Beacon Lights of History, Volume 07 eBook

John Lord
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 295 pages of information about Beacon Lights of History, Volume 07.
they are of training and educating their children, how much more dignified the family circle may thus become,—­every man who is a father will rejoice in this great step which women have recently made, not merely in literary attainments, but in the respect of men.  Take away intellect from woman, and what is she but a toy or a slave?  For my part, I see no more cheering signs of the progress of society than in the advancing knowledge of favored women.  And I know of no more splendid future for them than to encircle their brows, whenever they have an opportunity, with those proud laurels which have ever been accorded to those who have advanced the interests of truth and the dominion of the soul,—­which laurels they have lately won, and which both reason and experience assure us they may continue indefinitely to win.


Miss Luyster’s Memoirs of Madame de Stael; Memoires Dix Annees d’Exil; Alison’s Essays; M. Shelly’s Lives; Mrs. Thomson’s Queens of Society; Sainte-Beuve’s Nouveaux Lundis; Lord Brougham on Madame de Stael; J. Bruce’s Classic Portraits; J. Kavanagh’s French Women of Letters; Biographic Universelle; North American Review, vols. x., xiv., xxxvii.; Edinburgh Review, vols. xxi., xxxi., xxxiv., xliii.; Temple Bar, vols. xl., lv.; Foreign Quarterly, vol. xiv.; Blackwood’s Magazine, vols. iii., vii., x.; Quarterly Review, 152; North British Review, vol. xx.; Christian Examiner, 73; Catholic World, 18.


* * * * *

A. D. 1745-1833.


One of the useful and grateful tasks of historians and biographers is to bring forward to the eye of every new generation of men and women those illustrious characters who made a great figure in the days of their grandfathers and grandmothers, yet who have nearly faded out of sight in the rush of new events and interests, and the rise of new stars in the intellectual firmament.  Extraordinary genius or virtue or services may be forgotten for a while, but are never permanently hidden.  There is always somebody to recall them to our minds, whether the interval be short or long.  The Italian historian Vico wrote a book which attracted no attention for nearly two hundred years,—­in fact, was forgotten,—­but was made famous by the discoveries of Niebuhr in the Vatican library, and became the foundation of modern philosophical history.  Some great men pass out of view for a generation or two owing to the bitterness of contemporaneous enemies and detractors, and others because of the very unanimity of admirers and critics, leading to no opposition.  We weary both of praise and censure.  And when either praise or censure stops, the object of it is apparently forgotten for a time, except by the few who are learned.  Yet, I repeat, real greatness or goodness is never completely hidden.  It reappears with new lustre when brought into comparison with those who are embarked in the same cause.

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Beacon Lights of History, Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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