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cause there are behind it two thousand years America, and the same thing is done in Switof consolidating life packed full of binding zerland. There are laws against the landing tradition and usage. We have no past, no of convicts, but none against accused crimtraditions, no usage, but only some sound inals; still, it is doubtful if one class is hindered principles of government upon which we rely more than the other. The hunted anarchists to do the work of history. We propose to and fugitive nihilists of course come hither, convert and transform the basest populations and amuse themselves by publishing treasonof the civilized world by the Constitution,- able journals and scattering bombs among the caucus and the ballot being the nominal the police. teachers, though the real ones are the saloon The passage of a discharged criminal from and the ward politician. Locomotion may be one country to another cannot in individual increased to an untold degree, but not the cases be prevented by ordinary legislation, paces of life. Neither the stature of the body but when there is an immigration of masses nor the growth of the nation can be hastened. of criminals, and the fact enters into the adWe have a population, such as it is, but it is an ministration of foreign courts of justice, some open question if we have a true nation, or can extraordinary legislation would seem to be nechave one until we take more pains to secure essary. These imported criminals keep our its proper elements. We successfully played saloons, whence they dictate our politics; they the part of the leaven for a long time, but the rob our houses, murder us on the street, and meal is now not only increasing beyond all crowd our prisons. The time has come when measure, but is of a character not to be it is not amiss for the American sociologist leavened. The principle of exclusion already to fix his eye upon this word foreign and recognized in our laws should be made to em- measure its import in our social and political brace any element which is not already well life. There is not an evil thing among us, not fitted to enter harmoniously into the life of a vice, nor crime, nor disturbing element, which the nation. Such legislation would, of course, is not for the most part of foreign origin. Mobs, shock the traditional American sentiment, but murder, burglary, ruffianism, boycottism, there are some things this nation sadly needs drunkenness, lawlessness, atheism, bribery, to learn if it would remain true to itself; such anarchism, political corruption and intrigue, as courage to resist the clamor of sentimental it is a simple fact that the largest element in religionists, political idealists, and atheistic each member of this fearful category is mainly anarchists. These unconsciously play into composed of foreigners. There are Americans one another's hands, paralyze parties by their who are criminals, but it can hardly be said converging streams of talk, and prevent the that there is an American criminal class. adoption of any strong, intelligent, and patriotic There is, of course, a worthy and decent action. When a board of health was first estab- immigration, the continuance of which we lished in London, Charles Kingsley prayed may invite and even covet; but it should be God that they might be saved from“ Idealism.” under restrictions that are effective, and that The most homely, practical, unsentimental sharply discriminate against criminals, paupeople in the world, we are yet the most given pers, insane, Mormons, anarchists, and also to following a vague and general idealism. against those classes whose depraved social We regulate the details of private life by the condition renders them unfit to assume the severest common sense, but leave great mat- duties of American citizenship. Only the last ters of public interest to be settled by what we point is controverted on the ground that it call principles. Reasons for this may be found shuts out the ignorant who may become inin our history and in the better parts of human telligent, the poor who may prove industrious, nature, but none the less do they prevent us and that it is a policy essentially inhuman. from drifting into a political life that is with- Such considerations deserve respectful treatout order or reason or purpose.
ment. There is nothing which calls more loudly It is urged that it is not just and merciful to for a closer restriction of immigration than the close our ports against the poor, the ignorant, inroad of criminals from Europe. Like the the oppressed, and the debased of other lands. first murderer, the criminal is a wanderer; and It may not be easy to distinguish between the this being a free country and full of chances, moral duty of the individual and of the nation, he naturally wanders hither. Seventy-five per so close is the analogy between them; but it cent. of the crime in New England is com- is clear that one may do some things as an mitted by foreigners. Seventy-four per cent. individual which one may not do as the head of the discharged Irish convicts come to this of a family, some things as the father of a country. It is a common practice of the Irish household which he may not as a citizen. courts to discharge those accused of crime The welfare or safety of others comes in to with the understanding that they shall go to limit his action and 'shut it off from what it might be his duty to risk or endure as an in- problems to their sources, and thus force each dividual. If the house of Victor Hugo's good nation to bear its own burdens and work out bishop had held a wife and children, it would its own salvation. What mercy, in the larger not have been right for him to open his doors view, is there in permitting an immigration to Jean Valjean; something more than the which encourages the hideous military system spoons would have been endangered. The law of Europe ? It is far easier for a nation to deof mercy and humanity which justifies a man plete itself of a population whose miseries in taking his life in his hand and encountering drive it to threaten the injustice and oppresthe last degree of risk and sacrifice does not sion that render it miserable than to correct require him to drag others along his path. It the abuses. That which makes the municipal is not asserted that a nation should not be government of our larger cities intolerable merciful and humane, nor that there are two contributes to a peace in Europe which it kinds of morality, but only that the enforce- does not deserve. Chicago has had the expense ment of even the highest principles has lim- and trouble of trying and executing several men itations that become moral standards. A whose careers ought to have been run in the corporate body cannot go so fast and so far in land where they were born. So long as we resacrificial ways as an individual. The spirit ceive this fugitive and crushed-out immigration, of humanity and mercy is to be always cher- we are playing into the hands of institutions ished by political bodies, but the degree of and usages against which our nation is, by its its enforcement should be regulated and de- nature, a protest
. More than this: we are termined by inseparable circumstances. The playing into the hands of organized inhumanhead of man may touch the stars, but his feet ity by fostering that combination of throne rest on the dust of the earth.
and class and land-monopoly and military But it is a question if this nation is pursu- service which drains the life-blood of the Euing a merciful and humane course in permit- ropean populations. If it is humanity that ting a nearly unrestricted immigration. What seems most to justify the present immigration, is the function of this nation as related to the tide should be reversed and sent back other nations ? Chiefly that it shall offer to where it will compel the nations from which them the spectacle and example of a true it comes to give their own children land and nation.
bread, justice and equality. The resources of This we have done so far as institutions go, Europe are not exhausted, but are either moand the sight has moved the world. We can nopolized or undeveloped, - often one and the still render the nations no better service than same thing. Let England break up her parks by making our own homogeneous in blood and game preserves, and give Ireland a good and sentiment, intelligent, moral, harmonious land-bill ; let Ireland drain her bogs, and cultiand strong in unity. Such an example is an vate the deep-sea fisheries that Lord Churchill achievement of mercy and humanity far be- proposed to foster and the industries that yond any spasmodic and sentimental embrace Home Rule will reëstablish. Let Scotland of suffering humanity; it says to the nations, send Winans home, or to Australia, and re“Go, and do thou likewise.” We thus start the store the deer preserves to the crofters, and currents of mercy and good-will where they so rectify the most inhuman wrong of the cenmost need to flow, and where also are their tury. Let Russia either exterminate or pacify natural channels. But small service is ren- her revolutionists. Let Prussia and Italy and dered to the cause of humanity by relieving Austria disband the armies which starve one other nations of their proper duties. The part of their populations by keeping the other exodus of immense populations from Europe part in enforced and costly idleness. Let the has delayed healthful and necessary processes Great Powers form alliances in behalf of their which otherwise would there have gone on. people instead of the dignity of their crowns. The pressure against existing evils has been Instead of emigrating, these oppressed multitaken off, when it would have been better if it tudes should stay and hammer at the doors of had been continued. The spectacle of a hetero- palaces and the gates of hedged forests and geneous and discordant nation staggering un- untilled parks, and
cast their burdens of military der heavy burdens of ignorance and crime despotism, and taxation, and groaning want and political corruption and unenforced laws, upon the floors of Parliament and Reichstag,and bewildered by unsolvable problems of demanding relief, and taking it if it be not race, serves to strengthen institutions and granted. Here is a field for the exercise of usages in Europe that need to be modified or humanity worth considering. The time has swept away. The evils from which we suffer come when this nation can best fulfill its lofty through excessive immigration react in favor mission of mercy and good-will by transferof the very causes that produce it. It is not ring the field of their action beyond its shores. only wiser, but more humane, to return these There can be no act of humanity until there
is a standard of character ; the moral, the fit, present ties and throw himself into an envithe necessary underlie all beneficent conduct. ronment new in every respect save the sky Such a standard this nation once had, but above him. Such an act should be made diffiit is a question if it can long be retained. cult, so that men shall not rashly undertake it,
The only restrictive legislation now in force and it should be suffered only on the ground is that which forbids the immigration of of entire fitness. The most fit are those whose Chinese, paupers, and insane, and an act to intelligence renders them least dependent upon prohibit the importation and migration of for- environment; and the least fit are those who eigners and aliens under contract or agreement are still the creatures of environment. Immito perform labor in the United States, its Ter- gration is largely tragical, as is shown by the ritories, and the District of Columbia.” These statistics of insanity. The ratio of insane restrictions are easily evaded. There might foreigners to native born is about three to be more stringent laws of the same sort, and one; of those born of foreign parents to native possibly an honest commission might be se- born, nearly four to one. These facts do not cured to enforce them, but evasion and decep- show that the insane come hither, but that the tion are so easy that it is doubtful if much coming makes them insane. The reasons are would be gained. The question of legislation evident and full of warning significance. Imis confessedly one of great difficulty, and migration is an act fraught with tremendous any new measures are suggested only in a risks, not only to those who undertake it, but tentative way. I venture, however, to name to those among whom it is consummated. It a method which the free and independent is not only a religious but a political truth that American has been accustomed to associate the bounds of our habitations are appointed. with “ the effete and crumbling monarchies No man should break over them without the of Europe" as, perhaps, the completest sym- best of reasons and distinct fitness; least of bol of their tyrannical disposition, namely, all should the weak and the ignorant, for the the passport. There are many American citi- simple reason that they most need a molding zens who, if they should search the archives and restraining environment. When such come of their households, would find a document hither, they are practically without environso named, secured at a cost of five dollars and ment, being too ignorant to perceive and come some trouble, regarded first as a jest but later under that which exists. Concretely stated, as an occasion of profane ejaculation in the such immigrants do not become Americans. streets of Italian and Austrian cities, and pre- Hence that social and political condition served as a memento of foreign wanderings which now so obtrudes itself upon public atand despotic governments. The passport, tention,-anarchism, lawlessness, hoodlumism, however, is not necessarily a symbol of tyr- pauperism, boycottism, labor strikes, and a anny. It represents a political necessity in the general violation of personal rights such as the past, and it may be a useful political instrument Anglo-Saxon race has not witnessed since in the future. It is not tyrannical in its nature; Magna Charta. The combined tyranny of it contravenes no right; for it does not follow Europe during the last half-century does not that because a man has feet he may go wher- afford such a spectacle of cruel and unreasonever he chooses. It may be a limitation of able tyranny, of trampling upon personal freepersonal independence, but it is not different dom, as that witnessed in the United States from, nor greater than, many others which during the last three or four years. This horare necessary to social welfare, and it is less rible tyranny is wholly of foreign origin, — the severe and arbitrary than the requirements plain and simple fruit of ignorance of Ameriof vaccination or military service. The pass- can institutions and of the meaning of the word port simply indicates that the time has not yet rights. If we suffer from this, we have ourselves come when men may go from one country to to thank for it. We invoked ignorance, and it another without some guarantee of good in- is tormenting us with its proper weapons. The tention, worthy character, and general fitness negro problem aside, there is scarcely a great to make such a change. It is better for society public evil in this nation but has its roots in that some people should stay at home. The this indiscriminate immigration. It is the forpolitical value of the passport is not to be set eign element that poisons politics, blocks the aside by crude talk about the freedom of God's wheels of industry, fills our prisons and hosearth and international hospitality and the right pitals and poor-houses, defies law, perplexes of a man to go wherever he sees fit. Its use in our schemes of education, lowers the grade of immigration would emphasize the gravity of a public virtue, atheizes the state, confuses latransfer of citizenship from one nation to an- bor, supplants the caucus by the saloon, feeds other. It is not a slight thing for a man to the drink-evil, and turns municipal government change continents, language, citizenship, insti- into a farce and a shame. tutions, customs, hereditary surroundings, and It is getting to be felt in many quarters that this process has gone far enough, and that it fall into the current of the national life and may be well to exchange our grand idealism to support its institutions. for a little common sense and practical states- We are aware that a government cannot manship. The passport seems to be the only do everything that needs to be done for its available means of restricting immigration so people ; also that human society, as distinct as to exclude that which is undesirable. No from government, must work out many of its scrutiny by a commission in our ports will turn problems without the aid of law, and that, beback any considerable number. The restric- ing an organism, it is fitted to do this. We tion must be made before the journey hither are also aware that social regeneration must begins. For this purpose the consulate could be largely left to science and ethical teaching easily be employed.* It is not proposed to and religion. Society has laws and forces of prohibit foreign immigration; but it is pro- its own which work towards the elimination of posed to make it, at least, not so easy a evil and the creation of good and require no matter as it is at present. To this end it is aid from the civil law. But these social forces suggested that laws be enacted requiring presuppose a normal constitution of society,every person to show before an American potentially, at least. When society is suffered official his fitness to become an American by law, or by the absence of law, to become citizen,- laws strong on the negative side, abnormally constituted, - heterogeneous, illshutting out the grossly degraded and ignor- balanced, overweighted with bad elements ant, the physically degenerate, the criminal; alien to itself;— then civil law may be invoked and still 'stronger on the positive side, requir- to take off the hindrances, and thus make the ing some inceptive preparation for entering way clear for society to enforce its own reinto American life, and some real intention to demptive methods.
Since these pages were written, the subject has en- tificates of good character,-- that is, the emigrants gaged the attention of Congress, and bills have been themselves. introduced which call for the use of the consulate to An“ Ex-Consul,” in the New York“ Evening Post” determine the fitness of emigrants. The press, and (December 24), ridicules the use of the consulate for the especially the New York“ Evening Post” inits able col- purpose named, but suggests that "it might be well to umns, criticise this feature of the bills as unworthy of require of every one (emigrants) a certificate of good consideration on the ground of the utter inability of conduct from the local authorities of the place from consuls to do the required work. I would not insist which he came, and this might be legalized by the conupon this or any other specific method, but only that sul at the place of shipment, or the consul nearest the some method shall be adopted which will shut out a place from which he came, as in the case of merchanpart, at least, of the undesirable and already illegal dise.” immigration. It would seem that a commissioner in The suggestion is well worthy of consideration as the ports of departure would find no greater difficulty suggesting the ground upon which a consul or comthan a commission in the ports of arrival ; that it is as mission might grant a passport. The humanity of easy to determine embarkation as disembarkation. checking paupers and insane in the ports of departure It would also seem that a consul or a commission in rather than in ports of arrival is too obvious to need Queenstown could more easily ascertain if Irish emi- mention. grants are discharged criminals than a commission in I will add that this paper was written nearly two New York. The difficulty in all cases would not be years ago, and before the suggestions as to the use of with the consul or commission, but with those who the consulate, now so frequently heard, were made. are required to produce the proper and sufficient cer
T. T. Munger.
IKE a beautiful flying bird it came
Out of the sunlight and breath of Spring; And dear head nestled, it long had lain; I could not name it by any name
I could not dream that the yearning thrill Half fair enough for so fair a thing.
For flight would waken, ever again. Into my life and my heart's deep heart But out of my life it swept one day, Bringing a song and a laugh- a dream, With song and silence and shadow-fame; Sweet tears, glad silence, and that strange art And I never knew by what unseen way That makes Life's shadow like sunshine seem. It came and went- nor its unnamed name.
Mary Ainge De Vere.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
“ English as She is Taught."
individual. So this assumption becomes the foundation.
stone of our public school system,- that what one can THEN last year, in the April number of this maga- do another must. The practical result is, that if the
editorial notice of the article was taken, it was hoped is to appear to do it. So long as a teacher feels that that something for the good of the schools might co his reputation, popularity, and position depend in a from the discussion. Unfortunately, not many of the great measure upon his ability to “ pass” nearly all of letters received have been of a character to justify the his class, the temptation to promote thoroughly incomfaith. They have been, as a rule, either hopelessly ac- petent pupils, from motives of policy or cowardice, or quiescent or helplessly resentful. Many teachers have from a desire to get rid of stupid or troublesome sent us similar lists of answers, but few have made pupils, is too strong to be wholly disregarded in consuggestions; others have admitted that such lists sidering the causes of failure in the working of our might be made by any teacher, but protest against the school system.* Now, much as may be said of the conclusions drawn from them. The range of protes- share of the dull and careless pupil in the poor work tation has been wide, and some fierce minds have even of Miss Le Row's collection, it is painfully apparent accused us of attempting to overthrow the public- that the questions are too ambitious and that the chilschool system of the country and of unpatriotic criti- dren are beyond their depth. No one who has watched cism of one of the elements of our national greatness. our schools in the past ten years can fail to note the
Tacitly, and often irritably, the teachers who have influence of a growing class of teachers who are worktaken exception to “ English as She is Taught " have ing out results that are steadily becoming better and recognized the fact that it is not the child, but the sys- better; but improvements in our schools have too often tem and, indirectly, the teacher that these examina- been the heaping of accretion upon accretion, the multion-results bear most severely against. Briefly stated, tiplying of studies. We attempt too much; we strive the main points of their arguments run in this wise: for all knowledge, and we load childhood with a jargon Such answers as Miss Le Row has collected — an- of confused facts and theories that disciplines nothing, notated by Mark Twain in “ English as She is Taught” that effects nothing, that is forgotten as soon as the - are valueless, because they can in no sense be con- brilliant hour of its parrot-like repetition has passed. sidered representative of the character of the work The truth is that most of what we teach is simply done in our public schools. They are, they claim, the thrown away; and, were it not for the negative evils attempts of exceptionally dull or careless pupils; of that keep step with all this misdirected direction, it pupils absorbed in thoughts of sport or completely un- would not matter. We have too little sense of pronerved by the examination; or of those few found in portion, and entirely lose sight of the fact that thought every school who have a genius for misapprehension and expression should be the first qualities to develop in and misstatement. Instruction in our schools, they a pupil. The child -- not examinations, not promotions, say, is of necessity given by classes, and examination- not courses of study- should be the objective point in papers must have reference to the average capability all teaching. Develop habits of strict attention, and or advancement of the class examined. In each class you have gone far towards developing powers of may be found pupils of all degrees of capacity, individ- thought and quick comprehension. uality, and environment, and the surprising results of The fatal element about such answers as, “ MendaMiss Le Row's collection must be ascribed to the in- cious, what can be mended,” and “ Parasite, the murcompletely assimilated elements in these incongruous der of an infant," is, that the words are but sounds to masses. Therefore, they add, in order to obtain from the child, and the effort to express them and their examination-papers any trustworthy information as to meanings is but a dull, unreasoning groping after a the quality of the teaching, one must take into consid- set of sounds committed to memory in a perfunctory eration all the answers of the child who makes one ab- way. And in the answer, “The chyle flows up the surd error, and the answers of his classmates, and middle of the backbone and reaches the heart, where must know, besides, the temper and condition of the it meets the oxygen and is purified,” it is evident that children's minds.
the pupil has no understanding of the matter, though All this is true, but it does not entirely satisfy. Now, it is manifest that he has gone through the form of at the very beginning, it may be admitted that the pub- studying the subject. He is simply the victim of a lic schools have many difficulties with which to contend. stupid theory that we are trying to harbor ; namely, In the city there is overcrowding; in the country there that a wide acquaintance with facts and phenomena is a multiplicity of classes. This demands too great an means education, and that examination-papers are the amount of mere police duty of the teacher, and renders highest expressions of culture. A wise man might be individual teaching, with too great ambition, impossi- glad to know that a boy of his, in a walk with him ble. Straightway mechanical methods creep in, and through the fields, could correctly name the beech and the child is treated as one of an average, and not as an * See "The Public-School Problem," in “Open Letters."