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pagan grandmother who, standing without the camp, mourns the school-child as she would the dead. You know it is true that,
to her and to the old life of which she is a part, the child is dead, and your heart goes out to the sorrowful old woman and the young couple whose parental authority lasts but a brief six years.
This is the hour when you would gladly tear down the school-houses and wash your hands of the tragedy of education.
After such an experience you begin to understand the need of field matrons to live with and educate these women whose old occupations are gone and from whose arms even the babies are taken.
Such a woman is the missionary of civilization, and the final success of all Indian education, the establishing of self-supporting homes, is largely in her hands.
There was no such helper in the first Sioux villages I ever visited. One of the young men whom I had taught in the East brought his wife and baby to see me a nice, tidy girl and a poor little dying child. It was a common story; the mother's milk had failed and the year-old baby was being raised on clear coffee and crackers.
The young father was progressive, had cattle and a fair education, and I appealed to him to bring in a cow and milk it for the baby; but when I saw four ignorant, kindly women sitting on the ground about the camp fire, I understood that a man's word would have little influence with five women who thought animal milk unclean. If there had been any one in that village to win the confidence of the women, the child would have lived; as it was, it starved.
Another day, driving with the Agent across the reservation, miles from any village, we were stopped by two Indians, evidently in great trouble. I could not understand the father's broken story, but the woman slipped an unconscious child from her blanket and held it up to me. They had left their village looking for help, but we could do nothing, and at last were forced to leave them alone there in their trouble.
We drove in silence for a time, and then the Agent broke out with: "The best work on this reservation is done by the missionaries, but it is the work
the field matrons are paid to do, and if they did it, we should have no such trouble."
That is not always so. There are matrons who work, and missionaries who do nothing but preach. I knew one who did nothing else for eight years, but, as Kipling says, that is another story. This, however, is certain: where there is a good field matron the people thrive, and where there is a successful mission the preacher six days of the week lives in kindly service, preaching the Gospel on the seventh.
Take, for example, the big Dakota reservation where I lived that summer. Roughly speaking, the field was four thousand square miles, with an Indian for every mile. The people are the Sioux of Gall's, Sitting Bull's, and Rain-in-theFace's bands. We hear often of these men, but rarely of their women, who are to-day trying to build homes out of the fragments of the shattered past. Across the way from us lived a woman who had brought her little children alone through an enemy's country to the protection of our flag; on the other side of us lived a young wife who carries a bullet in her body from the battle of Wounded Knee. Mrs. "Chasing Eagle," who sells us milk, "He-Returns-Victorious," who drives for us, carry bitter memories of our troops and wars. Another family tell us how the mother crept back at night to bury her husband on the battlefield; still another mourns a daughter who drowned herself rather than come on the reservation. Yet to us white women they are the kindest of neighbors.
They are strong women who once faced life bravely, made their huts and clothes, planted corn, jerked meat, and looked well to their families, but the life they understood went with the old days, the "white man's way" is perplexing, and, as they say, "How can we learn except some one take pity on us?"
There are whole districts where no help has ever been given, and where despair and disease have been added to pagan savagery; but I lived with the missionary whose work the Agent so commended, and who "took pity on " these people when, defeated and discouraged, they surrendered with Sitting Bull. From him I learned that the field matron must be doctor, nurse, cook, farmer, teacher,
seamstress, and general counselor for the camp.
The Government tried to civilize these people by issuing wagons, and they used them to feed the ponies from; stoves, and they knocked off the top and used it over the camp-fire; cows, and the Indian saw in them what he had in the buffalomeat, and ate them up. They tried to substitute oxen for ponies, and, having taught Song-Soldier the mystery of gee, haw, and whoa, he was started as an object-lesson from the agency door in a cart drawn by a yoke of oxen. He used his whip, the cattle traveled, his admiring friends shouted, and the team ran! Then the warrior tried to stop them, but the right word was gone; in vain he shouted the charm would not work; so, drawing his Winchester, he fired, dropped first the nigh and then the off ox, and feasted his friends that night. The puzzled officials made laws against killing cattle, but herds that you cannot eat and milk that you would not drink will not, when tried in the balance, equal one tender, juicy calf, so the new-born calves invariably met with some accident and died.
Meanwhile the missionary kept her own cow and used the milk for the sick babies of the village. One neighbor had lost six children in succession, and when the seventh was born the missionary promised that, if she could care for it, it would live, and it did. To-day it is a saying To-day it is a saying that Christian Indians raise their children, but it is also a fashion to keep a cow for each baby.
To interest the men in their herds this missionary set up a blackboard and showed how many cattle they would have in three years if their calves lived. They enjoyed their arithmetic, and experimented to see if it were true. Sometimes an old man would come thirty miles to be told how many cattle he would have a dozen years from date. To-day the long stacks of hay by every house show that the people not only spare their cattle but feed them.
As the first appeal to man is through the stomach, so the first reward for labor should be food; and cabbages and potatoes are more civilizing than dollars and cents. The missionary keeps a garden which is a humble experiment station to see what vegetables can be grown there,
an object-lesson as to how to do it, and a labor market for all who will use the hoe. The Sioux have large fields of corn and squashes, but they have always trusted them to nature, and think fertilizers disgusting and hoeing useless. This garden, where the man earns a few cents and studies a new situation, is an experiment in more ways than one. "See," called a happy-faced woman, running to meet us and holding up some carrots, "see what I grew: now what shall I do with them ?"
The cooking-lesson was given out there in the sun, and we drove on to pronounce on the symptoms of a batch of dough at another house, to taste and praise some fine white bread at Cross Bear's, to give a lesson in nursing to an old woman who was caring for a sick daughter and feeding the baby choke-cherries, and so fifteen miles home again. In other parts of the reservation medicine-men and red flannel prayers are common, but by prompt and patient care of the sick this woman has banished them from her district.
Next after something to eat the Indian will work hardest for something beautiful. Old Bear became so enamored of our fence that he devoted his time to building fence within fence about his whole place— his house, his pig-pen, his hay, until his grounds looked like a Chinese puzzle. Mrs. Brownman, praised for fitting up her bedroom in imitation of one seen at the mission, proceeded to make her tiny baby a green plush dress, which was not so commendable.
But right here the wisdom of the field matron comes in play in recognizing and following the lead of these quaint signs in teaching Bear the economy, not extravagance, of fencing, or in giving out flowerseeds instead of lectures to the man who loafs over our flower-bed.
But the touchstone that tries her work is the return of the children from school. There has been a great deal that is false and cruel said about the old people and their educated children. It is the same problem as that of the young collegian and the farmer father. They love each other and they misunderstand each other. The young man is ashamed of some harmless bit of the old life; civilization in his eyes may be a matter of a white collar. He at once works for his people by mak ing home a reformatory for minor morals.
The old people are disgusted and the boy school pictures there, and kept it as a discouraged.
But if the education and progress has not all been on one side, if the home has improved and the parents understand something of the new life the child has been trained in, the case is altered. The boy is proud of the improvements, and the parents are vastly amused with his knowledge. Mrs. Little-Eagle entertained. all her neighbors with the information she gathered from her son, and how she "was greatly afraid in the night because the world turned over." Another school-boy came with his mother and a piece of calico and asked to have it cut so that he could make her a dress.
At another time an old student urged me to come and see them, and took me with pride into the room his father and mother had prepared for his home-coming. It was painted in bright blue and white, had a white bed, curtains, and even a looking-glass and dressing-stand-all the work of his mother's skillful fingers and her idea of what a civilized son would need. In his eyes it was too good to use, but he had arranged all his books and
shrine of civilization. His mother could not speak a word of English, but she needed none to understand her boy's pride in her as he showed her work to his teacher.
It is poor Christianity to neglect these old people, but it is worse economy to ignore love of home, the natural incentive to labor and moral restraint, in educating the young barbarian. It is the old father and the little child who develop in the young Indian self-sacrificing labor, the final grace of civilization; and the teacher in this should be the field matron— should be, and in rare instances is; but usually we are amply satisfied if some official's wife with a kindly heart doles out charity to the sick, and draws a few extra hundreds as an addition to her husband's salary. When we comprehend the economy and honesty of filling the office of Field Matron and Farmer with expert officials, and of carrying on the training of a people as intelligently as a mission or a college settlement is run, the days of barbarism and reservation life will be numbered.
Haeckel's "The Riddle of the Universe'
HERE are three distinct ways in which this book ought to be judged: from the points of view of the biologist, the cosmic philosopher, and the religious teacher; for all these positions does its author assume to fill. As for the last, his attempts to discredit the Christian faith and organize a religious creed upon the basis of monism are fraught with such sorry and ill-starred failure that, out of deference to his sensibilities, we shall omit all criticism of this part of his work.
Professor Haeckel's special department of study is biology, but, if we understand him rightly, it is not as a purveyor of biological facts that he courts attention. It is certainly the position that will least command attention from the general public or the world of scholars. Biology is an instrument for the collection, certification, and arrangement of data touching
The Riddle of the Universe. By Ernst Haeckel. Harper & Brothers, New York.
the form and direction of organic life. So long as he holds himself to the examination of morphologic or embryonic conditions, he would be left severely alone. Uninitiated students cannot understand and have little interest in the habits of an unfamiliar species. But when he abandons the precincts of his narrower sphere, and, entering the wider domain of philosophy, constructs a dogma whose purpose is to explain the origin and progress of life, then he must expect to have his methods and conclusions summarily challenged, and he must show good cause for his right to speak.
Chapter XII. is, without doubt, the citadel of this book. If his readers grant what Dr. Haeckel here affirms, the remainder of his contention follows as a matter of course. His search is for the universal law of substance. He approaches the goal by describing the earlier meditations in the department of physics. There are two accepted principles well rooted in the
language of science: that matter is indestructible and that the amount of energy at work in infinite space is unchangeable. These he would reduce to one and the same principle, since matter and motion are but expressions of the same substance. No one can take exception to this argument: it is an item of common knowledge that solid changes to liquid, and liquid to gas, while heat and light, force and chemical affinity, are modes of the same motion. He proposes to call this coagulated principle the law of substance, and will contend that by it all the phenomena of the universe are to be judged. Furthermore, in his view, thought is as much a mode of motion as is heat or chemical affinity, and must, consequently, be subject to the same invariable law. It is at this point that our opinions begin to diverge.
He examines, next, the different accounts which thinkers have given of this law. Three elements emerge from his crucible as fixed: that all substance is endowed with sensation and will, and is self-moved; that there is no such thing as empty space; and that action at a distance through perfectly empty space is unthinkable. Manifestly, the first of these gems loses its sparkle so soon as we ask for his definition of the terms involved. If we bring down our ideas of “sensation" and "will" low enough, we shall have little difficulty in putting the same value upon the words that Dr. Haeckel does. If, however, we prefer to endow them with the noble qualities which glisten from them when they are mentioned in connection with the human mind, then we must either abdicate our power to compare and judge, or we must refuse to apply them to the case in point. Again, to carry out the law of substance one must learn something about the mysterious medium which fills in the spaces between suns and constellations and weaves them all into the limitless system of nature. What is ether-styled by the older science "imponderable matter"? It cannot, he says, be atomistic, but must be continuous. Thus one of the first rules of modern chemistry is rudely shattered, and no substitute is provided. He calls it dynamic, but gives no reason for using such a dignified and significant word. He is not willing to say that it
cannot be weighed, but only that we have no means of acquiring experience of its weight. He considers it to be in eternal motion, though how he can come to acquaintance with it profound enough to make so broad a declaration, he fails to show.
Upon reading this argument for the unity of substance, we constantly feel that our guide is threading ways quite new and unfamiliar to him; that he is speculating heavily, wildly, feverishly, on a market whose quotations are ticked off by an unseen hand and present themselves to him in symbols which he cannot interpret. It is exceedingly dangerous for any student who has dealt wholly with the facts of organic life to pass suddenly into the sphere where objects are not tangible and facts cannot be reduced to mathematical formulæ. The strand of philosophic thought is strewn with the wreckage of intellects which have presumed to include the world in their course.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this book is its endless series of hypotheses. Dr. Haeckel has been called a "bold theorist," and well deserves the title. We should not care to deny the validity of the scientific imagination"natural faith," as he styles it; but we are wont, we unsophisticated, workaday students, to look upon science as a repository of ascertained facts, and not a body of hypotheses waiting to be pricked as empty bubbles. Theory is a just and effective instrument of investigation. It becomes, however, a safe and convincing disputant in the courts of science only when it can distinguish between fictitious and actual law, and is willing to withdraw its own supposition, rather than imperil the standing of the sovereign it serves.
Let us illustrate his peremptory method. It appears in crass form as he writes the chapter on "Psychic Gradations." Here he ascribes the function of memory to the lowest of organized substances, the protists, and sees in it the same conscious energy as in man. Again, in speaking of the derivation of the soul, he argues for the presence of a soul-movement in plants, the same in quality and purpose as in man. His star examples are the sensitive plant and the fly-trap, both of which seem to resent interference, and express such resentment in "psychic action." In the
same chapter he carries this force forward through the different grades of organized life, and crowns its development in the beautiful soul of man. Here he makes light of the difficulty which has burdened the most logical minds for a century past; for he proclaims that there is less real difference between the anthropoid ape and man than there would be between the cultured Goethe and the uncouth Patagonian savage!
For the theist the argument of this volume will hinge upon the idea of the human soul. Is this thinking self within us a thing apart from its surroundings, alive with the spiritual energy of another world, or is it an offshoot of the body's life, the refinement of the organic nervous system? If the soul be the precipitate of chemical action-nothing more, nothing less-how, we are asked, can its substance survive when its encasement and producer falls away? The unitary law of substance knows nothing of a power which can enter the bodily temple, preside over its ceremonies, and evoke the hymn of praise to some unknown kindred spirit. The service of the soul is rendered to the body, and not to some extrinsic being.
In response thereto, we inquire, What shall we do, then, with that vigorous, brilliant idea, which refuses to be extinguished or dimmed, viz., the soul's seuse of its incipient immortality? We care not by what name it be designated-instinct, intuition, fancy, conviction, notion-there it is, and there it proposes to remain. explain away this repugnant feature our author elaborately prepares himself, and he begins by denying its universal presence. Indeed, he is not satisfied until he has carried the investigation back to the province of primitive man, where, he alleges, not a vestige of our well-formulated conception appears. To this we retort, How does he know that primitive man wandered in the maze of a speechless eternity? Is there any document, are there signs or customs, that point to such a conclusion?
But even if we did find a single tribe that seemed to be without the thought, does that rob the idea of its value for us, or relieve us from the obligation of observing strictly its commands? Like Kant, we cannot prove the fact of immortality, but we know that it lies in our mind as an
But Dr. Haeckel holds strongly to the opposing doctrine, which he entitles "thanatism," and he marshals six biological "facts" (page 204) to prove his position. He proceeds to show that the brain of man differs in no respect from the brain of the animal; that the elementary organs of the soul are the wonderfully reticulated nerve cells of the brain, and these decay; that the functions of the soul are bound up with certain parts of the brain, and that when the latter are diseased or destroyed, the mental vigor is by so much reduced, or eliminated totally; that, like all organized matter, the soul develops from bodily infancy to the prime of power, and then descends into the weakness of old age; and that the human brain has been gradually derived from the brain of the mammal, it in turn from the next grade, until the lowest vertebrate is reached.
Is his contention successful? Has he emancipated the soul from the thrall of idealism and enchained it forever in the bonds of matter? The real problem before us respects not so much the continuance of the soul after death as the genesis and present position of the soul as we know it. If thought be produced out of the brain's convolutions, then it is useless to claim for it a distinct autonomy. To this conclusion our author has been driven by his unitary law of substance. He assumes that the substance described by the law is cognized only by the five bodily senses; how can there be, then, a new element, different from matter, more durable than it, and apprehended by us through different channels?
His fallacy, it will appear, lies in taking as an assumption the very point in dispute. We are charmed as well as he by the vision of a supreme unifying law in the disposition of the affairs of our universe. But instead of holding matter to be the cause of thought, we reverse the order, and make all matter the sequence and out