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from contempt and tinged with pity, which the face of the philosopher wears, is expressive of a mind that, while sympathizing with the shams of life, has seen through them and has realized, not with bitterness and scorn, but with deep comprehension and tenderness, the trivial character of mere human strivings. The true philosopher is neither an optimist nor a pessimist; he is a humorist.

Enough has been said of the far-reaching importance of humor in our intellectual, moral, social, and contemplative life to justify it as an end in education. Its possession means intellectual acumen and breadth, a sense of ethical values, and exalted spirit. To educate in humor is to furnish a liberal training; to humanize. The teacher can have no higher ideal than that of teaching his pupils to laugh aright; for he who laughs well laughs wisely, laughs magnanimously, laughs highly. He who laughs well has knowledge, sympathy and philosophic calm. His faculties are balanced and his soul at peace. The tittering school girl and the boisterous youth should be purged of their follies. They have learned to laugh, but how unwisely! The sober-faced "school-marm" fears their shallow mirth, as indeed, she should, but she should recognize that she cannot escape it by banishing all fun, however trivial and vulgar, from the lives of her pupils, but by reforming their sense of humor; then it will become her ally and no longer remain her foe. It is high time that the unnatural seriousness of the schoolroom should be at an end. The best school government must be that which makes some concessions to child nature. The average boy and girl have, I believe, a fund of crude humor. Yet the school goes on ignoring this truth until most pupils imagine that all thoughts of fun should be abandoned on entering the schoolhouse. This fact was brought to my mind rather strikingly on one occasion, by a question asked by one of the boys, when a set of compositions, all on humorous topics, was assigned to a group of high school children. "How can we," he asked, "write on these subjects; can we say anything funny?" I really think the pupil imagined it was little short of a crime to introduce a bit of humor into his school work, and I fancy his conclusions were drawn with some degree of logic.

We have long been striving in our schools for subjects that would best prepare the pupil for the battle of life. We have mathematics and foreign language to give rational power, nature study to strengthen observation and accuracy of description, literature to teach humanity, and history to promote good citizenship. Yet the opponents of formal discipline tell us, and perhaps with justice, that we fail for the most part to attain our aim, since we cannot train the intellect as a whole,

but only in definite directions. I venture to assert, however, that a training in the perception and enjoyment of humor would do much to equip the individual with a mind many sided to meet the various caprices of fortune with intelligence, fortitude, humanity, and if need be, with resignation.

In this training literature has a part of the greatest importance to play-but I fear that it is far too seldom utilized. What a store of treasure there is drawn from all ages and peogles! Are there not Homer and Aristophanes, Chaucer and Shakespeare, Moliere and Rabelais and Cervantes, Sterne and Fielding and Burns, Balzac and George Eliot? All great writers have felt in some degree the power of humor, yet how seldom has this side of their writings been fully comprehended.

Education in humor is not alone a matter for the schools, yet it should begin in the schools. It has often been said that children are lacking in humor. This I am sure is untrue, unless we are to understand by this statement that their notions of humor are crude and inadequate. So, too, are their logical powers deficient, and their moral judgments narrow, their æsthetic sensibilities crude, and their religious instincts savage. Observation and experiment disclose unmistakable evidence of the existence of the sense of humor in very young children and of its evolution from a lower to a higher stage. The cruder elements find their expression in a fondness for the absurd and strange in teasing and bullying, in tricks and practical jokes. The higher elements show themselves in unexpected turus of thought, such as stories with a point, repartee, quaint sayings and epigrammatic statements, but these more subtle elements are far outbalanced by the grosser. It is further clearly evident that though there is a gradual growth in the humorous elements, it by no means keeps pace with the growth of other important elements in the child's mental evolution, a fact to be explained largely, I believe, on the ground that humor has never been seriously considered as worthy of cultivation on the part of teachers and educators in general.

The crudest of all elements entering into humor is without doubt the teasing and bullying instinct, common to both sexes, but particularly exhibited by boys. So obscured is the genuinely ludicrous element in this tendency that it is often difficult to distinguish it from a similar instinct to be found in the brute. Here the "sudden-glory theory" of Hobbes may seem to find support, but I am inclined to believe that in the proportion in which a love of power and a feeling of superiority manifest themselves in this instinct, to just that extent is the germ of humor lacking. The playing of practical jokes, the "calling of names," the various physical tortures that annoy the victim of this sort of play activity, possess humorous

attributes only in so far as they exhibit incongruities. That this first and lowest type of humor, however, finds a large place still in the estimation not only of children, but of "grown-ups" as well, the comic supplement of our Sunday papers and the programmes of our vaudeville theatres abundantly attest. This is what the famous clown, "Silvers Oakley," says in regard to the humor of the crowd as reported in a recent issue of an American daily: "When I get through my work I feel as if I'd been playing centre scrimmage against Yale. If people only would laugh at something nice and kind and gentle! But no! We have to kick and get kicked, punch and get punched, get up, fall down, roll around, and get generally walked all over, trampled under and hoofed up, to make any sort of a hit at all. Well, honest now, I had a partner that got only one good laugh all the time he was in the business, and that was when an elephant stepped on his foot and smashed it flat. He set up a screech that slit the tent-top pretty near, and they laughed! Gee! you should have heard them laugh! When we carried him out, groaning and biting his fingers, they almost had a fit."

It is the crude instinct that education should utilize in order to transcend it and attain higher levels. To ignore it or to attempt to eradicate it without substitution is to cut off all hope of developing a real sense of humor. We can reach the mountain tops only by first traversing the plain and the foothills.

Closely connected with the humor existing in the rough horse play we have just been discussing is the ludicrous side to play in general. It seems quite possible to regard humor as originating in the universal play instinct, of which teasing and bullying may be regarded as a special type. Significant in this connection are the words of Groos, who, in preparing his great work on "The Play of Animals," consulted a mass of literature from all sources. "I have examined many books of travel," he writes, "but usually with discouraging results. If they refer to the play of animals at all, the most they say is that it was 'amusing,' or 'astonishing,' or 'droll,' or exceedingly 'funny.""

For the savage and the child everything that is new and strange is greeted either with signs of fear or with laughter. The peculiar dress and the language of the rustic and farmer, are still stock elements in the comedy which delights the crowd. Once more, we find genuine humor mingled with much that is undesirable; for to evince mirth at strange manners or customs is a mark of provincialism and is not on the whole to be encouraged. Here, again, the progress of educa

tion from the lower to the higher forms of humor is not by elimination, but by substitution.

The higher types of humor which depend on sympathy must come in to take the place of these cruder instincts, and when this is accomplished the true educational value of humor is seen. It becomes then as broadly humanizing as is morality, or art, or religion. It then takes its proper place among those forces which combat the mere animal tendencies of struggle and strife, of self aggrandizement at the expense of others. It, too, makes for the 'sweetness and light;' it, too, transmutes the biological laws of the struggle for existence, and the survival of the fittest from base metal into noble coin; it, too, has seen the horizon from the mountain tops and cannot dwell content within the confining narrowness of the valleys. No one can be both humorist and egoist in the same breath. No one who has a sense of the ludicrous can believe his own little affairs of supreme importance. It is a significant fact that Napoleon had no sense of humor. Like many a less gifted person, he took himself all too seriously and he met defeat. We are all familiar with the representative of that modern type of humanity-the product of "up-to-date" Americanism, who "does things," but in the doing forgets there is a world outside his own sphere of activity, who has no time for book, or friends, or worship, or art; who knows no language but that of the shop, who, in the mad rush for fame, or power, or fortune, has no leisure for the higher things. He is in need of culture, and I know of no culture more beneficial than that which would enable him to see his true relation to the world under the guise of humor. Humor furnishes a vacation from seriousness-a vacation that the present age sadly needs. Not that activity and struggle should cease, but that they should be given their proper place and their just proportion. This an education in humor should accomplish; and thus the Greek virtue of sophrosune may be made a part of our lives.


Der Einfluss der Blutsverwandtschaft der Eltern auf die Kinder, von DR. E. FEER. S. Karger, Berlin, 1907. pp. 32.

Consanguinity of parents per se perhaps exercises no unfavorable influence upon children. So at least Feer1 argues. From a summary of the copious literature and statistics upon the subject, it appears that only in retinitis pigmentosa, congenital deaf muteness and possibly in a few other diseases can a predisposing cause be traced to the blood relationship of parents. Of course parents who are relatives are more prone to the same diseases or more likely to be exposed to untoward external influences, and it is to these that the deleterious effects of the marriage of relatives is to be chiefly ascribed. There are many cases of children of consanguinous parents who are normal in all respects through life. Enthusiasts for race improvement have often urged legislation respecting the degrees of relation. ship within which marriage should be allowed, but as the evils of inbreeding are insignificant in comparison to those arising from the intermarriage of consumptives, syphilists, deaf mutes, insane and alcoholic, restriction laws, if any are to be enacted, should begin with these latter. Many authors urge that human inbreeding tends to reinforcement and potentialization of heredity in certain directions and to diminish not only variation but energy in others so that new blood is needed for new combinations. If and so far as these accented qualities are good, wholesome variation may result. The problem is best studied among animals and plants which breed more rapidly than man, and here full blooded stirps often thrive for many generations with not only inbreeding but even with incest. Thus more or less stable race constants may arise and fertility as well as hereditary effectiveness may be augmented. But beyond a certain very variable point, degenerative processes develop yet more rapidly and decadence results so that crossing brings wholesome reconstruction. Both primitive and transition races seem most immune, while with those that are civilized bad results appear sooner. Reibmayr1 urges that human culture has been very dependent upon, limiting both by culture and by law the racial range of intermarriage, and if the latter be freely contracted with members of lower stirps, progress is arrested. Not only caste, but language and religion have set up wholesome barriers. Bees and ants owe their high instincts to inbreedings. Yet if restrictions are narrow or too long continued, rigidity and stagnation result. Then crossing with vigorous but less developed stock brings new life. Once hereditary disease was far less than now, so that the rhythm of the three stages, inbreeding and progress, stagnation, mixture and renewed progress followed each other with less rapidity than now. Among the ancient Persians, Egyptians and the Incas of Peru brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son, married with impunity, and the last of the Incas is said to have been the fifteenth generation of marriage with a sister which was prescribed. Lorenz is inclined to think that this worked very favorably for ennobling the race under the conditions that ex

1 Inzucht und Vermischung beim Menschen. Leipzig und Wien, 1897.

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