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sensuous knowledge the foot of a table or the foot of a mountain before he gave it a name. The carpenter who made the foot knew it as a piece of wood, as a stick, as properly shaped, whether square or round. But until he conceived it as something supporting the top of a table, as the foot supports the body, he did not know it as a foot, "and it is impossible to say which came first, concept or name, in what must have been an almost simultaneous process."
In the words which I have italicised he distinctly says that the concept may have come before the name. To be sure, he says the process must have been almost simultaneous. But the amount of the interval between the formation of a concept and the attribution of a name to it is not material. The question whether thought can exist without words is as completely settled if thought can be shown to exist for a second without its appropriate name, as if it could be shown to exist for a lifetime. Besides, the word does not come into the mind so quickly because thought depends on words, but because of the laws of association of ideas. As soon as the resemblance between the foot of the table and the foot of the body was seen, the laws of association inevitably brought the word foot into the mind. The author seems to be in doubt as to which came first, concept or name. Those who have no theory to support will not be in doubt. There are laws of mind as well as of language. If I think of this or of that, it is because of some law of the mind. Now what law of the mind could bring the word foot into consciousness just before the concept of which it is the name ? Or did the name come into the mind accidentally, and then, by suggesting the idea of supporting, did the concept of the foot of the table, as supporting the table, occur to the mind ? But even this supposition, absurd as it is, will not save the author's theory. For the name foot, which according to the supposition, occurred to the mind, was the name of the foot of a man, and not until after the foot of the table was seen to resemble the foot of a man in certain particulars did the name foot as applied to a part of the table occur to the mind. In truth, the order of causation is always first concept and then name, and if often they seem simultaneous, it is no more strange than that apparent simultaneity which we so often see in nature.
I believe – I suppose every one does — that there is a good deal of truth in the theory that language is the autobiography of the race. In the extreme form in which our author maintains it, I have tried to show that it is false. But in any case he is wrong in the significance he attaches to it. On any supposition, can the science of language throw any light on the origin of our ideas of space and time and causality ? Hume says they came from experience; Kant says they are shadows projected into the external world from the mind itself, and mistaken for ontological realities. McCosh says they are intuitions — direct perceptions of ontological facts. Which is right? Can the science of language tell us ? Can it tell us how our sensations are built up into the external world ? Undoubtedly the science of language renders substantial assistance to students of mind. But Max Müller has very much overestimated the nature and amount of that assistance. Whatever the mind creates — science, literature, music, language — is material which can be used in the study of mind. But to claim that thought and language are so closely related that the careful study of language will reveal every secret of thought is altogether unwarranted.
1 Italics are mine.
But there is not a grain of truth in his opinion as to the significance of his doctrine for philosophy. Can the science of language tell us whether space and time are realities of things, or only of thought ? Can it tell us whether matter or mind is the ultimate reality of the universe ? Or whether both are alike ultimate? Or whether both are but phenomenal manifestations of some unknown reality? Can it tell us what mind is ? Can it give us the test of truth?
In this brief examination I have confined myself to what I regard as the salient points of the book. There is much in it to commend if one had the space to do it, and if the reputation of its author did not make it superfluous. It is of course learned, and often suggestive. But as a contribution to the science of thought and philosophy, I am obliged to say that I regard it as of very little worth.
J. P. Gordy. ATHENS, Ohio.
AEGYPTEX UND AEGYPTISCHES LEBEN IM ALTERTHUM. Geschildert von
ADOLF ERMAN. Erster Band. 8vo, pp. xvi, 350. Zweiter Band. Pp. viii, 392. Tübingen : Verlag der H. Laupp’schen Buchhandlung.
The strength of Erman's “ Ancient Egypt and Egyptian Life" is not in the chapter on religion. The Gods of Greece are alive. The Gods of Egypt are puppets. Yet we could ill spare the threescore pages on the mysterious theme. The author gives a lucid translation of the Rebellion of Men, which has its interest in comparison with the Biblical story of the Fall. More valuable still are the details concerning the priesthood. The offerings enumerated of bread and cakes, beer and wine, geese and oxen, seem to be destined for the laity as well as the clergy. Here were sacrificial feasts. In early times, there was a lay element in the personnel of the hierarchy. In the New Empire this disappeared totally. In its stead sprang up female singers and musicians, so-called, who attached themselves in countless numbers to the temples of Thebes.
The priesthood contained orders. Such was the libation priest the ueb, the reading priest cherheb, the servant of God honef netar, whom the Greeks called prophet. The high priest of Heliopolis has a title as though he were a scientist as well as ecclesiast, — "He who sees the secrets of Heaven.” In the Middle Empire a temporary priesthood appears, reminding us of the secular clergy of the Middle Ages. They are excluded from temple-income and service, and depend on private charity. The ordinary priest received in the same period a salary in kind. In one case it was three hundred and sixty pitchers of beer, nine hundred loaves of white bread, and thirty-six thousand smaller rolls. The high priesthood itself was a prize for ambition. A man born a soldier, and a common priest at sixteen, tells us that at fifty-nine he had passed through all the grades and was “ first prophet of Ammon and chief of the prophets of all the gods.” With the Asiatic wars of the New Empire came the golden age of the Egyptian priesthood. Spoils poured into the treasury of the gods. The high priest became not only a spiritual father and an educator of youth ; he was a temple-builder, like the bishops to whom the Middle Ages owed their cathedrals. Wealth of metals, woods, fields, gardens, slaves, cattle, vessels, made him first equal, then supersede the Pharaoh. The priest-king dynasty of Hir-Hor was the issue to this overweening material, artistic, and military influence.
The realism of the foregoing chapter makes it properly head the second volume of a most learned, fresh, and helpful handbook. All the more that the contribution is a reluctant one. Both author and critic must assign a far higher worth, however, to the chapter on the Family in volume first.
It may be suspected that the intensity of family life had something to do with the duration of the Egyptian as of the Chinese civilization. This thought is confirmed by Dr. Erman's statement, “The relation betwixt husband and wife is in all periods seemingly a tender and affectionate one.” There is polygamy even of two wives in one house only as an exception. The Egyptian Rachel and Leah, unlike the Hebrew, are not eaten up with jealousy. They name their children each for the other. Inheritance, which was for the Israelite vested more in the son than in the daughter, was in Egypt more in the daughter than in the son. Sometimes we have a portrait of the mother of the deceased while that of the father is wanting. His maternal grandfather glories in the career of a successful public officer. Side by side with a filial feeling which is profound and passionate, we see a want of ancestral pride. The Hebrew genealogies have no counterpart on the Nile. The individual rather than the family comes to the front. There are no family names. This singular circuinstance makes the history confusing. Names abound expressing physical and intellectual qualities, commemorating domestic joy, breathing religion — " Ra is content.” But they recur and interweave. Add to this the custom of subjects naming themselves from a prince, and servants from a master, and brothers after one another, with the further complication of curtailing the given into a pet name, and we need not be surprised at the frequency of mistakes of identity. The blot on the Egyptian home was marriage with a sister. This may be explained by the myth of Isis and Nepthys, who were the wives and sisters of Osiris and Set respectively.
Professor Erman gives his readers some four hundred illustrations. These are tasteful and trustworthy. Better still for the recreation of the past are his hieroglyphics and the references at the foot of every page. Best of all is the ordering of his subject, so that the ordinary reader can take up each chapter by itself and learn from one of the first of living Egyptologists about Decipherment, Land, People, History, Monarch, and Court, the State of the Old and New Empire, the Administration of Police and Trials of Criminals, Home, Costume, Diet, Sports, Science and Art among the Teachers of Greece, Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, the Wars of the Living, and the Literature of the Dead. The book does with the pen what the Egypt Exploration Fund is doing with the spade.
John Phelps Taylor.
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF EUROPE. A Sketch of the Diplomatic and Military
History of Continental Europe from the Rise to the Fall of the Second French Empire. By HAROLD MURDOCK, with an introduction by Join FISKE. Pp. xxxii, 421. Boston and New York : Houghton, Miffin & Co. 1889. $2.00.
This is a noble book, and has a noble preface. The optimism of both book and preface is of that thoroughly strengthening and legitimate kind which without idealizing the present, or closing the mind from the contemplation of dangers in the future, recognizes that within the last generation Europe has secured essential and permanent good in the redintegration of genuine nationalities, and that reaction, in the civil and the spiritual sphere, has suffered essential discomfiture.
The author regrets that there is so much of the “drum and trumpet” style of narration in the book, but pleads with reason that “on nearly every battlefield great questions of dynastic and national reconstruction have hung in the balance.” As to the Crimean war, he is right in thinking that for the most of us his lucid summary supersedes the necessity of wading through Kinglake.
Mr. Fiske gives good reason for our putting aside that contemptuous distrust of Austria which still lingers in Mr. Freeman's writings, and which once betrayed Mr. Gladstone into a very awkward strait. “From the moment that she was freed from the deadly burden of peoples held in unwilling subjection, Austria began to show symptoms of healthy national life.” He is on more doubtful ground when he condemns (though with avowed hesitation) the patient Germany for taking back her own. She knew that France would meditate revenge anyhow; then why should she have any longer borne
“ Die Bundesfahn' in fremder Hand
Der Thurm in welscher Macht”? . Mr. Murdock shows well enough that Louis Napoleon went to war with Russia simply because he wanted to make a figure, and chose his field of display with the intention of forcing the English Queen and people through their Indian jealousies to change their dislike into alliance. He succeeded far too well for the honor of England and of her sovereign.
The author gives a clear and deeply interesting description of the siege of Sebastopol, and of its noble defenders, of whom the most of us knew as good as nothing previously. Korniloff, especially, comes out to view in all his enthusiasm, tenacity, patriotism, and piety. “Tell all,” he said, when struck down by the cannon-ball, “it is sweet to die when the conscience is at rest.” On the other hand, the battle of Inkermann, “the soldiers' battle," demonstrated as to the English “ that forty years of enervating peace had failed to eradicate from the national character those indomitable qualities that rendered Wellington's squares impregnable on the slopes of Mont St. Jean." The author remarks, moreover, that the English exaggerated the inferiority of their own military administration. “In England, every weakness in the army was ruthlessly exposed by an unhampered press. In France, disagreeable facts were smothered, or so perverted by a cringing press as to suit the ends of a government whose existence depended upon success." The year 1870 crushed the rotten shell. The author sums up on page 95 the results of the Crimean war, futile to France and England, fruitful only, through Sardinia, to Italy.
The author concedes that if there was any touch of generosity in Louis Napoleon it was a desire to benefit Italy - for a consideration. But of his military claims he says: “ The battle of Magenta consisted of two distinct battles, for the emperor at San Martino and MacMahon on the north did not communicate from morning until after the fighting was over. The Emperor of the French did nothing to merit approbation. He did not plunge into the smoke, sword in hand, as at one time the world was led to believe, but with muddled brain and brooding dread watched from a distance the varying fortunes of the day.”
Mr. Murdock does not let Bismarck's cynical contempt of the Schleswig Holstein treaties lose anything in the telling. As in many other cases of Bismarck's policy, the ill faith was formal more largely than substantial. The time had come for reconstituting Germany, through Prussia, and therefore Austria, the Diet, and the Augustenburgs were pitched out of the way. The enlarging logic of an enlarging nccessity no doubt controlled Bismarck himself, as it had once controlled Luther before him, who at first kept giving promises which he then had to break. Supreme conjunctures will not courtesy too nicely to common times. The issue of all, the Seven Weeks' War, and the regenerating defeat of Sadowa, is told with the cheerful interest belonging to the frank contest of German with German, which brought a blessing to both. And in spite of all English dissuasives from the Triple Alliance, Bismarck knew what he was saying: “We had powerful support in the incorruptible fidelity of Italy. ... From this fact we may draw strong hopes that in the future the most cordial relations will unite Germany and Italy."
The advancing turn of fortune is described : “France was the centre in 1867 around which Europe was revolving. She held the key to the Roman question, and Italy was her suitor; she possessed an unbeaten army, and Austria was her flatterer ; but she sought a slice of Rhineland and Prussia was her foe.” The author describes Napoleon's dream of Prussia's defeat by Austria. It was shattered. The war, however, would not have come without the empress and the priests. Infallibility and Luther were again to try their strength together, and the 1st of September was the answer to the 18th of July. The moody usurper “ was borne along on the current of brag and bluster,” with small hope of the issue. However, if it was any comfort to him, he might have reflected that he had gained by an association with the golden lilies, as being the third French monarch whom a battle had left a prisoner. “On the 4th of September Napoleon left Sedan for the castle of Wilhelmshöhe near Cassel, which the Prussian king had placed at his disposal. The day was dark and sad, and the falling rain converted the roads into mire. So, bidding adieu to France forever, escorted by a hostile soldiery, the Man of December, the Arbiter of Europe, the Modern Cæsar, was whirled away northward into the mist and gloom that enshrouded the Belgian hills.”
Why is it, asks the author in conclusion, that after all these achievements militarism still weighs so heavy on continental Europe that everywhere “ above the roar of the city street sounds the sharp drumbeat of the passing regiment; in the sweet rural country the village church-bell cannot drown the bugle peal from the fortress on the hill ” ? “ It means that the Eastern and Alsatian questions are not settled ; that Republican France broods darkly over the exactions of 1871, while it casts friendly glances upon aggressive and despotic Russia ; that Austria, dreading Russian power, draws nearer to Germany, and that Germany, still united with Austria and Italy, holds fast what she has won by the sword, while with the old assurance that has never yet betrayed him, Bismarck proclaims both to the east and west, We Germans fear God, and nothing in the world beside.'”
Charles C. Starbuck. ANDOVER.