surrendering worldly goods and life itself; and this is the highest fruit that they have yielded in later times.
The remaining aspect of sociability—the influence of the general multitude—holds out the most powerful and permanent motive to conduct, and is largely felt in education. In the presence of an assembly the individual is roused, agitated, swayed; the thrill of numbers is electric; in whatever direction the influence tends, it is almost irresistible. Any effort made in the sight of a host is totally altered in character; and all impressions are very much deepened.
Having in view this ascendency of numbers, we can make a step toward computing the efficacy of class-teaching, public schools, and institutions where great multitudes are brought together. The power exercised is of a mixed character and the several elements admit of being singled out. The social motive, in its pure form of gregarious attraction and mutual sympathy, does not stand alone. Supposing it did, the effect would be to supply a strong stimulus in favor of everything that was supported by common consent; the individual would be urged to attain the level of the mass. The drill of a regiment of soldiers corresponds very nearly to this situation; every man is under the eye of the whole, and aspires to be what the rest are and not much, if anything, beyond; the sympathetic coöperation of the mass, guides, stimulates, and rewards the exertion of the individual. Even if it were the destination of a soldier to act as an isolated individual, still his education would be most efficaciously conducted in the mass system, being finished off by a certain amount of separate exercise to prepare for the detached or independent position.
In every kind of education in classes, the social feeling, in the pure form now assumed, is frequently operative, and the results are as stated. The tendency is to secure a certain approved level of attainment those that are disinclined of themselves to work up to that level are pushed on by the influence of the mass. If there were no other strong passions called out in society, the general result would be a kind of communism or socialism characterized by mediocrity and dead level; everything correct up to a certain point, but no individual superiority or distinction.
The influence of society as the dispenser of collective good and evil things, in addition to its operation in the affections and sympathies, is necessarily all-powerful in every direction. If this stimulus were always to coincide with high mental culture, the effect would be something that the imagination hardly dares to shadow forth. It is, however, a power that may be propitiated by many different means, including shams and evasions, and the bearing upon culture is only occasional. Nevertheless, the social rewards have often served to foster the highest genius—the oratory of Demosthenes, and the poetry of Horace and Virgil—a form of genius notoriously allied with toil and perseverance of the most arduous kind. The same influence, working by disappro-