We may be allowed to hope that our reason, and with it all the knowledge that we have painfully acquired, will pass with us into eternity; perhaps, too, the remembrance of our earthly life. Whether that is really to be wished is another question. How if our whole life all our thoughts and actions should some day be spread out before us and we became our own judges, incorruptible and pitiless?
But, above all, the emotions must be retained by the soul, if it is to be immortal. Friendship does indeed rest on reciprocity, and is partly an affair of the reason; but love can exist though unreturned. Love is the purest, the most divine spark of our being.
Scripture bids us before all things love God, an invisible, incomprehensible Being, who sends us joy and happiness, but also privation and pain. How else can we love Him than by obeying His commandments, and loving our fellow-men, whom we see and understand?
When, as the Apostle Paul writes, faith is lost in knowledge, and hope in sight, and only love remains, then we hope, not without reason, to be assured of the love of our merciful Judge. COUNT MOLTKE.
Creisau, October, 1890.
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By ARTHUR N. HOLCOMBE, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Government, Harvard University
Ferdinand Lassalle was born on April 11, 1825, at Breslau, of Jewish parents. The father, Hyman Lassal, was a prosperous business man, ambitious for his son, able to give him the best education the times afforded, and willing to let him choose his own career. The life of the Lassal family seems to have been like that of any well-to-do Jewish family in the kingdom of Prussia during the early nineteenth century. Of a quiet and peaceable behavior, they were devoted mainly to money-making and their domestic affairs.
The young Lassalle gave early indications of his unusual character. While still a boy in the local grammar school, his proud and independent disposition won him the displeasure of his teachers. Especially the oppression of his own race filled his soul with wrath. “O could I only give myself up to my boyish day-dreams,” he wrote in his note-book at this time, “how I would put myself at the head of the Jews, weapons in hand, and make them independent!” Eventually he abandoned in disgust the attempt to gain a classical education in the schools of his native city and entered the commercial high school in Leipzig. Here again his fiery temperament could not brook the restraints imposed upon him and he presently returned to his father’s house.
The problem of a career was not easy to solve. The father’s success enabled the son to choose his course in life without regard to financial considerations. Business and mere money-making were in fact distasteful to him.
[Illustration: FERDINAND LASSALLE]