Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/184

This page has been validated.

ing one of their many examples of Welch characteristics—describing the emotional tumult of a marriage celebration by declaring that he "had never see sic a wedding before, it was just like a vuneral"!

The Welsh disposition or temperament is less familiar to us in America than the Irish; it is the exact counterpart of it. The keynote of this disposition lies in emotion. As vehement in speech as the Alpine Celt in Switzerland, France, or Germany is taciturn; as buoyant and lively in spirits as the Teutonic Englishman is reserved; the feelings rise quickly to expression, giving the power of eloquence or its degenerate prototype loquacity. This mental type is keen in perception, not eminent for reasoning qualities; "a quick genius," as Matthew Arnold puts it, "checkmated for want of strenuousness or else patience." As easily depressed as elated, this temperament often leads, as Barnard Davis says, to "a tumult followed by a state of collapse." Apt to fall into difficulty by reason of impetuousness, it is readily extricated through quick resourcefulness. In decision, leaning to the side of sentiment rather than reason, "always ready," in the words of Henri Martin, "to react against the despotism of fact." Compare such an emotional constitution with the heavy-minded, lumbering but substantial English type, and one realizes the possible "clashing of a quick perception with a Germanic instinct for going steadily along close to the ground." Ascribe it all to a difference of diet, if you please, as the late Mr. Buckle might have done; derive the emotional temperament from potatoes, and the stolid one from beef; or invent any other excuse you please, the contrast is a real one. It points vaguely in the direction of a Mediterranean blend in the Welsh and Irish, even to a lesser degree in the Highland Scotch. More we dare not affirm.

The moderator of the recent General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, Dr. Hugh MacMillan,an eminent divine of undoubted orthodoxy, in his inaugural address before the assembly, said, alluding to scientific discoveries, that the scientific method had created a greater regard for truth than ever before existed in the world. The extraordinary exactness of the scientific method in the physical world has reacted beneficially upon the moral world, and has led to an intolerance of every form of falsehood. The scientific method is carried into theological studies, and men under its influence refuse to accept conventional or traditional evidence, and insist upon subjecting even the most sacred things to the most rigid investigation. Veracity is the passion of their life. In this way the influence of recent science in some directions and to some extent has been unsettling, but upon the whole it has been a great and permanent advantage. True religion can not possibly suffer from the tests and methods of science properly conducted.