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unknown man, whose personality is as yet a hazy and undefined quantity. Hence, in considerable degree, the ill-success of a Clay and a Webster, hence the success of a Polk, and --we may happily add--a Lincoln. But this tyrannons sway of the imagination ruled still more forcibly in the case of Mr. Greeley. For forty years he had been prominent in our thoughts as a great editor, a Warwick who makes and unmakes presidents, but may not himself become one. It was this, more than anything in the man himself, which was the secret of that surprise with which the country awoke to the announcement of his candidacy. Then, too, here was the pioneer of “republicanism ” become the accepted chief of the “democracy!” A new violence to our preconceived images, our superficial appreciation of the fitness of things! Against the weight of apparent anomalies such as these, the most transcendent qualities of head and heart, the greatest personal popularity, could oppose but a weak resistance. The only wonder is that under the circumstances, with our human nature thus stolid as it is, Mr. Greeley did so well. But the wonder will be found greater if it be remembered that so long as the most ignorant classes have the same power in making a choice at an election as the most intelligent classes, so long must we expect to see intellectual mediocrity, or even imbecility and ignorance triumph over intellectual greatness, knowledge, and statesmanship, since, let us do what we may for education, the ignorant and thoughtless must ever be in the majority.
Accordingly, as the campaign progressed, Mr. Greeley's sympathetic nature must have felt keenly, not so much the calumnies of an unscrupulous partizanship, but the apparent undermining, in a few brief months, of that firm foundation of good-will which he had laid for himself in the hearts of the people. On the one hand, he saw the enfranchised slaves, for whom no one had done more than he, turned against him by the arts of demagogues ; on the other hand, he saw the sturdy farmers of the North and West, so many of whom were wont to look to him for counsel and guidance, estranged from him, misunderstanding him, losing their faith in him, reducing him in conception to the level of a demagogue who, for the gratification of political leadership, turns his back upon his whole life! It was this feeling, much more than to further his own success, that prompted him to that remarkable trip to the West, in the course of which he delivered that rapid succession of off-hand speeches, which, whatever their effect upon the campaign, certainly did much to restore to Mr. Greeley his hold upon the popular heart. They are the last words of Horace Greeley to the American people, and none of his admirers could wish for him a fitter suiming up of the aims and motives of his life than the noble monitions of forgiveness and reconciliation with which he has thus shrouded his decadence.
Though Mr. Greeley failed as a political candidate, and though he greatly erred in permitting himself ever to be diverted from his true field of labor, his life was nevertheless a noble success.
A pioneer in the enfranchisement of the slave, the friend of every humanitarian project, the prophet of amnesty and reconciliation, the founder of the New York Tribune—that was enough. If he did not succeed at last in bringing his party as rapidly as he wished to his own high standard, what he lacked of accomplishment living, his influence, made more impressive by his death, will go far to consummate.
Only the meanest or the hardest soul could fail to be touched by so tragic a close of a career like his. Allowing full effect to physical causes, the excitements of the campaign, the exhaustive jonrneys, the night vigils by the side of a dying wife, the general overstraining of the nervous forces—it may still be truly said that Horace Greeley died of a broken heart. Here was a man who had, for a generation, been addressing himself to the heart of the people, had sought to inspire them with his own impulses for the right, had made them feel the warmth of his own nature, had built for himself, as he trusted, an imperishable monument in their esteem and sympathy, had grown accustomed to the assured recognition of his work. But, at last, in the wane of life, and at an hour when, leaving in the grave the remains of his dead wife, he more than ever needs the accustomed sympathy and support, it seems for the moment to be taken away from him. What wonder if at such a time he should feel that the defeat of the political candidate was the defeat of the editor, the thinker, the man? What wonder if the heart, so generous of love, so dependent upon the recoguition of others, should think itself abandoned, betrayed? This source of life, this vital essence of the man being sapped, the physical power, naturally strong, at last gives way, and, “it is done;" a noble and eminently useful life goes out.
NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
Cornell's Series of School Geographies. New and Revised Edition.
By S. S. CORNELL. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1871.
ALTHOUGH we devoted, some time since, a small space to an examination of these books, in which we pointed out some of their more prominent defects, yet we feel it our duty to notice them again, in view of the fact that, having been lately “revised,” they are now claimed to be, like another series of the same publishers, "absolutely perfect text-books, with no defects,” “The best series of school geographies extant," etc. Extraordinary means are employed to introduce them into all our schools, and very questionable inducements are held out to teachers and others in order to accomplish this purpose.
It is un necessary to say that we do not again revert to the subject from any other motive than the desire to deai justly and impartially with all classes of publications, and that we should equally fail in our vocation as reviewers and in our duty to the public and the rising generation were we to refrain from criticising works of this pretentious kind, which are at present flooding our schools.
In no class of books are the sales so great or the profits so large as in school books. Once introduced into a school, a ready market is found for hundreds or thousands of copies annually, which, when destroyed, are replaced by new ones, while other works find only individual purchasers, who need but one copy.
That this is immensely profitable is amply illustrated by the new firms rapidly springing up in all parts of the country, and the fierce competition existing between rival houses. But recently a division has been made of the several States and parts of States between the leading publishers, and the wolves having temporarily ceased to rend each other, now turn in harmony to devour the lambs! The effect of such a course upon the schools is obvious. A firm thus having an opportunity to supply a section of country without competition, throw in all their publications, of whatever character, at rapidly increasing rates, until a rich harvest is reaped before they are compelled to abandon the field to a new party, who repeat the extortion.
This massacre of the innocents” is going on around us unheeded and unchecked, either because the American people are too much occupied to attend to the wants of their children, or because they are the best natured and most easily imposed upon of any people on earth. . They are not lacking in love for their children. They send them to the most expensive schools and pay the bills cheerfully, but what parent ever inquires into the char. acter of the text-books used, or examines them himself ? Hence it becomes the more necessary that they should be informed of the man. ner in which they are relieved of their money for what is often worse than useless, and the mind of the pupil, by the rapid changes, is reduced to a state of comparative chaos, in which if any light and order remain, they are not the result of the present system of supplying him with text books. How to establish uniformity throughout the country in the use of the best text-books, is a question wbich must soon be decided by the American people, for the efficiency and further progress of our schools depend upon it. In order to remedy the defect of which we are speaking, they must be brought more under the control of a central State authority, which shall prescribe the books to, be used, and each school board should be instructed to supply them without cost to all pupils, to be paid for by a general tax, included in that levied for other school purposes. At all events this would be an improvement upon the present plan, which is undoubtedly the worst possible. The caprice or cupidity of a school officer or teacher too often decides what books shall be placed in the hands of children at the most formative period of their lives, and publishers do not hesitate to avail themselves of these means of extending a profitable business.
If“ of making of books there is no end," there certainly is none of the devices employed for foisting them, good, bad and indifferent, into our schools. One of the most common of these is the generous offer to take the old books at a high valuation and substitute new ones, with a free copy to the teachers, who cannot fail to recommend it, while the children and often the parents are delighted with the idea of exchanging old books for new ones! Farther than this, copies of valuable works are presented to teachers and school boards, for the purpose of securing the admission of worthless text bo :ks into the schools, and, still more, money has been paid, where deemed necessary, to secure that result. Such are some of the arts resorted to by enterprising publishers. That we may not seem to speak without knowledge, we give a case in point which came under our personal observation. There is a school on the Hudson, not a hundred miles from New York, where the Board of Education, not better nor worse, let us hope, than the majority of such dfficers, are selected, not for any fitness for ihe position, real or supposed, but solely for their disposition to reduce taxes to a minimum, and that in a district having an assessed valuation of over eleven hundred thousand dollars, and paying little over four thou. sand dollars for school purposes. Before them appeared a publisher and presented a great "Encyclopedia," the value of whicis, however, as a work of reference may be doubted, but not as a sedative to the text-book question in this case. All used in that school were henceforth ordered from that house. We mention this only as an illustration of the manner in which such works are introduced and retained in schools long after their unfitness has been demonstrated, and the means by which publishers are enabled to make such announcements as the following:
“No other school books ever published in this country have received such universal and unqualified commendation and approval as has been awarded to the Cornell series by the press, by state, country and town school officers."
We find this upon the outside page of the “Intermediate Geography," with a flaming advertisement, and balf-page picture of “D. Appleton & Co's new printing office and bookbindery.” Thus befo e the pupil is informed of the fact that “the earth is the planet which we inhabit,” he is supplied with not less important information in respect to the source from which the world is supplied with incomparable text-books." In order that the reader may see more fully what the pretensions of these books are, we select a few more of their “claims,” only premising that ile have usually found the amount of puffing bestowed upon a book in inverse ratio to its merits. “They are philosophical in their arrangement, accurate in their statements, chastely and lavishly