along the Nile and the Euphrates, they began to build magnificent palaces for their kings, invented bright pieces of jewellery for their women and planted gardens which sang happy songs of colour with their many bright flowers.

Our own ancestors, the wandering nomads from the distant Asiatic prairies, enjoying a free and easy existence as fighters and hunters, composed songs which celebrated the mighty deeds of their great leaders and invented a form of poetry which has survived until our own day. A thousand years later, when they had established themselves on the Greek mainland, and had built their "city-states," they expressed their joy (and their sorrows) in magnificent temples, in statues, in comedies and in tragedies, and in every conceivable form of art.

The Romans, like their Carthaginian rivals, were too busy administering other people and making money to have much love for "useless and unprofitable" adventures of the spirit. They conquered the world and built roads and bridges but they borrowed their art wholesale from the Greeks. They invented certain practical forms of architecture which answered the demands of their day and age. But their statues and their histories and their mosaics and their poems were mere Latin imitations of Greek originals. Without that vague and hard-to-define something which the world calls "personality," there can be no art and the Roman world distrusted that particular sort of personality. The Empire needed efficient soldiers and tradesmen. The business of writing poetry or making pictures was left to foreigners.

Then came the Dark Ages. The barbarian was the proverbial bull in the china-shop of western Europe. He had no use for what he did not understand. Speaking in terms of the year 1921, he liked the magazine covers of pretty ladies, but threw the Rembrandt etchings which he had inherited into the ash-can. Soon he came to learn better. Then he tried to undo the damage which he had created a few years before. But the ash-cans were gone and so were the pictures.

But by this time, his own art, which he had brought with him from the east, had developed into something very beautiful and he made up for his past neglect and indifference by the so-called "art of the Middle Ages" which as far as northern Europe is concerned was a product of the Germanic mind and had borrowed but little from the Greeks and the Latins and nothing at all from the older forms of art of Egypt and Assyria, not to speak of India and China, which simply did not exist, as far as the people of that time were concerned. Indeed, so little had the northern races been influenced by their southern neighbours that their own architectural products were completely misunderstood by the people of Italy and were treated by them with downright and unmitigated contempt.

You have all heard the word Gothic. You probably associate it with the picture of a lovely old cathedral, lifting its slender spires towards high heaven. But what does the word really mean?

It means something "uncouth" and "barbaric"—something which one might expect from an "uncivilised Goth," a rough backwoods-man who had no respect for the established rules of classical art and who built his "modern horrors" to please his own low tastes without a decent regard for the examples of the Forum and the Acropolis.

And yet for several centuries this form of Gothic architecture was the highest expression of the sincere feeling for art which inspired the whole northern continent. From a previous chapter, you will remember how the people of the late Middle Ages lived. Unless they were peasants and dwelt in villages, they were citizens of a "city" or "civitas," the old Latin name for a tribe. And indeed, behind their high walls and their deep moats, these good burghers were true tribesmen who shared the common dangers and enjoyed the common safety and prosperity which they derived from their system of mutual protection.

In the old Greek and Roman cities the market-place, where the temple stood, had been the centre of civic life. During the Middle Ages, the Church, the House of God, became such a centre. We modern Protestant people, who go to our church only once a week, and then for a few hours only, hardly know what a mediaeval church meant to the community. Then, before you were a week old, you were taken to the Church to be baptised. As a child, you visited the Church to learn the holy stories of the Scriptures. Later on you became a member of the congregation, and if you were rich enough you built yourself a separate little chapel sacred to the memory of the Patron Saint of your own family. As for the sacred edifice, it was open at all hours of the day and many of the night. In a certain sense it resembled a modern club, dedicated to all the inhabitants of the town. In the church you very likely caught a first glimpse of the girl who was to become your bride at a great ceremony before the High Altar. And finally, when the end of the journey had come, you were buried beneath the stones of this familiar building, that all your children and their grandchildren might pass over your grave until the Day of Judgement.

Because the Church was not only the House of God but also the true centre of all common life, the building had to be different from anything that had ever been constructed by the hands of man. The temples of the Egyptians and the Greeks and the Romans had been merely the shrine of a local divinity. As no sermons were preached before the images of Osiris or Zeus or Jupiter, it was not necessary that the interior offer space for a great multitude. All the religious processions of the old Mediterranean peoples took place in the open. But in the north, where the weather was usually bad, most functions were held under the roof of the church.

During many centuries the architects struggled with this problem of constructing a building that was large enough. The Roman tradition taught them how to build heavy stone walls with very small windows lest the walls lose their strength. On the top of this they then placed a heavy stone roof. But in the twelfth century, after the beginning of the Crusades, when the architects had seen the pointed arches of the Mohammedan builders, the western builders discovered a new style which gave them their first chance to make the sort of building which those days of an intense religious life demanded. And then they developed this strange style upon which the Italians bestowed the contemptuous name of "Gothic" or barbaric. They achieved their purpose by inventing a vaulted roof which was supported by "ribs." But such a roof, if it became too heavy, was apt to break the walls, just as a man of three hundred pounds sitting down upon a child's chair will force it to collapse. To overcome this difficulty, certain French architects then began to re-enforce the walls with "buttresses" which were merely heavy masses of stone against which the walls could lean while they supported the roof. And to assure the further safety of the roof they supported the ribs of the roof by so-called "flying buttresses," a very simple method of construction which you will understand at once when you look at our picture.

This new method of construction allowed the introduction of enormous windows. In the twelfth century, glass was still an expensive curiosity, and very few private buildings possessed glass windows. Even the castles of the nobles were without protection and this accounts for the eternal drafts and explains why people of that day wore furs in-doors as well as out.

Fortunately, the art of making coloured glass, with which the ancient people of the Mediterranean had been familiar, had not been entirely lost. There was a revival of stained glass-making and soon the windows of the Gothic churches told the stories of the Holy Book in little bits of brilliantly coloured window-pane, which were caught in a long framework of lead.

Behold, therefore, the new and glorious house of God, filled with an eager multitude, "living" its religion as no people have ever done either before or since! Nothing is considered too good or too costly or too wondrous for this House of God and Home of Man. The sculptors, who since the destruction of the Roman Empire have been out of employment, haltingly return to their noble art. Portals and pillars and buttresses and cornices are all covered with carven images of Our Lord and the blessed Saints. The embroiderers too are set to work to make tapestries for the walls. The jewellers offer their highest art that the shrine of the altar may be worthy of complete adoration. Even the painter does his best. Poor man, he is greatly handicapped by lack of a suitable medium.

And thereby hangs a story.

The Romans of the early Christian period had covered the floors and the walls of their temples and houses with mosaics; pictures made of coloured bits of glass. But this art had been exceedingly difficult. It gave the painter no chance to express all he wanted to say, as all children know who have ever tried to make figures out of coloured blocks of wood. The art of mosaic painting therefore died out during the late Middle Ages except in Russia, where the Byzantine mosaic painters had found a refuge after the fall of Constantinople and continued to ornament the walls of the orthodox churches until the day of the Bolsheviki, when there was an end to the building of churches.

Of course, the mediaeval painter could mix his colours with the water of the wet plaster which was put upon the walls of the churches. This method of painting upon "fresh plaster" (which was generally called "fresco" or "fresh" painting) was very popular for many centuries. To-day, it is as rare as the art of painting miniatures in manuscripts and among the hundreds of artists of our modern cities there is perhaps one who can handle this medium successfully. But during the Middle Ages there was no other way and the artists were "fresco" workers for lack of something better. The method however had certain great disadvantages. Very often the plaster came off the walls after only a few years, or dampness spoiled the pictures, just as dampness will spoil the pattern of our wall paper. People tried every imaginable expedient to get away from this plaster background. They tried to mix their colours with wine and vinegar and with honey and with the sticky white of egg, but none of these methods were satisfactory. For more than a thousand years these experiments continued. In painting pictures upon the parchment leaves of manuscripts the mediaeval artists were very successful. But when it came to covering large spaces of wood or stone with paint which would stick, they did not succeed very well.

At last, during the first half of the fifteenth century, the problem was solved in the southern Netherlands by Jan and Hubert van Eyck. The famous Flemish brothers mixed their paint with specially prepared oils and this allowed them to use wood and canvas or stone or anything else as a background for their pictures.

But by this time the religious ardour of the early Middle Ages was a thing of the past. The rich burghers of the cities were succeeding the bishops as patrons of the arts. And as art invariably follows the full dinner-pail, the artists now began to work for these worldly employers and painted pictures for kings, for grand-dukes and for rich bankers. Within a very short time, the new method of painting with oil spread through Europe and in every country there developed a school of special painting which showed the characteristic tastes of the people for whom these portraits and landscapes were made.

In Spain, for example, Velasquez painted court-dwarfs and the weavers of the royal tapestry-factories, and all sorts of persons and subjects connected with the king and his court. But in Holland, Rembrandt and Frans Hals and Vermeer painted the barnyard of the merchant's house, and they painted his rather dowdy wife and his healthy but bumptious children and the ships which had brought him his wealth. In Italy on the other hand, where the Pope remained the largest patron of the arts, Michelangelo and Correggio continued to paint Madonnas and Saints, while in England, where the aristocracy was very rich and powerful and in France where the kings had become uppermost in the state, the artists painted distinguished gentlemen who were members of the government, and very lovely ladies who were friends of His Majesty.

The great change in painting, which came about with the neglect of the old church and the rise of a new class in society, was reflected in all other forms of art. The invention of printing had made it possible for authors to win fame and reputation by writing books for the multitudes. In this way arose the profession of the novelist and the illustrator. But the people who had money enough to buy the new books were not the sort who liked to sit at home of nights, looking at the ceiling or just sitting. They wanted to be amused. The few minstrels of the Middle Ages were not sufficient to cover the demand for entertainment. For the first time since the early Greek city-states of two thousand years before, the professional playwright had a chance to ply his trade. The Middle Ages had known the theatre merely as part of certain church celebrations. The tragedies of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries had told the story of the suffering of our Lord. But during the sixteenth century the worldly theatre made its reappearance. It is true that, at first, the position of the professional playwright and actor was not a very high one. William Shakespeare was regarded as a sort of circus-fellow who amused his neighbours with his tragedies and comedies. But when he died in the year 1616 he had begun to enjoy the respect of his neighbours and actors were no longer subjects of police supervision.

William's contemporary, Lope de Vega, the incredible Spaniard who wrote no less than 1800 worldly and 400 religious plays, was a person of rank who received the papal approval upon his work. A century later, Moliere, the Frenchman, was deemed worthy of the companionship of none less than King Louis XIV.

Since then, the theatre has enjoyed an ever increasing affection on the part of the people. To-day a "theatre" is part of every well-regulated city, and the "silent drama" of the movies has penetrated to the tiniest of our prairie hamlets.

Another art, however, was to become the most popular of all. That was music. Most of the old art-forms demanded a great deal of technical skill. It takes years and years of practice before our clumsy hand is able to follow the commands of the brain and reproduce our vision upon canvas or in marble. It takes a life-time to learn how to act or how to write a good novel. And it takes a great deal of training on the part of the public to appreciate the best in painting and writing and sculpture. But almost any one, not entirely tone-deaf, can follow a tune and almost everybody can get enjoyment out of some sort of music. The Middle Ages had heard a little music but it had been entirely the music of the church. The holy chants were subject to very severe laws of rhythm and harmony and soon these became monotonous. Besides, they could not well be sung in the street or in the market-place.

The Renaissance changed this. Music once more came into its own as the best friend of man, both in his happiness and in his sorrows.

The Egyptians and the Babylonians and the ancient Jews had all been great lovers of music. They had even combined different instruments into regular orchestras. But the Greeks had frowned upon this barbaric foreign noise. They liked to hear a man recite the stately poetry of Homer and Pindar. They allowed him to accompany himself upon the lyre (the poorest of all stringed instruments). That was as far as any one could go without incurring the risk of popular disapproval. The Romans on the other hand had loved orchestral music at their dinners and parties and they had invented most of the instruments which (in VERY modified form) we use to-day. The early church had despised this music which smacked too much of the wicked pagan world which had just been destroyed. A few songs rendered by the entire congregation were all the bishops of the third and fourth centuries would tolerate. As the congregation was apt to sing dreadfully out of key without the guidance of an instrument, the church had afterwards allowed the use of an organ, an invention of the second century of our era which consisted of a combination of the old pipes of Pan and a pair of bellows.

Then came the great migrations. The last of the Roman musicians were either killed or became tramp-fiddlers going from city to city and playing in the street, and begging for pennies like the harpist on a modern ferry-boat.

But the revival of a more worldly civilisation in the cities of the late Middle Ages had created a new demand for musicians. Instruments like the horn, which had been used only as signal-instruments for hunting and fighting, were remodelled until they could reproduce sounds which were agreeable in the dance-hall and in the banqueting room. A bow strung with horse-hair was used to play the old-fashioned guitar and before the end of the Middle Ages this six-stringed instrument (the most ancient of all string-instruments which dates back to Egypt and Assyria) had grown into our modern four-stringed fiddle which Stradivarius and the other Italian violin-makers of the eighteenth century brought to the height of perfection.

And finally the modern piano was invented, the most wide-spread of all musical instruments, which has followed man into the wilderness of the jungle and the ice-fields of Greenland. The organ had been the first of all keyed instruments but the performer always depended upon the co-operation of some one who worked the bellows, a job which nowadays is done by electricity. The musicians therefore looked for a handier and less circumstantial instrument to assist them in training the pupils of the many church choirs. During the great eleventh century, Guido, a Benedictine monk of the town of Arezzo (the birthplace of the poet Petrarch) gave us our modern system of musical annotation. Some time during that century, when there was a great deal of popular interest in music, the first instrument with both keys and strings was built. It must have sounded as tinkly as one of those tiny children's pianos which you can buy at every toy-shop. In the city of Vienna, the town where the strolling musicians of the Middle Ages (who had been classed with jugglers and card sharps) had formed the first separate Guild of Musicians in the year 1288, the little monochord was developed into something which we can recognise as the direct ancestor of our modern Steinway. From Austria the "clavichord" as it was usually called in those days (because it had "craves" or keys) went to Italy. There it was perfected into the "spinet" which was so called after the inventor, Giovanni Spinetti of Venice. At last during the eighteenth century, some time between 1709 and 1720, Bartolomeo Cristofori made a "clavier" which allowed the performer to play both loudly and softly or as it was said in Italian, "piano" and "forte." This instrument with certain changes became our "pianoforte" or piano.

Then for the first time the world possessed an easy and convenient instrument which could be mastered in a couple of years and did not need the eternal tuning of harps and fiddles and was much pleasanter to the ears than the mediaeval tubas, clarinets, trombones and oboes. Just as the phonograph has given millions of modern people their first love of music so did the early "pianoforte" carry the knowledge of music into much wider circles. Music became part of the education of every well-bred man and woman. Princes and rich merchants maintained private orchestras. The musician ceased to be a wandering "jongleur" and became a highly valued member of the community. Music was added to the dramatic performances of the theatre and out of this practice, grew our modern Opera. Originally only a few very rich princes could afford the expenses of an "opera troupe." But as the taste for this sort of entertainment grew, many cities built their own theatres where Italian and afterwards German operas were given to the unlimited joy of the whole community with the exception of a few sects of very strict Christians who still regarded music with deep suspicion as something which was too lovely to be entirely good for the soul.

By the middle of the eighteenth century the musical life of Europe was in full swing. Then there came forward a man who was greater than all others, a simple organist of the Thomas Church of Leipzig, by the name of Johann Sebastian Bach. In his compositions for every known instrument, from comic songs and popular dances to the most stately of sacred hymns and oratorios, he laid the foundation for all our modern music. When he died in the year 1750 he was succeeded by Mozart, who created musical fabrics of sheer loveliness which remind us of lace that has been woven out of harmony and rhythm. Then came Ludwig van Beethoven, the most tragic of men, who gave us our modern orchestra, yet heard none of his greatest compositions because he was deaf, as the result of a cold contracted during his years of poverty.

Beethoven lived through the period of the great French Revolution. Full of hope for a new and glorious day, he had dedicated one of his symphonies to Napoleon. But he lived to regret the hour. When he died in the year 1827, Napoleon was gone and the French Revolution was gone, but the steam engine had come and was filling the world with a sound that had nothing in common with the dreams of the Third Symphony.

Indeed, the new order of steam and iron and coal and large factories had little use for art, for painting and sculpture and poetry and music. The old protectors of the arts, the Church and the princes and the merchants of the Middle Ages and the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries no longer existed. The leaders of the new industrial world were too busy and had too little education to bother about etchings and sonatas and bits of carved ivory, not to speak of the men who created those things, and who were of no practical use to the community in which they lived. And the workmen in the factories listened to the drone of their engines until they too had lost all taste for the melody of the flute or fiddle of their peasant ancestry. The arts became the step-children of the new industrial era. Art and Life became entirely separated. Whatever paintings had been left, were dying a slow death in the museums. And music became a monopoly of a few "virtuosi" who took the music away from the home and carried it to the concert-hall.

But steadily, although slowly, the arts are coming back into their own. People begin to understand that Rembrandt and Beethoven and Rodin are the true prophets and leaders of their race and that a world without art and happiness resembles a nursery without laughter.



IF I had known how difficult it was to write a History of the World, I should never have undertaken the task. Of course, any one possessed of enough industry to lose himself for half a dozen years in the musty stacks of a library, can compile a ponderous tome which gives an account of the events in every land during every century. But that was not the purpose of the present book. The publishers wanted to print a history that should have rhythm—a story which galloped rather than walked. And now that I have almost finished I discover that certain chapters gallop, that others wade slowly through the dreary sands of long forgotten ages—that a few parts do not make any progress at all, while still others indulge in a veritable jazz of action and romance. I did not like this and I suggested that we destroy the whole manuscript and begin once more from the beginning. This, however, the publishers would not allow.

As the next best solution of my difficulties, I took the type-written pages to a number of charitable friends and asked them to read what I had said, and give me the benefit of their advice. The experience was rather disheartening. Each and every man had his own prejudices and his own hobbies and preferences. They all wanted to know why, where and how I dared to omit their pet nation, their pet statesman, or even their most beloved criminal. With some of them, Napoleon and Jenghiz Khan were candidates for high honours. I explained that I had tried very hard to be fair to Napoleon, but that in my estimation he was greatly inferior to such men as George Washington, Gustavus Wasa, Augustus, Hammurabi or Lincoln, and a score of others all of whom were obliged to content themselves with a few paragraphs, from sheer lack of space. As for Jenghiz Khan, I only recognise his superior ability in the field of wholesale murder and I did not intend to give him any more publicity than I could help.

"This is very well as far as it goes," said the next critic, "but how about the Puritans? We are celebrating the tercentenary of their arrival at Plymouth. They ought to have more space." My answer was that if I were writing a history of America, the Puritans would get fully one half of the first twelve chapters; that however this was a history of mankind and that the event on Plymouth rock was not a matter of far-reaching international importance until many centuries later; that the United States had been founded by thirteen colonies and not by a single one; that the most prominent leaders of the first twenty years of our history had been from Virginia, from Pennsylvania, and from the island of Nevis, rather than from Massachusetts; and that therefore the Puritans ought to content themselves with a page of print and a special map.

Next came the prehistoric specialist. Why in the name of the great Tyrannosaur had I not devoted more space to the wonderful race of Cro-Magnon men, who had developed such a high stage of civilisation 10,000 years ago?

Indeed, and why not? The reason is simple. I do not take as much stock in the perfection of these early races as some of our most noted anthropologists seem to do. Rousseau and the philosophers of the eighteenth century created the "noble savage" who was supposed to have dwelt in a state of perfect happiness during the beginning of time. Our modern scientists have discarded the "noble savage," so dearly beloved by our grandfathers, and they have replaced him by the "splendid savage" of the French Valleys who 35,000 years ago made an end to the universal rule of the low-browed and low-living brutes of the Neanderthal and other Germanic neighbourhoods. They have shown us the elephants the Cro-Magnon painted and the statues he carved and they have surrounded him with much glory.

I do not mean to say that they are wrong. But I hold that we know by far too little of this entire period to re-construct that early west-European society with any degree (however humble) of accuracy. And I would rather not state certain things than run the risk of stating certain things that were not so.

Then there were other critics, who accused me of direct unfairness. Why did I leave out such countries as Ireland and Bulgaria and Siam while I dragged in such other countries as Holland and Iceland and Switzerland? My answer was that I did not drag in any countries. They pushed themselves in by main force of circumstances, and I simply could not keep them out. And in order that my point may be understood, let me state the basis upon which active membership to this book of history was considered.

There was but one rule. "Did the country or the person in question produce a new idea or perform an original act without which the history of the entire human race would have been different?" It was not a question of personal taste. It was a matter of cool, almost mathematical judgment. No race ever played a more picturesque role in history than the Mongolians, and no race, from the point of view of achievement or intelligent progress, was of less value to the rest of mankind.

The career of Tiglath-Pileser, the Assyrian, is full of dramatic episodes. But as far as we are concerned, he might just as well never have existed at all. In the same way, the history of the Dutch Republic is not interesting because once upon a time the sailors of de Ruyter went fishing in the river Thames, but rather because of the fact that this small mud-bank along the shores of the North Sea offered a hospitable asylum to all sorts of strange people who had all sorts of queer ideas upon all sorts of very unpopular subjects.

It is quite true that Athens or Florence, during the hey-day of their glory, had only one tenth of the population of Kansas City. But our present civilisation would be very different had neither of these two little cities of the Mediterranean basin existed. And the same (with due apologies to the good people of Wyandotte County) can hardly be said of this busy metropolis on the Missouri River.

And since I am being very personal, allow me to state one other fact.

When we visit a doctor, we find out before hand whether he is a surgeon or a diagnostician or a homeopath or a faith healer, for we want to know from what angle he will look at our complaint. We ought to be as careful in the choice of our historians as we are in the selection of our physicians. We think, "Oh well, history is history," and let it go at that. But the writer who was educated in a strictly Presbyterian household somewhere in the backwoods of Scotland will look differently upon every question of human relationships from his neighbour who as a child, was dragged to listen to the brilliant exhortations of Robert Ingersoll, the enemy of all revealed Devils. In due course of time, both men may forget their early training and never again visit either church or lecture hall. But the influence of these impressionable years stays with them and they cannot escape showing it in whatever they write or say or do.

In the preface to this book, I told you that I should not be an infallible guide and now that we have almost reached the end, I repeat the warning. I was born and educated in an atmosphere of the old-fashioned liberalism which had followed the discoveries of Darwin and the other pioneers of the nineteenth century. As a child, I happened to spend most of my waking hours with an uncle who was a great collector of the books written by Montaigne, the great French essayist of the sixteenth century. Because I was born in Rotterdam and educated in the city of Gouda, I ran continually across Erasmus and for some unknown reason this great exponent of tolerance took hold of my intolerant self. Later I discovered Anatole France and my first experience with the English language came about through an accidental encounter with Thackeray's "Henry Esmond," a story which made more impression upon me than any other book in the English language.

If I had been born in a pleasant middle western city I probably should have a certain affection for the hymns which I had heard in my childhood. But my earliest recollection of music goes back to the afternoon when my Mother took me to hear nothing less than a Bach fugue. And the mathematical perfection of the great Protestant master influenced me to such an extent that I cannot hear the usual hymns of our prayer-meetings without a feeling of intense agony and direct pain.

Again, if I had been born in Italy and had been warmed by the sunshine of the happy valley of the Arno, I might love many colourful and sunny pictures which now leave me indifferent because I got my first artistic impressions in a country where the rare sun beats down upon the rain-soaked land with almost cruel brutality and throws everything into violent contrasts of dark and light.

I state these few facts deliberately that you may know the personal bias of the man who wrote this history and may understand his point-of-view. The bibliography at the end of this book, which represents all sorts of opinions and views, will allow you to compare my ideas with those of other people. And in this way, you will be able to reach your own final conclusions with a greater degree of fairness than would otherwise be possible.

After this short but necessary excursion, we return to the history of the last fifty years. Many things happened during this period but very little occurred which at the time seemed to be of paramount importance. The majority of the greater powers ceased to be mere political agencies and became large business enterprises. They built railroads. They founded and subsidized steam-ship lines to all parts of the world. They connected their different possessions with telegraph wires. And they steadily increased their holdings in other continents. Every available bit of African or Asiatic territory was claimed by one of the rival powers. France became a colonial nation with interests in Algiers and Madagascar and Annam and Tonkin (in eastern Asia). Germany claimed parts of southwest and east Africa, built settlements in Kameroon on the west coast of Africa and in New Guinea and many of the islands of the Pacific, and used the murder of a few missionaries as a welcome excuse to take the harbour of Kisochau on the Yellow Sea in China. Italy tried her luck in Abyssinia, was disastrously defeated by the soldiers of the Negus, and consoled herself by occupying the Turkish possessions in Tripoli in northern Africa. Russia, having occupied all of Siberia, took Port Arthur away from China. Japan, having defeated China in the war of 1895, occupied the island of Formosa and in the year 1905 began to lay claim to the entire empire of Corea. In the year 1883 England, the largest colonial empire the world has ever seen, undertook to "protect" Egypt. She performed this task most efficiently and to the great material benefit of that much neglected country, which ever since the opening of the Suez canal in 1868 had been threatened with a foreign invasion. During the next thirty years she fought a number of colonial wars in different parts of the world and in 1902 (after three years of bitter fighting) she conquered the independent Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Meanwhile she had encouraged Cecil Rhodes to lay the foundations for a great African state, which reached from the Cape almost to the mouth of the Nile, and had faithfully picked up such islands or provinces as had been left without a European owner.

The shrewd king of Belgium, by name Leopold, used the discoveries of Henry Stanley to found the Congo Free State in the year 1885. Originally this gigantic tropical empire was an "absolute monarchy." But after many years of scandalous mismanagement, it was annexed by the Belgian people who made it a colony (in the year 1908) and abolished the terrible abuses which had been tolerated by this very unscrupulous Majesty, who cared nothing for the fate of the natives as long as he got his ivory and rubber.

As for the United States, they had so much land that they desired no further territory. But the terrible misrule of Cuba, one of the last of the Spanish possessions in the western hemisphere, practically forced the Washington government to take action. After a short and rather uneventful war, the Spaniards were driven out of Cuba and Puerto Rico and the Philippines, and the two latter became colonies of the United States.

This economic development of the world was perfectly natural. The increasing number of factories in England and France and Germany needed an ever increasing amount of raw materials and the equally increasing number of European workers needed an ever increasing amount of food. Everywhere the cry was for more and for richer markets, for more easily accessible coal mines and iron mines and rubber plantations and oil-wells, for greater supplies of wheat and grain.

The purely political events of the European continent dwindled to mere insignificance in the eyes of men who were making plans for steamboat lines on Victoria Nyanza or for railroads through the interior of Shantung. They knew that many European questions still remained to be settled, but they did not bother, and through sheer indifference and carelessness they bestowed upon their descendants a terrible inheritance of hate and misery. For untold centuries the south-eastern corner of Europe had been the scene of rebellion and bloodshed. During the seventies of the last century the people of Serbia and Bulgaria and Montenegro and Roumania were once more trying to gain their freedom and the Turks (with the support of many of the western powers), were trying to prevent this.

After a period of particularly atrocious massacres in Bulgaria in the year 1876, the Russian people lost all patience. The Government was forced to intervene just as President McKinley was obliged to go to Cuba and stop the shooting-squads of General Weyler in Havana. In April of the year 1877 the Russian armies crossed the Danube, stormed the Shipka pass, and after the capture of Plevna, marched southward until they reached the gates of Constantinople. Turkey appealed for help to England. There were many English people who denounced their government when it took the side of the Sultan. But Disraeli (who had just made Queen Victoria Empress of India and who loved the picturesque Turks while he hated the Russians who were brutally cruel to the Jewish people within their frontiers) decided to interfere. Russia was forced to conclude the peace of San Stefano (1878) and the question of the Balkans was left to a Congress which convened at Berlin in June and July of the same year.

This famous conference was entirely dominated by the personality of Disraeli. Even Bismarck feared the clever old man with his well-oiled curly hair and his supreme arrogance, tempered by a cynical sense of humor and a marvellous gift for flattery. At Berlin the British prime-minister carefully watched over the fate of his friends the Turks. Montenegro, Serbia and Roumania were recognised as independent kingdoms. The principality of Bulgaria was given a semi-independent status under Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a nephew of Tsar Alexander II. But none of those countries were given the chance to develop their powers and their resources as they would have been able to do, had England been less anxious about the fate of the Sultan, whose domains were necessary to the safety of the British Empire as a bulwark against further Russian aggression.

To make matters worse, the congress allowed Austria to take Bosnia and Herzegovina away from the Turks to be "administered" as part of the Habsburg domains. It is true that Austria made an excellent job of it. The neglected provinces were as well managed as the best of the British colonies, and that is saying a great deal. But they were inhabited by many Serbians. In older days they had been part of the great Serbian empire of Stephan Dushan, who early in the fourteenth century had defended western Europe against the invasions of the Turks and whose capital of Uskub had been a centre of civilisation one hundred and fifty years before Columbus discovered the new lands of the west. The Serbians remembered their ancient glory as who would not? They resented the presence of the Austrians in two provinces, which, so they felt, were theirs by every right of tradition.

And it was in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, that the archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was murdered on June 28 of the year 1914. The assassin was a Serbian student who had acted from purely patriotic motives.

But the blame for this terrible catastrophe which was the immediate, though not the only cause of the Great World War did not lie with the half-crazy Serbian boy or his Austrian victim. It must be traced back to the days of the famous Berlin Conference when Europe was too busy building a material civilisation to care about the aspirations and the dreams of a forgotten race in a dreary corner of the old Balkan peninsula.



THE Marquis de Condorcet was one of the noblest characters among the small group of honest enthusiasts who were responsible for the outbreak of the great French Revolution. He had devoted his life to the cause of the poor and the unfortunate. He had been one of the assistants of d'Alembert and Diderot when they wrote their famous Encyclopedie. During the first years of the Revolution he had been the leader of the Moderate wing of the Convention.

His tolerance, his kindliness, his stout common sense, had made him an object of suspicion when the treason of the king and the court clique had given the extreme radicals their chance to get hold of the government and kill their opponents. Condorcet was declared "hors de loi," or outlawed, an outcast who was henceforth at the mercy of every true patriot. His friends offered to hide him at their own peril. Condorcet refused to accept their sacrifice. He escaped and tried to reach his home, where he might be safe. After three nights in the open, torn and bleeding, he entered an inn and asked for some food. The suspicious yokels searched him and in his pockets they found a copy of Horace, the Latin poet. This showed that their prisoner was a man of gentle breeding and had no business upon the highroads at a time when every educated person was regarded as an enemy of the Revolutionary state. They took Condorcet and they bound him and they gagged him and they threw him into the village lock-up, but in the morning when the soldiers came to drag him back to Paris and cut his head off, behold! he was dead.

This man who had given all and had received nothing had good reason to despair of the human race. But he has written a few sentences which ring as true to-day as they did one hundred and thirty years ago. I repeat them here for your benefit.

"Nature has set no limits to our hopes," he wrote, "and the picture of the human race, now freed from its chains and marching with a firm tread on the road of truth and virtue and happiness, offers to the philosopher a spectacle which consoles him for the errors, for the crimes and the injustices which still pollute and afflict this earth."

The world has just passed through an agony of pain compared to which the French Revolution was a mere incident. The shock has been so great that it has killed the last spark of hope in the breasts of millions of men. They were chanting a hymn of progress, and four years of slaughter followed their prayers for peace. "Is it worth while," so they ask, "to work and slave for the benefit of creatures who have not yet passed beyond the stage of the earliest cave men?"

There is but one answer.

That answer is "Yes!"

The World War was a terrible calamity. But it did not mean the end of things. On the contrary it brought about the coming of a new day.

It is easy to write a history of Greece and Rome or the Middle Ages. The actors who played their parts upon that long-forgotten stage are all dead. We can criticize them with a cool head. The audience that applauded their efforts has dispersed. Our remarks cannot possibly hurt their feelings.

But it is very difficult to give a true account of contemporary events. The problems that fill the minds of the people with whom we pass through life, are our own problems, and they hurt us too much or they please us too well to be described with that fairness which is necessary when we are writing history and not blowing the trumpet of propaganda. All the same I shall endeavour to tell you why I agree with poor Condorcet when he expressed his firm faith in a better future.

Often before have I warned you against the false impression which is created by the use of our so-called historical epochs which divide the story of man into four parts, the ancient world, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation, and Modern Time. The last of these terms is the most dangerous. The word "modern" implies that we, the people of the twentieth century, are at the top of human achievement. Fifty years ago the liberals of England who followed the leadership of Gladstone felt that the problem of a truly representative and democratic form of government had been solved forever by the second great Reform Bill, which gave workmen an equal share in the government with their employers. When Disraeli and his conservative friends talked of a dangerous "leap in the dark" they answered "No." They felt certain of their cause and trusted that henceforth all classes of society would co-operate to make the government of their common country a success. Since then many things have happened, and the few liberals who are still alive begin to understand that they were mistaken.

There is no definite answer to any historical problem.

Every generation must fight the good fight anew or perish as those sluggish animals of the prehistoric world have perished.

If you once get hold of this great truth you will get a new and much broader view of life. Then, go one step further and try to imagine yourself in the position of your own great-great-grandchildren who will take your place in the year 10,000. They too will learn history. But what will they think of those short four thousand years during which we have kept a written record of our actions and of our thoughts? They will think of Napoleon as a contemporary of Tiglath Pileser, the Assyrian conqueror. Perhaps they will confuse him with Jenghiz Khan or Alexander the Macedonian. The great war which has just come to an end will appear in the light of that long commercial conflict which settled the supremacy of the Mediterranean when Rome and Carthage fought during one hundred and twenty-eight years for the mastery of the sea. The Balkan troubles of the 19th century (the struggle for freedom of Serbia and Greece and Bulgaria and Montenegro) to them will seem a continuation of the disordered conditions caused by the Great Migrations. They will look at pictures of the Rheims cathedral which only yesterday was destroyed by German guns as we look upon a photograph of the Acropolis ruined two hundred and fifty years ago during a war between the Turks and the Venetians. They will regard the fear of death, which is still common among many people, as a childish superstition which was perhaps natural in a race of men who had burned witches as late as the year 1692. Even our hospitals and our laboratories and our operating rooms of which we are so proud will look like slightly improved workshops of alchemists and mediaeval surgeons.

And the reason for all this is simple. We modern men and women are not "modern" at all. On the contrary we still belong to the last generations of the cave-dwellers. The foundation for a new era was laid but yesterday. The human race was given its first chance to become truly civilised when it took courage to question all things and made "knowledge and understanding" the foundation upon which to create a more reasonable and sensible society of human beings. The Great War was the "growing-pain" of this new world.

For a long time to come people will write mighty books to prove that this or that or the other person brought about the war. The Socialists will publish volumes in which they will accuse the "capitalists" of having brought about the war for "commercial gain." The capitalists will answer that they lost infinitely more through the war than they made—that their children were among the first to go and fight and be killed—and they will show how in every country the bankers tried their very best to avert the outbreak of hostilities. French historians will go through the register of German sins from the days of Charlemagne until the days of William of Hohenzollern and German historians will return the compliment and will go through the list of French horrors from the days of Charlemagne until the days of President Poincare. And then they will establish to their own satisfaction that the other fellow was guilty of "causing the war." Statesmen, dead and not yet dead, in all countries will take to their typewriters and they will explain how they tried to avert hostilities and how their wicked opponents forced them into it.

The historian, a hundred years hence, will not bother about these apologies and vindications. He will understand the real nature of the underlying causes and he will know that personal ambitions and personal wickedness and personal greed had very little to do with the final outburst. The original mistake, which was responsible for all this misery, was committed when our scientists began to create a new world of steel and iron and chemistry and electricity and forgot that the human mind is slower than the proverbial turtle, is lazier than the well-known sloth, and marches from one hundred to three hundred years behind the small group of courageous leaders.

A Zulu in a frock coat is still a Zulu. A dog trained to ride a bicycle and smoke a pipe is still a dog. And a human being with the mind of a sixteenth century tradesman driving a 1921 Rolls-Royce is still a human being with the mind of a sixteenth century tradesman.

If you do not understand this at first, read it again. It will become clearer to you in a moment and it will explain many things that have happened these last six years.

Perhaps I may give you another, more familiar, example, to show you what I mean. In the movie theatres, jokes and funny remarks are often thrown upon the screen. Watch the audience the next time you have a chance. A few people seem almost to inhale the words. It takes them but a second to read the lines. Others are a bit slower. Still others take from twenty to thirty seconds. Finally those men and women who do not read any more than they can help, get the point when the brighter ones among the audience have already begun to decipher the next cut-in. It is not different in human life, as I shall now show you.

In a former chapter I have told you how the idea of the Roman Empire continued to live for a thousand years after the death of the last Roman Emperor. It caused the establishment of a large number of "imitation empires." It gave the Bishops of Rome a chance to make themselves the head of the entire church, because they represented the idea of Roman world-supremacy. It drove a number of perfectly harmless barbarian chieftains into a career of crime and endless warfare because they were for ever under the spell of this magic word "Rome." All these people, Popes, Emperors and plain fighting men were not very different from you or me. But they lived in a world where the Roman tradition was a vital issue something living—something which was remembered clearly both by the father and the son and the grandson. And so they struggled and sacrificed themselves for a cause which to-day would not find a dozen recruits.

In still another chapter I have told you how the great religious wars took place more than a century after the first open act of the Reformation and if you will compare the chapter on the Thirty Years War with that on Inventions, you will see that this ghastly butchery took place at a time when the first clumsy steam engines were already puffing in the laboratories of a number of French and German and English scientists. But the world at large took no interest in these strange contraptions, and went on with a grand theological discussion which to-day causes yawns, but no anger.

And so it goes. A thousand years from now, the historian will use the same words about Europe of the out-going nineteenth century, and he will see how men were engaged upon terrific nationalistic struggles while the laboratories all around them were filled with serious folk who cared not one whit for politics as long as they could force nature to surrender a few more of her million secrets.

You will gradually begin to understand what I am driving at. The engineer and the scientist and the chemist, within a single generation, filled Europe and America and Asia with their vast machines, with their telegraphs, their flying machines, their coal-tar products. They created a new world in which time and space were reduced to complete insignificance. They invented new products and they made these so cheap that almost every one could buy them. I have told you all this before but it certainly will bear repeating.

To keep the ever increasing number of factories going, the owners, who had also become the rulers of the land, needed raw materials and coal. Especially coal. Meanwhile the mass of the people were still thinking in terms of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and clinging to the old notions of the state as a dynastic or political organisation. This clumsy mediaeval institution was then suddenly called upon to handle the highly modern problems of a mechanical and industrial world. It did its best, according to the rules of the game which had been laid down centuries before. The different states created enormous armies and gigantic navies which were used for the purpose of acquiring new possessions in distant lands. Whereever{sic} there was a tiny bit of land left, there arose an English or a French or a German or a Russian colony. If the natives objected, they were killed. In most cases they did not object, and were allowed to live peacefully, provided they did not interfere with the diamond mines or the coal mines or the oil mines or the gold mines or the rubber plantations, and they derived many benefits from the foreign occupation.

Sometimes it happened that two states in search of raw materials wanted the same piece of land at the same time. Then there was a war. This occurred fifteen years ago when Russia and Japan fought for the possession of certain terri-tories which belonged to the Chinese people. Such conflicts, however, were the exception. No one really desired to fight. Indeed, the idea of fighting with armies and battleships and submarines began to seem absurd to the men of the early 20th century. They associated the idea of violence with the long-ago age of unlimited monarchies and intriguing dynasties. Every day they read in their papers of still further inventions, of groups of English and American and German scientists who were working together in perfect friendship for the purpose of an advance in medicine or in astronomy. They lived in a busy world of trade and of commerce and factories. But only a few noticed that the development of the state, (of the gigantic community of people who recognise certain common ideals,) was lagging several hundred years behind. They tried to warn the others. But the others were occupied with their own affairs.

I have used so many similes that I must apologise for bringing in one more. The Ship of State (that old and trusted expression which is ever new and always picturesque,) of the Egyptians and the Greeks and the Romans and the Venetians and the merchant adventurers of the seventeenth century had been a sturdy craft, constructed of well-seasoned wood, and commanded by officers who knew both their crew and their vessel and who understood the limitations of the art of navigating which had been handed down to them by their ancestors.

Then came the new age of iron and steel and machinery. First one part, then another of the old ship of state was changed. Her dimensions were increased. The sails were discarded for steam. Better living quarters were established, but more people were forced to go down into the stoke-hole, and while the work was safe and fairly remunerative, they did not like it as well as their old and more dangerous job in the rigging. Finally, and almost imperceptibly, the old wooden square-rigger had been transformed into a modern ocean liner. But the captain and the mates remained the same. They were appointed or elected in the same way as a hundred years before. They were taught the same system of navigation which had served the mariners of the fifteenth century. In their cabins hung the same charts and signal flags which had done service in the days of Louis XIV and Frederick the Great. In short, they were (through no fault of their own) completely incompetent.

The sea of international politics is not very broad. When those Imperial and Colonial liners began to try and outrun each other, accidents were bound to happen. They did happen. You can still see the wreckage if you venture to pass through that part of the ocean.

And the moral of the story is a simple one. The world is in dreadful need of men who will assume the new leadership—who will have the courage of their own visions and who will recognise clearly that we are only at the beginning of the voyage, and have to learn an entirely new system of seamanship.

They will have to serve for years as mere apprentices. They will have to fight their way to the top against every possible form of opposition. When they reach the bridge, mutiny of an envious crew may cause their death. But some day, a man will arise who will bring the vessel safely to port, and he shall be the hero of the ages.


"The more I think of the problems of our lives, the more I am persuaded that we ought to choose Irony and Pity for our "assessors and judges" as the ancient Egyptians called upon "the Goddess Isis and the Goddess Nephtys" on behalf of their dead. "Irony and Pity" are both of good counsel; the first with her "smiles" makes life agreeable; the other sanctifies it with her tears." "The Irony which I invoke is no cruel Deity. She mocks neither love nor beauty. She is gentle and kindly disposed. Her mirth disarms and it is she who teaches us to laugh at rogues and fools, whom but for her we might be so weak as to despise and hate."

And with these wise words of a very great Frenchman I bid you farewell. 8 Barrow Street, New York. Saturday, June 26, xxi.





The day of the historical textbook without illustrations has gone. Pictures and photographs of famous personages and equally famous occurrences cover the pages of Breasted and Robinson and Beard. In this volume the photographs have been omitted to make room for a series of home-made drawings which represent ideas rather than events.

While the author lays no claim to great artistic excellence (being possessed of a decided leaning towards drawing as a child, he was taught to play the violin as a matter of discipline,) he prefers to make his own maps and sketches because he knows exactly what he wants to say and cannot possibly explain this meaning to his more proficient brethren in the field of art. Besides, the pictures were all drawn for children and their ideas of art are very different from those of their parents.

To all teachers the author would give this advice—let your boys and girls draw their history after their own desire just as often as you have a chance. You can show a class a photograph of a Greek temple or a mediaeval castle and the class will dutifully say, "Yes, Ma'am," and proceed to forget all about it. But make the Greek temple or the Roman castle the centre of an event, tell the boys to make their own picture of "the building of a temple," or "the storming of the castle," and they will stay after school-hours to finish the job. Most children, before they are taught how to draw from plaster casts, can draw after a fashion, and often they can draw remarkably well. The product of their pencil may look a bit prehistoric. It may even resemble the work of certain native tribes from the upper Congo. But the child is quite frequently prehistoric or upper-Congoish in his or her own tastes, and expresses these primitive instincts with a most astonishing accuracy.

The main thing in teaching history, is that the pupil shall remember certain events "in their proper sequence." The experiments of many years in the Children's School of New York has convinced the author that few children will ever forget what they have drawn, while very few will ever remember what they have merely read.

It is the same with the maps. Give the child an ordinary conventional map with dots and lines and green seas and tell him to revaluate that geographic scene in his or her own terms. The mountains will be a bit out of gear and the cities will look astonishingly mediaeval. The outlines will be often very imperfect, but the general effect will be quite as truthful as that of our conventional maps, which ever since the days of good Gerardus Mercator have told a strangely erroneous story. Most important of all, it will give the child a feeling of intimacy with historical and geographic facts which cannot be obtained in any other way.

Neither the publishers nor the author claim that "The Story of Mankind" is the last word to be said upon the subject of history for children. It is an appetizer. The book tries to present the subject in such a fashion that the average child shall get a taste for History and shall ask for more.

To facilitate the work of both parents and teachers, the publishers have asked Miss Leonore St. John Power (who knows more upon this particular subject than any one else they could discover) to compile a list of readable and instructive books.

The list was made and was duly printed.

The parents who live near our big cities will experience no difficulty in ordering these volumes from their booksellers. Those who for the sake of fresh air and quiet, dwell in more remote spots, may not find it convenient to go to a book-store. In that case, Boni and Liveright will be happy to act as middle-man and obtain the books that are desired. They want it to be distinctly understood that they have not gone into the retail book business, but they are quite willing to do their share towards a better and more general historical education, and all orders will receive their immediate attention.

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