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world's poor; it was hardly materialistic to offer secure and regulated liberty to the world's oppressed. One marvels that Carlyle had not discerned in this some token of that “new and brighter spiritual era that is slowly evolving itself for all men.

Take the strongest possible example of the materialistic and mercenary in our civilization, and we shall see how fast the spiritual and moral have overtaken and are overmastering it. In 1848 the news that gold had been found in California spread like wildfire through the Eastern States, and kindled such a rage for emigration as even America had not before witnessed. Everywhere there was a movement toward the land of promise, - many by the slow toilsome journey in wagons, on horseback, and afoot, across the continent; more by the long and doubtful voyage in sailing-vessels around Cape Horn. Naturally the enterprising and hardy were the first to go; many of the shiftless also. Some went for naked love of gold, counting on sudden fortune ; some from love of adventure, or restless love of change; many to better their condition, hoping, by a few years of toil, to lay the foundation of a lasting prosperity. A large percentage of the bad elements of society was in the first emigration to California. Many went who were no longer wanted at the East, or were too much wanted by the police; and many also went only to learn and show how bad they could become when freed from the restraints of settled communities. It was a dreadful medley at the first; and gambling, cheating, thieving, murder, drunkenness, lawlessness, and every vice, ran riot, so that a man held his purchase of life by the bowie-knife and the revolver. It was a sad world-spectacle of the nineteenth century; but it was a world-spectacle of human depravity, not a special exhibition of American life.

Already, in 1850, California showed a population of 22,000 foreigners, or nearly one-fourth in a total of 92,000; in 1860, 146,000 foreigners in a population of 378,000; and in 1870, a foreign population of 210,000 against 350,000 native born. To-day, in the city of San Francisco, one-half the population, i.e. 73,719, are of for

1 Signs of the Times.

eign birth, of whom 12,000 are Chinese, 14,000 Germans, and 33,000 English and Irish. California should be estimated in the light of these facts. In her origin she was an anomaly. Strugglers for fortune, adventurers, desperadoes from both hemispheres, thrown suddenly and promiscuously together, nearly three thousand miles distant from the seat of government, with the desert and the Sierras between, with no time as yet for an efficient civil organization, and no adequate military force at hand, this was indeed a condition of things in which human nature could show its common depravity, but for which no people nor institutions could fairly be held responsible. But what happened? and what has come of it? From this anarchy and chaos we presently see society emerging, and demanding safety, order, law. Serious, earnest men, shrewd, practical men, staid, good men, will make California their home, and have it fit for homes for their wives and children. There is no home, no civilization, without woman; and, in the first rush for gold, she had been left behind. But, now that woman is looked for in California, the ruffian and the rowdy, the loafer and the blackleg, must get out of the way.

Order comes to the front as a Vigilance Committee; justice is swift and terrible, but sure; a certain "herculean labor and divine fidelity,” Mr. Carlyle,

draining the Stygian swamp, and making it a fruitful field.” i And what came of this ? A State that refused to admit slavery; a State that held loyally to the Union during the war, and gave enormous sums to the Sanitary Commission, though she might have set up an independent empire of the Pacific; a State that kept her currency and her faith under the wrenchings of war and of financial disaster; a State that pushed her railway eastward up the slopes of the mountains to link her destiny with the valley of the Mississippi and the Atlantic coast. And how came this to be? Along with the medley of that first emigration went a leaven of religious faith, bands who went forth from the bosom of churches consecrated by prayer, and missionaries ready to “endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ.” Some carried with them the framework of churches to be set up on arriving; but at first both churches and schools were built upon the sand, so suddenly did population shift with fresh discoveries of gold. In April, 1848, a public school was opened in a tent at San Francisco. The next year, a State Constitution was formed ; and, in this community of gold-hunters, provision was made by law for the proceeds of 500,000 acres of land as a perpetual school-fund. In 1850, California had 8 schools, 7 teachers, 219 pupils; in 1860, 598 schools, 816 teachers, 28,654 pupils; in 1870, 1,548 schools, 2,444 teachers, 85,507 pupils. Add to these private schools, and the number of pupils is 100,000, the yearly cost $2,500,000, the value of school-property over $1,000,000. Of incipient colleges and seminaries the State has even more than enough, and her young university may yet become the light of the Pacific coast. Her topographical survey, with the memoirs of Whitney, Clarence King, and others, is of high scientific value; and her "Lick Observatory will rival the best of the Old World. Her literature has produced 150 volumes of native birth ; and among these are the names of Bret Harte, Joaquin Miller, and Herbert H. Bancroft, whose great work on the “Native Races of the Pacific States” has accomplished for the prehistoric times of America what George Bancroft's has done for the era of Christian civilization. In 1850, California had 28 churches; in 1860, 293; and in 1870, 643 churches, with a property valued at $7,404,235, some of them with buildings that would do credit to any city of the New World or the Old. One can by no means claim for California a social paradise corresponding with her climate : but she has elements of culture that are unsurpassed; homes of taste, literature, science, music, art; and the best musicians and lecturers of Europe find their reward in the appreciative circles of that far-off coast. Carlyle once warned us that we confounded the big with the great. We took the warning in good part, and gave heed to it; and now the philosopher who can look beneath the surface sees in this triumph of education and religion over Mammon seated on his mountains of gold one great, noble thing” that he can " loyally admire.” There was a time when one of our own prophets lifted

1 The New Downing Street.

1 Dr. Horace Bushnell.

66

up the warning, that, in the rapid roll of emigration westward, “barbarism was our first danger: " the loose and lawless elements of society drifted to the frontier; and even decent, honest men grew coarse and vulgar in the constant struggle with Nature for a bare subsistence. Besides, there is something demoralizing in a life divided between attacks of the shakes and the Sioux. That frontier-life, with its rough cabins, rough men, rough sports, rough drinks, rough fights, would have sunk to downright barbarism had it only been let alone long enough to act itself out; but it was not let alone. No garrisons were sent to check and tame it, as Russia holds her frontiers in Asia; but behind this frontier-life, pushing it forward, was a Christian civilization, to which these rough-handed men were but hewers of wood and drawers of water, preparing in the wilderness a way for its coming. Since the Pacific coast has checked the movement westward, and the extinction of slavery has suppressed the lust of conquest southward, the old land-fever has abated; pioneer-life is hemmed in between two cordons of settled communities; and though its traces linger here and there, and in some places it has left upon society an evil stain, it is steadily vanishing before the moral forces of civilization. The march of American emigration across the continent has no analogy with the old westward migration of Oriental tribes. It has ever been the advance of a civilized and Christian people to secure the continent to the highest form of society. Bryant has pictured it in his prairies :

66 I hear
The sound of that advancing multitude
Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground
Come up the laugh of children, the soft voice
Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
Of sabbath worshippers.

Every new State, as it has been organized, has made provision for the education of children at the public cost. We still have need of the obligatory school-system of Prussia, - in this feature the best in the world. But in the United States the people have voluntarily cared for education to such a degree, that over seven million children are enrolled in the public schools; and these schools have an income, from endowment, taxation, and public funds, of sixty-five million dollars. Some forty years ago, this people of “cotton-crops and Indian-corn and dollars had a surplus of several millions in the national treasury. What did they do with it? They did not hoard it in vaults as a provision for war, nor bury it in mounds and fortifications. They did not speculate with it to win more, nor use it to purchase other lands. They put it into funds for schools, that the woodman, the fisherman, the miner, might learn to read “Sartor Resartus." This is no suggestion of fancy. Two of the prettiest episodes of American working-life are told by two of the most human of our poets. One is a scene that Lowell witnessed in a railroad-car, where a knot of working-men crowded together to listen to a comrade:

“He spoke of Burns : men rude and rough

Pressed round to hear the praise of one
Whose heart was made of manly, simple stuff,

As homespun as their own.

And, when he read, they forward leaned,

Drinking, with thirsty hearts and ears,
His brook-like songs whom glory never weaned

From humble smiles and tears.

Slowly there grew a tender awe,

Sun-like, o'er faces brown and hard,
As if in him who read they felt and saw

Some presence of the bard.

It was a sight for sin and wrong

And slavish tyranny to see,
A sight to make our faith more pure and strong

In high humanity.

All that hath been majestical

In life or death, since time began,
Is native in the simple heart of all,-

The angel heart of man.
And thus among the untaught poor

Great deeds and feelings find a home,
That cast in shadow all the golden lore

Of classic Greece and Rome.”

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