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a task often left by genius to others or to posterity. Experience has taught us that the guess of men of genius like Carlyle or Emerson has proved to be as certain truth as any established by demonstration. Although genius is mainly spontaneous, natural and self-begotten, yet there are certain conditions or favourable circumstances for its free and unfettered development. Among these, the principal elements are, liberty and absence of poverty. It is extremely doubtful whether genius like Milton and Shakespeare, Newton and Euler could have flourished in any other country than England the land of genuine freedom. It is alike impossible for the
proud and rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and for the abject slave to breathe the pure atmosphere of liberty. This fact is clearly illustrated in the history of the Hindus Their civilisation was unique in the world's history during the period of their supremacy and independence. It was the glorious epoch which produced such extraordinary geniuses as Manu and Yajuavalkya, Kalidasa and
Bhavabhutikapila and Argyabhatta and Bhaskar Acharjya, Susruta and Chanakya.
How many instances of such genuine originality among the children of India as can match that of their illustrious forefathers can be pointed out either in the dark age of Mohammedan rule or the enlightened period of British administration ? Absence of political liberty in full measure is the principal cause of their present degeneration and retrogression. Liberty is the best educator. Its atmosphere is pure and bracing through which the lark of genius soars high beyond the reach of the shafts of despotism and the clouds of ignorance and superstition. In order to prevent misconception of our views, it is necessary to add that by political liberty
we mean not the transfer of the supreme power to the people of India and the withdrawal of the British rulers, bag and baggage, therefrom but the enjoyment of rights and privileges by the Indians equally with all His Majesty's subjects subject to the control and guidance of His representatives. The poverty of India stands as much in the way of the growth of Indian genius as
the absence of self-Government in the Empire. On a calm and comprehensive survey of the economic situation in India, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that in spite of all the benevolent intentions of Government, in spite of railways and canals and in spite, too, of growing trade and agriculture the country is getting day by day poorer in material wealth as well as weaker in productive capacity and energy. There is not a country so poor as this dependency of Great Britain. In justice to Government, it should be remarked that it is not alone reponsible for Indian poverty. The general ignorance of the masses notably their want of technical knowledge, the want of enterprising spirit in the middle classes, their preference of the learned professions which have ceased to be lucrative by reason of overcrowding and keen competition and of Government service the scope of which is too limited to afford employment to to more than a few, to occupations connected with the agricultural and manufacturing industries of India, their habits of extravagance on occasions of domestic ceremonies such as marriage, sradh, etc., the averseness of the upper and well-to-do class to employ their capital for the development of the local industries of India, to these and similar other causes is mainly due the poverty of the people. No doubt philosophers and poets have painted in glowing colours the sweet uses
of adversity and poverty, and instances are not wanting showing the rise of genius from obscurity and misery. But these are exceptions to the general rule that "chill penury represses the noble rage and freezes the genial current of the soul.”
The conclusions, then, of a successful system of education should be (1) a general preliminary training for sharpening the intellect ; and (2) a choice of a subject for which the student has peculiar aptitude. The primary end of all education is the attainment of wisdom and the development of originality. This
be achieved by only storing the mind with a complement of truths but it should be taught to energise.
K. C. KANJILAL, B. L. CALCUTTA.
Art. VII.-SOME GUIDES TO LITERATURE.
“ Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested."- Baton.
university is a collection of books. The library, which has well been called the people's university, was originally a storehouse of books for the learned, a museum of literary rarities or an appendage of some scholastic foundation. Although occasionally resorted to by students under the direction of their tutors, scholars alone used it for purposes of research. The public library of to-day, however, exists primarily for the unlearned person who is neither a scholar nor a student working under the supervision of his tutor. He knows the mechanical elements of reading, but not the methods of selection and co-ordination. In other words, he has “ acquired the tool but not the art.” The vast amount of literature that floods the market at the present day necessitates a discriminating selection and, unless he has some sort of aid to guide him, the variety and wealth of a large library would only confuse him and drive him into mistaken paths. Of course there is the librarian who can help him with his personal advice, but the librarian cannot perform the duties of a tutor, who is essentially a specialist and knows how far one book is needed as a corrective to another. Moreover, forgetting that the librarian pretends to no superior knowledge of the science when he proffers information about books, some readers may resent his assistance and go on devoting themselves
obstinately to third-rate, obsolete and sometimes excellent but quite unsuitable books ! Nor, when accepted, is this the best kind of aid, for, to work one's way through a strange country by the map will certainly give him a better knowledge of the locality than to have the turnings pointed out by passers-by. Guidebooks, the compilation of which is largely a modern conception, meet this want to a certain extent. These may be of four kinds : annotated catalogues of individual libraries, descriptive bibliographies, graduated courses of reading, and books of practical advice on methods of study. We shall endeavour to notice some of the more important of the last three kinds.
On general literature there is Professor A. H. D. Acland's A Guide to the Choice of Books (London, 1891). This is arranged alphabetically according to subjects and is useful in tracing the older standard books. Its utility, however, would perhaps be enhanced if it covered a wider area, and if there were more hints on method, more suggestions about particular books and more courses of reading for the learner. W. H. Davenport Adams's Plain Living and High Thinking (London, 1880) contains much sagacious advice as also selected courses of reading on different subjects with concise notes on the characteristics of every book suggested, but the arrangement is defective. A pretentious literary dictionary and not altogether an
one is S. A. Allibone's Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors. The work was projected in 1850 and the last proof-sheets were read by the author on the last day of 1870 It was published by Messrs. Lippincott of Philadelphia,