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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/136

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

thereby intimate to the world, nor yet to its own citizens, its desire and intention to be always in the right, to pursue undeviatingly the path of justice, but a desire and intention to be able to pursue whatever course may be indicated by national ambition. No one can doubt that in our own country the disposition to trust to right in our dealings with other nations has been growing feebler just as our armaments have been growing stronger. Every new battleship makes it a matter of less account—in the eyes of a large part of the nation at least—that we should be in the right at all. By and by, if things advance much further in the same direction, national honor will be held to demand that we commit some great wrong, and prove at the cannon's mouth that we are able to stand by it.

We confess that this is not what we were hoping for. Some twenty or twenty-five years ago, when the minds of our people seemed turning in the direction of a sound philosophy, we were very far from anticipating that at this date there would be a recrudescence of the spirit which derides philosophy and enthrones brute force in its place. We feel like asking what our schools and universities have been doing all this time. Have they been teaching our youth that, in the matter of citizenship, the highest honor any man can enjoy is to belong to a state whose respect for itself binds it to respect for others, and whose aim is far more to show the possibilities of civilized life at home than to make an imposing display of strength abroad? Do they teach that, if a nation can, without sacrifice of honor or betrayal of the just interests of its citizens, live at peace with all the world, it is its bounden duty, both for its own sake and as an example to mankind, to do so? Do they teach that war and liberty are essentially antagonistic, and that, only by parting with a large share of domestic liberty, can any nation take its place among the great fighting powers of the world? We fear that, whatever has been done in the way of inculcating these truths, the instruction has been far from adequate. At the same time it is satisfactory to note that, so far as men of scholarship and learning have spoken in the recent discussions of international questions, their voices have almost uniformly been raised on behalf of wide, humane, and reasonable views of national policy.

It was with special pleasure that we noted not long ago a "Symposium on Patriotism in the Public Schools" in the Interstate School Review, of Chicago, in which some excellent sentiments were expressed. One writer, U. J. Hoffman, says: "Let children study the lives of patriots, let them read the thoughts of patriots, such as Hawthorne, Bryant, Longfellow, and love of our native land will take care of itself. The requirement of the flag law, that the flag shall float every day, has caused the purpose of the law to be defeated." Another, William D. Kelley, says most excellently: "In our selection of subjects for hero worship we need not choose war heroes rather than those who are eminent in the acts of peace and charity. The man who stands up resolutely in the common council or the town meeting for what is right and against what is corrupt and wrong, is a patriot, and often a hero, and may be made as truly an example for children as those far removed from them in time, and whose fame is national or world-wide. The teacher should show that governments can commit sins as well as individuals. I would teach a love for the Revolutionary principles and a dislike for our