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EMMA LAZARUS, a Hebrew-American poet, born at New York, July 22, 1849; died there, Nov. 19, 1887. The outbreak of the Civil War brought out her poetic gift at the age of eleven; and very early she began to publish her poems in Lippincott's Magazine. In 1866 she issued her first volume of "Poems and Translations"; and in 1871 a second collection, entitled "Admetus and Other Poems." A prose work entitled "Alide" appeared in 1 74. From this time she contributed many translations from Heine, and numerous original poems, to Scribner's Magazine; and the former were collected and published in 1881 as "Poems and Ballads of Heine," and the latter the year following as "Songs of a Semite." For the same magazine she also wrote some striking essays in behalf of her race; and in 1882, she elaborated, in the American Hebrew, her successful system of technical education for the suffering Jews. Her last works included "In Exile," "The Crowing of the Red Cock," "The Banner of the Jew," and a series of prose poems.
"O WORLD-GOD, give me wealth!" the Egyptian cried.
Of lavish Nile washed all his land with gold.
His priests were gods; his spice-balmed kings enshrined
Seek Pharaoh's race to-day, and ye shall find
"O World-God, give me beauty!" cried the Greek.
Each grove, each stream, quick with Promethean flame,
Go seek the sunshine race, ye find to-day A broken column and a lute unstrung.
"O World-God, give me power!" the Roman cried. His prayer was granted. The vast world was chained A captive to the chariot of his pride;
The blood of myriad provinces was drained
With serried legions and with close-meshed code,
"O Godhead, give me truth!" the Hebrew cried. His prayer was granted: he became the slave
Of the Iea, a pilgrim far and wide,
Cursed, hated, spurned, and scourged with none to save. The Pharaohs knew him; and when Greece beheld, His wisdom wore the hoary crown of eld.
Beauty he hath forsworn, and wealth and power. Seek him to-day, and find in every land;
No fire consumes him, neither floods devour: Immortal through the lamp within his hand.
WILLIAM EDWARD HARTPOLE LECKY.
WILLIAM EDWARD HARTPOLE LECKY, a distinguished British historian, born near Dublin,. March 26, 1838. He was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1859, and in 1861 published anonymously "Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland," of which a new edition with his name appeared in 1872. After some time spent in travel, he settled in London, and gave his attention to historical and philosophical studies. His "History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe" (1865) attracted great attention. In 1886 he became an opponent of Home Rule. His "History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne " (1869) was of equal merit. Other works were "A History of England in the Eighteenth Century" (1878 and 1892); "Poems" (1891); "Political Value of History" (1893); "Democracy and Liberty" (1896). A lecture on "The Influence of the Imagination in History" was subsequently delivered before the Royal Institution.
SYSTEMATIC CHARITY AS A MORAL OUTGROWTH, PAST AND PRESENT.
THE history of charity presents so few salient features, so little that can strike the imagination or arrest the attention, that it is usually almost wholly neglected by historians; and it is easy to conceive what inadequate notions of our existing charities could be gleaned from the casual allusions in plays or poems, in political histories or court memoirs. There can, however, be no question that neither in practice nor in theory, neither in the institutions that were founded nor in the place that was assigned to it in the scale of duties, did charity in antiquity occupy a position at all comparable to that which it has obtained by Christianity. Nearly all relief was a State measure, dictated much more by policy than by benevolence; and the habit of selling young children, the innumerable expositions, the readiness of the poor to enroll themselves as gladiators, and the frequent famines, show how large was the measure of unrelieved distress. A very few pagan examples of charity have indeed descended to us.
Among the Greeks we find Epaminondas ransoming captives, and collecting dowers for poor girls; Cimon feeding the hungry and clothing the naked; Bias purchasing, emancipating, and furnishing with dowers some captive girls of Messina. Tacitus has described with enthusiasm how, after a catastrophe near Rome, the rich threw open their houses and taxed all their resources to relieve the sufferers. There existed too among the poor, both of Greece and Rome, mutual insurance societies, which undertook to provide for their sick and infirm members. The very frequent reference to mendicancy in the Latin writers shows that beggars, and therefore those who relieved beggars, were numerous. The duty of hospitality was also strongly enjoined, and was placed under the special protection of the supreme Deity. But the active, habitual, and detailed charity of private persons, which is so conspicuous a feature in all Christian societies, was scarcely known in antiquity, and there are not more than two or three moralists who have even noticed it. Of these the chief rank belongs to Cicero, who devoted two very judicious but somewhat cold chapters to the subject. Nothing, he said, is more suitable to the nature of man than beneficence or liberality; but there are many cautions to be urged in practicing it. We must take care that our bounty is a real blessing to the person we relieve; that it does not exceed our own means; that it is not, as was the case with Sylla and Cæsar, derived from the spoliation of others; that it springs from the heart and not from ostentation; that the claims of gratitude are preferred to the mere impulses of compassion; and that due regard is paid both to the character and to the wants of the recipient.
Christianity for the first time made charity a rudimentary virtue, giving it a leading place in the moral type and in the exhortations of its teachers. Besides its general influence in stimulating the affections, it effected a complete revolution in this sphere, by regarding the poor as the special representatives of the Christian Founder; and thus making the love of Christ, rather than the love of man, the principle of charity. Even in the days of persecution, collections for the relief of the poor were made at the Sunday meetings. The agapæ, or feasts of love, were intended mainly for the poor; and food that was saved by the fasts was devoted to their benefit. A vast organization of charity, presided over by the bishops, and actively directed by the deacons, soon ramified over Christendom, till the bond of charity became the bond of unity, and the most distant