Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/514

This page has been validated.

or social domains, and perhaps we should except also the realm of politics. To grasp and to establish the hitherto wanting but yet so necessary harmony between being and thinking will probably be the chief task of the century soon to come in.

As regards the sciences thus far not mentioned (philosophy, theology, jurisprudence), there is, to our knowledge, much movement to be noticed, but comparatively little real progress. An exception must be made as to history, which as Kulturgeschichte (history of civilization) has assumed a scientific character contrasting markedly with its previous form. The same is true of the history of religion, which has given a well-deserved attention to the ancient Hindu religions, especially the venerable religion of Buddha; furthermore, the successful study of antiquity, which, especially in connection with a branch of physical science or geology as archaeology, has furnished the most valuable disclosures as to prehistoric times. Political economy, statistics, and hygiene also may look back on their achievements with pride. The ethics of moral science has also derived great profit from the revelations of physical sciences on the gradual acquisition and transmission through heredity of mental and moral qualities. The like can be said with even more emphasis of general philology, which happily applied the principles of the theory of evolution to the great problem of the origin of languages, and proved that the laws according to which species and languages originate, grow, and, through the extinction of intermediate links, separate from each other, are identical.

Furthermore, in all domains of human knowledge, without exception, a great number of important and valuable detail researches have been made which, in their totality, also tend to raise their respective sciences to a higher level.

M. Ferdinand Brunetière, the distinguished French critic, who recently came to the United States to deliver a course of lectures, confesses to having met some difficulties in a search he made to find a typical American. At Baltimore, as at New York, all that he observed of original or local seemed to bear an element of cosmopolitanism. The "American" or English professor of whom he borrowed a pencil was a German. A lady whose manner, physiognomy, and language struck him as American, was of French origin. Another person of "American" manners spent half the year in Paris or Switzerland. The man who asked him how he liked Baltimore was a Russian. He found, too, Italians, Greeks, Jews, and what not, of "American" aspect and manners, and wondered when he would meet an American born in America of American parents, or who had not been subject to influences from abroad. "No," he says, "race has not in America any more than in Europe the importance that is given it."