The works of great artists are silent books of eternal truths. And thus it is indelibly written in the face of Balzac, as Rodin has graven it, that the beauty of the creative gesture is wild, unwilling and painful. He has shown that great creative gifts do not mean fullness and giving out of abundance. On the contrary the expression is that of one who seeks help and strives to emancipate himself. A child when afraid thrusts out his arms, and those that are falling hold out the hand to passers-by for aid; similarly, creative artists project their sorrows and joys and all their sudden pain which is greater than their own strength. They hold them out like a net with which to ensnare, like a rope by which to escape. Like beggars on the street weighed down with misery and want, they give their words to passers-by. Each syllable gives relief because they thus project their own life into that of strangers. Their fortune and misfortune, their rejoicing and complaint, too heavy for them, are sown in the destiny of others-man and woman. The fertilizing germ is planted at this moment which is simultaneously painful and happy, and they rejoice. But the origin of this impulse, as of all others, lies in need, sweet, tormenting need, over-ripe painful force.
Verlaine was always only a human being, a weak human being, who did not even know how "to count the transgressions of his own heart." It was this very lack of individuality, however, which produced something much rarer-the purely and entirely human. Verlaine was soft clay without the power of producing impresses and without resistance. Thus every line of life crossing his destiny has left a pure relief, a clear and faithful reproduction, even to the fragrance-like sorrows of lonely seconds which in others fade away or thicken into dull grief. The tangled forces which tempestuously shook his life and tore it to tatters crystallized in his work and were distilled into essences.
Quelle est l'histoire de la liberté aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique ? Le peuple américain est renommé pour être libre, il aime à l'être, il l'est ; mais comment entend-il la liberté ? Comment la pratique-t-il ? Ce livre aide à comprendre l'histoire de la liberté en Amérique : de la liberté de la personne et du domicile ; de la liberté dans ses rapports avec la loi du recrutement ; de la liberté dans ses rapports avec le système administratif...
Selma O. Lagerlof was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.
"It happened at the time when Augustus was Emperor in Rome and Herod was King in Jerusalem. It was then that a very great and holy night sank down over the earth. It was the darkest night that any one had ever seen. One could have believed that the whole earth had fallen into a cellar-vault. It was impossible to distinguish water from land, and one could not find one's way on the most familiar road. And it couldn't be otherwise, for not a ray of light came from heaven. All the stars stayed at home in their own houses, and the fair moon held her face averted. The silence and the stillness were as profound as the darkness. The rivers stood still in their courses, the wind did not stir, and even the aspen leaves had ceased to quiver. Had any one walked along the seashore, he would have found that the waves no longer dashed upon the sands; and had one wandered in the desert, the sand would not have crunched under one's feet. Everything was as motionless as if turned to stone, so as not to disturb the holy night. The grass was afraid to grow, the dew could not fall, and the flowers dared not exhale their perfume. On this night the wild beasts did not seek their prey, the serpents did not sting, and the dogs did not bark. And what was even more glorious, inanimate things would have been unwilling to disturb the night's sanctity, by lending themselves to an evil deed. No false key could have picked a lock, and no knife could possibly have drawn a drop of blood.
In Rome, during this very night, a small company of people came from the Emperor's palace at the Palatine and took the path across the Forum which led to the Capitol. During the day just ended the Senators had asked the Emperor if he had any objections to their erecting a temple to him on Rome's sacred hill. But Augustus had not immediately given his consent. He did not know if it would be agreeable to the gods that he should own a temple next to theirs, and he had replied that first he wished to ascertain their will in the matter by offering a nocturnal sacrifice to his genius. It was he who, accompanied by a few trusted friends, was on his way to perform this sacrifice. Augustus let them carry him in his litter, for he was old, and it was an effort for him to climb the long stairs leading to the Capitol. He himself held the cage with the doves for the sacrifice. No priests or soldiers or senators accompanied him, only his nearest friends. Torch-bearers walked in front of him in order to light the way in the night darkness and behind him followed the slaves, who carried the tripod, the knives, the charcoal, the sacred fire, and all the other things needed for the sacrifice."
This book deals with the aesthetic sense and religious sentiment in animals. "The mind of animals is a very old subject of discussion. Descartes and his school regarded an animal as a mere piece of machinery, like a clock or a turnspit. For man alone they reserved intelligence, meaning by that, memory, feeling, will, and reason. The story of Malebranche is well known: As he was going into his convent at the Oratory with a friend, a little bitch ran up and fawned on him; he gave her a kick which sent the poor beast yelping off, and when his friend expressed surprise that so gentle, kindly, and Christian a person returned kicks for caresses, he exclaimed, "What! do you really suppose that that animal had any feeling?" Thus Malebranche not merely believed he had not wounded or grieved her; he even thought he had caused her no physical pain. This was denying clear proof, and pushing faith in his master's doctrine to absurdity. On the other hand, Montaigne, Leibnitz, La Fontaine, Bayle, Condillac, Madame de Sévigné, agreeing with all antiquity, from Pythagoras to Galen, assert that animals have all the organs of sensation and of feeling; that they possess will, desires, memory, ideas, combinations of ideas, and even the power of performing some moral acts, such as entertaining attachment like that a dog feels for his master, or a hen for her chicks; or, like "that very just equality which they practise in dividing food or other good things among their young," as Montaigne says; and that therefore the intelligence of animals, if not equal to man's, is at least like it, and that the differences between the oyster anchored to its rock and the homo sapiens of Linnæus are merely differences between more and less, degrees of succession that make up what is called the scale of being. It is the latter opinion that has been declared triumphant by the researches of natural history and those of comparative anatomy alike. On this point science has reached certainty, and every one, reading the story of "the two Rats, the Fox and the Egg," says now with La Fontaine: "After that tale, where's the pretenseThat animals are lacking sense?"
The Incas Civilization flourished in 15th century A.D. until its conquest by the Spanish in the 1530s. Their empire extended across western South America. It's described as the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that period...
"The proofs that the Incas had a real system of astronomy are scattered, partly in what remains of the monuments that were consecrated to the sun, and partly in the accounts of historians - accounts which, whether because their importance has not been suspected, or because of the difficulty of quoting them, most of them having been printed only once, others having remained in the state of manuscript, and very few of them having been translated, are but little known to men of science. Whatever the verity of the legends preserved in these accounts, we find a comparatively highly developed astronomical system among the Incas, of which the most interesting parts are here given from rare documents already published, and from American manuscripts and traditions. The work has not before been done so completely..."
"The following account of a few of the customs common among the tribes of east central Africa, in the region of Lake Nyassa, has been gathered from many sources; most of the statements have been revised and corrected by missionaries and others who have, during the past years, been resident in the lake region..."
This book deals with the antiquities of Mexico (with illustrations).
"The Mexican Republic extends from the fifteenth to the thirtieth degree of north latitude, and embraces an area of about 750,000 square miles. It is traversed by the continuation of the Cordillera of South America, here called the Sierra Madre, which trends north-westerly from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and varies in height from a moderate elevation in the southern States of Chiapas and Oaxaca to a mean height in the nineteenth degree of latitude of 9,000 feet, with the peaks of Orizaba and Popocatepetl - "the culminating point of North America" -rising to the elevations of 17,200 and 17,720 feet respectively. On the parallel of 21°, the Cordillera becomes very wide and divides itself into three ranges: one running eastwardly to Saltillo and Monterey; one traversing the States of Jalisco and Sinaloa, and subsiding in Northern Sonora; and a central ridge extending through the States of Durango and Chihuahua, and forming the water-shed of the northern table-land...
This book based on the work of Herbert Spencer, is published in the collection "History of Scientific Knowledge"
"Speaking broadly, every man works that he may avoid suffering. Here, remembrance of the pangs of hunger prompts him; and there, he is prompted by the sight of the slave-driver's lash. His immediate dread may be the punishment which physical circumstances will inflict, or may be punishment inflicted by human agency. He must have a master; but the master may be Nature or may be a fellow-man. When he is under the impersonal coercion of Nature, we say that he is free; and when he is under the personal coercion of someone above him, we call him, according to the degree of his dependence, a slave, a serf, or a vassal. Of course I omit the small minority who inherit means: an incidental, and not a necessary, social element. I speak only of the vast majority, both cultured and uncultured, who maintain themselves by labor, bodily or mental, and must either exert themselves of their own unconstrained wills, prompted only by thoughts of naturally-resulting evils or benefits, or must exert themselves with constrained wills, prompted by thoughts of evils and benefits artificially resulting.
Men may work together in a society under either of these two forms of control: forms which, though in many cases mingled, are essentially contrasted..."
This book deals with the evolution of American agriculture, the effect of machinery both upon production and rural population; and the last chapter attempt to show the development of a distinctly proletarian class upon the farms.
"Five periods mark the agricultural history of the United States since the advent of the white man. The first or Colonial period extends to the end of the Revolutionary War and records but slight technical advances in the art of agriculture...
The second period, from 1783 to 1830, saw a rapid spread of the agricultural population across the mountains into the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Valleys and even beyond the Mississippi to the edge of the great plains. A public land policy was adopted by the Federal Government, cotton became the dominant agricultural product of the South and made slavery a paying and therefore a characteristically Southern institution, and the first efforts to apply science to agriculture were made. During this period, as in the first one, agriculture was practically self-sufficing, though in the South the specialization on cotton caused a considerable dependence on other regions for supplies that otherwise would have been produced at home.
In the third period, from 1830 to 1865, occurred an almost complete transformation of agriculture. The rapid rise of the factory system in the North, due to the use of steam and a flood of labor saving inventions with a consequent transfer of home industries into the shops, the invention of agricultural machinery such as the reaper, mower, thresher, etc., the extension of the railway system and the development of the prairie states caused an era of specialization which transferred agriculture into the commercial stage. Crops were now grown primarily for the market and incidentally for the use of the farmer and his family, a reversal of the former process...
The fourth period was the era of expansion into the Far West (1865-1887), and was remarkably stimulated by the Homestead Acts of 1862 and 1864, the disbanding of the Armies of the Civil War, the transformation of Southern farming due to the abolition of slavery, the invention of the twine binder and the roller process of milling flour, the extension of the railroads to the Pacific Coast, the greater extention of the interior railway systems, the development of the cattle ranches of the West after the extinction of the buffalo and the cooping up of the Indians on the reservations, and a new flood of immigration from European ports. Manufacture experienced an equal expansion at this time and more of the home industries were transferred from the farm to the factory and the shop.
The fifth period, which began in 1887, is now practically completed by the establishment of the Rural Credit or Land Bank system throughout the country. This period has been an era of agricultural reorganization..."
This book deals with the History of Agriculture and the Origin of the Plow and Wheel-Carriage. (With illustrations)
"Not only the beginning of agriculture, but the invention of the plow itself, is prehistoric. The plow was known to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, and the very existence of these nations points to previous thousands of years of agricultural life, which alone could have produced such dense, settled, and civilized populations..."
This book presents the History of Antarctic Exploration. "The search for the supposed great southern continent roused interest in the South Polar area, even earlier than the commercial need for the Northeast or Northwest Passage directed the attention of the European nations to the Arctic seas. Long before Hudson had started the northern whale fishery, or Barents had discovered Spitzbergen, or Willoughby had set out on that 'new and strange navigation' which, according to Milton, was intended to save England from the commercial ruin threatened by foreign competition, Arabian, Dutch and Spanish sailors had searched for a continent in the great southern sea. In the year 1901, four expeditions are starting for the Antarctic: an English expedition under Commander R. F. Scott, E. N., in the 'Discovery'; a German expedition under Professor E. von Drygalski in the 'Gauss'; a Swedish expedition under Dr. Otto Nordenskjld in the 'Antarctic' and a Scotch expedition under Mr. W. S. Bruce. The four expeditions will work as far as possible on a common plan, but in different areas. The 'Discovery' will start from New Zealand and go thence into the Ross Sea, which will be its central field of work. The German expedition will go south from Kerguelen to the western end of Wilkes Land, geographically the least known part of the Antarctic; its route will depend on the geography of the area, but the idea is to work southwestward toward the Weddell Sea, south of the Atlantic. The Swedish and Scotch expeditions both go to the South Atlantic. The work of these expeditions will depend primarily on the geographical character of their fields of operation. The Antarctic area includes three main geographical divisions, (1) Wilkes and Victoria Lands; (2) the division south of the Pacific from Ross's Sea to Alexander Land; (3) the Graham Land with its associated archipelagoes and the Weddell Sea that separates it from the western end of Wilkes Land..."
This book presents the History of New Guinea and its ihabitants. "Immediately north of Australia, and separated from it at Torres Straits by less than a hundred miles of sea, is the largest island on the globe - New Guinea, a country of surpassing interest, whether as regards its natural productions or its human inhabitants, but which remains to this day less known than any accessible portion of the earth's surface... It was discovered in 1511, even earlier than Australia; and from that time Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and English vessels have continually passed along its coasts. Most of our early navigators -Forrest, Dampier, and Cook - visited New Guinea, and have given us some account of its inhabitants..."
This book presents the History of New Zealand : the "Land of the Long White Cloud". New Zealand is an Island country of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The date of man's arrival in New Zealand is uncertain. All that can be safely asserted is that by the 14th century A.D. Polynesian canoe-men had reached its northern shores in successive voyages. By 1642 they had spread to South Island, for there Abel Jansen Tasman found them when, in the course of his circuitous voyage from Java in the "Heemskirk," he chanced upon the archipelago, coasted along much of its western side, though without venturing to land, and gave it the name it still bears. One hundred and thirty-seven years later, Cook, in the barque "Endeavour," gained a much fuller knowledge of the coasts, which he circumnavigated, visited again and again, and mapped out with fair accuracy. He annexed the country, but the British government disavowed the act. After him came other navigators, French, Spanish, Russian and American; and, as the 18th century neared its end, came sealers, whalers and trading-schooners in quest of flax and timber. English missionaries, headed by Samuel Marsden, landed in 1814, to make for many years but slow progress...
This book deals with the History of Taxation and the struggle against arbitrary system of taxation. What is the place of taxation in ancient civilizations and how has it evolved in our present countries (United States of America, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, China, India...)?
This book presents the Story of the Greatest French Writer: Moliere. "Among the many great names which make French literature illustrious, there is scarcely one which is so universally acknowledged and of such national importance as that of Moliere. The graver poets, of whose works Frenchmen are proud, and whose names stand first on the register of fame, do not wake the same warmth of interest and sympathy which make Moliere always living, always popular, the familiar friend as well as the immortal writer dear to his countrymen, with no solemnity of classical fame alone, but with the warmth almost of personal contact...
This book based on the work of Herbert Spencer and published by the collection "History of Scientific Knowledge", deals with the evolution of the family and analyses the contrast between the principle of family life and the principle of social life.
This book deals with the stories of the deluge found in history and literatures. Deluge is the name given to a submersion of the world, related by various nations as having taken place in a primitive age, and in which nearly all living beings are said to have perished. The expression usually refers to Noah's flood, the history of which is recorded in the Bible. The Biblical narrative shows that so far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal; that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family, who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race is descended from those who were thus preserved. But traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great divisions of the human family...
This book deals with the history of Glass Industry Development in America since Columbus. "The progress of the glass industry in America has been far from constant. It has suffered severe and violent fluctuations, amounting almost to annihilation. Several times it has needed to be born again. But the sum total of these successes and vicissitudes has been the establishment of an industry which, while it is the oldest, is also at the present time one of the most promising and most highly developed of all our industries. To understand its rise and progress, one must be familiar with the elements which go to make it up. Four things are needed to make glass: crude materials; refractory substances for crucibles and furnaces; suitable fuel, and intelligent labor. To make glass commercially, a fifth factor is all important, and that is an accessible market. The history of the industry has consisted in the various possible interchanges between these elements. They are far from permanent..."
"We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources. In some persons this sense of being cut off from their rightful resources is extreme, and we then get the formidable neurasthenic and psychasthenic conditions, with life grown into one tissue of impossibilities, that the medical books describe. Part of the imperfect vitality under which we labor can be explained by scientific psychology. It is the result of the inhibition exerted by one part of our ideas on other parts. Conscience makes cowards of us all... The existence of reservoirs of energy that habitually are not tapped is most familiar to us in the phenomenon of 'second wind.' Ordinarily we stop when we meet the first effective layer, so to call it, of fatigue. We have then walked, played, or worked 'enough', and desist. That amount of fatigue is an efficacious obstruction, on this side of which our usual life is cast. But if an unusual necessity forces us to press onward, a surprising thing occurs. The fatigue gets worse up to a certain critical point, when gradually or suddenly it passes away, and we are fresher than before..."
This book based on the work of James William, is published in the collection: "History of Scientific Knowledge."
"The exceedingly close resemblance attributed to twins has been the subject of many novels and inlays, and most persons have felt a desire to know upon what basis of truth those works of fiction may rest. But twins have many other claims to attention, one of which will be discussed in the present memoir. It is, that their history affords means of distinguishing between the effects of tendencies received at birth and of those that were imposed by the circumstances of their after-lives; in other words, between the effects of nature and of nurture..."
This book published in "History and Civilization Collection", deals with the historical beginnings and development of holidays and Games. "As ballads are the essence of a people's history, so holidays are the free utterance of their character. Spontaneity is always valuable evidence, and holidays are in their beginnings purely spontaneous. They furnish psychically an excellent example of reflex action..."
"Several years from now, when every vestige of slavery has disappeared, and even its existence has become a fading memory, America, and probably Europe, will suddenly awake to the sad fact that we have irrevocably lost a veritable mine of wealth through our failure to appreciate and study from a musician's standpoint the beautiful African music, whose rich stores will then have gone forever from our grasp..."
- Would America have been America without the Negro people (and the Negro Music)? - (W.E.B. DuBois)
This book deals with the history of primitive marriage as that developed by Ferguson McLennan through his work on primitive marriage. Arguing from the prevalence of the symbolical form of capture in the marriage ceremonies of primitive races, he developed an intelligible picture of the growth of the marriage relation and of systems of kinship according to natural laws. "In his ingenious and interesting work on "Primitive Marriage", the words "exogamy" and "endogamy" are used by Mr. McLennan to distinguish the two practices of taking to wife women belonging to other tribes, and taking to wife women belonging to the same tribe. As explained in his preface, his attention was drawn to these diverse customs by an inquiry into "the meaning and origin of the form of capture in marriage ceremonies;" an inquiry which led him to a general theory of early sexual relations..."
What is love? It is that powerful attraction towards all that we conceive, or fear, or hope beyond ourselves, when we find within our own thoughts the chasm of an insufficient void, and seek to awaken in all things that are, a community with what we experience within ourselves. If we reason, we would be understood; if we imagine, we would that the airy children of our brain were born anew within another's; if we feel, we would that another's nerves should vibrate to our own, that the beams of their eyes should kindle at once and mix and melt into our own, that lips of motionless ice should not reply to lips quivering and burning with the heart's best blood. This is Love. This is the bond and the sanction which connects not only man with man, but with everything which exists. We are born into the world, and there is something within us which, from the instant that we live, more and more thirsts after its likeness... This treatise gathered essays on Love, writen by Great authors.
"We cannot fall in love with everybody alike. Some of us fall in love with one person, some with another. This instinctive and deep-seated differential feeling we may regard as the outcome of complementary features, mental, moral, or physical, in the two persons concerned; and experience shows us that, in nine cases out of ten, it is a reciprocal affection, that is to say, in other words, an affection roused in unison by varying qualities in the respective individuals..."