The Contributors' Club

IN the various reviews of the New Republic which I have read from time to time, I have seen no mention of certain errors of diction, although they are of so glaring a character that he who runs may read ; but in a criticism which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly of August, 1878, the writer gives an indication of his having observed them, when he says, “ This lessens the wonderment we might otherwise feel at the sort of English talked at times by these famous folk; insomuch that we are once forced to hear from the ‘ delicate, proud mouth ’ of Miss Merton herself, ‘ I expect that we are more introspective than men.’ ”

This reviewer, having cleverly criticised the characters and meaning of the book, has not taken pains to cite other faults in grammar and expression, but it would seem worth while, even at this late day, to call attention to these.

This misuse of the word expect occurs in two places beside the one mentioned. On page 184 Lawrence says, “Now I expect, Lady Ambrose, that, in its true sense, you know a good deal more history than you are aware of; ” and on page 209, “ For, in the first place, I expect it requires certain natural advantages of position to look at and overlook life in that sympathetic and yet selfpossessed way which alone can give us a complete view of it.”

But, bad as this is, the confusion and misplacement of tenses, which occurs so frequently, is much worse. For instance, on page 56, Lady Ambrose questions Lawrence as to the history of a certain set of salt-cellars, and adds, “ I wanted to have asked you at. the beginning of dinner.” On page 82 we read, “ Leslie was going to have spoken ; ” on page 226, “ Mr. Luke was going to have answered ; ” and on page 286, “ Lady Grace was just about to have given a sign for rising.”

The identical idea is presented twice in the book, — that of Mr. Stockton’s habit of “literally taking the bread out of Mr. Luke’s mouth,” — and in one case it is expressed correctly, and in the other incorrectly. On page 225 we read, “Not only was it repeating what he had said before, but it was anticipating, in a formless, undisciplined way, the very thing that he was going to say again ; ” and on page 318, “ Mr. Stockton had again, in part at least, expressed the exact thing which, in other words, he was going to have said himself.” Of course, this is merely a bad habit into which Mr. Mallock has fallen, and as he uses both modes of expression we may hope for the survival of the fittest.

There are two instances of another grammatical error, to which a man of Mr. Mallock’s position and attainments ought certainly to be superior. On page 289 Mr. Storks is represented as saying, “Now, those are the sort of young fellows,” etc. ; and on page 317 Dr. Jenkinson is made to say, “ These sort of questions ought never to be asked in that hard, abrupt way.”

And, in conclusion, there are examples of incorrect expression which it is difficult to classify. The meaning is so involved that example is the only means of illustration. The first and most Hagrant occurs on page 253, when Lady Ambrose is reported as saying, in response to a request that she will read aloud a certain poem, “ Do you know, I really think I might manage this, although I'm not in the least by way of being a reader out.” And on page 323 the same character remarks, in reference to the unpublished memoir of her friend, that the latter “ is by way of wishing to have it published.”

I have a fancy that these observations of Lady Ambrose’s would sound less intolerable to English ears than to ours, as I have somehow got the impression that “ by way of ” used in this manner is a sort of English provincialism. However that may be, it certainly seems appallingly out of place in the prospectus of a new republic where “ culture ” is to reign supreme, and is very far from being the pure English we would expect to hear on the lips of the créme de la créme, — which Mr. Mallock, by the way, writes creme de la creme.

— In reading Mr. Leslie Stephen’s Life of Pope, which Messrs. Harper have reprinted, I was struck more than ever with that quality of good sense which characterizes all he writes. Pope and Pope’s poetry are matters about which great numbers of people have heated themselves for a hundred years and more, and they are matters of which every one bad become very weary. But Mr. Stephen takes them up, and makes them new by reasoning dispassionately of them. In the clear, cool light of his good sense, the remarkable sinuosities of Pope’s moral nature deline themselves as never before ; and the outlines of his genius assume truer proportions. Till now it seems hardly to have appeared what a very short-sighted and gratuitous liar he was, how cowardly and how base; but the biographer, who studies the poet with such novel effect in this direction, does not fail to show us how truthful and manly and great Pope could also be. The study is in fact very extraordinary for its carefulness and justice ; and the result for our edification is another of those complex characters in which what is out of character is often most characteristic. Mr. Stephen’s method is neither sympathetic nor antipathetic ; it is not lenient, but it is very often compassionate; and it is incomparably refreshing and satisfactory. I am not sure that I greatly admire his style; I am not sure that he has a style, properly speaking; but I read whatever he writes with pleasure ; and I always find it scrupulously true, serious, and humane. As I enjoy, I keep asking myself whether after a while literary art will not have made expression so natural and easy that at last we shall not think of style, but only of the good companionship of a just and wholesome mind, and whether Mr. Stephen has not anticipated in his work that not impossible period.

— A good deal has been said lately about the American girl. Different people have been describing her, and commenting upon her characteristic virtues and failings. For my own part, I should not know her from the descriptions given. I do not remember to have seen the young woman thus characterized, although, if she is the American girl, I must necessarily have met her. Here and there I recognize a trait which makes me think the critic has seen the girl I know; but then he goes on to mention something so unlike her that I find I am mistaken, and that he and I are thinking of different persons. One writer says that the American girl, though not at all introspective, is intensely self-conscious, and always feels the need of “ justifying her position.” Another denies this in toto. I should merely remark that some girls are selfconscious, and some are not; so far as my observation goes, the majority of them are not so, and the same with regai-d to their introspectiveness. The first writer declares that the American girl “ would like to be judged by her intentions, not her conduct.” It is true that the conduct of somo girls is not always the key to their intentions, but when this is the case the discrepancy is generally to be explained by ignorance of convention rather than any wish to defy or even to change it. Daisy Miller is an exact type of certain unfortunate girls; I myself have known one who might have done almost everything that Daisy Miller did with a like ignorant innocence. But we have plenty of others as unlike these simple daisies as any European girl could be. No country seems to me to furnish so great a variety of types of the young girl as our own, nor of types so admirable, on the whole. It is hardly possible to speak of the American girl, and to compare her either with the ideal young girl or with the girls of any other country, for the reason that the much greater freedom of development of our girls makes so much more diversity of character among them. We have frivolous girls, and serious, thoughtful ones, some whose manners are modest, refined, and soft, and some (though I think comparatively few) who have manners prononcce or fast. “ There is as much difference in folks as in anybody,” was the jocose phrase of an old gentleman I knew, and I should say that there is more difference in American girls than in anybody. One of the writers referred to remarks that a German wife is for him or her nearer the ideal wife than the average woman of any other country. I, on the contrary, could wish no harder fate for the American girl than to become such a wife as the German one. She is virtuous, indeed, domestic, — how utterly and wearisomely domestic ! — but is she happy ? May a wife not be both virtuous and happy ? A German wife is literally and wholly the upper servant of the household, and is so regarded by her husband, for whom she toils faithfully, ironing his shirts, cooking his dinner, meekly bringing her accounts to him, ready to be rebuked if her household expenditure exceeds iu the slightest the maximum he considers proper; and this she does without commendation or reward, — even the reward of his companionship. What is the use of her having been well educated, if her husband cares nothing for her society, and she has no leisure from household duties for reading ? It is true that she is perfectly contented with her life, and despises the notion of a better one, —but what of that? Contentment with one’s lot is no proof that the lot is a worthy or enviable one. Oysters, I suppose, are contented with their fate. The attitude of the Germans toward women measures their civilization, and by that standard they are half barbarous still.

— I have had a pamphlet sent to me entitled The Legal Prevention of Illiteracy. I dare say it is a very able pamphlet, but I have not read it; it is not illiteracy I want to prevent, but literacy ! I long for some patent method of convincing every man, woman, and child, who is poor, unhappy, or wants pin-money, that they cannot rush into literature pell-mell, and make money at will. Above all, I should like a legal penalty imposed on every one who sends a “ first effort ” to me. It is an equal “ effort ” and by no means my “ first ” for me to read their poetry, and for them to write it. I say invariably, and I say it again here, that if the Angel Gabriel were to write a book, and ask me for my candid opinion of its merits, I would not give it to him. I am fast becoming a misanthrope from the amount of trash, garnished with neither sense, grammar, rhyme, nor metre, that my fellow creatures perpetrate with a view to fame and fortune. Will anything ever convince this crowd of imbeciles that to write even decently demands previous cultivation, information, and common sense; or that real genius is like any other diamond, and needs careful cutting and polishing? I suppose not!

— In reading the various papers on words, their derivations, uses, meanings, and general construction, which, under one form or another, are so frequent lately, I have often recalled a curious study in the coustruction of language afforded me once by a little child.

She was unusually backward in learning to talk, unable to say any words but “ dada”and “ mam” till she was nearly two years old. About that time she learned to call her nurse and her aunt (whom she had hitherto called “ mammam ”), respectively, “ Minny ” and “ Nan,” hut further adhered to sign language, except for one noun, “ bood,” meaning a bug, and applied first to a wasp ; she discovered that a wasp was bad, and then everything she did not like was bood-dood: months after she learned to say “ bap ” for raspberry, and called every sort of fruit bap-ap ; eggs becoming “ biddy - bap - ap,” or, being translated, hen-berry.

Some one called her baby sister a “ dear little bird,” after which everything small was “ dea’-bird ; ” a little boy was a “ dea’-bird papa,” and a little girl a “ dea’-bird mamma.” She also learned to say “ dap ! ” to the horses, instead of “get up,” and to call a cow “ ma ; ” and her favorite story being a sort of jingle her aunt sung to her, beginning, —

“Trip, trap, trot!
Coming out of the lot,
Daisy and Crummie, Dido and Fern,
Up the lane and round the turn,
All their living have got to earn,
Trip, trap, trot !
Coming out of the lot! ”

she asked for it always as “ dap-ma,” or “ get up, cow ! ” and every other story or song was a “ dap-ma.” By the same logical process her grandfather and grandmother on the paternal side were “ dadda-dadda ” and “ dadda-mamma; ” but on the other side, for the sake of perspicuity, they were “ Nanna-dadda ” and “ Nanna-mamma,” her only aunt being her mother’s sister. Her language was not to be understood by any one not constantly with her; and, indeed, only one person — the aunt who had the care of her babyhood, and knew every corner of her nature — could interpret all she said.

When her lucent gray eyes began to dim with sleep, and she wanted to be drawn to the pillow she loved best, she would begin in this patois of her own invention: “ Nan ! dea’ - bird han’ in dea’-bird home, dap-ma me ! ” meaning, “ Aunty, take my little hand to its little home and sing to me.” Her nurse’s daughter she did not like, and always called her “ Ibby’s bood-ood bood-ood dea’-bird mamma ! ”

This is but a specimen of the way in which she wrought out for herself a language. As she grew older she learned to speak the tongues of men, and to think the wild, speculative thoughts that torment a child of sensitive organization and too much brain-power for its age. One day, when she had been searching into some of the problems of the universe, her aunt said to her, “ Fairy ! don’t worry your head about such things ; they are not your affair at all ; your Father up in the sky made the world, and knows how to take care of it. Do stop thinking, and go out-doors to play with Birdie.” A strange wistfulness came into her clear eyes as she looked up and answered, “ Nan, dear! I tan’t stop finkin’; my bwains wiggles wound so in my mind! ”

Often since, with tired head and heart, sitting down to write when her ideas seemed to be in an irresolvable chaos, “ Nan, dear,” has recalled that baby speech, and felt its meaning, as her own brains wriggled round in her mind so I

— What opposite opinions are expressed as to the world’s judgment, which sometimes we hear stigmatized as cold, harsh, and superficial, and again, on the other hand, as the only authority whose common sense is unfailing ! It is not the only subject about which there may be opinions that are opposite and yet not contradictory. I think both these notions with regard to the judgment of society, or the world, are true. The world’s common sense seems an almost unerring instinct, like the brute instinct of self-preservation. The world’s conventions are rules tacitly agreed on to preserve, if not the life, yet the decency and order of its existence. So far as it goes, the world’s judgment is good, but it seldom goes far or deep enough to be wholly trustworthy ; it is deficient, and therefore apt to be mistaken. It does not take account of the whole fact, or of all the facts. It judges coarsely, in the lump, as it were, considering its own interests and the lawful supremacy of its own conventions, rather than the exceptional circumstances of any case and the interests, wishes, temptations, of any individual. The world’s judgment, in a word, is like that of a man abounding in common sense, filled moderately full of the milk of human kindness, of a sound, clear, decisive intellect. But more than this goes to the forming of the absolutely true judgment, as any one knows who is given but a little to studying men and the ways of the world. There must be a knowledge of the subtler, under-the-surface motives that influence men, the complexities of thought and feeling that lead to action. Such knowledge comes only of sympathy with the object studied, and such sympathy it is of course vain to expect from the world, as we personify in one that aggregate of men who form the conventions of society. You must know something of a man in order to understand and judge him, but the world cannot thus know individuals. The only true judgment possible is of individuals by individuals. The world’s conventions are valuable, but the world’s judgments most commonly incomplete, and if given for complete, therefore untrue.

— The recent controversy between Mr. Francis Parkman and the Woman Suffragists has attracted wide attention, both by reason of the eminence of the parties concerned and the increasing interest which the world takes in the woman question.

It is unnecessary to state that the conservatives of Mr. Parkman’s school advocate the domestic sphere for woman, to the almost total exclusion of any other. The radicals, on the other hand, advocate almost any career for her, in preference to the domestic, though they do not fail to make frequent and sentimental allusion to the somewhat obvious fact that without its mothers the race could not have existed.

To take any part in this controversy however, is not my present object. I wish merely to call attention to that social potentiality which is slowly slipping out of the hands of the educated women of our day, and transforming itself into an element of organized struggle against evils, rather than an atmosphere favorable to good. I fear that my readers will be aghast at the boldness which states that, in New England, society, in its old-time significance of hospitality and good fellowship, is dying out, — in a great many communities is in fact not only dead, but buried! And what potentate reigns in the old king’s stead ? The club !

We have art clubs, book clubs, dramatic clubs, pottery clubs. We have sewing circles, philanthropic associations, scientific, literary, religious, athletic, musical, and decorative art societies, political organizations without end. But society pure and simple, without any handle to its name, most of us have not. Those of us who have no accomplishment save the power of intelligent and sympathetic conversation are, in the English phrase, “ out of it.” There is no place now outside of home, however monotonous it be, for the “ average ” woman who has not a taste for any of the pursuits above mentioned. Society has become like a boiling spring, too troubled, too eager for the objective existence it has chosen, to have sympathetic reflections in its bosom for anybody. The charming association of men and women fifty years ago is slowly vanishing away, and taking with it, it is to be feared, the possibility of developing a national type of manners which may be recognized as distinctive and admirable everywhere. Men and women live either in the selfish seclusion of homes whose delights they refuse to share with others, or else they segregate themselves into what I may term one-sex associations, in which neither influences the other. Many married men show an almost morbid fear that their wives may become too much interested in society, and thus neglect their homes. They seem not to realize that the gifts which make a woman a power in society are hers for a divinely appointed purpose.

We have women enough whose gifts and graces would make their hospitality a precious boon, to be eagerly grasped by all recipients. But our queens have no general sway. They shine under a roof, and not in a firmament. And those of them whose hearts and brains are too large to endure the narrowness and materialism of domestic life, as now understood, and nothing else, throw themselves into missions and “ movements ” and “ questions.”

I lately read an article on the Reform of Woman’s Education, by Sir Alexander Grant, in which he says most aptly, “ The law of joy and the law of energy are obviously laws of life.” In New England we realize all too deeply the latter translated into the law of work. But who shall teach us the forgotten law of joy ?

— I remember reading somewhere an ingenious plea for what used contemptuously to be called “ newspaper poetry ; ” that rather unsuggestive and halting verse whose raison d'être had not hinted itself before to me. It appears from the authority cited that a large proportion of toiling men and women not cultured in art are soothed by a mediocre variety of poetry and music. Hosts to whom Tennyson and Browning babble an unknown tongue, who are perplexed by the allusions in Longfellow’s lucid numbers, enjoy the strains which we regard as a travesty upon our ideas of the true and the beautiful. “ Let us have the poor songs at which you groan, Mr. Editor,” pleads “ a tired woman.” “ For us, who lack time and talent to cultivate a higher standard, they are good enough, and vastly better than you think.” If

“ The value of a thing
Is just as much as it will bring ”

to us, why is there not good sense in this honest speech ? Were all of us as frank, I imagine our symphony concerts and Shakespeare classes would receive a sudden weeding out.

“ An ordinary man ; an ordinary woman ! ” Why does this sentence disgrace a human being? We play our part in an ordinary world, where our daily needs are for the most part trivial, if not ignoble. The hand which skillfully ministers to any household want, shading and softening the thorny details, lending its not too sensitive palm to the burdens and conflicts of life, may have no such cunning as that of the musician or artist, but it is of all others most comforting to overwrought souls.

“Why have so many men of active genius and brilliant accomplishments taken to themselves an extreme contrast in the person of a quiet, possibly uglyfaced woman for wife ? Have we not shrugged our shoulders with surprise and disgust at such a freak of fancy ?

Nature is wiser than reason ; she sees that the quivering nerves and the swift impulses of creative power need constant offset. Your hero would be most keenly appreciated by his peer in intellect or talent, but he is relaxed and soothed in an atmosphere of actual commonplace.

Let us not too much rejoice in our claim to superiority. If to our share falls the divining rod of genius ; if to this fortune adds the means of wide attainment, still let us touch softly the question of lofty and lowly, of true and false means and aims, since before the still higher ordeal we are ourselves named as ordinary men and women.

— I fear that poets generally do not appreciate the vicious tendency of imperfect rhymes. So many such rhymes have been given to the world, and the world has borne even the most atrocious ones with so little complaint, that the really bad effect of some of them is apt to he overlooked. My attention has been incidentally drawn anew to this matter by reading a recently published essay on certain faulty pronunciations which are common in America, at least; and it is absolutely disheartening to see how the poets are perpetuating these mispronunciations.

For instance, the writer just referred to says mournfully, “ How large is the number who make the distinction between the unaccented e and the unaccented o in mystery and history, in literal and littoral? And yet in that and in like distinction lie the beauty and the elegance of cultivated speech. The slovenly speaker ‘ lumps ’ almost all such vowels into the obscure sound of u, saying mystur-y, histur-y.” Now of course every one remembers this passage in Hood’s Bridge of Sighs : —

“ Mad from life’s history,
Glad to death’s mystery
Swift to he hurled.”

I suppose every child learns this, and repeats it, or hears it repeated, scores of times before the end of his school life, and that one imperfect rhyme may make him an incurably “ slovenly speaker.” Perhaps it is for such crimes as this that Mr. Emerson excludes Hood from Parnassus, — a remarkable case of poetic justice. But Shelley is scarcely less guilty than Hood, as witness the following, from Lines : —

“As music and splendor
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart’s echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute.”

How can we hope to secure “ the beauty and the elegance of cultivated speech,” if popular and highly esteemed poets continue to familiarize their readers with such misleading rhymes ?

But even this danger is not the worst. There is another possibility, still more to be deplored, because if it ever becomes a reality it will be after the false rhymers and their contemporaries are

all dead. Rhymes play a very important jiart in determining the pronunciation which obtained in any generation that has passed away without leaving a clear record of its speech ; and when we remember how certain Chaucer scholars have fallen by the ears as to Chaucer’s own pronunciation of the words lie wrote, and how students of Elizabethan English fail to reach harmonious conclusions, we cannot look into the future without misgivings.

Fancy some critic of the twenty-second century expressing the opinion that home was often pronounced hum by the most cultivated Englishmen and Americans of the nineteenth century, and citing in proof such passages as this from Whittier’s Vision of Echard : —

“ For the death in life of Nitria,
For your Chartreuse ever dumb,
What better is the neighbor,
Or happier the home ?

and this from Shelley : —

“ From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter
When leaves fall and cold winds come.”

Or suppose that the coming gazetteer, in giving the pronunciation of Virginia, calls attention to the fact that Pope makes the name rhyme with guinea.

The Tales of a Wayside Inn must share the burden of discredit, for, not to mention any other passages, there is this unfortunate one : —

“ That have made of Ak-Hissar
A city of the plague;
And the loud, exultant cry
That echoes wide and far
Is: ‘ Long live ScanderSey ! ’ ”

Such a name as Scanderbeg has a wonderful power of impressing itself on the memory, and carrying its rhyme with it, so that wherever this passage goes it will spread the pleg.

It is distressing enough to think that such rhymes as “ pursuing . . . min ” (in Shelley’s Arethusa) and “ standing . . . band in ” (in Pope’s imitation of Swift) may furnish material at some future day for a scholarly essay on The Extent to which the Final G was Silent in the Speech of our Ancestors. But the misery of miseries will be experienced when some delving mole connects a rhyme like this, in Recollection, —

“ How calm it was! —the silence there
By such a chain was bound,
That even the busy woodpecker
Made stiller by her sound,” etc., —

with “ Punch in the presence of the passenjare ” ! How could we sleep in our graves ?

— Prudence, as every smatterer in etymology knows, is but providence writ small. It is therefore foresight, forethought, perception of and regard for consequences. Jean Jacques Rousseau tersely speaks of it as the virtue that renders nearly all other virtues unnecessary. In other words, the really prudent man will not get into situations from which he can issue only by dint of extraordinary virtue of some kind or other. He will watch over the first approaches of temptation ; he will avoid all needless and dangerous entanglements ; he will be business-like and systematic in whatever he undertakes ; he will seek to know the rules of every game into which he enters, and, knowing the rules, he will observe them ; he will profit by the experience of others, letting fools take the smart of their punishment while he takes the benefit; and thus acting he will escape a vast amount of the trouble and worry and strain and stress that are thought by so many to be essential elements in every existence. No doubt such a life will appear to some to be destitute, not only of all grandeur, but of all interest. The prudent man, as we have sketched him, will seem to be one whose breast never throbs with a generous impulse, and whose sympathies with human kind must necessarily be weak. I fail, however, to see that such is the case. The first thing to consider is that the man who escapes trouble himself generally, if not always, saves some to his neighbor. The man, for example, who insists that a business transaction shall be placed upon such a basis as to leave no possible opening for misunderstanding renders no less a service to him with whom he is negotiating than to himself. So far as the act in question is concerned, he lays the basis of future harmonious relat ions with his neighbor; and both reap the benefit of a prudence that was perhaps entirely on one side. The prudent man, therefore, enjoying a large immunity from causes of personal disagreement, and having his mind free from the petty worries and misunderstandings which embitter so many lives, and more or less cloud and paralyze the energies of some men even of superior intellect, can afford to take and does take a disinterested view of things generally, and so can do more justice to his neighbors than some who pride themselves on the magnanimity of their impulses. The prudent man is really the man who does no harm to others, and who is therefore exempted from the sad necessity odisse quos læserit, —of hating those he has injured. He may not gush out in acts of ostentatious beneficence, but he has a careful and delicate regard to the rights of others which is infinitely better. We confess to some sympathy with the view that all unsolicited generosity partakes a little of the nature of impertinence. Let those who have been routed and unhorsed in the tourney of life crave quarter if they will; but no such request should come from one who can still carry himself against the foe. I may be weaker than my neighbor in some respects; but why should he suppose that such strength and resources as I have are not sufficient for the plan of life I have set before me ? There is no poverty to those who know how to make ends meet; there is no sense of helplessness to one who does not aim at more than he can accomplish. The Apostle Paul is translated as saying that he has learned in whatever state of life he is “ therewith to be content; ” but the word rendered content, ανταρκης should perhaps rather be “self-sufficing.” This is the lesson we should all learn, — the lesson that lies at the foundation of all happiness, — to be self-dependent, asking nothing from others but what we are prepared and able to render to them in return. Prudence goes naturally hand in hand with justice, while imprudence, affecting the society of generosity, is too often found in close connection with injustice. The first is the great economizer, the second the great spendthrift, of all human resources, not of money only, but of strength, patience, and temper.

Prudence has no more a necessary connection with selfishness than the exercise of any other special faculty which gives one man an advantage over another. It is, as I have said, simple prevision of results. Why should the man who foresees results be selfish ? Why should he not see for others as well as for himself ? In point of fact, the prudent man generally does want to see for others. He hates to see people going wrong, and will drop many a useful hint by the way, which others may profit by if they will. Ilis instincts incline him to love peace and harmony, and he will do his best to cause these to prevail.

That prudence is of the highest moment in the battle of life, who can doubt ? The question is how to be prudent. To this I venture the answer: Believe in law, always and everywhere. Nothing is more at war with prudence than trusting to luck or to occult influences of any kind. Safety lies in the steady pursuance of right methods in everything; but to pursue right methods we must first of all believe in methods, believe that there are methods. Some men willingly admit methods in the things they best understand, but ignore them in matters with which they are less familiar. A safe assumption to start with, however, is that all departments of human life have been more or less methodized, and that, if we do not understand the methods of any particular department, we should, before venturing anything in that region, consult those who do. The man who, without special preparation, should attempt to compound his own pills, or draft his own deeds and mortgages, would soon he brought to recognize his folly; yet in many matters we see men acting with an almost equal disregard of experience and skill which they might consult and guide themselves by if they chose. The prudent man suspects, nay believes in, the existence of law, even where he cannot trace it; and he seeks everywhere to guide himself upon general principles, to follow some line of action laid down by nature itself. He has uo faith in shuffling through the world on his purely individual responsibility ; he asks nature to guide him; her lead he is never ashamed to follow. The conception of the universality of law is gaining ground every day, but there is vast room yet for it to occupy in the minds of men and women. To prepare a youth of either sex for a career of usefulness and happiness in this world, nothing is of such importance as to imbue him or her with the belief — which we should render, as far as possible, instinctive— that everything happens by virtue of some general principle, and should be referred to its appropriate cause; and therefore that if we wish to accomplish specific results we should take the broad road that leads to those results, and not try any gallops across country. The broad road may he long, but at least it follows a determinate direction, and the patient traveler will win his goal. Let us see a Divinity in everything, — not one who arbitrarily punishes or rewards, but one who continually admonishes us of the consequences of acts, who speaks the language of law, and invites us all to he prudent, to he faithful, and to he happy.