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Success or failure is a thing He can determine without stirring a hand. It hardly interests Him. What interests Him is the one thing which He cannot determine — the action of your free will and conscious will."
Professor Murray sums up Stoic religion in a phrase borrowed from Professor Edwyn Bevan: "A Friend behind phenomena !"
Possibly a reviewer should sometimes reward his readers. If this idea be permissible, perhaps the reviewer may be pardoned for helping to perpetuate Professor Murray's illustration of antistoicism as shown in the celebrated “eighteenth-century lady's epitaph which ends : ‘Bland, passionate, and deeply religious, she was second cousin to the Earl of Leitrim, and of such is the kingdom of heaven.'” Let us (perhaps pharisaically) rejoice that the epitaph and the spirit that animated it were not "made in America"!
THOMAS PEARCE BAILEY.
What Should I BELIEVE? AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE, GROUNDS
AND VALUE OF THE FAITHS OF SCIENCE, Society, MORALS AND RELIGION. By George Trumbull Ladd. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1915. Pp. xiii +275.
Twenty-odd years ago President Stanley Hall, the celebrated encyclopædist of adolescence, reviewed one of Dr. Ladd's books; though admiring the solid scholarliness of the work, he complained of the heaviness of the style. And now we have this same Dr. Ladd writing philosophy for the man in the street! The last score of years, however, have seen the genial author in many lands, and have mellowed his style as well as his thought. Although occasionally he ventures on a trunkline sentence on page 161, for example, there is a sentence of six-score words), his writing is always clear, often fitting, sometimes felicitous, never cheap. Even when he “quotes'' slang for pedagogic purposes, as on pages 173, 175, 177, he dignifies the slang instead of degrading his thought. When we find him speaking (on page seven) of the "petty methods of the questionnaire or the psychological laboratory" (Stanley Hall's pet methods), we can imagine the veteran Ladd still unconsciously "hitting back.”
This book is one of a series. Its predecessors have been: What Can I Know ? and What Ought I To Do ? A fourth book
is promised: What May I Hope ? May we hope that Dr. Ladd will give us a little treatise on What Should I Admire?-practical æsthetics.
Since the series is evidently meant to furnish some “Wisdom Literature" of philosophy for the intelligent cultured layman, we can best do justice to the book by setting down some of its choicest thoughts. Here are a few samples: "Choose your beliefs according to their harmonies with your total experience and with the experience of the wise of the race; and according to the reasonable satisfaction they afford to your own self and to the needs for the safe-conducting of the practical life” (p. 122). “Some men's knowledge are by no means so rational as other men's beliefs” (p. 149); “To get from Nature to Spirit . we have only to get more deeply into nature" (p. 158); "Virtue is the realization by the actual and historical Self of an ideal selfhood” (p. 194); “Of course man makes his own gods and his own Alone God; .... man has no other way of perceiving or conceiving or imagining anything, than his own 'man-like' way" (p. 247).
When Dr. Ladd Alings at pragmatism (p. 207), the judicious grieve to note his lumping together of pragmatists and Nietzscheans; one even suspects that patient, sympathetic, and generous analysis may find more sanity and idealism in Nietzsche than Dr. Ladd's othodox soul can discover.
That our author is not, however, dangerously orthodox, let this last quotation, gravely humorous, attest: “We are quite determinedly opposed to the conception so current and so seductive in unreflecting minds, which would have us regard the beliefs of religion as essentially to be taken in the form of ‘pap' prepared by the ‘Unknown' for sensitive nerves and weak digestions, rather than as strong meat fed from the divine hand to those who crave nourishment that shall fit them for the intellectual as well as moral struggles of the present life” (p. 221). William James would have enjoyed this thought, which represents some of us as being advanced from the spoon stage to the fork stage, without any handling of the fork by ourselves!
T. P. BAILEY.
SAPPHO IN LEVKAS AND OTHER POEMs. By William Alexander Percy.
Yale University Press.
Mr. Percy, as a poet, loves best the woods of Sicily and Greece, but he learned to write poetry in the woods of Sewanee. It is a pleasure to record here the distinction which so loyal an alumnus has already won as a poet, and to mention some of the qualities of his Sappho in Levkas and Other Poems. The volume contains forty-two poems.
Two of these are monologues of some length, ten are sonnets; the rest are odes, songs, and brief lyrics usually of a descriptive character. The poems deal with a diversity of subjects, ranging, for instance, from Sappho to St. Francis of Assissi, and they have apparently been written over a period of years. But through them all we see certain qualities more or less constant: a fineness of tone and sentiment, a love of beauty — especially perhaps of music and of color,-a delicate taste in the choice of words, a command of smooth and harmonious metre.
Many may find “St. Francis to the birds" the most winning and thoughtful poem in the work. But in its prevailing tone it is apart from most of the other poems. The dominant mood of the volume, — the mood which seems to find the most earnest and happy expression, — is one of gentle sorrow, of sweet and contemplative melancholy. The poet with a music-lover's heart delights in the song of the mocking-bird chanting the triumphal hymn of young America. But as he listens he thinks how much fairer yet is the song of the Sicilian nightingale, —"sharp with a hundred centuries of pain.” April charms him, but he loves autumn better than the spring. Often he sings of love and joy in retrospect. In “Longing," "The Happy Isles," "Arcady Lost," he muses over bygone pleasures that once turned woods and isles of earth to Paradise. Sappho, about to die, celebrates in "fragrant fiery song " the beauty and the wildness of her passion for that beloved one whose presence she has fled.
Certainly, except for “St. Francis to the Birds," this poet's “sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought." But if we are tempted to gauge the genius of the poet from this particular volume, we have to remember that these poems are only the first fruits. Fine as they are, they give promise of a yet larger achievement.
The HISTORY OF ENGLISH BALLADRY. By Frank Egbert Bryant. Boston:
The Gorham Press.
This is a collection of essays by the late Professor Bryant of the University of Kansas, whose untimely death cut short his work at the very beginning of his career.' Though his study of the ballad is a mere preliminary historical sketch, extending through the reign of Elizabeth and designed as an introduction to a comprehensive work on the whole subject, it gives evidence of critical judgment and sound scholarship. It covers a field that has not been sufficiently investigated, and the results attained lead us to regret that Professor Bryant did not live to complete his original design. Besides the title essay, the volume contains an analysis of Lessing's theories in the Laocoon (a study which won the praise of German critics); “On the Conservation of Language in a New Country"; some comments on lines in Beowulf; a translation of the Thrymskwitha in alliterative form,- all papers exhibiting originality of thought and freshness of treatment.
THE HOME BOOK OF VERSE FOR Young Folks. Selected and arranged by
Burton E. Stevenson. Decorations by Willy Pogany. New York : Henry
This volume of more than five hundred pages, handsomely bound in blue and gold and artistically decorated by Pogany, contains four hundred and twenty-five verses and poems judiciously selected and skilfully arranged so as to suit the varying tastes of children from the nursery to the college. The poems are arranged in the following groups : In the Nursery, The Duty of Children, Rhymes of Childhood, Just Nonsense, Fairy Land, The Glad Evangel, The Wonderful World, Studies in Rhyme, My Country, The Happy Warrior, Life Lessons, A Garland of Gold. In the Index is given the date of birth and death of each author, and the list of authors extends from the time of Shakespeare to the preseut day. Such a book, so comprehensive in its range and so complete and thorough it its choice of genuinely good verse, ought to find a place in every household
ELEMENTARY SPANISH GRAMMAR. By Aurelio M. Espinosa and Clifford
G. Allen. Cincinnati and New York: American Book Company.
This book "furnishes enough material in Spanish grammar, texts, conversation, and composition for one year of college and two years of high-school work, granting that about one half of the time be given to the reading and translation of literary texts." The last four lessons are exclusively of a commercial character, so as to give a good practical basis for business correspondence in Spanish. Excellent illustrations of cities and cathedrals in South America and Spain accompany the text, and a complete vocabulary, both English-Spanish and SpanishEnglish, is provided.
THE INVASION OF AMERICA. By Julius Muller. New York: E. P. Dutton
This account of an imaginary invasion of our country, written with no desire to “scare" and “based on the inexorable mathematics of war," tells in journalistic style, illustrated by numerous maps and photographs, how an army of less than half a million men landed in New England and in an increditably short time made themselves masters of New England and New York, while the rest of the country looked on in helpless horror. After exacting enormous tribute the invaders sailed away before an adequate army could be raised to exact vengeance on them. The book is a thoroughly convincing document in favor of preparedness.
SOCIAL ADAPTATION. By L. M. Bristol. Cambridge: The University Press.
An excellent hand-book or historiographical account of the doctrine of social progress from its inception in the writings of Auguste Comte. Social adaptation is described as "such relationship between an organism, species, social group or institution as is favorable to existence and growth”; or, dynamically, “as the process by which such a unity becomes and continues in favorable relation to its environment."