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pay the incresed rate, the work has to be postponed, or an inferior house is built, which is nearly if not quite as bad.
But, apart from all this, the importance and value of productive labor are to be taken into account; it must be remembered that as days make years, so do hours make days. Let us suppose that the number of working-days in the year is three hundred, and that the laborer works twelve hours a day. To diminish this to eight hours is to reduce the time of labor one-third ; so that the workingyear would be only two hundred days instead of three hundred; that is, one hundred holidays would be added to the ordinary number! Would the laborer be the better in his pocket or his health for this ? Nay, who can doubt that he would be the worse for it? His family would be the worse—the nation at large would be the worse.
But, unfortunately, those who are prone to “striking" cannot see even the suffering they bring on themselves and on their families, but seem rather to exult in it. This seems unnatural; it is nevertheless strictly true. The most profound thinkers have borne startling testimony to it. Thus, for example, the working-man had no better friend than Heiné, the great German poet and satirist, for no one toiled harder than he did himself to the day of his death. In his youth Heiné was in favor of " strikes,” but no one has left on record a stronger condemnation of them, although his warning is couched, as the most solemn of his warnings are, in the language of galety. His words seem, indeed, tame when rendered into English; but most of the “strikers” are ignorant of the original. Thus, for example, it is in vain the Steinways would have addressed the mob that threatened to destroy their fine establishment—the source of so much that has afforded gratification to the eye, the ear, and the mind-in such lines as these :
"Ich rief den Teufel und er kam,
Und ich sah ihn mit Verwund'rung an.
We fear that among the larger part of the crowd this would only have made matters worse, and rendered it all the more difficult for Commissioner Bosworth to succeed, as he happily did, in protecting the threatened property, and the life or liberty of those who threatened it, at the same time. It might have been different, however—the carrying-out of the commissioner's judicious plan might have been facilitated—had the experience of Heiné been given in plain English, as follows:
"I called the devil and he came,
The "strikers" will undoubtedly find one day that they have evoked a demon, and that he is not the less diabolical for having seemed at the outset rather attractive than repulsive. In the meantime, it is but just to admit that whatever may have been the shortcomings of the police commissioners and the chief officers under their control in the past, they have performed their duties in relation to the " strikers” in a creditable manner. Had they not acted with judgment, sagacity, and promptness, deplorable scenes would have been witnessed in New York before this.
It is but fair the world should know, also, that others possessed of large influence have earnestly and energetically co-operated with them without feeling bound to do so, otherwise, than as good citizens and friends of peace and order. This is true, for example, both of our present sheriff and his immediate predecessor. Mr. Brennan and Mr. O'Brien, do not, we believe, entirely agree in politics at present, but being alike, as they always have been, in the characteristics of honest, straightforward men, they have vied with each other, and rather in secret than with ostentation, in “casting oil on the troubled waters."
Nor should it be forgotten that the Catholic clergy, also, have, in general, nobly done their duty. We take the liberty to mention, as examples, two priests whose names deserve to be written in golden letters for the beneficent, restraining influence they have exercised on excited thousands by their pious, benevolent, and eloquent appeals; although we are quite aware that they would prefer to be mentioned in no letters, but be allowed literally to do good by stealth. There are many of our New York readers whom we need hardly inform that we allude to the Rev. Father Clowry, of St. Gabriel's Church, and the Rev. Father Nicot, of St. Boniface's Church—one as good a specimen of an Irish priest, in pioty, learning, and zeal for well-doing, as can be met with anywhere; the other similarly distinguished as a representative French priest, though an Alsacian manifestly half Teutonic in origin, and as much like Luther in the face—with his fine, broad, pale, massive forehead and large piercing eye-as any gentleman we have ever seen.
It is to be hoped that, through all these various means, the danger which at one time seemed so threatening, and of so much magnitude, is now over; and that the working-men of all grades will learn that, after all, force exerted against their employers is not the agency upon which they must rely for the support of their families.
Zell's Popular Encyclopedia ; A Universal Dictionary of English
Language, Science, Literature, and Art. By C. COLANGE, LL.D. In two volumes. Ilustrated by over two thousand wood-cuts. 4to, pp. 1196, 1152. Philadelphia. 1870-1871.
We have received not fewer than fifty letters within the past year asking our opinion of this work. There is so much exaggeration in titles at the present day—they are so much like the advertisements of charlatans—that we confess we had expected little from a work which we heard spoken of only as a “Popular Encyclopedia." True, we had been aware that the most valuable works published in other countries have the simplest titles. This fact might be sufficiently illustrated by mentioning a dozen of illustrious names.
Far be it from us to deny that there are American authors, also, who have had the good taste and honesty to select simple, unpretending names for their works. If the number is very few, it is because we have had but few of the right stamp. In general our authors set off their titles as bad painters do their sign-boards. As the latter rely chiefly on the brightest colors and the heaviest touches of the brush, so do the former put most faith in high-sounding words, and a profusion of them. And, for various reasons, still more true is this of compilers than of authors.
Nor is all so absurd as it seems to sensible people at first sight; for as the vulgar regard the flashiest "pictures” as the best, so do the same numerous fraternity regard those books that have the most pompous and most pretentious titles as the best. And as they judge the name so do they judge the production that bears it. The less thought the latter contains—the less it exercises the thinking faculties—nay, the less real knowledge it embraces, the more “popular” it is. Hence it was that our faith in the new “Encyclopedia," before examining it, was very slight; but because we knew nothing of its real chararacter we gave no opinion. We now give our impressions of it for the first time.
“Blessed are they that expect nothing,” says Swift, "for they shall not be disappointed.” For the reason mentioned, we certainly did not expect much from the work before us; but now that we have examined it pretty thoroughly, if we are not“ blessed,” we are at least agreeably surprised. The prefix "popular," as generally used in this country, is not appropriate in the present instance; but in the sense of instructive and useful to all classes of the people, who have any taste for the acquisition of knowledge, or any desire for extending " Ency
the sphere of their intelligence, we know no similar work to which it may be more justly applied. In other words, the new clopedia” is not the crude, shallow, slip-shod, self-contradictory sort of performance which so many of our authors and compilers seem to regard as the only suitable pabulum for the people, and the only kind that ought to be called "popular.” It is a work which, while it must prove attractive as well as useful to those who have received only the most elementary education, cannot fail to recommend itself, also, to the most highly educated-even to the possessors of good libraries, for the large amount of information-in general well digested and accurate-which it embraces on multifarious subjects, including the whole circle of the arts and sciences. It is almost superfluous to say that we do not mean that exhaustive articles are devoted to this large variety of subjects, for such alone would require several volumes, each still larger than either of the two thick, closely printed tomes before us, with their small but clear type. Yet we could point out many articles that are quite long and elaborate. But the majority owe their value to the circumstance that in their condensed form they rarely omit any important particulars and scarcely ever any newly discovered facts. Thus, the literary or scientific laborer is often enabled to obtain at a glance information requiring extensive research elsewhere, and which is not to be found at all in other encyclopedias.
We do not mean by this that it is superior, or even equal to, the principal voluminous encyclopedias. It would be absurd to compare it, for example, to the Encyclopedia Britannica, or to Rees's Cyclopedia, the smallest of which is twenty times as large, and contains carefully prepared contributions from a host of men famous in literature, science, and the arts; and yet there are not a few important facts in the work under consideration—the result of recent researches and new discoveries—which are not to be found in either of those invaluable works. As for our own voluminous cyclopedias, that most recently issued and styled “New," is notoriously the least reliable on subjects requiring careful research and accurate scholarship. For these various reasons we have been all the more willing to comply with the wishes of those who honor us with their confidence in regard to “Zell's Popular Encyclopedia," as far as we are able; and for the same reasons it now affords us all the more pleasure to bear testimony to the peculiar merits of the work. The departments which please us most are the historical, geographical, archæological, and scientific. The biographical articles are in general very good, but this department is more open to criticism than any others.
But we must here remark, parenthetically, that it is the besetting sin of American compilers of works of this and of kindred kind, that they are guided much more by friendship and other considerations than by merit in preparing biographies, or selecting model passages from writings. There is scarcely a school-book we take up in which this bad taste-not to call it by a worse name—is not evinced to a greater or less extent. It may be seen at a glance that none are more highly favored in this way than newspaper editors, who are known to possess a large stock of vanity, a very limited stock of knowledge, and a willingness to requite the biographer or compiler in kind. Next to the newspaper editors, lay and religious, those chiefly favored in this respect are politicians and clergymen whose longing for notoriety is supposed to render them equally grateful and generous. Then come that interesting class whose only real claim to intellectual ability of any kind is their money, and that, perhaps, not very honestly obtained. Our readers are aware that the present is not the first time we have denounced this particular branch of puffery and toadyism; nor is it the first time that it has reminded us of attempts made in other parts of the world, especially in Grub Street, to immortalize the dark lanterns of literature, and to which the author of “ John Gilpin” refers as follows :
"Thus, when a child, as playful children use,
And there, scarce less illustrious, goes the clerk." It is needless to inform the majority of our readers that the greatest of real authors—the most profound thinkers—are those who cared least for notoriety or fame. The most justly renowned among the ancients and moderns have studiously avoided both. Hence it is that so many great cities have claimed to have given birth to the author of the Iliad. Pythagoras, who travelled the world in search of knowledge, and was the true discoverer of what is now styled the Copernican System of astronomy, wished to be known only as an honest pedagogue. Lucian, Lucretius, Virgil, and Dante have evinced equal contempt of fame, and of those willing to confer it for a consideration. It was because Shakspeare's mind was imbued with similar sentiments that so little is known about him at the present day. Great authors having any longing for immortality have relied on their works for it, not on the puffers of their time. Thus, for example, Horace says, “I have finished a monument more enduring than brass and more lofty than the royal site of the pyramids."*
* "Exegi monumentum ære perennius,
Regalique situ pyramidum altius, " oto.