Зображення сторінки

tion, Magna Charta, and the most important part of the Bill of Rights sanctioned by William and Mary, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, of 1639, “ the first written constitution that created a government."

It is a matter of religious thankfulness, that the civic sense of our youth, male and female, no longer left to the neglect of chance, is coming to have such magnificent nourishment as this.

Charles C. Starbuck. ANDOVER.

THE MONUMENTS OF UPPER EGYPT. A translation of the “ Itinéraire de la

haute Egypte ” of AUGUSTE MARIETTE BEY, by ALPHONSE MARIETTE. Revised, with Notes and Additions, by LYSANDER DICKERMAN. 12mo, pp. 335. Boston : J. H. Mansfield & J. W. Dearborn. 1890.

Whoever knows the charming French original will be grateful to the sympathetic translator and accomplished reviser. Mr. Dickerman is a devoted student of Egyptology. His illustrated “ Lectures on the Ancient Egyptians” have excited a lively interest among the masses, no less than among connoisseurs. It was a happy thought to enrich this guide with his apt and instructive annotations. A useful list of books for reference is not the least of its merits. Mr. Dickerman has also prepared an Appendix of some forty pages, furnishing the traveler with all needed information respecting the progress of Egyptian discovery since Mariette's death in 1881.

It is enough to note the contents of this compact and helpful sketch to discern its value. The pyramids of Pepi, Ounas, and Teta, with their famous incantations; the royal mummies of Déïr-el-Bahari; Pithom with its storehouses, San-Tanis with its colossi; the Biblical Tahpanes where the prophet Jeremiah and the princesses of the house of Judah tarried in their flight after the destruction of Jerusalem ; Bubastis, seat of the great popular festival at the temple Herodotus admired more than twenty centuries ago ; the Fayoum of the wondrous labyrinth and lake, revealed by Petrie; Hawara with its Roman portraits, so bold yet so delicate; Ilahun with its alphabet a millennium before the Moabite stone; Tel-el-Amarna and its tablets containing an animated cuneiform correspondence between the king of Mesopotamia and his brother and son-inlaw the king of Egypt, Thi’s husband, and Chu-en-aten's father, — each and all pass before the reader under the spell of Mr. Dickerman's winsome zeal and practiced pen.

At the end of the first syllable, Stuttgart on page 15 has but one t, Archéologie at the foot of page 16 is spelled with an extra a, the G in Mr. Tompkins' middle name at the foot of page 17 has become an E, and at the top of page 18 Découvertes modernes has been robbed of its two rightful feminine es. No doubt, also, the same printer meant to have set up Daphnai instead of Daphine on page 310, and Kasr el bint el Yahudi instead of hint, on page 313.

John Phelps Taylor.

LIFE OF DOROTHEA LYNDE Dix. By Francis TIFFANY. Pp. xiii, 392.

$1.50. Boston and New York : Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1890.

Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, who assisted Miss Dix in her charitable intents in Constantinople, well says, in the “Christian Mirror,” that it is long since

a biography of such value has appeared. The noble austerity of character in the subject is presented with a dignified simplicity fully worthy of it. The name of Dorothea Dix had long been familiar, as that of an eminent philanthropist, but assuredly the world had little apprehension of the grandeur of her character, and the grandeur of her achievements, until now that the facts of her life are thus compactly presented.

Miss Dix had a terrible but beneficent training for a terrible but beneficent work. The simple record of what she had to pass through in the mission of her life is more than most men would care to read twice. And she was a woman in the most distinctive sense. Toe strength of her domestic affections and her richness of sentiment seem to have answered to the compass of her large nature, without losing anything of their feminine proportions, and assuredly without ever losing anything of their feminine delicacy. In the shrinking from publicity, Miss Dix remained as complete a woman as any mother of a family. The intense affections which were to be poured out upon the prisoners and lunatics of the world were held within this channel by an early disappointment, preceded by an austerity of domestic training so appalling in its repression of every sign of affection, that it is no great wonder if afterwards she was appalled by nothing.

Had Miss Dix become the mother of a family, she would still, like Elizabeth Fry, have done a great deal of her later work, for, as Mr. Tiffany remarks, “ The sense of pitiful compassion for the ignorant, degraded, and suffering, was the strongest element in her being." But remaining single, she had full time, in her long life of eighty-five years, for giving herself up to her specific vocation, after having through a number of years gained eminent note as a teacher, having provided that her younger brothers should be well prepared for making their way in life, and having secured a competency for herself. Her intimacy with Dr. Channing, whom, with his family, she accompanied on a delightful visit to the West Indies, was a lasting exaltation and enrichment of her life, and reinforcement of its purpose. These resting-places in her life. she enjoyed to the full, especially the long refreshment of her residence in the family of a wealthy Unitarian merchant of Liverpool, Mr. William Rathbone, in whose house she seemed to find much of what she had so cruelly missed in youth. Like the Saviour, she now and then made a stay in the homes of the rich, that she might gather strength for a life dedicated to the poor.

The biographer prefaces the account of her life-long work by two deeply instructive chapters on the three successive theories of insanity : First, that it is a possession of Satan; second, that it is an outbreak of the worst elements of the human personality ; third, that it is the obscuration of the essential human reason by the reaction against it of physical disorder. Has the second theory been antiquated by the third, or only filled out by it? At all events, the emergence of the third could not but work a profound change of methods. Mr. Tiffany makes us acquainted with those two heroes of humanity, Dr. Pinel, of France, and Dr. William Tuke, of England, as well as with Doctors Hill, Charlesworth, and Conolly. On the foundation of what they had done, it was appointed Dorothy Dix to revolutionize the treatment of the insane, and of the imbecile, in our country, and in Scotland, besides what she accomplished in the Channel Islands, in Rome, and even in Constantinople.

The eighth chapter presents her “ Descent into Inferno,” which for

her was found in the East Cambridge jail, where “ Miss Dix was first brought into immediate contact with the overcrowding, the filth, and the herding together of innocent, guilty, and insane persons, which at that time characterized the prisons of Massachusetts, and the inevitable evils of which were repeated in even worse shape in the almshouses." She did not then know whether East Cambridge was an exception, or an example. This was the question she set about answering. “Note-book in band, she started out on her voyage of exploration, visiting every jail and almshouse from Berkshire on the west to Cape Cod on the east. Steadily accumulating her statistics of outrage and misery, she at last got together a mass of eye-witness testimony appalling in extent and detail. With this she now determined to memorialize the Legislature of Massachusetts.” One shriek of anger from incriminated towns and functionaries and their friends went up thoroughout the State. “Very soon, however, was it to become clear to intelligent men and women that they were now called upon to deal with one who was at the last remove from a sensationalist; with one, on the contrary, endowed not merely with a sensitive heart, but with a statesmanlike grasp of mind.” Happily, “ the courage and indomitable humanity” of Dr. S. G. Howe, then in the Legislature, were at her command, and Massachusetts, impelled by her, had the honor of giving the first impulse to a series of legislative victories, “to follow in such numbers through the length and breadth of the United States that their repetition year by year, the enormous sums of money they involved, the magnitude of the structures they led to the building of, the range of the field they opened out to advancing medical science, and the vast number of poor wretches transferred from stalls and chains to a comparative heaven of asylum comfort, fairly startle the imagination.”

We cannot well do justice to the condensed energy of statement into which the biographer has rendered the condensed energy of her life. But we give some sentences. “To this day the oldest living friends of Miss Dix never weary of speaking of the wonderful quality of her voice. It was sweet, rich, and low, perfect in enunciation, and its very tone pervaded with blended love and power. Quiet but always tasteful in the style of her dress, her rich, wavy, dark brown hair brought down over the cheek and carried back behind the ears, her face lit with alternately soft and brilliant blue-gray eyes, their pupils so large and dilating as to cause them often to be taken for black, a bright, almost hectic glow of color on her cheeks, with her shapely head set on a neck so long, flexile, and graceful as to impart an air of distinction to her carriage all the accounts which have come down from this period of her career call up a personality preeminently fitted to sway those brought into contact with her in her higher moods of inspiration.” “ Personally she never cared to appear in public. It was thoroughly distasteful to her to do so. She made no addresses, she gathered no meetings. To come to close quarters of eye, conscience, and heart with impressionable and influential minds, to deliver her burden as from the Lord to them, and let it work on their sensibility and reason, — this was her invariable method.” From the time of Catherine of Siena, and earlier, till now, womanhood never seems to have suffered in those that have been led beyond the circle of the home or the cell by the sacred force of faith and love. But Miss Dix seems to have known how to sway the minds of many men to great public ends without ever surrendering even the seclusion which a womanly nature loves.

She began with Massachusetts, but having been casually led once or twice just over its boundaries, there “ now first broke upon her the length and breadth of the mission to which she felt herself divinely called. Resolutely and untiringly, State by State, would she take up the work ; first exhaustively accumulating the facts and preparing the ammunition,' and then investing and besieging the various legislatures, till they should capitulate to the cry of the perishing within their borders. In deliberately planning, as she did thus early in her career, so vast a campaign, was revealed the greatness and compass of her mind. The splendors and audacities of moral genius now flashed out in her. Far more than simply a good and merciful woman was here. Here was a woman with the grasp of intellect, the fertility of resources, and the indomitable force of will that go to the make-up of a great statesman or a great military commander.” And this vast plan was thoroughly carried out. She saw that the “wild beast ” theory could never be eradicated by palliatives. The States must erect establishments in which the best skill should lay siege to the powers of disease that beset the alienated mind.

Her “ first-born child” was the asylum at Trenton, brought forth in sore travail. Moral apathy and the fears of the taxpayers held a hard grip. But before the tact of private and the courage of public appeal apathy and parsimony yielded, and New Jersey gave her the second great impulse which led her for nine years into what her biographer has well entitled “Journeyings often.” These years, for their privations and dangers, read like a part of the journal of Asbury, or any other of the Methodist pioneers, as she went through all the South and West (as well as into the British Provinces) at a time when, compared with the present, the means of communication were rudeness and dangerousness itself, and the diet at the country taverns enough to ruin, if not the digestion of an ostrich, almost any digestion short of it. And yet, remarks her biographer, she is another illustration of the saying, that “the work of the world is done by its invalids.” The “lesson of wise economy of her strength Miss Dix had now mastered, as far as it ever is mastered by natures consumed by such passion of self-sacrifice.” She cut society short, and relieved the overstrain of sympathy with wretchedness by three things, botanical study (in which she was an extraordinary proficient), communion with nature, and, above all, by communion with God.

Every State, remarks Mr. Tiffany, was at this time a fresh citadel, entirely unimpaired by any previous conquests of hers. Every situation had to be studied for itself. But in this way she carried Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, besides a new asylum in Nova Scotia, and one in Newfoundland.

On issues aside from her own she was silent. She had a work given her which set the waves and billows of misery rolling over her head, and she turned not and looked not aside to any other. But what a difference between the silence of cowardice and of hallowed concentration !

The writer gives in all its dramatic force the history of the campaign after campaign for the Twelve Million Acres, the defeat on defeat, the final triumph over both Houses of Congress, and — the final defeat, by the breath of one man, who seems to have thought that he had come to the kingdom for the very end of quelling all attempts to legislate in the interests of mercy. We may well believe of this one “ fantastic trick"

of ill-placed authority, that it made the angels weep. It draws from her one of the two expressions of bitter contempt which we remember in the book, the other being called out, while in Europe, by the disgrace brought on the American name by the “ vile book” of a noted showman, in which he details his various impostures.

The next chapter gives the episode of Sable Island, in which she saved the 168 souls that made up the passengers and crew of an American ship.

The twenty-first chapter is entitled “ The American Invader.” Her visit to Scotland, the rapidity with which the foreigner, a woman, remonstrated with by her English friends for undertaking so presumptuous a thing, “made time” against the angry Scotch magistrate who was hurrying to London to anticipate her, and beating him by some two hours, had her reward in a Royal Commission through which, as the younger Dr. Tuke says, the Lunacy Laws of Scotland were revolutionized, reminds one of Browning's account of the chase of the two Piedmontese kings. As Mr. Tiffany says, poetic justice is not always confined to the stage.

Her account of her journey to Italy, with her disgust at the swarming obstructiveness of the priests, and her lasting gratitude to Pius IX. and Antonelli, the two men whom she found bent on helping her, is not one of the least interesting chapters. Mr. Howells says, that Cardinal Antonelli had the wickedest face of any man he ever saw. But his “ clear-cut intellectual force made a life-long impression” on Miss Dix. He entered warmly into her schemes, and she was the most enlightened, humane, and merciful man, she insisted, she had found in Rome, a man who spared himself no pains to urge the plea of the wronged and suffering." It was the patriots he hated, not the lunatics. The Pope himself Miss Dix found delightful. She scarcely spoke French, but happily found that he was at home in English. She was asked if she kissed his hand at parting. “Most certainly I did,” she replied, " I revered him for his saintliness.” And his theology left him fully free to recognize hers.

She visited Constantinople, where she found the Moslem hospitals for the insane immeasurably better than the Christian. The Turks are a kindly race, to the Turks, and they revere lunatics as inspired, instead of detesting them as possessed.

The biographer remarks that Miss Dix's toils in caring for the development of her many children, the asylums, were to the toils of founding them what other anxieties of nurture are to other pains of birth. She never lost sight of them, and was granted many years to watch over them.

Her four years' work in the army achieved grand things, but was, remarks the author, perhaps the least fruitful part of her life. Her powers were past their first freshness, her habits were fixed, and in the early rawness of a people unaccustomed to war it was impossible that methods should meet her ideal, while character and use alike had made her a solitary worker, so that she chafed others, and was chafed by others, in her hospital life. But we are astonished to find that it was she who first learned and made known to President Felton, of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad, the plot to break connection with the North, murder Mr. Lincoln, and seize upon Washington, and who enabled him by his prompt measures to defeat it. She thus saved Abraham Lincoln till his martyrdom should have set the seal upon a completed work. VOL. XV. – NO. 87.


« НазадПродовжити »