Page images
PDF
EPUB

but he seemed bent upon having the front seat; and finally the father bending down, as it were, from the heights of his air castle exclaimed: “Ikey, get right down out of the carriage!”

Perhaps this is even a better illustration than that given by our million dollar philanthropist of the kind of air castles the construction of which may be mere waste of time. But if in these day-dreams we can obtain that recreation which many men say they do obtain from such fancies, without the danger of becoming an idle dreamer, there is little harm in the pastime. Indeed it may become beneficial if by yielding to fancy we prepare ourselves for that imagination which plays not for amusement but for moral end. We have been told that “as imagination delights in presenting to the mind scenes and characters more perfect than those which we are acquainted with, it prevents us from ever being completely satisfied with our present condition, or with our past attainments, and engages us continually in the pursuit of some untried enjoyment or of some ideal excellence;” and further: “Destroy this faculty and the condition of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes."

Goschen, the English statesman, gave, in an address delivered at Edinburgh college, an interesting description of the uses of the imagination. He declared that one of the most precious faculties which Providence has planted in the human breast is “the faculty of wise, sympathetic, disciplined, prospective imagination.” He referred to “constructive imagination," which having the power of picturing absent things "takes its start from facts but supplements them and does not contradict them." He contrasted constructive imagination with analysis, saying that thelatter eliminates, separates, strips off, reduces, while the former proceeds in the opposite direction.

Coleridge said that Tom Moore had fancy, but no imagination; but Poe explained that Moore's fancy “so far predominated over all his other faculties and over the fancy of all other men as to have induced, very naturally, the idea that he was fanciful only.” And Poe

declared that by Coleridge's estimate never was a greater wrong done the fame of a true poet."

One of the world's greatest word builders has told us that the man of imagination is merely the man of genius; that that man having seen a leaf and a drop of water can construct the forests, the rivers, and the seas, and that in his presence all the cataracts fall and foam, the mists rise, the clouds form and float; that he has lived the life of all people, of all races; that he knows all crimes and all regrets, all virtues and their rich rewards; that he has been victim and victor, pursuer and pursued, outcast and king-has heard the applauses and curses of the world, and on his heart have fallen all the nights and noons of failure and success; that he knows the unspoken thoughts, the dumb desires, the wants and ways of beasts; that he has knelt with awe and dread at every shrine, has offered every sacrifice and every prayer; that he has lived all lives, and through his blood and brain have crept the shadow and the chill of every death, while his soul, Mazeppa-like, has been lashed naked to the wild horse of every fear and love and hate. And the greatest castle-builder among all the architects of the air, the greatest dreamer of all the dreamers of the world concluded this powerful description: "The imagination hath stage

within the brain, whereon he sets all scenes that lie between the morn of laughter and the night of tears, and where his players body forth the false and true, the joys and griefs, the careless shallows, and the tragic deeps of every life."

The man who slept and dreamed that life was beauty awoke and found that life was duty. His was of the dreams that come true. Toiling on unceasingly he discovered that men who learn that life is duty, and act accordingly, find in fact that life is beauty.

What would life be without its dreams? What would humanity do without its dreamers? The value of our contributions to the world are to be gauged by the character of our dreams. The man who imagined that he had one million dollars and found pleasure in dreaming

a

that he was spending it for the benefit the fallen, the advancement of humanity, of his fellows is not likely to spoil his own the dispensation of charity, the sacrifice character by his dreams or to injure of the strong for the weak, the checking society by the cultivation of fancies of of the orphan's sobs, the drying of the that order. The man who, having in- widow's tears, the restoration of manvested in a lottery ticket, found his hood and womanhood to those who have greatest delight in anticipating the pleas- lost hope, the winning of the world to ure he might give to his wife and little truth-these are the dreams that make children had in him thc stuff out of life worth living, these are the dreams which good dreamers are made. He that come true. needed but to separate himself from the

It is as old as the hills, but it is always notion that outside the charmed circle

good: When Abou Ben Adhem awoke of “frenzied finance" something can be

one night from a deep dream of peace he obtained for nothing, or that the parent

saw an angel writing in a book of gold, can bring happiness to his loved ones

and to the presence in the room he said: without an effort. Had that dream been realized upon through the medium of a “What writest thou?" The vision raised lottery ticket, it would have been like its head. Dead Sea fruit that tempts the eye but

And with a look made of all sweet acturns to ashes on the lips. It would have cord been like a victory without a struggle, an Answered, “The names of those who achievement without an effort, a prize love the Lord;" without a contest, a token of love with- “And is mine one?said Abou. “Nay, out a sacrifice. Such victories, achieve- not so," ments, prizes and tokens are without Replied the angel. Abou spoke more value.

low The best of all dreams are those to But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, which, perhaps, we attach not the great- then, est importance. But they are of the Write me as one that loves his fellow sort that come true and are true just as

men.” "the best portion of a good man's life" The angel wrote and vanished. The next are "the little, nameless, unremembered night acts of kindness and of love."

It came again with a great wakening The dreams of love, of humanity, of

light, righteousness, come true.

They are,

in And showed the name whom love of God fact, true in the very dreaming. Every had blessca thought that contemplates help to the And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the helpless, that deals with the uplifting of

rest.

ETHICAL, NORMAL, SCIENTIFIC HUMAN GROWTH.

BY JOSE GROS.

A thoughtful English writer said 50 years ago : “God creates the physical distinctions among animal life. Kings and laws make the moral distinctions among men.” To that we could add: “And all social distinctions and social discords come from kings, republics and their respective laws.” And John Morley, the great English savant in the

political order, has recently said: “Historians have underestimated the great dictum of, “There is no change in social conditions without a change in property.

Another addition we beg permission to suggest: “And social tur: moils, unrest, universal unhappiness shall be the order of all national life as long as men fail to see the folly of all

mere

prosperity minus equity." A

christian as his answer suggested to us. change of hands in the property busi- The paper in which we copied both definess, a few from the bottom taking the nitions came to hand a few days ago. place of a few on the top, some varia- They are as follows: tions in the middle ranks, a few more at Our friend's definition: “The normal the top, a few less at the bottom, a few man or real christian is he that believes more or a few less getting richer, a little in Christ and performs the duties proless or a little more wretched poverty claimed by Him." anywhere, statistics to prove prosperity Our own definition was: “The normal or adversity, charities, gifts, donations, man or real christian is the adult indi. pensions, piles of intelligence, fine talk vidual who, to the best of his age, eduin all directions, but what about the cation and social or industrial condiquality of our intelligence, the quality tions, applies the philosophy of Jesus, of our prosperity, of our wealth, of our not only to his individual conduct, but property? We don't seem to have yet also to his far more important duties as discovered the worthlessness and nega- a social unit or citizen. It is the latter tiveness of quantities apart from the conduct which influences, for good, our consideration of qualities. Is not whole nation and the whole bumanity, progress (sound, normal, scientific de- when our public conduct fully obeys the velopment) bound to be more a question golden rule, and influences for evil our of high, commendable qualities than nation and humanity, when we don't that of mere quantities?

stand by golden rule laws, and so repudiAs far as we can see and conceive, all ate Jesus's philosophy of life where outside of men is normal, scientific, pre- it is far more transcendant and vital cise, resting on orderly, symmetrical, to all of us. And it is only through harmonious unfoldings. Why should that golden rule philosophy, fully imhuman development drop so far below planted in human laws, that we can stop that simple standard, that natural status all collective sins by which we feed, inof existence everywhere else? The only tensify and prolong all individualized sensible, logical answer is, The will of wrongs, crimes, vices and imperfections." men at war with the will of God. But Most people will say that the first defiis that a full answer? No. The full, nition is very good, because limited to correct answer is: The collective will about 12 words, and the latter or second of men repudiating the will of God." This definition is too long-about 140 wordssecond answer will give us the key into and so nobody will take any cognizance healthy, normal, scientific conditions, of it. Yet, the second definition, if acprovided we see fit to agree on precise cepted and actualized by the bulk of the definitions of the words normal and important citizens in the important nascience" for the purpose of evolving the tions, would soon make life worth living normal man with conceptions of sensible, to all men, granting to all the rights and scientific development.

happiness and wealth and joys that God The normal man, about whom we talk wants all men to have for their combined so often, as if it existed anywhere, or manhood and sound growth. could exist in the midst of a civilization Give to men short definitions of imfar from normal, far from sensible! And portant words, and they like them be.

on earth to be abnormal, un- cause they are not long enough to pin natural?

them down to any great eternal, fundaA few years ago we asked a friend of mental duties. Make the definitions ours, an intelligent fellow when he wants just long enough to fully specify the to be intelligent, to give us a definition grand basic duties by God and nature of the real christian, since he alone can enjoined upon all of us, and then-how be a somewhat normal man, according to few have time to take in the meaning the standards of thought of most of us. of what can be read in about one minute! We took a copy of his answer and the And how many hours we all spend every definition of the normal man

or real

day or week in trifling readings, talks or

are

we

amusements, if they come handy to etc., can all be conceived and enforced us!

regardless of all physical and moral And all that does not necessarily im law, discarding all equity, all sciply that we are bad fellows. It rather ence, all normal growth, all practical, implies the existence of social conditions tangible, real brotherhood, silently which make life harsh and extremely trampling upon the most essential comabnormal for 99 per cent. of the race, if mands of the decalogue and treating the not for the whole of it, root and branch, golden rule as a mere platitude. We at the top, at the bottom and between, don't mean to do that-oh, no! We through all the stages of social develop- simply imagine that whatsoever is called ment. Does not that prove that we a human charter, constitution or law, refuse to apply science to our collective, shall be necessarily right or needed for national growth and life?

the time being, since that is what our We even hate the word "science" good, superior people have practically applied to the civil, political, industrial told us for centuries. and religious order of our own precious It is so sweet and beautiful to have selves. But suppose that we could man the glorious freedom of fixing our own age to swallow and accept and act upon duties towards God and each other, and the followings concepts: “Science is a so not to have to listen to the voice of group of clear, simple thoughts, unfold God and nature! And what has humaning the principal details of the fixed nat ity been getting through its whole hisural principles or processes with which torical course from that sweet or bitter to accomplish 'certain results with the freedom of disobedience to God's physimaximum finish and the minimum time cal, mental and spiritual laws ? Sorrows and effort, in accord with and obedience and sins individually and collectively to any given set of laws in the world of because of that collective and individual matter and mind, in the mere physical disobedience, the latter resulting from or in the complete spiritual order of the former, as the smaller sum is but God's universe, and therefore for the full, parcel and part of the larger sum. And symmetrical development of all men in what would we all receive, obtain from each national or social group, as children an ethical, normal, scientific growth in of the same universal Father."

the midst of a normal, ethical civilizaConsciously or not, we are yet assum tion? Joys ineffable! Why not? Is ing that government, society, the nation, not God a logical, sensible being? Why, charters, treaties, constitutions, laws, then, should we not try to be sensible fiscal processes, tax and money systems,

men?

AUF WIEDERSEHEN.

BY HON. M. E. INGALLS.

in as much more as she thought it could stand. So the committee put in Taft, Tuttle, MacVeagh and Moore, and then shut their eyes and threw me in.

WROUGHT

IN

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the

Commercial Clubs of Boston, Chicago,
St. Louis and Cincinnati:

The committee of arrangements have
asked me to make some remarks at the
close of this entertainment-I presume,
upon the same principle that the old
darky woman said she made her apple
pie. She first, she said, put in some
flour, then some butter, then
sugar, and then shut her eyes and threw

CHANGES

TWENTY-FIVE

YEARS.

This is the silver wedding of our Cincinnati club and it is a great day for us. Twenty-five years is a long time and many things have happened. In all

some

[blocks in formation]

One is that there is a great demand that the government should make the railroad rates. I believe there are very few people in this country who, if they sat down and analyzed their thoughts, would ask for this or who would think it wise, but the people have seen wrongs done; they have known of secret rebates and private contracts; they have felt that they were not being treated fairly, and in their attempt to right this wrong, they have thought that the remedy was to make the rates for the railways.

I don't believe this would accomplish what they want, but it would bring injury to business and trouble to the government.

ABUSES CAN BE REMEDIED BY GOVERN

MENTAL INSPECTION.

It re

the work and endeavors of those years in this city this club has been prominent and its course has always been approved by the better class of our citizens. If ever there was a class of men who tried to live up to the doctrine of "Noblesse oblige,” they have.

It means much to me, for twenty-five years ago I made my first speech to the club and the next year became a member. In those days our friend Taft was walking the streets of Cincinnati in the innocence of his youth and never in those times worried about railroad rates. The Philippines were hardly known.

Our city was condensed within the hills, but now, as you have seen, within the last few years it has spread out into a beautiful city.

St. Louis was struggling out on the banks of the two great rivers to get the trade of the southwest.

Chicago was more as it is today—the home of the best and the worst. minds me of a seething caldron which boils and boils and then rises, throwing away the refuse, and the refined metal ever growing better and better.

Boston is today the finest city in the country with its parks, its avenues, its buildings, but if we go back for twentyfive years, we find there a Longfellow, Whittier, a Lowell and a Holmes, and it is a question whether the wealth and the beauty of today make up for the touch of poetry it had then.

After all, my friends, the world has grown broader and better in the twenty

We may see things in a different light, but nevertheless the world has improved all the time. The troubles which my friends Judge Taft, Mr. Tuttle and Mr. MacVeagh alluded to tonight are simply the results of the prosperity of the last five years.

We have been so busy making money, enlarging our boundaries and increasing our business that we have failed to correct some things which ought to have been corrected, and hence you have troubles and complaints.

a

I would recommend that the Interstate Commerce Commission be enlarged in numbers; that its powers of investigation be increased; that it should have a large fund to expend and that they should turn the searchlight on the transactions of the railways and discover these secret agreements by which wrong is done, and right them.

I believe it would be a good thing if there could be the same examination of the railways that there is of the national banks. Why should there not be? It would accomplish wonders. If one of the interstate commerce commissioners with a score of skilled accountants, could go into the offices of any of the railways in the United States any day and say. “Now, bring out your books and vouchers and let us examine them,” before a week was gone they would have laid bare the story of any wrongdoing. Then let them prosecute it and publish it and a second examination will probably find that everything is correct.

In any event, you must make up your mind to one thing, whether as private citizens, railway managers or government officials, that what the public want is not lower rates, but they want the

five years.

« PreviousContinue »