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262 THE DIAL, [April 16,

was comparatively plain sailing for Miiller. " make revolutions with rose-water "; and so
It was decided that the Rig-veda should be Mr. Arnold's faith in the saving efficacy of
printed at Oxford, and thither the editor con culture may well have seemed to sterner spirits,
cluded to migrate. His first visit there had as he admitted, " a religion proposing parma-
filled him with enthusiasm for the beautiful ceti, or some scented salve or other, as a cure
old town, where, as he says, " even the under for human miseries."
graduates, dressed in their mediaeval academic The editor of the Autobiography, Mr. W. G.
costume, looked to me very grand, and so dif Max Miiller, has acquitted himself well in the
ferent from the German students at Leipzig plainly difficult task of putting in shape the
or still more at Jena, walking about the streets fragments and jottings at his disposal. Much
in pink cotton trousers and dressing-gowns." of the matter was written or dictated during
It is pleasant to note that Miiller was deeply the last weeks of the author's life, his desire
" shown
impressed with the " real friendliness being to leave as much as possible ready for
him, an unknown German scholar, at Oxford ; publication. That the end came so soon no
but the idea of settling permanently at that reader of this cheery record of the morning of
" academic paradise " did not for some time a changeful and bustling, if studious, life will
occur to him. fail to regret. E. G. J.
I
" was there to print my Rig-veda and work at the
Bodleian; that I should in a few years be an M.A. of
Christ Church, a Fellow of the most exclusive of col
leges, nay, a married Fellow — a being not even in THE STORM AND STRESS IN THE BLACK
vented then — and a professor of the University, never WORLD.*
entered into my wildest dreams."
From the dark world beyond the Color-line
Reminiscences, in the vein of the author's come usually only faint murmurs to the world
pleasant volumes on " Auld Lang Syne," of without — so faint that some deny altogether
Oxford and Oxonians in early days, form the to this world, word and thought. But now
staple of the two closing chapters of the Auto and then there comes a wild discordant note,
biography. Among the early friends at Ox which sets men wondering not so much at the
ford of whom mention is made is Matthew words said as at the pitch and passion of the cry.
Arnold. Says the author : So it is with Mr. Hannibal Thomas's " The
"It strikes one that while he was at Oxford, few American Negro." The voice of a Negro
people only detected in Arnold the poet or the man
of remarkable genius. . . . Then suddenly came the
talking of Negroes has not yet ceased sounding
time when he returned to Oxford as the poet, as the
unusual to our ears. The actual content of his
professor of poetry, nay, afterwards as the philosopher message is of no great intrinsic importance ;
also, placed high by public opinion among the living there is some history of the encyclopaedic order,
worthies of England. What was sometimes against
many general observations showing thought
him was his want of seriousness. A laugh from his
and reading, and passing evidence of eccentric
hearers or readers seemed to be more valued by him
than their serious opposition, or their convinced assent. originality and no little ability. But all this is of
He trusted, like others, to persiflage, and the result was transient interest compared with the tone of the
that when he tried to be serious, people could not for book : its cynical pessimism, virulent criticisms,
get that he might at any time turn round and smile,
vulgar plainness, and repeated and glaring self-
and decline to be taken au grand serieux."
contradictions. The reader instinctively feels
The view of Matthew Arnold as an incurable that the book means more than it says.
persifleur seems to us a rather novel and not And so it does. Mr. Thomas's book is a
wholly sound one. To banter, indeed, he was sinister symptom — a growth and development
sometimes given ; and everyone knows how under American conditions of life which illus
effectively he used to rally that peculiarly im trates peculiarly the anomalous position of
pervious and self-satisfied class of his country black men, and the terrific stress under which
men devoted, he thought, mainly to chapels, And the struggle and fight of
they struggle.
business, tea-meetings, comfort, and the phil human beings against hard conditions of life
osophy of Sir Daniel Gooch. But if it be true, always tends to develope the criminal or the
as we suppose it is in a measure, that people
hypocrite, the cynic or the radical. Where-
declined to take Matthew Arnold quite seri ever among a hard-pressed people these types
ously, was it not rather because the social begin to appear, it is the visible sign of a bur-
remedies he preached seemed to them ludi • rl'ii i. AMKBICAN NEGBO, What he Was, What he Is, and
crously disproportionate to the ills he proposed What he May Become. A Critical and Practical Discussion.
to cure ? " One does not," says Danton, By William Hannibal Thomas. New York : Macmillan Co.
1901.] THE DIAL 263

den that is threatening to overtax their strength, cisms on the whites were toned down, and then
and the foreshadowing of the age of revolt. with a sort of cool ferocity, without pity or re
The American Negro is still as a race too straint, there was added a denunciation of the
hopeful of his future, and able to point out too Negro in America unparalleled in vindictive-
many undeniable evidences of progress, to ness and exaggeration. The result is natur
harbor as yet any well defined thoughts of ally a contradictory book, for alongside the
spiritual or physical revolt. And yet among new anathemas lie the old schemes for ameli
the incompetent, the impatient, and the dis oration and grounds for hope. Many passages
appointed — among those black men who al illustrate this, but perhaps two will suffice :
ready in the severe struggle for existence have THOMAS IN 1890: THOMAS IN 1901:
" " In
fallen by the wayside, the sinister types that I venture the opinion that fact I doubt if any
of those who descant BOglibly white person lives who has
war with society are beginning to appear : the on Negro inferiority, not one an adequate comprehension
ignorant coatemner of law and order, and the has an accurate knowledge of of Negro characteristics, not
facts on the social side of his withstanding the many who
sly deceiver ; and the better trained man who
has lost faith either in the coming of the Good
life. ... Itake it upon my descant so glibly on the pres
self, therefore, to say that a ent and future of the freed
or in the Good itself. * considerate investigation people" I p. xix. i.
through personal contact will "Soberly speaking, Negro
Mr. Thomas is peculiarly the type of the disclose as much of the sa- nature is so craven and sen
Negro cynic. He may speak of virtue, and credness of living, as scrupu suous in every fibre of its
interlard a few general phrases of goodness lous regard for truth and being that a Negro manhood
virginal honor, as keen an with decent respect for chaste
and hope, but they are lost in his general des appreciation, and as much of womanhood does not exist"
pair, they have a hollow, unreal sound beside the practice of Christian in (p. 180).
tegrity, with as intimate a " Fully 90 per cent, of the
the rest of his words. At bottom his book is familiarity with the best lit Negro women of America
without faith or ideal. He is one of those erature and the highest forms [are] lascivious by instinct,
embodied disappointments of Reconstruction of civilization, whenever op and in bondage to physical
portunity permits, as charac pleasure. . . . The social
times ; one who went South to show the World terizes the more pretentious degradation of our freed
and the Negro how to do everything in a day, white race" (pp. 7, 8). women is without a parallel in
and succeeded only in shattering his ideals, modern civilization " (p. 195).
"Therefore it may be
and becoming embittered and dissatisfied with frankly and fearlessly said "... We may take the
men. Wandering from place to place and that the Negro when honestly word virtue, whose exact sig
from occupation to occupation, he finally set measured through the amen nificance no Negro compre
ities of social contact, either hends — who fails therefore
tled in Boston, where in 1890 he published a in the industrial department to engraft its import into the
pamphlet * which now, re-written, appears as or intellectual field, dispels fibre of his being. . . . The
" The American Negro." This pamphlet fell much of the false knowledge same is true of the words
with which an unreasoning like truth, honor, and integ
unnoticed from the press, and the inner striv prejudice has invested him. rity. These are meaningless
ings of the Negro people soon lost him what . . . Studied in the light of expressions, and because the
his past, I think it will be Negro cannot connect words
influence he had possessed among them. found that he has no greater with ideas and ideas with
The new spiritual longings of the Negro, virtues nor grosser vices than realities, he lies with avidious
are common to other races of readiness without undergoing
and the outreaching for real progress, has de
mankind, and like them in the slightest remorse, and
veloped in the last decade a higher type of manhood true and good, in often without any apparent
race leadership than formerly, and ousted telligent and upright " sense of prevarication "

many of the demagogues and rascals. A new


(pp. 8, 9). (p. 118).

race literature of promise has appeared, and a It is, of course, conceivable that a man
race consciousness such as the modern world should utterly change his opinions in ten years ;
has never before seen among black folk. These but when opinions formed after twenty-five
results have been bitterly resented by many years of close contact with actual conditions
men, and it seems to be this resentment that are radically altered after ten years' absence
has caused Mr. Thomas's pamphlet of 1890 to from those conditions, the later testimony is
be re- written for the book of 1901. The certainly less valuable than the earlier. And
pamphlet was a defense of the Negro, with when, too, this conversion is marred by so evi
severe criticisms on the whites, and laid down dent bitterness and recklessness, and when
the thesis that laud owning and education — one remembers that the writer himself is a
both industrial and higher — would solve the Negro, born of a Negro mother, then his book
Negro problems. In the re-writing the criti- can only be explained as a rare exhibition of
* " Land and Education : A Critical and Practical Discus
that contempt for themselves which some Ne
sion of the Mental and Physical Needs of the Freedmen." groes still hold as a heritage of the past.
By William Hannibal Thomas. Boston, 1890. Before such an attack as this, nine millions
264 THE DIAL [April 16,

It

is,
of human beings stand helpless. The swift books. therefore, matter of no small

a
defense which social groups have ever exer importance to clear up the precise nature of
cised against the malignor is not theirs to the quarrel which science has with these move
wield. They cannot edit the things said about ments, and to locate, possible, the boundary

if
them as can other races and people. But it is line between knowledge and superstition, be
possible for the most discredited of their race tween science and mysticism. Professor Jas-
to gain now and then by singular accident and trow's " Fact and Fable in Psychology," which
the exigencies of the book market, respectful furnishes our text, an admirable brief for

is
hearing and wide advertisement. One dis the scientific side of this case.
couraging cause of this, is the more or less un The general charge which science brings
conscious Wish for the Worst in regard to the against Occultism, that of' ignorant contempt

is
Negro, to satisfy the logic of his anomalous for the majesty of natural law. The cruder
situation. If the Negro will kindly go to the forms of Occultism, exemplified by some of the
then the Amer
it,

devil and make haste about ebullitions of theosophists, are chiefly notable
ican conscience can justify three centuries of as evidences of colossal insensibility to fact.
shameful history and hence the subdued en They have no more bearing on the real devel
;

thusiasm which greets sensational article or opment of intelligence than have the delusional
a

book that proves all Negroes worthless. theories of the insane. The real controversy
All men know that the American Negro with much more masterful adversary.

is
is

a
ignorant and poor, with criminal and immoral There considerable group of highly cul

is
a
tendencies. And some of us know why. Never tivated men, among them some conspicuous
theless the Negroes are not as ignorant as the scientists, for whom scientific orthodoxy

is
Russians, nor as poor as the Irish, nor as crim tested not more by assent to the finality of
inal as the English and French workingmen, such laws as science has already formulated,
nor sexually as incontinent as the Italians. If than by the maintenance of catholic and

a
there hope for Europe there abundant open-minded attitude toward fresh knowledge,
is

is

hope for the Negro. And there hope, however revolutionary, in whose light the older
ia
if

then in the name of decency let the American principles may be newly interpreted. These
people refuse to use their best agencies for men are the bitter enemies of intolerant dog
publicity in distributing exaggerations and matism, whether pose as science or as relig
it

misrepresentations such as " The American ion, and they insist that science nowadays

is
Negro." W. E- BURGHAROT DuBors. guilty of intolerable bigotry in its refusal to
Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. countenance well-attested facts, simply because
they are seemingly irreconcilable with accepted
physical principles.
Clearly the outcome of this protestant reac
FACT AND FABLE IN PSYCHOLOGY.*
tionary attitude of mind will depend altogether
The optimistic scientist wont to regard on the sobriety with which employed.
is

it
is

Occultism as kind of feeble intellectual para Such position may lead simply to an enlarge
a
a

site, unfit to cope with the strenuous conditions ment of knowledge concerning the interrela
of modern life and consequently doomed to tions of different forces in the universe. But
speedy extinction. To the dispassionate ob only step to totally different conse
it
is

a
a

server, however, certain contemporary tenden quence, in the shape of practical abandonment
a

cies suggest in the surviving species of the of belief in the inviolability of demonstrated
occult tenacity of life, which threatens uniformities in nature. Undoubtedly the rain
a
a

serious postponement of the scientific millen- descends upon the just and the unjust without
ium. One certainly cannot view such psychic regard to ethical decency, and no one's faith
epidemics, as the spread of Spiritualism during thereby disturbed. But spirits can lift
if
is

the years 1848-50, and the wave of Christian tables and hold them suspended in the air, in
Science and Faith Healing in the present de spite of the operation of gravity, then knowl
cade, without discerning that for large portions at an end, the whole fabric of science
is

edge
of even the educated public, to say nothing of deliquesces into mere logomachy, human con
a

the intellectually submerged tenth, both the duct degenerates into gambling upon chance,
a

spirit and the letter of exact science are closed and man himself becomes the plaything of
•FACT AND FABLE IN PSYCHOLOGY. By Joseph Jastrow. every eddy that may happen to roil the waters
Boston mitrht mi. Mifflin of his ignorance.
&

Co.
II
:

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