« AnkstesnisTęsti »
ence over her husband, whom she accompanied upon all his journeys; and out of the great love she bore him, in which her own ambition had its part, she urged him on to support that hidden movement which was striving to oppose Germanicus to the
That two parties were not formed was due very largely to the fact that Germanicus was sufficiently reasonable not to allow himself to be carried too far by the current which favored him, and possibly also to the fact that during the entire reign of Tiberius his mother Antonia was the most faithful and devoted friend of the emperor. After his divorce from Julia, Tiberius had not married again, and the offices of tenderness which a wife should have given him were discharged in part by his mother, but largely by his sister-in-law. No one exercised so much influence as Antonia over the diffident and self-centered spirit of the emperor. Whoever wished to obtain a favor from him could do no better than to intrust his cause to Antonia. There is no doubt, therefore, that Antonia checked her son, and in his society counterbalanced the influence of his wife.
But even if two parties were not formed, it was not long before other difficulties arose. Discord soon made itself felt between Livia and Agrippina. More serious still was the fact that Germanicus, who, after the death of Augustus, had been sent as a legate to Gaul, initiated a German policy contrary to the instructions given him by Tiberius. This was due partly to his own impetuous temperament and partly to the goadings of his wife and the flatterers who surrounded him. Tiberius, whom the Germans knew from long experience, no longer wished to molest. them. The revolt of Arminius proved that when their independence was threatened by Rome they were capable of uniting and becoming dangerous; when left to themselves they destroyed one another by continual wars. It was advisable, therefore, according to Tiberius, not to attack or molest them, but at the proper moment to fan the flames of their continual dissensions and wars in order that, while destroying themselves, they should leave the empire in peace. This wise and prudent policy might please a seasoned soldier like. Tiberius, who had already won his laurels in many wars and who had risen to the
pinnacle of glory and power. It did not please the pushing and eager youth Germanicus, who was anxious to distinguish himself by great and brilliant exploits, and who had at his side, as a continual stimulus, an ambitious and passionate wife, surrounded by a court of flatterers. Germanicus, on his own initiative, crossed the Rhine and took up the offensive again all along the line, attacking the most powerful of the German tribes one after the other in important and successful expeditions. At Rome this bold move was naturally looked upon with pleasure, especially by the numerous enemies of Tiberius, either because boldness in politics rather than prudence always pleases those who have nothing to lose, or because it was felt that the glory which accrued to Germanicus might offend the emperor. And Tiberius, though he did disapprove, allowed his adopted son to continue for a time, doubtless in order that he might not have to shock public opinion and that it might not seem that he wished to deprive the youthful Germanicus of the glory which he was gaining for himself.
He was nevertheless resolved not to allow Germanicus to involve Rome too deeply in German affairs, and when it seemed to him that the youth had fittingly proved his prowess and had made the enemies of Rome feel its power sufficiently, he recalled him and in his stead sent Drusus, who was his real, and not his adopted, But this recall did not at all please the party of Germanicus, who were loud and bitter in their recriminations. They began to murmur that Tiberius was jealous of Germanicus and his popularity; that he had recalled him in order to prevent his winning glory by an immortal achievement. Tiberius so little thought of keeping Germanicus from using his brilliant qualities in the service of Rome that shortly after, in the year 18 A.D., he sent him into the Orient to introduce order into Armenia, which was shaken by internal dissensions, and he gave him a command there not less important than the one of which he had deprived him. At the same time he was unwilling to intrust things entirely to the judgment of Germanicus, in whom he recognized a young man of capacity and valor, but, nevertheless, a young man influenced by an imprudent wife and incited by an irresponsible
court of flatterers. For this reason he placed at his side an older and more experienced man in whom he had the fullest confidence-Сnæus Piso, a senator who belonged to one of the most illustrious families in Rome.
It was the duty of Cnæus Piso to counsel, to restrain, and to aid the young Germanicus, and doubtless also to keep Tiberius informed of all that Germanicus was doing in the East. When we remember that Tiberius was responsible for the empire, no one will deny him the right of setting a guard upon the young man of thirty-three, into whose hands had been intrusted many and serious interests. But though this idea was warrantable in itself, it became the source of great woe. Germanicus was offended, and driven on by his friends, he broke with Piso. The latter had brought with him his wife Plancina, who was a close friend of Livia, just as Germanicus had brought Agrippina. The two wives fell to quarreling no less furiously than their husbands, and two parties were formed in the Orient, one for Piso and one for Germanicus, who accused each other of illegality, extortion, and assuming unwarranted powers; and each thought only of undoing what the other had accomplished. It is difficult to tell which of the two was right or in how far either was right or wrong, for the documents are too few and the account of Tacitus, clouded by an undiscerning antipathy, sheds no light upon this dark secret. In any case, we are sure that Germanicus did not always respect the laws and that he occasionally acted with a supreme heedlessness which now and then forced Tiberius to intervene personally, as he did on the occasion when Germanicus left his province with Agrippina in order that, dressed like a Greek philosopher, he might make a tour of Egypt and see that country, which then, as now, tracted the attention of persons of culture. But at that time, unlike the present, there was an ordinance of Augustus which forbade Roman senators to set foot in Egypt without special permission. As he had paid no attention to this prohibition, we need not be astonished if we find that Germanicus did not respect as scrupulously as Tiberius wished all the laws which defined his powers and set limits to his authority.
However that may be, the dissension between Germanicus and Piso filled the entire Orient with confusion and disorder, and it was early echoed at Rome, where the party hostile to Tiberius continued to accuse him, out of motives of hatred and jealousy, of forever laying new obstacles in the way of his adopted son. Livia, too, now no longer protected by Augustus, became a target for the accusations of a malevolent public opinion. It was said that she persecuted Germanicus out of hatred for Agrippina. Tiberius was much embarrassed, being hampered by public opinion favorable to Germanicus and at the same time desiring that his sons should set an example of obedience to the laws.
A sudden catastrophe still further complicated the situation. In 19 A.D., Germanicus was taken ill at Antioch. The malady was long and marked by periods of convalescence and relapses, but finally, like his father and like his brothers-inlaw, Germanicus, too, succumbed to his destiny in the fullness of youth. At thirtyfour, when life with her most winning smiles seemed to be stretching out her arms to him, he died. This one more untimely death brought to an abrupt end a most dangerous political struggle. Is it to be wondered at, then, that the people, whose imagination had been aroused, should have begun to murmur about poison? The party of Germanicus was driven to desperation by this death, which virtually ended its existence, and destroyed at a single stroke all the hopes of those who had seen in Germanicus the instrument of their future fortune. They therefore eagerly collected, embellished, and spread these rumors. Had Agrippina been a woman of any judgment or reflection, she would have been the first to see the absurdity of this foolish gossip; but as a matter of fact no one placed more implicit faith in such reports than she, now that affliction had rendered her even more impetuous and violent.
It was not long before every one at Rome had heard it said that Germanicus had been poisoned by Piso, acting, so it was intimated in whispers, at the bidding of Tiberius and Livia. Piso had been the tool of Tiberius; Plancina, the tool of Livia. The accusation is absurd; it is even recognized as such by Tacitus, who
was actuated by a fierce hatred against Tiberius. We know from him how the accusers of Piso recounted that the poison had been drunk in a health at a banquet to which Piso had been invited by Germanicus and at which he was seated several places from his host; he was supposed to have poured the poison into his dishes in the presence of all the guests without any one having seen him! Tacitus himself says that every one thought this an absurd fable, and such every man of good sense will think it to-day. But hatred makes even intelligent persons believe fables even more absurd; the people favorable to Germanicus were embittered against Piso and would not listen to reason. All the enemies of Tiberius easily persuaded themselves that some atrocious mystery was hidden in this death and that, if they instituted proceedings against Piso, they might bring to light a scandal which would compromise the emperor himself. They even began to repeat that Piso possessed letters from Tiberius which contained the order to poison Germanicus.
At last Agrippina arrived at Rome with the ashes of her husband, and she began with her usual vehemence to fill the imperial house, the senate, and all Rome with protests, imprecations, and accusations against Piso. The populace, which admired her for her fidelity and love for her husband, was even more deeply stirred, and on every hand the cry was raised that an exemplary punishment ought to be meted out to so execrable a crime.
If at first Piso had treated these absurd charges with haughty disdain, he soon perceived that the danger was growing serious and that it was necessary for him to hasten his return to Rome, where a trial was now inevitable. One of Germanicus's friends had accused him; Agrippina, an unwitting tool in the hands of the emperor's enemies, every day stirred public opinion to still higher pitches of excitement through her grief and her laments;
the party of Germanicus worked upon the senate and the people, and when Piso arrived at Rome he found that he had been abandoned by all. His hope lay in Tiberius, who knew the truth and who certainly desired that these wild notions be driven out of the popular mind. But Tiberius was watched with the most painstaking malevolence. Any least action in favor of Piso would have been interpreted as a decisive proof that he had been the murderer's accomplice and therefore wished to save him. In fact, it was being reported at Rome with ever-increasing insistence that at the trial Piso would show the letters of Tiberius. When the trial began, Livia, in the background, cleverly directed her thoughts to the saving of Plancina; but Tiberius could do no more for Piso than to recommend to the senate that they exercise the most rigorous impartiality. His noble speech on this occasion has been preserved for us by Tacitus. "Let them judge," he said, "without regard either for the imperial family or for the family of Piso." The admonition was useless, for his condemnation was a foregone conclusion, despite the absurdity of the charges. The enemies of Tiberius wished to force matters to the uttermost limit in the hope that the famous letters would have to be produced; and they acted with such frenzied hatred and excited public opinion to such a pitch that Piso killed himself before the end of the trial.
The violence of Agrippina had sent an innocent victim to follow the shade of her young husband. Despite bitter opposition, the emperor, through personal intervention, succeeded in saving the wife, the son, and the fortune of Piso, whose enemies had wished to exterminate his house root and branch, and Tiberius thus offered a further proof that he was one of the few persons at Rome who were capable in that trying and troubled time of passing judgment and of reasoning with calm.
(To be continued)
EDISON ON INVENTION AND
CAN INVENTION BE TAUGHT?-HIS METHODS OF WORK-
AN INTERVIEW BY WALDO P. WARREN
THEN I stepped into the library of Thomas A. Edison, in one of the group of buildings comprising the great plant at Orange, New Jersey, it was to meet and talk with a man whose many wonderful achievements had fired my imagination since my childhood days.
To talk with Edison, and ask him questions, and try to grasp some secret of the mental attitude which has kept his mind open to the reception of many great fundamental ideas-that was my desire. And the pleasure is doubly mine in being able to share some of those ideas with the world-that world every inhabitant of which in this and future ages is or will be a beneficiary of the genius and labor of one of the most prolific inventors the world has ever known.
The immediate object of my visit was to get Mr. Edison to express more at length his views in regard to the possibility of teaching men how to develop their latent inventive instinct. It was a subject that had long engaged my interest, and I had only recently read this statement:
"Edison regards the art of inventing very much in the light of a profession which may be 'learned' almost as successfully as soldiering or acting or even 'doctoring.' Thousands of men, he thinks, might have become inventors had they but cultivated their ideas, for the creative germ lies hidden in most minds."
This impressed me as being the germ of a great idea, and I wished to see it developed. Who knows, thought I, but the day may come when our educational systems will more adequately recognize the importance of the creative faculty, and will be keyed to develop the individual mind, instead of forcing the mind to lose. much of its individual initiative by being passed through a mold of a dead-level average intelligence? If Edison, the acknowledged "king of inventors," declares that inventiveness can be learned and developed the same as any other faculty of the mind, what an interesting thing for our initial educators to ponder over! Perhaps, even, some of our moneyed men whose fortunes have been made from the ideas of the inventors might make endowments to further such instruction. At any rate, it was an interesting thing to think and talk about, and would afford an opportunity to meet Mr. Edison on a matter that already commanded his interest.
The Edison plant is composed of a number of large buildings, similar to those of hundreds of other factories, and, like them, filled with odd, intricate, and noisy machinery and busy workmen. The library building is at one corner of the grounds, a little apart from the factory buildings. Here, in a large room filled with books and statuary and various bits of paraphernalia which doubtless belong somewhere
else when not in use, I found Mr. Edison sitting at a flat-top mahogany desk, which was covered with the usual array of office papers.
After explaining more fully the object of my visit, I asked him a number of questions calculated to engage his thought upon matters of general interest. Having heard of his deafness, and not knowing how difficult it might be to talk with him, I had prepared a number of questions along the line of the intended interview. These I handed to him in type-written. form.
He looked them over and remarked, "You have some hard ones here." Then he reached for my fountain-pen, which he saw sticking out of my coat-pocket, and, picking up a pad of yellow paper, began to write down numbered answers to my written questions.
The list of questions, and his answers, are as follows:
Q. Do you believe that inventiveness can be taught?
A. Yes, if the person has ambition, energy, and imagination.
Q. At what age is one most likely to respond to such instruction?
A. About twelve years.
Q. What method of instruction would be most valuable?
A. Problems to be solved.
Q. Do you consider the end for which an instrument is designed or the immediate effect you wish to produce?
A. Consider always if the public wants the invention-its commercial value.
Q. What is an inventor's chief inspiration?
A. If he is a good inventor, it is to make his invention earn money to permit him to indulge in more inventions. If he is a one-idea inventor, the incentive is generally money only.
When he had finished writing these answers he leaned back in his chair and began to talk over the subject in general. One of the first things he said was:
"Do you want to know my definition of a successful invention? It is something that is so practical that a Polish Jew will buy it."
This I found was to be a sort of keynote to his whole attitude-a consideration of the practical. He said that he just works along, feeling after results, to find the right tack, but is not much given to reducing his experiments to generalizations. He seemed at least to have attained a working hypothesis in the belief that the open mind was better than making broad generalizations from fragmentary experiments. This was not exactly the kind of psychological secret I had expected to find to account for his deep insight into things,
Q. Should it be done through schools but it explained more than the most cherand books?
A. Books and actual demonstration.
Q. What of the advantage of ordinary shop experience?
A. Great advantage to have actual personal knowledge of how things are done.
Q. What do you think of instruction by correspondence?
A. The cheapest and best way for a poor man, if the college is reputable.
Q. What frame of mind helps to bring ideas?
ished theory would have done.
But I was interested to know what kind of ideas he would have about big thingsthe laws of the universe and our relation to them. For surely a man whose life had been spent working with fundamental laws would have some interesting impressions about them. To open up the conversation on such things, I asked:
"Is a settled concept of the universe important as a background for deep thinking?" I had heard it said that a man needs to have his mind fairly at rest on the
Q. Is it true that an inventor has to be big points of life before he can do much more or less abnormal?
sound creative work.
He waved the question aside with a gesture of head and hand, and smiled as he said: "No; I always keep within a few feet of the earth's surface all the time. At least I never let my thought run up higher than the Himalayas. All my work is rather earthy."
He soon contradicted this limitation,