« AnkstesnisTęsti »
minds to investigate the Scriptures. The study of the Scriptures is just what Protestants ought to encourage. There is no Protestant who has ever been taught the rudiments of Christian knowledge, who is ignorant of the fact that the New Testament was not written in English. It is untruthful, as well as futile, to attempt to impress him with the belief that any translation is infallible. Surely truth requires that he should be put in possession, as far as practicable, of the facts in the case. When Protestants take a position on these questions which implies that thought and inquiry and knowledge are undesirable, they abandon their ground. They indulge in a temper of feeling more befitting the disciples of the Pope.
A translation executed by a body of persons must be in part the result of compromise. Debated questions in the committees have to be determined by vote. The majority decides them. The decision is not sure to be on the side where the weight of brain and of solid learning preponderates. If, at the last, the whole matter could have been committed to President Woolsey, Bishop Lightfoot, and three or four others. who might be selected from both committees, with ample liberty to do what they should please, we might perhaps have had a better revision than we now have. Such a course, however, would be manifestly impracticable. We must comfort ourselves in the persuasion that in such bodies, especially when the questions of chief moment are under discussion, individual members like those whom we have named are likely to exert a leading influence. If a translation is to be made, which shall command the confidence of the various denominations of Christian people on both sides of the Atlantic, it must emanate from companies who have something like a representative character. We must be content with that degree of merit which bodies thus constituted are able to give to it. It is a case where one should remember the homely adage: "Half a loaf is better than
Yet, in the case before us, we are presented with much more than this modicum of "half a loaf." The Revision which is now sent forth to the English-speaking race in both hemispheres, is undeniably an improvement upon the old version. The particulars of correction are altogether too numerous to have rendered it feasible for them to be incorporated in the form of marginal notes to the old translation. Com
petent judges will unite in the verdict that the translation, as it is offered in the revised edition, is made far more accurate. Nor can serious fault be found with the general character of the new terms and phrases which it has been necessary to interweave. Great care has evidently been taken not to inflict a needless shock upon those to whom the style of the old version is something almost sacred.
Another question is whether the advantages of the Revision are so decided that it is likely to supersede the old form of the version in public worship and in private reading. If the Revision of the Old Testament-supposing it to be as well done as that of the New-were ready to be issued in company with the latter, an affirmative answer might be confidently given. The revision of the translation of the Old Testament is an imperative necessity. Of course, the authorized version of the various books is of unequal merit. Thus, Job is very incorrectly translated. As it stands in the English Bible, it is a majestic work; but it is not the work which the sage and seer who wrote the Hebrew text composed. There are passages in the Psalms to which the translators themselves could have attached no definite meaning. If there were a simultaneous publication of the Old Testament and the New in the revised form, there is little reason to doubt that it would pretty rapidly supplant the present version, and make its way, by its obvious merits, to general acceptance.
It is our opinion that the Revision of the New Testament, even unattended by the Old Testament, its natural companion, will succeed in establishing its hold upon public confidence, and eventually take the place of the accepted translation. But this result, if it is to come at all, should be brought to pass spontaneously. Let the new volume win the victory for itself. It may be defended against unjust assaults. But let there be no pushing of it by artificial means. Let there be no effort to dragoon Bible societies into a premature adoption of it, or into hurried action of any sort respecting it. If it possess the superiority which, in our judgment, belongs to it, the fact will be evinced in due time, and its general acceptance will be the gradual but inevitable result. The company of American scholars who have devoted a great part of so many years, without compensation, to this work, deserve the lasting gratitude of those who will profit by their labors.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
SO MANY stories have been told by the newspaper press, recently, about this magazine,-its internal relations and its history,-and so much public interest has been manifested in regard to the subject, that it has seemed to me to be worth while to tell the story from the beginning, authoritatively.
Thirteen years ago, Mr. Charles Scribner, the founder of what is known as "the Scribner bookhouse," applied to me to take the editorship of "Hours at Home," a magazine he had started some years before. At that time I had just closed up a business in Massachusetts, preparatory to a somewhat extended sojourn in Europe, and I peremptorily declined the invitation. Mr. Scribner insisted, however, that the offer should remain open until my return. The European journey was entered upon, and I had advanced sufficiently far in it to begin to look beyond it. It was then that this offer recurred to me, and that I began earnestly to consider it. My conclusions were that the place was not a desirable one; that there was no such thing as a great success for that magazine; that I did not myself like it, and that I would not identify myself with it, or tie myself to its traditions; besides, I believed it to be moribund, as a subsequent examination proved it to be.
At about this time I met Mr. Roswell Smith in Geneva, Switzerland, when the matter of the old magazine came up in conversation. I had met and known something of the gentleman before; indeed, we had planned to go abroad together, originally, though something had interfered with our calculations. His home was then in Indiana, and for health's sake, and other reasons, he desired to remove to the East; so that when I said that instead of entering upon the editorship of an old magazine I should like to start a new one, he announced himself ready to undertake, as business manager, an enterprise of that kind with me. The result of the conversation, which was terminated, as I happen to remember, upon one of the bridges in Geneva, was a verbal agreement that we should unite our forces, on our return to America, for the effecting of this project. It was on that bridge, and exactly under those circumstances, that SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY was planned.
Mr. Smith returned to America before I did, and when he came he brought a letter of introduction from me to Mr. Charles Scribner, commending him in such terms to the publisher's consideration and confidence as have been a thousand times justified by his subsequent business history. As the inventors would say: “I claim the discovery of Mr. Roswell Smith, and the combination with Mr. Charles Scribner and myself, which resulted in the production of SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY." It was naturally Mr. Scribner's wish to have the new magazine
emanate from the book-house, so that he was not primarily disposed to listen to the project of starting a new and independent house, with magazine publishing as its special business. I refused, however, to have anything to do with a magazine that should be floated as the flag of a book-house, or as tributary or subordinate to a book-house. I did not believe there would be success in such an enterprise, and the plan was at last determined upon that, when I should return to America, a new concern should be formed, for the special undertaking and execution of this enterprise.
I returned from abroad in the spring of 1870, and all our plans for the issue of the new magazine were matured during the following summer and autumn. Mr. Smith had no knowledge whatever of the publishing business, and I had none save that which I had acquired in the publication of a country newspaper, with the details of which, however, I had had little to do. It was deemed desirable by Mr. Scribner that the magazine should bear the name of the book-house. He and his associates served their purpose in that, and Mr. Smith and I were glad to have the prestige of the name in beginning our enterprise. It was, in one aspect, a selfish thing for all of us. The book-house wanted the advertising which the new magazine would give it; and the magazine-house, of which Mr. Smith and I represented the predominant interest, wanted the name for what there might be of popular value in it. In another aspect it was not a selfish matter at all. Through long years of the most brotherly intercourse, I had come into very affectionate relations with Mr. Scribner, and Mr. Smith came very quickly into similar relations,— charmed by his kindly nature and character. It was a pleasure to both of us to attach his name to the new publication, hoping that no circumstances would ever occur to change it. I have said all this simply to explain the "true inwardness" of all the differences which have occurred between Mr. Smith and myself on one side and the representatives of the Scribner book-house on the other. We-the two parties-regarded the enterprise and operations of the magazine-house from radically different standpoints. We who held the majority interest regarded the Scribner connection as something that should inure solely to the benefit of the magazine-house, in which the book-house was interested to the amount of its stock, and not to the benefit of the book-house, in which we had no interest whatever. We felt that if we should desire to publish a book,— which our charter gave us the right to publish,—we ought not to be called upon to consider whether we were affecting the business of any other concern whatsoever; and I have no question that we were perfectly right. We were organized to do our own business, and neither to do or to mind any other man's. We were opposed in this, and this differ.
ence lay at the basis, and was the inspiring cause, of all the recent changes that have taken place in the proprietorship of the concern.
Very soon after the first number of SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY was issued, Mr. Putnam came to us with the offer of his magazine. We acceded to his conditions, though I have forgotten what they were, and it was soon quietly left behind with the "Hours at Home." It is remarkable, in reviewing the career of the MONTHLY, that, although it started without a subscriber, it never printed or sold less than forty thousand copies a month. The highest task we set ourselves in those early days was to reach an edition of one hundred thousand copies,-a number now largely surpassed; and now we are looking forward to an edition of one hundred and fifty thousand copies, and the consequent production of two sets of plates and double sets of machinery. That this success has been a surprise to the publishing fraternity is undoubtedly true; that two men, utterly unused to the business, should succeed from the first, in so difficult a field, is, in the retrospect, a surprise to themselves. Of the editorial management of SCRIBNER, I have nothing to say, except that it has been conscientiously and industriously performed, and that I have had a corps of able and enthusiastic assistants, who have given themselves to the work as if the magazine, indeed, were all their own.
I suppose that if any one were asked what, more than anything else, had contributed to the success of the magazine, he would answer: Its superb engravings, and the era it introduced of improved illustrative art. This feature of our work is attributable to Mr. R. W. Gilder and to Mr. A. W. Drake, -the former the office editor, and the latter the superintendent of the illustrative department. Mr. Smith and I, any further than we have stood behind these men with encouragement and money, deserve no credit for the marvelous development that has been made in illustration. Perhaps this is not quite true, for Mr. Smith was the first to insist on the experiment of printing the illustrated forms on dry paper. This has had much to do with the success of our cuts, and SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY enjoyed a practical monopoly of this mode of cut-printing for years. The effects achieved in this way excited great curiosity, both in this country and in England. Mr. Smith may, therefore, legitimately claim to have revolutionized the cut-printing of the world; and it is another illustration of the fact that reforms are rarely made in their own art by routine men. It takes a mechanic to invent an agricultural machine; and a lawyer, turned man of business, to discover that damp paper is not the best for printing
The present Mr. Charles Scribner and I have now ceased to be proprietors, and Mr. Roswell Smith has acquired about nine-tenths of the stock. The remainder has been divided among the young men who have done so much and worked so faithfully to make the magazine what it has been and what it is. I am glad they own it, and that it is Mr. Smith's design that they shall have more as they
win the ability to purchase it. I have no coöperation theories or predilections to gratify, but I owe so much to these men that I shall greatly rejoice in any substantial rewards they may reap for their long and faithful service in building up the interests of the concern, and for their attempts to spare me all unnecessary toil.
It is a great satisfaction to me to feel that both SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY and ST. NICHOLAS-the latter of which is peculiarly the child of Mr. Roswell Smith's enterprise-are in the same hands they have always been in, and that the readers of both have lost nothing in the changes that have been made in the proprietorship. Some changes are still to be made in names, for the necessity for which I am sorry; but they involve nothing more than sentiment, and we shall all very soon adapt ourselves to them and forget them.
With the burden of business responsibilities lifted from my shoulders, I hope to find my hand more easily at work with my pen, and trust that for many years I may hold the relation to the great reading world which this editorial position gives me. I risked in this business all the reputation and all the money I had made, and it is a great satisfaction that I did not miscalculate the resources of my business associate or my own.
J. G. HOLLAND.
ON many accounts, the Reminiscences" of Thomas Carlyle have made the most notable and interesting book of the year. Not that they have taught us anything very remarkable or authentic about the personages to whom they are devoted, but because they teach us a great deal about Carlyle himself. When he talks about his contemporaries he is really at his worst. We get the unlovely side of him whenever and wherever he feels the liberty of criticism, whether he speaks of men and women, or of institutions and the character of the times in which he lived. We should say that he was anything but a sympathetic man. He looked upon the public men he met with eyes as coldly critical and unsympathetic as if he were examining patent churns or old casts; and what he has to say of these is as unappreciative, uncharitable, and often as contemptuous as if they had been utterly worthless blockheads. Witness the way in which he speaks of Charles Lamb.
Many of the admired of his own generationmany of those whose names we all hold in high esteem, if not in reverence-are treated with hardly more consideration in these reminiscences. It made not the slightest difference with what he thought or would write of a person, that that person had a great place, for any reason, in the world's consideration. When "old Lamb" presented himself at his door, the fact that he had written some of the sweetest humor that had ever been embalmed in his mother-tongue was forgotten, and the exhausted, vice-ridden old man was all he saw, and for this wreck he had no respect whatever. To him the old humorist and littérateur was nothing but a silly
old dotard and drunkard, and he seemed to lose all sight of what he had been and what he had done. Now, it certainly was not amiable in Carlyle to see and talk about the weak side, especially, of those whom the world honored. Harriet Martineau is treated almost as contemptuously as Lamb, and the list of others who shared in his cheapening comments and criticisms is a long one. Now we do not doubt in the least that what he says of all these people is mainly true; but we think it a pity that their weak and ridiculous sides only should have been seen and appreciated by Carlyle, and that sympathy should not have tempered his words and brought him into a juster apprehension of that which was highest and best in them.
No man could occupy the position of Carlyle toward his contemporaries, or toward public institutions and public questions, without stupendous egotism. He railed at his own countrymen en masse. For his boldness of denunciation, he actually won the hearts of the very men he denounced. There is no question that he had a strong, virile sense of justice and truth. He did not always—perhaps not often -see the truth, for in many things he was wrongheaded; but what he believed to be true and just he loved and defended with all the strength of his stern nature. He had a most unreasoning affection for force, for heroes, for men who had power and prowess. For the praise of men like these he could shape his choicest periods, but for all else he cared little or nothing. For a great human will, with abundance of power and courage behind it, he had more than respect-admiration, almost adoration. He believed that there were some men who were made to govern, and that most men were made to be governed. For the first class he saved what respect there was in him for humanity; for the last, very little consideration of any kind. For the age of materialism and mammon-worshiping he had a contempt that came as near being measureless as anything finite can be, and he was undoubtedly soured by the contemplation of a world in which money, and luxury, and material splendor, and material success seemed to be the all-controlling motives and objects. His was the voice of a prophet, crying in the wilderness of such things. And exactly here he was most useful. He was a sturdy and fearless rebuker of the mercenary sins of his age, and, as such, deserves the gratitude of all good men.
of a great man's heart in all literature. This passion which he would have been only too apt to regard as uxoriousness in another and which he does, rather grimly, make a jest of in Mill's Mrs. Taylor, whom he characterizes as "a very will-o'-the-wispish iridescence of a creature (meaning nothing bad either)," does him infinite honor, and her also. To have been such a companion, comforter, and inspirer to such a man was certainly a great destiny, and one for which, we do not doubt, she was profoundly grateful.
A goodly slice of these reminiscences are given to Carlyle's father, James Carlyle. For him he has the warmest affection and the greatest respect. With the son's description of his father before us, it is hard to understand his affection. He seems to have been a stern man, and good in a forbidding kind of way. The son was thoroughly afraid of him when he was a lad, but the filial piety and loyalty of the great old man gives us another look into the better side of his nature and character. After all, was not this love for wife and father only another aspect, or outgrowth, of his marvelous egotism? The absolute inability to see anything ridiculous in the father and the wife and to find anybody outside of them worth his while-what was this but egotism? The putative author of his mortal body and the progenitor of his mind would naturally stand high in the regard of Carlyle, while the woman with whom his life was united-what should she be but the paragon of women? At any rate, these filial and conjugal affections and enthusiasms, on the part of the august and even sublime old growler, are exceedingly delightful and inspiring.
And last, and not the least noteworthy, it is pleasant to accept Carlyle's tribute to religion. In an age of skepticism he clung to the Christian verities, recognized the adaptation of the Christian religion to human need, and held in awful scorn the materialism which he felt to be growing in power in human thought and society. We are not among those who take delight in the patronage which the great sometimes extend to religion; but when a man of brains, and insight, and faultless life, and a wide influence testifies to the practical value of religion, and makes it the basis and test of all other values, we can, at least, be grateful to God for him, and for the power of his words and his example. We can account, certainly in part, for the man's contempt for men, and for his love of his father and wife, on the ground of his egotism; but his affection for the religion which called upon him to subordi. nate his will and abnegate himself must have had a better basis.
But he had a sweet and lovely side to him. What he says in his "Reminiscences" of Jane Welsh Carlyle is, to our mind, the most beautiful tribute to a faithful wife there is to be found in the English language. We are not at all sure that she deserves all the good things he says of her, or that she was any better than many other wives we know, but it is delightful to find one notable literary man who lived with his wife through a reasonably long connection and did not, on any occasion, find her "incompatible." No one can read over his remembrances of his wife without being touched to tears by his exceeding tenderness, his unbounded admiration of her heart and mind, and his loyalty to her precious mem
We know nothing like this frank unfolding | article. There is no such thing as medical authority.
Advertising Patent Medicines.
IF any of our readers should have the misfortune to be ill, we trust they will be wise enough to go to the wisest and most skillful physician within reach, and follow his advice and take his prescriptions. How are they to determine who will serve them best? There is a great deal in this question which has relation to the matter we have in hand in this
Medicine is all empirical. Diseases change in their type, from generation to generation, local influences and climatic perturbations, and variety of temperaments and constitutions in the sick themselves, make every new case a special case, removed from all fixed rules of practice, and place every exhibition of medicine in the category of experiments. This is true with regard to the practice of any so-called "system of medicine." Of systems there are two, into which the medical world is mainly divided, viz.: the allopathic and the homeopathic. These are practiced by educated men, a large proportion of whom were originally trained in allopathic schools, but they are about as widely divided in their ideas and their modes of practice as they can be, or can be imagined to be. The allopathist calls the homeopathist a "quack," and the latter regards the former as a "butcher." Men equally well educated and equally conversant with disease and with remedies, denounce each the other's practice, and "when doctors disagree who shall decide? "
We have already said that there is no such thing as medical authority. We may go farther, and declare that there never will be, in the nature of things. There are too many incalculable factors that enter into any disease of the human organism to permit its treatment ever to enter the domain of exact science. Life itself-its fountain and forces-is incalculable. The human mind, the human will, the nature of the subtle poisons that breed disease,-these are all incalculable. The modifying influences of temperament upon the character and phenomena of disease—these are incalculable. So we are forced to this: Nobody knows-nobody can know exactly how to treat any case of disease; but there are some physicians, knowing most of that which is known about disease, and with native and acquired acuteness of observation, both as to disease and the effects of remedies, who are wiser and more skillful than others. These, whenever we can fix upon them, we choose for our physicians; and are very glad to get their service, when we have need, and to pay for it. No medical school can decide this question for us. The other day, hundreds of young doctors were graduated in this city. They went out with their spick and span new diplomas, ready, in their own self-confidence, to undertake the charge of almost any case of sickness -but who will trust them? The diploma does not mean much to the man who has a sick wife in his chamber, or a sick babe in his cradle. Men are obliged to trust themselves to select their physicians, and the mode of practice to which they will submit themselves. There is no authority whose prerogative it is to say to the public that this or that man, or this or that system of medicine, is the best, and the cure in all cases to be resorted to. The people are, and are obliged to be, the only judges of medicine and of physicians. They are always obliged to select those agencies for their own healing which seem the best, and to take what comes of it.
Out of the uncertainties of medicine has grown quackery. It has lived and thrived on the blunders of the doctors. If medical science had been a reliable resort, in all cases of disease, quackery would VOL. XXII.-25.
have been impossible; but it so happens that the doctors themselves are the great foes of quackery. They have recently been taking the religious papers to task for publishing advertisements of patent medicines. We have received a missive from one of them, who, in his private letters, seems to be surprised that we do not at once admit that all patent medicines are fraudulent, and that to advertise them is a disreputable thing. Now we are bound in honesty to say-however héterodox it may seem to the profession-that we believe that there is a large class of patent medicines whose ingredients are skillfully and conscientiously selected and compounded, and that they have been very useful in the domestic treatment of disease. We must come to this conclusion in precisely the same way that we come to the conclusion that a man is a skillful physician-by what they accomplish, and by the testimony of those who have used them. The reputation of a patent medicine is sustained by exactly the same evidence that supports a skillful physician's reputation, and we know of no physician in this or any other community who can furnish as many genuine testimonials to his skill and success as a healer, as twenty patent medicines that we could mention if we would. Many of these medicines came out of the regular practice, and were prepared and originally prescribed by the best physicians. Many of them are medicines whose virtues had been established by domestic use, before the enterprising quack began to advertise them. Very few of them, we believe, are humbugs and frauds in the consciousness or the intent of their makers.
Any publisher who has a valuable medium of advertising at his command knows how great the pressure is upon him for space for advertising patent medicines, and if he is a reputable man, and wishes to deal fairly by the community, he would like some rule by which to guide himself in accepting these advertisements. It is, of course, easy to turn away all advertisements that are tributary to vice, and to fraud. Bogus schemes, designed to practice upon the cupidity of the people-these are easily turned away if detected, though detection is not always easy. The advertisements for the cure of disgusting and disgraceful diseases, involving immorality, will be published by no respectable man. It is easy, we say, to turn away advertisements to a certain point, and then it becomes very hard. It is easy, of course, to turn away all advertisements of patent medicines, if we adopt the theory of the doctors that they are all frauds. But it would be equally just to say that the doctors are all frauds, because some of them undoubtedly are. The people, who are necessarily the judges, both of doctors and of medicines, say that these medicines are not all frauds, and if human testimony is good for anything, that fact is established.
How shall we know what are frauds and what are not? The character of the man or the house advertising will help to settle that question. If such a house as that of Caswell & Hazard, of this city, were to bring us an advertisement of any thing whatever, it would hardly pay us, or the public, to examine it before admitting it. The name of the house would