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MR. JUSTICE DAVID J BREWER.

{Supreme Court of the United Stat
EDITOR IN CH11




'r. Justice Brewer was appointed to the .Supreme Bench of the
United Slates by President Harrison in December, 1889. As a prep-
aration for that exalted position, he had had an experience
than a quarter of a century on the bench of lower courts, State and Federal.

■inning in 1862, he served as judge of the probate and criminal courts of
Leavenworth County, Kansas; judge of the First District Court of Kansas;
justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas; and judge of the United States Cir-
cuit Court, — a position from which he was promoted to the Supreme Bench as
the successor to Mr. Justice Matthews, of Ohio.

Justice Brewer is the son of Rev. Josiah Brewer, who, as a missionary to
Asia Minor, established the first English newspaper in Smyrna and first intro-
duced American methods of education into the Turkish Empire. His mother,
a sister of Mr. Justice Field, accompanied his father to Asia Minor and, while
they were residents of .Smyrna, <( David Josiah Brewer » was born there, June
20th, 1837. While he was still a child his parents returned to America, and
he grew up in Connecticut. lie was educated at the Wesleyan University, at
Vale, and at the Albany Daw School, studying also in the law office of his
uncle, David Dudley Field. Among his classmates at Yale were Senator
Chauncey M. Depew and Mr. Justice Brown of the Supreme Court. He is
an LL. D. of Yale and several other universities, but has the still higher
honor of having found time to be president of a library association; chairman
of a school board; superintendent of public schools; and president of the
Kansas State Teachers' Association. Since his appointment to the Supreme
Bench of the United States, he has served as a member of the Venezuela
Commission appointed by President Cleveland; -and as a member of the
British-Vene/Aiela Arbitration Tribunal, selected by the two nations. He has
done important educational work, notably as a member of the faculty of the
Columbian Law School. His address, «The Protection of Private Property
against Public Attack, » delivered before the Vale Law School in 1891, at-
tracted wide attention and excited an animated discussion.

«The World's Best Orations » (F. B. Kaiser, St. Louis, 1899, ten volumes) of
which he was Editor in Chief, have been one of the notable book-making suc-
cesses of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. « The World's Best Es-
says," edited as a companion collection for the World's Best Orations, represent
the same purposes and methods.



ROYAL EDITION



THE



World's Best Gssays



FROM THE

EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT TIME



DAVID J. BREWER

EDITOR

EDWARD A. ALLEN WILLIAM SCHUYLER

ASSOCIATE EDITORS



TEN VOLUMES
VOL. I.



ST. LOUIS

FERD. P. KAISER ,§•

1900



Royal edition



LIMITED TO 1000 COMPLETE SETS, OF WHICH THIS IS



No.



Copyright 1900

BY

FERD. P. KAISER



All rights reserved





EDITOR



cUsZ&f^



PUBLISHER



THE WERNER COMPANY

PRINTERS AND BINDER8

AKRON, OHIO



Santa bar~'-^ ^— ^ JiJ

762;



THE ADVISORY COUNCIL



SIR WALTER BESANT, M. A., F. S. A.,

Soho Square, London W., England.

PROFESSOR KUNO FRANCKE, Ph. D.,

Department of German, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

HIRAM CORSON, A. M., LL. D.,

Department of English Literature, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.

WILLIAM DRAPER LEWIS, Ph. D.,
Dean of the Department of Law,

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

RICHARD GOTTHEIL, Ph. D.,

Professor of Oriental Languages, Columbia University, New York City.

MRS. LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON,

Author « Swallow Flights, »« Bed-Time Stories, w etc., Boston, Mass.

WILLIAM VINCENT BYARS,

Manager The Valley Press Bureau, St. Louis.

F. M. CRUNDEN, A. M.,

Librarian St. Louis Public Library; President (1890) American
Library Association.

MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN, A. M., LL. D.,
Professor of Ensflish and Literature,

Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.

ALCEE FORTIER, Lit. D.,

Professor of Romance Languages, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.

SHELDON JACKSON, D. D., LL. D.,

Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.

A. MARSHALL ELLIOTT, Ph. D., LL. D.,
Professor of Romance Languages,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

WILLIAM P. TRENT, M. A.,

Professor of English and History,

Columbia University, in the city of New York.

PROFESSOR C. M. GAYLEY,

Department of English, University of California, Berkeley, Cal.

AUSTIN H. MERRILL, A.M.,

Professor of Elocution, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

W. STUART SYMINGTON, Jr., Ph.D.,

Professor of Romance Languages, Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

VOLUME I



LIVED PAGE

Preface xi

Justice David J. Brewer

Abercrombie, John 1780-1844 1

The General Nature and Object of Science

Adam, Madame 1836- 13

Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Addison, Joseph 1672-1719 17

The Spectator Introduces Himself

The Message of the Stars

The Extension of the Female Neck

The Philosophy of Puns

Wit and Wisdom in Literature

Women's Men and Their Ways

The Poetry of the Common People

Chevy Chase

The Vision of Mirza

The Unaccountable Humor in Womankind

(< Dominus Regit Me w

Homer and Milton

The Mountain of Miseries

Steele Introduces Sir Roger de Coverley

Addison Meets Sir Roger

Sir Roger at Home

Will Wimble Is Introduced

The Coverley Ghosts

Sunday with Sir Roger

The Spectator Returns to London

Sir Roger Again in London

Sir Roger in Westminster Abbey

Sir Roger's Views on Beards



VI



LIVED PAGE



Addison, Joseph — Continued:

Sir Roger at the Play
Death of Sir Roger

Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe 1807-1873 no

Relations between Animals and Plants and the Sur-
rounding World
Relations of Individuals to One Another
Mutual Dependence of the Animal and Vegetable
Kingdoms

Alcott, Amos Bronson 1799-1888 117

The Age of Iron and Bronze

Hawthorne

Sleep and Dreams

Alger, William Rounseville 1822- 125

The Lyric Poetry of Persia

Alison, Sir Archibald 1792-1867 135

The Future of America

Homer, Dante, and Michael Angelo

Allen, Grant 1848-1899 142

Scientific Aspects of Falling in Love

Allston, Washington 1799-1843 149

Human Art and Infinite Truth
Praise as a Duty
Life as a Test of Fitness
Art and Religion

Amicis, Edmondo de 1846- 157

The Shams, Shamelessness, and Delights of Paris

Amiel, Henri Frederic 1821-1881 165

A Soap Bubble Hanging from a Reed
(< John Halifax, Gentleman »
Mozart and Beethoven

Aquinas, Saint Thomas c. 1225-1274 173

The Effects of Love

Of Hatred

What is Happiness ?



Vll



Arago, Francois Jean Dominique

The Central Fires of the Earth

Argyle, The Duke of

The Unity of Nature



LIVED
1786-1853



I 823- 1 9OO



384-322 B. C.



Aristotle

The Poetics of Aristotle
The Dispositions Consequent on Wealth
The Dispositions of Men in Power, and of the Fortu-
nate



Arnold, Matthew

A Final Word on America

The Real Burns

<( Sweetness and Light"



1822-1888



Arrian



The « Enchiridion »



c. 95-^. 180 A. D.



1515-1568



Ascham, Roger

The Education of a Gentleman
The Literature of Chivalry

Athen^eus Third Century A. D.

What Men Fight about Most



Atterbury, Francis

Harmony and the Passions



1662-1732



Audubon, John James 1780-1851

The Humming Bird and the Poetry of Spring
Life in the Woods
The Mocking Bird
The Wood Thrush

Augustine, Saint 354-430 A. D.

Concerning Imperial Power and the Kingdom of
God

Kingdoms without Justice Like unto Thievish Pur-
chases

Domestic Manifestations of the Roman Spirit of
Conquest



PAGE

179



183



188



230



243



264



272



276



279



286



Vlll



Aurelius, Marcus

Meditations on the Highest Usefulness

Austin, Alfred

The Apostle of Culture



LIVED

c. 121-180 A. D.



1835-



I 561—1626



Bacon, Francis

Of Truth

Of Death

Of Revenge

Of Adversity

Of Simulation and Dissimulation

Of Parents and Children

Of Marriage and Single Life

Of Envy

Of Love

Of Great Place

Of Boldness

Of Goodness, and Goodness of Nature

Of Atheism

Of Superstition

Of Negotiating

Of Studies

Of Praise

Of Vainglory

Of Honor and Reputation

Of Anger

Of Riches

Of Nature in Men

Of Custom and Education

Of Fortune

Of Usury

Of Youth and Age

Of Beauty

Of Delays

Of Cunning

Of Wisdom for a Man's Self

Of Innovations

The Advancement of Learning

The Central Thought of the (( Novum Organum *



PAGE

290



302



308



Bagehot, Walter

The Natural Mind in Man



182^-1877



372






LIVED


PAGE


l8l8-


375


184O-


381


I799-185O


385



IX



Bain, Alexander

What It Costs to Feel and Think

Ball, Sir Robert

Life in Other Worlds

Balzac, Honore de

Saint Paul as a Prophet of Progress
Walter Scott and Fenimore Cooper

Bancroft, George 1 800-1 891 389

The Ruling Passion in Death

Bathurst, Richard (?)-i762 399

The History of a Half-Penny

Baudelaire, Charles 1 821-1867 404

The Gallant Marksman
At Twilight
The Clock

Bayle, Pierre 1647-1706 408

The Greatest of Philosophers

Beattie, James 1735-1803 413

An Essay on Laughter



FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

VOLUME I



PAGE

Justice David J. Brewer (Portrait, Photogravure) Frontispiece

Joseph Addison (Portrait, Photogravure) 17

Rev. Lancelot Addison's Parsonage (Photogravure) 77

Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (Portrait, Photogravure) no

Michael Angelo and Pope Julius II. Viewing the Apollo

Belvidere (Photogravure) 138

Aristotle (Portrait, Photogravure) 188

John James Audubon (Portrait, Photogravure) 279

Francis Bacon (Photogravure) 308



Xlll



PREFACE




Iless the essayist! He is our true literary friend. He in-
structs, entertains, or amuses us, and he does it quickly.
He knows that in these rapid days time is of the essence
of the contract and is always on time in closing. He gives us no
preface, puts no "stump speech in the belly of the bill, 8 and does
not detain us by a peroration or even a benediction. The latter
we pronounce. He points to no quarto or folio as his accumulation
of thought. He hands us a morsel, bids us taste its sweetness, smell
its fragrance, and be thankful that it is only a morsel. He invites us
to a lunch and not a dinner, and yet how choice is that lunch!
Ganymede serves at the table. With him it is not quantity, but
quality ; multum haud multa. He has few words, but they are thought-
bearers. They mean something; suggest something. We are stronger,
better, happier, when we have read them. And this, because some
one thought has been placed before us so clearly, so vividly, that
we recognize its reality, its value, as never before.

The essayist has often the suggestiveness, the divination of the
poet. Indeed, he may well be called the poet's cousin. They both
are seers, prophets. Montaigne anticipated the France of to-day.
Rolling a single idea over and over, he sees what its force is, what
its tendency; and so seeing declares with the accuracy of the me-
chanical engineer what will be to-morrow's result of to-day's idea.

But the essayist has not always the solemnity of the prophet.
He knows that we like to be pleased, to be amused, and with his
gifted pen he touches the secret springs of pleasure and amusement.
How often when tired do we pick up some friendly essay, and read-
ing it find it potent to <( drive dull care away. >}



XIV

To many, an essay suggests something not only small, but crude.
One of the definitions of the word is <( attempt. » And so to them
an essay is a mere attempt at literary production, which, by reason
of its imperfections and incompleteness, deserves no or only partial
recognition. At the mention of the word, the mind involuntarily
recalls the annual commencements of the various high schools, acad-
emies, and other educational institutions, and fancies that it sees ten
thousand young men and women standing on the platform, in the
best of black suits, or the whitest of white dresses, and filling the
hearts of at least loving and hopeful parents and friends with won-
der and admiration at their first literary efforts, — their essays. The
more ambitious graduates call their productions orations, but the
great majority name theirs essays. That word is much less pre-
tentious. And in this connection it is worthy of note that the grad-
uates in advanced courses of the higher institutions, as well as they
who return to claim a higher academic degree, do not content them-
selves with essays, but always prepare theses. The difference be-
tween an essay and a thesis seems large, and they forget that a
rose by any other name will smell as sweet.

As suggested, this common thought as to essays is correct, in re-
spect to the matter of brevity. The essay is relatively short. It
has not the ponderous length of the historical work, theological
treatise, or book on science or political economy. And yet brevity
is no vice in literature or elsewhere. It is the soul of wit. And so
an essay commends itself by its very brevity. We read it quickly.

But mere brevity does not make every literary composition an
essay. The news paragraphs with which our daily papers teem are
not essays. Novelettes or short stories are not essays. Indeed, it
may be said that no mere narrative of events, description of scenes,
or story, can be called an essay. Yet each may rightfully be used
in an essay to make more clear and vivid the thought of the writer.

On the other hand, in the editorial columns of the press are
often essays, good, bad, or indifferent. For they are brief argu-
ments in support of some proposition of politics, finance, or social
economy; brief developments of some thought, interesting, or sup-
posed to interest the public mind.



XV

The charm of the essay, it may be added, is not only its brevity,
but also in a certain sense its narrowness. The attention is called
to a single matter, its development, its relations, and its suggestive-
ness. We are not burdened with many things; with either length
or breadth. We, of course, are not content with a simple collocation
of words, a mere display of rhetoric; but we expect and have a
right to expect that some thought will be fully presented; and in
the more ambitious, that the relations of that thought to life and its
experiences will also be suggested. As Lord Bacon, the prince of
essayists, quaintly says : —

«To write just treatises requireth leisure in the writer and leisure in
the reader, — which is the cause that hath made me choose to write certain
brief notes, set down rather significantly than curiously, which I have called
Essays. The word is late, but the thing is ancient. w

The literary style of the essay varies, determined always by the
character of its thought, the subject-matter. If that be a serious
one, we look for a solemn, didactic, style ; if of a lighter nature, an
easier, gayer, flow of words. And one of the beauties of the essay
is the adaptation of style to thought. There is that harmony be-
tween thought and expression, the significance of which we under-
stand, when we speak of the fitness of things.

Alexander Smith says, in his essay on the (( Writing of Essays, w —
<( The essay, as a literary form, resembles the lyric, in so far as
it is molded by some central mood, — whimsical, serious, or satirical.
Give the mood, and the essay, from the first sentence to the last,
grows around it as the cocoon grows around the silkworm. The
essay writer is a chartered libertine, and a law unto himself. A
quick ear and eye, an ability to discern the infinite suggestiveness
of common things, a brooding meditative spirit, are all that the
essayist requires to start business with.

The essayist carries a free lance. The world is his range. He
grapples the most serious things of time and eternity, of life and
death, or the most frivolous fancies of the passing hour. And his
answer must in its movement be in harmony with the thought he
presents. We take Lord Bacon's essays, and as we read his thoughts
on the earnest matters of life we find his literary style in full



XVI

accord therewith. Clear, didactic, solemn, we feel that a preacher is
talking to us, and as we read we know that he never wrote Shakes-
peare's plays.

We read Charles Lamb and are rested, as his sweet, playful words
pass before us. How he loved the bright, sunny side of life! The
humor, the delicate touch, the gentle picture of our weaknesses,
amuse and interest us. As we lay his essays down, we can but think
how his friends must have enjoyed his companionship.

And so we might go on and characterize the various essayists of
the world. They have given us the choice bits of literature. They
are not mere mechanical forces. They work in harmony with nature
in its highest processes. They do not take literature and simply
compress it. They do not give us condensed milk, but in sym-
pathy with that subtle, higher, mysterious action of nature's forces,
they work out from the milk of life the richer, more nourishing and
comforting cream : and so every one invokes blessings upon the
essayist.

With these preliminary words we pass on to say that in these
volumes we have tried to extract the cream of the cream. If any
one thinks that this selection is an easy work, he does not know
the range of the essay. And justice to myself, and to the others
connected with this publication, compels me to add that the credit
for the work belongs to them rather than to me. I say this not out
of compliment, but because of its truth.

Further, we have had before us the same general idea that was
pursued in (( The World's Best Orations. w We did not then take all
the great orations of even the world's greatest orators. We aimed
to present a comparative view. We sought to show by illustration
the range of oratory, and by placing before the reader some entire
orations of the greatest orators, and selections from those of lesser
rank, to present a sort of historical epitome or encyclopaedia of ora-
tory. We believed that such a compilation was better than a vol-
ume of statistics, and yet in a certain sense subserved the same
purpose. It was not a mere collection of figures, such as the census
bureau gives, but a gathering of those speeches which have moved
and affected the world's history.



XV11

That the work was not exhaustive may be conceded, for after its
completion in ten volumes we measured the mass of material which
had been collected and examined, and found that we could have
printed forty-six additional volumes. And while our selections may
not have accorded with the views of every one, we have been grati-
fied by the hearty reception that work has received.

In the like spirit, and with like purpose, we present this collec-
tion of (< The World's Best Essays. * Giving prominence and prefer-
ence to those who have written in our own language (for this work
is designed primarily for the benefit of the American reader), we have
searched the literature of all nations and languages for their best
essays, have had careful and accurate translations made, and, placing
them beside the writings of our own essayists, have thus sought to
justify the title given to this work.

We have not attempted to enforce any particular views in respect
to religion, science, political economy, or other department of life,
but in the most catholic spirit have aimed to give some represen-
tation of the writings of every one who has succeeded in placing his
name on the long roll of the world's true essayists.

And trusting that the reader will find in these pages ample com-
pensation for his patience in perusing, we commit our collection to
the kindly judgment of the American public.

c:





JOHN ABERCROMBIE

(1780-1844)

Jbercrombie's definition of the object of science was dictated
by a deep consciousness of the supernatural origin of nature,
and it has served to discredit him with some later writers
who hold that the supernatural is <( unknowable. w His essays on the
(< Intellectual Powers, B on the (< Philosophy of the Moral Feelings, w and
allied topics have not been discredited with the general public, how-
ever, by the change of scientific terminology, and it is by no means
certain that any later writer — not even Mr. Spencer himself — has
succeeded in putting into intelligible and accurate English so many
well-defined ideas of fundamental importance as guided Abercrombie
in the composition of such essays as that on the <( General Nature
and Objects of Science B with which he introduced his essays on the
<( Intellectual Powers. B

He differs from some later writers on similar topics because of
his recognition of law in nature as a tendency resulting from an
infinite power of improvement imposed on nature rather than as a
necessary and inherent quality of matter itself. To him nature pre-
sented a harmony of forces working to produce results tending to a
more nearly perfect harmony. It is said that in his religious life he
was <( unaffectedly pious, B but this involved him in no contradiction
when, writing before Professor Huxley, he stated the scientific principle
of Huxley's "agnosticism. B That final causes are beyond the reach of
chemical analysis and that they are never to be reached by micro-
scopic investigation, he insists in his analysis of the powers of the
intellect. But he recognized this as a mere matter of definition, — an
implication of the word (< knowledge B itself as it implies the results
of experience and as it is distinct in meaning from <( consciousness. B
Professor Max Miiller in his <( Science of Thought B expresses the
same idea by quoting:

<( We have but faith; we cannot know,
For Knowledge is of things we see!"

Intellect to Abercrombie is a mere mode of operation, — a method
by which the human soul takes hold on the transitory phenomena of
a natural order in which a Supreme Will is eternally operating to
1 — 1



2 JOHN ABERCROMBIE

produce infinite improvement. It is said by his critics that he does
not show (< marked originality • in such ideas and it is in the nature
of things impossible that he should. They are as old as the Chal-
dean science which expresses itself through the metaphors of the
Book of Job. They belong to all poets and creative thinkers from
Homer to Goethe. Aristotle appropriated them as the foundation
principles of his school, and they are no less the foundations of the
(< Novum Organum * when, with the premise that <( the beginning is
from God," Bacon declares that (< the induction which is to be avail-
able for the discovery of science and arts must analyze nature by
proper rejections and exclusions . . . not only to discover axioms,
but also in the formation of notions; and it is in this induction that
our chief hope lies.*

This observation of all possible operations of nature as part of a
Supreme Law not governed by the qualities of matter, but operating
harmoniously through them, Bacon proposed as the reasonable mode
through which alone the scientific intelligence can act. Certainly
there is nothing of novelty in Abercrombie, writing after him. If
novelty or originality be possible in thought, it is by no means estab-
lished that it is desirable, and the question which is finally to deter-
mine the merits of any thinker is not (< Is he original ? w but (< Is he
right ?" Tried by that test Abercrombie is perhaps as little apt to be
discredited as any later writer on the subjects which occupied his
attention.

He was born in 1780 at Aberdeen, Scotland, and educated in med-
icine at its university and in London. For a long time he held the
first rank among the physicians and scientific writers of Scotland.
His (< Inquiries Concerning the Intellectual Powers of Man" was pub-
lished in 1830 and three years later he followed it with (< The Phi-
losophy of the Moral Feelings." In 1835 he became Lord Rector of
Marischal College at Aberdeen, and, until his death in 1844, Scotland
honored him as one of its greatest thinkers. His essays have passed
through many editions, and still retain a popularity due to their ease
of style and the lucidity of the language in which they express ideas
which some writers on similar topics succeed in making incompre-
hensible. W. V. B.



JOHN ABERCROMBIE



THE GENERAL NATURE AND OBJECTS OF SCIENCE

By the will of the Almighty Creator, all things in nature have
been placed in certain relations to each other, which are
fixed and uniform. In other words, they have been en-



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