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was actuated by a fierce hatred against the party of Germanicus worked upon the Tiberius. We know from him how the senate and the people, and when Piso araccusers of Piso recounted that the poison rived at Rome he found that he had been had been drunk in a health at a banquet abandoned by all. His hope lay in Tibeto which Piso had been invited by Ger- rius, who knew the truth and who cermanicus and at which he was seated sev- tainly desired that these wild notions be eral places from his host; he was supposed driven out of the popular mind. But to have poured the poison into his dishes Tiberius was watched with the most painsin the presence of all the guests without taking malevolence. Any least action in any one having seen him! Tacitus him- favor of Piso would have been interpreted self says that every one thought this an as a decisive proof that he had been the absurd fable, and such every man of good murderer's accomplice and therefore sense will think it to-day. But hatred wished to save him. In fact, it was being makes even intelligent persons believe fa- reported at Rome with ever-increasing bles even more absurd; the people favora- insistence that at the trial Piso would show ble to Germanicus were embittered against the letters of Tiberius. When the trial Piso and would not listen to reason. All began, Livia, in the background, cleverly the enemies of Tiberius easily persuaded directed her thoughts to the saving of themselves that some atrocious mystery Plancina; but Tiberius could do no more was hidden in this death and that, if they for Piso than to recommend to the senate instituted proceedings against Piso, they that they exercise the most rigorous immight bring to light a scandal which partiality. His noble speech on this occawould compromise the emperor himself. sion has been preserved for us by Tacitus. They even began to repeat that Piso pos- “Let them judge,” he said, "without resessed letters from Tiberius which con- gard either for the imperial family or for tained the order to poison Germanicus. the family of Piso." The admonition was
At last Agrippina arrived at Rome with useless, for his condemnation was a forethe ashes of her husband, and she began gone conclusion, despite the absurdity of with her usual vehemence to fill the im- the charges. The enemies of Tiberius perial house, the senate, and all Rome wished to force matters to the uttermost with protests, imprecations, and accusa- limit in the hope that the famous letters tions against Piso. The populace, which would have to be produced; and they admired her for her fidelity and love for acted with such frenzied hatred and exher husband, was even more deeply stirred, cited public opinion to such a pitch that and on every hand the cry was raised that Piso killed himself before the end of the an exemplary punishment ought to be trial. meted out to so execrable a crime.
The violence of Agrippina had sent an If at first Piso had treated these absurd innocent victim to follow the shade of her charges with haughty disdain, he soon per- young husband. Despite bitter opposition, ceived that the danger was growing seri- the emperor, through personal intervenous and that it was necessary for him to tion, succeeded in saving the wife, the son, hasten his return to Rome, where a trial and the fortune of Piso, whose enemies was now inevitable. One of Germanicus's had wished to exterminate his house root friends had accused him; Agrippina, an and branch, and Tiberius thus offered a unwitting tool in the hands of the em- further proof that he was one of the few peror's enemies, every day stirred public persons at Rome who were capable in that opinion to still higher pitches of excite- trying and troubled time of passing judgment through her grief and her laments; ment and of reasoning with calm.
(To be continued)
CAN INVENTION BE TAUGHT?—HIS METHODS OF WORK-
ULATING THE IMAGINATION-HIS HUMILITY
AN INTERVIEW BY WALDO P. WARREN
HEN I stepped into the library of This impressed me as being the germ
Thomas A. Edison, in one of the of a great idea, and I wished to see it degroup of buildings comprising the great veloped. Who knows, thought I, but the plant at Orange, New Jersey, it was to day may come when our educational sysmeet and talk with a man whose many tems will more adequately recognize the wonderful achievements had fired my im- importance of the creative faculty, and agination since my childhood days.
will be keyed to develop the individual To talk with Edison, and ask him ques- mind, instead of forcing the mind to lose tions, and try to grasp some secret of the much of its individual initiative by being mental attitude which has kept his mind passed through a mold of a dead-level averopen to the reception of many great age intelligence? If Edison, the acknowfundamental ideas — that was my desire. ledged "king of inventors," declares that And the pleasure is doubly mine in being inventiveness can be learned and develable to share some of those ideas with the oped the same as any other faculty of the world--that world every inhabitant of mind, what an interesting thing for our which in this and future ages is or will be initial educators to ponder over! Perhaps, a beneficiary of the genius and labor of even, some of our moneyed men whose one of the most prolific inventors the fortunes have been made from the ideas of world has ever known.
the inventors might make endowments to The immediate object of my visit was further such instruction. At any rate, it to get Mr. Edison to express more at was an interesting thing to think and talk length his views in regard to the possibil- about, and would afford an opportunity ity of teaching men how to develop their to meet Mr. Edison on a matter that allatent inventive instinct. It was a subject ready commanded his interest. that had long engaged my interest, and I The Edison plant is composed of a numhad only recently read this statement: ber of large buildings, similar to those of
"Edison regards the art of inventing hundreds of other factories, and, like them, very much in the light of a profession filled with odd, intricate, and noisy mawhich may be ‘learned' almost as success- chinery and busy workmen. The library fully as soldiering or acting or even 'doc- building is at one corner of the grounds, toring. Thousands of men, he thinks, a little apart from the factory buildings. might have become inventors had they but Here, in a large room filled with books cultivated their ideas, for the creative and statuary and various bits of paraphergerm lies hidden in most minds."
nalia which doubtless belong somewhere else when not in use, I found Mr. Edison Q. Do you consider the end for which sitting at a flat-top mahogany desk, which an instrument is designed or the immediwas covered with the usual array of office ate effect you wish to produce? papers.
A. Consider always if the public wants After explaining more fully the object the invention-its commercial value. of my visit, I asked him a number of ques- Q. What is an inventor's chief inspirations calculated to engage his thought tion? upon matters of general interest. Having A. If he is a good inventor, it is to heard of his deafness, and not knowing make his invention earn money to permit how difficult it might be to talk with him, him to indulge in more inventions. If he I had prepared a number of questions is a one-idea inventor, the incentive is along the line of the intended interview. generally money only. These I handed to him in type-written When he had finished writing these anform.
swers he leaned back in his chair and beHe looked them over and remarked, gan to talk over the subject in general. "You have some hard ones here.” Then One of the first things he said was: he reached for my fountain-pen, which he “Do you want to know my definition saw sticking out of my coat-pocket, and, of a successful invention? It is something picking up a pad of yellow paper, began to that is so practical that a Polish Jew will write down numbered answers to my buy it.” written questions.
This I found was to be a sort of keyThe list of questions, and his answers, note to his whole attitude-a consideration are as follows:
of the practical. He said that he just Q. Do you believe that inventiveness works along, feeling after results, to find can be taught?
the right tack, but is not much given to A. Yes, if the person has ambition, en- reducing his experiments to generalizaergy, and imagination.
tions. He seemed at least to have attained Q. At what age is one most likely to a working hypothesis in the belief that the respond to such instruction?
open mind was better than making broad A. About twelve years.
generalizations from fragmentary experiQ. What method of instruction would ments. This was not exactly the kind of be most valuable ?
psychological secret I had expected to find A. Problems to be solved.
to account for his deep insight into things, Q. Should it be done through schools but it explained more than the most cherand books?
ished theory would have done. A. Books and actual demonstration. But I was interested to know what kind
Q. What of the advantage of ordinary of ideas he would have about big thingsshop experience ?
the laws of the universe and our relation A. Great advantage to have actual per- to them. For surely a man whose life had sonal knowledge of how things are done. been spent working with fundamental
Q. What do you think of instruction laws would have some interesting impresby correspondence?
sions about them. To open up the converA. The cheapest and best way for a sation on such things, I asked: poor man, if the college is reputable. “ Is a settled concept of the universe im
Q. What frame of mind helps to bring portant as a background for deep thinkideas?
ing?" I had heard it said that a man A. Ambitious.
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. A. Abnormal persons are
He waved the question aside with a mercial inventors.
gesture of head and hand, and smiled as Q. What of intuition and technical he said: “No; I always keep within a few training? Which is the most prolific of feet of the earth's surface all the time. At ideas?
least I never let my thought run up higher A. Imagination supplies the ideas, and than the Himalayas. All my work is technical knowledge helps to carry them rather earthy." out.
He soon contradicted this limitation,
however, by showing that he could readily “If a man has a powerful will, he can let himself out when he wished. “We force an unwilling brain to record things don't know very much," he said ; “practi- that seem to be repellent to it, like acquircally nothing, when you think of it. There ing Latin, etc. I can understand or imagis the infinitely large, and the infinitely ine that the brain can record impressions, small. The sun is a big ball of fire, and but I cannot understand the will that every star is like the sun, and around them forces it to take records. are planets like ours. They run into mil- "Returning to Broca's convolution, I lions upon millions. No man can imagine once made a calculation if it were possible how many and how big. Then everything to record in so small a space the whole runs down to the infinitely small, and each record of a man's life, supposing him to cell of everything is as wonderful in its have a perfect memory. And I found that way as the bigger things. A man can't if it were possible to make a cylinder of really know anything about the universe diamond three quarters of an inch in diam- just a few little things here on the sur- eter and four inches long, by shaving off face.”
the records after each layer was made “Don't you think of the universe as a there could be recorded thereon all that a complete whole?"
person could say in talking ten hours a “Oh, it probably is, but we can't grasp day for thirty years, and none of it would it. We may be like cells in a great big be beyond the limits of the microscope. body. Everything is held together by So this branch of the thing is not so wonwonderful laws.”
derful. “Do you think of the laws as inherent “But the will of man, that is the mysin matter or manifested through it?" tery. Our body is highly organized and
“The laws don't seem to be in matter. made up of cells, all symmetrical and I do not think of a tree as having life. beautifully arranged. Is it the combined It looks to me as if it was the abode of, intelligence of the whole of the cells which and was constructed by, a highly organized we call 'will-power,' or is our body only unit, so small as to be far beyond the lim- a building in which these cells are bricks its of the microscope. We see only the without intelligence and the will resides grosser aspect. Science cannot reach any in a highly organized unit which everyother conclusion than that there is a great where permeates our body, and which is intelligence manifested everywhere." beyond the range of vision even with the
“What do you think of the relation of most powerful microscope, just as I immind and matter?"
agined in the case of the tree? “Oh, I don't know," he replied in a “When we consider that there is appartone indicating that this is beyond the pos- ently no end to space, that every time we sibility of human knowledge. “As far as increase the power of our telescopes we I can see, we do not think with the brain; see more unknown suns of gigantic size, that is only a recording-office for things then why should there not be the infinitely brought to it by our five senses. It's like little? a phonograph-record. I understand that “Matter, as shown by radium, is a grain, there is a certain fold in the brain called fine enough to make a living aggregate or Broca's convolution, which is about the being as highly organized and as complisize of a short lead-pencil, and everything cated as a man, and still be beyond recogthe senses pick up is therein recorded for nition by the microscope. Of course these future use.
Injuries to this convolution remarks are fanciful and remind one of have proved that it is the seat of mem- the great physicist Clerk-Maxwell, who, ory. Our first impressions are recorded when working out his theories, used a hyat its base, and as we advance in age the pothetical little demon, which he said he seat of the record advances from the base. sent in among the molecules to gather If the base is injured, we forget our mother information." tongue and remember only things learned Returning to activities he said: later in life. If the other end is injured, “I have tried so many things I thought we remember only things recorded in early were true, and found I was mistaken, that life. What makes us do things is that I have quit being too sure about anything. mysterious thing called the will.
All I can do is to try out what seems to be
the right thing, and be ready to give it up ulty. The more it is developed, the more as soon as I am convinced that there is successful a man should be in any line of nothing in it."
work." "Do you find," I asked, “that you can Glancing at the notes he had written, force a solution by making yourself think which were then before me, I noticed hard along a given line?”
where he had set down twelve years of
age “Oh, no," he said. “I never think as the time when instruction would perabout a thing any longer than I want to. haps be the most effective. Reminding If I lose my interest in it, I turn to some- him of this point, he went on: thing else. I always keep six or eight “Yes, at about that age a boy is interthings going at once, and turn from one ested in knowing how things are done, and to the other as I feel like it. Very often you can build on that interest easily. It I will work at a thing and get where I is hard to teach a man anything if he is n't can't see anything more in it, and just interested in it. But if you can get him put it aside and go at something else; and when he is, then everything you do to inthe first thing I know the very idea I struct him counts. His brain or recording wanted will come to me. Then I drop department wants work and receives it the other and go back to it and work it with pleasure." out."
“Do you think toys could be made to “Tell me more," I said, “about how perform a real service in developing inthe ideas come to you. Do you read much ventiveness, even in a much younger for mental culture or do you confine your- child ?" I asked. self chiefly to scientific works? Do you "Oh, yes. That will come. There are like poetry ?"
great possibilities in starting the mind “Oh, I read everything," he said. “Not right with toys. Give them problems to merely scientific works, but anything that work out that will make them think for helps the imagination. But I can't stand themselves." jingle. Where the thought is twisted out As a vision of the commercial and eduof shape just to make it rime-I can't cational possibilities of an “Edison sysstand that.
But I like ‘Evangeline,' tem” of instruction by means of toys "Enoch Arden,' and things like that. Aashed over me, I said, “Maybe you will These I call true poetry.”
get around to that some day--making sciThen, as if suddenly remembering the entific toys ?" best point of all, he spoke in an enthusias- He made a gesture with both hands, as tic way: “But, ah, Shakspere! That 's much as to say that that was somewhat out where you get the ideas! My, but that of his usual line, and said: “That will man did have ideas! He would have been come. It 's a good thing, a scientific kinan inventor, a wonderful inventor, if he dergarten. Somebody will work it out. had turned his mind to it. He seemed to Plenty of time yet." see the inside of everything. Perfectly Returning to the subject of education wonderful how many things he could think of boys, he went on: about. His originality in the way of ex- “They take up too much time teaching pressing things has never been approached.” things that don't count. Latin and Greek
“Then you think, do you, that our ideas what good are they? They say these do not have to be closely connected with train the mind. But I don't think they our work to be useful?"
train the mind half so much as working “All kinds of ideas help to set the mind out practical problems. Work is the best going. If a man has enough ideas to be kind of school to train the mind. an inventor, he can turn the same force are good to show the theory of things, but in another direction, if he wishes to, and doing the thing itself is what counts.' be a business man, an architect, or any- "Have you any suggestion to make thing."
about how boys should be taught?" "Then in teaching inventiveness, it “Oh, it all depends. They'll work would not be necessary to confine it to that out. That's a business by itself. It's men who expected to be inventors ?” working out."
“Oh, no. It 's the same thing, what- Thinking of the possible effects of enever a man does. It 's the creative fac- dowments to stimulate educational effort