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EDITOR'S TABLE.

are indebted to him for light, awakening, and emancipation, there should be some formal and decisive utterance of what may be fairly taken as the American estimate of the man. In obedience to this sentiment, the best arrangements were made that the time would allow for speeches more thoughtful and even solid than are usual on such complimentary occasions. The wisdom of the policy was abundantly vindicated. The temper of the gathering required that the addresses should not only be interesting, but weighty with appreciation of the opportunity. The guest of the evening was received with enthusiasm, and listened to in utter silence, that not a word should be lost. All the other speakers were received with the most cordial applause; and when Mr. Beecher ended his stirring and whole-hearted address, at twelve o'clock, there was a fervid enthusiasm on the part of all that broke into a common expression of pleasure at the success of the affair. Many others there were ready, and would have been glad, had time allowed, to join in the emphatic tribute of respect and admiration for the distinguished guest.

It may be added that the only drawback upon the Spencer banquet was the large number of those who were disappointed in not being present. Had there been more time for preparation, the committee of arrangements would have chosen a place capable of seating five hundred, instead of two hundred, at table; though, had publicity been given to the affair through the press, the same difficulty would have occurred on a larger scale.

 

 

THE QUESTION OF OVERWORK.

In his address at the complimentary dinner tendered to him in New York, Mr. Spencer took up the subject of overwork—criticised the Americans as faulty in this respect, pointed out the evil consequences of excess in this direction, said that it implied an imperfect social ideal, and intimated that as a people we need more relaxation. His criticisms and advice have been generally received as sound and proper, but they have also elicited protests in various shapes, some of which it may be well to notice.

Mr. Spencer's countryman, George Jacob Holyoake, was recently honored with a reception in this city, and in his remarks he referred to Mr. Spencer's criticism dissentingly. He is reported as expressing great admiration of American activity and enterprise. As for the people being in too great a hurry, he thought Mr. Spencer himself would get to be in a hurry if he staid here six months, in the midst of opportunities and competitions that are enough to make an angel hurry. Shrewd Englishmen understand that Americans love to be told that they are smart and beat the world in enterprise.

But can so clear-headed a man as Mr. Holyoake fail to see that there is a special danger where the tendency to exertion becomes so irresistible—where individual impulses are only intensified by surrounding influences? The greater the temptation the greater is the peril of success, and the greater the need of restraint. Will it be said that there is no such thing possible as injurious overwork, or that the powerful strain upon men can be safely kept up without corresponding counteractions? The very question is absurd. The common experience of human nature testifies that men can very easily kill themselves by over-exertion. The problem is simply one of a proper balance between opposing tendencies. Where there is great stress in the direction of laborious activity, adequate counter-checks are demanded. Mr. Spencer did not so much condemn strenuous work, in which, indeed, he believes, as the lack of compensating recreations to countervail its mischievous effects.

Mr. Seymour Haden, another of Mr. Spencer's countrymen, in a compliment-