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He did not discover what he had discovered, the geographical extent and the configuration of that Western Continent, among whose adjacent islands on four hardy voyages he pushed the adventurous prow of his brave little ship, and of whose proper coast he got one glimpse, and knew not what he saw. To discover America in this larger senselarger in terms of time and space, but not in terms of spiritual greatness-was, as Mr. Payne has shown indifferently well and Mr. Fiske with "sovereign and transforming grace," the business of two centuries; every step or stage of the long process a canto in an epic of great names and lofty deeds, not without incidents of the baser sort, for which religion, or what men called religion then, was most to blame. But, surely, the discoverers of America, in discovering that, discovered something more, which was no accident or attribute of sea or land,- the wonder of their own great hearts, their own unconquerable wills, that passionate search for the unknown, which proves that, however it may be in our own time, the agnostic temper, which, not knowing, does not care to know, was farther from the discoverers of America than any goal they sought in the wide sea. Their temper was that man must know, and can and will; and this temper ever made
"Some coast alluring, some lone isle,
To trace the steps of those two centuries of discovery and exploration, should I attempt it now, might keep you overlong. The main reason why the process was so long was that, even as the Western Continent stretched its barricade between the bold discoverers and that Asiatic India they sought, so the preconception of an uncontinented deep, and the desire to reach the Indies by a western route, stretched its barricade between them and the discovery of our western world. The discoveries of Cabot and Vespucci had no dynamic propagative energy, because they were not discoveries of what Marco Polo had mapped out for them to seek and find. It was inland exploration that did most to
break the spell of preconceived opinion. The first great names connected with this new departure are those of the Spaniards, Narvaez and De Soto; but those of the Frenchmen, Champlain and La Salle, shine with a lovelier light. The lake that bears his name is not more beautiful than was the character of Champlain, and the mountains do not rise about it with more grand nobility than his fame arises upon our minds as we traverse the wide tract of discovery between the sailing of Columbus and the return of Lieutenant Peary only a few weeks ago from his adventurous and successful quest. Columbus made his last voyage "to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns" in 1506, and it was not till 1609 that Champlain penetrated the interior far enough to reach the lake on which he "wrote his name in water" in a fashion that should have cheered the heart of Keats when he composed his epitaph. But only ten years less than two centuries from 1492 had passed when La Salle's voyage down the Mississippi to its mouth made sure that nothing short of continental proportions satisfied the claims of that new world which lay between the Atlantic and the Mississippi, and which that mighty river drained upon its western side. And not till 1748 did the Danish navigator, Vitus Bering, discovering the straits that bear his name, sever the last link that in imagination bound the New World to the Old. But to Mr. Fiske's two centuries for the discovery of America, already exceeded by some sixty years, must we not add another century, seeing that the Rocky Mountains were not discovered till 1743, and not till 1806 did Lewis and Clark accomplish the first transit of the continent, after a journey of 4,000 miles from the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia River?
Dr. Stebbins, who will preach for me next Sunday morning, will leave San Francisco this evening and arrive in New York next Friday evening; and any traveller can do the But the first passage of the continent, reckoning from Champlain to Lewis and Clark, took only two years
short of two hundred, from 1608 to 1806. And 1806 was
But, however the dramatic instinct may plead with us to say that now at last the discovery of America was complete, the fact remains that, except in its general outline and extent, it was still an undiscovered country. Since then a thousand features of its internal geography and topography have been discovered by the heroic labors of as many hardy and adventurous men, while the sure hand of science has measured almost every river's length and almost every mountain's height. And, so far, we are only dealing with the surfaces of things. What shall we say of the discoverers whose general direction has been down into the solid substance of the continent, and of what they have discovered there of coal and oil and iron and gold and silver a good thing out of politics—and many other precious things? And what shall we say of all the farmer folk who, on our Western prairies or along our Eastern streams, have discovered the resources of the soil and multiplied its bounteous yield? And what of those whose energy has set their turbines in our waters, and developed all the proud, magnificent, and boastful splendors of our manufacturing prosperity?
Yet, could I tell aright the story of all these, how much would still remain unsaid! For simultaneously with the discovery of our geographical and agricultural and industrial America there has gone on a process of discovery in intellectual and moral and spiritual things, in politics and education and religion, a process that is not completed yet,-so that the “undiscovered country" is not yet a matter of the past. It is still undiscovered, save as a few have seen it in their dreams; yes, and would be if they had seen what they have dreamed, for in things spiritual every new height reveals a new horizon, every new advance a further on before. In things material, we may reach the goal at last. In things spiritual, no sooner does the wearied climber think that he has reached the top and seen all there is to see than on his ear there sounds the chiding invitation :
was r and Cham they
"Nay, come up hither! From this wave-washed mound,
Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea."
Shall we say that our political America was discovered in 1776? That was indeed a splendid stroke. It gave us a political independence as complete as that geographical independence which took the physical discoverers all the way from Christopher Columbus to Vitus Bering to establish. But the years from Columbus to Champlain and from Champlain to La Salle, and from La Salle to Lewis and Clark, were not more wearisome than those from 1776 to 1787. Then, with the establishment of our present national Constitution, was the discovery of our political America complete? Nay, for there loomed erelong a mountain on our view, the huge, black bulk of slavery, till which had been removed and cast into the sea there was no passage to the land of justice, peace, and true prosperity which lay beyond. The mountain was removed; but at what cost of long debate and suffering and war! And the Columbus then was Garrison, and the Champlain was Lincoln, and the La Salle was Grant; and they had many followers noble as themselves, albeit of lesser fame. And, behold, our political America is the undiscovered country still! Why not, when we have learned so imperfectly the problem of municipal government? when the spoils system still drags down three-quarters of the heaven of our civil service with its monstrous tail? when, over and above the legitimate use of money in elections, the illegitimate use of it by both parties is still immense, disreputable, abominable, and not to be endured? when, for all the just attempts on either side to change the average voter's mind, no man of life-long probity and great reputation can change his own without the base insinuation that he has sold himself for place or salved some rankling wound? These are but three or four of all the questions that present themselves
the moment we encounter the opinion that the discovery of
Our educational America,- that, too, is still an undiscovered country in good part, though here, also, there have been many brave adventurers and many hardy pioneers. Some things are pretty well mapped out already: that, if we are going to have universal suffrage, we must have universal education, and that education, to be universal, must be compulsory; that there are some things every boy and girl must know; that there are others which must be determined by the faculty that is in the student, and not by that which sits in professorial chairs; that it is not the grammar, but the literature of the classic world we want, while the literature of our own English tongue is best of all; that the history and polity of America are more necessary to American youth than those of Greece and Rome; that we must have moral training as well as intellectual, and that we can get this from no text-book or formal reading as we can from the great examples of history and literature and from the personal contacts of the school and college and the habitual doing of good, honest work. Until all these things are realized ideals, our complete educational discovery is still remote; and, when they are realized, there will other shapes arise to shame our incompleteness and to beckon us to higher things.
And how undiscovered our industrial America, when such things can be as those which we have seen of late, at Homestead and Buffalo, in Tennessee and Idaho, when the liberty of the individual to employ those who wish to be employed and of these to seek employment is annulled by violence, when such monstrous inequalities exist as those we see on every side, when so often the employer has no sense that he is dealing, not merely with the abstract commodity of labor,