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Beacon Lights of History, Volume 14 The New Era; A Supplementary Volume, by Recent Writers, as Set Forth in the Preface and Table of Contents online

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LORD'S LECTURES

BEACON LIGHTS OF HISTORY, VOLUME XIV

THE NEW ERA

A Supplementary Volume, by Recent Writers,
as Set Forth in the Preface and Table of Contents.

BY JOHN LORD, LL.D.,

AUTHOR OF "THE OLD ROMAN WORLD," "MODERN EUROPE,"
ETC., ETC.







PUBLISHERS' PREFACE.

In preparing the new edition of Dr. Lord's great work, it has been
thought desirable to do what the venerable author's death in 1894 did
not permit him to accomplish, and add a volume summarizing certain broad
aspects of achievement in the last fifty years. It were manifestly
impossible to cover in any single volume - except in the dry, cyclopaedic
style of chronicling multitudinous facts, so different from the vivid,
personal method of Dr. Lord - all the growths of the wonderful period
just closed. The only practicable way has been to follow our author's
principle of portraying _selected historic forces_, - to take, as
representative or typical of the various departments, certain great
characters whose services have signalized them as "Beacon Lights" along
the path of progress, and to secure adequate portrayal of these by men
known to be competent for interesting exposition of the several themes.

Thus the volume opens with a paper on "Richard Wagner: Modern Music," by
Henry T. Finck, the musical critic of the _New York Evening Post_, and
author of various works on music, travel, etc.; and then follow in order
these: "John Ruskin: Modern Art," by G. Mercer Adam, author of "A Précis
of English History," recently editor of the _Self-Culture Magazine_ and
of the Werner Supplements to the Encyclopaedia Britannica; "Herbert
Spencer: The Evolutionary Philosophy," and "Charles Darwin: His Place in
Modern Science," both by Mayo W. Hazeltine, literary editor of the _New
York Sun_, whose book reviews over the signature "M.W.H." have for years
made the _Sun's_ book-page notable; "John Ericsson: Navies of War and
Commerce," by Prof. W.F. Durand, of the School of Marine Engineering and
the Mechanic Arts in Cornell University; "Li Hung Chang: The Far East,"
by Dr. William A. P. Martin, the distinguished missionary, diplomat, and
author, recently president of the Imperial University, Peking, China;
"David Livingstone: African Exploration," by Cyrus C. Adams,
geographical and historical expert, and a member of the editorial staff
of the _New York Sun_; "Sir Austen H. Layard: Modern Archaeology," by
Rev. William Hayes Ward, D.D., editor of _The Independent_, New York,
himself eminent in Oriental exploration and decipherment; "Michael
Faraday: Electricity and Magnetism," by Prof. Edwin J. Houston of
Philadelphia, an accepted authority in electrical engineering; and,
"Rudolf Virchow: Modern Medicine and Surgery," by Dr. Frank P. Foster,
physician, author, and editor of the _New York Medical Journal_.

The selection of themes must be arbitrary, amid the numberless lines of
development during the "New Era" of the Nineteenth Century, in which
every mental, moral, and physical science and art has grown and
diversified and fructified with a rapidity seen in no other five
centuries. It is hoped, however, that the choice will be justified by
the interest of the separate papers, and that their result will be such
a view of the main features as to leave a distinct impression of the
general life and advancement, especially of the last half of
the century.

It is proper to say that the preparation and issuance of Dr. Lord's
"Beacon Lights of History" were under the editorial care of Mr. John E.
Howard of Messrs. Fords, Howard, and Hulbert, the original publishers of
the work, while the proof-sheets also received the critical attention of
Mr. Abram W. Stevens, one of the accomplished readers of the University
Press in Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Howard has also supervised the new
edition, including this final volume, which issues from the same choice
typographical source.

NEW YORK, September, 1902.




CONTENTS.


RICHARD WAGNER.

MODERN Music.

BY HENRY T. FINCK.

Youth-time; early ambitions as a composer.

Weber, his fascinator and first inspirer.

"Der Freischütz" and "Euryanthe" prototypes of his operas.

Their supernatural, mythical, and romantic elements.

What he owed to his predecessors acknowledged in his essay on "The Music
of the Future" (1860).

Marriage and early vicissitudes.

"Rienzi," "The Novice of Palermo," and "The Flying Dutchman".

Writes stories and essays for musical publications.

After many disappointments wins success at Dresden.

"Tannhäuser" and "Lohengrin".

Compromises himself in Revolution of 1849 and has to seek safety in
Switzerland.

Here he conceives and partly writes the "Nibelung Tetralogy".

Discouragements at London and at Paris.

"Siegfried" and "Tristan and Isolde".

Finds a patron in Ludwig II. of Bavaria.

Nibelung Festival at Bayreuth.

"Parsifal" appears; death of Wagner at Vienna (1882).

Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin.

Other eminent composers and pianists.

Liszt as a contributor to current of modern music.

Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Strauss, and Weber.

"The Music of the Future" the music of the present.



JOHN RUSKIN.

MODERN ART.

BY G. MERCER ADAM.

Passionate and luminous exponent of Nature's beauties.

His high if somewhat quixotic ideal of life.

Stimulating writings in ethics, education, and political economy.

Frederic Harrison on Ruskin's stirring thoughts and melodious speech.

Birth and youth-time; Collingwood's "Life" and his own "Praeterita".

Defence of Turner and what it grew into.

Architectural writings, lectures, and early publications.

Interest in Pre-Raphaelitism and its disciples.

Growing fame; with admiring friends and correspondents.

On the public platform; personal appearance of the man.

Economic and socialistic vagaries.

F. Harrison on "Ruskin as Prophet" and teacher.

Inspiring lay sermons and minor writings.

Reformer and would-be regenerator of modern society.

Attitude towards industrial problems of his time.

Founds the communal "Guild of St. George".

Philanthropies, and lecturings in "Working Men's College".

Death and epoch-making influence, in modern art.



HERBERT SPENCER.

THE EVOLUTIONARY PHILOSOPHY.

BY MAYO W. HAZELTINE.

Constructs a philosophical system in harmony with the theory of
evolution.

Birth, parentage, and early career.

Scheme of his system of Synthetic Philosophy.

His "Facts and Comments;" views on party government, patriotism, and
style.

His religious attitude that of an agnostic.

The doctrine of the Unknowable and the knowable.

"First Principles;" progress of evolution in life, mind, society, and
morality.

The relations of matter, motion, and force.

"Principles of Biology;" the data of; the development hypothesis.

The evolutionary hypothesis _versus_ the special creation hypothesis;
arguments.

Causes and interpretation of the evolution phenomena.

Development as displayed in the structures and functions of individual
organisms.

"Principles of Psychology;" the evolution of mind and analysis of mental
states.

"Principles of Sociology;" the adaptation of human nature to the social
state.

Evolution of governments, political and ecclesiastical; industrial
organizations.

Qualifications; Nature's plan an advance, and again a retrogression.

Social evolution; equilibriums between constitution and conditions.

Assisted by others in the collection, but not the systemization, of his
illustrative material.

"Principles of Ethics;" natural basis for; secularization of morals.

General inductions; his "Social Statics".

Relations of Mr. Spencer and Mr. Darwin to the thought of the Nineteenth
Century.



CHARLES DARWIN.

HIS PLACE IN MODERN SCIENCE.

BY MAYO W. HAZELTINE.

The Darwinian hypothesis a rational and widely accepted explanation of
the genesis of organic life on the earth.

Darwin; birth, parentage, and education.

Naturalist on the voyage of the "Beagle".

His work on "Coral Reefs" and the "Geology of South America".

Observations and experiments on the transmutation of species.

Contemporaneous work on the same lines by Alfred R. Wallace.

"The Origin of Species" (1859).

His "Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication" (1868).

"The Descent of Man" (1871).

On the "Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals" (1872).

"Fertilization of Orchids" (1862), "The Effects of Cross and
Self-Fertilization" (1876), and "The Formation of Vegetable Mould
through the Action of Worms" (1881).

Ill-health, death, and burial.

Personality, tastes, and mental characteristics.

His beliefs and agnostic attitude toward religion.

His prime postulate, that species have been modified during a long
course of descent.

Antagonistic views on the immutability of species.

His theory of natural selection: that all animal and plant life has a
common progenitor, difference in their forms arising primarily from
beneficial variations.

Enunciates in the "Descent of Man" the great principle of Evolution, and
the common kinship of man and the lower animals.

Biological evidence to sustain this view.

Man's moral qualities, and the social instinct of animals.

Religious beliefs not innate, nor instinctive.

Bearing of this on belief in the immortality of the soul.

As a scientist Darwin concerned only with truth; general acceptance of
his theory of the origin of species.



JOHN ERICSSON.

NAVIES OF WAR AND COMMERCE.

BY PROF. W. F. DUKAND.

Ericsson's life-work little foreseen in his youth and early
surroundings.

His impress on the engineering practice of his time.

Dependence, in our modern civilization, on the utilization of the great
natural forces and energies of the world.

Life-periods in Sweden, England, and the United States.

Birth, parentage, and early engineering career.

An officer in the Swedish army, and topographical surveyor for his
native government.

Astonishing insight into mechanical and scientific questions.

His work, 1827 to 1839, when he came to the United States.

"A spendthrift in invention;" versatility and daring.

The screw-propeller _vs_. the paddle-wheel for marine propulsion.

Designs and constructs the steam-frigate "Princeton" and the hot-air
ship "Ericsson".

The Civil War and his services in the art of naval construction.

His new model of a floating battery and warship, "The Monitor".

The battle between it and the "Merrimac" a turning-point in naval aspect
of the war.

"The Destroyer," built in connection with Mr. Delamater.

Improves the character and reduces friction in the use of heavy
ordnance.

Work on the improvement of steam-engines for warships.

Death, and international honors paid at his funeral.

His work in improving the motive-power of ships.

Special contributions to the art of naval war.

Ships of low freeboard equipped with revolving turrets.

Influence of his work lives in the modern battleship.

Other features of work which he did for his age.

Personality and professional traits.

Essentially a designer rather than a constructing engineer.



LI HUNG CHANG.

THE FAR EAST.

BY W.A.P. MARTIN, D.D., LL.D.

Introductory; Earl Li's foreign fame; his rising star.

Intercourse with China by land.

The Great Wall; China first known to the western world through its
conquest by the Mongols.

The houses of Han, Tang, and Sang.

The diplomat Su Wu on an embassy to Turkey.

Intercourse by sea.

Expulsion of the Mongols; the magnetic needle.

Art of printing; birth of alchemy.

Manchu conquest; Macao and Canton opened to foreign trade.

The Opium War.

Li Hung Chang appears on the scene.

His contests for academical honors and preferment.

The Taiping rebellion.

Li a soldier; General Ward and "Chinese Gordon".

The Arrow War; the treaties.

Lord Elgin's mistake leads to renewal of the war.

Fall of the Peiho forts and flight of the Court.

The war with France.

Mr. Seward and Anson Burlingame.

War ended through the agency of Sir Robert Hart.

War with Japan.

Perry at Tokio (Yeddo); overturn of the Shogans.

Formosa ceded to Japan.

China follows Japan and throws off trammels of antiquated usage.

War with the world.

The Boxer rising; menace to the Peking legations.

Prince Ching and Viceroy Li arrange terms of peace.

Li's death; patriot, and patron of educational reform.



DAVID LIVINGSTONE.

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT.

BY CYRUS C. ADAMS.

Difficulties of exploration in the "Dark Continent"

Livingstone's belief that "there was good in Africa," and that it was
worth reclaiming.

His early journeyings kindled the great African movement.

Youthful career and studies, marriage, etc.

Contact with the natives; wins his way by kindness.

Sublime faith in the future of Africa.

Progress in the heart of the continent since his day.

Interest of his second and third journeyings (1853-56).

Visits to Britain, reception, and personal characteristics.

Later discoveries and journeyings (1858-1864, 1866-1873).

Death at Chitambo (Ilala) Lake Bangweolo, May 1, 1873.

General accuracy of his geographical records; his work, as a whole,
stands the test of time.

Downfall of the African slave-trade, the "open sore of the world".

Remarkable achievements of later explorers and surveyors.

The work of Burton, Junker, Speke, and Stanley.

Father Schynse's chart.

Surveys of Commander Whitehouse.

Missionary maps of the Congo Free State and basin.

Other areas besides tropical Africa made known and opened up.

Pygmy tribes and cannibalism in the Congo basin.

Human sacrifices now prohibited and punishable with death.

Railway and steamboat development, and partition of the continent.

South Africa: the gold and diamond mines and natural resources.

Future philanthropic work.



SIR AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD.

MODERN ARCHAEOLOGY.

BY WILLIAM HAYES WARD, D.D., LL/D.

Overthrow of Nineveh and destruction of the Assyrian Empire.

Kingdoms and empires extant and buried before the era of Hebrew and
Greek history.

Bonaparte in Egypt, and the impulse he gave to French archaeology.

Champollion and his deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Paul Émile Botta and his discoveries in Assyria.

His excavations of King Sargon's palace at Khorsabad.

Layard begins his excavations and discoveries at Nineveh.

Sir Stratford Canning's (Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe) gift to the
British Museum of the marbles of Halicarnassus.

Layard's published researches, "Nineveh and its Remains," and "Babylon
and Nineveh".

His work, "The Monuments of Nineveh" (1849-53).

Obelisk and monoliths of Shalmaneser II., King of Assyria, discovered by
Layard at Nimroud.

George Smith and his discovery of the Babylonian account of the Deluge.

Light thrown by these discoveries on the Pharaoh of the Bible, and on
Melchizedek, who reigned in Abraham's day.

Other archaeologists of note, Glaser, De Morgan, De Sarzec, and Botta.

Relics of Buddha, and the Hittite inscriptions.

The Moabite Stone, and work of the English Palestine Exploration Fund at
Jerusalem.

Dr. Schliemann's labors among the ruins of Troy.

Researches and discoveries at Crete.

The mounds, pyramids, and temples of the American aborigines.

The cliff-dwellers and the Mayas, Incas, and Toltecs.

The Calendar Stone and statue of the gods of war and death found in
Mexico.

What treasure yet remains to be recovered of a past civilization.



MICHAEL FARADAY.

ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM.

BY EDWIN J. HOUSTON, PH.D.

"The Prince of Experimental Philosophers".

Unprecocious as a child; environment of his early years.

His early study of Mrs. Marcet's "Conversations on Chemistry," and the
articles on electricity in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica".

Appointed laboratory assistant at the London Royal Institution.

Inspiration received from his teacher, Sir Humphry Davy.

Investigations in chemistry, electricity, and magnetism.

His discovery (1831) of the means for developing electricity direct from
magnetism.

Substitutes magnets for active circuits.

Simplicity of the apparatus used in his successful experiments.

Some of the results obtained by him in his experimental researches.

What is to-day owing to him for his discovery and investigation of all
forms of magneto-electric induction.

His discovery of the relations between light and magnetism.

Action of glass and other solid substances on a beam of polarized light.

His paper on "Magnetization of Light and the Illumination of the Lines
of Magnetic Force".

His contribution (1845) on the "Magnetic Condition of All Matter".

Investigation of the phenomena which he calls "the Magne-crystallic
force".

Extent of his work in the electro-chemical field.

His invention of the first dynamo.

His alternating-current transformer.

Induction coils and their use in producing the Röntgen rays.

Edison's invention of the fluoroscope.

Faraday's gift to commercial science of the electric motor.

His dynamo-electric machine.

Modern electric transmissions of power.

Tesla's multiphase alternating-current motor.

Faraday's electric generator and motor.

The telephone, aid given by Faraday's discoveries in the invention and
use of the transmitter.

Modern power-generating and transmission plants a magnificent
testimonial to the genius of Faraday.

Death and honors.



RUDOLF VIRCHOW.

MEDICINE AND SURGERY.

BY FRANK P. FOSTER, M.D.

Jenner demonstrates efficacy of vaccination against small-pox.

Debt to the physicists, chemists, and botanists of the new era.

Appendicitis (peritonitis), its present frequency.

Experimental methods of study in physiology.

Hahnemann, founder of homoeopathy, and physical diagnosis of the sick.

The clinical thermometer and other instruments of precision.

Animal parasites the direct cause of many diseases.

Bacteria and the germ theory of disease.

Pasteur, viruses, and aseptic surgery.

Consumption and its germ; the corpuscles and their resistance to
bacterial invasion.

Antitoxines as a cure in diphtheria.

Their use in surgery; asepticism and Lord Lister.

Listerism and midwifery.

American aid in the treatment of fractures.

Use of artificial serum in disease treatment.

Koch's tuberculin and its use in consumption.

Chemistry as a handmaid of medicine.

Brown-Séquard and "internal secretions".

Febrile ailment and cold-water applications.

Surgical anaesthetics; Long, Morton, and Simpson.

Ovariotomy operations by McDowell and Bell.

Professional nursing.

Virchow and the literature of medicine, anatomy, and physiology; his
death; his "Archiv," "Cellular-Pathology," etc.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VOLUME XIV.

Dr. Jenner Vaccinates a Child
_After the painting by George Gaston Melingue_

Richard Wagner
_After the painting by Franz von Lenbach_

John Ruskin
_After a photograph from life_

Herbert Spencer
_After a photograph from life_

Charles Robert Darwin
_After the painting by G. F. Watts, R.A._

John Ericsson
_From a contemporaneous engraving_

Li Hung Chang
_After a photograph from life_

David Livingstone
_After a photograph from life_

Sir Austen Henry Layard
_After the painting by H. W. Phillips_

Michael Faraday
_After a photograph from life_

Rudolf Virchow
_After a photograph from life_




BEACON LIGHTS OF HISTORY.


RICHARD WAGNER: MODERN MUSIC.


BY HENRY T. FINCK.


If the Dresden schoolboys who attended the _Kreuzschule_ in the years
1823-1827 could have been told that one of them was destined to be the
greatest opera composer of all times, and to influence the musicians of
all countries throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, they
would, no doubt, have been very much surprised. Nor is it likely that
they could have guessed which of them was the chosen one. For Richard
Wagner - or Richard Geyer, as he was then called, after his
stepfather - was by no means a youthful prodigy, like Mozart or Liszt. It
is related that Beethoven shed tears of displeasure over his first music
lessons; nevertheless, it was obvious from the beginning that he had a
special gift for music. Richard Wagner, on the other hand, apparently
had none. When he was eight years old his stepfather, shortly before his
death, heard him play on the piano two pieces from one of Weber's
operas, which made him wonder if Richard might "perhaps" have talent for
music. His piano teacher did not believe even in that "perhaps," but
told him bluntly he would "never amount to anything" as a musician.

For poetry, however, young Richard had a decided inclination in his
school years; and this was significant, inasmuch as it afterwards became
his cardinal maxim that in an opera "the play's the thing," and the
music merely a means of intensifying the emotional expression. Before
his time the music, or rather the singing of florid tunes, had been "the
thing," and the libretto merely a peg to hang these tunes on. In this
respect, therefore, the child was father to the man. At the age of
eleven he received a prize for the best poem on the death of a
schoolmate. At thirteen he translated the first twelve books of Homer's
Odyssey. He studied English for the sole purpose of being able to read
Shakspeare. Then he projected a stupendous tragedy, in the course of
which he killed off forty-two persons, many of whom had to be brought
back as ghosts to enable him to finish the play.

This extravagance also characterized his first efforts as a composer,
when he at last turned to music, at the age of sixteen. One of his first
tasks, when he had barely mastered the rudiments of composition, was to
write an overture which he intended to be more complicated than
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Heinrich Dorn, who recognized his talent
amid all the bombast, conducted this piece at a concert. At the
rehearsal the musicians were convulsed with laughter, and at the
performance the audience was at first surprised and then disgusted at
the persistence of the drum-player, who made himself heard loudly every
fourth bar. Finally there was a general outburst of hilarity which
taught the young man a needed lesson.

Undoubtedly the germs of his musical genius had been in Wagner's brain
in his childhood, - for genius is not a thing that can be acquired. They
had simply lain dormant, and it required a special influence to develop
them. This influence was supplied by Weber and his operas. In 1815, two
years after Wagner's birth, the King of Saxony founded a German opera in
Dresden, where theretofore Italian opera had ruled alone. Weber was
chosen as conductor, and thus it happened that Wagner's earliest and
deepest impressions came from the composer of the "Freischütz." In his
autobiographic sketch Wagner writes: "Nothing gave me so much pleasure
as the 'Freischütz.' I often saw Weber pass by our house when he came
from rehearsals. I always looked upon him with a holy awe." It was lucky
for young Richard that his stepfather, Geyer, besides being a
portrait-painter, an actor, and a playwright, was also one of Weber's
tenors at the opera. This enabled the boy, in spite of the family's
poverty, to hear many of the performances. In fact, Wagner, like Weber,
owes a considerable part of his success as a writer for the stage to the
fact that he belonged to a theatrical family, and thus gradually learned
"how the wheels go round." Such practical experience is worth more than
years of academic study.

While Wagner cordially acknowledged the fascination which Weber's music
exerted on him in his boyhood, he was hardly fair to Weber in his later
writings. In these he tries to prove that his own music-dramas are an
outgrowth of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. When Beethoven wrote that work,
Wagner argues, he had come to the conclusion that purely instrumental
music had reached a point beyond which it could not go alone, wherefore
he called in the aid of poetry (sung by soloists and chorus), and thus
intimated that the art-work of the future was the musical drama, - a
combination of poetry and music.

This is a purely fantastic notion on Wagner's part. There is no evidence
that Beethoven had any such purpose; he merely called in the aid of the
human voice to secure variety of sound and expression. Poetry and music
had been combined centuries before Beethoven in the opera and in
lyric song.



Online LibraryJohn LordBeacon Lights of History, Volume 14 The New Era; A Supplementary Volume, by Recent Writers, as Set Forth in the Preface and Table of Contents → online text (page 1 of 26)